eBay Seller Release: A new partnership approach with sellers

Having just read today’s Seller Release from eBay, things are looking up for sellers.

Firstly let’s get it out there – Seller Releases have traditionally been bad news for eBay sellers. It’s where eBay nickel and dime on fees, give a little Top Rated Seller Discount incentive for some behaviour which sellers don’t want to do and then a Seller Release or so later when the behaviour is entrenched remove the seller discount. This time around there was no bad news and nothing that’s going to hit sellers in the pocket.

Confidence to trust eBay with your business

It’s also patently obvious from the Seller Release that eBay have at last started listening to their sellers. Devin Wenig claims to have spoken with 100s of sellers and recognised some of their issues. Most importantly eBay have realised that sellers simply don’t have confidence in eBay to trust them with their businesses. Sellers have been too scared of getting a seller restriction or outright ban.

Now eBay are giving three months grace if your standards slip a one off emergency or unforeseen circumstance will no long kill your entire business. Importantly eBay appear to have at last recognised that the recovery and rehabilitation period takes longer than a month or even a quarter. Don’t forget that the look back period can be anything up to a year so it really does take time for poor buyer experiences to drop off the radar.

eBay will now not penalise you for an unusual rash of buyer issues simply to hammer you a month later because they’ve not dropped off your feedback history. They’ll now take a sensible month by month view of your business and so long as the situation is improving they’ll leave your account alone and let you trade through the blip.

Tools fit for 2016

I love TurboLister for all its shortcomings of which there are many. I’m quite fond of Selling Manager Pro (SMP) too. The truth is that both are decades old and well past their sell by date.

Take a look at other eBay pages, the feedback forum, the resolution centre, the page where you enter tracking numbers, eBay sales reports, promotions manager, seller standards dashboard… they’ve all got a different look and feel. Nothing is coherently tied together. You can’t even easily access one tool from another, for instance in the resolution centre when a buyer claims non-delivery why is it not a single click to see the tracking?

eBay’s new Seller Hub has been created from the ground up to replace all your offline TurboLister and online SMP and other seller pages. Everything will be in one place seamlessly connected enabling you to work more efficiently and without having to jump from one tool to another.

eBay have created a tool fit for the 21st Century.

Negotiated Discounts

eBay are also doing sensible things like negotiating discounts for all sellers on shipping. We’re waiting to see what rates they may arrange and with which couriers, but the fact that they’re at last flexing their muscles on behalf of their customers speaks volumes.

eBay has been around for almost two decades and with something approaching 250,000 professional sellers and millions of casual users it’s high time they could string a few supplier discounts together. Of course that’s not a particularly fair comment, they’ve already launched the Global Shipping Program, Click and Collect at Argos competitively priced eBay Drop-Off at Argos fulfilment service.

We’ve yet to see what the new Shutl label flow (which replaces the current eBay postage label solution) looks like but we’ve high hopes for it being user friendly and keeping our fingers crossed that eBay really does come up with the goods for competitive rates.

eBay appear to have listened, understood and responded to their sellers

We often accuse eBay of not listening or not understanding the issues that sellers face on a daily basis. This time around the seller release suggests that eBay really have been listening to their sellers, comprehending their problems, the concerns they have with eBay and the fear of having their metaphorical legs cut off, and responded with a raft of measures designed to set seller’s minds at rest.

Gone is the carrot and stick approach of fee discounts coupled with dire threats if you don’t change your behaviour. This seller release heralds a new dawn of eBay looking to work in partnership with their sellers. That has to be a good thing.