Are eBay’s picture standards being enforced?

By Chris Dawson November 11, 2013 - 6:51 am

We’re curious – how are you finding the new eBay picture standards and have you seen any action by eBay to enforce them yet?

Graffiti on eBay Laptop ImageWe had a quick browse on eBay and it appears that some quite large sellers are taking different attitudes to the new rules. A common ruse for laptops and TVs is simply to take the graffiti that used to adorn the image and move it to the laptop or TV screen.

I’m not saying this doesn’t help buyers decide if it’s the correct product for them to choose, or that it definitely breaks eBay’s no graffiti rules (does it?), but it’s certainly an interesting development.

Logos on eBay imagesOther sellers, both of tech products and in other categories, are still adding manufacturer logos to their images. Whilst the logos again are probably helpful to buyers letting them know that it’s a quality branded product, again we’re not sure that these image are compliant with the new eBay rules.

Of course we may be judging these sellers overly harshly – whilst the rules apply to new or edited listings from the 8th of November and existing images don’t have to be edited before Spring 2014. However we’ve spotted several listings with logos and grafitti on screens that were lasted edited on or after the 9th of November.

Packaging in imageAnother trick we’ve seen is an increase in the number of product in packaging either as the main image or as a thumbnail in the main image. Whilst this doesn’t break the rules, it does of course mean that information such as the manufacturer’s name and other product information is highly visible to buyers.

The images above were all taken from this week’s daily deals. Whilst we have absolutely no desire to pick on any particular sellers, we figured that if eBay were monitoring any images that they’d be vetting the daily deals more closely than any other listings on the site. However it’s fair to say that while we’ve not displayed the images here, there are some daily deal listings with images that most definitely do not meet the new picture standards and we’re not sure why eBay are displaying them so prominently without insisting that the images be edited.

We have heard from a few sellers who weren’t aware of the rule changes and have suddenly discovered that their smaller than 500 pixel images are no longer acceptable on eBay. Naturally it’s been a bit of a problem for them as they were totally unprepared.. How are you finding the change though, have you had any listings blocked or reported for images that don’t comply?

We’d love to get a feel for what sellers are doing to optimise their images, if you’re using any of the ruses above to bypass the new rules, or if you’ve tried to game the system and been pulled up by eBay and asked to amend your listings.

  • Kate George
    4 years ago

    I sell earrings which are very small items. Originally I deliberately kept the pictures small as I don’t want to give the wrong impression about the size of them by showing an over large picture. My pictures were perfectly good for a very small item. On one of my listings, when I came to relist it I found I couldn’t use the picture, so what do I do? leave the earrings the same size and use more border in the picture, or increase the size, possibly making it a bit blurry and certainly a lot bigger than life-size? Then I will get complaints of “smaller than I expected”, even though the length of the earrings is stated in the listing.

    More worrying is the “returns policy” bit. My returns policy states that yes I have one, how many days, who pays postage, and yet sometimes it is taking me 20 minutes or so to relist one item because it says I don’t have one, please state no of days and wh pays postage, I check, all is as it should be, I still get errors. I feel like giving up on ebay altogether some days, it’s too expensive and too much of a pain to bother with. I already gave up my ebay shop as it was too expensive for someone who lists about 20 items a month. All this stuff might help large sells but it just discourages small sellers.

  • northumbrian
    4 years ago

    watch out for your nads if your a seller , the ebay stasi will be plugging in the electrodes

  • Joe
    4 years ago

    eBay have a track record of introducing new rules then failing to enforce them, for example duplicate listings, not using TRS/PS logos or mentioning that you’re a ‘trusted seller’ to name two off the top of my head, so I don’t see this will be any different.

    Personally I’ve updated most of my images to comply with a few still left to sort out, but I search the site daily and I see little evidence that eBay are enforcing the new rules. There are loads of ‘UK SELLER FAST POST’ type images. I still find some listings without any image, which is also against the new rules.

    I notice some of the mega media sellers who never bothered with images before are now uploading a generic image, one large video game seller just shows a photo of a bloke sat on a couch with a controller in his hand.

  • 4 years ago

    My eBay shop has jumped over so many hurdles and through so many hoops these past few months to hang onto the new premium service badge!!!! The last hurdle, which I am even struggling to reach, let alone jump over is the new image size. As a stamp dealer and very like the lady who has already mentioned ‘earrings’….stamps are STAMP SIZE……….not BATH TOWEL SIZE!! Currently still a third of my shops’ images do not comply with the new size. I believe, working 12+ hours EVERY DAY…and there are two of us working these killer long hours…………..that is just to get orders out, bend over backwards to be excellent, top rated sellers there is very little time left to re-scan 10,000 items. WE ARE TRYING and as I have mentioned IT IS KILLING US. When the final cut off date arrives one of us will have to spend approximately 5 YEARS rescanning (as the lady who sells earrings mentioned, we also cannot auto upsize as the stamps become blurry so each item has to be physically rescanned) as normal eBay days, selling, relisting, packing and posting has to continue.
    As time is at a premium I have one more point to raise re items being removed because of breaching eBay’s Disasters and Tragedies Policy………………….I AM A STAMP DEALER……I sell stamps which depict all manner of topics, stamps produced by countries who obviously believe their stamps cover true, factual and celebratory events……….to me it is political correctness gone mad……what is wrong with listing stamps with shipwrecks, WWII stamps which mention Concentration Camps, Barbed Wire….stamps which mention Human Rights…. these are all collected by stamp collectors… WAS Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Cuba…….these countries I am now prohibited from selling on eBay…… who is being punished by restricting sellers (who have stock legitimately purchased on EBAY) from listing ALL STAMPS OF THE WORLD….Stanley Gibbons is allowed to sell it’s annual STAMPS OF THE WORLD catalogues on eBay…….without removing the pages which are restricted!!
    There was a time when having one’s say……on the soap box made one feel a little better…………nowadays, TODAY it doesn’t.

  • 4 years ago

    On 6th November I had 51 listings removed for policy violation. I spoke to eBay UK about it and they said it looked like they were removed because of logos on the images. I said that I thought it was only for new listings and then not enforced until after 8th November.

    She called me back an hour later to say that it was that had removed them as my listings were ‘visible’ on and they enforced the new rules some time ago.

    So because I offered worldwide shipping the US decided that as it didn’t comply with their rules I couldn’t sell it anywhere else in the world!

    Needless to say, all my listings now exclude shipping the N & S America (sadly can’t exclude just the USA) until such time as I can remove the logos on 3000+ listings and the 51 removed listings are now re-listed (with unfortunately the sales history lost)

    • JD
      4 years ago

      It begs the question – why were the listings not removed some time ago?

      This is a right dogs breakfast with seemingly ‘random’ sellers penalised whilst at the same time lots of listings going live that do not comply.

    • Kimberley Zatlyn
      4 years ago

      Hi Tony,

      If you would like to share your seller ID and Item Ids if available for ended listings, I’ll look into this further for you. As part of the new picture policy, passive CBT listings are not ended. The policy applies to the listing site.


    • 4 years ago

      Tony if you’d like us to put you in touch with Kim drop me an email to and we’ll connect you

    • 4 years ago

      Hi Kim

      It’s esellitlondon

      Here are the listings that were removed:
      271087196641 – BERGEN Drive Shaft Circlip Tool BER6116
      271087219422 – BERGEN Professional Mini Very Low Pressure HVLP Spray Gun 100mm Cup BER8705
      271099610332 – BERGEN Industrial Quality 20 Piece 3/4 inch Dr. Hex Socket Set BER1051
      271142538756 – US Pro Tools 12 Piece Mechanics Go-Through Screwdriver Set in Tray US1522
      271160559926 – Silverline Professional 1200W 150mm Wall Chaser 230V with Dust Extractor
      271169286409 – Silverline Professional Comprehensive 90 Piece Mechanics Socket Tool Set SIL8688
      271187197736 – BERGEN Professional 17 Pce Compression Tester for Diesel Engine
      271188845445 – BERGEN Cable Tie Fastening Tool BER6608
      271202195227 – BERGEN Crankshaft and Camshaft Seal Installation and Removal Set 27-58mm BER5552
      271202195344 – Silverline Trade Quality 350W Bandsaw and Converter Plug Blue SIL441563
      271210800845 – BERGEN Professional 2 inch Mini 90° Angled Head Air Sander with Velcro Pad
      271211839018 – BERGEN Professional Trade Quality 3/8″ Butterfly Impact Gun Wrench BER8540
      271216288495 – US PRO 1/4″ DR Click Torque Wrench 6 – 30 NM US6760
      271222057490 – NEW US Pro Petrol Engine Timing Tensioner Tool For VAG Vehicles 1.8 & 1.8T US319
      271223507096 – US PRO Automotive Trade Quality Short and Open Finder US6625
      271240600446 – 12 Pc Professional Wood Carving Chisel Set WW171
      271251748805 – Hilka Engineering Quality 170 pc HSS 4241 Steel Twist Drill Set Split Point Set
      271271041247 – US PRO TOOLS 4 Ton Body 16 Piece Hydraulic Porta Power Body Repair Kit US10050
      271272360814 – BERGEN Professional 1/4″ Easy On Ratchet Handle with 72 Teeth BER4096
      271277814076 – BERGEN Professional Bmw Mini Front Control Arm Bush Removal Tool BER6140
      271285152025 – BERGEN Professional 360 Degree Flexible Work Light with Magnetic Base BER5359
      271289468082 – BERGEN Professional LVLP Gravity Fed Spray Gun 500ml Capacity 1.4mm Nozzle
      271292942637 – Wahl Nose Hair Trimmer (5560-917) With Battery WA-5560-1102
      271295765718 – BERGEN Professional 5 pce Pliers Set BER1745
      271307776188 – BERGEN 12V Fuel Injector Tester
      271307776342 – BERGEN 12V Fuel Injector Tester
      271310800595 – BERGEN Professional 10 Piece 3/8 Drive 10-19mm Deep Single Hex Socket Set BER115
      271312653706 – BERGEN WPI Technic Clic & Clic-R Collar Pliers for Drive Shafts and Air Intakes
      271313766316 – BERGEN Professional Super Bright Rechargeable 3w COB LED Inspection Light BER536
      281007320962 – BERGEN Timing Locking Kit for VAG vehicles BER3168
      281019458224 – Comrehensive 94 Piece 1/4 & 1/2 inch Drive Chrome Vanadium Socket Set 0697ERA
      281034955359 – Prima 7 Piece Stainless Steel Kitchen Tool Set with Stand 12025C
      281102514619 – Professional Trade Quality 6 Function SDS Max Hammer Drill 1500W SIL553002
      281103704247 – US PRO Automotive Trade Quality Short and Open Finder US6625
      281165457662 – BERGEN Professional Coil Spring Compressor with Adjustable Claws BER6210
      281174136831 – BERGEN Professional Universal Tie Rod Wrench 27-42mm BER6012
      281184767341 – SILVERLINE HEAVY DUTY PLASTER MIXER 1800W SIL828919
      281191902152 – US PRO 3/4″ inch Drive Heavy Duty Air Impact Gun 1800 N.m Torque US8524
      281192595359 – US PRO Professional Quality 15pc Precision Screwdrivers Set US1533
      281193686401 – BERGEN Trade Quality Left Hand Cut Tin Snips 300mm BER1751
      281198689268 – BERGEN Professional 88 Piece Thread Repair Kit Helicoil Set M6 M8 M10 BER2538
      281200449492 – BERGEN 10pc Extra Long Double Ring Single Gear Ratchet Spanner Wrench + adapters
      281200503856 – BERGEN Rechargeable 120 LED Under Bonnet Work Light with Hanger BER5360
      281201102893 – BERGEN Professional Cable Tie Fastening Tool BER6629
      281201115972 – BERGEN Professional 6 Piece Combination Crimping Tool Kit BER6632
      300995441091 – US PRO Mercedes Riveting Tool Set for Engine Timing Chain US3206
      300997124235 – BERGEN Professional 4 Piece 115mm Hook and Pick Set BER5019
      301005474398 – BERGEN Professional Gravity HVLP Fed 600ml Spray Gun with Plastic Cup BER8702
      301005474449 – US PRO 3/8 inch Dual Rail Socket Holder With 360 Studs Holds 32 US1203
      301007841484 – BERGEN Fuel Injection Pressure Test Kit BER5310
      271226147652 – Remington Professional Salon Kit Ceramic Hair Clipper HC365

    • Kimberley Zatlyn
      4 years ago

      Thanks Tony. Will come back to you on this.


    • Kimberley Zatlyn
      4 years ago

      Hi Tony,

      When choosing to make listings available for worldwide shipping, sellers are subject to those site policies. But as the picture standards policy is new and rolling out globally at different stages, we are not yet at this stage enforcing the picture standards on listings selected to ship to the US. Your listings are however required to comply with the policy on The fact that your listings were removed in this case was a mistake. I wanted to apologize and give you a sense of what happened and share what has since been put in place. Your non-compliant listings that you made visible on should have been referred to the UK team for review. In this case that didn’t happen and they were ended. We are now implementing a process and training across both Customer Service teams so that future policy changes run smoothly across sites. We will learn from this error and continue to work toward implementing systems that make eBay a great place to shop.


  • Andy
    4 years ago

    I think this new picture rule is complete nonsense and to be honest a negative thing for sellers. We sell in a very heavily saturated market on eBay (as is with a lot of markets) and being able to use the pictures to grab potential buyers attention was a great plus about eBay. I have never saturated images with excessive text, but it was nice to be able to include a unique selling point within the image, something that could make you stand out from the competition. Now with the new rules, we are going to see page upon page of images of items that look identical (product with white background) and instead of being able to put your unique selling points in the image they will have to either go in the title or in the listing description, but as we are experiencing more buyers using eBay mobile, they don’t even get to see the description unless the choose to click on show more. Imagine if newspapers and magazines had the same rule, and advertisers who wanted to advertise with them could only show their product with a generic white back ground and 1 sentence of text, that isn’t going to grab anyones attention. Its going to make browsing on eBay feel very clinical.

  • Stewart
    4 years ago

    Hi Chris, do you know why you are still able to list with images that flout the new image standards.




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