eBay is forcing sellers into Good Til Cancelled (GTC) listings on its mobile app. Responding to complaints, an eBay moderator called it a best practice, leaving sellers wondering if desktop could be next.
"The decision of when, and whether, to relist should be mine - NOT something eBay forces me into for the privilege of using my phone as a tool," a seller wrote on Wednesday's weekly chat thread.
"The workaround - "well, just use your PC" - is not acceptable," he continued. "On listings that I do choose to relist, you guessed it - it has to be done from the PC to avoid an automatic conversion to GTC. Want to add another picture, or add to the description? Back to the PC. Want to lower the price or add alternate shipping? PC. Want to list a newly sourced item while in the field - then you have to accept GTC, or wait until you are back at the PC."
Worse, said the seller: "there was no announcement or warning of these changes - many sellers have burned some of their finite listings because without knowing (because you didn't tell them) they listed items as GTC that might be seasonal, an item that was on its last run, exploratory, etc."
In response to the poster, an eBay moderator said it was an intentional change:
"Thank you for sharing this feedback about the app! Good Til Cancelled is currently the only duration available through the app and this is by design. The reasoning behind this is that we've found longer durations generally have more benefits. The mobile team has engaged on the boards here and mentioned some of those benefits. With that said, we have been passing feedback over to the mobile team and they are reviewing it as they consider future updates."
While that may not have been what sellers wanted to hear, at least sellers were not left playing the "is it intentional or is it a glitch" game so familiar to them when it comes to change on eBay.
The moderator said eBay's mobile team cited benefits of a longer duration: "longer durations perform better, provide more buyer predictability, and index more easily in search engines".
"These amount to more visibility for sellers items which in turn give a better chance for items to sell," he said.
The original poster responded by noting that a forced renewal on Easter items in October just wastes a listing. "Please go read the boards on the ios and android discussion. This is the voice of your customers, and its bleak."
There was further discussion, and then the startling revelation that eBay was using mobile app users as testers.
A seller asked, "Since this change has so many benefits, shouldn't it be applied to the desktop version as well? Make GTC the only option everywhere."
To which the moderator responded
, "We are testing flows that will make listing faster and search engine indexing more effective. Right now, we're only testing with a segment of eBay sellers (such as through the mobile app and not on desktop). If we do update our duration policy for all sellers, we will be sure to let you know beforehand!"
(Apparently the emphasis is on "all" in that last sentence, since eBay never announced the change to sellers listing using the mobile app.)