eBay UK Seller Release 2014: Tamebay round up

By Dan Wilson March 12, 2014 - 7:32 am

On Tuesday we digested, as best we could, the news coming out of eBay UK in the 2014 Seller Release.

There really is a lot of small print (and some ambiguity) and when it comes to things such as the new Seller Standards, the devil (as ever) is in the detail. With many of the announcements, to further complicate matters, the impact will depend on what you sell and how you run your business. It’s difficult to take a universal view.

The good news is that neither mandatory Managed Returns or the new Seller Standards will be coming before August 2014 so there is time for consideration. Other, less controversial, aspects are coming sooner. The Category and Item Specifics arrive in less than a month and will require attention by many.

In any case, here’s a round up of the posts we made yesterday.

Mandatory Managed Returns are coming in the Autumn
With some limited exceptions, every eBay business seller will have to participate in eBay’s own system allowing buyer returns.

New seller performance requirements
Starting in August, eBay sellers will be required to meet new standards of service. eBay have published a new “defects” criteria, failure to meet the new standards will mean loss of Top Rated Seller status and the worst offenders could have their sales limited. Similar to Amazon’s own seller standards, this is a change that will affect many business sellers.

Changes to Categories and Item Specifics
More granular detail would be welcome, but some fairly hefty Category and Item Specific changes are coming in slightly less than a month. Listings will need to optimised to accomodte the changes and that may be a major undertaking.

Fee Changes
Supersize pictures will be free and there are some fairly small changes to fees. Nothing too terrible compared to past years.

Changes to eBay Shops
There will be lots of welcome changes to eBay Shops. Some minor tweaking may be required for shop owners. Basic shops will now get the Promotions Manager feature gratis.

International Tracked Postage Service
It’s coming apparently: eBay negotiated tracked postage overseas. Sounds good but, again alas, we don’t have the details we need on rates to give it a big hurrah.

Odds and Ends
A few changes in Motors categories and the like. Nothing major.

And don’t forget… eBay Collections
We published this last week but it’s also part of today’s news: eBay introduced the Collections feature to entice buyers into shopping. Nice but no work required from sellers.

You can find the full eBay 2014 business seller release.. on eBay. It does have some more details. It also has a lot more fluff. 😉

  • 4 years ago

    Thanks for all the useful posts chaps.

  • fusion
    4 years ago

    Regarding the international tracked service, I had a call from ebay saying they could offer good deals with DPD. I explained we already had contract services with their sister company, Interlink. They said we were probably already getting the same deals then.

    While the service could make it easier for some sellers I don’t think it will be a money saver and you will probably find that organizing your own couriers could save you more money.

  • davelovesebay
    4 years ago

    I dont trust ebay with the international tracked thing. Its a good idea, but they will want to make loads of profit on it and take the price far to high to be worth it.

  • 4 years ago

    Not seen an announcement re ebay UK but I tried to relist an item this morning. ebay stated that my photo was substandard and would not allow the relist. I sell Books almost all New and Unread. There is supposed to be a Catalogue which contains photos and technical details. All we need to do is to tap in the ISBN number to access this. However there are many gaps. Some Books(in fact probably the vast majority) there is nothing at all. Then there are many where there may be technicals but no photo and this category is increasing as ebay seem to have a policy to delete the photo. Then there are a minority of Books where the technicals and photo actually exist.

    It is going to make life very difficult if the catalogue remains as bad as it is currently. Taking my stock as an example. I have a large number of titles where I only have one copy. If the catalogue was up to standard I would just tap in the ISBN and the Book would be listed. However that is not happening. It is true that I do have a number of Books where I have multiple copies. In those cases I tend to have a photo that ebay likes, some from the publisher some from ebays catalogue and some I have provided myself.

    However if I am limited by ebay to only being able to list those where I have a photo that ebay will accept then I will have to cut back in various areas and one will be in my purchases from ebay.

    I currently fund my purchases on ebay from my sales on ebay. If ebay are not going to allow me to relist or list if ebay does not like the photo then this is going to reduce my sales.

    All of my Books have photographs. Yet when I browse ebay I find many items either with no photo at all or such as a blue box like thing with the titles name on it. So what is going on.

    • 4 years ago

      You’re a bit behind. That’s the picture standards. It’s been trailled for about a year. And we have written about it multiple times.

    • 4 years ago

      Its not the picture standard that I was complaining about. I have taken a lot of photos. But ebay seems not to like many of them. The problem is that ebay will not list without an acceptable photo yet appearsdto accept many listings with either no photo or one of those blue box like things with the title of the book printed on it. I have been selling books for getting on for 44 years starting with running a Society Sales Stand at weekend events and I have yet to see any book(except a few proof copies-and these are not for sale to the general public) that have anything like a blue box like cover with the title printed on it. So why are ebay accepting these and not photos that ebay deems sub standard.

      In regard to ebay supplied photos the complaint is that there just are so very few of them. The vast majority of books there is no ebay photo on file. So could ebay give a prod to whoever it is supposed to provide the technicals and the photos to put a lot more on their register. Also if you have a book in front of you to take the technicals why don’t you take a photo at the same time. Why are there so many books with technicals and no photo.

    • Rich
      4 years ago

      From my searches on eBay UK I did not feel eBay was doing anything about photo standards, I still see under size photo, I still see a photo covered in prices, sale signs and so on, and these are new listings. So a little confused on what action eBay are taken.

      Looking around clothing, I often see an image for example just a few days ago, someone was using the Next Clothing Company logo, and other with a photo coming later, this sort of thing. These listing where on page one of my search. I did not think you would be able to do this with a new listing.

    • 4 years ago

      I agree totally. I look through the various categories and find numerous listings, often New Listings, with either No Photo or ones just like you describe. Yet for some reason ebay keeps rejecting many of mine. Its almost as if rules about photos are only being implimented in some cases and not in others.

      As I have said before it would not be so bad if ebays Book Catalogue actually worked. Then there would be a set of technical details and a standard photo for all, or at least a majority, of the Books that are likely to be listed on ebay. But that does not happen. Only a small percentage of Books have both Technicals and a photo.

      Had an interesting one a few days ago. I was relisting a book. It had an acceptable photo. When I get to the end of any listings or relistings I invariably run through my list just to check. There was my title showing with no photo yet when I looked at the listing itself there was my photo. I then had a lot of juggling to try to get the photo back onto the list. I managed it. Yet why did it happen? Surely if the photo is on the listing itself it should be all the way through?

      None of my photos show up as small or cluttered with logos, Sale etc. Yet ebay just does not seem to like many of them while at the same time seeming to accept listings with no photo or very poor photos.

    • JD
      4 years ago

      Where did you get the picture Chris?

      If it’s eBay catalogue then ring up and complain.

      If it’s yours then take a new one!

    • 4 years ago

      There is supposed to be an Official Listing of Photos and Technicals. If you look at BBIP(British Books in Print) the Booksellers Bible there is about 600,000 Books listed as being currently in print in the UK. In the UK every year there are about 60,000 New Books published. At the very minimum every single one of these should be on ebays catalogue with Photo and Technicals. Then there are millions of books that the publishers show as being Out of Print.

      Let me explain what Out of Print means. It is usual for a publisher to show a book as being OOP when the last copy leaves its warehouse. It does not cover Books in Wholesalers Warehouses or indeed on the shelf in Bookshops or their stores and does not include copies that may have been Remaindered. Indeed if it is Remaindered the Publisher will often show the Book as OOP when it ships its stock to the Remainder Warehouse.

      So apart from the 600,000 in BBIP and the New Books being published all the time there could be a couple of hundred thousand titles in the system where there are significant numbers of New Copies in the system. Each and every one of these could be listed at some time or other on ebay and each and every one of them should be on ebays Register showing technical details and a photo.

      From my own experience it appears as if very few do have both the technicals and the photo. I would call upon ebay to give a very real nudge to who evers responsibility it is to put books on the register to speed up the listings. It looks at present that it is very much a one man and a dog set up and that just is not good enough if ebay is going to refuse to list so many books just because ebay does not like the photo submitted by the seller.

    • 4 years ago

      To show you the shoddy nature of ebays Book Register. I tried to list a Book Published in 1990 and still in print. There are some very superficial technical details of the Book and no photo. You would think that after getting on for 24 years ebay would have finally caught up with supplying a photo. I previously said that it was a one man and a dog set up. It is with the dog doing most of the work.

  • 4 years ago

    I’ve only see Fedex come near to the DPD deal with eBay. A few examples:

    Germany up to 30KG – £7.97
    Italy up to 30KG – £14.99
    Spain up to 30KG – £12.99
    France up to 30KG – £9.74
    USA 5KG – £28.33
    Australia 5KG – £32.63

    Also you can ship www, Amazon & Play orders using the service. DPD should be rolling it out next week.

    Anything is welcome to improve the cost & reliability in delivering overseas. Just a shame it doesn’t cover South America

  • Jay
    4 years ago

    Just another attempt by eBay of increasing revenues. They simply are generating more revenue from very popular home and garden categories and restricting even more the window for any discouns

  • 4 years ago

    Re. Seller Performance

    Nice example below of the kind of lunatics we deal with.

    Bath ordered and paid for 2nd March.

    Buyer didn’t pay delivery. Buyer invoiced 2nd March.

    Buyer contacts us on 9th March and asks to pay delivery.

    Second Paypal invoice sent 9th March. No payment received.

    Buyer opens a case today, 16th March, for non delivery and asks for tracking.


    Happy to forward full details Emma if you request them. Chris and Dan have my email.

    • john
      4 years ago

      Shame you can’t just pull the plug on the deal lol

    • 4 years ago

      Don’t give up your day job John. 😀

    • john
      4 years ago

      Seriously, you should be able to kick the customer into line without reprisal.

      Ebay’s whole attitude now is skewed/warped.

      This whole customer is always rite and ebays only customer is a buyer WILL catch up with them.

  • Smithy
    4 years ago

    Total overkill as usual. It is becoming more and more about metrics, numbers and compliance. They force things down at you and there is no consultation period for larger sellers like us. Do you think they take into consideration that we, as a shoe seller, often get marked down and cases opened for SNAD since people who order a pair of shoes and find they dont fit particularly well think that it’s the fault of the seller. Constant change cannot be good for anyone despite what they may tell you. Yes, the bar has been raised….but you need to ask yourself – was it not high enough with 0.5%, yes that’s 5 out of 1000 of transactions in DSRs allowed to be a “1” or a “2”. The pied piper plays his pipe and the masses dance to his tune.

    We took in £1,904,662 over the last 12 months on eBay so hopefully that settles any doubts that i know what i am talking about and we need to be heard.

    The fact that eBay are also making managed returns mandatory is ridiculous. We have a very effective and easy returns system which is basically good for the scrap heap now since again they are forcing us into opting in for managed returns.

    Recently we wanted to offer items on the top picks page and they unusually did not want to know. When speaking to our account manager, they stated you had to have the click and collect from Argos rubbish active in order to list on the deals page.

    Where is the choice and the freedom as we always had? eBay are forcing you to do everything you dont really want to do. Its a dictatorship. Remember the days when you could opt in to offering paypal as a payment method?

    Some things are for the greater good, granted. But there is a fine line and a balance between authoritarian rule and imposition of changes and on the other hand encouraging and incentivising best practise.

    What the heck has got in to eBay management! I hope they read this and the office of the president should also get a copy on his desk.

  • Rich
    4 years ago

    The managed return is a double kick in the teeth. Customer will know all you have to select is item not as described, and the seller has to pay the return cost. Most of our product post for £1.20 first class. In the managed returns we would have to pay £4.50 for the item to be returned. And if that is not bad enough, we get a defect. I can see managed returns to get abused by many buyers, and the seller our of pocket, and many defects.

    Now if we loss our Top Rated Seller Status, and loss our 12% FVF discount, so we also loss the 3% we get for having an eBay Premium Service?

    I can’t get any answers from eBay.

  • radroach
    4 years ago

    Interesting announcement from eBay:



    We’ve heard from many of you about the need for more insight at the transaction level into how you’re doing toward eBay’s performance standards – and we listened.

    We’re pleased to announce you’ll soon be able to run weekly detailed reports on your transactions to help you prepare for the new approach to seller standards on and coming with the August 20 seller evaluation. These reports will show which of your transactions have defects, and the specific defects associated with each transaction.

    Starting the week of April 16, you’ll be able to see which transactions have:

    · Returns initiated for a reason that the item was not as described

    · eBay Money Back Guarantee cases opened for item not as described or item not received

    · Seller-cancelled transactions, and negative or neutral feedback

    Starting in late April, the detailed rating system will no longer be anonymous, and you’ll also be able to see which transactions have low detailed seller ratings for item description and dispatch time.

    We’re making this change to the feedback system specifically to help you succeed with the new standards – and deliver the great service that earns you more visibility and potential sales.


    The eBay Team

  • Gary
    4 years ago

    “Starting in late April, the detailed rating system will no longer be anonymous, and you’ll also be able to see which transactions have low detailed seller ratings for item description and dispatch time”

    That is a very positive move!

    • Gerry007
      4 years ago

      Might just stop buyers leaving good feedback & lousy DSRs.

      Let’s hope ebay actually tell buyers about this as they should.

    • JD
      4 years ago

      What about the ones that leave 5* DSR’s and negative or neutral feedback?

    • Rob
      3 years ago

      Not much use to all the sellers just banned – and unfair.

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