eBay.com Autumn 2015 Seller Update

eBay.com have announced their and there’s a lot in it that sellers will like and not a lot to dislike.

We’re still waiting for the UK announcement to come, so currently we don’t know how much of the US announcement will make it’s way to the UK… however even if it’s not immediate eBay updates have a habit of migrating around the globe so we’re hopeful there’ll be good news soon.

At their 20th Birthday party eBay CEO, Devin Wenig, announced that they’re putting control back in the hands of sellers and removing the uncertainty of things that sellers can’t control. Out go the subjective buyer feedback measurements and Devin said that having listened to thousands of sellers they’re to be replaced with objective measurements that are under the control of the seller.

Objective standards, centralized selling tools & competitive insights

Seller Standards

eBay.com are paring back the metrics which can affect your seller standing. Out goes Feedback, Detailed Seller Ratings, Return requests, Items no received, and closed cases that weren’t escalated to eBay. Moving forward sellers on eBay.com will only be measured on closed cases that were escalated to eBay, cancelled sales (i.e. you oversold or broke the stock) and (a new metric) late deliveries.

Deliveries won’t be counted as late if they’re either tracked with an acceptance scan within your handling time or the buyer confirms the item arrived on time for non-tracked items.

There will be some tweaking of the defect rates to take into account that there will be a lot less ways that you can actually get a defect once the new standards come into play. Maximum defect rates go from 2% to 0.5% for Top Rated Sellers and from 5% to 2% for all other sellers.

This means you can either cancel one transaction because you’ve lost the stock or have one case escalated to eBay because you were unable to make things right with the buyer, once in every 200 sales if you’re Top Rated (or once in every 50 sales for sellers who are not Top Rated).

I can’t see too many sellers having an issue with this, after all it’s all things that you’re able to control, unlike the random buyer that insisted on negging you that you’ve had to take on the chin in the past.

New eBay Seller Hub

eBay.com are to launch an easier way to run your business with an all new eBay Seller Hub. This will suit professional sellers currently using My eBay Selling, Selling Manager, or Selling Manager Pro.

The Seller Hub puts all your listing and marketing tools, along with insights and selling recommendations, into one place. This is coming for eBay.com sellers with roll out to start in October.


eBay.com are introducing a new, simpler returns process. It’s worth bearing in mind that eBay.com are way behind eBay in Europe where returns are mandatory, in the US sellers (even businesses) can choose whether or not to offer returns and if they want to charge restocking fees.

Category and Item Specific Changes

As with pretty much every seller release there are some category and Item Specific changes coming down the line for eBay.com this Autumn. This is a pain in the neck for sellers as it means updating your listings just as we come into the busiest period of the year.

Affected eBay.com categories are: Baby; Coins & Paper Money; Collectibles; Crafts; Health & Beauty; Home & Garden; Jewelry & Watches; Motors; Musical Instruments & Gear; Sporting Goods and Stamps.

Product Identifiers

eBay reminded sellers that they use an item’s brand, MPN, and GTINs such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), to help buyers quickly find the items they’re looking for. As well as increaseing your items’ visibility in eBay search results and navigation, it improves your placement in search engines like Google and Bing.

eBay.com already requires product identifiers in a large number of categories and in 2016, product identifiers will be required for multi–SKU items and in a number of additional categories.


It looks like a pretty good seller release for eBay.com, and sellers will especially welcome the changes to Seller Status. Out go many of the measures that rely on a buyer’s opinion to be replaced by empirical measurements that are totally under the control of the seller. When the new standards kick in for eBay.com sellers will at last be able to rest easy knowing that if they do a good job their seller standing will be good.

The new Seller Hub also looks very interesting, we’ve published an overview including some sneaky advance screen shots.

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When will eBay figure out that late delivery does not automatically equal late shipment? Its one of the factors sellers have no control of once handed over to the delivery company, whoever that might be. What happens at Xmas when everything goes pear-shaped as it does every year through shear volume. I'm also interested to see what changes are made in this if any for the UK release as tracked options unlike the USA are not cheap and on much low value stuff uneconomical. It also smacks of little regard for buyers too, sell any old tat, any old how you like, don't worry about feedback or DSR's they're all going to be redundant and have zero affect on your account. As long as you ship it tracked promptly you're OK. if they complain, just send loads of sweet talking messages. That's not the way a retailer should work, then again eBay isn't a retailer.

Richard • 10th September 2015 •

Isn't that what is meant by "acceptance scan within handling time"? ie if Royal Mail say they got it within 48 hours and that's your handling time, Disco. Of course, Royal Mail take around 14 hours to put the first scan on our tracked 48 items, with them often going through at around 5am, but I'm sure that will be taken into account...

David Brackin • 10th September 2015 •

No idea, my life is simple, 99% of my stuff goes with large letter stamps on into the local post box, it's certainly not worth spending more than twice the price on postage sending a £5 or less average sale via any tracked option, neither is it either worth it time wise and buyers certainly wouldn't pay for it on low value stuff.

Richard • 10th September 2015 •

I get the occasional INR case opened the morning after expected delivery date. Tracking shows a failed delivery attempt on expected delivery date. Any attempt to get these defects removed has always been met with "Tough Luck - Item wasn't delivered on time" Will be interesting to see if eBay will take into account the recipient not fulfilling their side of the transaction by not being available to accept the delivery.

Steven • 11th September 2015 •

This makes me anxious, because buyers frequently wish to combine shipping on auctions, and so they frequently pay right away, but ask for me to hold onto the goods so that they can bid on others and combine the shipping. This then totally makes a mess of eBay's shipping expectations, and if they go to leave feedback and say it arrived after the date, then it results in a defect!! Also in certain situations, when I try to look at eBay's estimates for a particular country, it tells me there is no estimate. Why will this mean when the buyer goes to state whether goods arrived within eBay's parameters?

Gareth • 11th September 2015 •

Combined shipping usually means extra cost for shipping to the seller so simply ship on payment and reduce shipping on future purchase

Tinker • 11th September 2015 •

In my instance it doesn't really cost me anything extra to combine. I guess I will have to send a message to each buyer who wants to do this, and try to explain how the defect system works and ask if they will kindly just say it arrived within the estimate. A bit ridiculous. Will they still be implementing the 8 unique buyer rule?

Gareth • 11th September 2015 •

I've just read this which raises a few questions. It seems shipping times will not lose you your account, but eBay will insist on certain handling times and shipping regimes. I've absolutely no idea how that would work in practice, but I've a lot of questions!! What happens if I'm not meeting the minimum performance requirements? If the only seller performance metric you are not meeting is for on-time shipping, your seller level will remain above standard. However, we may restrict the shipping options your listings can offer, including restrictions on stated handling time. Sellers with these restrictions will be notified accordingly. If you're not meeting the minimum performance requirements for defect rate or for cases closed without seller resolution, your seller level will be considered below standard and we may put limits on your selling activity or lower your search placement until your performance improves. We may also restrict you from selling items on eBay if your performance falls significantly below the minimum requirements

Gareth • 11th September 2015 •

An added bonus is that a lot less buyers will be blocked for leaving low dsrs

Tinker • 11th September 2015 •

Here are some questions I am left with: - The new dashboard will show the new measurements in November, but will sellers be punished retroactively, or will it start afresh in February 20th when the new system rolls out? - If falling below standard (for shipping only), it is my understanding that the account will remain above standard, but handling and shipping options may be enforced; how does that apply to international sellers listing on eBay.com on listing or another site, but paying for the extra visibility on eBay.com? - Will multiple defects from one customer all count separately against a seller? - If an item is not tracked and a buyer leaves positive feedback within eBay's estimated delivery dates, will this automatically be perceived as proof and/or a positive for shipping? - As buyers can leave feedback up to 60 days after the transaction, they cannot always remember when goods were received, therefore can buyers choose to ignore the question regarding dates, and if so presumably it will not count against the seller?

Gareth • 11th September 2015 •

The bulk of my parcels are too low in value to be sent tracked. This is yet another push to force us into sending low value items tracked. eBay needs to understand that it just isn't possible in the UK. Buyers are not prepared to pay the additional costs!

Steven • 11th September 2015 •