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Sat July 18 2009 13:31:42

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is slated to make an announcement the last week in July that will reveal major changes coming to the site in September. eBay will give sellers more analytical tools and will impose restrictions to ensure users are following best practices when selling on the platform. The changes reflect CEO John Donahoe's focus on improving the buyer experience and transforming eBay into a more mainstream retail marketplace since he took the reins from Meg Whitman last year.

New Seller Responsibilities Policy
eBay will introduce a Seller Responsibilities policy that combines existing policies with new policies and best practices. Sources say the policy sets out some common-sense guidelines for sellers to follow when conducting all aspects of business on eBay, although some aspects of the policy are subjective.

Shifting Insurance Costs to the Seller
As part of the Seller Responsibilities policy, eBay will prohibit sellers from offering shipping insurance as an optional fee, but it will require sellers to make sure their item arrives as described. Sellers will be able to tack the cost of shipping insurance on to the item price, or they may incorporate any insurance fees into the handling charge.

Sellers will be required to charge actual shipping cost and actual handling cost, which can include the cost of packing material and insurance, but may not include any other costs.

Best Match Tool - More Data for eBay Sellers
Until fairly recently in eBay's history, shoppers conducting a search on eBay would see results sorted by "items ending soonest" as the default. They also had several ways to sort results, such as by item price. In recent years, as fixed-price listings have become more prevalent, eBay introduced a sort-order called "Best Match" that sorts results by relevancy, now the default order.

The Best Match algorithm has left many sellers scrambling to try to optimize their listings so they will appear at the top of the results pages. This is similar to webmasters who conduct search engine optimization (SEO) to get their websites to appear high on Google and Yahoo search results.

eBay is readying a tool for sellers to show them their product rankings and help them compare their results with competing listings by category and by keyword. But eBay will not expose details about how much weight is given to Best Match factors (such as free shipping and item cost), which vary by category and listing format.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: summer in the city

Sat Jul 18 18:02:14 2009

No more combined shipping discounts for buyers? No more flat rate shipping?

Buyers are going to lo-o-o-o-o-ove this one.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Raye

Sat Jul 18 19:31:58 2009

What I see is self-indulgent insanity running amok in the ivory towers of Ebay.

It makes sense. The last 8 years we've seen sociopathic CEOs bankrupt this country with illegal, unethical hedge funds. Our former vice president it turns out was involved in a secret assassin plan that Congress knew nothing about. An unnecessary war was started that killed over 4,000 of our troups, and probably hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Bernie Maddoff ripped off individuals, charities and other institutions to the tune of billions. And the list goes on on and on.

Why don't we think the halls of Ebay are corrupt? From John Donahoe's crayon colored Disruptive Innovation presention (that in itself is a clear sign of an insane man), to Ebay falling to $10 a share. He put thousands upon thousands of small Mom and Pops out of business right at the beginning of a serious recession that possibly might get worse still.

Earlier this year, Ebay's management arrogantly declared they weren't going to apologize anymore. They bluffed and the BOD fell for it.

John Donahoe is an ego maniac who the BOD needs get rid of as quickly as possible. And put out the rest of the trash who work for him. Fumigate the halls. He's not going to stop until Ebay is an unrecognizable shell of itself and finally implodes upon itself.

Someone with authority in the government needs to step in and take a look at all of Ebay's practices and books.

Something went really wrong in this country. And whatever disease it was still lives. John Donahoe is proof of that.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Michael

Sat Jul 18 19:37:14 2009

How can a seller tack insurance costs onto a selling price if (a) it is on auction therefore they don't have a selling price, and (b) if you don't know the final selling price you can't possibly now how much the insurance cost is anyway!

"Sellers will be required to charge actual shipping cost and actual handling cost, which can include the cost of packing material and insurance, but may not include any other costs."

Now with that one I agree and it's something I've always done anyway.  Except for the insurance cost which has always been optional and related to selling price in my auctions.

I've often wondered what a handling cost is anyway.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: eBuyer Feedback

Sat Jul 18 19:46:52 2009

@ Blackarrowbooks

If and when you need to file your first insurance claim you'll quickly learn that insurance protects NO ONE.  It doesn't protect the buyer and it definitely doesn't protect the seller.  Of the seven years on eBay I've had to file a handful of claims.  Of those only ONE buyer has ever cooperated to get the insurance claim filed.  The rest just file SNAD or INR and you never hear from them again.  End result is lost claim and lost money, insured or not.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Gary

Sat Jul 18 19:49:55 2009

eBain is suck

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Henrietta RedInkDiary

Sat Jul 18 20:10:06 2009

Good point fruity, & blackarrowbooks you are absolutely correct.

When you sell something it is your responsibility to get it to the buyer in the condition they purchased it. No matter how many times you write in your listing ''I am not responsible ...'' you are responsible! That is law.

If you sell something irreplaceable you are protecting yourself from total loss (if it is damaged in transit) with insurance because you are required to replace or refund.

I have always paid for insurance myself if the loss amount is higher than I am comfortable with absorbing. If it is an item that I have in stock, I will happily replace it and either refund the cost to ship it back or accept a photo as proof of damage depending on the attitude/impression I get of the buyer.

The mandatory insurance ploy is a scam and it is long past time it should have been banned. I might even consider purchasing on eBay again if the actual shipping rule is enforced.

I do not see how eBay can enforce flat rate shipping in every category and hope to offer their buyers any choice. For example in 'pottery and china' there is no way a coffee pot which can not fit in a flat rate box can be shipped for the same price as a plate.

Another example, a winter coat compared to a sweater. It will be interesting to watch if this is the chosen route on eBay. If category shipping rates are applied sellers will have to pay much more attention to what they list.

What fun to have these changes roll out right before peak selling season! How much do you bet the experts at eBay think holiday season starts in November?

So glad I am long gone except as an interested observer.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: tired of it

Sat Jul 18 20:49:48 2009

Hey JD,

How about worrying less about what us sellers are doing and maybe start bringing some traffic to the site?

or is that not whats important?, we dont care if anyones buying anything as long as sellers are being screwed.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: unaware

Sat Jul 18 21:08:24 2009

For a seller of one of a kind antiques and collectibles like me, the concept of actual shipping prices is confusing. I do not ''prepackage'' these items to know what the actual shipping cost might be, rather I use a flat rate cost on a item by item basis that is based on years of experience of packing and shipping items. The vast majority of shipments I break-even or lose a small amount of money on... that has been my choice in order to make sure I get good DSR's (and before we had ever heard of a DSR just to make sure I had a happy customer). In rare cases I make a little extra money. I don't really figure materials into it... I always figured that was my problem. I am not sure how I am going to implement a ''actual'' shipping policy other then to have the buyer wait until I can package their purchase up and send them a final invoice with actual shipping amount included BUT that will eliminate all of the orders I get now that are Buy It Now and paid for right away because I DO have a flat shipping cost. Also, as I said, 8 out of 10 times the shipping cost has come out on the side of the buyer.... I guess if I figure out how to sell by ACTUAL postage costs I will actually be making a little more money myself (but that was one of the reasons I have been a GREAT seller... my buyers liked the fair shipping costs; this is one LESS way for me to be better then other sellers)... I guess eBay really does want to be a Amazon lite.... but how will this play out for sellers of antiques and collectibles? Before eBay came along I was a big time seller on the flea market and antique market circuit.... and you know what, I think I am going to go back to it as eBay is just getting to difficult. Dealing with buyers on a face to face basis again would be a refreshing alternative to the cr@p eBay is putting me through. My wife hated the long weekend hours of antique markets but eBay has just about become impossible to deal with. Ugggh!  

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Patricia

Sat Jul 18 21:09:57 2009

Well, I put up two items because its on their dime (two of the five monthly freebees).  After two days one item has 3 views and the other has 2 views....just how seriously do you think I'm going to take Ebay's upcoming tighter restrictions on sellers.  I'm a lady or I'd tell John Donahoe just what he can do with his site and his restrictions!  I'm so happy not to be worrying about my reputation and jumping thru hoops in order to make some sales...there aren't all that many sales to be made there now.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: sick of it

Sat Jul 18 21:47:45 2009

It is getting sicker by the months on the ebay rules & changes. I already found me a new place to sell at Bonanzle.com if you want to leave this HH com eon over.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: jack

Sat Jul 18 22:15:42 2009


Ebay idiots, and i've only bought off
of ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Joz

Sat Jul 18 23:01:13 2009

Well, this lights a fire underneath me to list the last few eBay-type items I have floating around here ASAP.  I want to get them sold and move on from eBay.

As a buyer, I am upset about the insurance policy.  I like having insurance as an option and NOT have it forced on me.  Now, I will have less control over the upfront costs.  

And this makes for a better buying experience how?

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Lee

Sat Jul 18 23:02:43 2009

They really enjoy putting more Hardships on Sellers again.They have enough to deal with already.When I reed about shifting insurance cost to the sellers,.Its like flying through  flak,it never ends.This company is on planet koo-koo.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: nuttier by the hour

Sat Jul 18 23:05:43 2009

Some weeks ago I read that paypal had done a study which showed that many online buyers are not going through with their purchases when they see what they perceive to be high shipping costs .... and yet here's ebay wanting to increase the overall shipping costs of items on ebay (and I might add picking up a bigger cut via the FVF)

it just doesn't make sense

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Heave Ho

Sat Jul 18 23:20:11 2009

@ Raye

''Someone with authority in the government needs to step in and take a look at all of Ebay's practices and books.''

Sorry Raye,

they're too busy trying to run the auto industry, the banks, our energy, our health care, and soon enough our lives. They don't have time to take on Ebay while destroying the country.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: John

Sat Jul 18 23:25:26 2009

We sold for more then 10 years on eBay. Our listing did have Insurance as optional if item sold below $20.00 and required if it sold for $20.00 and above. Charged exact amount. Never had a problem from our buyers and we had a more then 50 percent repeat buyer status.

Our standard cost for 1st class shipping was between $2.25 and $3.50 depending on the size of the item & envelope so shipping cost were always low yet we had numerous repeat buyers who requested the item not be insured as a additional cost saving factor. We had one issue in 10 years where an item was not received by the buyer. We sent them another item at N/C. People are people some will like the idea and some will not.

Tweaking the system to address a certain group of buyer concerns at the expense of other buyers who will not like this policy is ludicrous at one extreme and insulting at another. But I found that many of John Donahoe's policy changes do exactly that.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: PAPA

Sat Jul 18 23:32:20 2009

ONCE AGAIN EBAY IS GOING TO LOOSE MORE SELLERS WITH THERE DUMB RULES. TELLING SELLERS THEY MUST PAY FOR INSURANCE. THE CRY BABY BUYERS SEE THE COST OF THE SHIPPING UP FRONT (ANOTHER NEW RULE ) AND KNOW WHAT IT IS BEFORE THEY BID AND THEY STILL CRY AFTER THEY WIN??? WHEN WILL EBAY FIGURE OUT THERE LOOSING GOOD SELLERS FOR BAD BUYERS.. THEY SEAM TO FORGET WITH OUT SELLERS THERE ARE NO BUYERS !!!!THE NO NEG FEEDBACK FOR BUYERS WAS THE WORST THING THEY EVER DID . IT IS PLAIN DESECRATION. AND JUST WRONG , THERE AS MANY BAD BUYERS AS SELLERS , NOW THE BUYERS ARE REALY OUT OF LINE WITH REQUESTS WITH THERE POWER TO LEAVE NEG. FOR EVERY LITTLE THING AND SELLERS CAN'T RELAY THAY MESSAGE TO OTHER SELLERS.THEY HAVE NO FEAR TO BE BULLYS. HI FEEDBACK BUYERS ARE NOT A PROBLEM IT' THE NEWER BUYERS WITH UNDER 50 FEEDBACK WANTING TO GET MORE THEN THEY PAY FOR .I WOUD THINK THE EBAY BIG SHOTS WOULD SEE THERE NUMBERS GOING DOWN AND IT'S NOT FEWER BUYERS IT'S FEWER SELLERS. WE ARE GETTING TIRED OF EBAY JERKING US AROUND.SELLERS MADE EBAY BY PUTTING GOOD HARD TO FIND ITEMS ON THE SITE. WELL GUESS WHAT THERE ARE A LOT MORE SITE OUT THERE NOW FOR US BECAUSE EBAY WITH THERE CHANGE OF MANAGMENT IS BLIND.YES THERE ARE SOME BAD SELLERS LESS THEN 1%. BUT EBAY IF MAKING IT HARDER ON THE GOOD 99%. AND IF YOU DON,T WAKE UP SOON WE WILL ALL BE GONE , I HAVE BEEN SELLING HERE FOR 10 YEARS. AND I'M LOOSING FAITH IN EBAYS ONLY HEREING THE BUYERS SIDE. IF THERE IS GOOD ITEMS ON THERE WILL ALLWAYS BE BUYERS . IF THERE ARE NO SELLERS  WELL GUESS WHAT ??

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: quikdrop

Sat Jul 18 23:38:21 2009

Ok, since it's established that we sellers are mad as hell, why don't we NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE, and find another outlet?

Ebay is a prime target for a viable competitor, why aren't we supporting that and leaving in droves???

I'm ready.  Tell me where we're going.

And JD, if you really want to help buyers, DROP THAT EXORBITANT FVF THAT EBAY DOES NOT DESERVE.

I HATE ebay, and I can't wait until they have to scramble to get sellers back.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Scriptorical

Sat Jul 18 23:56:13 2009

My suggestion to sellers here is to build your own website and put eBay behind you if you are unable to be a follower who assimilates themselves to biased policy. There are other sites to list but they do not have the volume of buyers eBay has, and although there volume is increasing it is a slow process. Listing on them as an alternative is good but designing a website that is you is better IMHO.

Perminate Link for eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: RicRoe

Sun Jul 19 00:17:14 2009

I recently had a buyer take insurance on some cables they purchased and found it rather unusual. The cables are not expensive, and even the biggest ape in the Postal Service could not damage them in shipping.

Figuring this was another in a long line of glitches, I emailed the buyer to confirm they actually wanted insurance, and that it was not a technical issue with eBay/Paypal..

Buyer promptly responded that yes, they did in fact elect to take the optional insurance. So I purchased the insurance. It made the buyer  more comfortable and happy.

Now eBay will prevent this buyer from being able to elect to have their package insured.

Are we to believe that in the future this buyer will be comfortable making purchases through eBay?

Are we to believe this will bring even one buyer new or returning to eBay?

It is obvious that Donahoe & Co do not care who they alienate. They do not care if they alienate buyers. They do not care if they alienate sellers.

They do not care that this will be another revenue loss for the Postal Service which will eventually lead to higher Postage costs.

What they do care about is implementing what ever policy they can invent that will increase profits.

Donahoe & Co have failed miserably when it comes to increasing sales, and the pressure of this failure is leading them to find ways to increase revenue despite slumping sales.

Many sellers refuse to roll shipping costs into selling price and offer ''free shipping'' due to the resulting increase in Final Value fee.

The greedy, money hungry leadership is now desperate to raise revenue and wants to force sellers to roll insurance into selling price in order to increase their take on Final Value Fees.

The move to have sellers process shipping through eBay is another slick Donahoe diversion. PayPal revenue is growing due to off eBay sales. Again, Donahoe is unable to increase sales so he will increase revenue by diverting shipping revenue from PayPal and shifting it into the eBay column on the balance sheet.

Increasing eBay revenue is the reason for the fee increase that lurks behind the bogus 5 ''free'' auction listings.

Increasing revenue is why promotions such as offer ''free shipping'' and get the subtitle free are offered as again eBay profits.

How much more chicanery, smoke & mirrors will the eBay board accept before they end this madness and let Donahoe & Co take their golden parachutes?

Whats the next Donahoe flim-flam? Maybe he will elect to announce a reduction in PayPal fees while simultaneously increasing fees at eBay to make it appear he has done the job he was hired to do?

Under Donahoe & Co's leadership:
   * Unique visitors to eBay have steadily declined; Amazon  has increased.
   * Page views on eBay have steadily declined; Amazon has increased
   * Sales at eBay have steadily declined; Amazon has increased.
   * eBay is alienating small sellers; Amazon is opening it's doors to more small sellers.
   * Buyers looking for a safe and trustworthy transaction are flocking to Amazon, not eBay.

Remind me again, which company employs John Donahoe?

How much longer can the eBay Board of Directors tolerate a CEO who leadership has done more to build Amazon while having the reverse effect on eBay?

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