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Fri Mar 25 2011 08:35:45

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

By: Ina Steiner

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Earlier this month, eBay began calling some sellers to warn them they could no longer list duplicate auction listings if their sell-through rates were lower than 30%. A reader told me on Wednesday that he checked with eBay's Live Chat to find out why he continued to see duplicate auction listings even after he reported them, and he said customer service representatives told him duplicate auctions were allowed.

"I am writing to you to publish the chat sessions so as to make eBay move forward on policing this policy which I think is great. There are way WAY too many duplicates (at least in my niche) that makes it impossible to get any exposure with my paid listings."

Since sellers continue to report receiving phone calls from eBay about their duplicate auction listings, I checked in with eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff seeking clarification.

Johnna said sellers are allowed to have duplicate auctions, but said eBay had begun notifying a very small number of impacted sellers that they are in violation of its existing Search & Browse Manipulation policy that "helps prevent selling practices that make it harder for buyers to find and buy what they're looking for."

(You can read more about this policy in our March 3rd coverage of this issue.)

Johnna said eBay is asking them to remove and not relist duplicates Auction-style listings that aren't selling. Sellers who haven't been notified do not need to take any action.

Since I could foresee sellers might continue to be concerned about the possibility of unwittingly violating the policy, I asked Johnna what triggered a violation.

"The policy works as follows: Sellers need to achieve and maintain at least a 30% average sell-through rate for all of their duplicate Auction-style listings by the deadline indicated in their notification, and they must maintain that rate going forward."

She reiterated that this impacted a small number of sellers. "The majority of sellers won't have to do anything. That's why we're reaching out directly to those impacted - to answer particular questions sellers may have as it relates directly to their listings."

It's interesting to note that the seller who wrote me on Wednesday included a transcript of two chat sessions in which he specifically asked about any policy prohibiting duplicate auction listings and was told they were allowed - no mention was made of a required sell-through rate.

It remains to be seen how eBay's Trust & Safety department will enforce this policy.




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: Rick1313

Fri Mar 25 10:07:26 2011

I apologize to AB for immediately going off-topic on this blog, but I do hope sellers on eBay.com realize that the Buyer Protection Policy (BPP) is undergoing an (so far) unannounced change.

Many interesting additions for buyer and seller protection, as well as the methodology that eBay,inc. used in updating the BPP.

I assume that AB will be covering it sometime soon.

Also, there has been a change to the Privacy Policy (PP) that has been in effect since March 21. I do not remember eBay.com announcing that they were making the change (I checked their announcements as far back as November/2010), but perhaps I missed it.

If not, can AB can verify that the PP changes were unannounced and have eBay,inc. admit it is the case. It would be appreciated by this poster.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Bijoux Dragon
Web Site

Fri Mar 25 10:13:15 2011

Methinks that the mega Chinese seller selling dozens of fake drek pieces will be just fine.  This is aimed aimed at the small American seller selling 12, teaspoons, 12 forks, 12 tablespoons etc. from a vintage sterling set.  It is being kept intentionally vague so that eBay can choose in what manner it is enforced.  The small sellers of quality items are who eBay wants rid of to focus on the el cheapo sellers and diamonds.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: Rick1313

Fri Mar 25 10:16:26 2011

Forgot to mention that AB's time stamp program seems to be on the fritz.

Posting time 025:35:45? I feel like saying, ''Hike!''.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: Rick1313

Fri Mar 25 10:33:39 2011

Arrrggghhh! I also forgot to mention that, in posting my off topic notice of the BPP and PP changes, I am not inviting the readership to comment on it on this blog.

I'm hoping that AB will open a blog and ask for the readership's view on the changes.

Let's wait until it does show up officially on AB's ''radar''.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: Still Frustrated

Fri Mar 25 11:39:57 2011

The only thing consistent about eBay is that they remain INCONSISTENT!!

Rules and policies such as this one remain VAGUE and SUBJECTIVE. And this ultimately leads to multiple interpretations of what it means and how it should be enforced (if at all).

With such vague rules, the people who are tasked with enforcing them will be unable to do so consistently.

Enforcement and interpretation will vary from person to person, from day to day... depending on the hour and their MOOD.

eBay FAILS to clearly define the boundaries, and instead adopts a policy that can best be described as ''we-can't-describe-it-to-you,-but-we-know-it-when-we-see-it''.
>This
leaves sellers in the dark and the ''timid'' sellers (who don't want to do anything to possibly break the rules) find themselves at a disadvantage over those ''bold'' sellers (who really don't care about breaking the rules).

It also results in a lot of ILL-WILL when an ordinary seller is penalized for listing ''duplicate'' teaspoons (due to inconsistent enforcement) ... and even more ill-will when other sellers get away with murder as they INTENTIONALLY list duplicates to flood the category.

Clearly, nobody at eBay has a CLUE what's going on. Their inability to clearly explain the rules prove it. Their inability to consistently enforce the rules prove it. The fact that the rules appear to change on a weekly basis prove it.

Nobody is in charge! Everyone has their own idea of what the policy should be and how it should be implemented. There is no single voice of authority... just a bunch of people chattering aimlessly and talking over each other simulatneously.

Goatrope. Cat herding. Nobody knows what they're doing... they just wing-it. AND IT SHOWS!!

Except for the fact that there's nothing truly funny about how their INCOMPETENCE harms so many small sellers, they are ONE BIG JOKE!

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: zvicki

Fri Mar 25 12:25:06 2011

hmmmm, I have taken on a bunch of Old - "New Stock" shoes to sell. I sold the first group, one of each kind but I have many dulicates. So, does this mean I can put more than one up at a time? or not? This is very ridiculous!

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Mar 25 16:46:47 2011

This will become another eBay anti small seller extermination tool.

The 30% requirement might have made sense if all sellers were receiving equal visibility, sadly, eBay chooses to deny sellers equal visibility.

Given that eBay guarantees there is no equal exposure, some sellers will be given the advantage over other sellers based on their elevated exposure. This amounts to another blow to small and occasional sellers.

Add the fact that eBay can and does manipulate Best Match so that preferred sellers will be guaranteed to achieve required sell through rates, and others will be buried so they can not and you have another weapon in the eBay arsenal to assure mutual self destruction.



eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: another side of the coin

Fri Mar 25 17:32:22 2011

When I first heard of Best Match years ago I thought this was the most asinine and beginning of the end for eBay. Then to have auctions mixed in with fixed and to make Best Match the default sealed this demise. If ever there was a case for a huge lawsuit for discrimination, it is this.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: Joe Average

Fri Mar 25 18:55:43 2011

To make the store buyer friendly:

1. Dump the free auctions. Sellers are creating multiple id's to dump their useless widgets on the site. They dont care if they are overpriced or that the site is flooded already because they are not paying fees.

2. Take store out of the core. So many overpriced store inventory items in limbo.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: Joe Average

Fri Mar 25 18:57:45 2011

Of course I meant to say "make the SITE buyer friendly".

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Fri Mar 25 19:15:50 2011

30% STR. I thought those days were well and truly gone for everyone selling on eBay. Which sellers are now doing better than 30% on mass listed identical items? Which sellers are doing better that 30%, period?

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: buck efay

Fri Mar 25 19:49:20 2011

Buy only manages 9-15%. Report any duplicate listings they put up;)

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 25 21:33:48 2011

""The policy works as follows: Sellers need to achieve and maintain at least a 30% average sell-through rate for all of their duplicate Auction-style listings by the deadline indicated in their notification, and they must maintain that rate going forward."


Am I going loony or what....banning duplicates unless you're one of the big boys.  How does that help buyers search and find what they're looking for?

Ebay gets more quirky and childish every day!

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: pete

Fri Mar 25 21:49:31 2011

All I can say is eBay will be looking pretty boring around December time, so many great sellers will have just given up and the massive diamond plastic product dumpers will have taken over.

OT:
A true alternative is desperately required...please don’t start pumping eCrater or Bonanza we sell approx 20 items a day on eBay 30 on Amazon, 1 every 3 months on eCrater & after 5 months still waiting on Bonanza...sad thing is we used to sell over 200 a day on eBay (2 years ago) plus well over half of our competitors no longer sell on eBay!!!

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: STOP IMPOSING YOUR FAILED INNOVATION ON US JD

Fri Mar 25 22:50:31 2011

PEOPLE ! WAKE UP ! Donahoe must be kicking cans around, thinking what do I have to do to get these small to medium non manufacturing sellers to leave ??????

You have got to be a sicko to keep selling on eBay, and not taking their hint, ( I am one, I still have not left ) I know I am not wanted, but I got nothing else for my living.

We the small and medium sellers, the Mom's and Pop's, the disabled, we BUILT eBay into the POPULAR SITE it was, then we get the boot in favor of big boys and their mass produced junk !

BUT PEOPLE, we the small to medium sellers have also DESTROYED eBay also from the abuse we have suffered since 2008, the site is Dying, and I do not care how eBay pretends it isn't, or how they spin it, cause it is Dying

Every seller you pissed off and forced out of business, let malicious buyers ding good sellers into suspension, they quit, their families and friends quit, they now make it their mission to tell all not to buy or sell cuase of the abuse towards small to medium sellers, and the Chinese junk flooding the site.

Myself, I talked to a guy, who told me how to start selling on eBay, as he knew I was for years and years. I told him you don't there is no market, the policy's are ridiculous, DSR's from unscroupulous buyers, 21 day money holds, fee's out the ass, encouraged to give free ship, i told him the money and profits aren't there no more, especially since JD took over in 2008

I told him all he will get is a bunch of grief and no profits to compensate him for his suffering

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: jake

Sat Mar 26 07:03:05 2011

Well i have been selling the same item on eBay for over 7 years and today i get this alert when i try to list:

Attention sellers:
Alert
You’ve reached your listing allowance and can’t list any more of certain top fashion brands in Clothing, Shoes and Accessories for the moment.
You can list up to 3 top fashion brands in any 30 consecutive day period. You’ve reached your listing allowance for this period, but may list an additional 3 items involving top fashion brands in Clothing, Shoes and Accessories the next 30 day period. Learn more about listing allowances.

eBay have lost the plot they are insane, my monthly fees selling the item i am now only allowed to list 3 of a month were an average of $1,400 and $1,600....STOCK HOLDERS GET OUT FAST; THESE DUMMYS ARE DESTROYING YOUR INVESTMENT

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Mar 26 13:55:51 2011

@ jake

Ebay is trying to ruin your business in order to make sure the has been or never were designers they've tricked into selling on ebay will succeed.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: woohoo

Sat Mar 26 21:53:45 2011

Could someone please send a link to "top fashion brands in Clothing, Shoes and Accessories" that are covered in this 3 max limit?

Thank you.

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: PimpMyClothes
Web Site

Sun Mar 27 09:17:54 2011

One may have already had some success via auction sites and like me! thought ebay has a monopoly and I found the %'s they charged too excessive!

More and more people are looking for quick, Simple enterprise class ecommerce solutions!

where they can be in control like: http://www.onlineshopcart.com/

I used theseguys  for my site!

eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions   eBay Clarifies Ban on Duplicate Auctions

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 18:01:14 2011

lol, you actually believe the policies are made for all. its not. its meant to keep the small down

Seals try to run when they bring out the clubs but they are too small they cannot

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