Productivity Tools Policy Updates Technology Promotional Efforts and Partnerships

ISSUE 7, April 3, 2000

This Issue's Features

Billpoint—FREE Visa Transactions

Special Reminder for PowerSellers!

Sign up for Billpoint online payments and receive two months FREE for all Visa transactions! We'll waive all Billpoint fees for payments made by your buyers using a Visa card. Hurry, this offer ends May 31st, so act now!

Questions? Contact Billpoint.

Back to top
Promotional Efforts and Partnerships

Business 2 Business Is On The Rise

Business Exchange is a new area of the site for small businesses to buy and sell business related items. The Business Exchange pulls together business-related categories (like computers, video editing equipment and industrial equipment) from different areas of eBay and puts them in one location. It also features a series of shortcuts to business-related searches where buyers can click directly to find what they're looking for.

For sellers, the Business Exchange provides another way to reach buyers who are interested in small business merchandise. Now is the time to sell all the things you've been filing away...perhaps even the filing cabinet itself! On the Exchange, small businesses can find computer equipment, toner cartridges, industrial machinery, office furniture...even a vending machine for the cafeteria!

It's easy to list items on the Business Exchange because you don't have to do anything differently. Simply list your business-related items as you normally do in the relevant business categories. Then leave the searching to us.

Now your business items show up in two places...the regular categories and search results PLUS the Business Exchange!

You can access the Business Exchange through our home page, or by clicking here.

Start Your Engines

Antiques, Trading Cards and Used Cars???

Are you thinking of buying a new car, but you dread trying to figure out what to do with your old car? Do what you do with everything else you do not need any longer--sell it on eBay! And you thought eBay was only for collectibles and various other fun things. Who knows? Your old car can be both to someone out there!

Your used car will be accessible to hundreds of thousands of people--the main Automotive category page gets over 2.7 million page views per month. It is highly likely you could get more for your money than with the classified ads. You can avoid having strangers call your house at all hours of the night. Let the eBay system do all the negotiation for you. All you have to do is list your car for $25 on eBay. If it sells, you pay eBay another $25. That's it. What could be easier? When you couple that with pictures and lots of description, your used car can get the most visibility imaginable.

In the Automotive section, you can not only buy and sell used and collector cars. You can also buy and sell trucks, RVs, motorcycles, and spare parts.

Check out the Automotive section! Or you can find it as the first category listed on the home page.

Back to top
Technology Enhancements

Improving Our Listing and Search Results Pages

One of the major initiatives that we have been working on is making eBay a more global trading place. We'll be making changes to the Listings pages and the Search Results pages for The Search Results pages will be changing at the end of March and the Listings pages will be changing at the end of April. These changes include:

  • English-only items will appear in Listings and Search Results pages. Some of you may have noticed that items listed on eBay Japan occasionally appear on eBay USA. We are working to present you with only those items that are listed in English. Of course, if you want to check out Japanese items, you can always visit eBay Japan.
  • Items listed on eBay's International sites (UK, AU, Japan & Germany) will appear in the Search Results and Listings pages only if those sellers specify that they are willing to ship to the United States.
  • Items listed on eBay's International sites with different currencies WILL appear in the Search Results pages if the seller is willing to ship to the United States.

The Currency format will appear in Listings and Search Results pages as follows:

  • US Dollars will be marked as "$"
  • Australian Dollars will be marked as "AU$"
  • British Pounds will be marked as "GBP"
  • German Marks will be marked as "DM"
  • Japanese Yen will be marked as "JPY"
  • The Date format will appear as MM-DD in Listings pages. This new date format, MM-DD (ie, Dec-O2) already appears on Item pages.

When you list an item for sale, you can specify the countries you are willing to ship to. These changes will help when buyers are looking for an item to buy, by easily showing them those items offered by sellers who are willing to participate in international transactions.

These changes will help you trade in your language and in your currency, but they will also help keep everybody on the same page. We hope that these changes will help make eBay easier to use for buyers and sellers all over the world.

Back to top
Policy Updates

Key Word Spamming Is Not a Method of Eating a Processed Meat Sandwich

You may not be aware of this but "key word spamming" is not allowed on eBay. Often times sellers are not aware that the way in which they have created their listing, or described their item results in key word spamming.

What is key word spamming?

Key word spamming is the practice of including brand names or other "key words" for the purpose of gaining attention or diverting users to an auction listing. Key word spamming is unfair to members who may be searching for a specific item and receive search engine results of listings, which are not selling the item. It is also a manipulation of our search engine. Users often are confused and frustrated by such tactics. Certain uses of brand names may also constitute trademark infringement and could expose sellers to legal liability. (see below for more details on this subject)

eBay Policy on Key Word Spamming.

Excessive use of key words, including (but not limited to) brand names, which are referenced for the purpose of attracting or diverting bidders to a listing is considered key word spamming and is not permitted.

Here are some examples of key word spamming that are not permitted:


  1. The inclusion of words that are simply listed to attract viewers via our search engines and are not part of a context based item description. For example, it would not be permissible to state the following in your item description: "oil reproductions, art recreations, gallery, art gallery, impressionist, impressionism, oil paintings, reproduction, painting, recreation, copy, quality, reproductions, recreations, realistic, copies, paintings, old masters, replica, posters, prints, video..."
  2. The inclusion of words that are simply listed to divert viewers to your other eBay items. For example, it would not be permissible to state "Please view my other eBay listings for Beanie Babies, vintage Barbies, Rolex watches, and Chanel scarves." It would be acceptable to state "Please click here to view my other eBay listings."


HTML included in the listing, such as hidden text (for example "white on white") or source tags (meta or header tags) are not permitted.


Inclusion of a drop down box in order to provide buyers with a list of items offered in other auctions. Because the search engine will pick up words listed within the box, this interferes with the search results, and is thus not permitted. As an alternative, sellers may include drop down boxes on their About Me pages, as this would not interfere with the search engine.

Related to the key word spamming issue is the use of brand names in your title or description. Please bear in mind that the following will also not be permitted:


Any use of a trademarked (brand) name in the title of a listing where products of that brand name are not being offered.


A title or description for a listing that reads, for example: "Gucci Purse (not Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada)"; or "I also sell Gap, Nike, Gucci, Rolex, etc."; or "Please see my other auctions for Beanie Babies, Pokemon and Star Wars items."

Members can report prohibited, questionable and infringing items to eBay by clicking here.

Thank you for making eBay a fun and safe place to trade!

Back to top
Productivity Tools

Image Checking URL

eBay will introduce a new feature that will check URLs entered for Gallery and Picture images on the Sell Your Item form. If the URL entered for a Gallery item or a Picture item is in an invalid format, eBay will provide you with advice to fix the problem. This new feature will improve your success when you are selling by reducing errors when listing with images. Our records indicate that 1 out of 10 image URLs are entered improperly.

This feature will not change the layout of the Sell Your Item form, and will have no impact on Mister Lister users. The only change that you will notice is that when you enter a URL that is in an invalid format, you will receive an online error message when you attempt to move to the preview page.

This feature will check to make sure that the following URL formatting rules are followed:

  • Begins with http://
  • Contains a file name
  • Does not contain spaces
  • Does not contain eBay domain names such as,, or
  • Does not contain HTML tags
  • (FOR GALLERY ONLY: Does not contain the suffix .gif (NOTE: GIF FILES ARE ALLOWED IN PICTURE URLs).

This new feature will only check the formatting of the URL you enter, and will not verify that the URL works or that an image is located at that address. However, you can check that your images are working properly on the preview item page.

Back to top

For PowerSeller support, contact us at

Have a question?

As always, contact us at for a superior level of PowerSeller support.
Promotional Efforts and Partnerships

Business 2 Business Is On The Rise

Start Your Engines

Technology Enhancements

Improving Our Listing and Search Results Pages
One of the major...
Policy Updates

Key Word Spamming
You may not be aware of this but "key word spamming"...
Productivity Tools

Image Checking URL
eBay will introduce a new feature...
Newsletter Archive

See other articles from past newsletters.
eBay PowerSellers Program

Find out about top-level benefits and privileges available to you.
Dates to Remember

National Coin Week - April 16-22
Easter - April 23
Mother's Day - May 14