eBay announced changes to the User Agreement effective March 30, 2018 - see our story in Newsflash
to see some of the provisions that are changing.
When reviewing the UA, we were struck anew by some of the provisions eBay has added over the years. For example, did you know when you post a listing on eBay, you could end up paying additional fees beyond the regular listing and commission fees, and there's a possibility eBay will not always display all of your listings in search results? Did you know eBay has the right to auto-renew your fixed-price listings and has the right to modify your content and product data? And did you know DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) may still influence placement in search?
eBay gives itself the right to charge you extra fees if you fall below minimum performance standards.
eBay gives itself the right to "not display" your listings if it thinks you're abusing its service in any way, (presumably while you continue to pay fees and possibly without providing you notice).
eBay gives itself the right to charge you final value fees even if your item doesn't sell if it believes you are violating its policy about selling outside of eBay, "given your usage of eBay Services for the introduction to a buyer."
eBay gives itself the right to charge you for the "recovery of expenses for policy monitoring and enforcement." ("If we believe you are violating the policy on Offers to buy or sell outside of eBay, you may be subject to a range of actions, including limits on your buying and selling privileges, restrictions on listings and account features, suspension of your account, application of fees, and recovery of expenses for policy monitoring and enforcement.")
eBay warns that bid updates and other notices may not occur in real time.
eBay isn't liable for problems such as service disruptions; viruses; glitches, bugs, errors, or inaccuracies of any kind.
And here are some noteworthy provisions from the UA's "Listing Conditions" section:
Your listing may not be immediately searchable by keyword or category for several hours (or up to 24 hours in some circumstances). eBay can't guarantee exact listing durations.
When you use the consumer seller listing tool to create listings, your fixed-price listings may renew automatically every 30 days, based on the listing terms at that time, until the quantities sell out or until you cancel the listing.
Content that violates any of eBay's policies may be modified, obfuscated or deleted at eBay's discretion.
We may revise product data associated with listings to supplement, remove, or correct information.
We strive to create a marketplace where buyers find what they are looking for. Therefore, the appearance or placement of listings in search and browse results will depend on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:
- buyer's location, search query, browsing site, and history;
- item's location, listing format, price and shipping cost, terms of service, end time, history, and relevance to the user query;
- seller's history, including listing practices, Detailed Seller Ratings, eBay policy compliance, Feedback, and defect rate; and
- number of listings matching the buyer's query.
To drive a positive user experience, a listing may not appear in some search and browse results regardless of the sort order chosen by the buyer.
Some advanced listing upgrades will only be visible on certain Services.
eBay's Duplicate listings policy may also affect whether your listing appears in search results.
Over the years, we've reported on some of the more controversial provisions eBay added when it introduced them. But it's fascinating to review the entire User Agreement today - you may be amazed at how things have changed.