Markdown Manager is a very popular option for eBay Store sellers that enables them to put inventory on sale, and market it as such. eBay says this is "the most highly-adopted Stores feature."
Now they’ve added another level to it. Store sellers can now have a free shipping sale. This makes it possible for store sellers to put auction-style listings on sale, whereas previously it was limited to Fixed Price and Store Inventory listings. Using Markdown Manager, this free shipping sale can be done in bulk.
eBay sellers who do not have a store still have the option of promoting items with free shipping. The selection is made in the Sell Your Item form, as usual, but you will now automatically get a free shipping icon on your listing to help grab buyer’s attention.
Obviously, it is in eBay’s best interests to have you offer free shipping because the shipping cost is not included in the Final Value Fee calculation. So from their perspective, they are not losing anything (in fact they may gain, because most sellers who offer free shipping just include it in the starting bid so eBay will get fees paid on that additional amount).
One issue I have with this free shipping, and this is an ongoing one, is that often sellers of heavy or bulky items select free shipping when they actually mean pick-up only. This can be very frustrating for buyers who automatically ignore the pick- up only items when they know they are nowhere near that location.
They must look through all the "free shipping" listings to see if it really means free shipping, or if it is actually a pick-up only item that has been mis-tagged. I think that with the introduction of the free shipping icon, we will see more of these pick-up only items listed as free shipping.