Some eBay sellers were thrown for a loop by changes eBay made to GTC listings this month, as we reported in Monday’s blog post. eBay changed the renewal dates of fixed-price listings so that sellers wouldn’t be charged twice in a month for the auto-renewal fees. The concept was good – a fix to change a shortcoming in its unpopular GTC mandate. But as is often the case with eBay, its execution was poor.
Some sellers said as a result, eBay over-billed them this month. A reader explained what happened to their account: “On July 20th, hundreds of .35 cent GTC automated relists hit 7 different ID’s,… Now we watch each account for the last few months daily, there is no way a thousand or so listings were ending and relisting on July 20th.”
It appears that some sellers didn’t want all of their GTC listings to renew but weren’t given the opportunity to cancel them before eBay auto-renewed them, unaware that this month, eBay would be changing the date on which it would auto-renew their listings.
It’s easy to understand why they were taken by surprise – eBay announced the “fix” to the GTC renewal dates at the end of April, and it failed to issue a reminder to sellers.
In this April 30th announcement, eBay announced a “new calendar-month renewal schedule for Good ‘Til Cancelled listings.” As you can see, it was just one of a flurry of changes eBay announced as part of the Spring Seller Update.
If you did some clicking, you would have found the following FAQ that states:
How can I find out when my Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will renew?
You can find out when your Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will renew by looking at the “Time left” column on the Active Listings page in Seller Hub. You can also customize the Active Listings page in Seller Hub to show the “Start date” column. Starting July 1, 2019, Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will renew once per calendar month. When listings renew in July, subsequent renewal dates will be based on the listing start date. For example, if the listing was originally created on the 1st of the month, from August onward, it will always renew on the 1st of each month.
On another page, eBay provided some examples (which we found easy to miss – and easy to forget, since it was published in April), including the following:
EXAMPLE: Listing created prior to July 1, 2019
A Good ‘Til Cancelled listing that was created on January 30, 2019 and has renewed every 30 days (i.e., March 1, March 31, April 30, May 30, and June 29), will renew on July 29. When it renews on July 29, subsequent renewal dates will be set based on the day the listing was created (January 30), using the new monthly calendar schedule. Thus, the next renewal dates will be August 30, September 30, October 30, and so on.
Clear as mud – and some sellers remain convinced this week that eBay changed their renewal dates arbitrarily – we cannot confirm if that’s the case or not. But reading the paragraph above, it seems eBay is saying it would keep the renewal date the same in July and change it in August.
Compounding the problem is the fact that some sellers are still using the My eBay interface, which doesn’t have all of the information that is available through Seller Hub; apparently it’s difficult to check listings’ “start dates” on which eBay is now basing the renewal dates.
Sellers are also concerned about the impact of GTC listings on free-listing promotions, and other GTC-related questions are bubbling up, such as one about Gallery Plus fees on GTC listings asked about in this thread on the eBay boards.
We asked eBay to help shed some light on the confusion over the GTC listing date changes and asked why it hadn’t issued a reminder to sellers before making significant changes to GTC renewal dates. We have not yet received a response.