eBay announced and gave a preview of their Fall 2011 updates today. Here is a quick overview. I will have more details in the next issue of The Online Sellers News. The updates will begin launching the week of August 22nd and this will be the last update of 2011.
Here is what they will cover:
- Get 25 EXTRA characters in your title to draw more buyers to your listings. Some products require more words than others to get in front of the right buyers. Starting the first week in September, the maximum number of characters increases from 55 to 80.
- Buyer Protection cases won’t be included in your count of opened cases unless the buyer contacts you first. eBay always encourages buyers to contact the seller before filing a case. Starting in late August, if the buyer doesn’t contact you before opening a Buyer Protection case and you act quickly to resolve it, the eBay will not include the case in your performance rating.
- Email addresses and links no longer allowed in listings. eBay says buyers should be able to find everything they need to know to complete a purchase right in the listing—and if necessary, contact a seller right from eBay. Starting October 1, sellers will not be able to submit a new listing or re-listing if an email address or link that doesn’t help buyers transact safely and efficiently on eBay is included in the listing. In other words no email addresses in your listing. (Hint: One way around that is to put your email address as an image –with no hyperlink.)
- Stricter return policies required. When sellers accept returns, consumers expect a meaningful time frame and getting their money back as one refund option. Starting in late August, you can specify “Money back or exchange” as a refund option. Next year, the 3- and 7-day returns options will no longer be available and a cash refund option will be required for all returns. Of course, you’ll still be able to specify “no returns” as your policy.
- Category and Item Specifics updates: Look for updates in Coins, Computers & Networking, eBay Motors Parts & Accessories, Consumer Electronics, Tickets, Collectibles, and eBay Motors Vehicles. Find out if your listings are affected.
eBay also announced changes to the GPS device rules to put them in the eBay catalog and new ways to buy and sell tickets.
Most of these announcements were expected. It will be interesting to see if they have any impact on eBay’s faltering sales and market share.