Are eBay’s picture standards being enforced?

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We’re curious – how are you finding the new eBay picture standards and have you seen any action by eBay to enforce them yet?

Graffiti on eBay Laptop ImageWe had a quick browse on eBay and it appears that some quite large sellers are taking different attitudes to the new rules. A common ruse for laptops and TVs is simply to take the graffiti that used to adorn the image and move it to the laptop or TV screen.

I’m not saying this doesn’t help buyers decide if it’s the correct product for them to choose, or that it definitely breaks eBay’s no graffiti rules (does it?), but it’s certainly an interesting development.

Logos on eBay imagesOther sellers, both of tech products and in other categories, are still adding manufacturer logos to their images. Whilst the logos again are probably helpful to buyers letting them know that it’s a quality branded product, again we’re not sure that these image are compliant with the new eBay rules.

Of course we may be judging these sellers overly harshly – whilst the rules apply to new or edited listings from the 8th of November and existing images don’t have to be edited before Spring 2014. However we’ve spotted several listings with logos and grafitti on screens that were lasted edited on or after the 9th of November.

Packaging in imageAnother trick we’ve seen is an increase in the number of product in packaging either as the main image or as a thumbnail in the main image. Whilst this doesn’t break the rules, it does of course mean that information such as the manufacturer’s name and other product information is highly visible to buyers.

The images above were all taken from this week’s daily deals. Whilst we have absolutely no desire to pick on any particular sellers, we figured that if eBay were monitoring any images that they’d be vetting the daily deals more closely than any other listings on the site. However it’s fair to say that while we’ve not displayed the images here, there are some daily deal listings with images that most definitely do not meet the new picture standards and we’re not sure why eBay are displaying them so prominently without insisting that the images be edited.

We have heard from a few sellers who weren’t aware of the rule changes and have suddenly discovered that their smaller than 500 pixel images are no longer acceptable on eBay. Naturally it’s been a bit of a problem for them as they were totally unprepared.. How are you finding the change though, have you had any listings blocked or reported for images that don’t comply?

We’d love to get a feel for what sellers are doing to optimise their images, if you’re using any of the ruses above to bypass the new rules, or if you’ve tried to game the system and been pulled up by eBay and asked to amend your listings.

13 Responses

  1. I sell earrings which are very small items. Originally I deliberately kept the pictures small as I don’t want to give the wrong impression about the size of them by showing an over large picture. My pictures were perfectly good for a very small item. On one of my listings, when I came to relist it I found I couldn’t use the picture, so what do I do? leave the earrings the same size and use more border in the picture, or increase the size, possibly making it a bit blurry and certainly a lot bigger than life-size? Then I will get complaints of “smaller than I expected”, even though the length of the earrings is stated in the listing.

    More worrying is the “returns policy” bit. My returns policy states that yes I have one, how many days, who pays postage, and yet sometimes it is taking me 20 minutes or so to relist one item because it says I don’t have one, please state no of days and wh pays postage, I check, all is as it should be, I still get errors. I feel like giving up on ebay altogether some days, it’s too expensive and too much of a pain to bother with. I already gave up my ebay shop as it was too expensive for someone who lists about 20 items a month. All this stuff might help large sells but it just discourages small sellers.

  2. watch out for your nads if your a seller , the ebay stasi will be plugging in the electrodes

  3. eBay have a track record of introducing new rules then failing to enforce them, for example duplicate listings, not using TRS/PS logos or mentioning that you’re a ‘trusted seller’ to name two off the top of my head, so I don’t see this will be any different.

    Personally I’ve updated most of my images to comply with a few still left to sort out, but I search the site daily and I see little evidence that eBay are enforcing the new rules. There are loads of ‘UK SELLER FAST POST’ type images. I still find some listings without any image, which is also against the new rules.

    I notice some of the mega media sellers who never bothered with images before are now uploading a generic image, one large video game seller just shows a photo of a bloke sat on a couch with a controller in his hand.

  4. My eBay shop has jumped over so many hurdles and through so many hoops these past few months to hang onto the new premium service badge!!!! The last hurdle, which I am even struggling to reach, let alone jump over is the new image size. As a stamp dealer and very like the lady who has already mentioned ‘earrings’….stamps are STAMP SIZE……….not BATH TOWEL SIZE!! Currently still a third of my shops’ images do not comply with the new size. I believe, working 12+ hours EVERY DAY…and there are two of us working these killer long hours…………..that is just to get orders out, bend over backwards to be excellent, top rated sellers there is very little time left to re-scan 10,000 items. WE ARE TRYING and as I have mentioned IT IS KILLING US. When the final cut off date arrives one of us will have to spend approximately 5 YEARS rescanning (as the lady who sells earrings mentioned, we also cannot auto upsize as the stamps become blurry so each item has to be physically rescanned) as normal eBay days, selling, relisting, packing and posting has to continue.
    As time is at a premium I have one more point to raise re items being removed because of breaching eBay’s Disasters and Tragedies Policy………………….I AM A STAMP DEALER……I sell stamps which depict all manner of topics, stamps produced by countries who obviously believe their stamps cover true, factual and celebratory events……….to me it is political correctness gone mad……what is wrong with listing stamps with shipwrecks, WWII stamps which mention Concentration Camps, Barbed Wire….stamps which mention Human Rights…. these are all collected by stamp collectors… WAS Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Cuba…….these countries I am now prohibited from selling on eBay…… who is being punished by restricting sellers (who have stock legitimately purchased on EBAY) from listing ALL STAMPS OF THE WORLD….Stanley Gibbons is allowed to sell it’s annual STAMPS OF THE WORLD catalogues on eBay…….without removing the pages which are restricted!!
    There was a time when having one’s say……on the soap box made one feel a little better…………nowadays, TODAY it doesn’t.

  5. On 6th November I had 51 listings removed for policy violation. I spoke to eBay UK about it and they said it looked like they were removed because of logos on the images. I said that I thought it was only for new listings and then not enforced until after 8th November.

    She called me back an hour later to say that it was that had removed them as my listings were ‘visible’ on and they enforced the new rules some time ago.

    So because I offered worldwide shipping the US decided that as it didn’t comply with their rules I couldn’t sell it anywhere else in the world!

    Needless to say, all my listings now exclude shipping the N & S America (sadly can’t exclude just the USA) until such time as I can remove the logos on 3000+ listings and the 51 removed listings are now re-listed (with unfortunately the sales history lost)

  6. I think this new picture rule is complete nonsense and to be honest a negative thing for sellers. We sell in a very heavily saturated market on eBay (as is with a lot of markets) and being able to use the pictures to grab potential buyers attention was a great plus about eBay. I have never saturated images with excessive text, but it was nice to be able to include a unique selling point within the image, something that could make you stand out from the competition. Now with the new rules, we are going to see page upon page of images of items that look identical (product with white background) and instead of being able to put your unique selling points in the image they will have to either go in the title or in the listing description, but as we are experiencing more buyers using eBay mobile, they don’t even get to see the description unless the choose to click on show more. Imagine if newspapers and magazines had the same rule, and advertisers who wanted to advertise with them could only show their product with a generic white back ground and 1 sentence of text, that isn’t going to grab anyones attention. Its going to make browsing on eBay feel very clinical.


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