Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Apr 5 2016 08:19:31

eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay announced a host of changes today as part of its biannual Seller Update. One change that may be of great concern to sellers is a decision to automatically generate a shortened description of a product that would be shown to mobile users. Sellers are already concerned that mobile shoppers are not reading descriptions carefully enough, leading to increased dissatisfaction and returns.

eBay will change the fees for eBay Stores and will increase fees for some optional features beginning in May, but only for items with a list price greater than $150. 

- Anchor Stores will cost an additional $360 per quarter, and but will receive dedicated customer service.

- Basic Stores will cost an additional $12 per quarter (on an annual plan) 

- Premium Stores will cost an additional $30 per quarter (on an annual plan)

- Premium and Basic Stores will receive an increase in the zero insertion fee listing allotment for both fixed-price and auction formats.


eBay will also remove active content including JavaScript, Flash, plug-ins and form actions, explaining it "inhibits purchases on mobile devices and can lead to abuse in the marketplace." Sellers use active content to cross-merchandise items, personalize and brand eBay stores, incorporate videos into listings, and provide links to eBay stores, eBay has said, but the BBC has pounded eBay for security issues involving cross-site scripting that exploit active content.

eBay said over 25,000 sellers are now using the new Seller Hub to manage their eBay business, and eBay will make it the default tool for managing listings for all sellers this summer.

eBay is making changes that will impact jewelry sellers, who will be required to use new Item Specifics when listing, and items that don't have any Fine components must be listed in the Fashion categories and not in the Fine categories.

As is usual with Seller Updates, eBay is making new category changes and item specific updates.

You can find the eBay announcement here

And see changes to the eBay User Agreement on this page.

Here's a link to the Newsflash article about the Spring Seller Update.




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Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: yesmikan This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 09:06:34 2016

I'm curious to see how these ''eBay branded shipping materials'' are priced. Namely, whether they're below the cost of somebody like Value Mailers aka threerb, who I've noticed has been getting some promotion on the Daily Deals page lately.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Apr 5 09:49:24 2016

Store fees:   Now we know why eBay was cold calling sellers to bump up their store subscription levels. Enticing sellers to upgrade their store was obviously designed to set the stage for the store subscription increase and generate more revenue for eBay.

Additional listing allotments are basically worthless since eBay gives away thousands of free listings in monthly promotions. Perhaps, eBay will be scaling back listing promotions to store subscribers in light of the new fees and allotment increases.

As to eBay branded shipping supplies... eBay management apparently is willing to throw sellers of shipping supplies under the bus in order to generate more revenue for the company.  Will eBay branded shipping products undercut the prices from existing sellers, and will the resulting price war drive sellers out of the marketplace?  

The question becomes why would sellers want to purchase eBay branded boxes, envelopes and tape since this will only serve to help porch shoppers spot eBay packages.

I would not use eBay branded shipping products even if they were offered for free.

Mobile descriptions... Obviously eBay will be using an algorithm to determine what portion of a sellers description will be displayed to mobile shoppers. This will likely be based on an algorithm, and given eBay's inability to surface relevant search results due to their poor search algorithms, the mobile listing description initiative will likely create more confusion and problems for sellers. eBay should simply offer a two page listing view to mobile buyers, and to insure buyers read the description, move the buy/bid area down below the listing description in order to encourage buyers to review the description.

Product reviews: This is simply more listing page clutter.  This move has more to do with bamboozling Wall Street into thinking eBay is doing something that will increase conversion rates than it does to provide buyers with better information. In the rare instances where I read product reviews, I find zero relevant information. I have never been influenced to make or not make a purchase based upon a product review.

Seller Hub: eBay claims they have improved the seller hub based on a sampling of users experiences using it.  Everything I have read from sellers points to the usual eBay roll out dysfunction, system failures, and useless features. As sensual, eBay will force this system on all sellers rather than allow sellers the ability to opt out of the feature and continue to use the processes they have become comfortable and familiar with.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 09:59:11 2016

I cannot believe eBay is going to raise fees when there's been no visibility. They have already been ripping us off for a long time, now an increase! I personally think it takes a lot of nerve for them to ask for more when they not only have not earned it, but do not provide the service or the visibility, or the many things we pay for; including any type of good customer service. This seems to be the final kicker to whether I keep selling there. I think I will downgrade to not being a seller at all. I would lose my top rated status etc but who cares at this point. eBay is a money sucking leech that doesn't provide anything for it's sellers but a lot of unnecessary work and suffering, especially the most important thing; visibility so a person can sell. As far as I am concerned eBay is a joke.

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by: Leesantiques This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 10:07:45 2016

What are the shipping supplies?  How much are they?  Can they be shipped to a PO Box (where I receive all packages)?  

Modify my descriptions based on some algorithm?  Huh?  This can't end well, and can only serve to antagonize both buyers and sellers.

Lee

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 10:12:08 2016

"It’s hard to believe it has been nine months since we announced our plans to make your seller experience more consistent, predictable and fair – and to drive the growth of your eBay business in a more meaningful way", and yet that HASN'T happened .. at all.

As a seller you will LOVE todays announcement(s), since once again we ask you to pay more, for LESS services.

To be honest, we need the money. Besides preparing for the next Golden Parachute for another eBay employee, we need it to fix our ailing and crumbling infrastructor. We have had more incidents and outages so far then at any other time, and so the money is needed for more Chinese super computers.

We rolled out new marketing and account management tools for you last year, but they were panned widely, and only a small fraction of our sellers use them (still the programmers MUST get paid).

"We asked for your help in building a more complete, retail-standard product catalog", since we with our 32,000+ employees were too cheap and lazy to do it on our own. It was MUCH EASIER for us to force you into doing it - and threaten you if you didnt, then pay to get it done.

"We did though provide you with the DRAMA OF THE CENTURY", by asking Griff to BEG people to please do it "or it will be the END OF EBAY". GRIFF smile emoticon A+ acting - oscar worthy performance!

"We’re already seeing the results of your efforts in an improved browsing experience and better search result visibility on our site", but as you know, that statement is ONLY true if you are an "eBay beloved" or a Chinese seller. If you are a small to midsized seller, one who cares deeply about their customers and brand loyalty to eBay ..... nothing has changed for you, in fact - traffic is down as are most eBay businesses - by %35.

With new and ever exciting ways to punnish you and decrease the ever dimming visibility on eBay, we thought that being its the usual EMPTY OF POSITIVE CHANGES "spring update" (and our stock under the new CEO STILL hasnt yet passed $30 a share!) that we needed to charge you higher prices on options for selling your items.

If you dont let us force you to take back returns the way WE want - we will decrease your visibility, dont have the handling time, the shipping time, the right size pictures, or what ever idea our MBA's decide on - we WILL decrease your visibility, please dont be fooled (we arent btw Mr Lawton!).

"For years, we’ve been hearing from our larger sellers that they want to receive more value in exchange for their store subscriptions", NEWSFLASH - smaller sellers want more for their money too - they just get ignored. You would think with 32,000 employees that it wouldnt be a hard thing to do, yet somehow it is.

"For our Basic and Premium stores, the new features include an increase in free listings and a coupon for eBay-branded shipping supplies". Touching, in fact Im all weepy - I know the rest of the sellers are too! So that I understand this correctly, eBay will now charge selelrs an extra $48 dollars a year so you can overpay for eBay branded boxes and tape (LOL ULINE better close up shop now with all that HEAVY competition!) and more free listings! EXTRA EXRA READ ALL ABOUT IT! 1BILLION FREE LISTINGS ON EBAY .... (god in his heaven - its like the 2nd comming of the messiah!) (shhh the free listings are REALLY to counteract the quai illegal verbage in our TOS that says we can charge you for listings, but then not show them (which is illegal aka its fraud)) (but PLEASE dont tell anyone!).

"To support these changes, we’re making price adjustments and as a small business we know every dollar counts so we don’t take these changes lightly. Thats why we gave our LAST CEO - you know - the one that virtually RUINED eBay, a $23 million gold parachute when he left. We KNOW you loved his bad decisions, we know how you cried when his polcies stole money from you - so we thought we would reward you INSOLENCE by charging you abit more going forward!"

"With today’s release, we’re also announcing that our next tranche of required identifiers will be announced in July", aka "our forcing you worked so well LAST TIME, we decided to threaten you AGAIN, arent we just the BEST ecommerce company ever?"

"We’re going to have another eBay gathering. This year, we will host our celebration in Las Vegas from July 26th – 29th". If eBay was a fair and HONEST comapny - it would be FREE (since we steal your money anyway, we might as well refund you some this way) but we wont. As usual, it will be as exciting as watching paint dry, since we will march up on stage all the high level eBay employees who were hired DESPITE their lack of experience in ecommerce, big box stores, etail, mail order etc" YAWN, no thanks - I dont pay to be tortured.

"We are on a journey" and since no one in management has ANY real world experience (beyond copying Amazon) the "journey" will be a LONG one - as well as painful and arduous.

Good Selling on eBay!

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 10:27:01 2016

Mama told me if I don't have anything good to say.....



That about covers it.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 10:31:04 2016

Well, at least this announcement makes my decision to close my eBay store that much easier!  

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: drew This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 10:42:34 2016

Barclays downgraded eBay's stock recently, Looks like eBay needs to show revenue growth (thus the rate hike).  Their data does not look good...http://www.thestreet.com/story/13510144/1/ebay-ebay-stock-retre
ats-on-barclays-rating-downgrade.html
 

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 10:52:26 2016

I finally downgraded to a basic store last month. I may be ready to do away with even that store this summer.

So far in 2016 my Y-t-Y sales during the first three months were 58% what they were last year on eBay, and last year was down a similar figure from 2014. I've gotten past the point of being upset. Now I am just resigned to the situation and moving on to better ways to earn money.

I used to spend $500-600 a month on eBay. This year it has been $280 total.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: Quality First This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 10:58:07 2016

Remember this-

The 20th anniversary eBay event wouldn't take PayPal for registration fees.

What?  

Concerned about claims for SNAD?

But, isn't that just part of ''doing business''?

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: queenfloraday This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 11:02:27 2016

Less than 24 hours to decide if I want to keep my store before they change rates? I have only heard of this Spring Update here. No notice from eBay in my email. Sorry just saw it posted under announcements on eBay site posted at 5:03 am today. eBay IS really trying to tick sellers off. Nothing even remotely subtle about this move on their part.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: Garcia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 11:22:27 2016

I don't have a store.  I just sell through Ebay auctions without any intention of setting up a store.  Now that idea is not even a slight consideration.  Who would want to be penalized for owning a store?  Not me.  I will continue to use Ebay here and there and keep my Etsy shop as my store.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 5 11:24:05 2016

Once again the weak sellers will leave eBay leaving more buyers for those of us who are willing to stay.

$4 a month more for an additional 50 free listings.

I can live with it, but I see as of May 1st I need to offer a 30 day return :-(

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 11:27:09 2016

After 19 years, I am not sure what I am going to do with this increase.
Amazon has been 8 to 1 for sales over Ebay (over the last 12 months). Amazon has improved my sales over the last year while Ebay has been stagnant... Lots to think about.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

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

Tue Apr 5 11:44:27 2016

Ric says "I would not use eBay branded shipping products even if they were offered for free."
I think he mis-spoke.  It should be even if they were free AND they paid me to take them,

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by: toyspast This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 11:59:04 2016

I have an anchor store and the rate hike is just ridiculous. I pay $179.99 a month and it will be raised to $300 a month!! $120 - that's nearly DOUBLE!!! Oh, but goody goody, I get an extra 7000 or so listings for free. Now if I hired five people to be able to put that much on, I'd be doing really well. Stupid!

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 11:59:09 2016

With an anchor store you will get dedicated customer service.

My question is are these the same morons we have been getting before. The ones who change the rules at their whim. Sounds to good to be true so it probably is the same unless customer service people.

@ Ric I agree with you. Why would I want EBAY LOGO plastered all over my envelopes. That is just an open invitation for someone to steal the item.

I have no problem with the fee increases as we have 5 anchor stores that are doing well. Bet ebay stops all the free listings because of the fee increase. Maybe they are just smart enough to realize the free listings are just plugging up the system with unwanted junk.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 12:03:50 2016

What pace306 said.... right on the money.

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: DVDsandMore This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 12:26:10 2016

Listings beyond the "free" allotment used to have a discounted price.  There's no mention of that continuing.  Will sellers with more than 10,000 listings start to pay 30 cents per listing over 10,000 now instead of a nickel?  

Perminate Link for eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016   eBay Announces Major Changes in Spring Seller Update 2016

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 5 12:34:56 2016

The five buck increase in basic store fees is a pain but not a killer.  Maybe 5% of my listings are over $150.  We will see how fee increases impact those.

What remains constant, is the never ending threat to my eBay business that was nearly destroyed once by eBay's incompetent management and that could happen at anytime once again.

Sales are down this year by 25% but profits are down less than 10% (knock-on-wood).  I suspect the buying public is either fascinated by ''The Donald'' or hiding under their beds hoping he will go away. Either way, sales will be off until after election day in November.

If nothing else, the ''Spring Update'' reminds us that 1.) eBay is NOT a long term business plan nor partner for small sellers, and 2.) I need to continue to diversify, diversify, and diversify.

How the heck does one sell on Pinterest?

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