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eBay Seller Release: A new partnership approach with sellers

By Chris Dawson August 30, 2016 - 1:07 pm

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.

  • Steve
    10 months ago

    Is that a 50/50 partnership where both sides have equal say or like the current one where eBay is always right and the door is over there ?

    :-)

  • 10 months ago

    Hey Chris, could you drop a link to the release, no eBay email received here and nothing on the announcements board.

  • Paul
    10 months ago

    Too little, too late.
    I stopped selling on Ebay a couple of months ago. It’s no longer viable for my business.

  • TINKER
    10 months ago

    no sticks and a few carrots best release for a while

  • Steve
    10 months ago

    If a seller drops below standard I wonder if eBay will demote all the sellers items to the back of beyond on best match the same as they do now making diluting the defects just about impossible due to the lack of sales.

    If this is the case a seller who falls foul for the 0.3 unresolved cases rules will still never recover their account due to lack of sales and good feedback sales falling off faster than replaced percentage wise the seller will continue to decline and soon be history.

  • Andy R
    10 months ago

    Great.

    Just fix the site now, Mr Wenig, since you’re listening.

    Get the pictures working, which have been awful for weeks.

    Sort out the site issues, regarding log in and checkout.

    But remember, Mr Wenig, trust has to be earned, my friend.

    You won’t get it on the back of one reasonable seller release, after so many bad ones.

  • sanju Prajapati
    10 months ago

    I not understand English
    I am understand English only
    Grow my business big problem English

  • Pete W
    10 months ago

    What about protection for sellers from fraudulent buyers?…We would like eBay to take a more active approach is terminating buyer account who defraud sellers and let us sellers know about the stats behind it (like they used to)

    i.e.: “Last month we removed X number of buyers from the site due to your reports”
    i.e.: “We have prevented X number of cases from opening in the resolution centre”
    i.e.: “We have stopped X number of buyers from leaving you negative feedback because we feel that their feedback may not be entirely fair” (after strings of feedback abuse)
    i.e.: “We have removed X number of defects from your seller performance because we feel that within these transactions you have tried your best in offering a good customer experience”

    Still a long way to go eBay!
    Last week, Amazon protected me against a £170 transaction against a fraudulent buyer, I am happy, why?…because they LISTENED to my side and never responded from a script

    • TINKER
      10 months ago

      they do non of the above because there is not enough data

  • James
    10 months ago

    When will these monkeys change it so that we can re-arrange the order of multi variation listings?

    Instead of paying a few morons £30-60k a year or whatever the overpriced going rate is for mid level managers – fire them and spend this money on basic tech to sort out the above.

    • Steven
      10 months ago

      My variations are shown in alphabetical order when editing a multi-variation listing with the new tool. No idea if this is carried through or it keeps your existing order. Haven’t had the cojones to find out…

    • simon
      10 months ago

      At least you can edit a listing. Mine keeps saying a problem with self hosted images (which i didn’t have before) and I can do it with turbo lister so it must be a fault with their system. Cant edit title/ quantity/price.
      So much for a change for the better.

  • Andy R
    10 months ago

    There is one issue here with the withdrawal of TL – the inability to create listings offline via the new hub to upload to Ebay.

    This is essential for sellers to create listings in advance and work around the dodgy Ebay system availability / reliability.

    This needs to be addressed.

  • Andy R
    10 months ago

    A new partnership with sellers ???

    According to downdetector, these are the days in August when the Ebay site was experiencing problems:

    30 Aug
    29 Aug
    26 Aug
    23 Aug
    22 Aug
    20 Aug
    19 Aug
    15 Aug
    11 Aug
    10 Aug
    8 Aug
    7 Aug
    5 Aug
    4 Aug
    3 Aug
    1 Aug

    And this is a typical month for Ebay problems.

    Amazon problems in August

    None!

    Mr Wenig, you should hang your head in shame.

    Get your site working properly !!!

    • BPM
      10 months ago

      Hey! You left your comment in the early morning of the 31st August – you didnt give Ebay time to have tech problems that day (which they did, later on). Add the 31st to the list!

    • James G
      10 months ago

      Er, we check every day and Down detector is orange and red EVERY day, with it being green for maybe an our or two sometime around 3.30-4.30am.

      Ebay is DOWN every day, the sites a Joke mainly because they have clowns like him at the top who have no idea what they are doing and would likely struggle to run a burger stall.

      AMAZON on the other hand is a different story, it works and is on the whole run correctly. eBay is a farce and frankly it’s become a subscription fraud in recent years. Lets hope that with this closure of the CS in Ireland (which they are using paypal as a cover to make people redundant I suspect) results in a few disgruntled ex employees ready to spill the beans to the press on the sites questionable activities. Taking money for a service not supplied has a name… can’t quite remember….

  • 10 months ago

    Stopped selling on eBay 2 months ago – too much hard work for little return and the last straw was a downgrade after a few mistakes during a busy period. Out of curiosity, I checked my seller status and it shows improvement while selling nothing.

  • Ian A
    10 months ago

    Agree too little too late. Still selling on ebay but only paying per listing. Shut up shop with a view to move business away. Website, cabinets and other marketplaces doing ok.

    Glad theyre looking at shipping. Its the biggest expense, royal mail almost doubled prices since started in 2009 and we’re expected to foot the bill just because ebay want us to provide service to keep up with amazon, but we have to pay for it.
    ebay should use their billions to pay for shipping if they want it to be ‘free’.

  • 10 months ago

    Firstly may I give the news that ebay is going to treat its Sellers fairly for a change is welcome. I hope they will take this opportunity to review all the current punishments in regard to sellers. After all if a seller is currently being given a good kicking by ebay and another Seller falls foul of ebay in exactly the same circumstances it would be totally unfair for them to be treated differently.

    Some Sellers have been under going punishment for months in my case 8 months. So if ebay was to relax or significantly change the rules and indeed punishments then surely ebay should contact those who have suffered such savage attacks and try to sort out the mess.

    For example in my case hundreds of listings have been killed by ebay. Each listing takes about 30 minutes to create. So if I was to start to recreate listings it can be expected to take a great deal of time and effort on my account. Can I be assured that next time I am the innocent party targeted by crooks that ebay will not just start to kick me very hard again and wipe out all of my hard work.

    ebay has to work with its sellers otherwise the sellers will set up their own Website as I plan to do and ebay will benefit nothing from my Sales.

    I hope that ebay will listen…it would be a welcome change. But for now my Website plans remain in place. The only factor that has stopped me setting up my Website has been time. I still intend to set it up because of the disgusting way I have been treated and indeed are still being treated by ebay.

  • Lynn N
    10 months ago

    No-one can deny that eBay has many faults and it would be unrealistic to expect all its wrongs to be righted overnight, so a Seller Release with no bad news should be welcomed.

    Being a bit long in the tooth, I hate change and am not looking forward to getting my head around the new Seller Hub but hopefully it will make life easier once I’ve figured it out :)

    What concerns me as a seller of vintage toys is the removal of the “Does Not Apply” option for product identifiers. I’m not sure how this will work out for example when listing an unboxed Star Wars figure that is long out of production. Time will tell I suppose.

    As others have already mentioned, eBay always siding with the buyer when a dispute arises is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed. Apart from that, this Seller Release is a step in the right direction and long may that continue..

    • David Brackin
      10 months ago

      I too am concerned about the change to product identifiers. Almost everything that team have done has been onerous for sellers with little obvious benefit, other than trying to wriggle out from under the crushing Google penalty applied last year for some dodgy SEO work.

      They release late and unannounced with poor tool support, and basically have decided that sellers should tidy up their database for them. And made it compulsory even where the burden of doing so is highly onerous — such as in Lynn’s example. How will they police this? What will happen for the poor buyers who rely on an ASIN (correct at time of listing, but since changed by the ASIN owner)?

      That’s a one-way trip to a dirty database. And as a result, search on eBay is going to get considerably worse.

  • james
    10 months ago

    how long have ebay been relenltessly banging on about free express delivery?
    every single bloody day i need to tell them to stop hounding me to offer free next day delivery on items its impossible to offer free next day delivery on.
    so OF COURSE the label system they offer (and profit from) will be a fast service?
    no, it’s HERMES ECONOMY.

    “Do as i say, not as i do”
    -eBay.

    and after 6 months trying to comply with their barcode nazis, now they’ll take amazon ID’s or user-generated ones??
    and have the audacity to write “let us do the hard work” on there?

    what a bunch of slimey tosspots.

  • SAM
    10 months ago

    Shutl seems to offer hermes economy only and we send 99% large letter size so this will not really help us, we have signed up anyway purely as they said they will deal with issues where we find RMG do not. and we send the odd parcel. Anyway HERMES economy does not fill me with confidence and is not express. Hope they get some deals.
    I think they should get out there and use a bit of that buying power. We will see, but I do not think I will be canceling my RMG account anytime soon, and maybe RMG will react.
    Yes one of the big issues eBay have they have 0 trust from the sellers. We started on eBay, grew on eBay, lost total trust in eBay and really grew with Amazon and other outlets. I would not trust them with my business. Anyway it seems like progress if they are not just kicking people of left right and centre. Things happen in the real world. We have never had issues but are always wary and as I say have 0 confidence in eBay or their BOTS.
    Still not dealing with the torrent of buying fraud I see.
    The hub thing looks fine, I swear I pay extra for some features right now. Running the mobile friendly app, might as well just leave descriptions blank by the looks of it.

  • John
    10 months ago

    Iv gone from 100% Ebay to 80% Amazon over the last few years but this update gives hope.Ebay need to do deals with all couriers,and also get decent size limits.Postage/Courier is where Amazon intend to destroy the competition. (including long term anyone who doesnt FBA).Smaller sellers simply cant get decent rates and on top of that have couriers with too tight size limits etc.
    Ebay need to really push this.Use your muscle.Dont try to simply make a few quid.See it as a battleground to help your nation of sellers compete with Amazon (and other big online sellers).
    If Ebay can get good rates on there right up to over size parcels it would be a shot in the arm for most of their sellers.
    The direction of travel in this update looks good.More and i might put the effort back into Ebay.

  • Jonah
    10 months ago

    Too little too late.
    Enough said.

    • Steve
      10 months ago

      I agree the horse has gone and the stable door was stolen with an INR claim the straw was not as described and the water bucket was returned as faulty it would not fill its self

  • FatBoy
    10 months ago

    Does eBay have any customers left who still believe in this rubbish?

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