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Thu Mar 3 2011 00:17:49

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

By: Ina Steiner

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Last year, eBay banned sellers from listing duplicate fixed-price listings. Now, according to a seller posting on the eBay discussion boards on Thursday evening, eBay will soon announce a policy that prohibits sellers from posting duplicate auction listings with low sell-through rates:

"Starting March 28th. All your duplicate Auction format listings must have a sell through rate of over 30% in the last 7 days. (See link at end) If your duplicate listings do not have at least a 30% sell through, all your listings without bids will be cancelled."

The seller then links to this page where eBay provides information about the policy. In the FAQ for, "Is this a new policy?" eBay states:

"The Search & Browse Manipulation policy has existed for quite some time to help prevent selling practices that make it harder for buyers to find and buy what they're looking for. These practices are ultimately harmful to the shopping experience on eBay. Establishing a minimum sell-through rate for your auction-style duplicate listings is part of the enforcement of this policy."

When eBay came out with its Duplicate Listings policy barring sellers from posting duplicate fixed-price listings of the same item, it said, "The new Duplicate Fixed Price Listing policy does not apply to Auction-style listings. Note that listings are still subject to the Search & Browse Manipulation policy."

The Search & Browse Manipulation policy now has a section called, "Duplicate auction-style listings" that states in part:

"If you have too many duplicate auction-style listings that don't end in sales, you may be in violation of this policy. If you don't have a strong record in converting these types of duplicate listings into sales, you'll need to remove the listings, and you won't be allowed to list duplicate auction-style listings in the future."

What do you think of duplicate auction-style listings, is this a good move by eBay? And why do you think they chose 30% as a minimum sell-through rate?




Comments (80) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: tekgems This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Mar 3 00:31:28 2011

Again, eBay is approaching this all wrong. Why don't you PREVENT new listings if they don't meet the eBay requirements? We've been dealing wit Fixed Price duplicates when eBay could just disallow on their end.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Thu Mar 3 01:17:20 2011

LOL ... this company has lost it's way
What a completly idiotic responce to Best Match, that is where the problem is.
Thank God We moved onto Amazon ... on just ONE Amazon account we are outselling our 5 eBay accounts daily

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Mar 3 01:57:01 2011

"... why do you think they chose 30% as a minimum sell-through rate?"

Because they can, and because it is the number a series of committees came up with as a CYA compromise.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: Not THAT John

Thu Mar 3 06:24:45 2011

@@@ Tekgems@@@

Your upset Tekgems....This one is gonna hit you and your 4000+ listings in the pocket book. Don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot do you.....

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: anyone out there

Thu Mar 3 06:46:47 2011

Its just another way to protect their golden diamond sellers.

What about all those ghost listings that the sellers are complaining about. You know the ones where Fleecebay relists them twice.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: Not THAT John

Thu Mar 3 06:47:26 2011

I think it is linked to the new add to cart feature and eBay's way of attempting to control what they are starting ahead of time. The diamonds are not going to like this policy IMHO

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: walter

Thu Mar 3 07:12:08 2011

They should just ban all listing all visiting and all access to the site period!

It's dead on ebay anyway.

In the past pre-dononoodle era I could sell every auction I listed.
Since best match killed everything it's tough to sell a a 100.00 item for 99 cents.

Donuthole must go and even then it will take a decade to undo the damage that he has done. If it can be fixed ever again.

Ebay is a dead end street!

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: Zaatcha

Thu Mar 3 07:53:15 2011

eBay was at the beginning convivial and enjoyable until the change of ownership; to become the most despicable selling on line experience.

Condescending attitude, paranoia, constant threat, no communication, unfair policy.
The least that we can say is that eBay is managed by ignorant and incompetent people.

Nice tools with an enormous potential, if promoted locally and not based on U.S. law.
So now you know my opinion,
eBay CEO John Donahoe must go

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: STOP IMPOSING YOUR WILL ON US JD

Thu Mar 3 08:05:41 2011

No Surprise here, the King of taking my FREE AGENCY away, John Donahoe controls everything.

I have no freedom to sell the way that worked for me before 2008, the right way ! I had many happy repeat customers, then I got punished for the bad.

Still follow his rules, get the highest honors, and 1/2 the income I made before 2008

Can't wait till the New Seller Release in a few weeks, that ought to be fun for the medium to small sellers, what's left of us

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Mar 3 08:08:43 2011

This makes absolutely no sense.  eBay is saying that if you fail to sell then you not in compliance with their policies.  Basically they punish the seller because eBay failed in their job to provide them a buyer.

Instead what eBay should do is define a hard limit regarding the number of duplicates and then fail when the seller tries to list more than this number.  They obviously have the means to detect duplicates so they should have the ability to stop them at the time of listing in the first place.  Or just go back to hiding excessive listings like they did two years ago.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: STOP IMPOSING YOUR WILL ON US JD

Thu Mar 3 08:09:12 2011

Oh, I forgot Tightens Duplicate Listing Policy ?

Maybe for those of us who obeyt he rules, if we step out of line by MISTAKE, but I have reported a competitor for months, who continuously has duplicate listings, and not 1 time has eBay ever removed a single 1

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
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Thu Mar 3 08:13:47 2011

Just when you thought the hoops could not get higher or smaller...

Stopping all your listings seems a bit severe. Will eBay give you your money back for the listings? Will eBay stop your access to messages and PayPal? It would be a shame to suffer low DSRs and Negative feedback.

Are there any safeguards to insure phantom listings, glitches on eBay's part, do not trigger the seller's shutdown?

It's unfortunate that eBay restricts your visibility and then penalizes you when you don't sell enough items.

After all, there's only so many pixels, web pages and item numbers.  

Well, you can analyze your sell-through rates with spreadsheets and monitor your sales so you don't violate the 30% rule.

Seems like a lot of stress and a waste of time though.

They are only having two ''eBay: On Location'' events this year instead of the four they had last year. Eliminating more listers, I mean sellers, will ease the clamor for event tickets.

My real life job never had all the petty rules that eBay puts on listers, er sellers.

Perhaps this will be an allowed topic of discussion at the Monthly Town Hall Meeting.

Or you could post in ''Ask Griff''.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: anyone out there

Thu Mar 3 08:30:48 2011

ASK GRIFF

Now thats a joke if I ever heard one.

Ask someone who is being lead around with a chain in his nose by Ebay.

There isn't one person or bot at Fleecebay that cares or gives a hoot about anyone but themselves and their pocket book.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: AnotherView

Thu Mar 3 08:46:48 2011

From the eBay policy cited in the article above:

"Listings are considered duplicates if they are for items that have no significant difference between them. To avoid having your auction-style listings treated as duplicates, make sure you show the differences between items in the title, price, photo, subtitle, product ID, item specifics, or parts compatibility areas of the listing."

How does that work?  Who makes that determination?  One of my product lines consists of small handmade items that are similar.  Basically, my listings titles and descriptions are identical except for the unique photo of each item and the stock number (which I include in the title).

On first glance, it may seem that these would be duplicates, but each piece is unique.  My concern is that some eBay robot (human or otherwise)will compare my items with only a few microseconds of thought (if that) and classify them as "duplicates".

My customers understand that each item is unique.  I just don't trust eBay to have the same level of intelligence.  The devil will be in the details.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: Senor Ga Ga

Thu Mar 3 08:47:23 2011

Tinkering as a business plan.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Thu Mar 3 08:50:06 2011

Ebay failed to incentivise sellers to help them create a product catalog for each product group 'for free'.

So now they are gradually trying to achieve that by boxing in the sellers to force them to only list 'single items'.

Soon they will be scanning existing listings and start telling sellers HOW they should describe their products, followed by telling them that, if they do not decsribe their products the way E bay wants, their listings will be terminated and they will be banned if they 'violate' Ebay's rules frequently.

The Ebay Borg drones will soon only have one single message to cut and paste for any communication with sellers:

'We are the Ebay Borg. You will be assimilated. Your seller distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile'

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: AnotherView

Thu Mar 3 08:51:35 2011

@Ed Gadfly wrote:

"My real life job never had all the petty rules that eBay puts on listers, er sellers."

Isn't that the truth!

AND
"Or you could post in ''Ask Griff''."

Oh yeah, love it!  You hit that right on the head!  Thank you for giving me a good laugh today!

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: kevin

Thu Mar 3 09:11:57 2011

So, now in addition to all the other BS I have to go through with ebay I now have to monitor whether enough of my items are selling?

Never thought I'd see the day where I can post a legitimate item with fair shipping costs and if it does not sell, I'M the one in violation!!!

Started moving things to Amazon a month ago.  I'm just clearing out the crap on ebay now anyway, so I can just laugh at this and not stress about it!

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: Sayonara eBay

Thu Mar 3 09:37:35 2011

The evil genius is at work in the basement again.

eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings   eBay Tightens Policy around Duplicate Auction Listings

by: rudestar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 3 09:45:56 2011

As a buyer searching through pages of dupilcate listings on ebay I wish they had a "block all of sellers listings" tab to click on.

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