What You Need to Know About eBay’s 14.2 Seller Release

August 12, 2014

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Today, eBay announced its second seller release of 2014 (eBay refers to it as SR 14.2). In this post, we’ll review each of the components of the release and what it means for you as a seller. The overarching theme of SR 14.2 is more support for more buyers. EBay continues to standardize the experience for buyers and provide more structure for sellers.

Buyer-Canceled Transactions

Starting in September (for the US and UK, October in Germany), buyers will be able to request to cancel a transaction for one hour after the order is placed. “Request” is the operative word here, as sellers aren’t obligated to accept cancellation requests (although eBay encourages it to provide a better buyer experience). Sellers will have three days to respond to a cancellation request, and if ignored, the request is declined.

Structured Flow for Returns (US, UK, and DE)

Buyers will no longer be encouraged to use M2M or Resolution Center to contact sellers about returns. Instead, the Contact Seller page will offer several options, including an option to request a return or simply ask the seller a question. Provided that the request is within the seller’s stated Returns Policy, the buyer will be able to print a return label and send the product back to the seller.

EBay will automatically process a refund for PayPal payments, and Final Value Fee is automatically refunded when applicable. In the event of a return due to “Item not as described”, eBay charges the seller the return shipping cost (rates here). If a seller wants to dispute an “Item not as described” return, there will be an interface in My eBay to do so.

Contact Seller Page with new options:  

Contact seller page with new options

UK Global Shipping Programme

The Global Shipping Programme has seen lots of success in the US and is now expanding to the UK. Sellers in the UK will now be able to offer international shipping to up to 20 countries without the headache of international fulfillment. EBay will manage all the customs, duties and logistics. Sellers simply need to ship the order to the eBay distribution centre in the UK (which will automatically appear as the shipping address on the order).

UK Click & Collect at Argos

Following the successful pilot of Click & Collect at Argos, eBay is expanding this offering to all sellers and 650 Argos locations. All listings will opted in by early October, but sellers can opt out at an account level or at a listing level if needed.

When a buyer elects to collect an item from an Argos location, the Argos address and special order identifier will automatically be populated as the shipping address on the order. It’s very important for sellers not to alter this information at all — but fortunately there are no other special label requirements. Sellers can then use their own standard fulfilment methods to ship items to the Argos location.

A few additional Click & Collect details:

  • Must offer Fast ’N Free Shipping

  • Must use an approved shipping carrier (Parcelforce, Royal Mail, DPD, Yodel, UPS)

  • Returns are handled through the seller (not through Argos)

Extended Holiday Returns

To accommodate holiday shoppers, sellers with the Top Rated Plus badge (Premium Service in the UK) will be required to offer extended holiday returns. Specifically, sellers must accept returns through Jan 31, 2015 for all purchases between Nov 1 and Dec 31, 2014. You can configure your policy via sellers’ Returns Business Policy on eBay.

Category and Item Specifics Changes

As always in eBay seller releases, there are changes to category and item specifics in SR 14.2. The categories below are the ones that will be changing. The best bet for maximizing visibility before and after the changes is to make sure you’re populating the “Type” item specific as often as possible. In most cases, your listings will be automatically moved to the correct new category if the “Type” value is populated properly. Otherwise, listings will end up in the “Other” subcategory and will be harder to find.

Categories with Major Changes

  • Motors: P&A

    • Charging & Starting Systems

    • Door & Door Handles

    • Several subcategories in Motorcycle Parts

  • Sporting Goods

    • Exercise & Fitness

      • Clothing

      • Strength Training

      • Fitness Monitors

      • Yoga & Pilates

    • Fishing

    • Boxing, Martial Arts & MMA

Categories with Minor Changes:

  • Business & Industrial

  • Crafts, Dolls & Bears (Note: major changes to this category expected in 2015)

  • Health & Beauty

  • Home & Garden

  • Musical Instruments & Gear

  • Toys & Hobbies (Lego)

Global Shipping Program “3.1” (US only)

To expand its reach to more buyers worldwide, eBay will begin making listings available for the Global Shipping Program (GSP) without requiring sellers to explicitly enroll in the program. Starting in late September, buyers in 10 English-speaking countries will be shown international shipping options on listings that don’t already specify international shipping (more countries will be added later). This applies to sellers who aren’t already enrolled in GSP or those enrolled without a significant amount of listings enabled. Sellers can still specify regional, buyer or country exclusions if needed.

Sellers can also enroll in the existing Global Shipping Program, which will expand their reach to the 60 countries currently supported. At ChannelAdvisor, we’ve seen a surge in shipments to Russia and Brazil, now that those countries have been added.

If you’re already opted in to GSP, or if you offer international shipping on more than 66% of your listings, this will not apply to you.

Seller Protection/Automatic Defect Removal

August 20 is the day of reckoning for the new defect policy at eBay. Sellers have found several instances where defects should be removed and have been able to contact eBay directly to request these removals. Now, eBay will begin automatically removing defects (weekly on Wednesdays) if any of the below criteria is met:

  • Buyer didn’t pay and an unpaid item case is opened

  • eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection case is ruled in seller’s favor

  • Defect was a direct result of an eBay site issue or program error

  • Buyer violated Buying Practices Policy

  • eBay/PayPal instructs seller to hold a shipment or cancels the transaction (e.g., fraud)

  • eBay concludes that a defect was a direct result of systemic shipping delays (e.g., wide-scale shipping carrier delays, extreme weather)

This is a lot of information, so thanks for hanging in there until the end. Stay tuned for more updates from us as these features roll out, and as we make further enhancements to our software solution. While these changes may seem daunting, they each contribute to eBay’s goal of providing a retail-level experience so buyers can shop with confidence and increase their loyalty — which should translate into higher sales for you as a seller.