eBay’s 2015 Fall Seller Update

241565_EcommerceWeekly-eBay-2015-Spring-Seller-UpdateIf you sell on eBay, you need to be aware of certain changes taking effect this fall in the areas of Returns, the new Seller Hub and Standards. Here’s a look at what to expect.

eBay Sellers will continue to have the choice of handling returns on their own or via eBay’s automated returns program. To that end, the marketplace has announced six major changes designed to improve returns:

  • A restocking fee of up to 20% may be added within the existing returns format
  • 11 new reason codes for returns have been added and may be inputted in whatever order the seller desires
  • Return preferences may be set in your Automation Rules
  • An RA number can be added to returned shipments
  • Sellers may provide buyers with their own return label
  • If you have a problem with a buyer’s return, you have the opportunity to privately report the problem to eBay

Seller Hub
The new Seller Hub aims to simplify the selling process with easy access to all information, plus supply data that sellers can use to analyze and improve sales and profits. Pros for this change include that it’s easy to navigate, and makes tasks such as promotions and tracking results simpler. On the other hand, new sellers may find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of data, while veteran sellers run the risk of delving so deeply into the data that they neglect their listings.

Here’s a brief look at the new Seller Hub’s six tabs:

  • Overview, a quick look at performance and action items
  • Orders, where sellers can look up orders, cancellations and returns
  • Listings, for competitive insights
  • Marketing, for store subscribers for use with marketing and promotions
  • Performance, where sellers can review data such as selling fees and page views
  • Growth, a spot for adding product identifiers and item-specific recommendations in order to improve listings

eBay has been listening to sellers’ complaints about certain standards, especially regarding returns and item description disputes. Effective February 20, 2016, eBay will removed defect rate impact from the following standards (with one exception; see fourth bullet below):

  • Buyer feedback
  • Some Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs)
  • Successfully resolved return requests
  • Successfully resolved “items not received” requests (note that these will still count toward a defect)
  • Out-of-stock situations in which the seller cancelled the transaction, not the buyer
  • The DSR for shipping time (now known as the On Time Shipping Metric); defects will not apply in the case of a package scanned during your handling time, and if an item is shown as having on-time delivery by eBay
  • eBay’s involvement in helping to resolve a case

In other Standards news, new standards for Top Rated Sellers (TRS) will also be introduced on February 20, 2016. The thought behind these changes is for sellers to feel better about handling returns promptly, knowing that a defect won’t be a consequence. A possible con for sellers is that exactly when carriers scan packages is out of their control, but as long as the package reaches its destination by the seller-stated handling time, defects will not apply. Finally, some sellers may not like the longer 30-day return requirement for TRS Plus status, though it’s important to note that PayPal’s liberal dispute transaction policy extends return times anyway. These updated standards are as follows:

eBay Fall Seller Update

The Bottom Line
Clearly, eBay has been paying attention to what sellers have been asking for and instituted changes designed to mutually benefit both you and the marketplace. For more detailed information about these updates, visit ebay.com/fall2015.