Home > Seller Sphere

Spring Seller update:eBay Announces Changes and Buyer Tools

- Selling News

You may have seen that we’re planning to make some changes to eBay, which aim to improve the buyer and seller experience on eBay. To help you understand the changes and what you need to do, we've outlined the details of what’s being introduced and included a checklist to make sure you’re ready for the changes.  For further details please visit the eBay Seller Release news page or click on the video to the left.

1. Updated Fee Structure

Fee changes in technology categories

On 3 May we'll be changing the final value fees for technology categories from 3% to 5%. This will help enable us to make further improvements to the shopping experience and help drive more buyers to the site.

If you'd like more information on the updated fees structure visit the fees details.

B2C Motors insertion fee price change

The same date, we'll be increasing insertion fees from £8.00 to £10.00, (IE Euro 9 to Euro 12) in the motors category. We'll also be making the Gallery Plus feature free for all business sellers in the Motors category.

Click on the link if you'd like more information about the Motors insertion fee increase or gallery plus feature.

eBay Top-rated seller discounts reduced

On 1 May 2012, we'll be reducing the final value fee discounts on transaction for eBay top-rated sellers (eTRS). All other benefits of the eTRS programme will stay the same, including promotion in Best Match searches, which offers significant business benefit.

If you'd like more information on these changes, visit the eBay Top-rated Seller programme page.

2. Improving the buyer experience

Listing Quality

We're always working to evolve eBay to make the site faster and easier for buyers, including those using mobile devices, to make sure we're providing what buyers are looking for. We'll be launching a number of new features in 2012, which will put more emphasis on the need for high quality listings and we'll update you as these new features come to fruition.

Category and item specifics changes 

By 3 May 2012, we'll have made changes to categories and item specifics to make it easier and more intuitive for buyers to find what they’re looking for.

If you'd like more information about the category and item specific changes, visit the eBay site.

eBay Catalogue

We've increased the number of categories in which you must list your item(s) with a matching product from the eBay catalogue.

If you'd like more information about the eBay Catalogue, visit the eBay site.

New merchandising and advertising placements

From April 2012, we'll be testing a new merchandising placement above the item description on the item page. We'll be rotating the same, related or similar items from a sellers inventory, as well as including items from other similar sellers - and vice versa. From 28 March 2012, we'll be displaying an advertising placement on the right-hand side of the item page, in addition to the advertising that is already included on the item pages of private sellers.

If you'd like more information about the Merchandising test and the new advertising placement, visit the eBay site.

Drive sales with My Vehicles 

From the week beginning 19 March 2012, we'll be introducing a new feature called My Vehicles. The feature will capture a buyer’s vehicle details and provide personalised search results when a buyer is searching for Vehicle Parts & Accessories.

If you'd like more information, visit the eBay site.

Manufacturer warranties in Electronics

From today, buyers will be able to clearly see the manufacturer warranty in the product description for all electronic items. You may already be showing manufacturer warranty details in your item description, but using the new item specific field will help make it easier for buyers to find the warranty when searching. 

3. Driving service quality

Handling time changes

From early June 2012, you'll be able to show same-day dispatch time on your listings. You'll also be able to give reasons for longer handling times in the case of presale or custom items.

Expanded Buyer Protection

From 1 April 2012, we'll be expanding the number of categories covered by eBay Buyer Protection to increase confidence in buying on the site. The following categories will be added:

  • Custom made items (delivered in 45 days)
  • Airline flight tickets
  • Licences
  • Anything equivalent to cash (including retail gift cards)
  • Gift certificates

4.Seller protection and tools

Increased protection for sellers

We're introducing new safeguards to increase the protection of sellers against unfair feedback and detailed seller ratings from the end of March 2012.  These safeguards include the removal of:

  • Feedback on unpaid items
  • Automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings for communication
  • More clarity for international buyers on customs.

If you'd like more information, visit the eBay site.

Save time with Business Policies

Between early May and late June 2012, you'll be prompted to ‘opt in’ to manage your own settings for postage, returns and payment information from one central location. These settings - called ‘business policies’ – will help save you time when creating and updating listings.

If you'd like more information, visit the eBay site.

Legally compliant returns policies

From early May 2012, if you've opted to use business policies, you'll be able to set returns policy options to define the number of days in the returns period and who will pay for the returns postage.

If you'd like more information about structured returns, visit the eBay site.

Making it easier to sell internationally

We're making it easier for sellers looking to sell internationally, with a number of improvements planned throughout 2012. The new International Selling Hub has already been introduced on eBay and has helped to increase clarity on customs duties for international buyers.

At the moment, we're running a series of trials and additional improvements with a small number of sellers, with the aim of introducing the new feature(s) later in the year.  

If you'd like more information visit the eBay site.

What action should sellers take?

So what do you have to do as a seller? We have compiled a seller checklist to ensure that you are prepared for the changes once they come into action:

  • Familiarise yourself with fee changes in any category in which you are selling. It's important to note the date in which the changes will be coming into effect and adjust your price scheme accordingly
  • Add item specifics to your listings to ensure that your items be included in relevant buyer searches. It may be helpful to read our guide to good listing practice
  • Find out if your listings will be changed by the introduction of new categories to the eBay catalogue. Work to match your items with a product from the catalogue by May 2012, otherwise you will risk your listing being removed and losing sales
  • If the products you are selling come with a manufacturer warranty, don't forget to update your listings as buyers will be filtering searches to include warranties
  • Review your 'Business Policies' for all of your listings to ensure that they are up to date and can be applied to all listings from late May – early June 2012
  • From early May 2012, we'd recommend that you clearly outline the conditions of how a buyer can return an item in the returns policy to reduce the number of returns-related questions you receive
  • From 19 March 2012, if you're a motors seller in the parts & accessories category, assign compatible car models to their parts to benefit from the introduction of My Vehicles.

In the video below, Angus McCarey, Senior Director of the European Seller Experience, explains some of the changes to the marketplace in the coming year.

Featured Seller - Cross boarder trading with London Magic Store




"Trading internationally is very straightforward. We have separate eBay accounts for different countries, which helps to keep it simple."


This month's featured seller is Dario Lopez, owner of London Magic Store, a UK based eBay store selling internationally.


Continue reading to get some tips fon how to sell internationally.

Seller Discussions & Questions

Ask your questions about selling on eBay.

Join in the discussion on our seller discussion forums.