eBay Fall 2012 Seller Updates

EBay Fall 2012 Updates

Surprise! On Tuesday July 24, 2012, eBay announced their fall updates! There wasn’t a lot of notice this time, nor gossip and planning on the boards. So let’s talk about what we have!

EBay has grouped the announcements into buckets so let’s follow that format.

Additional Protections and Rewards

  • Starting in February, a buyer will need to contact you FIRST before they can open a Buyer Protection case. You will then have 3 days to resolve the issue.
  • Also in February, the number of opened buyer protection cases will NOT be used as a performance measurement. Only cases NOT found in your favor will count against you.
  • Reporting buyers who misuse the system will be faster and easier starting in October, there will be a more accessible and enhanced reporting hub to enable you to easily report these issues.
  • Starting in September, a new Top Rated Plus seal will highlight listings from Top Rated Sellers that include 1-day handling and 14-day or longer money-back returns. This new badge will replace the current Top Rated Seller badge.

None of these updates will require you to make any changes or take any action except the new Top Rated Plus seal. This is another push by eBay to encourage 1-day handling and 14-day or longer money-back returns. You will need to evaluate this benefit for your business and decide how to implement any changes you decide on.

New ways to showcase your items, boost sales


  • The eBay Fast ‘N Free logo on listings has been delivering a solid increase in sales over listings without it. Starting the week of September 24, you will be able to check on your seller dashboard to see the impact of this badge on your sales.
  • Now that pictures are FREE (Motors Vehicles excluded), load up! Starting in October, new listings and relistings will be required to include a picture, with additional picture requirements announced earlier this year coming in 2013.
  • Starting the week of October 22, buyers will be able to see the important details about your items condition right up front.
  • Enter your valid zip code on eBay and your city and state will be automatically added to your listings.
  • Get a greater on-average boost in Best Match on eBay Motors for listings that include an AutoCheck vehicle history report in the History Report tab.
  • More selling power for electronics. New way to shop for popular products coming to more categories—listing with the eBay catalog required.
  • Boost sales with multi-variation listings. Coming soon! A new feature will let you easily combine individual listings of different variations of an item—such as color and size—into one listing.

In this group are some things that you’ll have to make changes or evaluate for your business model. With the new information about the Fast ‘N Free logo, you’ll want to decide about implementing policies for your items to earn this badge on your listings, or perhaps on some of them and see what kind of impact it will have on your business.

For the picture update, it’s time to check all listings and make sure they all have at least one photo that is at least 500 x 500 pixels.

Make sure that your zip code is correct on your eBay account so that the information displayed to your buyers is also correct. In addition, this is how eBay will calculate the estimated shipping time so it is doubly important to have the correct ship from zip code in the listings.

For eBay Motors sellers, if you are not already including a Vehicle History report, you’ll need to evaluate your cost versus benefit on this one. And for electronics sellers, it’s time to check for model and serial numbers on inventory to make sure all is matching up correctly to the eBay catalog.

Other updates

  • Ending Auction-style listings when they have a bid can lead to buyer frustration. Starting October 1, to protect the spirit and integrity of auctions, a fee will be charged for ending an Auction-style listing early after there’s been a bid.
  • More communication power in My eBay Messages. Starting in late September, you’ll be able to upload up to five pictures via My Messages to help close the sale.
  • Category and item specifics update. As always, changes to categories and item specifics are included with the rest of seller updates. Updates are coming in many categories and a few categories are being eliminated—find out if your listings are affected.

The only impact the auction ending fee should have is to make each seller more aware of double checking the information before they hit that submit button. eBay has said there will be one cancellation allowed per year without a fee.

If you still have questions or would like to view all this on the eBay site itself, use the links below.

How do you see these changes affecting your business?


This guest post is by Kat Simpson. Kat is a trusted eCommerce author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years; is an eBay Education Specialist and Gold Level PowerSeller, as well as a successful Amazon merchant. Currently Kat is the co-host of popular weekly eCommerce Podcast FBARadio.

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