eBay issued a strongly worded statement about the problem of duplicate listings on its marketplace, warning that it will begin to take extraordinary measures to punish violators.
Starting in June, listing visibility in Best Match will be reduced for sellers who pollute the eBay marketplace with duplicate listings. If a seller violates the duplicate listings policy, then all the listings from that seller - including those across linked accounts - will have reduced visibility.
Not only will it penalize listings that violate the policy, eBay said it would penalize *all* listings from a seller who has any duplicate listing violations - and it will include the listings from *all* of that seller's accounts.
So if you have 3 selling accounts, and on one account there's an accidental duplicate listing (perhaps even placed there by an eBay glitch), none of your listings will show up as they normally would - eBay will push them all down in search results.
With many sellers complaining of "junk" being posted, particularly from sellers outside North America, you would think many sellers would be rejoicing.
But will eBay enforce the policy consistently?
A troubling aspect of the new policy is that sellers will pay insertion fees for exposure on eBay but not get it - and will not be told they're not getting what they're paying for.
People are used to Google not sharing such information - its search engine uses a complex algorithm. Your website pages that are ranked highly could suddenly one day show up low in search results. But the key difference is that you aren't paying Google for exposure.
On eBay, sellers are paying 30 cents per listing to get exposure for their listings.
If it's going to reduce visibility, eBay needs to reduce sellers' fees as well, and inform sellers of the reduction in visibility.
As with everything eBay does, the policy is well intended, but it is the implementation that can trip it up and leave sellers in the lurch.