Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Sept 11 2013 23:16:08

eBay Drops Bombshells in New User Agreement

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay updated its User Agreement with a number of changes that are proving worrisome to sellers. The one most sellers are keying in on is eBay's provision that allows it to hide listings in search results for any reason.

"To further create a marketplace where buyers find what they want and drive positive user experience, we updated the provision regarding listing conditions to recognize that the appearance and placement of listings in search and browse results will depend on a variety of factors.  So, in some situations a listing may not appear in some search and browse results regardless of sort order."

Sellers pay eBay fees to have their listings appear on the site, so were not happy at the prospect of potentially paying fees for zero exposure. eBay has muddied the water by granting sellers a certain number of free listings each month in addition to running certain free-listing promotions, many of which apply only to one subset of sellers at a time.

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore said eBay would not be refunding any listing fees for sellers impacted as a result of the policy.

Some sellers are cynical about whether eBay had already been hiding some listings in search results. Others blame eBay's new Cassini search engine for the company having to create the new policy.

One can only wonder if eBay is poised to push a button and change its search algorithms once the agreement takes effect for all users in October - as the all important holiday shopping season is underway.

eBay also made changes in its User Agreement that some sellers fear will mean its Managed Returns program will soon be mandatory.

And eBay changed its Buyer Protection policy: "if as a seller you choose not to engage with the eBay Buyer Protection process on an item not as described case, we may seek to carry out a reimbursement from you without asking the buyer to return the item to you."

Read the eBay announcement board post and look for Thursday's Newsflash news article for more details, and let us know what you think.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Drops Bombshells in New User Agreement   eBay Drops Bombshells in New User Agreement

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 16 20:44:26 2013

@Marie. I never said anything about anyone's intelligence but if someone can't add and/or do simple percentages, they should learn. (Or use the Ebay Fee Calculator)

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by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 16 21:52:54 2013

Just for a frame of reference, here is when the existence of hidden listings was first learned of.

ecommercebytes blog:

How Should eBay Compensate Sellers for Last Week's Meltdown?
Mon Mar 25 2013

http://tinyurl.com/ch48xth
http://preview.tinyurl.com/c
h48xth


In the comments section we were informed that hidden listings don't "have anything to do with what is commonly known as Rolling Blackouts."



[facepalm]

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This user has validated their user name. by: ebayisajoke

Tue Sep 17 17:37:25 2013

This will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Just when you thought eBay couldn't do more harm to it's customers (the sellers) they now want to hide listings that you pay for.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Incubus

Wed Sep 18 08:55:14 2013

Plenty of doom and gloom to spread around with this news.

Perminate Link for eBay Drops Bombshells in New User Agreement   eBay Drops Bombshells in New User Agreement

This user has validated their user name. by: Incubus

Wed Sep 18 08:55:14 2013

Plenty of doom and gloom to spread around with this news.

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by: gitasan This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 20 08:09:21 2013

What is the use of all the "free" listings if they can not be seen? It still takes time to list, write and picture.

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 20 16:06:54 2013

Link to a great new video on YouTube about this: http://youtu.be/kcbJV04Hmmc

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by: rebecca7 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 24 00:37:56 2013

I'm certain eBay was already burying or blocking search engine traffic to many of my listings starting last February, and had been "phasing me out" for 2 years before that.

I have the data to prove it.

(I was a small niche seller but my items weren't selling fast enough to suit eBay. I also refused to provide 1-day free shipping because it didn't make sense for me or my type of merchandise.)

More than 100 of my items were getting customer traffic only through a variety of VERY poorly matched "cross promotions" (... all those spam messages on the sides of pages saying "If you like that, maybe you'll like this, too.")  My items were NOT getting  search engine traffic from interested customers.

It took nearly 3 months of studying the data to realize just how badly Cassini was  manipulating searches, both inside AND OUTSIDE the eBay platform (Google, Bing and Yahoo searches entering eBay are also being captured and redirected.)  

I was being robbed blind, paying substantial monthly fees for an invisible store and hundreds of invisible listings.

This new policy at eBay means the company has been caught red-handed by enough sellers to finally need to fess-up and cover its legal rear end.

But WHY would any self-respecting  seller be willing to tolerate this?

I quit eBay in April (after 14+ years) and honestly pity any small seller still struggling to sell there.

eBay's new policy announcement is a rude slap in the face.  They're telling everyone that eBay is FREE to do virtually ANYTHING they want, because sellers have no power to stop them.  It's incredibly arrogant, and frightening.  

No corporation should be able to dictate such blatantly abusive terms to SLAVE workers who are paid NOTHING by that corporation. Worse yet, these slaves are forced to spend their life savings to purchase goods that eBay can now CHERRY-PICK or HIDE in any way that eBay decides will maximize eBay profits.

Sellers provide eBay with FREE Labor and FREE Merchandise, then eBay is FREE to block customers from seeing that merchandise any time it wants.  

What a GREAT deal for eBay!

Wake up everybody!

It's time to DEMAND a federal investigation of eBay's massive, secret market manipulations and fraudulent fees for non-existent services and invisible listings.

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by: rebecca7 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 24 01:38:14 2013

I had an epiphany at a big family dinner a few weeks ago, when a niece asked me where my eBay store had gone.  

I tried to explain all the dirty, sneaky tricks that eBay had pulled over the past year or so. I got quite upset the more I tried to explain ... so everyone at the table ended up listening.

They all kept asking me why I hadn't contacted eBay management, or asked for a "supervisor" to investigate the problems.

I kept explaining that sellers weren't ALLOWED to get beyond the "customer service representative" level when we called for help. (I tried especially hard last spring, but it was impossible. eBay is a fortress and the peasants aren't allowed in.)

My family all kept just looking at me like they couldn't believe it.  

And suddenly, I couldn't believe it either. Why DID I put up with such abuse and neglect for SO LONG?

I stayed for several years longer than I should have, and certainly far longer than eBay deserved.

I was much more of BUYER than a seller, but eBay still treated me like garbage.

It's a DISGUSTING company.

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This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen

Tue Sep 24 05:04:42 2013

Ebay is determined to self destruct. I use it to direct customers to my own site and only use the free listings. Sales have been so poor on ebay for a long time that it's almost not worth the effort listing other than in this way.

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This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen

Wed Oct 16 07:08:23 2013

Ebay is a parody of itself. The 'we are only a venue' now seek to control every aspect of their customers business.
I started my own web site "Baconsdozen tools" to be rid of them and their greed.
Best move I ever made.

Perminate Link for eBay Drops Bombshells in New User Agreement   eBay Drops Bombshells in New User Agreement

by: corpuschristi1956 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 28 08:46:05 2015

Evidently, it is perfectly legal to hold someone's life, ability to support their children, pay their mortgage over their heads to achieve a competitive edge. LOL Only in America!

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