Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Feb 16 2012 11:23:50

eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Three years ago, eBay made image-hosting free in four categories: Collectibles, Art, Pottery & Glass, and Antiques, and continued to charge for images in other categories (the first picture is free, each additional picture costs 15 cents). eBay will reportedly begin offering free image-hosting in most categories as part of its seller updates this year, just one of the changes rumored to be coming in the May release.

One indication of why eBay would be willing to make the cost of listing less expensive for sellers came this month when it confirmed it was running tests in which it is placing ads directly on sellers' listings for which sellers pay insertion fees. Back when Yahoo had an auction platform, it did away with all listing and commission fees when it decided to monetize the site through advertising.

eBay is unlikely to do anything quite as drastic since its ad revenue is a fraction of its seller fees. However, eBay already offers casual sellers a certain amount of free listings, and it has begun placing advertisements in the 30 free listings it provides to casual sellers in Australia. (See the EcommerceBytes Blog for more information about the two types of ads eBay is currently testing on eBay.com.)

Other changes eBay is working on include additional shipping features (Fedex label printing and shipping profiles) and changes to its internal communication system known as My Messages.

An announcement from eBay about restrictions on the return policies sellers can offer has been expected for some time. Soon, sellers will no longer be able to offer "Merchandise credit" and "Exchange" as refund methods (the only options will be "Money back," "Money back or exchange," or "no returns accepted"). And sellers will no longer be able to offer 3- and 7-day return options (the only options will be 14 days, 30 days, 60 days, or "no returns accepted").

Of course, even if sellers specify "no returns accepted," buyers will still be able to return items if they don't match the item description and the buyer files an eBay Buyer Protection case.

Word has it that sellers can expect to be underwhelmed by Seller Release 1 - stay tuned as more information becomes available.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Feb 16 11:39:52 2012

Ina writes: ''Of course, even if sellers specify ''no returns accepted,'' buyers will still be able to return items if they don't match the item description and the buyer files an eBay Buyer Protection case.''

CORRECTIONS (IN CAPS): Of course, even if sellers specify ''no returns accepted,'' DISHONEST buyers will still be able to MANIPULATE THE SYSTEM AND return items SIMPLY BY FALSELY CLAIMING THE ITEM DID NOT match the item description WHEN THEY FILE an eBay Buyer Protection case.

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

This user has validated their user name. by: TheCheapSkirt
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Thu Feb 16 12:38:27 2012

At least with my eCrater store if I opt in to Google Adsense I can specify certain domains to not have direct competitor's ads run with my item.

And eCrater is free. And I get paid for opting in to ads there. Hmmm.

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: gensvariety This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 12:46:29 2012

Ebay needs to stop telling sellers what their return policy is. Ebay is not funding a sellers business, the seller is. It's hard enough as it is trying to avoid buyers who want to use ebay as a rental site for so many things, or try to test sellers to see which ones are easy scam targets. That and the fact that they already force a 45 day return policy for NSAD items, pretty much on a buyer's whim. A seller has to keep on their toes to avoid a return from a dishonest buyer.

Stop forcing improper policy down sellers throats! It's wrong and you know it is, ebay!

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: xcergy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 13:36:03 2012

No 45 day return option?  That's the time limit for a claim.

re: selling ads.  I doubt if sellers will put up w that.  I hope that if enough sellers complain, eBay will reverse that decision.  It's a bad idea.

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: Another Coin This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 13:42:26 2012

If they want to have a minimum 14 day return policy, it should only be for NEW items and NOT for formal wear, vintage clothing, collectibles, antiques, fine jewelry, gold, coins & stamps. It wouldn't be so bad if the seller's No Return policy would be honored by eBay but their dispute process is one-sided going against the seller in most cases. Then there is always the threat of a negative and low DSRs if seller doesn't refund. Of course, to get any negs and DSRs removed the buyer must state they will destroy a seller's feedback unless they get a refund. Even in those cases eBay will say that is only the buyer's opinion.

Listing directing through eBay SYI using free image hosting will allow eBay IMO to have more control of your listings and where to place all those ads.

I can't understand how eBay can be only a ''venue''.    

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
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Thu Feb 16 14:20:41 2012

Adding more ''free'' images to other categories. In my opinion is a method to stop sellers from adding photos in the description with hidden links outside eBay.

For the Ads. I believe that any seller that pays insertion fees must protest against it. Now if eBay decide to drop all the insertion fees. I will not have problem with the Ads like is happening with Blujay.  

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: purplerose This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 14:51:53 2012

Knock on wood I haven't had the "rental" problem yet. I sell alot of clothing and have had a few people ask to return some items and then they never do. I think the higher postage rates are helping to deter this problem some. The cost to mail a package at the post office counter is a lot more then we pay commercially and most people decide it's not worth the hassle of spending more money to return something.

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: purplerose This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 14:55:08 2012

As for the ads on our listings, it might depend on how many, size etc. If Ebay will level the playing field a little bit and reduce our listing fees, I'm for trying it out.

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 17:15:35 2012

LOL the upcomming seller update is of course -1 (a minus). Nothing eBay does in any seller update, EVER is for the good of the seller! And after all - why should it? (from eBays point of view) ... Sellers arent thier customers - they are the mules that bring CUSTOMERS to eBay. Just because sellers pay all the fees - means absolutely zilch.
eBay has gone from a great place to do business on, to a nightmare in just a few short years. eBays stock prices reflect what sellers here already know - not only do they not have an original idea of thier own, what ideas they do copy - they copy poorly.

The return policy issue is purely to match BUY.COM. Buy.com, who sells on eBay but at the same time competes with them, has a 45 day return policy, so eBay will copy them. eBay incorrectly copied the free shipping issue from Amazon - except they forced the sellers to eat the cost instead of profitting from it aka Amazon Prime!

More changes are comming. I just got off the phone with Paypal .... the newest is eBay payments via Paypal. Due to the outcry over funds being held and potential lawsuites, eBay will soon do what Amazon does - hold your payments until you ship - they wont be available in Paypal until 1) you ship 2) the ''required number of hold days'' passes. That way eBay ''has sellers attention to the needs of he buyer''. eBay will then claim Paypal doesnt hold funds - eBay does - as a protection for customers. Legal BS - but the people in PODA in Paypal said its comming!

As soon as eBay gets a kickback from Fed Ex there will be Fed Ex printing. DUH, they already get a kick back from Stamps.com - thats why only USPS is offered at this point.

You are better of dealing with La Cosa Nostra - they have more integrity then eBay does!

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 20:02:39 2012

yawn.
ebay wants to host the images so they have more control of keeping it out of Googles reach. Content is king

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: Ron This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 20:24:24 2012

I so yearn for the early days of eBay when it was a straightforward auction site.  I understand that some intervention was necessary due to unscrupulous people doing business on the site, but the cure has been worse than the illness.

Just think of all of the rules and changes that eBay has gone through over the last 3 or 4 years - it makes my head spin.

I don't personally care about eBay's rules, because I've always conducted business in a professional manner - I really never needed eBay to give me advice or mandate anything.
The problem is that as a result of their meddling so many good buyers no longer do business there, resulting in prices and sell through rates that have dropped drastically.  And this makes it a much less attractive place for sellers to do business there than other sites.

As with free photos, the pattern with eBay appears to be to give sellers something with one hand but take away much more with the other.  I'd be more than happy to provide my own photo hosting if there was no junky advertising crowding up my listing.  What business person would offer an item and allow competitive product to be advertised next to the item being offered?

The sum total of everything that eBay has done belies an ignorance of even the most basic rules of marketing.  The proof of this is that they've run off not only tons of excellent sellers, but also tons of excellent buyers.  And the result is that the growth of the core marketplace sucks big time.

It's easy for eBay to make a 45 day return policy, because they aren't the seller.  In fact, it's really easy to offer all sorts of advantages and giveaways when it's not your merchandise and it's not your bottom line that's being directly affected.

That's why I've slowly weaned myself off of eBay.  I can tell you that there is a world of difference in doing business elsewhere.  There is none of the nastiness or stress that one experiences on eBay.

I think that there may be some degree of realization at eBay that something is going wrong.  But, they just can't admit that what's wrong is their mindset - it's going to take someone who is thinking outside the bubble that is eBay management before the right moves are taken to fix the site.

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Thu Feb 16 22:56:50 2012

Some petitions that need signing ...

http://www.change.org/petitions/time-to-wake-up-ebay#

http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-the-government-to-investigate-
the-abusive-ebay-and-paypal-monopoly#share


http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-unscrupulous-holding-of-p
aypal-funds-for-ebay-sales#



Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Feb 17 02:32:57 2012

I don't get it.  How can it be legal for Ebay to put advertisements for what potentially could be my competitors on ad space that I've paid for?  

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON THEM ALL! This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Feb 17 06:39:44 2012

RE: Philip:
THANKS FOR THE LINKS.
I'll start posting them in every single online sales blog/site I visit and even post them in my in my own sites! :-)

Get a CLUE people.
eBay WILL  NOT BE MAKING ANY CHANGES THAT WILL BENEFIT YOU RATHER THAN THEM UNLESS HELL FREEZES OVER TONIGHT!!!!

Ebay doesn't give a ratts behind about YOU or anything you think.

If they are doing something like asking for your 'opinions' about ANYTHING you can bet your very last nickel (assuming you even HAVE one left after dealing with them! L.O.L.!) it's with the sole intent of using what you say to make it even WORSE for you.

As in they want to know what 'hurts' you most and they will then take that info and turn up the heat against you on those subjects....

Where have you all been the past 4-5 years??!!

If ebay makes so much as 1 single change to ANYTHING it will be something that benefits EBAY themselves, NOT YOU.... They haven’t done even 1 single solitary thing to help YOU in the past 5 years - ONLY TO HELP THEMSELVES, AND IN THE PROCESS SCREW YOU OUT OF EVERY LAST SINGLE RED CENT THEY CAN.

Just as when they did you the grand 'favor' of "Lowering" your fees last time and everyone's monthly bill went up 30%, anything else they do will have the same EXACT result -

They will kindly remove the knife  they shoved into your BACK so they can stick it in your FRONT instead.

AS I SAID:  GET A CLUE PEOPLE.
Wake up and smell the garbage - ebay will not now or EVER do a freaking solitary thing unless it benefits EBAY - When are you folks still selling there going to realize that in ebays opinion you're nothing but a bunch of brainless cattle being led unwittingly to the slaughter by that criminally mined site and that King of Deception and Theft Donadumbass??

But, as I've said before and will say again - I heartily applaud any "We listened to our Customers and are making GREAT 'Changes' for them!" crap that ebay does…

Every single last thing they do just pi**es off and harms even more people/sellers and leads to further flight from that scumhole of a site of both Sellers AND Buyers so all the better - More people will finally quit dealing with that hellhole and start going to the many FAR SUPERIOR sites out there now days...

WHICH IS WHERE YOU'LL FIND ME - LIFE IS GREAT SELLING ON LINE WHEN EBAFIA & PREPAL AREN'T INVOLVED!  

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

This user has validated their user name. by: TrentDep

Fri Feb 17 14:22:36 2012

Close Eye...  Really?  You need to chill a bit - it's not as if everyone here isn't aware of the issues you continuously rave about - we've all been there, which is why we are even reading most of these threads - dig?...

How about suggesting some other options - a little more specific than "  start going to the many FAR SUPERIOR sites out there now days... "

Do you not get that the bottom line is that we need to be where the customers are?   Indeed - many have fled - myself included, but the places they have fled to, are not easily accessible to the majority of small Ebay sellers.  I would love another option than Ebay - but it has to be a VIABLE option.

And yeah - I've tried most upstarts / ripoffs, Ebay wannabees - fees are great, good looking sites... Except - oh yeah - there just isn't a customer base or even traffic.

We would all love to stand up and shout : ~ LIFE IS GREAT SELLING ON LINE WHEN EBAFIA & PREPAL AREN'T INVOLVED! ~ so please - tell us where that is exactly...  

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON THEM ALL! This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Feb 17 17:34:45 2012

I hear you Trent...
And in NO WAY is ANYTHING I post meant to intended as a slight or insult to the actual people doing business on ebay...

Truth is I started out on ebay back at the VERY beginning, as in the 5th month the hellhole existed - Which means I've seen what the place COULD have been today if they had just stuck to their original principals and not started abandoning the very people who made the place possible at all.

They single handedly almost destroyed my business with all their scheming, thieving 'anti seller' changes starting with Donadumbasses reign of terror...

MY FAULT- I believed in them over the many years, understood EVERY business has to make a profit or cease to exist and so I rolled with the punches and hung in there and put all my faith in 'them' the fact that we were 'business partners' so to speak...

ONLY TO BE STABBED IN THE BACK BY THEM REPEATEDLY until I'd had enough and sucked it up and learned how to do my own sites, marketing, ect...

Even though I avoid them like the plague these days (even won't buy anything there!) it makes my blood boil every time I read the LIES and double speak they spew  to the unknowing and unsuspecting out there...

AGAIN, NO DISRESPECT meant to the people still doing business there...
But the unpleasant fact is that until enough people suck it up and choose to start leaving that criminal site once and for it will continue to be empowered to walk all over 'you' and treat you like dirt at will - Steal from you, lie to you, WHAT EVER IT WANTS.

I'm not naive, I know it can and will be painful to leave in the short term but you CAN get away from them and survive and eventually come out AHEAD for doing it - I'm no genius by any means and I did it - which means ANYONE with half a brain can.

(YES, I had to make many painful decisions to make it happen - lay off almost my entire Staff, stay broke personally for awhile due to putting everything I had into advertising, etc…)

But now these days?

I've ramped my Amazon sales up to far past what I ever did on ebay…
Atomic Mall is great to do biz on
BooCoo is showing great promise
Yahoo sales are decent enough
STAY AWAY from BigCommerce (just another ebay style rip off site)

I know how easy it is to say: “There’s always TOMORROW to work on getting away from ebay”…
I KIDDED MYSELF for a very long time saying that but the truth is the sooner you get started, (on no matter how small a scale) the better off you’ll be for it in the end! J

There are several good sales venues out there - For me personally I've found the 'key' is to advertise -

Every single last ebay item you ship put a small home printed flyer in it directing them to whatever site(s) you choose to list on, offer a discount for going there, DO WHAT EVER YOU HAVE TO to get the people to understand there ARE other sites out there...
USE EBAY just have they have used YOU.

Another biggie of ‘off ebay’ selling:
LEARN HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR ADS FOR GOOGLE SEARCH and other search engines!!! (I can’t say that loud enough!)
AND
Submit your ad to every single shopping comparison site you can find -  IT WORKS and it’s FREE.
THOSE are the two single most important things you can do to make your non ebay sites sell!

IMHO that's 90% of the battle -SO many people don't even KNOW there are other better options…

Adwords, yahoo sales, Craig list for advertising purposes - There are so many free or dirt cheap services out there - Just use Google and start searching and you’ll be overwhelmed in seconds flat with all the different services just sitting there for your f5ree or very cheap use that actually DO work to drive sales…

Heck, THIS site of Ina’s and David’s is probably one of the single MOST VALUABLE resources for on line sales there is out there anywhere!
Tons of information & resource links in the ‘side bar’ links…

(THANKS you 2, your site alone convinced me it COULD BE DONE - I owe you!!)

Well, it’s been a heck of another long day and it’s time to take a few ‘me’ hours…


Good luck - Although many might consider ‘other sellers’ to be the competition and not want to see others succeed I personally learned long ago that the internet is an awesomely huge place and there is room for EVERYONE - I’d like to see us ALL succeeded without being at the mercy of ANY tyrannical overlord/master/psycho power like ebay!!!

Perminate Link for eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way   eBay to Offer Free Image Hosting, Other Changes on the Way

by: EbaySucks_TryBonanza This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Feb 28 16:35:21 2012

ebay has gotten so big and so full of themselves that the site no longer carries ANY moral value. It's all about ebay making money and buyers buying stuff. thats where their money comes from, Final Value fees, not the listing fees. Do yourself a favor before it's too late. Try bonanza.com. FREE LISTING, the final value fees are barely nothing to pay and you can get free daily reward tokens to decrease your already TINY invoice balance just by logging in.
People, please just forget ebay, go to bonanza. use google checkout instead of paypal, Google is just as good without all the drama that takes place within paypal and google isn't owned by ebay so that makes it even better.

BONANZA.com people.........not ebay. yes I'm Protesting online. Ebay gives sellers NO RIGHTS anymore, it's all about letting buyers "USE and ABUSE/RENT" your merchandise and return it, and you pay for them to return it.......Do you REALLY want that? I don't, that's why i left ebay and moved to happier places.
Bonanza.com



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