eBay seller releases often cause anger and frustration amongst sellers, but the Autumn 2016 eBay changes seem to contain some significant improvements and benefits.
Perhaps the best news for sellers is that eBay is going to allow them three months to get back on track when they fall ‘Below Standard’ by deferring selling limits and restrictions. The existing limits often mean that sellers struggle to improve their seller standard after they’ve experienced problems.
We’ve put together a brief summary of the changes coming over the next 12 months, how they might affect you, and what you need to be doing.
When?: 4 October 2016
What’s happening?: eBay are changing, adding, removing and moving a number of product categories. Find out which categories are changing and how here.
What do you need to do?: Listings in affected categories will be automatically moved to the most relevant category and final value fees for the new category will apply. You’ll need to make sure all item specifics are correct.
Three months to recover seller standards
When?: From 20 October 2016
What’s happening?: If your seller level becomes ‘Below Standard’ you’ll be given specific information about why you aren’t meeting eBay’s seller standards, and guidance on how you can improve, via your seller dashboard. Performance based selling limits and selling restrictions will be deferred for three months to allow you time to improve, and if after three months you’re still 'Below Standard' but are improving then restrictions and limits will be deferred on a monthly basis.
What do you need to do?: If you fall 'Below Standard' you’ll receive a notification through your seller dashboard. You can improve by reducing your defect rate or the rate of cases closed without seller resolution, find out about meeting seller standards here. The three month deferral doesn’t apply to lower search placement, fund holds and loss of Featured and Anchor Shop privileges.
New categories: Vaping and e-cigarettes
When?: October 2016
What’s happening?: Two new subcategories are being added to the Health and Beauty category of eBay.co.uk:
- Vape Pens, E-Cigarettes and Accessories
What do you need to do?: To sell in these categories you need to:
- Have an active eBay UK business account
- Have your stock located in the UK
- Comply with eBay's tobacco policy and prohibited and restricted items policy.
- Have an effective age verification process.
- Specify in your item descriptions that buyers must be over 18.
- Sign a contract with eBay agreeing that you'll meet these terms.
Good ‘Til Cancelled for all business sellers
When?: October 2016
What’s happening?: All business sellers will be able to list using the Good ‘Til Cancelled, not just Shop subscribers.
eBay Seller Hub
When?: Autumn 2016
What’s happening?: The new Seller Hub will be available on eBay UK. It offers a listing tool, sales information, and marketing tools all together in one place. Turbo Lister will no longer be available after June 2017.
What do you need to do?: If you want to be one of the first to try out the new seller hub you can register your interest from Autumn 2016. Once you’ve opted in to the Seller Hub, you can switch back to the existing tools at any point.
More product identifiers: Amazon, Google, and Seller-created
When?: From February 2017
What’s happening?: You’ll be able to use your Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) if you also list on Amazon, Google product identifiers, or your own product identifiers for listings in categories that require a product identifier. Product identifiers will also be required in more categories.
What do you need to do?: All new listings in the affected categories will need at least one product identifier, so you’ll need to work out which ones you want to use. Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will also need to be revised later in 2017. You can find the list of which categories require product requirements here.
Optimising for mobile: remove active content
When?: June 2017
What do you need to do?: If you don’t know which of your listings contain active content, you can enter your eBay item number into the free i-ways checker tool. You can also find out more about replacing active content in your listings here. From Autumn 2016, eBay will offer a set of free mobile-friendly templates. Non-active content, such as plain text, HTML5 and CSS, will still be visible in your item description.
New postage printing platform: Shutl
When?: Summer 2017
What’s happening?: eBay is replacing its buy and print postage platform with Shutl, a delivery service that offers shipping through different couriers at competitive prices (at the moment only MyHermes economy services are available). You’ll be able to choose a delivery service, print labels, find parcel drop off points and pay for your Shutl deliveries via PayPal in a single consolidated invoice.
What do you need to do?: You can sign up to be part of the Shutl trial later this year. Otherwise, the new postage platform will be available next summer.