eBay have today released their Summer 2018 Seller Release with full details in the eBay Seller Centre. Unlike the last couple of years there will be three seller releases in 2018 with the final one expected in the Autumn.
This additional seller release in 2018 is part of Rob Hattrell’s promise of consistency which he gave when he became eBay UK VP – That sellers would not longer be subjected to surprises and that he would tell sellers what’s coming and explain it clearly in plenty of time. That’s why much of this seller release either confirms what we were told in the Spring is now happening or giving us warning of what will come in the Autumn and ensuring sellers who want to have plenty of time to prepare.
So what’s new for this summer? News that Shop by Product will be expanded later in the year and that the categories we were told would be first to get the new product-based shopping experience will go live in June. We’ve heard from many sellers that they’d prefer not to list with GTINs for any number of reasons, but eBay are moving towards a standardised shopping experience for commodity products and realistically they have to. No one wants to trawl through hundreds of pages of listings of identical items and Shop by Product consolidates offerings of new, used, refurbished items with various options (such as memory size or colour) to make it easier for buyers to browse and choose the model and condition they’d like from a single page.
Shop by Product is such a key change that we hear eBay have invited sellers in to talk about it on a couple of occasions. It’s key to Rob’s strategy is that sellers are involved in how eBay do things in the UK and he’s open to listening. It was notable at the recent Catalyst Conference that Rob was one of the speakers who hung around for most of the day and not hiding in the speakers lounge – he was there chatting to sellers and openly available to talk to anyone that cared to collar him. If you’ve not met him yet, he’ll also be at Linn Academy in the Autumn.
Some news on category Item Specifics with tips on which ones to fill out as a priority – eBay are revealing the item specifics that shoppers most frequently use and completing these should increase your conversion rates. There is also a new mandate that sellers of Tyres complete fitment information.
There are some changes to standards and advance warning that later in the year eBay could start imposing 4% penalties for sellers with high SNAD numbers and if you consistently get INR claims eBay may forcibly extend your delivery estimates to give more time for buyers to receive your items – many INR claims are simply as a result of tardy despatch or slower than promised deliveries.
Returns in certain categories will now be 30-day minimums but this is simply confirmation of the implementation – we were given notice in the Spring Seller Release. eBay are also protecting sellers by automating refunds if they can see from tracking that the return has arrived back to the seller and the refund isn’t processed promptly. Too many buyers are escalating a case to eBay and (believe it or not) eBay don’t actually want to ding your seller metrics if they can avoid it which an automatic refund will.
eBay have re-confirmed the dates that the first eBay shops will be migrated to the new shops experience and that some shop management tools will be rolled into the new Seller Hub.
Finally there are also some international changes and if you sell on other European sites you’ll want to be aware of fee changes that may affect you.