|Tue July 24 2012 03:48:58|
eBay to Announce Fall Seller Update, TRS Sellers Impacted
By: Ina Steiner
eBay is set to announce the 2012 Fall Updates on Tuesday (July 24, 2012), and it is taking another step to try and force sellers to offer more generous return policies and quick handling times. Those who meet the top-rated seller requirements but don't offer minimum 14-day returns with money-back option and 1-day handling will be penalized by having the Top Rated Seller badge removed from their eBay pages and from search results. The only designation that they are a top rated seller will appear in text on their feedback profile pages.
There are many sellers who are bound to be devastated upon hearing the news, especially those who have changed their policies and edited listings as eBay raised the bar to become TRS sellers. Many have already lost the Top Rated Seller discounts because they couldn't meet such stricter requirements, but were able to display the TRS badge. Those include sellers of personalized items who need more than 1 day to turnaround the goods, and some sellers in categories such as Clothing Shoes & Accessories who feel many buyers abuse return policies, treating eBay like a "rental" shop.
eBay is not taking away the designation of Top Rated Seller from those sellers. This is likely so they can boost numbers when speaking to Wall Street.
During a recent conference call with analysts, eBay CEO John Donahoe said, "Top-rated sellers generated more than half of U.S. GMV and their same-store sales grew 18% in the quarter."
The policy means sellers who are top rated but can't meet the new stricter requirements will not have their TRS status promoted in search results pages.
eBay will also begin charging sellers what is in effect a final value fee, or commission, for ending auctions early for those auction listings that have received a bid.* One reason eBay has to crack down is thanks to the trend of multi-channel selling, even by small online-auction sellers. Some sellers list the same unique item on multiple venues. When it sells on one channel, they must remove the listings from the other channels.
The Fall Seller Update has some good news for sellers around seller protections -buyers will be required to contact sellers before opening a case, and opened cases will no longer count against the seller performance standards.
Check the EcommerceBytes Newsflash newsletter for more information about eBay's Seller Release 2 - Fall Update.
*Updated for clarity.