eBay UK Autumn 2017 Seller Release

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eBay UK’s Autumn 2017 seller release is out today and you’ll be pleased to know that it’s evolutionary rather than revolutionary. There are yet again some things that will irritate some sellers as it means once again editing your listings (images this time) and a bit of extra work for some sellers who will be required to fill out product identifiers for more products in more categories.

There’s an underlying theme of security, both in eradicating contact information from listings (bar the bare minimum legally required information) and getting the entire eBay site overhauled to HTTPS secure standards. This will be more listing editing as sellers have to remove any HTTP insecure content and replace it with secure content.

If there’s one complaint we would make it’s that so many recent changes involve wholesale editing of listings and, having done the work, this seller release brings two more edit requirements – images and HTTP content. Sellers who have text only descriptions don’t have to worry about HTTPS changes and sellers with templates can hopefully rely on their providers to make the changes. The biggest issue will be for sellers who host their own images on an insecure server. Editing your actual images could prove a challenge however if you haven’t access to the originals.

There are some tweaks to the way that you run promotions, streamlining of after sales, specifically around returns (some automation and requiring you to respond to return requests faster… and the standard is still pretty slow compared to what most sellers already offer. Finally some feedback visual tweaks and easier ways to report a buyer if they’re being unreasonable.

Overall sellers should welcome this eBay Autumn 2017 Seller Release as it’s not desperately disruptive and indeed sellers should already have been aware of many of the measures which are being announced.

22 Responses

  1. “From 1 March 2018, watermarks will no longer be allowed on pictures”

    This is madness! I spend a huge amount of time and money taking pictures of the products I sell, and always add a small discrete watermark to my images to protect them. So now I have to use my images, totally unprotected from theft! Why would eBay do this?

  2. the watermark is a killer, other sellers will use our images – using our efforts and hard work to sell online !

  3. We use watermarks to protect the images on our collectable items, otherwise people just right click and steal them.




  4. Are they doing this just because a few sellers put their website as a watermark???

    Ebay are now officially cretins.

  5. When I was an eBay seller, (in a collectables category) I was never bothered about image theft. It was me and only me that had the item in the picture!

  6. Personally, i would argue that the ‘evolutionary rather than revolutionary’ statement is subjective.

    To our business (new & used car spares) this is an extreme amount of work to re-photograph nearly 4000 items (which use both a superimposed watermark and/or physical background board) with our logo on in each photo, sometimes up to 12 per listing.

    We have spent a lot of time and effort on making our photos stand out from the competition, which now seems to be in vain!

  7. This is a DISASTER. I am finished on ebay as a result of this new ruling. I have got 12,000 items listed. All second hand and the vast majority of them never had barcodes/product indetifiers. Ebay have made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to sell there any more and I know that is precisely their intention with this shambolic new policy.


  8. Plus regarding the Product Identifiers, your Good Till Cancelled listings will not be automatically renewed after 30 days if the MPN, EAN, UPC, Brand etc details are not filled in. This is a big headache for us all

  9. Wow, Jezza sounds like your competitors should be shouting with glee.
    Those of us who already meet the requirements and have done for some time pretty sure eBay are not getting rid of us that easily. We are not big corporates merely small sellers.

    Have you tried amazon? You would need barcodes only for stuff not already in the catalogue there.

    Even for 12000 barcodes / product identifiers there will be some small sellers choosing different than you, not giving up a major site.

  10. Well said Jezza. I sell classic vehicle parts and automobilia so most of my parts come under the car parts sub-category and it appears will need an mpn and brand name. Most of the items I have dont have mpns and often I do not even know the brand name, not surprising when most of the items are for vehicles 50 to 100 years old !! . Even if I did know them it is unlikely that buyers would be searching using identifiers. Most buyers I know search by product description.
    Have tried to explain this to Ebay customer service numerous times but its like hitting a brick wall.

  11. Some years ago I sold a personal collection of photo negatives by scanning and adding a watermark to stop people copying off without buying, people also do this on photo sites like Flickr now to try to stop people copying them off and (!) selling copies on Ebay.
    A charity Ebay site that I administer was to start listing a collection of postcards and photos donated for sale, looks like that won’t happen now, lots of fee amounts lost to Paypal as a result.

  12. re image theft / watermarking

    I sell a range of postcards…….and there are some in the aeronautica selling community who rip off any image they can and reuse it.

    I just take my photos of my postcards (not scans) at a slightly slanted / oblique angle, so a rectangular postcard looks like a trapezoid……impossible to nick the image as you cut the subject trying to square it if taking it.

    You see some people use bits of string or similar to snake across their images when scanned…….will that sort of thing also be banned? Its anti-copying, but technically not a watermark ie like a web address maybe misconstrued to be etc

  13. at Jezza,

    That’s a big inventory, and I agree eBay does not want the small independent seller.

    I joined eBay in 1999 (back when the world was flat still) and it was all about the small seller, unique collectibles, bespoke, but I have seen it change out of all recognition to the site I joined back then.

    Over the years ebay have progressively moved to the bigger sellers essentially wholesale and forced the small ones to offer the same free returns / no quibble guarantees the big boys offer.

    It wont be long before we all have to accept a 16 day money back like Argos in the UK……that said …..all the buyer has to say now is “not as expected” and the full weight of ebay comes down on the buyers side…..and the seller has no option by to capitulate, often loosing the item as its too expensive to return out of our own pockets.

    Ebay…..without sellers, no buyers…..and ironically most of the wholesale packing sellers on ebay sell to the smaller sellers….so when we go they will loose business.

  14. I am normally an advocate for ebay.

    This rule……. not happy – it was only 6 weeks ago that Concierge ADVISED me to watermark my images to protect them. I have taken hundreds of photos since then and unfortunately saved them all as .jpg with the watermark. I havent kept the original .png so I will need to photograph them from scratch! 6 weeks of work down the drain.

    Dont even start me on other folks using our images ……………….

    Not happy.

    I am the eternal eBay optimist and if I ain’t happy I can’t imagine anyone will be regarding this new rule.

  15. Is 12,000 listings a small retailer? We only have 300

    I also have recently watermarked all my images to stop people copying them, but have kept the originals.

    For Ebay is encourages others to sell items without doing much, Do you have one to sell? Just copy this listing including the image and data, away you go….

    My images are also not 1000×1000, they are a 555×555, in this day and age with everybody moving to mobile etc, why do they need us to have such large images?

    I have been adding the MPN and EAN since I started, so that will not be a big problem, although not sure what will happen about the “bundles”.

  16. Just a small though.

    Unless I’m mistaken, but even if you don’t have watermarks on the pictures, doesn’t mean its OK for another seller to use them.

    We sell car parts and often photo the parts on vehicles with our company name on a false number plate, Now we haven’t determined if this is a watermark as such? As it is part of the image.

    But nevertheless, we do find that sellers will use our image and photoshop our logo out of the picture, but we have had success with messaging them asking to cease use, this normally works, but failing that we report it to eBay.

    I am assuming this option will remain open.

    More concerning was in one of the previous updates where eBay stated they can use your picture in a catalogue which meant it could be used by other sellers. Now that is just plain wrong

  17. Sam, is there anything in the eBay terms about the use of images?
    Like when you upload to amazon you assign image to amazon – who do operate a catalogue system.
    eBay have been operating some image catalogue for a while. Probably 80 percent of the books I sell use eBay catalogue image rather than the stock photo I use elsewhere.

  18. I make gold prospecting equipment out of plumbing parts and gardening equipment parts. Where will they find a barcode for that? also each item takes 4 days to construct and is totally unique so how can i post the next day


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