eBay Spring 2016 Seller Updates Part 4: Big Changes

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This is Part 4 of a 4 part series. Make sure to read about all the other exciting changes eBay introduced this year!
Part 1: Item Descriptions
Part 2: Product Reviews
Part 3: Store Subscriptions

There are a few other changes which must be mentioned and I’ve combined into this final part of the series…

Changes in the eBay Jewelry Category

As I’ve listed and sold thousands of dollars worth of jewelry on eBay over the years I can appreciate this adjustment very much.
The new policy will definitely help improve the buyer experience as well as help put an end to the risk of fraudulent activity which plagues buyers on a daily basis.
This change is very straight forward.
If you list a jewelry item on eBay and it has any type of “fine” or precious metals in it, then it can be listed in the Fine Jewelry category. However if it is not “real metal” it must be listed in the Fashion Jewelry category.
That’s it. The end. Clear, concise, and makes perfect sense.
eBay Jewelry Rings Comparison Chart 700x387
This rule has already gone into effect and will be strictly enforced over the next few months. eBay will allow the APAC sellers to especially get busy and adjust their listings in a timely manner. Those who do not abide by this new rule will be removed from eBay.
Have questions? Visit the eBay FAQs page.

Changes in Categories & Item Specifics

eBay Categories

First, more category structure updates are being made while I’m writing this article. Here I’m reporting what I know so far.
The category updates are global and include 1,500+ changes! These changes will give each area more global alignment and relevance of the categories and the item specifics related to each individual item listed.
This is terrific news for SEO! There are so many differences around the world as regards how shoppers search. Here in the US we search “jewelry” whereas UK shoppers use the search term “jewellery”.
The list of US eBay Categories that will be most impacted are shown below. NOTE: you can click on each one to view details:

Why the changes? To improve the buyer experience of course! I appreciate eBay keeping things current and staying ahead of the game in the marketplace. These changes should all be in effect by the end of May 2016.
The good news is that if you already have an item listed in any of the categories it will automatically be removed for you.
That said, you may want to double check the chart because the item may be moved to another sub-category and this may not be the best fit for your item. I suggest comparing and moving yourself as needed if possible.

eBay Item Specifics

Using eBay’s item specifics will not only make it easier for the buyer to understand what they are getting but it will also put you in another area of search which will help your listing gain more exposure in the marketplace.
If your item does not fall into any of the pre-filled item specific areas, then create your own when needed. However, I find it’s best to try to use eBay’s as much as possible.
Many buyers like to narrow their search to focus on what exactly they are looking for like: Men’s, Nike, Sneakers, new, and blue. If the seller doesn’t add these item specifics to their listing then they will be left out of the focused search.
Part of the changes include a few adjustments to item specifics in a only a few categories. Not all, just a few.
Review the list and see if any of your items fall into this area. eBay also has call-to-action suggestions for those with listings in each of the adjusted categories. Click to view the list on eBay.
Now is the time to double check your listings and make sure you are including as many item specifics as possible. The same goes for the new listings. Continue to add item specifics to all future listings.

Change is Good!

I take great pride in being an eBay seller and it’s my pleasure to help others be the best they can be as well.
eBay is world’s largest online marketplace and they strive to keep it a safe shopping and selling community. There will be those who will grumble (a *lot*) about all the changes. I hope that, instead, they will see the changes as they are intended – in a positive light.
eBay is not a fly-by-night company and they do not encourage any fly-by-night sellers
With that said, eBay is raising the bar for sellers and has rolled out a higher set of standards in this Spring 2016 update.
This helps keep the marketplace secure. Take a moment to review user agreement that went into effect on April 5, 2016. CLICK TO VIEW.
As an eBay seller, you’re expected to:

  • Promptly resolve customer issues.
  • Ship items on time, within your specified handling time
  • Manage inventory and keep items well stocked
  • Charge reasonable shipping and handling costs.
  • Specify shipping costs and handling time in the listing.
  • Follow through on your return policy.
  • Respond to buyers’ questions promptly.
  • Be helpful, friendly, and professional throughout a transaction.
  • Make sure the item is delivered to the buyer as described in the listing.

Makes sense right? Right!
All of the “expectations” listed above are only a few of the many reasons I’m a confident eBay shopper. Because standards like this being enforced and bad sellers are removed from the marketplace we can all part of a successful eCommerce community.
Wishing you all the best for eBay buying and selling success!
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