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***2012 Spring Seller Update: FREE pictures for all, eBay Top-rated seller program updates, and more ***

28 February, 2012 | 11:40

Congratulations sellers! Your commitment to great service is paying off. With eBay growing at double-digit rates, you now have access to more than 100 million active buyers worldwide! Updates coming this spring will help keep those buyers coming your way and steer them to your great listings. As always, updates that impact your selling are consolidated with lead time to adapt. This is the first of two seller updates for 2012.

FREE pictures for all!

Starting in July, all sellers get FREE pictures —12 per listing—including free zoom and enlarge. Lots of great pictures translate to more sales, so get ready to load up!

Global and US Top-rated seller program annual sales requirements reduced to $1,000
To include sellers of more sizes who offer great service, the annual sales requirement for Top-rated sellers will be lowered to $1,000.

Changes to US Top-rated seller program rewards listings with prompt shipping and returns
Savvy online merchants understand that consumer expectations are evolving, and they are adapting their businesses to compete. Now the US eBay Top-rated seller program is also evolving to keep pace, placing the focus on listings that offer prompt shipping and returns.
  • Starting in June, to be eligible for US Top-rated seller status, tracking information needs to be uploaded to eBay within your stated handling time on 90% of transactions with US buyers. Because we recognize that shipping services with tracking are considerably more expensive when shipping from inside Canada, Canadian sellers do not need to meet this 90% tracking upload requirement in order to qualify for the US Top-rated seller badge, Final Value Fee discount, and the basic level of Top-rated search boost in Best Match searches on

  • While Canadian sellers don’t need to meet the 90% tracking requirement to qualify as US Top-rated, Canadian sellers who are able to meet the tracking requirement can qualify for a higher level of boost in Best Match search results on, by offering the services buyers want most: 1-day handling time (or faster), and a 14-day or better return policy with money back option.

  • Bonus discount now: As an extra reward to help you get started offering these in-demand services now, from March 1 through May 31, Canadian Sellers with either US Top-rated or Global Top-rated status will get a bonus 5% discount off final value fees—along with their current 20% discount—for all listings with 1-day handling and a minimum 14-day return window with money-back option, listed on or

Safeguards protect your record of great service

New seller protections help ensure that your seller performance ratings and Feedback are the best possible reflection of the great service you provide:
  • Get an automatic 5-star Communications rating for transactions where you offer same-day or 1-day handling, upload tracking information by the end of the next business day, and there is no communication between you and the buyer.

  • Feedback left by a buyer with an unpaid item recorded for the transaction will be automatically removed from your record.

  • Earlier this year, eBay started displaying an automatic message to buyers on the item page on and regarding customs-related delays and duties when the buyer is located in a different country than the listed item’s location. Now any Feedback from international buyers that only references customs issues is eligible for removal.

Improving your efficiency and profitability

  • Apply payment, shipping, and return policies to multiple listings with just a few clicks. With an optional new way to manage your business policies, you can create custom settings and apply them to all your or groups of listings quickly and easily. listings or groups of listings quickly and easily.

  • Shipping updates
    • Same-day handling time—Stand out from the crowd when you ship the same day for orders received by your specified order cut-off time. Same-day and 1-day handling will both be considerations for Best Match ranking.
    • For listings with 3-day or longer handling, buyers will see a message on the item page that the item may take longer than 3 days to ship.

  • Returns
    • A good return policy-including a reasonable timeframe and the reassurance that buyers can get their money back-helps you sell. Starting the week of May 2, the 3-day and 7-day return windows and "Merchandise credit" and "Exchange" refund options will be retired. As always, you can still specify "No returns accepted," but keep in mind that offering a good return policy can help your sales.

  • New listing guidelines
    • Quality pictures can make all the difference in enticing a buyer to choose your item over the rest. Starting this fall, all listings will be required to have a picture, and all photos must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side with no added borders or text (watermarks okay).
    • Best Match, eBay's default sort order, will begin looking at more information from your listing-including your item description-to rank search results. Item specifics, product codes like UPCs and ISBNs, brand, part numbers, and other descriptors will also be increasingly important to get your listing found by more interested buyers.
    • Reducing the number of duplicate listings for an identical item from the same seller has paid off. It's made it easier for buyers to find what they want-and significantly increased exposure and sales for more sellers. Now Auction-style listings with a Buy It Now option will be treated as Fixed Price listings under eBay's Duplicate Listing policy-only one of identical items can be listed at a time.

  • Category and other updates
    • Starting May 1, the maximum final value fee for Standard Auction-style listings will be $250. (Note, this change only impacts transactions of more than $1,111.00 for sellers who do not have an eBay Stores subscription).
    • Electronics & Technology: To make it easier for buyers to find your products, listing with the eBay catalogue will be required in more consumer electronics categories including DVD & Blu-ray Players, Home Theatre Receivers, Home Speakers & Subwoofers, Home Theatre Systems, and Home Theatre Projectors.
    • Category and item specific updates: Look for updates in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Coins, Computers & Networking, Consumer Electronics, eBay Motors, Home & Garden, Toys, and Jewellery & Watches (Category adjustments in Watches only). Find out how your listings are affected.

Get details on the 2012 Spring Seller Update.

Use the Seller Checklist to stay on top of important dates.

Update your listings quickly and efficiently using bulk editing tools.

For additional insight, you're also invited to:

  • Talk with members of my staff during the next two days on special discussion boards we've set up for this purpose on both and

  • Join me and other leaders from eBay in a Town Hall meeting on on Wednesday, February 29 starting at 3:30pm PST (12:30pm EST).

As always, thank you for selling on eBay.


Michael Jones
Vice President
Merchant Development


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