eBay.com Autumn 2015 Seller Update
eBay.com have announced their Autumn Seller Update and there’s a lot in it that sellers will like and not a lot to dislike.
We’re still waiting for the UK announcement to come, so currently we don’t know how much of the US announcement will make it’s way to the UK… however even if it’s not immediate eBay updates have a habit of migrating around the globe so we’re hopeful there’ll be good news soon.
At their 20th Birthday party eBay CEO, Devin Wenig, announced that they’re putting control back in the hands of sellers and removing the uncertainty of things that sellers can’t control. Out go the subjective buyer feedback measurements and Devin said that having listened to thousands of sellers they’re to be replaced with objective measurements that are under the control of the seller.
Objective standards, centralized selling tools & competitive insights
eBay.com are paring back the metrics which can affect your seller standing. Out goes Feedback, Detailed Seller Ratings, Return requests, Items no received, and closed cases that weren’t escalated to eBay. Moving forward sellers on eBay.com will only be measured on closed cases that were escalated to eBay, cancelled sales (i.e. you oversold or broke the stock) and (a new metric) late deliveries.
Deliveries won’t be counted as late if they’re either tracked with an acceptance scan within your handling time or the buyer confirms the item arrived on time for non-tracked items.
There will be some tweaking of the defect rates to take into account that there will be a lot less ways that you can actually get a defect once the new standards come into play. Maximum defect rates go from 2% to 0.5% for Top Rated Sellers and from 5% to 2% for all other sellers.
This means you can either cancel one transaction because you’ve lost the stock or have one case escalated to eBay because you were unable to make things right with the buyer, once in every 200 sales if you’re Top Rated (or once in every 50 sales for sellers who are not Top Rated).
I can’t see too many sellers having an issue with this, after all it’s all things that you’re able to control, unlike the random buyer that insisted on negging you that you’ve had to take on the chin in the past.
New eBay Seller Hub
eBay.com are to launch an easier way to run your business with an all new eBay Seller Hub. This will suit professional sellers currently using My eBay Selling, Selling Manager, or Selling Manager Pro.
The Seller Hub puts all your listing and marketing tools, along with insights and selling recommendations, into one place. This is coming for eBay.com sellers with roll out to start in October.
eBay.com are introducing a new, simpler returns process. It’s worth bearing in mind that eBay.com are way behind eBay in Europe where returns are mandatory, in the US sellers (even businesses) can choose whether or not to offer returns and if they want to charge restocking fees.
Category and Item Specific Changes
As with pretty much every seller release there are some category and Item Specific changes coming down the line for eBay.com this Autumn. This is a pain in the neck for sellers as it means updating your listings just as we come into the busiest period of the year.
Affected eBay.com categories are: Baby; Coins & Paper Money; Collectibles; Crafts; Health & Beauty; Home & Garden; Jewelry & Watches; Motors; Musical Instruments & Gear; Sporting Goods and Stamps.
eBay reminded sellers that they use an item’s brand, MPN, and GTINs such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), to help buyers quickly find the items they’re looking for. As well as increaseing your items’ visibility in eBay search results and navigation, it improves your placement in search engines like Google and Bing.
eBay.com already requires product identifiers in a large number of categories and in 2016, product identifiers will be required for multi–SKU items and in a number of additional categories.
It looks like a pretty good seller release for eBay.com, and sellers will especially welcome the changes to Seller Status. Out go many of the measures that rely on a buyer’s opinion to be replaced by empirical measurements that are totally under the control of the seller. When the new standards kick in for eBay.com sellers will at last be able to rest easy knowing that if they do a good job their seller standing will be good.
The new Seller Hub also looks very interesting, we’ve published an overview including some sneaky advance screen shots.