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eBay Announces Summer Seller Update: Changes Ahead

eBay 2018 Summer Seller Update

eBay is announcing the Summer Seller Update today that includes some major changes to eBay Stores and an expansion of its new product based shopping experience (PBSE), which it has begun calling Shop by Product. Sellers will also have to deal with changes impacting their returns policy, seller metrics, catalog changes, and in some countries, new fees.

As usual, there’s a lot to absorb. We’re hitting some highlights here, but be sure to study the changes and check in on the EcommerceBytes Blog to see what your colleagues find most interesting about today’s announcement.

In February, eBay announced changes to its policy impacting seller return policies in the Spring Seller Update. Today, eBay warned sellers it would begin enforcing those changes.

There are two changes to the returns process:

We are expanding our returns automation and may immediately accept a return request by providing a return shipping label to a buyer when you receive a return request.

You will have two business days to review a returned item and issue a refund. If no action is taken, eBay may automatically issue a refund on your behalf two business days after the tracking number shows a confirmed delivery status. At that time, we will close the return for you with no impact to your seller performance.

Read more about the new Returns and Refunds policy on this page.

eBay had announced upcoming changes to Stores in February as part of the Spring Seller Update, and as we noted yesterday, eBay had already begun to roll out changes to Stores prior to today’s announcement. Some sellers were displeased with some of the changes, including ads for competing sellers appearing on their Stores, and the placement and functionality of the new search feature. You can read more on the AuctionBytes Blog.

Today, eBay announced that starting in June 2018, it will provide eBay Stores subscribers new features including: New merchandising opportunities; Enhanced mobile experience; and HTTPS security.

It will also begin removing some functionality in Stores beginning in late June “because the functionality is either outdated or included in the new Stores management experience.” The following features will be removed:

HTML builder
Search Engine Keywords
Promotional flyer
Favorite Seller Top Picks
RSS feeds
Promote similar items

Read more about the new Stores policies on this page.

Among the other changes coming as part of the Summer Seller Update are changes to the catalog and categories. Sellers should pay attention, since eBay will automatically move sellers’ listings to different categories if it thinks they are more relevant beginning July 31st – including Comics, Coins, Pottery & Glass, and Tires categories.

Read more about the new Catalog changes on this page.

eBay is making changes to its shipping labels function. “New features will include estimated delivery dates based on shipping service and easy shipping service and pricing comparisons. We will continue to provide you with substantial discounts on shipping services and automatically update tracking for your buyer.”

Shocking yet not surprising, eBay is making a change that goes against what it had been recommending to sellers: “Starting July 31, 2018, you will be required to provide a valid zip code for your item’s shipping location when you list. Valid zip codes help us provide your buyers with more accurate delivery estimates.” Woe to the seller who had listened to eBay’s advice about removing zip codes in order to be opted out of Guaranteed Delivery.”

eBay also said starting in July it will provide sellers with competitive insights with service metrics and peer benchmarks, found in a new section in Seller Hub called Service Metrics.

eBay Service Metrics

eBay stated, “Starting in September 2018, if you have very high occurrences of these poor buyer experiences, you will be notified via email and may be subject to extended estimated delivery times and additional fees.”

Read more about the new Selling Metrics and Shipping changes on this page.

Here’s the main landing page to today’s Summer Seller Update for eBay.com.

eBay also announced changes in the UK, which you can read about here. And eBay UK also put together a summary of changes that would impact other European markets, which you can find on this page.

Sellers on eBay Germany are escaping fee changes, but not so on Italy, Spain, and France: On eBay.it and eBay.es, final value fees will now be based on total cost which is the price of the item plus the postage cost paid by the buyer, combined. (This is already standard on eBay.com.)

eBay also noted: “On eBay.fr, eBay.it and eBay.es, if you’re an eBay Top Rated seller and you offer free domestic postage, a same-day or 1-day dispatch time and a 30-days return policy on a listing, you’ll benefit from a 10% discount on the final value fee for that item’s sale. On eBay.es, this discount is on top of the pre-existing 10% discount.”

Please discuss the changes on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “eBay Announces Summer Seller Update: Changes Ahead”

  1. So let me see if I have this right. A customer isn’t happy and wants to return the item. Opens a case and ebay will issue a return label. Customer sends item back with tracking and I have 2 days to decide what to do. If I do nothing ebay will refund the customer ( at my expense ) and there will be no impact to my dsr and customer won’t be able to leave feedback.

    If this is true. Its sounds good to me. Seller is strangled by ebay when it comes to returns. Just best to pay the loser off and block them. You won’t win with ebay.

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