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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

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: ed taylor

Sun Jul 19 23:29:22 2009

In more than 10 yrs I have had less than 35 requests for insurance. Part of it is that my average sale is about $20. I charge exact shipping and no handling fee. I have had 1- yes ONE insurance claim in more than 7000 transactions. I have a 99.8% feedback.
I am curious why the insurance coverage is a blanket policy. For example, I sell something for $4.99, shipping is a 1.79 and the insurance is almost $2! That will stimulate sales.
Has anyone checked the insurance rates on international sales?
Like many ebay lock-step security and transaction policies, the insurance imposition is another gap in communication to solve problems that arise from these policies. Small business sellers will suffer and buyers will be paying a premium for something they have no choice in making.
If anyone has suggestions of the best way for small sale sellers to best handle this change please let me know.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: savedindustries

Mon Jul 20 00:03:05 2009

Just what i need - another fee i have to pay, in addition to listing, FVF, AND paypal. Are any sellers making any money off being on ebay at all anymore? Constantly selling for the lowest price, and all feels now get shoved onto us, not to mention buyer fraud leaving us without product OR profits.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: nora

Mon Jul 20 00:19:07 2009

I may be wrong, but the way I read the 'shifting insurance to seller', is that we have to make the decision if the item is to be insured for the buyer when we list.

So it's not an option for the buyer any longer.

If we add insurance and the buyer doesn't want it, can we refund the $1.75? Ebay/paypal would still get there cut in fees though.

If ebay/paypal gets about 15% in fees from sellers, the additional fee on $1.75 insurance would be about 26 cents.

If insurance is mandatory, then .35 and .26 would make it about .61 to list an item.

Then they get more fees if the item sells.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: sword

Mon Jul 20 02:05:19 2009

Ready... Set... GO TO BONANZLE!!!

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Jeremy Russon

Mon Jul 20 02:45:48 2009

Please be aware that there is a new FRAUD being implemented right before your eyes on eBay.

It's is difficult to identify due to it's cleverly hidden  implementation.

Fake and nonesense accounts are being created and used to bid on high value items with no intention to pay.

These are actually account created and managed by eBay servers/people.

A normal non paying bidder situation used to be resolved by waiting the standard 7 days and filing a NPB Alert. After the expiry of an additional 7 days, the seller could choose to place a strike against the buyer and receive a fee refund.  These buyers were often ones who had a problem with some term or condition they didn't approve of or communicated they simply changed their minds.  

BUT NOW....

Suspicious and mysterious account using fake or missing account information are being used to target items in the 1000-10000 range. These accounts having missing or invalid contact information are considered a violation of the TOS and used to be immediately suspended or the accociated transaction was nullified/cancelled leaving no trace of it on the system.  NOW....these accounts are not being treated them same and it's left to the sellers to finalize the cancellation process to receive a refund.

Often sellers will not do this because They fear that a negative strike against the buyer will cause them to leave a negative feedback. This fear for the seller is overwealming, especially for business owners who depend on eBay for a living.

With over 20,000.00 in npb sales on my two accounts in the last 30 days, the numbers being added to ebay's sales figures and the subsequent FVF collected as a result are most likely staggering. It is my estimation, a high percentage of these fees go unrecovered or unclaimed by seller out of fear of a negative.

Although a new feature has been added to allow the immediate starting of the 7 day process for refund, it's a little known feature and most likely would be used as a defense to this accusation.

The windfall from Ebay's new NPB fraud coupled with the revenue from 21 day holds are difficult for simple laymen to comprehend.  These two matters should be investigated by federal trade comission authorities and charges brought forth against management if these alleged crimes are discovered to be truthful.

I am convinced that Ebay is involved with NPB Fraud which is so complex and hidden by schemes which sellers are so emotional about, they arent looking deep enought to see the real reason these NPB accounts are so common these days.   The next time you have someone who hasn't said a word to you after 24 hours from invoice being sent except by marking the transaction ''pay soon with CC or soon by wire transfer''....open your eyes to the truth. eBay is trying to steal your money while making itself look good to shareholders. IMMEDIATELY FILE TO CANCEL ALL TRANSACTIONS NOT PAID IN 24 HOURS FROM END OF LISTING UNLESS BUYER COMMUNICATES WITH YOU IN PLAIN ENGLISH, NOT WITH ''FORM CLICKS''!

From a 10 year power seller with a retarded savant like illness which allows me to see the truth in situations easier than others.    

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: nora

Mon Jul 20 03:09:06 2009

I am correcting my previous post.

It will just be about 26 cents more that ebay/paypal gets when an items sells with insurance included. It wouldn't be part of the listing fee.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: shipping out

Mon Jul 20 10:42:52 2009

leaving the option of insurance for the buyer to decide is not a sensible way for any seller to go

the buyer knows they are protected by paypal so there is not point in them agreeing to insurance as an optional extra

seller should not give buyers options its their auction their terms buyers only have to bid to agree and they should make sure they cover themselves or know they have to pay the price if they don't

additional insurance is often used to rip buyers off as many services include it to a degree anyway

removing this option is one of ebays few good moves

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Jim

Mon Jul 20 11:45:00 2009

Just 26 cents more is still more cash for ebay and less for you.  Don't forget there are services (letter-mail) where insurance is not available unless you upgrade to registered mail (which is about $9.00 more.  It's that way in Canada anyways.  So that now means you have to send an item with a service that has tracking so you can purchase insurance.  This service can easily cost an extra $9.00 in Canada as you are now sending the item as a parcel or registered.  Tell me how that will work (price-wise) for the lower priced items that you sell?  Items that would have gone as lettermail previously.  How many people are going to buy a $5.00 hockey card with $10.00 or more dollars shipping...depending on where it's going.  Previously it would cost you under $1.00 anywhere in Canada or the U.S.A.  

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Phil

Mon Jul 20 12:36:38 2009

I just want to chime in here. I've been an active seller on Ebay for 10+ years, and have  always charged a dollar or wo more above actual shipping in order to cover Pay Pal fees, etc. Just because I charge more than actual postage costs does not mean I'm ripping people off. By the way my shipping DSR's have been fluctuating from 4.7 to 4.8, not horrible. I don't want eBay telling me how much to charge for S&H, I should be able to charge what I feel is appropriate.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: angryjim

Mon Jul 20 13:23:19 2009

How many reasons does one need not to sell on eBay?

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Violet

Mon Jul 20 13:28:51 2009

eBay:  Dumb & Dumber Chapter 99999

Oh Sure! Force Sellers to add Insurance Costs to S&H or Item Prices & scare Buyers away even more. Many of my listings have Insurance as Optional & those that are Fragile have Insurance Required. GreedBay keeps telling Sellers to either suck up more expenses out of our own pockets or just pass on the costs to Buyers by jacking up prices on everything. Then the Buyers either run scared & refuse to buy or turn around & report the Big Bad Sellers for "Excessive S&H Fees.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: mindelec

Mon Jul 20 14:02:24 2009

"but it will require sellers to make sure their item arrives as described."

nothing new here, paypal already has protections against non-delivery and not as described.  the seller has always been responsible.

"If they are going to require EXACT shipping then I assume that means EVERYONE will have to use the shipping calculator."

how are they going to decide whether or not the seller has put in the correct weight?  or how much a seller might have paid for materials?  i see many sellers that have used the shipping calculator to get around the shipping cap in the media category.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Gaz

Mon Jul 20 14:16:32 2009

Read the first 20 or so replies then skipped to add my 2-cents worth, so apologies if this has been covered.

The insurance policy sucks - but may also be illegal for cross border sales that are business to business.

cross border consignments are listed and sold under either Freight on Board (FOB) terms, or under Carriage, Insurance and Freight (CIF) terms.

However, in a B2B sale, the price quoted is always FOB and the buyer must request CIF if they want the seller to arrange shipping and insurance.

Under this new policy, Donahoe is forcing domestic consumer retail policy onto international commercial transactions (and if you think there's not much B2B cross border on eBay, you'd be very wrong).  He is in essence, in breach of international trade accords of which the US is a signatory.

Additionally, in many jurisdictions, (the UK being a prime example) the VAT / sales tax is a different rate for insurance, shipping, and products, and those three have to be itemised on the commercial invoice for Customs to assess duties and taxes.  This new system of "amalgamated insurance" will therefore cause imports to be seized and held for explanation and further documentation from the consignee BUYER.
Even the US requires those three to be broken out and listed with the correct INCO-term codes beside them.

This policy will effectively finish off cross border trade on eBay ... the last nail in its coffin which already has more nails than timber.

Gaz

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Dingbing

Mon Jul 20 14:29:15 2009

If you buy your postage from robbers who rob post offices, you can get it at 50% discount. All sellers should be required to do this, and reduce their shipping charges by 50%. eBay should provide a directory of the robbers in every locality, so sellers can purchase their postage from them.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: madmike007

Mon Jul 20 15:12:11 2009

Interesting and true. When discussing eBay with
average people it is becoming more and more common
to hear eBay horror stories rather than success stories.
You're as likely to hear people bantering about the latest
ridiculous eBay policy change than you are to hear them
discussing their latest big sale or fantastic buy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
D-day for me was June 6, 2008.
My last sale after 9 yrs.
I used to sell  3+ items  a day and
buy  2-3 items  a week. Since D-day
I've bought 5 items  and 1 was for a
non Ebayer friend +  all VERY low
ticket items  < $20. Now I look  every-
where else  before I break down and buy Ebay.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I also  used to brag about Ebay everywhere I went,
but now NEVER!!!
I now refer to Ebay in the [b]past tense  as before it
went '' belly up'', ''deep sixed'' or worse. I usually hear
the same from people I talk to. Word of mouth is
travelling fast. Everybody seems aware of the
mess DHoe and his band of gypsies have created.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Naturally eBay doesn't have anything to worry about.
They're way to big to fail. Just like
the big guys on Wall Street and those automakers in Detroit.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: fruity

Mon Jul 20 15:47:45 2009

Someones going to end up in the hospital and that's when what ebays doing is going to come to light. You're going to cause one of our friends to stroke out or have a heart attack ebay. Not because of the latest policy change but because of all the changes you subjected small business to. All the excessive changes you did that clearly shows you did for the internet retailers organization. Not for buyers, not for improving the marketplace, but for you own pocket. And you did it on the backs of sole proprietors, the smallest of the small.

Ebays psychological torture makes water boarding a slip 'n slide

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: fruity

Mon Jul 20 15:48:37 2009

you're terrible Ebay. You do bad things to good people who never wanted anything but their American dream

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Mon Jul 20 17:32:37 2009

Wow, that's pretty bad. Next he will require walk-in counter service at the post office, using licky stamps for postage, just to make things harder and more expensive.

Note that large sellers who ship by the pallet have access to ParcelSelect and can make obscene ship profits, even when charging what appear to be reasonable postal rates.

Sad. The logical extension of this policy is to eventually mandate all new boxes & packing material, in order to drive up the selling prices (hence FVF's) even higher... the paranoid "Ebay Approved Boxes" rumor of 2 summers ago is slowly materializing as fact.

Never though I'd sat it but I think it's too late to split the site. September could be the start of the ride to the bottom. Google, you'd better hurry up with that GBay.

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Another Wronged Seller

Mon Jul 20 18:03:32 2009

The whole new insurance policy is poorly thought out (along with nearly every other decision).

Ebays motivation IMO is a way to squeeze a few more cents out of every transaction by having sellers build the insurance cost into the item price.

Revenues are sagging at ebay because of the failure of EVERY previous change JD has made. Name ONE change that has improved sales, traffic, page views, sell thru, product variety, seller retention, etc... I could go on for hours since the list is long and horrifying but it has all been said before.

With all the previous failures, none of which has grown their revenue the right way, ebays ONLY option to grow revenue is to squeeze the sellers for a few more pennies by forcing more costs into item price. This further shrinks our margins (which get thinner with every ebay change)

This CEO has failed in every respect and in the process DESTROYED an extremely pioneering company. Along with the incalculable damage to the many sellers both financially and personally.

In his hubris he has morphed ebay into something unrecognizable to the thriving company it used to be.

By wanting to put his stamp on the post whitman ebay, he has ruined it with his poorly thought out changes with no real understanding of what made ebay such a success before his arrival.

Ebay express was his ''brainchild'' Nuff said.

He has failed miserably in every initiative since his elevation to CEO.

When is the board going to come to its senses and oust this turkey?

eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September   eBay Eyeing Seller Responsibilities Policy for September

by: Shell

Mon Jul 20 19:53:50 2009

I, like many others, refuse to buy or sell on ebay until Johnbo is gonzo.  I will look to every other online option to make my purchase rather than resort to supporting e-bay in any way.  Even if I have to pay more...so be it!  We need people to do more than just talk about how horrible ebay is.  We need people to put their money where their mouth is. If you don't like ebay...please leave.  The only way to hurt ebay is financially.  Ebay only understands money, they don't care about your feelings -- that is obvious.  There are better ways to buy and sell that don't involve ebay in any way.  

We can bring ebay down...spread the word around.  I don't care how much money people say they have...it can be gone in very short order.  Ebay cannot fight the little people when the little people stick together.  Come on people...lets do it!

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