In an article I ran here on Ink back in February, Dinesh Lathi, VP of eBay Seller Experience, explained that eBay was moving to a twice yearly product release cycle when it came to changes in the marketplace. Additionally, he said that the announcements would be made at least 60 days in advance of changes in order to provide sellers and developers enough time to adjust and minimize disruption.
Previewed last night on the AuctionBytes blog and confirmed by eBay this morning, today marks the first of the two announcements of this year. This one includes the introduction of new buyer incentives, Smart FAQs, and a new resolution process:
The spring release is set up to deliver three things for our sellers:
1. Easier, more visual shopping, plus buyer incentives to drive more sales
• New item page rolling out. New photo zoom coming later this year. Get your listings ready now.
• New eBay product pages surfacing to more buyers. To make sure your items show up on these pages, use product details (formerly called pre-filled item information).
• New way to list in Fixed Price lets you offer all variations of one product—e.g. color and size—in a single low-cost listing.
• Buyer incentives and loyalty programs expanded to drive more traffic.
2. Key information to set buyer expectations and help reduce your costs
• New Smart FAQ answers buyers’ top 20 questions before they contact you.
• Package tracking information available in My eBay—print labels on eBay and tracking shows up automatically, or you can upload the information.
• Return policy and handling time required for new listings and re-listings beginning June 15. Deadline for updating your Good ‘Til Cancelled listings extended to mid-September.
• Use Item Specifics. Now in some categories, you can customize when the available choices don’t apply to your item.
• Category and Item Specifics changes now consolidated with the rest of updates—find out if your listings are impacted.
3. Other updates to make selling on eBay more efficient
• New, more efficient process for handling disputes.
• Selling Manager FREE for all sellers—with powerful new Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro applications.
• Easier, faster way to pay shipping, print labels, and update buyers—right from eBay.
• Bulk editing tools available now.
In addition to a list of Best Practices and a Seller Checklist, there are a number of additional tools set up to help educate and further explain the changes, including:
- Webinars on April 16 and April 21.
- A special discussion board focused on today’s news that has been set up for the next couple of days.
Finally, I plan on sitting down with the folks behind the changes over the next few days and sharing their Q&As with Ink readers. I’m hoping to have a new Q&A each day through the end of the week so stay tuned.
I originally had the date of the Town Hall incorrect (thanks to Melinda for setting me straight). Here are the details from Dinesh Lathi’s AB post regarding the Town Hall meeting later today:
Hi everyone… this is Dinesh Lathi, VP of Seller Experience, inviting you to join us for our April Town Hall audio event on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm Pacific time. We’ll be taking your questions on the topics outlined in Stephanie Tilenius’ Spring 2009 Announcement Board post. I hope you’ll join me, our Town Hall moderator, Griff, co-host Lee Mirabal and a number of my colleagues from across eBay’s Marketplace.
Town Hall panelists include:
# Rich Matsuura (Shipping)
# Scott Loper (Dispute Resolution)
# Keith Wescourt (Multiple-Variation Fixed-Price Item and Photos)
# Mike Maffeo (Selling Features and Tools)
# Kristina Klausen (Seller Efficiencies)
# Monroe Labouisse (PayPal)
Ask your question LIVE on the air!
The best part of these events is the conversation we have with the Community. If you have a question for me or one of the other panelists on the above topics, call us at our toll-free number – 1-888-327-0061 - and ask us your question on the air. Or if you’d prefer, you can drop us an email with your question or comment about one of the topics in the Spring 2009 Announcement at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take several of these written questions on the specific topics during the Town Hall as well.
Tune in via wsRadio
We’ll be broadcasting via Internet radio with the help of our friends at wsRadio (the same folks that produce Griff’s eBay Radio show). Members can listen to our live event via Windows Media Player or Real Player. So please visit www.ebay.com/townhall to join the event or for more information.