Update 11/30/17: eBay made an official announcement on its Seller Announcement Board regarding watermarks.
eBay gave sellers some good news, at least to sellers in the UK. The company had told sellers it would remove listings that contained watermarked images from search results beginning in March 2018 - but eBay UK won't enforce the policy, and an eBay employee confirmed there would be changes coming in the US, though she wouldn't provide details.
The buzz began when a seller reported
that a customer service rep had informed them eBay wouldn't require them to leave watermarks. There was much discussion about the credibility of the statement.
Sellers went into the weekly chat session yesterday seeking answers. A moderator wrote
: "Thanks for the question - yes, we've seen the thread - and we know this is a topic with a lot of energy around it. We will be answering this question in greater detail later this week."
This morning, eBay UK's Rob Hattrell emailed the following letter to UK Sellers:
In our update to business sellers in September, we announced that listings with watermarked images would be removed from eBay search results from 1st March 2018.
I know that this has been an important topic and I want to thank those of you who took the time to contact me directly to explain the challenges you had with it.
We encourage you to have clean images because when watermarks are in place, we cannot typically promote your listings on platforms outside eBay, such as Google and Bing.
We’ve also heard from customers directly in focus groups that they are more likely to buy from us when product photography is on a white background and uncluttered.
But having listened to your views on this, we recognise that you as the seller should be able to make the choice. So I wanted to let you know today that I have asked the team not to enforce this policy, but to keep it in place as guidance only.
Thank you again for your feedback, which made a real difference on this. The views of the people who sell with us are absolutely essential as we continue to evolve eBay for buyers and sellers. We are listening.
I hope that you have a great Christmas trading season.