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March 2008
***eBay Motors Vehicle Purchase Protection Increased to $50,000***

March 31, 2008 | 05:18PM PST/PT

Rob Chesney
Hello everyone...this is Rob Chesney, VP of eBay Motors. Our Vehicle Purchase Protection program is the cornerstone of our commitment to deliver a good buying experience on eBay Motors. The peace of mind it provides is one of the many reasons eBay Motors is considered the best place to buy a car online.

Starting with listings ending today, we're expanding the coverage offered so that buyers of almost any vehicle will be protected for up to $50,000 against losses associated with misrepresentation and fraud – that's more than double the coverage we previously provided. In addition, we're removing the $100 fee, so this coverage will be absolutely free.

Just like before, buyers will automatically be enrolled in the program when they complete the purchase of an eligible vehicle on eBay Motors.

Our Vehicle Purchase Protection page will be updated shortly to reflect this change.

Sincerely,

Rob Chesney
Vice President, eBay Motors


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***A Message from Stephanie Tilenius -- The International Site Visibility listing upgrade for US, Canada, UK and Ireland sites***

March 31, 2008 | 08:01AM PST/PT

Stephanie Tilenius
Hello everyone…This is Stephanie Tilenius, General Manager for eBay North America. The ability to sell internationally is a key benefit of doing business on the eBay marketplace. I'm pleased to announce an exciting new listing feature upgrade that will give sellers in North America the option to get full visibility for their items on other eBay sites, initially eBay.co.uk, enabling them to reach many millions more buyers.

How International Selling Works Today
eBay's global marketplace opens the door to international business for many sellers. Traditionally, US sellers who want to attract buyers in the UK and elsewhere have had two options:

1) They can list on eBay.com and choose World Wide Shipping or other international shipping options. In this scenario, their items only show up on another international site in the few cases when buyers specifically look for international items using Advanced Search features.

Or –

2) They can create a separate listing on another international eBay site (and pay all the same fees that other sellers pay to list there).

Coming Soon: International Site Visibility Listing Upgrade
In May, we're giving sellers who list on US and Canada sites a better option for international exposure by introducing the International Site Visibility listing upgrade. With this listing upgrade, sellers will be able to list on their local site and pay a small upgrade fee so that their listing also shows up in the main default search results to buyers across the Atlantic on eBay.co.uk – two sites for a great price.

In the US, the fees to use this optional upgrade are as follows:

Start Price
$0.01 -9.99
International Site Visibility Listing Upgrade Fee
10 cents

Start Price
$10 - 49.99
International Site Visibility Listing Upgrade Fee
20 cents

Start Price
$50+
International Site Visibility Listing Upgrade Fee
40 cents

The International Site Visibility listing upgrade offers sellers who want to expand their international business a great value – items with this upgrade show up by default for international buyers in the market selected in addition to the buyers in the seller's own market. This makes international listing economical and easier to manage than listing separately for international sites.

Data shows that depending on the category and start-price, it only takes one or two extra bids from international buyers to make up the cost of the International Site Visibility fee.

For PowerSellers, using this feature also ensures that these UK sales are counted towards their Final Value Fee discounts.

UK, Ireland, US and Canada International Support Only
At launch, the International Site Visibility listing upgrade will only be available for eBay UK, eBay Ireland, eBay Canada and eBay.com. US and Canada sellers have the upgrade option to list on eBay UK, and UK and Ireland sellers have the upgrade option to list on the North America sites. We'll be adding support for more international markets in the near future, so stay tuned.

A word about testing – US-UK Collectibles
Over the past six months, we've been running tests in the collectibles-related categories on eBay.com and eBay.co.uk, looking for optimal ways to display international listings. These tests will be concluding as we introduce International Site Visibility as an upgrade available for almost all categories to US and UK sellers.

We're excited about the new opportunities for the members in our communities to do even more trade together. International Site Visibility helps sellers reach international buyers – and helps increase the value and selection available to buyers! We'll update you again once International Site Visibility is launched.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Tilenius
General Manager, eBay North America
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***Upcoming Workshops: ProStores 9.0, Improved Seller Protection for PowerSellers, and Reducing Chargebacks***

March 28, 2008 | 12:16PM PST/PT

We would like to invite you to attend the following workshops next week:

ProStores 9.0: New Release Enables Sellers to Manage Inventory on eBay and Own Web Store
This workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 2nd from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time

Join the ProStores team for a walk through the new features and enhancements that will soon be available with ProStores 9.0. Learn how you can start up your own web store in minutes using your existing eBay listings and manage your inventory on eBay as well as your own web store without worrying about overselling!

Improved Seller Protection for eBay PowerSellers
This workshop will be held on Thursday, April 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Please join the PayPal Merchant Risk, eBay Trust & Safety, and the eBay PowerSeller teams for a workshop on expanded seller protection for eBay PowerSellers. We'll also answer your questions about Payment Review, the Seller Protection Policy, and how eBay, PayPal, and PowerSellers can work together to reduce the risk of chargebacks, claims and buyer fraud.

Reducing Chargebacks, Dealing with Claims and Avoiding Risky Transactions
This workshop will be held on April 4th from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Whether it's chargebacks, risky transactions or buyer fraud, sellers face challenges when selling online. Successful sellers know how to manage these risks while growing their businesses. Join the PayPal and eBay staffers for a workshop on some best practices on how to reduce chargebacks and avoid risky transactions. We'll also answer your questions about chargebacks, dispute resolution, Seller Protection Policy, confirmed/unconfirmed addresses, and other risk reduction measures.


Workshops are hosted in discussion threads on the Workshops Board. To get to the Workshops Board:

  • Go to www.ebay.com
  • Click on Community at the top of the page
  • Click on "Workshops" in the "Events" section
  • This will bring you to the threaded Workshops Board

To view archived workshops or to learn more about future workshop events, please check our Workshops Calendar.

Want timely reminders about workshops? We recommend two ways to make sure you never miss an important workshop:

  • Sign up for the Workshops Information Group! By joining this group, you will receive an email notification reminding you about upcoming eBay Workshops. (To sign up for the Workshops Information Group, please click here.)
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed for the Workshop board. When a new workshop becomes active, your RSS reader will be updated. (You can also subscribe to just the specific topic thread that interests you.) To subscribe, click on the button at the bottom of the Workshop board or thread. Copy and paste the feed URL into your reader to subscribe. For more information on RSS, please read our RSS Help page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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***Updated: New Policy - Digital Downloadable Goods in Classified Ads Format Only***

March 27, 2008 | 05:18PM PST/PT


For more information on this policy change, please see the interview with Brian Burke on The Chatter to answer member questions.

Also, you can learn more by attending a workshop on this topic on the Workshop Board on Friday, April 11th at 2 p.m. PT. Brian Burke and Jim "Griff" Griffith will be on hand to answer questions and help sellers take full advantage of the Classified Ads format.
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***Original: New Policy Update: Digital Downloadable Goods in Classified Ads Format Only***

March 24, 2008 | 01:00PM PST/PT

Brian Burke
Hello...This is Brian Burke, Director Global Feedback Policy. Digital goods are often reproduced at little to no cost to the seller. On eBay, this creates the potential for Feedback Manipulation (both real and perceived). To preserve the integrity of the Feedback system, effective March 31 all goods that can be digitally downloaded or transferred electronically must be listed using the Classified Ads format.

Using the Classified Ads format, sellers receive a 30-day ad at a fixed price. This solution enables sellers to continue to market their digital goods on eBay; however, because Classified Ad listings are a lead generation tool and do not result in transactions that go through eBay, Feedback cannot be exchanged between buyer and seller.

Sellers who wish to continue to offer digital goods can do so by selecting the Everything Else>Information Products category in the Sell Your Item form and choosing the Classified Ads format (not auction-style or fixed price). For more information about the Classified Ads format, please read Advertising with Classified Ads.

Sincerely,

Brian Burke
Director, Global Feedback Policy


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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - Children's Items Recalled the Week of March 24th***

March 27, 2008 | 02:41PM PST/PT

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a recall for the following items:

  • Rock 'N Ride plush rocker toys due to a fall hazard.

  • Backyard and Beyond metal water bottles due to a lead paint hazard.

  • Toy penguin figures due to a laceration hazard.

  • Camouflage eggs and spinning egg top toys due to a lead paint hazard.

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (see the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html.

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like these, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark www.cpsc.gov and sign up to receive notices on new recalls issued by the CPSC.


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***Making It Easier to Recover Listings***

March 25, 2008 | 04:41PM PST/PT

Jim Ambach
Hi everyone…I’m Jim Ambach, VP of Seller Experience. Occasionally sellers will inadvertently create a listing that violates one of our policies. Many ended listings need only minor edits to make them compliant, but until today, sellers have had to start over from scratch.

I’m pleased to let you know that starting now, if you have a listing removed for certain policy violations, it will be moved to the “Unsold” section of My eBay with a clear indication that the listing was canceled. You can also refer to My Messages for a note that explains which policy was violated. A few policies are excluded, including some severe banned items (e.g. firearms, narcotics, etc.) and VeRO violations for potentially counterfeit items.

Sellers can choose to edit the listing and relist the item without having to start from scratch (or to delete it entirely from the Unsold section). Of course, when doing so, sellers should make sure that their revised listing is now in compliance with the law and all eBay policies – and check their other live listings for similar violations as well.

As I’ve mentioned at recent Town Hall events, we know this has been a pain point for sellers, and we hope this new solution saves you time and effort.

Sincerely,

Jim Ambach
Vice President, Seller Experience
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***eBay Radio: Call In Tuesday, March 25th at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

March 25, 2008 | 09:16AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, March 25th, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Jonathan Garriss, Executive Director with Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PESA), Titanium PowerSeller and CEO of Gotham City Online, joins us to talk about what a trade association does for eBay sellers.
        • Alex Zai, Executive Vice President with Pak Mail Centers of America, joins us to tell you what you need to watch for when shipping internationally and why you need customs brokers for your shipments.
        • Denise Hogue, Product Manager with Terapeak, tells you how to find niche markets.
        • Lynn Dralle, President of The Queen of Auctions, tells you why it's "Christmas in March -- Only on eBay!"
        • Adam Hundt, Solutions Marketing Manager with eBay, shares what's new with the eBay Developers Program.

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***Have Good DSRs, Specified Shipping, and a Low Starting Price? Pay 1¢ in Insertion Fees for Auction-Style Listings Through March 31***

March 24, 2008 | 05:00PM PST/PT

Stephanie Tilenius
Hi everyone...I'm back with some good news. As you've heard us say a number of times already this year, great service will make the difference in 2008 and beyond. So to reward sellers who consistently delight their buyers, we're cutting insertion fees through the end of the month.

Starting tomorrow, if you have Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) of at least 4.5 on all criteria - and you specify your shipping costs or use the Shipping Calculator - simply list your auction-style item with a starting price of 99¢ or less to pay an insertion fee of only 1¢! New sellers who don't yet have DSR ratings are also eligible. This promotion will run through March 31st, so make sure to take advantage quickly.

Check out our information page for all the details.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Tilenius
General Manager, eBay North America


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***A Message from Kristina Klausen - Shipping Update***

March 24, 2008 | 09:11AM PST/PT

Kristina Klausen
Hi everyone...This is Kristina Klausen from eBay’s Shipping team. Shipping is an integral part of the eBay experience. We’re focused on making changes that both improve the buying experience and benefit sellers who are working hard to create great shipping experiences.

There are several changes related to both these goals that I’d like to share with you.

Shipping Costs Factored into Best Match
As we’ve mentioned before, with the increased competition in eCommerce, buyers have become much more sensitive to shipping costs on eBay. Expensive shipping is a reason some buyers leave eBay. To address this, we’re doing a number of things to provide more exposure through Best Match for listings that provide good shipping prices and offer the best opportunity to deliver great buyer satisfaction.

As Jamie Iannone recently announced, Best Match is now the site-wide default for search results. Best Match already considers factors such as Time Ending, Relevance, Seller Performance, and Shipping & Handling.

Items from sellers with higher Detailed Seller Ratings scores for shipping costs may receive more exposure in search results, and items from sellers with below average DSRs may receive less. As sellers’ DSR scores improve, so does their search exposure. Over time, and category by category, how DSRs are treated in Best Match will be fine-tuned. As Lorrie announced, when the full Seller Dashboard launches in May, sellers will be able to see how their shipping DSR scores are impacting their visibility in search.

Coming soon, Best Match will also take into consideration how the shipping cost for an item compares to other items in the same sub-category, and also whether the shipping price is specified. Items with shipping costs significantly above the average cost for other items in the same sub-category may receive less exposure.

We will monitor as we go to make sure we’re achieving the goals of improving the overall buying experience on eBay and benefiting sellers who are creating great shipping experiences.

Phasing in Required Specified Shipping
Online buyers today expect to know the exact shipping price for an item before they place an order. And knowing the exact shipping price at the time of bidding or purchase on eBay is an important driver of buyer satisfaction.

When sellers specify the shipping price and service in the Shipping Details section of their listing (not just in the description) this information shows up for buyers in key places during the purchasing process -- on the Search Results page, at the top of the Item page, and in the Shipping Details section at the bottom of the listing. Listings with shipping specified in this way are more likely to sell and attract better DSR scores. For these reasons, starting this week, we’ll begin requiring that all new sellers who are listing for the first time specify their shipping costs using the Shipping Details section.

A few months later, specified shipping costs will become a requirement for most listings on eBay, including listings from 3rd party listing tools. (Exemptions will apply to certain categories like Vehicles, or services such as Freight.) The good news is that the vast majority of listings on eBay already include specified shipping. For sellers who are not yet taking advantage of specified shipping, we encourage you to adopt this important best practice right away.

New USPS Larger Flat Rate Box
Many eBay sellers have come to appreciate the Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes offered by the United States Postal Services (USPS) for $8.95 to anywhere within the US. In response to demand, USPS recently introduced a new Flat Rate Box item, which is 50% larger. The Large Flat Rate Box measures 12 x 12 x 5-1/2 inches and is priced at $12.95 for domestic shipping.

The new Large Flat Rate box is now included in the eBay Shipping calculator, and we expect to incorporate it into our PayPal shipping labels solution later in the summer. Sellers are encouraged to make sure they use adequate postage - $12.95 domestically - when they use the Large Flat Rate Box. The Postal Service may return short-paid packages to the sender for additional postage.

International pricing and other details on the Large Flat Rate Box are available from USPS.

More Tips for Sellers to Improve their Shipping
We know many sellers are looking for ways to improve their Detailed Seller Ratings scores. In response, we’ve put together a list of tips that correlate to better shipping scores. Many sellers are discovering that making small changes in their approach can make a big difference. In particular, specifying a specific shipping service and price in the Shipping Details section of the listing, and making sure shipping costs are competitive with what buyers see elsewhere in eCommerce are important for earning high DSR scores.

To learn more, please visit our Shipping Best Practices.

Sincerely,
Kristina Klausen
Senior Director, Shipping

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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - Children's Items Recalled the Week of March 17th***

March 20, 2008 | 05:02PM PST/PT

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a recall for the following items:

  • Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. pre-school magnetic toys and toy figures due to aspiration and blockage hazards.

  • Wire-O Bound journals and calendars due to a lead paint hazard.

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (see the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html.

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like these, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark www.cpsc.gov and sign up to receive notices on new recalls issued by the CPSC.


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***A Message From Lorrie Norrington – Updates for Sellers***

March 20, 2008 | 09:57AM PST/PT

Lorrie Norrington
When I took the reins from Bill Cobb I promised you I would communicate regularly through this channel, Town Halls, and in-person events. I said that I would come to you when there was product news, when we had policy updates to share, and just simply to update you on the progress we are making. You care about eBay, and we owe it to you to maintain a dialogue around the hard work we are all undertaking to make eBay a better marketplace. Today I am here to share significant product news and policy modifications that will improve the guarantees and protections available to eBay sellers.

Let me start with some really good news that we've already announced and that is now live on eBay.com.

Expanded Seller Protection from PayPal – No Confirmed Address Required
Available now, PowerSellers in the United States and Canada can enroll in PayPal's new expanded seller protection which provides protection against fraudulent payments on eligible eBay transactions. This means that if you are enrolled, you can sell and ship physical goods to any address your customer chooses – a confirmed address is not necessary – in any of the 190 countries PayPal serves. There is no annual limit on available coverage, but there are of course some reasonable restrictions, and I encourage you to read the Expanded Seller Protection page and enroll if you haven’t already.

Back in January we announced the Seller Dashboard and I'm delighted to say that we are on track for our scheduled launch in May. By the end of the day today the discount module of the Seller Dashboard will be available for all PowerSellers. Because final value fee discounts for PowerSellers with eligible DSRs will begin appearing on sellers' invoices next month and our PowerSellers are eager to forecast and plan around their discount eligibility, we felt it was critical to release the discount module of the Seller Dashboard as soon as possible. You will see the Seller Dashboard discount module linked from your My eBay page. There you will find your 30-day rolling average DSR score and your PowerSeller discount eligibility.

Feedback Protections
Also in January we committed to a plan that will restore the original intent of the Feedback system — to facilitate trust between buyers and sellers. Since announcing our plans, effective in May, it has become clear through conversations with many of you that eBay needs to do even more to protect sellers from dishonest buyers who use the Feedback system as a weapon. To make it perfectly clear, let me say that there is no place on eBay for anyone who abuses our community, flouts our marketplace policies and willfully harms other members.

As a result of our conversations with many of you, we are adding two Feedback policy changes to be rolled out in May to better protect sellers from this kind of behavior. First, while threatening to use negative Feedback to force an unfair deal is both extremely rare and grounds for permanent buyer suspension, we recognize it has happened in the past and will be tried in the future. If you experience this sort of behavior, please report this to eBay by using Contact Us from this page.

When we identify a pattern of abuse, or the evidence is clear from your report, we will remove the negative or neutral feedback — retroactively. But, we can't identify those patterns without your help and reporting. This is a call to action for every seller.

Second, we have listened to your thoughts on Unpaid Item (UPI) reports and our decision to remove negative or neutral Feedback from a buyer who fails to respond to a UPI. And what has become clear from our conversations is that we need to build in more flexibility for what happens when a buyer responds to a UPI report. What we have determined is that if the buyer does not specifically call out poor seller performance, item condition or transaction problems during the UPI process, eBay will remove the seller's negative or neutral feedback — retroactively.

Finally, let me close by saying that we're pushing hard on these and other changes because of how much eBay means to you (and to us) but we expect to be judged by our actions, not our words. It is my intention to earn your trust and respect by making eBay a more responsive organization that is unafraid to take some risks and move more aggressively while always striving to do right by you, our customers. I look forward to the continuing dialogue.

Sincerely,

Lorrie Norrington
President, eBay Global Marketplace Operation


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***Grow Your Sales With eBay Stores – 30-day Free Trial***

March 18, 2008 | 05:03PM PST/PT

Brian Madigan
Hi everyone, this is Brian Madigan with the eBay Stores marketing team. I have some exciting news for anyone out there who has thought about opening an eBay Store, but hasn't taken the plunge yet.

From now through March 25th, enjoy a 30-day free trial to eBay Stores when you subscribe for the first time to our Basic or Premium eBay Store. Whether you prefer to use auction-style or fixed price listings, you can benefit from eBay Stores – the leading, comprehensive eCommerce solution.

With your eBay Store you will be able to:

        • Build a centralized storefront to showcase all your Auction-Style, Fixed Price and Store Inventory listings
        • Easily set-up and manage your Store with our Quick Store Set-up
        • Grow your customer base with marketing and merchandising tools
        • Benefit from dedicated, toll-free phone support
For full details about the 30-day free trial, see our information page and FAQs.

Sincerely,

Brian Madigan
eBay Stores Marketing
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***eBay Radio: Call In Tuesday, March 18th at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

March 18, 2008 | 10:04AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, March 18th, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Jen Cano, eBay Radio Contributing Editor and VP of Customer Experience with Hammertapnow.com, who will talk about eBay's feedback changes and their effect on your eBay business.
        • Colin Rule, Director of Online Dispute Resolution with eBay and PayPal, who will join us to discuss how the feedback changes will affect dispute resolution on eBay.
        • Matt Halprin, VP of eBay Trust and Safety, who will also talk about the feedback changes and how eBay will hold both buyers and sellers accountable in the marketplace.
        • Skip McGrath, author of "The Complete eBay Marketing System," who will give you information on selling high-priced versus low-priced products on eBay.
        • Melissa Guernsey, successful eBay PowerSeller and owner of InfantTraveler.com, who will share the secrets of her success.

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***Coming Soon -- Changes to Item Specifics in Cell Phones and Computers***

March 17, 2008 | 01:36PM PST/PT

We plan to update the following eBay Item Specifics in March/April:

  • Cell Phones
  • Cell Phones Accessories
  • Bluetooth Accessories
  • PDAs
  • Apple Desktops
  • Apple Laptops
  • PC Desktops
  • PC Laptops
  • Printers

If you list items manually through an eBay seller tool (for example, the Sell Your Item form or Turbo Lister) or the eBay API, the updated Item Specifics will be available in the next few weeks. If you use a third party listing service (such as Marketworks), please contact them to verify when they will update these Item Specifics.

A list of planned changes to Item Specifics can be found at Seller Central.

For general information about Item Specifics and how to use them, please visit the Item Specifics overview page. If you have any comments or feedback about Item Specifics, please email them to taxonomy@ebay.com and they will be considered for future enhancements.


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***2008 Best in Stores Contest – Enter to win $1,500 and a trip to eBay Live! ***

March 17, 2008 | 10:32AM PST/PT

Richard Lee
Hi everyone, this is Rich Lee with the eBay Stores marketing team. Today we are thrilled to launch our 5th annual Best in Stores contest - this is your chance to show off your Store and get a chance to win!

Does your Store have what it takes?
Get your Store in tip-top shape and register by Monday, March 31st. A panel of judges will then select four finalists in each of these categories:

        • Best Shopping Experience
        • Best Store Marketing
        • Best Looking Store
        • Best Simple Store
Once the finalists have been chosen, the eBay Community will be invited to vote for one winner in each category. Voting will run from April 16th – April 30th, with the winners being announced on May 15th.

You could win $1,500 and a trip to eBay Live!
Each of the four winners will receive a $1,500 cash prize and a paid trip to eBay Live! in Chicago (June 19-21). They'll also receive special recognition at the Stores booth eBay Live!, as well as promotion on the eBay Stores hub page. Register your Store today!

Sincerely,

Rich Lee
eBay Stores
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***eBay Live! 2008 Registration Is Now Open – Save $45 By Registering Early***

March 14, 2008 | 02:08PM PST/PT

Monique Svazlian
Hi everybody, I'm Monique Svazlian, and it's my pleasure to announce that registration is now open for this year's eBay Live! event in Chicago, IL from June 19-21.

eBay Live! has something to offer everyone, whether you’re new to the eBay Community or a seasoned veteran:

        • Network with over 10,000 enthusiastic eBay Community members
        • Learn how to be more successful buying and selling on eBay at over 150 sessions taught by staff and other eBay experts
        • Hear about the future of eBay at the Keynote Address given by John Donahoe, eBay President and CEO
        • Have a ball at the Closing Gala, featuring world-class entertainment
This year we're including some new additions along with old favorites to provide you with innovative business resources and networking opportunities:
  • Sourcing Pavilion hosted by ASD/AMD – connect with sourcing companies and find the hottest deals at the lowest prices to help grow your business
  • The eBay Live! Book Store - relax with a good book on your favorite eBay topics, and maybe get it signed by the author!
  • Networking Events - meet other eBay Community members at networking breaks, lunch and dinners to build lasting friendships and profitable business connections

Register early and save $$
Register before April 30th and you'll get all this for only $75 — a savings of $45 off the regular price! Last year's event was full, so go to www.ebay.com/ebaylive now and reserve your spot.

We hope to see you in the Windy City!

Sincerely,

Monique Svazlian
Manager, eBay Live!
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***Upcoming Workshops: Drop Shipping and Making Tax Season a Breeze***

March 14, 2008 | 01:03PM PST/PT


We would like to invite you to attend the following workshops next week:

Drop Shipping: The Myths, the Facts, the Strategies
This workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 18th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Drop shipping is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented methods of product sourcing. And what you don't know about drop shipping can hurt your business, your customer experience and your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs). Please join Lisa Suttora, Founder/CEO of eBay Certified Provider WhatDoISell.com as she goes behind the scenes to sort out drop shipping facts from fiction. And learn how to make drop shipping work for your business.

Make Tax Season a Breeze
This workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 19th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pacific time.

As an eBay Certified Consultant, Phyllis Wischer, business Success Coach from Certified Provider SageFire, speaks with sellers regularly about their bookkeeping practices. She's found that maintaining an organized business today pays off big in the future. Join Phyllis as she shares her best practices and 2008 tax tips that every eBay seller should consider this tax season and beyond.


Workshops are hosted in discussion threads on the Workshops Board. To get to the Workshops Board:

  • Go to www.ebay.com
  • Click on Community at the top of the page
  • Click on "Workshops" in the "Events" section
  • This will bring you to the threaded Workshops Board

To view archived workshops or to learn more about future workshop events, please check our Workshops Calendar.

Want timely reminders about workshops? We recommend two ways to make sure you never miss an important workshop:

  • Sign up for the Workshops Information Group! By joining this group, you will receive an email notification reminding you about upcoming eBay Workshops. (To sign up for the Workshops Information Group, please click here.)
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed for the Workshop board. When a new workshop becomes active, your RSS reader will be updated. (You can also subscribe to just the specific topic thread that interests you.) To subscribe, click on the button at the bottom of the Workshop board or thread. Copy and paste the feed URL into your reader to subscribe. For more information on RSS, please read our RSS Help page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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***Reminder: Safer Payments Requirements Go Into Effect on March 17th***

March 14, 2008 | 11:40AM PST/PT

John McDonald
Hi everyone, I'm John McDonald with the US Trust and Safety team. As Jim Ambach, VP of Seller Experience, outlined in his announcement in January, we're making some changes that are intended to make the buying experience on eBay better and safer. As part of this initiative, expanded safer payment requirements are scheduled to go into effect on March 17.

Since January 2007, all new sellers have been required to offer PayPal or a merchant credit card as a payment option to their buyers. On March 17, this policy will be expanded to sellers or items when they meet one or more of the following conditions:

        • the seller has higher than 5% buyer dissatisfaction rates
        • the seller has less than 100 feedback
        • the items are listed in categories with higher rates of buyer complaints, including: Gift Certificates, Video Games, Cell Phones, Computers and Consumer Electronics.

In addition, for a small number of transactions that have a higher risk of buyer dissatisfaction, we may delay the release of funds paid through PayPal. This hold will be placed on only a small percentage of transactions for up to 21 days. Then the funds will be released if there is no dispute. The funds may be released earlier if the buyer leaves positive feedback, or if PayPal can confirm delivery of the item. Sellers enrolled in the PayPal Money Market Fund will earn interest on any pending funds in their PayPal accounts.

Your payments will not be held if you meet the following requirements:

  • You have been an eBay member for 6 months or more, and
  • Your total Feedback score is 100 or greater, and
  • Your buyer dissatisfaction percentage is less than 5%.

Or

  • Your average DSR is 4.5 or greater and
  • Your have received 20 or more DSRs in the last 12 months.

I know that there have been questions among our Community about payment holds. Monroe Labouisse, my colleague at PayPal, explains holds in further detail on his post to the PayPal blog – I definitely encourage you to read it.

For more information about safer payment requirements in general, see the safer payments section of our FAQ.

Sincerely,

John McDonald
eBay Trust & Safety


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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - Children's Items Recalled the Week of March 10th***

March 13, 2008 | 04:37PM PST/PT

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a recall for the following items:

  • Play Wonder toy sundae sets due to a choking hazard

  • Battat Magnabild magnetic building toys or sets due to aspiration and intestinal hazards

  • Ellaroo Ring Sling baby carriers due to a breakage and fall hazard

  • X Force Commander toy airplanes and Super Famous toy cars and motorcycles due to a lead paint hazard

  • Micros boys' hooded jackets due to a strangulation hazard

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (see the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html.

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like these, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark www.cpsc.gov and sign up to receive notices on new recalls issued by the CPSC.


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***eBay’s New and Improved Checkout***

March 13, 2008 | 03:17PM PST/PT


Vamsee Nalamothu
Hi everyone…This is Vamsee Nalamothu from our Buyer Experience team on eBay. My team and I are excited to let you know about the launch of a new version of eBay Checkout that has been in testing for several weeks. When buyers pay for an item they’ve purchased or won, eBay Checkout takes them through the steps necessary to pick their payment method, select or add their shipping address, and do the other steps necessary to confirm payment for the seller.

Our new, improved Checkout makes this process faster and easier, so buyers can quickly pay for items they have won – and sellers can receive faster payments. Some of the highlights include:

  • A selectable progress meter -- so buyers can gauge where they are in the process
  • Simplified editing of information -- including shipping address and shipping carriers
  • Improved coupon, gift certificate and gift card redemption
  • Automatic default to multi-seller checkout -- so buyers can go through Checkout once to pay for multiple items from multiple sellers
  • Improved merchandising of seller inventory post-payment – so sellers have an even better opportunity to sell more items during the Checkout process.

eBay Checkout also reduces the need for back-and-forth communication between buyers and sellers, because all shipping enhancements like Shipping discounts are captured during the process. This makes it easier for buyers to pay, and should result in fewer unpaid items and faster payments to our sellers.

eBay Checkout has been customized to meet the specific needs of many of our international markets, too. (The new Checkout will not be available in China, Germany or India.)

Launch plans
The new Checkout is being expanded to more of the marketplace over the next several weeks. You may begin to experience the new Checkout and payment flow, and once you see it, it will be your new default except in cases where sellers use a third-party listing provider.

We hope you enjoy the new Checkout. To leave us comments, please go to our Checkout discussion forum.

Sincerely,
Vamsee Nalamothu
Buyer Experience team

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***Coming Soon: Changes to eBay Item Specifics in Home & Garden and Business & Industry***

March 12, 2008 | 01:33PM PST/PT

We plan to update the following eBay Item Specifics in March/April:
  • Home: Mirrors
  • Home: Photo Frames & Display
  • Home: Table Lamps
  • Home: Floor Lamps
  • Home: Tablecloths
  • Home: Towels, Washcloths
  • Home: Bedspreads, Coverlets
  • Home: Curtains, Drapes
  • Home: Chandeliers
  • Home: Shower Curtains
  • Home: Afghans, Throws
  • Home: Ceiling Fans
  • Home: Decorative Pillows
  • Home: Floral Décor
  • Home: Home Fragrances
  • Home: Rugs
  • B&I: Backhoe Loaders
  • B&I: Compactors- Walk Behind
  • B&I: Cranes
  • B&I: Crawlers
  • B&I: Excavators
  • B&I: Fork Lifts
  • B&I: Lathes
  • B&I: Lifts
  • B&I: Mills
  • B&I: Pavers
  • B&I: Skid Loaders
  • B&I: Tractors
  • B&I: Trenchers-Riding
  • B&I: Utility Vehicles
  • B&I: Wheel Loaders
  • B&I: Wood Chippers
  • B&I: Air Compressors
  • B&I: Breakers
  • B&I: Circuit Breakers
  • B&I: Compactors, Riding
  • B&I: Concrete Cutoff Saws
  • B&I: Control Systems
  • B&I: Copiers
  • B&I: Generators
  • B&I: Mailers
  • B&I: Oscilloscopes
  • B&I: Trailers
  • B&I: Welders

In addition, seller-defined Custom Item Specifics will replace the eBay Item Specifics on Home Fragrances as part of the April category changes.

If you list items manually through an eBay seller tool (for example, the Sell Your Item form or Turbo Lister) or the eBay API, the updated Item Specifics will be available after release. If you utilize a third party listing service (for example, Marketworks), please contact them to verify when they will update these Item Specifics.

A list of planned changes to Item Specifics can be found at Seller Central.

For general information about Item Specifics and how to use them, please visit the Item Specifics overview page. If you have any comments or feedback about Item Specifics, please email them to taxonomy@ebay.com and they will be considered for future enhancements.
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***Updated: Now Available: Category Changes***

March 12, 2008 | 12:57PM PST/PT

The category changes outlined in the announcement below are now available. These changes were made based upon input we received from the Community. We appreciate all the input you give to help us make eBay’s category structure better for your needs.

If you have a category suggestion you can send it to us on the Sending Suggestions to eBay page, located in the Help section.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed input for these changes.
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***Original: Coming Soon: Category Changes***

February 25, 2008 | 01:36PM PST/PT

The category structure will be updated in early March based on feedback received from the eBay Community and from experts in the affected fields.

The March update contains some significant changes for Art, Sporting Goods, Computers & Networking and Toys & Hobbies. If you sell in these areas, please be sure to take a look at the new category structure on Seller Central here. In many cases, coordinating Item Specifics updates will also be made.

You can see the list of affected Item Specifics here: http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/itemspecs.html

Updated Categories:

  • ART
    We’re dividing Art into two sections: Direct from the Artist and Art from Dealers & Resellers. We’re also removing categories that overlap with Item Specifics values to streamline selling and make a less confusing buying experience, so be sure that your listings use Item Specifics.

  • CLOTHING, SHOES & ACCESSORIES
    We’re adding an Athletic Apparel category under Unisex Children’s Clothing.

  • COMPUTERS & NETWORKING
    Look for improved groupings, removal of categories for specific brand names that are easily searchable, and updates that reflect technology changes.

  • SPORTING GOODS
    The category structure now groups sports together to present a cleaner look. You’ll also find some reorganization within sports and in particular you’ll now find shoes and clothing categories under individual sports. These new categories replace the consolidated Athletic Apparel and Athletic Footwear categories. Within the new categories, buyers can still use a Product Finder to narrow down sizes or find items for another sport.

  • TOYS & HOBBIES
    You’ll see changes sprinkled throughout, including new groupings for Action Figures. Look for increased visibility for the Marbles section.

We appreciate your input on how we can make categories better for everyone. Please submit categories suggestions here.

Thanks again to all our members who contributed to these changes!


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***Enhancements to Store Inventory Expansion Box Below Search Results***

March 12, 2008 | 10:01AM PST/PT

Raj Patel
Hi everyone...I'm Raj Patel with the eBay Stores team. As many of our Store sellers know, last November we began testing several new ways to display Store Inventory listings in the expansion area below search results. (As a reminder, this area appears when a search returns 30 or fewer auction-style and fixed price items.) For example, some of our tests included the display of Gallery images for Store Inventory listings when available. We also experimented with different quantities of Store Inventory listings in this area.

The purpose of all these tests was to determine what presentation makes the optimal experience for buyers. Based on our results, I'm pleased to let you know we'll be making two important changes:

Store Inventory Gallery Images Will be Displayed
Gallery images (when available) will now be shown in the Store Inventory expansion area when a search returns 30 or fewer core listings (auction-style and fixed price items).

Up to 50 Listings Displayed
We will now show up to 50 Store Inventory listings in this expansion area, a significant increase from our previous maximum of 30.

To learn more about eBay Stores, check out our information page.

Sincerely,

Raj Patel
eBay Stores


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***eBay Radio: Call In Tuesday, March 11th at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

March 11, 2008 | 09:45AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, March 11th, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Barbara Weltman, Co-host of, “Build Your Business Radio” and Co- author of, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting an eBay Business, 2nd Edition,” joins us to share what eBay business owners should be thinking about at tax time.
        • Brian Jones, Associate Manager, Community Communications with eBay, Inc., joins us with the latest on various upcoming eBay events such as Town Hall.
        • Colette Marshall, Business Development Manager with Worldwide Brands, Incorporated, tells you how the products you sell can influence your customer’s buying experience.
        • Bryan Heim, a successful eBay PowerSeller and Co-owner of Flightline Fabrications, tells us the secrets to his success.
        • Jason Miner, Host of Pay Pal Radio, gives us an update on what's happening with Pay Pal.

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***eBay Radio: Call In Sunday, March 9th at 3:00 PM PT***

March 08, 2008 | 12:56PM PST/PT

Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio Sunday, March 9th, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm PT for the "Ask Griff" eBay Radio Sunday Show with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education. This two-hour Sunday edition of eBay Radio is dedicated entirely to your calls! Call in during the show toll-free at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff, ask a question or just share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

If you can't catch the live show you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.

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***Don’t Miss The Next Community Town Hall - Wednesday, March 12th at 3:30 p.m. PT***

March 07, 2008 | 05:44PM PST/PT

You’re invited to attend the March Community Town Hall event on Wednesday, March 12th from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Talk to eBay leaders LIVE on the air!
This is a great time to get your question answered by one of the experts on the Town Hall panel. During the event, dial toll free -- 1-877-474-3302 -- to talk to executives from eBay and PayPal LIVE on the air.

As usual, we'll be broadcasting via Internet radio with the help of our friends at wsRadio (the same folks that produce Griff's eBay Radio show). You'll be able to listen in via Windows Media Player or Real Player.

Email Us Your Question
If you'd prefer to email us your question, send it to TownHall@ebay.com . Please visit http://pages.ebay.com/townhall for more details about the Town Hall and to read or listen to past show archives.
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***Upcoming Workshops: Listing and Sales Strategies & 10 Tax Tips***

March 07, 2008 | 02:53PM PST/PT


We would like to invite you to attend the following workshops next week:

Fine Tuning Listing Strategies
This workshop will be held on Monday, March 10th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. In this workshop, Debbie Levitt, CEO of As Was, eBay's first Certified Service Provider, seeks to help sellers maximize their fees and increase their sales. Learn and discuss topics like what should be listed in your Store or the Core, how many user IDs should you use to sell, and how to cater to your shoppers' typical behavior.

Ten Things You Must Know Before You File Your Tax Return
This workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Haven't filed your taxes yet? Learn about 10 mistakes you don't want to make! And, if you've already filed, find out how well you did at avoiding the pitfalls. Bring your questions and get ready for the most fun you've ever had talking about taxes with Diane Kennedy, CPA.

Create a Sales Strategy to Boost Your Profits - The How and Why With Market Research
This workshop will be held on Friday, March 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Whether you're just starting out on eBay, a hobby seller, or a top grossing Power Seller, it's important to consider your selling strategy and how your business goals affect your auction listings. This month's interactive workshop will review different sales strategies, and how to make decisions based on these. Are you an ASP seller or an ASR seller? And how will this influence your listings? Join us to determine your selling strategy and the way it will help maximize your profits!


Workshops are hosted in discussion threads on the Workshops Board. To get to the Workshops Board:

  • Go to www.ebay.com
  • Click on Community at the top of the page
  • Click on "Workshops" in the "Events" section
  • This will bring you to the threaded Workshops Board

To view archived workshops or to learn more about future workshop events, please check our Workshops Calendar.

Want timely reminders about workshops? We recommend two ways to make sure you never miss an important workshop:

  • Sign up for the Workshops Information Group! By joining this group, you will receive an email notification reminding you about upcoming eBay Workshops. (To sign up for the Workshops Information Group, please click here.)
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed for the Workshop board. When a new workshop becomes active, your RSS reader will be updated. (You can also subscribe to just the specific topic thread that interests you.) To subscribe, click on the button at the bottom of the Workshop board or thread. Copy and paste the feed URL into your reader to subscribe. For more information on RSS, please read our RSS Help page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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***International Selling 'Best Practices' Page Now Available***

March 07, 2008 | 11:31AM PST/PT

Frederick Crosby
Hi everyone...this is Frederick Crosby from eBay's Cross-Border Trade team. Having access to buyers worldwide is one of many reasons to sell on eBay, and my team is here to help sellers expand their global reach.

Sooner or later, most eBay sellers want to try expanding their business to international buyers – it's a great way to expand your prospective customer base overnight! To help sellers get started selling internationally, we've put together a new information page containing helpful Best Practices for international selling.

Our new page is full of helpful information for all types of sellers - from those who've never tried selling internationally before, to experienced sellers who are looking to maximize their international business potential. You'll find ideas on how to create more international appeal for your listings, tips on how to anticipate international buyer questions, and ideas for ensuring you get and retain great Detailed Seller Ratings.

Check out our new page on our Seller Central hub, or you can go there directly - http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/internationalselling.html.

Also, let us know what you think! Leave your comments or even your own favorite International selling tips on our International Trading Discussion board.

Sincerely,

Frederick Crosby
Cross-Border Trade


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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - Children's Items Recalled the Week of March 3rd***

March 06, 2008 | 02:23PM PST/PT

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a recall for the following items:

  • Girls hooded sweatshirts due to a strangulation hazard

  • Infantino Lamb Grabby Rattles due to a choking hazard

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (see the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html.

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like these, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark www.cpsc.gov and sign up to receive notices on new recalls issued by the CPSC.


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***Daylight Saving Time Reminder***

March 05, 2008 | 10:49AM PST/PT


It's that time of year again - time to spring forward with Daylight Saving! We will be setting our clocks ahead one hour at 02:00 PT on Sunday, March 9th.

As a reminder, all listings that are running during the Daylight Saving change will still receive the full amount of exposure. For example, if you have a 1-day listing that started at 13:00 PT (1 p.m.) on Saturday, March 8th, it will end at 14:00 PT (2 p.m.) on Sunday the 9th.


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***eBay Radio: Call In Tuesday, March 4th at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

March 04, 2008 | 09:47AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, March 4th, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Cliff Ennico, Attorney and Author of the new "The eBay Seller's Tax and Legal Book,” shares the latest eBay business tax tips that you need to know about
        • Ann Samler, VP of Technology Development with GencoMarketplace.com, gives you a course on “Liquidation 101- what you need to know about acquiring liquidated merchandise”
        • Adam Hundt, with eBay's Developer Program, brings on Will Martin-Gill, Senior Manager on Internet Marketing/Affiliates team, and Seth Godin, Founder of eBay affiliate, Squidoo, to tell you about increasing your marketing exposure for your listings
        • Josh Loftus with eBay joins us to talk about the new default search view know as Best Match

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***A Message From Matt Halprin – Protecting Bidders & Combating Online Fraud***

March 03, 2008 | 09:32AM PST/PT


Matt Halprin
Hello...This is Matt Halprin, eBay's Vice President in charge of Global Trust & Safety. As eBay continues to grow into a global online marketplace we are a natural target for online criminals. As you may know, fraud related to fake Second Chance Offers has been a significant challenge to the safety of our marketplace. Fraudsters send these authentic-looking, malicious emails to bidders on auction-style listings in an effort to convince them to send them funds. Unsuspecting bidders get fooled into thinking they are dealing with a legitimate seller, and agree to send funds (often by an unapproved method like Western Union, a major red flag that fraud is involved) in exchange for receiving an item like the one they had recently hoped to win.

Combating fraud by protecting our Community’s identities
In January 2007, the Safeguarding Member IDs project was launched on eBay.com for auction-style listings of $200 or greater to reduce the negative impact that these fraudsters have on the marketplace. Last August we also made enhancements to bring back more of the transparency to the bidding process, which our Community told us was important. These changes did not reduce bidding on auction listings above $200 and virtually eliminated fraudsters' attempts at this price level.

How Safeguarding Member IDs works
Bidder User IDs are "masked," so that scammers can't tell who is bidding on a listing and therefore cannot target them with official-looking spoof email. The masked User ID's consist of two random characters from the member's User ID – for example, a***b. This method of identifying a bidder (whose feedback score is also visible) gives legitimate members a sense of who is bidding, while protecting the bidders' identities. (Please note that sellers who are logged in can see all the actual User IDs for the bidders on their listings.)

I'd like to address a common question we hear - How do scammers get a bidder's email address? Unfortunately, a high percentage of eBay members have registered an email address that is very close or identical to their User ID. Fraudsters attempt to send emails to the bidders they are targeting by using the User ID, plus several of the most common domain names – i.e. userid@yahoo.com , userid@gmail.com, userid@hotmail.com, userid@aol.com. This combination yields a very high success rate for them. Subsequently, too many eBay bidders get fooled – and lose their money - as an unfortunate result.

The state of fake Second Chance Offers (or attempts by criminals to tempt you into a false transaction) today
For over a year, these masked User IDs have proven to be very successful on these higher-end listings. In fact, we saw the volume of fake Second Chance Offers for $200 or more drop significantly. We've also worked to educate members about the importance of unique email addresses, and we have aggressively targeted members who have risky User ID/email combinations to encourage them to change. Please note - If your User ID matches your email address, please protect yourself by changing your User ID so your user ID doesn't match your email address. Please also review our Password Tips.

While these efforts are important, we must do more to stop this type of fraud. Despite all our previous efforts, criminals have adjusted their methods and the overall problem persists. By increasing the volume of fake Offers that they send now to buyers of lower priced items, they hope they can make the same returns they'd been making on higher-end items.

Protecting buyer's identities as they bid on all auction-style listings
To protect the Community from this growing safety threat, we have made the decision to mask User IDs for bidders on all auction-style listings on eBay.com and Motors. This change will go into effect later this week. Even with all this history and need, we understand that masking User IDs on all auction-style listings is a significant change, and it this is not a step we are taking lightly. However, in light of today's environment - and the damage fake email offers pose to our members and to overall buyer trust in the marketplace – it's imperative we act now to make this change.

I appreciate your support – working together, our efforts are helping keep the marketplace a safe place to buy and sell.

Sincerely,

Matt Halprin
Vice President, Global Trust & Safety


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