eBay Unleashes Changes Galore for Sellers

    May 10, 2009
    Chris Crum

Earlier in the year, eBay announced that it would be making two big announcements per year regarding the eBay Marketplace. Each announcement would be made 60 days in advance of when the changes were scheduled.

eBay has now made the first announcement of the year, and it includes three groups of changes (comment on them here.), each with components of their own. As highlighted by eBay the new changes are as follows:

1. Easier, more visual shopping-plus buyer incentives to drive more sales

For one, there is a new item page, that eBay says can impact how your listings are displayed.

New Item Page

There are new product pages. "When buyers search for popular items in some categories like Music or Electronics, they will be presented with a page that displays the products associated with their search terms," eBay explains. "eBay identifies listings for these product searches by looking at ‘product details’ in a listing (formerly called ‘pre-filled item information’) to see if there’s a match to details stored in our master database (catalog) of products."

eBay tells sellers to make sure product details are listed whenever available to ensure inclusion on product pages.

New Product Page

There is also a new way to list items with multiple variations such as size and color for fixed price listings.

Multi Variations

Last on the list for number one, is eBay’s "big investments" in buyer incentives and loyalty. They’re aggressively trying to drive more traffic to eBay through incentives and rewards for buyers.

2. Key information to set buyer expectations and help reduce your costs

eBay has developed a "Smart FAQ" section that draws "live" information from listings to answer the top 20 buyer questions before buyers reach sellers through "ask a question." You can review and customize questions, or you can simply have buyers go straight to you with their questions.

They have also introduced package tracking in My eBay. "Sellers are responsible for their items until they arrive safely in the buyer’s hands. ‘Where’s my stuff?’ is one of the most common buyer questions," says eBay. "When buyers can easily find out for themselves, they’re more satisfied with transactions and leave sellers higher shipping DSRs."

Multi Variations

Other items that fall into number 2 include:

– Return policy and handling time-deadline extended

– Customized Item Specifics

– Category and item specific changes

3.  More updates to make selling on eBay "more efficient"

eBay Resolutions are a subject that should be of great interest to sellers. eBay says:

We are introducing a new, more efficient dispute resolution process for when buyers claim an item was not received or the item they received was different than described in the listing. The goals of the new process are to keep buyers on eBay by giving them a more familiar eCommerce resolution experience, and to reduce the time buyers and sellers spend resolving issues.

Direct communication between buyers and sellers will continue to be strongly encouraged. With the new process, buyers and sellers will also have an option to call eBay. We’ll be taking a more active role, and in certain cases when we determine the seller was not at fault we may refund the buyer at our own expense.

eBay will also start directing buyers to resolve disputes on eBay instead of PayPal. This process will be "gradually transitioned," according to the company.

Other updates that fall into this last category include:

– Free Selling Manager with new applications

– Pay shipping, print labels right on eBay

– Tools to bulk edit your listings

There are many more details on every new feature mentioned here at eBay’s site. The changes are expected to go into effect on June 15th (though possibly later in some places).

I’m getting the impression that sellers aren’t impressed with the new changes. What are your thoughts? Share.