Are your listings ready for June 15th?

No primary category set

Back at the end of March, eBay UK made their announcement about what would be changing for eBay sellers this summer. The new rules and features launch on June 15th, so here’s our checklist: make sure your listings are ready!

Urgent changes

  • Mandatory dispatch time: all listings must show a dispatch time.
  • Free postage and packing in some categories: if you list in Video Games, Mobile & Home Phones, Consumer Electronics, Computing, Photography or Clothes, Shoes & Accessories, then check the list to see if your sub-category is affected (not all sub-categories are). If so, you must offer free P&P as one option for your domestic postage, though you may choose to charge for an upgraded service. If you’re a non-UK seller listing on eBay UK, this includes you.
  • Category changes, which will mostly affect sellers in Clothing, Home & Garden and the Motors’ categories (not an exhaustive list, so check your own cat.s aren’t listed).

    Some sub-categories are being done away with and all listings will be moved into the parent category: live listings should move automatically, but make sure you update your listing templates or new listings in vanished categories could (in my experience) end up invisible to buyers. And check your Item Specifics too: previous category changes have seen them wiped out.

New features

It’s not going to be possible to plan for these in advance, because they don’t go live til the 15th/16th, but at least be ready for the cool new stuff when it happens.

  • Multi-variation listings: time for a little stock-take, maybe, so you can get all those colour/size variants listed as soon as possible.
  • Free pictures in Clothing Shoes and Accessories & Home and Garden. Most business sellers will be using their own hosting, but the advantage with eBay’s is that you get the slideshow at the top. Worth considering.
  • Custom item specifics
  • Easy returns
  • Smart FAQs: have a run through your ASQs – do the same questions come up again and again? If so, that information should probably be on your listings… but Smart FAQs may also be useful to you.

eBay have put out a timetable of when the various changes are supposed to go live on the site: we share their optimism that everything launches smoothly 😉

43 Responses

  1. if a listing does not have a dispatch/handling time, f. e. forgotten to be updated, will you get a strike like a policy break? Or will it be finished by ebay?

  2. Non-UK seller shipping to UK is being considered as “domestic shipping” thus free shipping is required – how absurd.

    For the good side, looking forward to the Multi-variation listings – will undoubtedly improve listing efficiency when it comes to multiple colors, sizes, etc.

  3. #2 Part of the reasoning behind free shipping is purposefully to kill overseas sellers with low (like 1p) products with extortionate shipping. Sellers scamming like that would also insist on buyers paying return shipping and would only refund the artificially low cost price not the actual cost plus shipping originally paid.

    I say bravo, the few getting all overseas sellers a bad name have had the scam pulled from under their feet and now have to list as free shipping and that ain’t a bad thing 🙂

    Lets see how many 1p products from overseas sellers remain on eBay in free shipping categories – or even sub £1 or £2. Not many I suspect, they’ll all be back to realistic prices.

  4. Following on from the first comment, if by the 15th I have missed changing some of my listings to free P&P or if they don’t have a despatch time, will eBay just cancel it when it comes to be renewed (all my items are on GTC) or would I get some policy breaking issues? Thanks

  5. “I **believe** that if listings don’t specify a dispatch time, they will be defaulted to two days”

    Thats an improvement on -1

  6. Would be better if dispatch time said “within 2 business days” etc and not just “2 business days”.

    I may dispatch 99% of my stuff within 1 business days but by having “2 business days” buyers may think that I wait 2 days before posting anything.

    If I put 1 business day as the dispatch time, then the buyers expectation will be that I have a royal mail van waiting on my doorstep to collect their item as soon as they have paid.

  7. I’ve just had a look at the Category Changes and it looks to me as if eBay is reinstating a lot of the sub-categories that they got rid off before in the name of Item Specifics. Who asked before if eBay had corporate ADHD?

  8. Evens :- The changes are a week late.

    2/1 :- At least 1 of the changes does not work

    1/10 :- The changes break some other function of the site.

    1/1000 :- The boards are full of folk bitching about “how it was soooo much better before ebay messed with it!!”

  9. How many eBayers does it take to change a light bulb?

    Someone from eBay actually to change the bulb and lots and lots of eBayers to complain about how good the old one was until eBay changed it.

  10. Over 50% of my listings are affected by the free postage change, i spent the weekend changing all my GTC to free postage.
    Result i have sold jack **** not impressed so far, but i will keep an open mind until this becomes law and everyone has to change.
    How will this work for sellers who don,t change their listings by mid-June will the listings become free postage or is it another they have to be reported for them to be brought into line? I have never reported another seller and never will just wondering how it will work?

  11. Hi Sue thanks for that, i,ll be interested to see how it goes.I have a bad feeling for us on this.I am all for choice and competion all i ask is a level playing field.

  12. Result i have sold jack **** not impressed so far

    #13 Why would changing your listings to include a free postage option result in lost sales?

    DO you mean because of the lost Kudos in best match?

  13. Hi Pete i don,t generally worry about best match etc.Most of the items i sell are low cost quality items and i like think i provided a decent service.
    I very much have a market sellers mentality small profits on each item adds up and pay the bills.I,m not about to give everyone free postage with out putting the postage costs on the the price of the goods i sell.This is very much a trial and error period for me and i am more than aware it may need some tinkering to get the sales back.

  14. #16 It’s because if you list something for £9.99 free post and your competitor lists the same item for £4.99 with £5.00 postage the charged post gets a better placement in Best Match 👿

    Quite frankly those who switched their postage costs well in advance have been well and truly shafted leaving their competitors to mop up even more recent sales thus exacerbating the situation.

    Can you tell how thrilled I am? The only consolation is at least I know what’s going on which gives me a slight edge to play in the long game.

  15. Chris as it happens i am winding down ready to go on holiday shortly, so this seemed like a good idea to test the water with free postage for a few weeks.I am lucky we have had a good year so far and i,m not in a rush to clear any stock.I,m in it for the long haul and at least i will be organised after my break.

  16. #18 I understand that but I thought that eBay making everyone have the first domestic postage option free puts everyone in the same boat.

    Those sellers that changed early simply made the wrong decision and in business as we know, no second chances.

    #John, Don’t under estimate how many buyers will choose the paid postage option, so long as the benefit is clear. For example free option is 2nd class, next option 1st class.

    In our experience (Platinum PS) most buyers want their order as fast as possible, regardless of what it is.

    And as always, being the cheapest is not always the best way to increase sales. Having the stock when others have run out is a sure fire way to get the sales at the price YOU want.

  17. #20 Hey Pete, It’s a bit early to tell if I made the right or wrong decision yet. I’ve gone through the pain and starting to claw back market share. Am now sitting waiting for my competitors to either give genuine “free” post and start losing money or alternatively to hike their prices to give inclusive postage.

    Time will tell, but roll on the 15th cos I’m sitting pretty and am ready with nothing to do to comply with the changes.

  18. These changes just show how much eBay is struggling. We know that this compulsory free P&P has nothing to do with “improving the buyer experience” and all to do with eBay making more money. As they only get FVF on the item price and not on the postage, eBay is making more money, simple as that. We have decreased our eBay presence over time and are looking at a complete exit strategy from the website. We have paid eBay more than 25k per year in fees and if we are being treated like idiots by them, this is clearly 25k too much. Whenever we phone them, we are being patronized, led astray and treated like potential criminals. Not long now and eBay will be gone.

  19. Will see these changes through and re-evaluate. Previously effective strategy now totally u/s.

    Free p/p is not in my cats and all listings comply with the other new requirements (I think!).

    Exposure is now severely compromised by ‘private sellers’. My broad category has around 17500 auction listings ending today. 6000 of these are from just 1 ‘private seller’ with 1 day revolving listings (an average of over 4 per minute 24/7). So he is always swamping both time ending soonest and newly listed searches. Buyers will be well fed up with seeing same stuff every day. His sell through rate seems to be around 1.3% but as the listings are ‘free’ its a no brainer.

    Well done eBay.

  20. #23 Surely at that rate though the seller in question will soon reach the levels where he is required to justify his sales or register as a business seller, this type of seller should soon be a thing of the past on eBay.

  21. The item specifics have recently chand in DVDs and we cant amend live listngs with sales on. Our account manager said that if you end and relist that best match should not be affected. In the past I have heard that and found it not to be the case. Anyone any experience of whether it is now the case?

    Having said that I ave never been really able to judge how imprtant item specifics really are..


  22. #26 In theory that’s the case. In reality it may or may not be 😯

    Imagine you have a 30 day listing end with 100 recent sales which you then relist as another 30 day listing. You now have 100 recent sales. You then realise the item specifics have changed and end and relist. You now have ZERO recent sales as they only carry over from a parent listing to a child, not to a grandchild listing.

    Possibly if it was 15 days or so after listing you’d have more recent sales on the new listing and so ending and relisting again wouldn’t be so catastrophic.

    Remember recent sales only carry over to the first relisting (and so are lost on the 2nd relisting). More recent recent sales carry more weight, but recent sales up to 60 days old do count.

  23. Thanks Chris

    Well we use Blackthorne so is easy to identify items that are ‘first run’ and items that are ‘relisted’ so will just go fo the ‘first run’ ones so as to keep our recent sales. We have several items with large recent sales so certainly wouldnt want to lose those

    Cheers Bryn

  24. Some of out items (500) are stuck with markdown manager showing a 5% discount with sale ending within the hour. They have been stuck like this for nearly a week (sale ended 8th June).

    eBay has said that the only way to “fix” this is for me to end all the listings and relist! WTF

    Anyone else had this?

  25. #30 I was thinking that…maybe it will. Just the lack of control I don’t like and eBays attitude towards the error with their system.

  26. Well a quick search of a popular keyword brings a total of 1017 live listings. Only 277 are FREE p&p and 57 of those are mine.
    So to answer your question Chris, I am ready, but it looks like no-one else is …………. 😆

  27. # 32 same here looks like no-one else has bothered with the changes.There are not many competitors offering free P&P.

  28. Easy Returns… To Opt In or Out? The majority on the PS Forum seem to be opting out due to the simplistic nature, 35 days that the return link appears and general lack of info from eBay… Any takers?

  29. I opted out (after I found out I had been opted in *tut*) because I had no idea what I had been opted in to….from the small snippets of info I could find it basically said eBay would be in charge of my return proccess…..

    o great, that will help me sleep easier at night 😆 No. thanks.

  30. just opted out, same as Whirly…not enough info as to how it works. Some screen shots would be good.

  31. #37 Go to Site Preferences>return preferences you can see you have been opted in, just opt out.

  32. There are both sides to the arguement…

    No one has asked the question, what are eBay going to do with this huge increase in revenue? Our FVF are increasing by up to 20-30% on some items as they are weighed more than 10kg and had £9.95 shipping.

    Are eBay going to re-invest and run discounts on FVF, we don’t think so… and a weak gesture of 20% of FVF till July is quite a joke.

    eBay are using the line of, “Free P&P is increasingly standard on online shopping sites, and offering the same on eBay contributes to a higher rate of successful sales”. It would be interesting to see how much research they have done into this.

    This is going to make high end items even more expensive compared to sites using Google. Perhaps eBay should now look at their FVF and look to make eBay more competitive against websites with no FVF.

    With the increase in revenue perhaps eBay should use this more on Google Adwords to drive traffic to the market place. At the moment for many categories they are 4-10 on a particular Google page.

    Finally eBay in the EU should be monitored and enforced by an independent watchdog / body to look out for the interests of businesses using this sales channel.

  33. I lost my first sale today as a result of free shipping. The customer wanted a postage discount for buying 2 items. I said I could not offer a discount as it was already free so she only bought one item.

    On the other hand I am amazed as how many people comment on the free post in my feedback so it seems customers do like it. Since I added my postage and packing onto my cost I actually charge 1p more….

  34. What am i missing here just search for socks no-one is offering free postage??????????????????????



Repeat Buyers flagged in eBay orders


eBay Seller Update: Item specifics and category changes


Graham Forsdyke – The man who changed British retail forever


New soon-to-be-required eBay item specifics


eBay Seller Update Autumn 2021 Item Specifics

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars