Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue May 22 2018 10:30:28

eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

By: Ina Steiner

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Like death and taxes, eBay semi-annual seller updates are a certainty and are similarly dreaded. This year, eBay committed to making three updates, and today, the Summer update hit the site, with one more to go.

eBay grouped the changes into four buckets:

Inventory Optimization: New categories in the product-based shopping experience, category and classification changes, and item specifics to help buyers find your items.

Selling Metrics & Shipping: Stay on top of your after-sale requests, keep your delivery promise and upload tracking, and provide your shipping location zip code.

eBay Stores: eBay Stores feature changes, subscriber benefits and discounts, and new markdown sale event requirement.

Simplified Returns: Enhanced and streamlined returns automation, partial refund guidance, and customization of your international return policies.

(After reading the details, you tell us if those are good descriptions of what's coming down the pike.)

eBay also put together a timeline of changes to track when updates go live.

Here are just a few of the eBay Summer Seller Update 2018 changes announced today that will impact sellers:

- eBay will require sellers to provide a shipping location zip code in their listings;

- eBay will begin automatically issuing refunds on sellers' behalf in some cases;

- eBay is introducing new metrics in July and sellers with poor metrics will be subject to extended estimated delivery times and additional fees.

- eBay is rolling out changes to Stores this month, and will introduce new features in June, when it will also remove some Store functionality.

- eBay will automatically move sellers' listings to different categories if it thinks they are more relevant beginning July 31st. Categories impacted include Comics, Coins, Pottery & Glass, and Tires.

- eBay is making changes to its shipping labels function.

The timing of eBay's latest update is unfortunate as many businesses are scrambling to prepare for GDPR, the European Union legislation that requires sites to change their privacy policies and practices, even for websites located outside of Europe. The deadline for GDPR compliance is Friday, May 25th.

We've recapped some highlights of the Summer Update changes in this article - let us know where you think these changes fall in terms of impact to your business.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: JohnQ This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 10:20:10 2018

They are driving more wedges between buyer and seller.  I will now challenge every “item not as described" request I get if I know the buyer is wrong - because if I don't it will impact my visibility.  They are so set on applying their own view of what buyers want to see that that is how eBay will end up - buyers will only see what eBay thinks they should see and if they don't see what they want they will shop elsewhere.  eBay has people embedded in their decision making group that staunchly adhere to Punitive Management 101.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: JohnQ This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 10:23:38 2018

Also ebay is pushing more liberal return rules just as Amazon realizes it has to suspend buyers because they take advantage of their liberal return policies.  Only ebay does not have the clout of Amazon and can't afford to suspend buyers so they will remain to plague sellers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 11:08:01 2018

I don't know if the ebay link is showing my own status but when I look at the return part, the chart is the same as what they emailed me yesterday that was supposedly my own (which makes no sense as I have not had any returns there anyway).
This whole think is BS.
I am just so tired of fooling with this every year for nothing but dwindling sales month after month.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: captainzombie This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 12:10:55 2018

Hi all, been a long time lurker but have never posted. I've been selling on ebay for 14 years now and with this new summer and fall updates, I fear things are going to get very ugly for us sellers. It has been slowly building towards this the last 2 years with the changes they keep on making. I do very well in the automotive parts & accessories category, but the issue will be with them adding these metrics into place and then retroactively going back 3-12 months. It's like they know Fall is going to be bad numbers wise, so might as well pad them with taking money from people that had high SNAD cases. I tend to get a lot of SNAD cases due to people not opening the return/request properly and/or those that are trying to lie their way through a return, which I've caught plenty several times.

I was on the phone yesterday with ebay concierge since I have an anchor store. I called them out on a flaw with their metrics, the rep didn't even have an answer for me. I even went as far as asking about the cases that are opened as SNAD in error, and if the buyer admits it, how will they remove those and she didn't have an answer on that. She went on to tell me that they are still working on the features for July. I go to her that we are 1.5 months away from July, yet you guys don't know how the programming team is going to make certain things work after I pointed this out to them?

As someone stated earlier, this could be a ploy to get us into free returns so that way, you have a lot less SNAD reports against you since you would be accepting every single return. You guys should see the amount of people that try to pull fast ones that say an item is not working, yet when I do resell it, I don't get that same item back. I'll never do free returns, it'll have me placing a closed sign on my business. For example, I've tried GD since we were opted in and I've already had someone complain about delivery times and I told the customer to take that up with good old ebay since they are giving customers the delivery dates as a part of their program.

I started working on my Shopify store the last few months to get prepped for this day. The only thing that stinks with going this route is that I will have to spend $1,000's of dollars in Google Advertising, etc. a month to bring people through the doors. It is rather costly trying to bring traffic through the doors.

I think that the only other site that can give ebay a run for their money is Bonanza, if they were to invest more money in their advertising, support staff, and technology. I've tried sites like eCrater, and while they are decent, they are lacking when you have a large inventory.

They keep tightening the noose around our necks as sellers, especially the good ones that follow their rules to a tee and it is a total mess (especially that garbage free returns). I am sick of spending close to $3.5K a month in ebay fees alone to have them treat us like this.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 12:14:13 2018

The reason they want a zip code is so they can show buyers items only those that are near them. This way..EBay can Gaurentee fast shipping and not lose.

It's idiotic and bad for sellers and buyers.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 13:43:31 2018

@mcposty

All the GD stuff as well as the zip code stuff is just the Cupcakes way of getting sellers to provide PRIME level service for free - so eBay can look good and profit from it.

No "seller update" has EVER done anything positive - thats why I asked people who think eBay isnt out to get small sellers to PLEASE provide (1) item a yr that eBay created (rule/feature etc) that was POSITIVE for small sellers - and all you get are crickets (cause there are none).

All eBay updates are "the emperors new clothes" for Wall St and for the unassuming people that think eBay in some way does or controls something.

Whether its returns, postage prices, VERO, or anything else - each section is a "gotcha" - a way for eBay to steal money from sellers under the guise of some rule they made up out of thin air.

People can hate on Amazon all day - and thats fine, but at least they SELL things. THEY own warehouses, they pay employees to ship, they eat returns (and you have no idea how many 52' trailers of returns they auction off per day - the number would kill you (heart attack).

DW and his cupcake, sit in big offices, do nothing and think of ways to annoy the very people who put bread on their tables - all while waiting to cash out stock options.

Overstock sells stuff, Amazon sells stuff, Newegg sells stuff, Walmart sells stuff - eBay does nothing - they sell air.

Its akin to the Seinfeld episode where they sell a tv pilot to NBC ... "the show about nothing"  - THAT is eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 14:18:32 2018

I am sure he is also trying to find ways to shut them up as there was an article recently about that.  He knows that the shareholders are not the least bit happy with what has been happening while watching the Paypal Stock they have skyrocket.  

I am sure this meeting would be worth buying some shares just to be able to attend and watch Wenig squirm under the questioning when his weasel words and made up words that they use for Wall Street fall on deaf ears.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed May 23 14:41:36 2018

"Its akin to the Seinfeld episode where they sell a tv pilot to NBC ... "the show about nothing"  - THAT is eBay "

If Weird Al's song was changed to reflect current eBay rhetoric, the lyrics about finding items on eBay would be "NOT found on eBay...

Telll me why (I need another pet rock)
Tell me why (I got that Alf alarm clock)
Tell me why (I bid on Shatner's old toupee)
It can no longer be found on eBay

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 15:38:28 2018

LMAO - the smart money said .... (contrary to the geniuses here that swear opposite)(hint: its why eBay is doing what its doing)

eBay: A Dinosaur In Disguise  (certainly not robots in disguise!)

eBay reported Q4 earnings that were not impressive for a fourth-quarter holiday season.

The increasing popularity of Amazon and other e-commerce channels implies that eBay's share of the pie is getting smaller. Auction-based sales are no longer in vogue.

The company's FY18 outlook calls for revenue acceleration, a scenario that's difficult to believe.

The summation from them is "While eBay likely won't have a dramatic flameout, the slowdown in its GMV and user growth is a leading indicator of an outdated technology and a presently overvalued stock. eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), once one of Silicon Valley's hottest companies, has reported Q4 earnings that failed to dazzle most investors".  AHEM to the person that was expecting a major announcement/billboard/seller update to that effect



Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 16:35:19 2018

Free Returns: This is a very informational report regarding free returns. It's 2 years old but still a good read:
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-free-returns-on-online-
purchases-are-crippling-retailers-2016-06-03

I
like how it sums up Amazon and how they didn't care about the financial loss they took but used the free returns to GAIN customers. Now here we are 2 years later and ebay is just getting started on this. And they to will lose money along with the sellers.

On this business of returns, what gives eBay the right to not refund the seller fees? Can someone show me in writing? I have looked everywhere but can find nothing. I work for 4 attorneys and would like to ask one of them if they can take a look at this part (not that I would ever think to ask eBay for my fees back!!)

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 16:48:58 2018

Linda :)

because eBay views the seller as the bad guy (always), it therefor becomes (the return) the SELLERS problem.

Since eBay (the most honest small seller loving platform on gods green earth) did nothing wrong -  the mean old rotten nasty seller did - therefore they feel they have the right to keep the fees since "they did their part of the transaction".

Had it "actually have been THEIR fault" the would have refunded you ... no wait - thats not right .......

CORRECTION "had it actually been eBays fault, then one of the many lies in eBays TOS/UA, which allow eBay to insure the smooth running of the platform (and as their 10K says - competition from other platforms allow eBay to spend freely with funds remitted to it for its services) to keep the funds.

Like everything ELSE basically - its a con job - one that would make the Gambinos proud.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: thriftyone This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 17:38:03 2018

Marie ebay acknowledged that this 14 day rule does not apply to all sellers:

eBay for Business Hey A, some sellers have been notified that they are exempt from this requirement. This may happen because they are using strike through pricing outside of Markdown Manager or participating in Daily Deals. These sellers are still required to provide a legitimate price that the item has sold for previously. ~B

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed May 23 17:54:26 2018

@thriftyone

Yes, since my initial posting regarding this I've learn more about the subject.  When I first posted, I simply stated that I didn't know about the subject, not that I disagreed.  I don't base my opinions off of other just telling me something is so.  I like to learn the subject matter and find the official responses.  Whether I like them or not is another thing.

Since my initial post on this subject I've learned more.  In my research I've found that Ebay is exempting larger seller with certain abilities in creating sales because of their size.  Like sellers that have the ability to do the strike through on the original price of the item and then have the sale price.  Those sellers are exempt.  And there are other reasons too.

So this rule puts smaller sellers at a real disadvantage.  Which is not a good thing.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 18:32:05 2018

@Marie

As we continue to say, Ebay is doing all it can to get smaller sellers to move away from selling on Ebay.  They have constantly made it clear that this is how they feel but know that if they say it their stock will absolutely tank because that is what the company was founded on.

Wenig could not succeed at Reuters and was fired and now cannot succeed at Ebay and should be fired.  They have taken a company that was in really good shape and growing and turned it into a disaster waiting for the first quarter of results that they cannot fudge to destroy their stock price.  If Ebay ever shows a quarter where GMV (which is really a made up number anyway)  or Gross Revenues are lower than any previous period while all the other companies are continuing to show double digit growth, the stock will sink like the Titanic and Wenig should see his career and the invitation to join the GM BOD (his exit strategy) go right out the door with him.

Meg was probably right that Ebay could have been run by Monkeys, but obviously it could not be run by Venture Capitalists who only know how to change things short term so the can quickly flip the investment.  

Donohoe was bad enough, but Wenig has made Donohoe look palatable, which is downright scary when you think about how much Donohoe damaged Ebay.  I really hope the shareholders have a field day with Wenig at the next meeting even though I am sure he will walk out of there thinking nobody knows anything about running this company but him.  

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed May 23 18:39:20 2018

@Silver Ice King

I disagree and I've said that many time on many different blogs on this site.  It is fine that you and others do not agree with me in regards to your opinion that Ebay is trying to close out / get rid of all small sellers.  Blanket statements are rarely true or factual.

There are most certainly things that Ebay does that are IMHO against small sellers and this 14 day rule certainly appears to be one of them.  I agree on that point.  But again I do not agree that anything and everything that Ebay does is in an effort to rid the site of small sellers for the past 10 years or more.  

If that was their goal, we would have been gone long before now.  10+ years is a lot of time, more than enough to accomplish getting rid of small sellers if that is what they wanted to do.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 19:06:30 2018

Why have a sale immediately after listing:
1) Just received it and need to PAY for it!
2) Holiday merchandise and the holiday is 30 days away, you need to get rid of it quickly.  Sometimes you have ordered items 9 months before and the manufacturer does not send it timely. My main New Years Eve distributor never sends anything before Thanksgiving to the end of NOVEMBER, it needs to all be gone within a month!
3) Just because something is put on immediate sale does not mean it is marked up too much, I mean, are you going to put it on sale and then change the price to regular? sounds like too much work to me.
4) None of anyone's business, if it is too high, it won't sell anyway, if the sale makes it regular price, who cares?
My wacky theory is if you have to have 14 days of an item not on sale, you may give the 5-10% to ebay in the form of a promo ad campaign instead of to the buyer in the form of a sale price.  Greedy, Greedy Ebay.

Check your return settings  --- mine was ON AUTOMATIC - turned it off!

International sellers are not included in the zip code requirement, I read it in the policy.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed May 23 19:12:43 2018

It could be something you have carried before and just brought it back into stock too.  That is what is my most common reason.

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 19:25:38 2018

Yes, absolutely! Sold out and restocked it, (especially if it sold out while on sale!  why not do it again!)

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 23 22:02:42 2018

If that was their goal, we would have been gone long before now.  10+ years is a lot of time, more than enough to accomplish getting rid of small sellers if that is what they wanted to do.

I know at LEAST 10 (maybe more if I think about it) that eBay ran out of town - that number (10+ years) is baloney.

Especially if you just figured out that the 14 day rule doesnt apply to certain (big sellers) ... whom then is it designed to hurt?

It doesnt hurt big guys
It doesnt hurt micro sellers
It doesnt hurt grannies attic sellers

So if its too hot or too cold (goldie locks) who is left?

Perminate Link for eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today   eBay Summer Seller Update Hits Today

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Wed May 23 23:27:38 2018

I'm inclined to believe there has been some backroom, stealthy, corporate eBay machinations on how to disadvantage small sellers and/or compel them to conduct business like a big box store. Too much entrepreneurial homogeneity foisted on sellers—regardless of whether they can absorb fraudulent losses, offer ridiculous return policies or keep up with the constant flux of bristly updates. Freestyle strokes have morphed into treading water. Come on, eBay!

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