Skip to main content
Home > Sell > April 2009 Update > Details

  April 2009 Update  
  Seller Resources  
Seller update: April 2009

Changes impacting your listings are now being consolidated with more lead time for you to adapt. These updates are scheduled to take place the week of June 15, 2009.
  1. Easier, more visual shopping-plus buyer incentives to drive more sales
  2. Key information to set buyer expectations and help reduce your costs
  3. More updates to make selling on eBay more efficient

  1. Easier, more visual shopping—plus buyer incentives to drive more sales
    Making it faster and easier for buyers to find what they're looking for from sellers they trust is key to eBay's and sellers' success. A more familiar shopping experience brings more buyers to eBay and more sales for you. New incentives and loyalty programs keep buyers coming back.

    • New eBay item page. For the past year we've been testing a new page that puts your item "front and center." The new item page is scheduled to roll out to most buyers by mid-June. Look for:
      • Bigger, better pictures, with photo zoom coming later this summer
      • Real-time countdown timer for Auction-style listings
      • Key information right upfront
      • Cross-merchandising: Sellers' relevant listings show up on other each other's item pages. You can opt out of cross-merchandising with other sellers, but consider the trade-offs carefully—this is a great opportunity to boost exposure.

The new item page can impact how your listings are displayed, so it's important to preview them now—just click the preview link at the top of your item page. Find out how to optimize your listings and your pictures for the new page and the key things to look for in your listings.

New item page—make sure your listings and pictures are optimized. Find out the key things to look for.

  • New eBay product pages. When buyers search for popular items in some categories like Music or Electronics, they will be presented with a page that displays the products associated with their search terms. eBay identifies listings for these product searches by looking at "product details" in a listing (formerly called "pre-filled item information") to see if there's a match to details stored in our master database (catalog) of products. To make sure your item will be included in these product pages, list with product details whenever they are available.
    • Product pages have a higher sell-through rate than search results pages.
    • "Great Value, Great Seller" box highlights an item at the top of the page. Sellers can't pay to get this position—every seller has an opportunity to be displayed. To appear in the "value box" you need to have a competitively priced item, competitive shipping (free shipping is a plus), and a raised search standing. You can monitor your search standing in your Seller Dashboard.
    • Product pages are available in many categories now. They will be surfacing more often, initially in Books, Movies & DVDs, Music, Video Games, Cell Phones, and Tickets, with more categories to follow.
    • As a best practice, list using product details whenever theyre available. Product details help your exposure.
    • We're also making it faster and easier to add products to eBay's growing catalog.

    Follow these best practices to maximize your exposure on product pages.

    New eBay product page—list with product details to get your listings included.

  • New way to list items with multiple variations such as size and color. Look for a new type of multi-quantity Fixed Price listing that will allow sellers to consolidate variations of a product in one low-cost listing. You can price each variation just the way you want.

    For example, include all the colors and sizes in your inventory of Lands' End Fine Gauge Cotton Cardigans in one Fixed Price listing and charge $29.95 for regular sizes and $39.95 for plus sizes.
    • Dramatically reduce listing time and fees
    • Manage your inventory right from the listing
    • Cross-sell all variations you offer
    • Add features like Featured First—one feature fee covers all variations
    • Add multiple pictures for a great low fee

    Multi-variation Fixed Price listings are scheduled to be available in Men's and Women's Shoes the week of June 15, and in other applicable Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories and Home & Garden categories in mid-July.

    Start using the format for your new listings as soon as it's available in your categories. Follow these best practices.

    New multi-variation Fixed Price listing—sell multiple variations of a product in one listing.

  • Big investments in buyer incentives and loyalty. We're continuing aggressive investments to drive more traffic to eBay through buyer incentives and rewards.
    • Tens of millions of discount coupons have been sent since the beginning of 2009.
    • eBay Bucks, a beta of a new eBay rewards program, launched in March.
    • Four hot Daily Deals are bringing droves of buyers to eBay every day.

    Four Daily Deals bringing droves of buyers every day.

    1. Key information to set buyer expectations and help reduce your costs
      When buyers get key information right up front—details of shipping, expected delivery, your return policy—they make a quicker purchase decision, ask fewer questions, are happier with the transaction, and rate sellers higher. You also spend less time on each transaction.

      • New Smart FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): Smart FAQ draws "live" information from your listings to answer the top 20 buyer questions before buyers reach you through "Ask a Question." Best of all, it's FREE!

        Some top eBay sellers tested Smart FAQ and cut time spent answering buyer questions in half—without any negative impact on sales.
        • Review and customize the questions
        • Use it for pre- or post-transaction questions—or both.
        • You can also have buyers go right to asking you a question directly.
        For a monthly fee, you can choose a solution from Hosted Support, an eBay Certified Provider.

        Find out more about Smart FAQ and how to use it to reduce your time answering buyer questions.

        New Smart FAQ answers buyers' top questions before they contact you.

      • Package tracking in My eBay: Sellers are responsible for their items until they arrive safely in the buyer's hands. "Where's my stuff?" is one of the most common buyer questions. When buyers can easily find out for themselves, they're more satisfied with transactions and leave sellers higher shipping DSRs.

        Starting in mid-June, when sellers upload tracking information, buyers will be able to access it in a pop-up window right from My eBay without having to go to the Order Details page.

        If you pay shipping and print labels on eBay, your tracking information will be uploaded automatically. Or you can upload the shipping tracking number or delivery confirmation, or mark your item as shipped on your own. When a tracking number is uploaded or an item has been marked as shipped, an email will be sent automatically to notify your buyer. For more details, see FAQs and the 2 minute video, How to upload tracking for shipped items.

        Package tracking information available to buyers right from My eBay.

      • Extended deadline for adding return policy and handling time: Earlier in 2008 we advised you'd be required to add a return policy and handling time to all your listings by mid-March of 2009. We're extending the timeline: Return policy and handling time will be required in all new listings and when you relist beginning June 15. The deadline for updating your Good 'Til Cancelled listings has been extended to mid-September. Note return policy and handling time will not be required in Motors categories (Vehicles or Parts & Accessories). Bulk editing and relist tools are available now to make it easier to add this information.

      • Custom Item Specifics: To help make sure interested buyers find your listings, we're making it possible to create your own Item Specifics when the current choices don't cover your item. Custom Item Specifics will be available in more categories, starting in April.

        Best practice: Don't use Item Specifics as a way to set your listing apart from the crowd. This is one area where you want to "fit the mold" to make sure you get the best possible exposure in search results. Always use the eBay item specific choices first, and add your own only when there are no appropriate alternatives. For example, if an available choice is "blue" don't customize with a designer color name like "periwinkle." Stick with blue! Learn more about Item Specifics.

        Add your own Item Specific to help buyers find your item.

      • Category and Items Specifics changes: Changes to categories and Item Specifics that were previously announced monthly will now be included with other major changes that may impact your listings. Category and Item Specifics updates are coming the week of June 15 in the following categories:

        Category changes
        Antiques: Silver
        Books: Textbooks
        Cameras: Binoculars & Telescopes
        Clothing, Shoes & Accessories: Luggage, Men's Accessories, Uniforms, Unisex Accessories, Wedding Apparel & Accessories, Women's Accessories, Women's Handbags & Bags
        Coins & Paper Money: Replicas & Reproductions
        Collectibles: Animals, Cultures & Ethnicities
        Crafts: Art Supplies, Needlecrafting
        Electronics: iPod & MP3 Accessories
        Home & Garden: Inside the Home, Yard & Garden
        Jewelry: Engagement & Wedding, Fashion Jewelry, Loose Diamonds & Gemstones
        Musical Instruments: Guitars
        Pet Supplies
        Toys: Webkinz & Lil' Kinz
        Travel: Luggage

        Item Specifics Changes
        Books: Textbooks
        Clothing, Shoes & Accessories: Handbags & Bags
        Music: CDs, Cassettes, Records, Other Formats

        Find out if your listings are impacted by the changes.

      • Policy updates in Jewelry & Watches categories will take effect on July 15. The new policy will better differentiate Fashion Jewelry from Fine Jewelry and authentic stones from simulated stones. If you sell in these categories, you may have to make changes to your listings—for example, if you have not moved your authentic diamond listings out of the Fashion Jewelry category since we made the category changes last year, you'll want to make sure they are moved now to the Fine Jewelry category. Read the FAQs and the new policy for details on how these changes may impact your listings.

    1. Other changes to make selling on eBay more efficient
      As part of our partnership with sellers, eBay now has an entire team devoted to finding new ways to help improve your efficiency. Here are a few starters, with more to come!

      • eBay Resolutions. We are introducing a new, more efficient dispute resolution process for when buyers claim an item was not received or the item they received was different than described in the listing. The goals of the new process are to keep buyers on eBay by giving them a more familiar eCommerce resolution experience, and to reduce the time buyers and sellers spend resolving issues.

        Direct communication between buyers and sellers will continue to be strongly encouraged. With the new process, buyers and sellers will also have an option to call eBay. We'll be taking a more active role, and in certain cases when we determine the seller was not at fault we may refund the buyer at our own expense.

        Beginning in the second quarter of 2009, we will start directing eBay buyers to resolve disputes on eBay instead of on PayPal. Until this transition is complete, both the current PayPal and new eBay processes will be in place, so sellers will need to continue to monitor the PayPal resolution center as well as incoming communication from eBay.

        We are gradually transitioning the dispute process, and anticipate that the change will be complete before the holiday 2009 selling season. Once complete, the new on-eBay resolution process, backed by eBay customer support, will serve as the primary entry point for buyers who are unable to resolve disputes directly with eBay sellers.

        Later this year, we'll also announce improvements to the process for resolving seller claims of unpaid items—improvements designed to help you sell more efficiently and profitably on eBay. See FAQs for more details.

      • FREE Selling Manager and new Selling Manager applications: Selling Manger is an eBay online tool that streamlines your selling activity, helping you monitor active listings, generate bulk feedback, and print invoices and labels in bulk. Starting June 15, Selling Manager will be free for all sellers. Watch for new third-party tools and applications for both Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro later this summer, including research tools, automated customer support, shipping solutions, and more.

      • Pay for shipping and print labels right on eBay. We're gradually moving online shipping services from PayPal to eBay to make it faster and easier to pay for shipping and print labels. The new eBay service will be available initially for USPS and will also include USPS flat rate shipping. With the new service, your tracking information is uploaded automatically to My eBay, with a confirmation email automatically sent to your buyers. Some sellers will start to see the new eBay service the week of June 15. It is scheduled to be available to all sellers by the end of August.

      • Learn more in this 2 minute shipping labels video.

        Print labels and pay shipping right from eBay. It's easier than ever and your tracking information is automatically emailed to buyers and uploaded to their My eBay.