It’s that time of year again — eBay has just announced its 15.1 seller release. We’ll go through a summary of each component here and explain how it affects you as a ChannelAdvisor seller.
New Requirements for Product Identifiers
If you’re already selling on other marketplaces or advertising with Google’s Product Listing Ads, then you likely already have the data that eBay will begin to require for certain categories. The newly required product identifiers:
- Manufacturer Part Number (MPN)
- GTIN (UPC, EAN or ISBN)
ChannelAdvisor sellers can easily identify which listings are missing a UPC using eBay Insights data, which is already available in your ChannelAdvisor account. As eBay makes more information about listing with missing product identifiers available, this will all be displayed via eBay Insights.
Beginning in June, listings with product identifiers will receive increased visibility in search results and other merchandising. There’s no exact date for when this will be required, but eBay has promised a 60-day notice before listings will start to be blocked if they’re missing these values.
Action: If you have product identifiers, it’s best to go ahead and start sending them with your listings as soon as possible. Not only will this help your listings get better visibility in June, but it will also help your visibility on Google Shopping and Bing. (And check out our white paper on the 5 Laws of Product Data for more information on the importance of product information.)
Changes to Fees
We’ve seen eBay give increased attention over the years to fixed price listings. Not only has the percentage of fixed price listings available on the marketplace increased, but so has the popularity of fixed price listings with buyers. So where does that leave auction-style listings?
With this seller release, eBay is making changes to auction-style listing fees to refocus sellers on what they’re great at — selling exclusive, collectible, limited or one-of-a-kind items. These types of products perform incredibly well in auction formats. And starting in May, eBay is giving sellers unlimited insertion-fee credits for auction listings that result in a sale. This means that if you have a high volume of auctions that end up relisting after the auction duration because there has been no sale, those items are probably a better fit for the fixed price format.
And because auctions work best with longer durations and no reserves, eBay is changing the fee structure for those features. It’s removing the feature fee for ten-day durations and adding a $1 fee for one- or three-day duration listings. Reserve prices will also carry an increased fee that will be the greater of $3 or 2% of the reserve price. Even though eBay will cap reserve fees at $100, it should still encourage sellers to steer away from auction-format listings if the end price needs to be managed by a reserve.
EBay has also changed the monthly allotment of free listings, which are shown below for Store subscribers. Sellers without a Store will receive 20 free listings per month.
Other notable fee changes include:
- Fixed price listings in media categories will no longer have a different insertion fee.
- If you are a Stores seller, you will benefit from a final value fee (FVF) cap added for heavy equipment.
ACTION: Continue to use auctions for items that generate demand and that will convert during your listing period. Opt for five-, seven- or ten-day durations and forgo reserve prices to save on fees. Evaluate your existing auction listings to determine which would be a better fit for fixed price instead. Also, check out our February Same Store Sales report — auctions are down 26.2% year over year, so the format is on the decline in general.
Category-Level Changes to Item Specifics
EBay continues to make adjustments to category and item specific structures, in an effort to provide an optimal buyer experience. Starting in June, the categories listed below will have notable changes.
- Business & Industrial
- Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
- Health & Beauty
- Jewelry & Watches
- Musical Instruments & Gear
- Toys & Hobbies
- Everything Else
ACTION: Monitor your eBay Insights in ChannelAdvisor for new category recommendations and missing item specifics. As item specifics become available (or change) on eBay, they’ll be available on the ChannelAdvisor mapping templates within one business day. Remember, including eBay’s recommended item specifics will help increase the visibility of your item, both on and off eBay.
Blog post by Jenny Hock, product manager, ChannelAdvisor