New Tests and Seller Consequences confirmed by VP of Seller Experience

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eBay have confirmed two tests that they’re running and detailing three steps that they’ve recently taken to improve the marketplace. We don’t know if all these steps will apply (yet!) on eBay UK, but if you trade on you certainly want to be aware of what’s going on on the marketplace.

Current eBay Tests

Reducing unpaid items

eBay are running tests forcing buyers to confirm and pay immediately in an effort to reduce unpaid items. Obviously this will only apply to fixed price items. If they buyer doesn’t pay straight away then they’ve not made a purchase, the listing isn’t ended, the item remains available for sale to other buyers and for multiple quantity items your inventory isn’t reduced.

We’re used to seeing this in the UK and it only causes an issue for sellers of products where buyers generally like to purchase multiple items in one transaction (Crafts for example). Being forced to pay immediately does mean that it’s impossible for sellers to offer postage discounts for multiple purchases which is where eBay’s shopping basket comes in useful, but even this has it’s limitations when buying on overseas eBay sites.

Best Offer

eBay are testing an increase in the number of communications for Best Offers in an attempt to increase conversion rates. If you don’t want to be bothered with buyers making multiple Best Offers the simplest way to avoid this is by setting up Best Offer to automatically respond.

I used to love Best Offer as it was the one way that you could easily offer a discount for buyers considering a multiple quantity purchase. It’s also a superb way for driving some instant sales to improve your recent sales on a listing and hence your position in Best Match.

You set a Best Offer price you’re willing to accept and then email your marketing list telling buyers that you’ve a special offer on eBay exclusively for your email subscribers. Auto accept means it’s a hands off approach and your buyers will never know that the offer is open to all and sundry. The advantage is you get sales without any views in eBay search so your recent sales increases but search views don’t and so your listing should see a boost in best Match.

New consequences

Structured Data

Starting in July, listing with missing or invalid product identifiers will not be able to be revised or relisted. From September, GTC listings with missing or invalid product identifiers will fail to auto-renew. We’ve already seen this recently in the UK.

Listing suppression for violations

If you repeatedly break eBay policies (they specifically mention attempting off-site sales so bear in mind their policy on contact information in listings and messages) then your listings will be suppressed from search and browse results.

Duplicate and non-performing listings

If you haven’t had a sale on a listing for over two years then eBay will probably already have removed it from the site if they think it’s a product that should be seeing sales. If you haven’t had a sale on a listing for over a year then they advise revising the listing as leaving it as is probably won’t see future sales anyway.

We’re expecting eBay to take a sensible view hear and not to cancel thousands of listings for rare stamps but rather to concentrate on things like laptop power suppliers still listed at $50 when competitors are selling for $10 due to falls in prices.

There’s plenty here to digest, but in reality much of it we’ve already written about in the past so you should be aware of the steps eBay are taking. You can read the full blog post on eBay detailing the updates which was written by Bob Kupbens, eBay Vice President Seller Experience.

13 Responses

  1. Its impossible to find some Ean NUMBERS – will affected Good till cancelled listings be put in the Unsold box – or just deleted?

  2. eBay are already suppressing search for violations, they just haven’t told us until now. Been going on for a long time

  3. As long as ebay remove genuine negative feed back from bad seller transactions and allow poor seller refunds to run there 2 to 3 week coarse ebay sales will suffer.
    In a nut shell they want soft buyers but on the odd occasion a buyer sticks up for themselves a swift refund and no ripples ( Bad feed back ).

    The standard of seller and the quality of items have continued to fall year on year due to poor monitoring from ebay.

  4. ebay wont remove bad feed back thay leave it to the seller to sort out
    in short you got no chance .when does ebay ever take notice of sellers
    just a case give us your fees and go away

  5. Shield, have to disagree with the removal of negative feedback as I have been successful on a few occasions recently where ebay have removed negative or neutral feedback. Think currently they are more inclined to remove it as they think people are more likely to buy from you if there is all positive feedback.

    I set my limits low so if a buyer has had a few unpaid item strikes then they have to buy it now which is set to pay straightaway. Or they are not able to send a best offer and then message to ask why they can’t buy it. Usually find when you look into it a little more they like to leave a lot of negative feedback for others so they usually get blocked quickly.

  6. I remember the seller ruled the roost once, those were the days now it’s all gone funny

  7. en ebay Italy in June they closed without any advice all the items with the same EAN/MPN/ISBN code, I sell collectible items and toys, many manufacturers use one EAN for one line of products, for example all the Hot Wheels or WinX Club dolls have the same EAN, they ended all except 1. Ebay closed me around 500 items, I know sellers with 2000 items ended, I don’t know if they only tested it in Italy or if they will run it in the other sites soon

  8. Hi Piero- did they put the close the listings into the unsold box – or did they delete off the site? Thanks Brian?

  9. Hi again – we sell spare parts of items- its impossible to get the EAN numbers – any suggestions ? Thanks Brian

  10. Have they said we can no longer use Does not apply if no number exists? What about when listing job lots of mixed items?


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