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eBay Announces Fall Seller Update for 2018

eBay 2018 Fall Seller Update

eBay 2018 Fall Seller UpdateeBay published the third and final Seller Update for 2018 today, and grouped the changes into three buckets. We’re providing eBay’s description of those changes here (along with a few callouts we’ve made, in italics), and you can head over to the EcommerceBytes Blog for more information and to leave a comment and see what your colleagues think of the changes.

Note that in this update, eBay is announcing lots of changes, and some of them are quite significant, such as the fee changes. Be sure to spend some time analyzing how the Fall Update will change things for your business.

First Bucket of Changes: Marketplace Updates
Provide your customer support phone number to answer buyers’ questions before the sale
Sometimes buyers have questions about items they would like to purchase on eBay. While buyers and sellers aren’t allowed to share or request direct contact information prior to completing a sale for the purpose of making offers to buy or sell items outside of eBay, a new pilot program allows you to help buyers make purchase decisions. With the new pilot program, your customer service phone number will be visible to buyers on desktop before the sale. You can opt into the feature within “Manage communication with buyers” in your account settings.

Managed payments for simplified buying and selling
As announced in January 2018, we are committed to creating the world’s most powerful selling platform, and building out our payments capabilities is the next step in that strategy. By managing payments all in one place, we will be simplifying the buying and selling experience on eBay. You will benefit from consolidated pricing, simpler invoicing of your fees, and daily payouts direct to your bank account. Buyers will have more payment choices and better checkout experiences.

Managed payments will be phased in gradually. When you receive your invitation to participate, we strongly encourage you to join. eBay expects to transition the majority of sellers to the new payment experience by 2021. We want you to be part of this journey and welcome your feedback.

Take our survey to express your interest.

Use secure HTTPS for enhanced browser security
As we previously announced, the Google Chrome browser now displays the message “Not secure” in its address bar when users visit HTTP pages or HTTPS pages that include non-secure HTTP content. Starting September 15, 2018, you will be required to use secure HTTPS content when you list items on eBay based on Google’s HTTPS mandate. “New,” “relist,” “sell similar,” and “sell one like this” listings created with non-secure HTTP content will not successfully submit.

Current and revised listings with non-secure HTTP content will be displayed as “Not secure” to buyers in the Google Chrome address bar. To ensure the most secure shopping experience for your buyers, we recommend that you update your listings now. Check here to see if you have any noncompliant existing listings that need to be updated.

Learn more about HTTPS security.

Editor’s note: don’t ignore this one – make sure your listings are compliant.

Fee updates
– Reserve price, Subtitle, and Value Pack feature fee increase
– Changes to Insertion fee credits for auction-style listings that sell
– Media price increase

Editor’s note: This set of changes is significant and we delve into the fee changes on the EcommercmeBytes Blog.

Second Bucket of Changes: Inventory Optimization
What you need to know:
– New categories and features in the product-based shopping experience
– Item condition label and definition updates
– Final value fee reduction in some business equipment categories
– Include the Make item specific in your Heavy Equipment listings
– Include the wheel quantity item specific in your wheel listings

Editor’s Note: The first two “Inventory Optimization” sections are worth reviewing in detail, including a new “Open Box” designation!

Third Bucket of Changes: Service Metrics & Shipping
Service metrics and peer benchmarks are now available in Seller Hub
In the 2018 Summer Seller Update, we announced new competitive insights with service metrics and peer benchmarks that give you additional visibility into the status of your buyers’ “item not as described” and “item not received” requests. These service metrics will help you identify listings that aren’t meeting buyer expectations and manage your business better. The service metrics dashboard is now live in the Performance tab in Seller Hub. Guidance is available to help you improve your metrics if needed and you can see your specific listings that may need to be updated.

As a reminder, starting October 1, 2018, if you have very high rates of “item not as described” returns you may be subject to additional 4% final value fee in affected categories based on the Service Metrics policy. Maximum fee caps do not apply to the additional 4% final value fees. See our selling fees article for more information on how final value fees are calculated.

Starting November 1, 2018, if you have very high rates of “item not received” requests, you may be subject to extended delivery estimates in affected categories.

Sellers will not be evaluated on a time period prior to June 1, 2018.

To make sure you’re meeting eBay’s minimum selling requirements, check your seller dashboard regularly.

Upload tracking to prevent “item not received” claims
Starting September 10, 2018, you will be required to upload tracking in the structured data field before the estimated delivery date has passed in order to appeal an “item not received” claim. eBay will not protect you from a claim if you send the tracking number to the buyer via email.

Without tracking information, eBay can’t protect you because we won’t be able to confirm your item was delivered. Tracking also benefits buyers by enabling them to track the status of their deliveries. We will also update the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy with the new guidelines.

Coming soon for all sellers—the new eBay labels experience
In the 2018 Spring Seller Update, we announced an easier and more intuitive way to purchase and print labels on eBay. Starting in September 2018, the new eBay shipping labels experience will be available to all sellers. We’ve added new features that will help you make informed shipping choices quickly and easily. They include estimated delivery dates based on shipping service and pricing comparisons. The previous labels experience will be retired in January 2019.

Learn more about the new eBay labels experience.

You can find the full Fall Seller Update notice on the eBay website, UK changes can be found here, and here’s a link to 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/.