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New requirements for great listings

Great pictures, more relevant search results, and fewer duplicate listings keep buyers coming back

NEWS FLASH!

For updates, including picture quality requirements and enforcement, please click here.

Good quality pictures can make all the difference in enticing a buyer to choose your item over the rest. And great pictures make eBay look good. Best Match, using more listing information, gets your relevant listings in front of more buyers. New rules for duplicate Auction-style listings pay off in satisfied buyers and more sales for more sellers.

Highlights

Great pictures help sell your item

Good quality pictures are more important than ever when buyers use features like enlarge and zoom, and the great new visual ways to browse and shop on eBay.

Starting this fall:

  • All listings will be required to have a picture.
  • Photos must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side of the picture.
  • Borders around pictures, and text added to pictures, will no longer be allowed. Watermarks for attribution purposes only will continue to be allowed.
  • When listing a used item, stock photos may no longer be used as the primary item photo for the listing. A catalog image can still be used. However, it can’t be used as the primary photo representing a non-new item for sale. Books, Movies, Music, and Video Game categories will be excluded from this requirement (with the exception of Video Game Consoles which will be required to adhere to this new requirement).
  • Pictures that do not meet these requirements can’t be uploaded at the time of listing—or upon revise or relist—until the requirements are met.
  • Visit the new eBay Photo Center for tips on taking pictures that attract buyers and best showcase your item.

List it right to get your item found!

  • This year, eBay’s search engine will begin looking at more information—including item description—to evaluate items for ranking.
  • Item specifics, product codes like UPCs and ISBNs, brand, part numbers, and other descriptors, will be increasingly important to get your listing found by interested buyers.

Fewer duplicates mean more sales for more sellers

Making it easier for buyers to find what they want by reducing the number of duplicate listings in search results has significantly increased sales for many sellers. Further steps to reduce duplicates will take effect May 28:

  • An Auction-style listing with a Buy It Now option will now be treated as a Fixed Price listing under eBay’s Duplicate Listing policy.
  • Sellers with a Fixed Price listing for an item will be unable to list an identical item in an Auction-style format with the Buy It Now option.
  • Similarly, sellers with an Auction-style listing with the Buy It Now option for an item will be unable to list an identical item in the Fixed Price format.
  • Sellers will also be unable to create duplicate Auction-style listings with the Buy It Now option for identical items.
  • eBay’s Duplicate Listing policy has been updated to include guidelines specifying that Auction-style duplicate listings may be removed, or given less visibility in search results.

Take Action

  • Review your listings today to make sure they’re optimized for search engines both on and off eBay by following eBay’s listing best practices.

  • Start adopting the new picture quality requirements now. Your listings will benefit immediately and you’ll be all set when the new picture requirements go into effect this fall for new, revised and relisted items. Look for updates later this spring regarding the specific enforcement date for the new requirements. We want to give you plenty of time to make necessary adjustments to photos and photo practices prior to enforcing the new requirements.

  • Avoid relisting any Auction-style listings with the Buy It Now option if an identical item is also listed in a Fixed Price format.

  • Avoid listing multiple Auction-style listings with the Buy It Now option when listings with an identical item already exist.

Best Practices

Photos in listings

  • Take top quality photos that will showcase your items. The ideal is 1600 pixels on the longest side (and the larger the image the better for zoom and enlarge); 500 pixels will be required starting this fall.
  • Photograph your item from different angles to give your buyers an accurate representation of the item you’re selling.
  • Add pictures to all listings.
  • Don’t add borders or text to your photos—this distracts from your item.
  • Move your self-hosted images from the item description to eBay picture hosting services. Pictures (up to 12 per each listing) will be free on all listings submitted starting on July 2 (excluding eBay Motors vehicles). Plus, eBay picture hosting services displays pictures “above the fold” on the Item page, so buyers won’t have to scroll down to see your photos. This makes the photos in your listings more easily viewable on mobile devices.

Listing completeness

  • List with the eBay catalog whenever there’s a product match for your item.
  • Use as many item specifics in your listing as possible.
  • Select from the item specific options eBay provides whenever there’s an exact match.
  • If any of the item specifics have been pre-filled for you, verify the information is accurate for the item you’re listing and make revisions as necessary.
  • Make sure the information in your listing description doesn’t contradict the other information contained in your listing.
  • Make sure all the information in your description is relevant and helpful for selling your item. Organize your description in sections and put each section into separate paragraphs:
    • First describe your item. Include information like size, shape, color, age, manufacture date, condition, flaws, company/artist/author, notable features or markings.
    • After describing the item, you may wish to include a personal story about the item.
    • Then add any shipping or return policy information you wish to include, taking care that it does not contradict anything else stated in your listing.
    • Finally, add any additional information you wish to include on the listing.
  • Don’t include email addresses, or links that take buyers off eBay, in your description.
  • Include commonly-used terms to describe your item—think about what words a buyer might use to search for your product—but make sure your listing doesn’t violate eBay’s keyword spamming policy.
  • Learn more about eBay’s listing best practices.

Removing duplicate listings

  • List an item in a Fixed Price listing format if you know the price you want to set for an item.
  • Use the Auction-style listing format with the Buy It Now option if you do not know the price for an item and want to give buyers an opportunity to purchase it immediately.
  • List identical items in a multi-quantity Fixed Price listing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Quality pictures

Why are you adding these requirements for pictures?
We’re adding these requirements for pictures for several reasons:

  • Bigger, cleaner pictures help buyers searching for items to purchase on eBay.
  • Buyers report better experiences when they can clearly see all aspects of an item in pictures and fully understand the condition of an item.
  • Pictures without borders and seller-added text are often given better exposure by outside search engines.
Does the “no text” in pictures requirement include watermarks?
No. Sellers may need to protect their intellectual property, and eBay will not prohibit watermarks that are used for the purpose of establishing picture ownership. These watermarks need to be non-obtrusive and only be used for the purpose of ownership attribution and not for marketing purposes.
If I already have pictures uploaded in my listing, will these existing listings be required to meet the new requirements (minimum picture size, no border/no text) starting this fall?
No. You will not be automatically required to update your pictures with the enforcement of our new picture requirements. However if you revise or relist your listing you will be required to make the necessary updates to bring your pictures into compliance with the new policies.
There are instances where zoom and enlarge don’t always show bigger pictures. Is this being fixed?
Yes. We are improving the Item page to make access to zoom and enlarge easier, as well as making the display of images more accurate when large, higher quality images are provided in listings.
Does the minimum picture size apply to pictures in the Item Description?
No. Self-hosted pictures in the description are exempt from these policies.

In general, sellers are highly encouraged to move self-hosted pictures from the item description to eBay picture hosting services. eBay picture hosting services displays pictures “above the fold” on the Item page and buyers won’t have to scroll down to see them. By making this change, sellers can really begin optimizing for mobile customers.
How do I determine the size of my image? I have no idea what 500 pixels looks like.
If you are unsure of what 500 pixels looks like, we recommend you try to have a picture roughly 5 inches in length. To determine your pixel size, you have a number of options:

  • On a Windows PC, open up the folder in which you have the picture. Go to “View” in the menu bar and choose “Details”. Then go back to the “View” menu option and select “Choose Details” under the “Choose Details” pop-up. Choose “Dimensions” then select “OK”. You’ll be able to view all your picture sizes in your folder.
  • Another option is to right click on the picture file, select “Properties”, then select the “Summary” tab. The picture size will be shown in the summary.
  • On a Mac, you can get the size of a picture by right clicking on a picture and selecting the “Get Info” option. The picture size details can be found in the file properties.

Get more photo tips in the new Photo Center.
I use a third party application to upload my pictures. Will my listings be impacted by the new picture requirements?
Yes. Third party tools will need to provide eBay with pictures that meet the new photo requirements. Please work with your third party provider to bring your listings/photos into compliance prior to the enforcement date. In some cases, third party provides provide both services—image hosting (images provided in the item description) and uploading seller images to eBay picture services. This will continue to be allowed when the new picture requirements become effective this fall.
Will the new photo requirements apply to eBay Motors listings?
The new photo requirements will not apply to either eBay Motors Parts & Accessories or Motor Vehicles listings.

Maximizing your position in Best Match

What is Best Match?
Best Match is the default sort order for search results on eBay. Best Match looks at a number of factors to rank items, including information about the listing, its past sales, and a seller’s track record on eBay.
Haven’t item specifics and the listing description always been important?
Writing great descriptions and using item specifics and including other “structured data” elements have always been best practices. As we improve search throughout the year, however, these practices will become increasingly vital to the success of your listing. This year, search will be using even more information, including description, to rank items.
What are the structured data elements in my listings?
Structured data is the information you fill in by making a selection of specific options from a menu or entering unique information about your specific item—as opposed to entering “free form” text as in your listing description. Structured data elements include catalog, item condition, item specifics like color, brand or model, and unique product codes like UPCs or ISBNs.
If I follow eBay’s listing best practices, will I see an improvement to where my listing appears in Best Match sort?
The goal of Best Match is to deliver the most relevant inventory with the best value to buyers from sellers they can trust. It takes into consideration a large number of factors so it’s not possible to determine how each specific action will impact your search ranking. Following best practices and making your listing complete is the best way to stay in front of the competition and making sure your listings have the best chance for success.

Removing duplicate listings

What is the current rule for duplicate Fixed Price listings?
In the Fixed Price format, you can’t have more than one listing of an identical item at the same time. For any Fixed Price listing, the item offered must be significantly different from the item offered in any of your other Fixed Price listings. To avoid having Fixed Price listings removed, make sure the differences are reflected in the title, subtitle, price, photo, product ID, item specifics, or in the parts compatibility areas of a listing. We may also look at other parts of the listing to determine whether it’s a duplicate. See complete policy for details.
What’s changing with this policy?
An Auction-style listing with the Buy It Now option will now be treated as a Fixed Price listing under eBay’s Duplicate Listing policy.
Why is eBay making this change?
The Fixed Price Duplicate Listing policy, which went into effect in 2010, prevented search results from being dominated by multiple duplicate listings of the same item from the same seller and improved exposure for a variety of listings from many more sellers. We are extending this policy to include Auction-style listings with the Buy It Now option, as they act as another Fixed Price listing on the site.
What happens if I don’t remove the listing by the time this change takes effect?
Your duplicate Auction-style listings with the Buy It Now option will be allowed to end, and you’ll be unable to create new Auction-style listings with the Buy It Now option while you have a Fixed Price listing for the same item. You will also be unable to create new Auction-style listings with a Buy It Now if you already have Auction-style listings for the same items containing the Buy It Now option.

How do I identify my Auction-style listings that are duplicates to my Fixed Price listing?
There’s currently no automated way to identify your Auction-style listings that are duplicates to your Fixed Price listings. Since we won’t be taking immediate action on these types of duplicates, one option is to immediately stop listing or relisting identical items in both Auction-style and Fixed Price formats and allow any Auction-style duplicate listings to end naturally.
Does it matter whether I remove the Auction-style listing with the Buy It Now or Fixed Price listing?
No, select the format that best meets the needs of your selling strategy but do not use both formats at the same time when listing identical items.
If I remove the Buy It Now feature from my Auction-style duplicate listing, would it still be counted as a Fixed Price duplicate listing?
No. If you remove the Buy It Now option from your Auction-style listing, it will not be considered a duplicate listing to a Fixed Price listing for the same item. You should, however, avoid creating duplicate Auction-style listings given that they may be removed or given less visibility in search results.
Is an Auction-style listing with the Buy It Now option considered a duplicate to another Auction-style listing for an identical item but without the Buy It Now option?
Yes, any Auction-style listings for identical items are considered duplicates whether they contain the Buy It Now option or not. You should only list duplicate Auction-style listings for items that have a strong record of converting into sales. See the complete policy for details.
When should I list an item in a Fixed Price format or in an Auction-style listing with a Buy It Now option?
When you know the price you want to set, use the Fixed Price selling format. Use an Auction-style listing with the Buy It Now option when you’re unsure of the value of your item but still want to give buyers the option to purchase immediately.

USE THE AUCTION-STYLE FORMAT WITH BUY IT NOW:
If you are unsure of the value of your item and want to sell it right away. Use 7 to 10-day duration for maximum exposure.
If you have unique and hard-to-find items that could attract demand and start a bidding war. Use 7 to 10-day duration for maximum exposure.
If you’re currently using Auction-style listings and your items sell the first time you list them. Use 7 to 10-day duration for maximum exposure.
USE THE FIXED PRICE FORMAT:
If you have multiple items that can be grouped into a single multi-quantity or multi-variation listing. Use 30-day duration and GTC renewals for your Fixed Price listings.
If you know the value of your item, or know the exact price you want to get for it. Use 30-day duration and GTC renewals for your Fixed Price listings.
If you want your items to be available to buyers for more than 7 days. Use 30-day duration and GTC renewals for your Fixed Price listings.
When is it appropriate to include the Buy It Now option in my Auction-style listing?
Use an Auction-style listing with the Buy It Now option when you have one item to sell and you are unsure of the value of your item.



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