eBay Releases The 2020 Spring Seller Update
eBay released today the 2020 Spring Seller update. Here are the key points of the update (U.S. Version), along with a few notes on what it may mean for sellers.
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- New category changes – Primarily, this will impact Business & Industrial, Watches, Home & Garden, and Sporting Goods categories.
- New item specifics features – More categories will require that sellers add items specifics to their listings. This will impact sellers when they list new items or try to revise running items.
- New Multi-User Account Access to see orders – More options, including read-only access to orders.
- Volume pricing for non-Store subscribers – Now, non-store owners will be able to use volume pricing to offer discounts on multi-unit sales.
- Photo editing for instant white backgrounds – A new feature that makes it easier for sellers to remove backgrounds and have their items stand out on a white background.
- New Terapeak features in Seller Hub and Terapeak.com deactivation – Further integration of Terapeak features into Seller Hub. eBay will deactivate the “stand-alone” version of Terapeak on March 31, 2020.
- Send packages to international buyers with eBay international standard delivery – This was actually announced two weeks ago already and offers shippers another integrated global shipping solution.
- FedEx 2Day rate reduction – 2020 rates are lower than 2019 rates for many under 10-pound parcels.
- New notification of missing item location ZIP Codes – eBay is trying to get more sellers to provide accurate location of items so that the delivery estimates shown to buyers are more reliable. These are notifications only, as multi-warehouse sellers still have no way to enter all zip codes where items could be located.
- New “Offers to buyers” enhancements – Increases the number of buyers this feature can reach from 10 to 40 potential buyers. Also, eBay is adding more flexibility to offer discounts on items over $200 and is making it now possible to make counteroffers on a mobile device.
Customer Service Updates
- Manage common selling issues with Seller Help – eBay is placing customer service functions such as refunds, returns, and “Items not received” and “Item not as described” in one place called Seller Help.
- Updates to handling returns and cases – There are items here that require the attention of sellers as it changes how eBay will manage returns and claims. Most notable is a new requirement starting on June 1, 2020, that sellers use a shipping carrier that is integrated into the eBay system to have protection from “Item not received” claims.
- New protections against buyers you previously blocked – Sellers can now cancel purchases from buyers who they previously blocked, and eBay will protect sellers from defects and feedback from these transactions. This improves a weak buyer blocking feature that still allowed blocked buyers to make purchases.
- New features available to sellers who are enrolled in managed payments – The most important update here is that sellers will be able to deduct shipping label costs from pending payouts. This has been one of the biggest gripes for many lower volume sellers using eBay Managed Payments because it required them to use PayPal and “pre-fund” the shipping label cost.
- Managed payments continue to expand globally – The U.K. was announced yesterday. Still, there are a few other tweaks that sellers may wish to review, especially if they are using or plan to use eBay services compatible with eBay Managed Payments.
- Managed payments for sellers with existing PPWC business loans – eBay is reminding sellers that have a PayPal Working Capital loan that they should make sure they reach out to PayPal to discuss the loan’s terms or options before switching over to eBay Managed Payments. Typically, a PPWS loan requires PayPal to be the primary payment processor. For example, in the PPWC latest terms, it states a loan will enter default when, “You divert the Business PayPal Sales Proceeds or Repayment Amounts from the PayPal Account to another PayPal account or entity, without the consent of the Lender.”
User Agreement Updates
Sellers should have received an email this morning with an updated version of the eBay user agreement effective February 26, 2020. These sections are the main changes in the user agreement.
- eBay intends to manage payments for more sellers in more markets soon
- Clarification of which user agreement applies when you buy or sell in other countries
- Know when we hold or restrict seller funds
The big positive for sellers participating in eBay Managed Payments is that soon they will be able to use funds from that program to pay for shipping labels. A long-requested feature.
On the negative side, the big one that stands out is the requirement for sellers to use shipping services that are directly integrated into the eBay platform.
This will impact sellers who use local or regional couriers, LTL, or other trucking services for large orders or heavy items, but most importantly, sellers who use Amazon FBA.
While it may be another nail in the coffin for dropshippers, who often use Amazon as their product source. Most legitimate sellers want these sellers off the platform as the practice is already not allowed on eBay, yet somehow dropshippers keep popping up on the platform.
However, it creates a problem for legitimate sellers who own their inventory and use Amazon FBA to fulfill orders. When this policy goes into effect, shipments delivered by Amazon’s logistics network will no longer be covered for “Item not received” claims.
Possibly, most sellers that use Amazon FBA probably do enough volume that the odd lost item is not a big deal, but it is now a consideration.
eBay Links to Seller Updates
This article covered the United States version of the Spring Seller update. Other countries may have different updates on features and policies. Here is the link to the U.S. version of the 2020 Spring Seller Update on eBay.com.
In addition, here are the links to the 2020 Spring (or Summer for Australia) Seller Updates of the four other English speaking international marketplaces eBay operates:
What are your thoughts on this eBay Spring Seller Update?
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.