|Wed Sept 11 2013 23:16:08|
eBay Drops Bombshells in New User Agreement
By: Ina Steiner
eBay updated its User Agreement with a number of changes that are proving worrisome to sellers. The one most sellers are keying in on is eBay's provision that allows it to hide listings in search results for any reason.
"To further create a marketplace where buyers find what they want and drive positive user experience, we updated the provision regarding listing conditions to recognize that the appearance and placement of listings in search and browse results will depend on a variety of factors. So, in some situations a listing may not appear in some search and browse results regardless of sort order."
Sellers pay eBay fees to have their listings appear on the site, so were not happy at the prospect of potentially paying fees for zero exposure. eBay has muddied the water by granting sellers a certain number of free listings each month in addition to running certain free-listing promotions, many of which apply only to one subset of sellers at a time.
eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore said eBay would not be refunding any listing fees for sellers impacted as a result of the policy.
Some sellers are cynical about whether eBay had already been hiding some listings in search results. Others blame eBay's new Cassini search engine for the company having to create the new policy.
One can only wonder if eBay is poised to push a button and change its search algorithms once the agreement takes effect for all users in October - as the all important holiday shopping season is underway.
eBay also made changes in its User Agreement that some sellers fear will mean its Managed Returns program will soon be mandatory.
And eBay changed its Buyer Protection policy: "if as a seller you choose not to engage with the eBay Buyer Protection process on an item not as described case, we may seek to carry out a reimbursement from you without asking the buyer to return the item to you."
Read the eBay announcement board post and look for Thursday's Newsflash news article for more details, and let us know what you think.