May 19, 2008 | 01:32PM PST/PT
Hello...This is John McDonald, Sr. Director of US Trust & Safety. We're making a number of changes to our listing policies to benefit both our buyers and sellers. First, these changes will create more choice and selection for buyers and make it easier for them to find what they're looking for. Second, these policy changes add flexibility, convenience and cost-savings for our sellers.
Also, we wanted to give you an update on how to monitor your standing as a seller and improve the visibility of your listings.
New – more flexibility for selling similar items
Two important changes are being made to simplify our policies and add convenience for our sellers.
- Removal of the Choice Policy
First, starting immediately, the Choice Policy, which has required sellers to list similar items in different sizes and colors in separate listings, has been removed. Sellers may now create listings that offer choices such as size, color, and configuration. For example, a shoe seller may now offer a particular shoe in multiple sizes in one listing.
This change adds significant cost savings and convenience for sellers, while helping them delight their buyers with more choice.
Keep in mind that it will continue to be the seller's responsibility to accurately represent the available inventory in a listing. Being unable to fulfill a buyer's choice of a stated offering is considered a violation of the Seller Non-Performance Policy. Offering a choice of completely different items in the same listing is also prohibited under the Fee Circumvention Policy.
- Removal of the Multiple Listings Limit Policy
Starting early June, the Multiple Listings Limit Policy, which limits sellers to 15 identical listings at any one time, will be removed. Soon sellers will be allowed an unlimited number of identical listings.
To prevent buyers from being overwhelmed by identical listings, advancements in Finding will limit the display of duplicates from the same seller. The listing displayed will be determined by the sort option that the buyer chooses, such as Time Ending Soonest, Newly Listed, Total Cost, and Best Match.
Also, the number of listings from any one seller will be limited to ten per page, unless the only available listings that remain are from the same seller. This change ensures that buyers will have a variety of sellers to choose from. (For more information, please read our Frequently Asked Questions).
New simplified Search & Browse Manipulation Policy
Starting in early June a new Search & Browse Manipulation Policy will take the place of the Keyword Spamming, Misleading Title, Miscategorization, and Brand Name Misuse policies. The new Search Manipulation Policy simplifies the guidelines for sellers, prohibiting any unfair methods of diverting members to their listings. This includes any addition to a listing not related to the item being sold or other activity that harms the shopping experience by making it difficult for buyers to find the items they're looking for. More information can be found in our FAQs.
Mystery Auctions prohibited
Due to the high rate of claims and bad buying experiences related to these listings, starting early June, the Chance Policy will now also include Mystery Auctions as a prohibited item.
Updated Links Policy
Starting in July, an updated Links Policy will take the place of links guidelines that were previously covered in several policy areas. Under the updated policy, only specific types of links are allowed in a seller's listings or other content on eBay, including eBay Store pages, About Me pages, eBay Blogs, Reviews and Guides, and forums. Allowed under the new policy are links to:
- Any page on eBay or an eBay property including PayPal, Half.com and StubHub.
- Photos of the item for sale, as long as the page displaying the photos does not offer, or link to, a site that offers a product or service for sale off eBay.
- Embedded videos within a listing, as long as the content and format comply with all eBay policies for videos.
- Third-party solutions and services directly related to the particular listing.
Monitor your seller standing and increase visibility in Search
An expanded version of the Seller Dashboard will be available this week, with more information about where you stand and how to maximize your business on eBay. We encourage you to check it often. Watch for a follow-up post on this Announcement Board as soon as the expanded Dashboard is available.
It's important to note that as part of eBay's ongoing efforts to raise the bar on selling standards, violations of eBay policies are subject to serious consequences, including restrictions, forfeiture of insertion fees, seller demotion in search results, and suspension. This is intended to drive any selling practices that hurt buyers and good sellers alike off eBay.
As we continue to raise the bar, we also wanted to give you an update on changes we've made to Best Match since the rollout of this new sort order in March. As you know, Best Match considers a number of factors including Time Ending Soonest, item relevance, other item attributes, and seller performance.
Since launch, we've been monitoring and making adjustments. Some of our adjustments will result in a larger number of sellers with below average performance scores being lowered in Best Match search results. If either of the following conditions apply to you, the visibility of your listings may be reduced:
- Your 30-day shipping cost DSR is 4.5 and below
- Your buyer satisfaction rate (shown on the dashboard) appears as "needs improvement," "poor" or "unacceptable."
If you're in this situation, we want to help you get back to the top in Best Match. Many sellers are discovering that making small changes in their approach can make a positive difference in their DSRs and business results. Here are some tips on how you can improve your buyer satisfaction and DSRs.
Check our previous announcement for more complete details on what impacts the visibility of your items in Best Match search results.
Good news for our top performing sellers
Starting this week, sellers with 4.7 and above on all 4 DSRs over the last 30 days may start to see an additional boost in their search standing in Best Match. It's important for good sellers to be rewarded for providing excellent buying experiences. We're going to test this in a few categories to start, and will expand to the others shortly afterwards.
To make sure you stay in top standing, get familiar with eBay's User Agreement, monitor your Seller Dashboard (once it becomes available) on a regular basis to be aware of potential issues and changes in your status, and resolve any issues in a timely fashion. Sellers who delight their buyers will win on eBay, and we thank the vast majority of sellers who abide by our policies and strive to deliver the best buying experience possible.
For more information on the changes above, please see our Policy Change FAQ's.
US Trust & Safety