Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Sept 9 2020 09:01:13

eBay Announces Changes in Fall Seller Update 2020

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay announced its Fall Seller Update for 2020, but it had already rolled out some of the changes, some with an announcement, some stealthily. eBay's own timeline shows two changes that went into effect last month.

Nevertheless, there are some changes that will come as a surprise to sellers.

One of the changes that jumps out as a new change: a "Time Away" feature that replaces eBay's vacation settings. And unlike the latter, the new Time Away will be available to all sellers. 

Two major benefits of Time Away include:

- Estimated delivery dates and dispatch due times will be adjusted when Time Away is scheduled for active listings. "This means your buyers will receive realistic estimated delivery dates automatically without you having to manually change the time yourself."

- Negative feedback related to shipments will automatically be removed when Time Away is turned on, provided you post any items by the updated estimated delivery date. 

On a less positive note, eBay is changing how it protects sellers with regard to its Money Back Guarantee policy. Currently eBay requires sellers use Signature Confirmation when shipping an item with a total cost of $750 or more in order to be protected.

Starting October 19, 2020, that will no longer be calculated based on item value, but rather, it will include the order total - that will include all items purchased, taxes, and postage costs.

"Because signature confirmation protection under the eBay Money Back Guarantee now applies to order totals of $750 or more rather than at an item level, items in orders previously not protected will now receive the same protection as the higher value items in that order."

As eBay notes, sellers will need to factor the added costs into their shipping or item price. "If you don't wish to purchase signature confirmation, you risk losing an eBay Money Back Guarantee case on that order," eBay stated.

Another change to be aware of: eBay will restrict "Below Standard" sellers from advertising through its Promoted Listings ad program.

eBay is also making changes to a number of features, including:

- "Offers to buyers"
- Promoted Listings
- Seller Hub Performance tab updates
- New Terapeak Research features in Seller Hub

eBay also included changes it had previously announced, such as the following: 

- More monthly zero insertion fee listings for most sellers - "Starting August 1, 2020, you will get a permanent increase in monthly zero insertion fee listings so you can continue to introduce, test, and sell new inventory. These changes will be available to all eBay sellers and you don’t need to take any action."

- Auto-accept and auto-refunds - "Beginning September 14, 2020, eBay will automate the returns and refunds processes for active managed payments sellers to align the seller experience across the eBay platform. Automation of returns and refunds saves sellers time, and enables them to process returns faster."

- Anonymizing email addresses: "As part of our ongoing effort to combat spam and phishing attacks and protect the privacy of eBay buyers and sellers, we're no longer showing buyer email addresses in your orders."

- Expansion of required item specifics.

And as usual with Seller Updates, eBay is making changes to its category structure and to item specifics, something sellers will want to pay attention to.

eBay also advised sellers it is adding more of them to its Managed Payments program. "When you receive a notification from us, we recommend you register before the deadline to avoid any interruption to your business." It also noted, "We expect to manage payments for most business sellers in 2020, and by 2021 eBay will manage payments for a majority of its marketplace sellers."

You can find the eBay Fall Seller Update 2020 here. Let us know what jumps out at you and how it will impact you.

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by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 10:43:40 2020

"signature confirmation" is no longer a viable option as post office stopped getting signatures in 99% of the cases since COVID-19. Making us pay for something that no longer functions!

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by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 10:44:18 2020

"If you don't wish to purchase signature confirmation, you risk losing an eBay Money Back Guarantee case on that order," eBay stated.

Um, no, actually, it doesn't matter whether you purchase it or not since USPS (as well as UPS and FedEx, as far as I know) are not actually requiring signatures even when signature confirmation is purchased!  eBay would know that if they even did the slightest amount of research, but, of course, they are completely oblivious.  When USPS first announced that they would not be requiring signatures, I ended all listings priced over $650 (to account for $100 in tax and shipping costs).  Now I just hope I don't sell a bunch of items in the same order for over $750 total.  It's bad enough I'm paying $60 a month for a store and can't list over $10,000 worth of my inventory, now even less-expensive items are a risk since I can't prevent them from being sold together!

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by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 10:46:38 2020

Buyer delivery signature can bite you in the behind.  If they work etc.. No one is home to sign.  USPS are usually closed for most if they work.  Not convenient if they have to drive to a post office to get the next day.   Many will find it easier to just let the PO return as undelivered.   Cost sellers money,  Bad feedback BUT makes ebay more money.  If you use UPS or fedex,  cost you more and ebay wins again.

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by: MG Enterprises of WI,Inc This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 11:11:38 2020

We were recently set-up on Mangled Payments! Rocky Road to say the least! Ebay customer service Reps don't have the correct answers at times which adds to the confusion and frustration! They tell you their interpretation and when that doesn't work you have to contact them again. Usually you get a different rep and your given a different answer. The Boiler Plate questions and answers are No Help once you get signed up and moving forward. Slooow release of funds! We were used to receiving our funds at the time of the sale with Pay Pal. Now it came take upwards of a week to get funds! Ebay sits on it claiming to be Processing your transaction. Then in a couple days they release it and send it to your bank which mysteriously takes longer than when we transfered funds from Pay Pal??? Then if you use Pay Pal for purchases you have to add money to your Pay Pal account frequently and that takes a few days to complete causing more frustration! The final straw was when we did a $44 partial refund. That had to be Processed even though we had plenty of funds sitting in our Pending Pay Out account. Sometime later that same day the refund was processed. Then we asked for Final Value Fee adjustment. We were told the New Policy is no partial refund FVF adjustments!!! Not Happy!!! Our New Policy is to shop other e-commerce sites instead of ebay. No ebay promoting, no ebay shipping boxes and friends and family will be discouraged from using ebay. When they upset Sellers they upset Buyers also. If others take this approach we can make a difference! We had to ''Speak Our Onions'' today! As Always Have a Great Day!!!

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Sep 9 12:11:49 2020

Only 1 more day to use that $25 coupon!

I bought a reloading manual with mine, my wife bought make-up with hers.

I think only members with 20+ years got the free $25 coupon.

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by: flybuy This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Sep 9 12:20:30 2020

I stopped listing on Ebay after the managed payments program was activated. Yesterday 2 packages were delivered and showed I signed for them (this was from Fedex). Although the packaged showed up, shippers have no business claiming they have a signature. If FedEx, UPS, USPS and DHL cannot wait around for a signature, they should say as much and put their signature option on hold with a few exceptions such as signing for a medication delivery. We have had this social distancing protocol for a few months now and I assume the respectful response is to let the delivery person leave packages near the door and bring them in after that person is walking back to the vehicle. What will Ebay do when all major carriers refuse to offer signature confirmation because of their enormous workloads.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Wed Sep 9 12:32:17 2020

Been 12 years since Ebay became Unfriendly, causing me to leave.
Frankly, I don't see anything good on the horizon.

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by: Judy F This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 13:20:59 2020

I started selling on eBay in 1999.  It was a totally different place back then, very user friendly.  Now, I rarely list anything to sell, haven't done so in almost a year.  It's just too complicated and risky now.

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by: lancecorp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 13:35:26 2020

Keeping up giving out free listings - guess business is down Ebay huh! With the amt of people buying online - sellers should have no problem paying the 35 cents or whatever reduced cost they get with their store if an item is a regular seller. Despite doubling the amt of merchandise listed - my sales on other platforms are more profitable.

I love how the discussion boards are still filled with buyers only that post on hte selling board and think they know the answers and the snarkiness of a poster that regularly visits here telling us what we are doing wrong. Those boards are a mess since there is only 1 side being presented these days and the information given out is questionable.

There are only a couple there like Mr Lincoln I'd listen to.

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by: lancecorp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 13:35:26 2020

Keeping up giving out free listings - guess business is down Ebay huh! With the amt of people buying online - sellers should have no problem paying the 35 cents or whatever reduced cost they get with their store if an item is a regular seller. Despite doubling the amt of merchandise listed - my sales on other platforms are more profitable.

I love how the discussion boards are still filled with buyers only that post on hte selling board and think they know the answers and the snarkiness of a poster that regularly visits here telling us what we are doing wrong. Those boards are a mess since there is only 1 side being presented these days and the information given out is questionable.

There are only a couple there like Mr Lincoln I'd listen to.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Changes in Fall Seller Update 2020   eBay Announces Changes in Fall Seller Update 2020

by: tcpjs This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 13:45:18 2020

On the updates page, https://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/seller-updates/2020-fall/index.ht
ml,
under the Listing & Promoting header, it lists ''Promoted Listings credit removal'' as one of the bulleted changes. Clicking through to the Learn More link gives no additional information though (the page of details actually ends with the previous bullet point regarding restrictions for Below Standard sellers). Any idea where to find more information about that particular bullet point?

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Changes in Fall Seller Update 2020   eBay Announces Changes in Fall Seller Update 2020

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 13:57:27 2020

Looking at it from a top down view - this update is just (to use eBays words) "noise".

It doesnt do anything at all to HELP sellers make more sales ...... it "of course" helps sellers do returns .... but eBay LOVES returns.(wheres that idiot Griff when you need him ?)

The signature issue probably comes from Adyen - Im sure they had NO IDEA what they were getting into when they agreed to process eBays cards.

Adyen doesnt want chargebacks and eBay doesnt want to eat them ... that leaves sellers (who else) on the hook.

While Id never sell items that are 750$ on eBay (I learned my lesson a long time ago selling high end phono carts) there are people who do - god bless them - I hope they protect themselves from eBay (beingt he predator they are)

This should have been a powerhouse of an update to blow the doors off the upcomming holiday season - but alas its eBay .... so ....

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by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 14:32:34 2020

@toolguy

i've been on since 98,  no negatives, top rated, etc  NO coupon for me........

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Sep 9 14:52:13 2020

@tcpjs Great question. On the eBay boards, Brian Burke wrote:

"The Promoted listings credit removal should not have been included. There is no impact to the PL credits."

Was it something you thought would be helpful, or detrimental? I'm not sure what it could have referred to, or whether it's a change eBay had been mulling.

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by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 15:39:47 2020

Brian Burke wrote:

"The Promoted listings credit removal should not have been included. There is no impact to the PL credits."


yet.

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by: tcpjs This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 15:44:28 2020

Ina,
I assumed it was referring to a planned phasing out of the quarterly Promoted Listing credit currently offered to Stores sellers of a certain level, or possibly that if a seller's performance level fell to Below Standard, the quarterly credit would be lost. I suppose that's still up in the air as to whether it will be implemented in the future?

In general, I find the parameters of the Promoted Listing program to be (intentionally?) nebulous. It is implied that selecting a higher percentage will grant a participant higher or more frequent placement for their items than other users who selected a lower percentage, but nowhere is it specifically stated that users are bidding against each other in this way. The minimum threshold for participation seems to be the only thing that is specifically stated.

Because I sell primarily one-off items in the collectibles categories, as opposed to having a limited number of SKUs that are constantly listed and restocked, the Promoted Listings program is of minimal benefit to me anyway. Were it not for that quarterly credit covering a large percentage of my fees for participation, I would likely bow out of Promoted Listings altogether, or at least until things are spelled out better.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Sep 9 16:24:20 2020

As Ebay Seller Updates for this time of years go, this one was really neutral.  Sure glad they finally learned that lesson.  Sad it took what happened last year to drive that home for them.

That change to the vaca setting now to be called Time Away is a very nice enhancement as all sellers can use it and it auto updates delivery dates if a seller chooses to leave their listings visible to buyers.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Sep 10 09:17:33 2020

Carrot and sticking sellers into purchasing signature confirmation amounts to little more than another way eBay forces sellers to raise prices so that eBay can collect more in fees.

The reality is that USPS no longer obtains signatures due to coronavirus.  USPS should suspend signature confirmation service until such time as they are actually going to provide the service customers are paying for.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Sep 10 10:42:34 2020

I got a signature a few weeks back!

Your item was delivered at 3:09 pm on August 24, 2020 in LOCUST GROVE, OK 74352. The item was signed for by H QUANTIE.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Sep 10 10:45:21 2020

And here's another one from early last month.

People are passing false information!

Maybe SOME post offices aren't getting signatures, but I suspect most are!

Your item was delivered at 9:37 am on August 3, 2020 in SAINT PAUL, MN 55128. The item was signed for P RESONG.

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