eBay’s 2013 Fall Seller Update

570x300_EWcom_eBayFallSellerUpdateEvery spring and fall, eBay announces updates that impact sellers’ practices. With the Fall Seller Release imminent, here’s a glance at what you can expect to change.

Expanded Feedback Removal

eBay’s Feedback Removal Policy will be adjusted worldwide for feedback left on or after July 31. As a seller on eBay, you will now have more options to request removal of negative or neutral feedback.

So, how does this work? eBay suggests that you first try to communicate and work with your buyer to have him or her remove the negative or neutral feedback. In cases where that approach does not work, you may reach out to eBay’s Customer Support to explain your side of the dispute. The parameters under which you can request feedback to be removed are:

  • When the buyer leaves you feedback that contains inappropriate content; obscenity or any comments that are unrelated to the transaction.
  • When the feedback left is inconsistent with the information provided in the listing fields; for instance if you listed an item as “used” and the buyer leaves you negative feedback because the item was used.
  • When the buyer makes an error, such as entering incorrect shipping information or leaves you feedback intended for another seller.
  • When you do not come to a shipping agreement with your buyer or if a package is deemed undeliverable.
  • When PayPal places a hold on the buyer’s payment and advises you not to ship, resulting in negative or neutral feedback. 

Top Rated Seller Grace Period

As an eBay Top Rated Seller (TRS), starting August 20th, 2013, you’ll have a grace period of two months to keep your TRS benefits in the event your sales dip lower than the required numbers or tracking. Already in effect in the U.K, in short, this policy amendment gives you a chance to improve your stats without immediately losing your status. To qualify, you must have been classified as a Top Rated Seller for at least three months prior to the evaluation and consistently meet Above Standard selling requirements, plus maintain PowerSeller status.

Replacements Added to Managed Returns

Offer buyers the chance to receive an exact product replacement vs. a refund with eBay’s expanded Managed Returns program, which currently limits sellers to refunds only. Keep in mind that Managed Refunds still will not offer exchanges of different items than the original purchase, and it’s completely optional for you to offer replacements to your buyers.

Expanding eBay Best Offer Changes

In May 2013, the Spring Seller Release outlined a change for sellers in the Computers & Tablets, Jewelry & Watches, and Art categories, in which a transaction is only deemed complete when the buyer pays or commits. Beginning in late September, eBay will roll this change out to all categories and you’ll have the opportunity to increase your sales by accepting multiple offers for your merchandise, regardless of the category it falls in.

Replacing the Coin Catalog and Other Category Changes

The U.S. Coins catalog will be replaced with the Professional Coins Grading Service. In addition, watch for updates such as categories being added, merged, renamed, moved etc. to ensure your listings are in line with these new changes. For instance, these updates include changes to the type and brand item specifics in the kitchen flatware category, and under the Motors category, new item specifics being added to electric vehicle parts.

New National Vehicle Subscriptions

To help list more inventory and keep up with the pace of the automotive industry, starting August 19th, eBay will be introducing new monthly subscription packages for eBay Motor vehicle dealers. As a volume seller, the new National Vehicle Subscriptions will save you money and make it easy to list inventory. These heavily discounted packages of 3, 5, and 7-day national auction-style or fixed price vehicle listings, allow for savings of up to 25% on listing insertion and successful transaction fees, depending on the plan you choose. You’ll have the opportunity to choose from a 3-month or 12-month plan that are both available in four different subscription levels (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) and sellers also receive a free Basic Store subscription when signing-up.

What Do These Updates Mean for You?

eBay’s updates require sellers to adjust their operations and expectations, but ultimately they’re designed to make selling process more streamlined, easy to track and clearer for both seller and buyer. Take a few minutes to make sure you understand these changes to keep your e-commerce site running smoothly through the transition and to the overall benefit of your e-commerce business!