eBay.com 2012 Spring Seller Release

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eBay.com have just announced their first seller update of 2012 . The big news in the US is free pictures for all sellers (and that includes up to 12 pictures with Zoom and Enlarge). On the downside to become or retain Top Rated Seller Status there will be a requirement to ship items with tracking and to upload tracking numbers to eBay.

The US see the same feedback tweaks as the US along with some more general selling housekeeping to tidy up the way sellers manage business and returns policies.

Fee Increases

Starting from the 1st of May the maximum final value fee for auctions will increase to $250. This will only impact fees on transactions $1,111 and above, and only applies to sellers who do not have an eBay Stores subscription.

Free Pictures

From the 2nd July all sellers get FREE pictures (add up to 12 per listing) with zoom and enlarge capabilities. There will be restrictions, pictures will have to be a minimum of 500 pixels on the shortest side and no borders or text will be allowed (bar watermarks for attribution).

For used items stock photos will not be allowed for the main image, you’ll have to take the time to shoot your own images (although this will be relaxed for Books, Movies, Music, and Video Games).

Top Rated Seller Requirements

Starting in June to achieve and keep your Top-rated seller status, tracking information or a Delivery Confirmation number must be uploaded to eBay on at least 90% of your shipments to US buyers within your stated handling time. If you don’t ship with tracking you can’t be Top Rated.

From the 1st of June only those listings from Top-rated sellers that include 1-day or same day handling and a 14-day or longer return policy with a money-back option will qualify for the greatest average boost in Best Match and 20% final value fee discount.

Also from the 1st of June the annual sales requirement for Top-rated status will be lowered from $3,000 to $1,000 to expand eligibility to more sellers who provide great service


Similar to the UK there will be an automatic five star rating for communication. The conditions are you need to specify same-day or 1-day handling time, upload tracking information by the end of the next business day, and there is no communication between you and the buyer.

Also all Feedback and related DSRs left by a buyer for a transaction where the buyer had an unpaid item recorded, will automatically be removed, whether or not you are using Unpaid Item Assistant, as long as you required eBay Checkout, an eBay approved electronic payment method, and local pick up was not offered.

Selling housekeeping

Mirroring the UK announcement eBay.com sellers will gain the ability to manage custom settings for shipping, returns and payment information from one central location, rather than specifying the information separately on each individual listing. eBay.com sellers will gain the ability to specify a same day cut off time for shipping and sellers who accept returns will be required to have a minimum 14-day return window and offer a money-back option.

Catalogue and discontinued Motors features

Sellers of electronics will be required to match their products against catalogue entries when there is a match from the 2nd of May. From the same day Border, Highlight, Featured Plus!, and Listing Icon will no longer be available for purchase for Parts & Accessories listing and Motors Home Page Featured will no longer be available for Vehicles listings.

There will also be some category and Item Specifics updates in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Coins, Computers & Networking, Consumer Electronics, eBay Motors, Jewelry & Watches, Home & Garden, Tickets and Toys .

15 Responses

  1. Is tracking a standard feature of the US postal service or does it come at a price?

    Final value fees are paid on shipping on eBay USA. Therefore if you have to pay extra shipping to retain TRS then the extra fees that you pay to ebay may well offset any fee discount benefit that you might receive.

    Could you imagine what would happen if this was implemented in the UK? Post offices would literally come to a grinding halt whilst the counter staff were manually processing the packages with the orange label and printing off a receipt for every package! The UK simply is not geared up for systematic tracking of every package just yet.

  2. They recently added free USPS delivery confirmation for domestic USA labels printed online (though it was only .19 through paypal anyway). So short of mailing something that is really like a letter they virtually all have tracking already.

    these changes are really really bad for the Canadians who dont even have an option to add del confirmation to many classes of mail, but get lumped in with the Americans by ebay.

  3. I know I am the vast minority impacted because of this, but more than half of my sales ship in a standard padded envelope with a standard stamp (veggie seeds). I sell a lot and i’ve been a top rated seller since they started the program.

    Now that they will require tracking, I will lose my top rated status. Or in order to keep it, I will have to increase my shipping costs from $.45 to $2 to ship as a small package and qualify for DC. OH, don’t forget the new 11% final value fee applied to ship cost they added last round of updates.

    1 day turn around aside, why are they implementing the delivery confirmation requirement? Just another low down money grab tactic to squeeze every last cent out if its sellers.

    In my case if i decided to be a good ebayer and follow along, my FVF on shipping goes from $.05 to $.22 more than 400%! Share holders rejoice!

  4. This is a ridiculous policy, and let’s pray it doesn’t come to the UK.

    There is no cost effective way to ship transatlantic with tracking. The rate of loss is very low to the USA -less than half of 1%. All that is happening is that ebay are forcing both sellers and buyers to pay more for something that in the end they do not even need.

    This is “nanny Ebay”. It should be sufficient to offer tracking as an option. It is up to the buyer if they choose to purchase it. The fact that in the main they don’t should be enough to tell ebay they don’t understand the market for this, and have got this wrong.

  5. My US sales will take a hit.

    I am UK based and list only on the UK site.

    No way will my customers pay for ISF so I will lose the US TRS that I have had from day 1.

    No doubt eBay get a rake for selling/upselling USPS services from the site and that has influenced this policy.

    Both buyers and sellers will lose out on this one.

  6. you can still ship in an envelope and just first class as long as you go through ebay for shipping and delivery confirmation is now available for free with 1st class.

  7. Thinking again about the requirement to send all packages tracked it is in eBay’s interests that they impose this as claims for non receipt will drop. Therefore ebay fee refunds to sellers will drop to 0%.

    ebay may be thinking that there is a massive fee avoidence scam going on between buyers and sellers who have agreed to claim non receipt between them so that the seller is reimbursed their fees. Tracking means that this route to fee avoidence is closed.

    ebay may not actually believe that things do actually go missing in the post!

    Or am I being a little too cynical here?

  8. its an ebay seller support clock they are not on the same time zone their out of office an hour early or arrive an hour late ,and cant be contacted


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