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Summary of New Features Announced at eBay Open

Summary of New Features Announced at eBay Open

It may have been hard for sellers to keep track of the new features eBay announced at last week’s eBay Open virtual event; various executives discussed them in keynote sessions over the course of the 3-day conference, with no accompanying posts on the Seller Announcement board.

Complicating matters was the fact executives discussed some “new” features that had already been announced. Here’s a round-up of changes that will be coming to eBay that stood out – we expect eBay to announce them in more detail in an upcoming Fall Seller Update.

Marketing – Photos, eBay Store Videos, Buyer Groups, Live Commerce
eBay will allow sellers to upload up to 24 images for free, up from 12, in all categories. We’re not sure of the exact timing, but sellers reacting on this eBay discussion board post expect it to launch in November. During his keynote, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said fashion sellers in DC suggested the idea at a meeting he had with them earlier this year.

eBay Store subscribers will be able to upload videos to their storefronts on eBay that can be used as branding tools, a way to showcase their expertise and share their personalities, and to upload how-to videos. Videos will be mostly ramped for all Store sellers by the end of September.

And eBay CEO Jamie Iannone discussed a new tool called Buyer Groups that allows sellers to tailor experiences to enthusiast buyers.

Iannone also said eBay has begun experimenting with live commerce which will eventually provide sellers with more interactive ways to reach customers. eBay had announced its live shopping platform for mobile devices in June.

Shipping Labels for Items Sold through Authenticity Guarantee
eBay will “simplify” shipping for orders going to authentication hubs for items sold through the Authenticity Guarantee program. eBay will set a consistent shipping price and provide sellers with a shipping label automatically. It will start in the US in the Sneakers category and will expand to additional categories and markets next year. This does not sound like an optional service. Whether sellers will like it depends in part on how well eBay negotiates with shipping carriers on pricing.

New eBay International Shipping Program (EIS)
eBay will migrate sellers from its Global Shipping Program to a new program called eBay International Shipping (EIS). One big change is that buyers “will have the choice to pay import charges, including duties and taxes, at checkout or at delivery.” Even more impactful for sellers is that eBay will handle returns through the program. Read “eBay Launches Brand New International Shipping Program to Replace GSP” for details.

Payments and Payouts
While not new, eBay reviewed scheduled payouts and its “on demand” payouts feature that are free of cost to bank accounts, or for a fee to Visa and Mastercard debit cards.

In April, eBay announced a spendable funds feature that it would be rolling out over the coming months. Announced as part of the Spring Seller Update, it allows sellers to use their funds to make purchases on eBay. At Thursday’s eBay Open keynote, eBay said it was continuing to expand the availability of spendable funds to US sellers this year.

Reducing Unpaid Items – with Immediate Pay on Best Offers
eBay will begin collecting payment information from buyers during the Best Offer submission flow so once a seller accepts an offer, eBay processes the payment, reducing Unpaid Items. Some buyers are already in a pilot program (which we wrote about last year), and eBay will ramp it up after the holidays.

Parts & Accessories Fitment
eBay is rolling out a new experience in Parts & Accessories, which is one of its largest categories, by bringing Fitment front and center. It’s also improving how search uses Fitment. See more details in our coverage of the eBay Open Day 2 keynote.

New Seller-Facing Employees
Attendees got to “meet” some new employees, including Xiaodi Zhang, Vice President of Seller Experience, and Adam Ireland, Vice President of Americas Operations. They may become more seller-facing executives as Jordan Sweetnam takes on more responsibilities in Europe.

Category and Item Specifics Changes
The day before the conference, eBay announced Category and Item Specifics changes that usually are announced as part of the Fall Seller Update.

Stay tuned for eBay to share details on these features in the Fall Seller Update, and leave a comment letting us know which features are most helpful to you.

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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/.