A new eBay promotion is causing concern due to a provision about automatic renewal of auction listings. eBay sent the promotion to a subset of sellers; some received the promotion containing the new provision, others received the promotion without it.
EcommerceBytes reader epuise tipped us off to the new verbiage in the new promotion (Offer: Pay no insertion fees* on 100 extra auction-style listings):
"Qualifying listings that do not sell during their first listing duration may automatically renew/relist outside of the Promotion Period, and will be subject to standard insertion fees."
Epuise said that to their knowledge, it's the first time eBay has added that provision to auction promotions. "Most bids come in last minutes. How to cancel before it relists? Especially dangerous for the Sellers w/ limited "free" listing counts."
Sellers also discussed their concerns about the new promotion on this thread
on the eBay discussion boards. One seller pointed out that the provision may only apply to auctions with Buy It now: "I think this is just another case of poor wording on eBay's part, since the offer was for auction or buy it now listings. I used some of the free listings today for 7-day auctions and checked that the auto relist box is still unchecked."
But another seller said without clarification, they would not risk participating in the promotion.
Perhaps most concerning was the experience described by one seller: "I did get that auction/fixed price promo and that message had 4 bullets under restrictions & exclusions. When I activated the offer there were 7 bullets. Terms and categories changed."
Yet another seller wrote: "This is not something new ... eBay has been relisting auction-format listings automatically for some listings, for a long time. I don't think this is a hint about things to come, any more than we usually get. The disclaimer is there because automatic relisting is available now on all listing formats (auction and fixed price) if the seller wants it, and it is automatically added if the seller uses the Quick Listing tool."
Here is a link to the promotion Terms and Conditions
for the promo some sellers received containing the new provision.
The discussion shows how difficult eBay is making it for sellers that they would have to waste their time trying decode what the terms of a promotion actually means - and the lack of trust sellers have in eBay's communications with sellers and its practices.