Preview of 2011 eBay Changes Coming Next Week

A few years ago sellers complained loudly that eBay was making policy changes too frequently and at the wrong times of year.  So eBay agreed to only make major policy changes twice yearly in the Spring and the Fall.

The Spring changes are usually made about this time of year and will take effect in April or May.  Last week eBay held their annual stock analyst day in San Jose and they gave some hints as to what changes are coming this year.

Here are some highlights:

  • Free shipping is going to be mandated in more categories.
  • eBay is going to launch a new Fashion Outlet later in the year –probably the summer time frame
  • eBay will continue to work to attract large merchants and will give them special breaks and do special promotions with them
  • eBay will make a larger push into social commerce
  • eBay will expand and promote the use of eBay classifieds
  • eBay will add inventory from physical retailers onto the eBay Marketplace – this will be a program where local retailers list their items for sale on eBay.  When a buyer purchases they will  then go to the local store to pick up the item
  • eBay said it will continue to focus on the fixed-price format.  They predict that fixed price will be 70% of gross merchandise value (GMV) for core business, and the auction format would remain around the current 30%

In other news:

eBay is looking for a new head of Global Marketplaces to replace Lorrie Norrington who was pushed out last year to the delight of the eBay seller community.

There was no mention of fee changes but you can bet that since eBay is giving fee breaks to large sellers, they will be after the rest of us to make them whole.

And, eBay said once again they will not do television advertising but will instead focus on a marketing campaign built around Mobile Applications.

We won’t know what the exact policies are for a week or so. When they come out I will be featuring them in my newsletter so stay tuned for that.  All in all there isn’t much here for the most of us –it all seems to be focused on large sellers and merchants like Barnes & Noble that eBay wants to attract to the platform.


The Complete eBay Marketing System by Skip McGrath is the oldest and largest eBay training program.  The printed training course covers all aspects of starting and running a professional eBay business.


  1. Hi Skip,
    I’ve been enjoying your blog for the past month, thank you for keeping us informed. I wonder if eBay is positioning itself for the implementation of taxing online sales; which obviouosly won’t be an issue for the larger merchants.

    1. Author

      There are movements by both state and the Federal governments to find ways to tax internet sales including small sellers. They are already doing this in the UK with their VAT tax which is a national sales tax. At the moment only businesses with more than $4 million in sales are taxed across several states, but that will come down rapidly until we will all be affected within a few years. However, to eBay’s credit they are fighting this with their government lobbying arm.

  2. Skip, I recently emailed that since I have five in the Detailed Seller Ratings – starting 1 May 11, they will hold my paypal payment for 1-3 days. What’s the full story of this dumb idea. Thanks.

    1. Author

      Hi – PayPal does that as a precaution against poor sellers because they offer the PayPal buyers guarantee they need to know there is some money there. However, they will release your money right away on any transaction where the buyer posts feedback.

      This doesn’t mean you are a poor seller –they just use the indicator of DSR as a warning flag.

  3. @Roy, I know of no other business where a seller is expected to ship something without getting paid for it first….this stinks to high heaven.

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