Contemplating eBay Seller Updates

eBay released their U.S. summer seller updates for 2017. We will break down this seller update into two groups, the critical stuff (part 1) and the important stuff (part 2).

Most of the critical stuff requires you to take actions quickly. In part 2 tomorrow, we will cover the changes that do not require immediate attention or over which you have real no control.

So let’s take a look at what is imperative and needs your attention now (part 1):

BUYER/SELLER COMMUNICATION ONLY THROUGH EBAY MESSAGING

Effective September 2017, eBay will no longer allow any contact information in titles, item descriptions, or other eBay pages. This policy update includes phone numbers and social media links that previously had been allowed.

However, eBay will allow Store Subscribers and high volume Vehicle sellers to share phone number information when a buyer contact the seller through “Ask seller a question.” They may allow sellers to add phone numbers in messaging in select pre-sale situations. eBay did not define what that means…?

REMOVE ALL LINKS IN LISTINGS

Effective June 2017, eBay is cracking down on all links except for some approved domains. Again, eBay did not define the approved domains, but one can assume all eBay related domains are okay.

They also will allow links to product videos, freight shipping services, and other legally required information.

Some sellers provide instructions, application guides, or other information in listings. Often through links that linked back to the seller’s website.

Before this new policy, as long as the link did not offer to sell the product off eBay, the links were okay. Removing links to instructions and product details might impact sellers who sell more technical items in a significant way.

Hopefully, eBay will provide a little more guidance on this policy. Maybe eBay needs to consider offering a cloud drive for such data? Or at minimum make Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. acceptable domains for links.

EBAY OWNS ALL YOUR IMAGES NOW

This policy follows a bit Amazon’s image policy. By August 2017, eBay will no longer allow a seller to opt out the program to make their images available for eBay use.

Images you took for your listings may end up on your competitor’s listings. This situation is especially possible if you use UPC or MPN numbers to identify your products.

How far eBay will take this remains unclear. On Amazon, everyone works of the same image and description unless you create a new ASIN.

Will eBay suggest your images based on UPC or MPN information? What about third party images to which you may own the rights, but eBay does not.

One way to remove or reduce the possibility of your images ending up on your competitor’s listings is to watermark them. You may wish to review this section about acceptable watermarks on eBay.

REMINDER ABOUT ACTIVE CONTENT AND MOBILE FRIENDLY

Ebay also released with this update a reminder that active content needs to be removed by June 2017. Listing with active content will not be removed, but the description information may not display correctly.

Also, eBay recommends you review their best practices guide to ensure your listings are mobile-friendly. The company is staking a lot of their future on mobile and research shows that mobile is driving eCommerce sales.

CATEGORY CHANGES THAT MAY IMPACT YOU

Category changes are always fun. eBay makes a change and your listings may be changed automatically to a new category. But is it the right one?

In this update, eBay provided all the category changes that will go into effect on June 13, 2017. You may wish to review all your listing to make sure they will stay in the right category or make necessary adjustments.

DEVELOP A PLAN NOW TO DEAL WITH THESE SELLER UPDATES

While some changes are holdovers from the Spring seller update, if you have not acted upon them by now, it’s go time. eBay is not providing much additional time from this update to make adjustments, and your sales could suffer.

This post covers the important stuff for today. Look for part 2 tomorrow where we will cover other changes, but they are less likely to require action on your part now.

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