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Online Sellers Guide to eBay Fall Seller Update 2020 Part 2

Online Sellers Guide to eBay Fall Seller Update 2020 Part 2

eBay announced the Fall Seller Update on September 9th. In Part 1 of the Online Sellers Guide to eBay Fall Seller Update 2020, we covered 5 of the changes eBay announced, while in Part 2, we cover an additional 9 changes.

Part 1

1) Seller Protection Change
2) Time Away
3) Email Anonymization
4) Automating “Offers to Buyers” Feature
5) Availability of UPS in eBay Shipping Labels

Part 2

1) More Free Listings
2) Automated Returns Mandate
3) Seller Hub & Terapeak Updates
4) Promoted Listing Ads: Restricting Below-Standard Sellers
5) Promoted Listings Ads: Suggested Rates, Dashboard
6) Multi-User Account Access (MUAA) Authentication Requirement
7) Reduced fees for luxury watches
8) Managed Payments Update
9) Category and Item Specific Changes

1) More Free Listings

eBay explained it was giving most sellers additional free listings, which it had announced on July 15. There are category and format (auction) restrictions, which can be frustrating to some sellers, such as one who explained they have a Premium Store subscription and feel they are missing out because their vintage fishing items are not considered collectibles.

eBay breaks down the information on this page. It classified the change under “Fees & Financials,” you can find details on this page of the Fall Seller Update.

2) Automated Returns Mandate

As eBay had previously announced, “Beginning September 14, 2020, eBay will automate the returns and refunds processes for active managed payments sellers to align the seller experience across the eBay platform. Automation of returns and refunds saves sellers time, and enables them to process returns faster.”

A seller pointed out on the discussion boards, “The Automated returns is the same program that has been in effect for ALL sellers except for MP seller until recently. Automated returns started in the summer of 2018.”

An eBay manager answered some questions in the above-referenced thread. In response to the question, “For the automated returns, what determines if an eBay label is available,” he replied:

For automated refunds, eBay label availability is determined by:

  • Requests meet your listing returns policy
  • The return is domestic and will be shipped within the US
  • The return is not an exchange or replacement request (sellers can only set that they offer exchanges when they list)

The policy is described in the “Managed payments improves the buying and selling experience on eBay” section of the Fall Seller Update (scroll down to “Auto-accept and auto-refunds”).

3) Seller Hub & Terapeak Updates

eBay introduced new ways sellers can access and analyze their listing and sales data in Seller Hub, including new ways to generate sales reports and the ability to filter sales charts to view sales with or without free shipping costs.

eBay also said it had added new features to its Terapeak research tool over the past several months and, through October 2020, it’s introducing new Terapeak insights in the listing flows.

4) Promoted Listing Ads: Restricting Below-Standard Sellers

eBay is raising the bar for Promoted Listing ads. eBay sellers who fall “Below Standard” will no longer be allowed to advertise through eBay’s Promoted Listings program.

eBay said the new policy would increase the quality of promoted items and the buying experience.

Sellers whose Promoted Listings campaigns suddenly stop can check their seller dashboard to see if their account has been evaluated as Below Standard – “You’ll get a detailed look as to why you’re not meeting eBay’s minimum seller standards and receive clear, actionable guidance on how to get back on track,” eBay stated.

eBay classified this change under “Listing and Promoting,” you can find details on this page.

5) Promoted Listings Ads: Suggested Rates, Dashboard

eBay made a number of changes to its Promoted Listings ad program. It now suggests Promoted Listing ad rates when sellers create campaigns, which replaces the “trending” rate; it’s a personalized recommendation based on historical and predictive data, eBay explained.

“The previous trending rates were calculated based on ad rates for similar items sold via Promoted Listings, and only looked at listings in the same sub-category, price range, and condition.

“The new suggested ad rates look at item-specific, historical, and predictive data to tailor an ad rate for each of your listings. Some of these factors may include an item’s condition, price, and past organic performance, as well as the current competition in promoted listings and the seasonality for that specific item. Based on these factors, the suggested ad rate is calculated to help you find the optimal balance between cost and performance.”

eBay also reminded sellers of changes to the program it had made in July and August and said it launched a new dashboard to make it easier to check ad performance.

If you advertise through Promoted Listings, be sure to review the information eBay provided in the Fall Update on this page.

6) Multi-User Account Access (MUAA) Authentication Requirement

Multi-User Account Access allows sellers to grant permissions to other users to access their account and perform limited tasks, such as the following:

  • create and edit drafts;
  • publish and revise listings;
  • view-only access to orders;
  • access Terapeak;
  • download order report.

What’s new: by later this fall, all authorized users will be required to use two-factor authentication when signing in to MUAA accounts.

See more information on this page.

7) Reduced fees for luxury watches

A day before announcing the Fall Update, eBay issued a press release outlining a series of changes it was making to its luxury watch category.

eBay classified “Final value fee savings on sales of luxury watches” under Fees & Financials on this page of the Fall Update, where it details the new fees for the Watches category.

8) Managed Payments Update

You may be tempted to skip the section on Managed Payments, since there’s no news if you’ve been keeping up.

However, eBay, which at times has seemed loathe to provide details about the program, has included information and FAQs around fees and category exclusions worth reviewing, such as the following:

“Will there be any restrictions on product categories?”

“We aim to add full category support to managed payments progressively through 2021. eBay sellers that frequently list in restricted categories will not be required to register for managed payments until these categories are compatible. We will continue to support sellers through the expansion of managed payments.”

We recommend you skim and then bookmark the following pages to have on hand:

Fall Seller Update 2020 – Managed Payments Overview (link)

Fall Seller Update 2020 – Managed Payments FAQs (link)

eBay also included a link to a video on Managed Payments payouts (published in June) to help sellers better understand the disbursement process.

9) Category and Item Specifics Changes

eBay announced Category changes – pay attention, because, according to eBay, “If you listed an item in one of the affected categories and your listing is impacted by the changes, eBay will automatically move your listing to the most relevant category. As a result of the changes to the category structure, if your listing is moved to a different category, you may experience a change in the fees (either an increase or decrease).”

eBay also announced changes to Item Specifics, including introducing required Item Specifics in the following categories: Business & Industrial; Electronics; Home & Garden; Sporting Goods; and Watches, which we blogged about last month.

Don the Auction Professor devotes an episode on his YouTube channel about why sellers should not be upset about being required to add Item Specifics – the feature helps buyers find items faster and more easily, and it frees up room in your listing title, he said. That said, it’s not surprising that some sellers are gun-shy after last year’s debacle of Required Item Specifics in the Clothing category. Execution is everything!

eBay detailed the changes to Item Specifics on this page.

Links to eBay Fall Seller Update Announcement and Resources

eBay Fall Seller Update 2020 Announcement (September 9, 2020)

Main eBay Fall Update 2020 Landing Page

eBay Fall Update 2020 Timeline

eBay Fall Update 2020 Discussion Board

Link to Online Sellers Guide to eBay Fall Seller Update 2020 Part 1

Do you have thoughts about the Fall Seller Update? Comment on this September 9th EcommerceBytes Blog post.

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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/.