Big Changes Coming For eBay Sellers

Chris CrumeCommerce & Retail, EnterpriseeCommerce

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eBay just announced its Spring Seller Update, and there are a lot of changes this time. Some of these may not sit well with sellers though the company says the changes will drive conversion across its entire platform.

Some of the changes are specifically in relation to the mobile experience (which has already had a reported shipping display issue).

With the update, eBay will automatically generate shortened descriptions for products for display on mobile.

As Ina Steiner from eCommerceBytes says, "Sellers are already concerned that mobile shoppers are not reading descriptions carefully enough, leading to increased dissatisfaction and returns."

eBay thinks people will like the change, however, claiming it will help users make faster and informed decisions.

In a blog post, the company says, "This simplifies the buying experience and helps to optimize for SEO – which can ultimately improve your conversion rates...with minimal work by you, since the summaries are auto-generated. However, we’re also adding the ability for you to customize exactly what shows in the mobile summary – I expect you’ll like having this level of control to help increase your chances for mobile conversion."

eBay is also making changes to how sellers can use active content (like Javascript or Flash). As Steiner points out, many sellers use these things to personalize their stores and/or cross-merchandise items. The company says it's been resulting in a bad mobile experience, slowing page load times and posing threats. This will go into effect early next year.

Some sellers will also face new or higher fees. Anchor Stores will see a $360 increase per quarter, while Basic Stores will go up $12 per quarter and Premium Stores will go up $30 per quarter. That's on annual plans for Basic and Premium. Both Premium and Basic Stores will also see increases in zero insertion fee listing allotments for fixed-price and auction listings. All new fee information is available here.

eBay is expanding product reviews to make them easier to read, expanding them to more products, and including a cleaner design with "easy-to-identify ratings" and follow-up emails to those requesting reviews. eBay says supplying review info keeps people on site and increases sales by 18% on average. More on new review features here.

Seller Hub was announced in the Fall Seller Update, but now it's coming to all sellers as the default way to manage listings beginning in the summer. According to the company, 25,000 sellers are already using it.

There are new category and item-specific updates coming in May, which you can peruse here.

There's a new user agreement update, which goes into effect immediately for new users and on May 19 for everyone else. One update is the inclusion of indication that sellers who fail to meet minimum performance standards may have their accounts limited, suspended, or downgraded.

Another update states that for new sellers in all listings where returns are accepted, eBay will set a default rule that automates the return process. There are also "minor" changes to the dispute resolution policy. More on user agreement changes here.

If you're a seller, be sure to take a few minutes and examine the full 2016 Spring Seller Update here.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.