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Tue Apr 27 2010 07:44:06

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay announced "Seller Release 2" changes that are scheduled to launch beginning June 15. One of the changes likely to be most unpopular is a move to anonymous email addresses. "Every user account on eBay will be assigned an anonymous email address which will be used during email conversations with other eBay users."

eBay will also require sellers to specify Item condition. New item condition values are available now in the Cell Phones & PDAs category; the remainder of the categories will follow on May 10. As of July 27, sellers must specify an item condition for new listings, including revised listings and sell similar in the required categories. Item condition will be required for Good 'Til Cancelled listings in 2011.

Beginning in September, the number of item not received or item not as described cases opened with eBay or PayPal will be used in evaluating seller performance and determining seller status along with low DSRs (1s and 2s).

And - What eBay giveth,...

More control for sellers over Payment Reminder email ("Sellers will now have the ability to opt out of having this eBay-generated email sent to their buyers").

eBay taketh away,....

"Because the Feedback system has such an important role on eBay in measuring a seller's quality of service, the email reminding buyers to leave Feedback is sent by eBay as a consistent part of all transactions. Automation for the customized version of this email (available to Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro subscribers only) will be disabled."

An overview of all of the changes is online in the Seller Information Center.

AuctionBytes coverage of eBay Summer Seller Update:

eBay's 2010 Seller Release 2 Includes Anonymous Email Addresses - Newsflash news story

Interview with eBay VP Reveals More on Summer Seller Update - Newsflash news story

eBay's Todd Lutwak Discusses Summer Seller Updates - Podcast interview

Live Blogging eBay's Town Hall Meeting - AuctionBytes Blog post




Comments (128) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Pat

Tue Apr 27 07:50:34 2010

It was only a matter of time before eBay made buyer/seller contact anonymous. I'm surprised it took them this long to roll it out. Won't affect me anyway - I'm long gone! :)

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Jim S

Tue Apr 27 08:05:38 2010

Biggest problem I have with anonymous emails is I send prospective buyers item related info (such as user guides) to help in their decision process. Since eBay doesn't allow pdf attachments in the messaging system, now I'll have to ask cust to send me their email address if they want the user guide which means an extra handling. I understand eBay's reasoning for it but it doesn't help the buyer in my case.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Bill K.

Tue Apr 27 08:05:43 2010

Apparently JD doesn't know how many seller releases eBay was rolling out this year. During the analysts call last week, he said there were only going to be two. I hope he remembers which company he's actually the CEO of...

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: fitzcharming
Web Site

Tue Apr 27 08:15:29 2010

Won't we still have the customer email address if they pay via pay pal?  It's not optimal but I think it chould be a work around if we need to contact a buyer or send a pdf.  

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: whatever.

Tue Apr 27 08:15:30 2010

I think the worst thing is the ''feedback reminder'' that you can't opt-out of or even customize. eBay's language in their feedback reminders in the past has been pretty anemic. I think at this point there is a Notification Preference setting somewhere where you can opt-out of receiving feedback reminders. So the seller can't stop them being sent but the buyer can block ebay from spamming them with them. I hope I'm remembering that right and if so that ebay doesn't take THAT away.

I also can't stomach that term ''Best Practices'' but go there every so often: can't find the edict that it's not allowed to put into item listings that ''ebay punishes me for 4 star DSR ratings'' (words to that effect) but I did find that ''I'm not responsible for the item once I mail it'' or language like that is prohibited.

I also couldn't find where it states that a buyer can ask to pay by check or money order and that those payment methods are acceptable if the seller agrees.

Well at least these are NOT ''the most controversial changes yet.''

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: whatever.

Tue Apr 27 08:23:50 2010

Found them!

''You can't include comments that discourage buyers from participating or that could make them lose trust in eBay sellers and our website. For example, we don't allow statements like ''eBay holds me to a standard well above 4 stars. 4 stars will get me suspended, so please only leave 5 stars.''''

''You're not allowed to say that you're not responsible for item delivery or ensuring that the item is delivered as described. For example, we don't allow statements like ''I am not responsible for the item once it's dropped in the mail.''''

I only had to click through five screens to find the page; and I knew it was there somewhere. First there was all that blather about ''meeting buyers' expectations.'' Ya think? No, I'm not eBay, I always endeavor to meet my customers' expectations. I'm surprised they didn't update that section to sprinkle the word ''delight'' all over the place.

Here's the source of The Venue's prohibitions to putting our own terms and explaining the truth about DSRs in our own listings:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/selling-practices
.html#terms

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Doris Knight

Tue Apr 27 08:36:43 2010

''Automation for the customized version of this email...will be disabled.''

So, no longer will those sellers be able to say things like: ''Your satisfaction is my top priority. Please contact me BEFORE leaving negative feedback and I'll do my BEST to handle any issues.''

Instead, buyers are (apparently) being encouraged to leave negative feedback as their FIRST course of action.

After all, what better way to ''improve the buyer's experience'' than by giving them the satisfaction of publicly (and permanently) complaining?!

This move by eBay has only one purpose: to increase negative feedback and to drive away small niche sellers.

Those who choose to remain at eBay will need to be more aggressive in making it clear to their buyers that negative feedback should not be the FIRST course of action.

I agree that feedback is an important tool, but it's a mistake to deny sellers the opportunity to REAFFIRM their own personal commitment to customer satisfaction...and do deny sellers the ability to REMIND BUYERS that by simply communicating with the seller will solve most problems.

We're graded on our ability to ''communicate'', yet they remove the tools that allow us to communicate effectively...eBay substitutes their OWN message in place of the seller's message...and sellers are penalized for not being able to communicate.

Even if you can't leave eBay, it's time to start exploring other venues and opening new doors, new windows, and new opportunities.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Jonathan

Tue Apr 27 08:39:04 2010

We do not leave feedback.  Stopped leaving feedback when the option to leave neutral and negative was removed.  Will build a junk mail filter to get rid of the pesky reminders.

We require every customer to provide a valid email address.  We use this as a part of our fraud detection algorithm.  I guess we will just get it from PayPal.

When a customer ask us a question now, we write back and tell them we need to know their email address and country the item will ship to so we can send them to the correct location on eBay (we ship to many countries and power supplies change based on country.)

All that said, is it worth my time.  60% of my sales are now on Amazon, 35% from our own website, and 5% from eBay.  A few years ago, 80% were from eBay.  Amazon is now courting us to increase our product offerings.  eBay is doing all they can do to have us leave eBay all together.....  it is a close call on fees and acceptable profit margins now on eBay.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: eBayDev

Tue Apr 27 08:42:01 2010

This illustrates how difficult it can be to develop for eBay. There was no mention of this middle seller release so we're just as surprised as users. Now we have to play catch-up and see if we'll have to make any changes to our software - all while preparing for SR3.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Doris Knight

Tue Apr 27 08:46:07 2010

@Whatever: eBay says... ''For example, we don't allow statements like 'eBay holds me to a standard well above 4 stars. 4 stars will get me suspended, so please only leave 5 stars.'''

Okay, so we can't include words to that effect IN our actual listings, but are we prohibited from saying things like that in our POST-SALE communication with the buyer?

How could such a thing be enforced?

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: look around

Tue Apr 27 08:55:58 2010

You go Donna Ho. A sinking ship is what you are running. Question is will you jump off before it sinks. Hope not.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Dave

Tue Apr 27 08:59:37 2010

Ebay is an arrogant bully, and I'm wondering why anyone continues to put up with it. I stopped selling there two years ago, and several months ago I stopped buying there as well. No more Pay-Pal for me either. If everyone would just stop dealing with them they'd learn some manners or die.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: 10 year seller

Tue Apr 27 09:20:39 2010

I wonder if paypal is going to remove  email addresses from history to prevent sellers from creating customers lists.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Dman

Tue Apr 27 09:26:39 2010

This comment worries me.

''Beginning in September, the number of item not received or item not as described cases opened with eBay or PayPal will be used in evaluating seller performance and determining seller status along with low DSRs (1s and 2s).''

Considering fraudulent buyers could steal your product, waste your postage and then wipe out your Top-Seller status. It's the trifecta of theft just waiting to happen.

And what's up with the ''opened with''? Does that mean win or lose you get screwed on your rating all the same. I guess it doesn't matter much for our overseas shipping, cause that's nearly an auto lose everytime with Paypal anyhow.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Tired

Tue Apr 27 09:34:36 2010

So what happens to all the 3rd party shipping emails from companies like Endicia, Stamps.com, ShipRush etc. ???????????  

Sooner or later eBay will implode and it will be bittersweet to watch...

The question I have is can they survive another year with the HO and NO and then bring in some new blood?????

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Tue Apr 27 09:37:47 2010


Looks like Ebay wants to make it more difficult for sellers who use Ebay to build a customer list.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Just Sayin'

Tue Apr 27 09:48:38 2010

Amazing. And still no announcement on the eBay board about these significant changes. Or from the corporate pseudo-blogger.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: ncwood

Tue Apr 27 09:56:43 2010

I may not be correct but I think these anonymous email requirements only apply to pre-sale emails. If I am right, I have no big problem with it. If in fact it applies to post-sale emails, I would be very unhappy with it.

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Doris Knight

Tue Apr 27 10:10:35 2010

@ncwood: At first glance, I also have no problem with this as it pertains to PRE-sales communication.

But eBay's ''one-size'' philosophy doesn't always work. Especially if the customer needs detailed info in the form of more photos, extra documentation (pdf's) or even digital proofs.

How much ya wanna bet that eBay will automatically strip out and obscure email addresses found in the communication??

To avoid any auto-filter, people will have to type things like ''please send the pdf manual to me at doris dash knight dot ebay dash sales atsign mydomain dot com''

eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer   eBay Announces 2nd Round of Changes Coming this Summer

by: Ed

Tue Apr 27 10:27:29 2010

eBay is assigning every user account on eBay an anonymous email address so eBay can track all communication between users ... LOL and who on ebay is going to monitor this they can barely keep up with what they've got now.

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