Posted by Alex Jackson on June 23, 2017
In a rather unusual move (traditionally only done in spring and fall) eBay has rolled out a summer seller update. While there’s not a huge amount of changes there are a few important and interesting changes that could spell bigger and better things to come.
Personal contact info not allowed- This move actually makes a lot of sense to me for a few reasons. First it discourages offsite sales which do happen and do not help the marketplace we want more shoppers on the site not less and two it’s another level of protection for the seller. As a seller, you probably have been contacted by a buyer at some point to do a transaction offsite and your answer should always be a polite no. I know it may seem crazy, you are avoiding fees and pocketing more money but what recourse do you have if you sell that item and 2 weeks later that person demands their money back? You can’t call on eBay to step in if the buyer turns out to be a nut! This communication restriction also extends to external links in your listings. Product videos, freight shipping services and other legally required info all fine but link to your own website that’s a no-no.
Continuing to enhance the eBay catalog- This is perhaps the most interesting item in the seller update, sellers are automatically opted into ebay’s catalog of images meaning if you upload a pic it can be used in eBay’s database. Is this a step towards a more streamlined listing process? Is this a step towards a simpler listing by UPC with added benefit of using catalog pictures? This would be amazing, saves lots of time, reduce problems and eliminate redundant work! We can only hope and see what happens next.
Greater visibility for stores offering flexible returns- offering 30 day or greater returns and don’t charge a restock fee? Well eBay will be bringing that fact to their buyer’s attention in a few different ways. First by adding search filters to search by return policy, second by highlighting your listing polices and last by featuring these listings in marketing campaigns which is a nice little perk for being a flexible seller.
Additional control when you offer free returns- This is another one of the more interesting points in the summer update. Do you offer free returns? Did some jerk just try to stiff you by returning a dirty t-shirt that was not dirty when you sent it out? Well coming this fall its partial refunds a big win for sellers who have demanded some form of recourse for situations like this.
While unexpected there were a few pleasant surprises, like the greater visibility a big win for the top seller status and sellers who already offer 30 day returns and finally the introduction of partial refunds, an additional tool in the sellers arsenal to prevent abusive or fraudulent returns.