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Invite Only–New eBay Promotion

September 24th, 2012– Whether you like the eBay marketplace or not, having 5 days of FREE listings is absolutely astounding. Over the weekend eBay.com notified sellers by sending out invitations to eligible sellers to participate in their “5-Day Fixed Price Free-Listing” promotion. While many sellers reported

not receiving the invitation, eBay verified on their website, “If you qualify for participation, you will have received an email, and/or a message in My eBay. The promotion is then activated with your eBay User ID.”

From September 24-28, 2012, eligible sellers will pay no Insertion Fees per item for up to 5,000 Fixed Price listings. To qualify, your account must meet eBay’s minimum seller performance standards and this offer doesn’t qualify for 30-day listings or Good ‘Til Cancelled durations. With the holiday season upon us, marketplaces everywhere like Amazon and Buy.com will be offering hundreds of new promotions to get sellers pumped up for the seasonal rush.

Summary of Restrictions and Exclusions:

  • You can list a maximum of 5,000 items as part of this Promotion on the U.S. site, www.ebay.com and eBay Motors atwww.eBayMotors.com (Parts & Accessories only).
  • Fees for optional features (such as Reserve PriceSubtitleGallery Pluslisting in 2 categories, etc.) and Final Value Fees will still apply. For listing in 2 categories, you’ll be charged at standard rates for the second category. 30-day or Good ‘Til Cancelled durations are excluded from this Promotion.
  • Only sellers whose accounts meet eBay’s minimum seller performance standards are eligible. Please sign in to My eBay and view your Seller Dashboard to verify whether your account is currently meeting the standards.  If you have received fewer than 10 detailed seller ratings from buyers, this information will not appear in My eBay; however, you will receive email notification if your account falls below the minimum performance standards. Find out more about seller performance standards.
  • All existing selling limits on your account (as well as category and item limits) still apply, and may exclude and prevent you from creating the maximum number of listings in this Promotion.
  • All listings must comply with eBay policies, including eBay’s Duplicate Listing policy that allows for the removal of duplicate Fixed Price listings.
  • This Promotion does not apply to the following: items listed in eBay’s Auction-style format, 30-day or Good ‘Til Cancelled Fixed Price durations, eBay Motors Passenger Vehicles, Motorcycles, Boats, Power Sports, Other Vehicles, Motors Local Market, Professional Services, Real Estate, Classified Ad listings. The following business and industrial categories are excluded from the Promotion: Tractors & Farm Machinery (91952), Antique Tractors & Equipment (45009), Heavy Equipment (25249), Concession Trailers & Carts (67145), Imaging & Aesthetics Equipment (92036), Forklifts & Other Lifts (97185), Manufacturing Equipment (92080), Metalworking Equipment (92082), and Commercial Printing Presses (26247). The following additional categories are excluded due to overlapping listing offers: Sports Memorabilia, Cards & Fan Shop (64482) and Outdoor Sports (159043). Get details.
  • The Promotional Rate does not apply to listings with a start date prior to Monday, September 24, 2012, including those listings revised during the Promotion Period. Additionally, the Promotional Rate will not apply to listings scheduled to start after the Promotion Period.

eBay in Hot Water over Anti-Poaching Deal with Intuit

November 19, 2012—eBay just can’t seem to keep their name out of the headlines of late. On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department and State of California accused eBay and former CEO Meg Whitman of making an anti-competitive agreement that barred eBay and Intuit from hiring each other’s employees. The state and Justice Department announced last week they are suing the company over illegal emails sent between Meg Whitman and Intuit CEO Scott Cook.

According to the lawsuit filed in court, the federal government claims the eBay and Intuit CEOs entered into an “illegal agreement” between 2006 and 2009 that prevented the companies from poaching employees from each other’s workforces. The deal allegedly instructed eBay’s recruiting personnel to not pursue potential applications that came from Intuit and to throw away such resumes.

eBay rejected the allegations over the weekend and denied any wrongdoing in its hiring practices, calling the state and federal lawsuits “wrong.” However, the lawsuit specifies Meg Whitman and Intuit founder Scott Cook “were intimately involved” in enforcing the “anticompetitive agreement.” Bloomberg obtained a copy of the lawsuit and wrote, “eBay initially sought a limited no-solicitation agreement aimed at high-level employees, and expanded it to “placate” Cook, who was on eBay’s board and had complained about eBay’s hiring practices.”

“eBay’s agreement with Intuit hurt employees by lowering the salaries and benefits they mighthave received and deprived them of better job opportunities at the other company,” said Assistant Attorney General Joseph Wayland, who is in charge of the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The division “has consistently taken the position that these kinds of agreements are per se (on their face) unlawful under antitrust laws.”

In 2008, Meg Whitman left eBay to run for governor of California and later became CEO of Hewlett Packard. Although Intuit was not named in Friday’s lawsuit, the two companies will face upcoming civil antitrust lawsuits on behalf of employees. In 2010, Intuit reached a settlement regarding the same allegations from a previous Justice Department antitrust case involving Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel and Pixar.

Say Cheese– eBay unveils New Photo Messaging System

September 25th, 2012—They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that concept has never been more true with eBay’s new messaging system. eBay.com announced on Monday their new photo sharing system where sellerscan send photos through My eBay. The days of paying extra to showcase more photos on eBay may soon be all but gone.

“No more need to share personal email addresses or deal with third party photo sharing services,” eBay wrote in its announcement.

The way it works is simple. When replying to an email in My Messages, sellers can include a picture message by simply clicking the “Add Pictures” button above the text box. Sellers are allowed 5 free images per listing through the My eBay messaging system that do not count against the 12 hosting pictures sellers are normally allowed. All photos must be in JPG, BMP, GIF, PNF or TIF format with a minimum of 500 pixels and a max of 5MB. Although this service doesn’t currently work with mobile devices, eBay looks to have their photo messaging system adaptable to smartphones in 2013.

Have you tried eBay’s new service? We want to hear from you. Contact us by emailing  support@e-commercegenius.com

Selling Tools–eBay updates New Policy on Multi-Variation

November 30, 2012—Earlier this month, eBay unveiled a new selling tool for third-party sellers. This multi-variation tool allows eBay sellers to list an item with extra options such as size and color to their listing. For instance—Instead of having to make multiple listings for a pair of pants in different colors and sizes, this selling tool allows the seller to put all those features into one listing. This week however, eBay UK announced it would be reversing one vital part of this listing feature.

Before this feature, sellers would have to list multiple items on eBay in each specific color and size. If you had two red shirts, one in medium and one in large, you would have to create 2 listings and therefore pay 2 insertion fees. This caused a lot of frustration for sellers as they  wanted the ability to display one composite image that showed all colors available to purchase.

eBay UK explained its decision to reverse the policy by saying, “In July we announced improvements to multi-variation listings, including tailoring which photo from the listing is displayed to buyers in search results. We’re aware that this is impacting sellers, as it affects generic searches as well as searches by colour.”

According to eBay UK’s announcement page, beginning December 5, eBay will resume the “shared picture” (images showing all colors) on search result pages for generic queries, across all categories. eBay has yet to respond whether the U.S will roll back the changes or not.

eBay App on Fire–100 Million Items listed through their Mobile App

 

September 28, 2012–While it took 3 long years for eBay’s mobile app to hit 50 million downloads, it took a measly 12 months to double it. Just in the last six months alone, eBay’s app has been downloaded 25 million times. A recent study showed eBay was the second most-used mobile app with 28% of users looking up product details, 17% checking inventory stock, and 19% observing price information. To celebrate, eBay.com issued an infographic of the milestone to get people talking about their mobile shopping trends.

Believe it or Not—A framed Peter Lik photograph was listed and sold on eBay’s mobile app for $22,500. That’s a lot of cash money for clicking a couple buttons on your smartphone.

The burning keyword here is mobile commerce. Why? Because more and more e-commerce and marketplace sellers are turning to their smartphones for business. Sellers are using their mobile phones to not just search items, but list them as well. According to eBay, sellers used their cellphones to list over 100 million items on the marketplace, something that was unheard of a few years back. “A record number of sellers choose to list their products on eBay through devices that didn’t exist just a few years ago,” the company said. For eBay, the top categories searched by mobile devices were tech; fashion; home & garden; and motor parts and accessories. The growing trend of mobile commerce is becoming crucial as more and more statistics show mobile commerce is an extremely key factor when buyers make purchases online.

Earlier this month, eBay announced a new photo messaging feature on their marketplace where  buyers and sellers can exchange pictures through eBay’s messaging system.

Don’t Forget—eBay.com offers many promotions to entice sellers to use their smartphones and tablets when listing items. Sign up for eBay’s mobile app today and start receiving these killer deals!

eBay’s New Shipping Labels Page—Sellers Report Errors

December 3, 2012—Since October of this year, eBay has been in the midst of rolling out a new page to make printing shipping labels more convenient for sellers. The new service allows sellers to easily print FedEx and USPS shipping labels and pay using their PayPal. However, since the change to the new format, some sellers have begun experiencing problems printing their eBay shipping labels.

Although this technical problem does not occur to every eBay seller printing labels, a thread on eBay’s Packaging & Shipping discussion board has grown to over four pages now with frustrated sellers. One seller wrote, “I have not been able to print for 2 days. That was when I noticed the new format. My problem is that after I enter all of the info and push print, nothing happens. After a few minutes, it throws an error code 9998. I called eBay. Nice enough, but no real help.” This is horrible timing for eBay’s shipping labels format to malfunction, as Christmas shopping is entering full force.

Another seller mentioned how eBay’s new shipping labels page isn’t even new or helpful. “It’s basically the same thing but everything is in different places…seems like a USELESS change…My main concern is now when I print EVERY label I get a “java needs your permission to run, run this time or every time.” Even if I choose every time, this still pops up EVERY time I print a label.”

This could become a major problem for eBay sellers looking to cash in this holiday season. With eBay’s new service for printing shipping labels taking a nosedive, it looks like sellers will have to resort to old fashion techniques of manually printing shipping labels for each order.

Have you been affected by eBay’s Printing Shipping Labels feature?

eBay introduces new 2-Click Checkout and Redesign

October 11, 2012— In the last couple months eBay has been making major changes to the way they run their marketplace. Not only have they rolled out a new and much simpler logo, but now their homepage and View Item pages are getting a makeover. eBay announced today a new customizable homepage feed that allows users to personalize their eBay homepage to fit their style.

Similar to Pinterest, eBay users can now tailor their homepage around items and images based on their shopping history and personal interests. eBay is even introducing benefits for sellers by allowing them to link their seller profiles to their Facebook pages and embed YouTube videos of their choice. This is great news for sellers who use these social-media sites to advertise and promote their eBay items. In addition, eBay is giving buyers and sellers larger profile pictures and larger product images for items they’re selling. It seems eBay is taking a page out of Pinterest’s book by adding more and larger images to all of their pages.

Along with their new logo and redesign, eBay has started offering an easy-to-use 2-click checkout. Although Amazon.com owns the patent to the 1-click checkout, eBay expects big things from this new option as buyers and sellers can now link their eBay account with their PayPal account to make checking out faster. While this option is currently available to more seasoned eBay users, beginning at the end of this month all users will be able to access this feature.

Last month eBay announced a new messaging system where users could send photos to one another, making the buying and selling transaction easier.  Other features included in eBay’s new redesign are revitalized search results with inviting pictures and an At-a-glance item page with up-front pictures and important details.

Sell and be Merry–eBay announces New Promotion

December 6, 2012—eBay loves holiday promotions. The online marketplace has invited eligible sellers to join their newest promotion, enticing sellers to list up to 50,000 items for free. Qualified sellers will pay no insertion fees on any auction-styled listings from Dec. 6- 16, 2012. This is the latest in a slew of offers eBay has email third-party sellers in the last month trying to bump up their products and listed items for the holidays.

Sellers eligible to join the promotion should have received an email and/or a message in their My eBay, notifying them of their approval. eBay’s promotion is activated with the seller’s qualifying eBay User ID and is not transferable. Sellers can also add the Buy It Now option to their listings for free and sellers can add 10-day duration for free to all new auction listings scheduled to start during the promotion period.

In a story posted earlier today, EcommerceBytes mentioned how a growing number of sellers aren’t receiving eBay’s promotion and they aren’t happy about it. “Why do I always get excluded from selling specials five years of selling and I never get invited but my husband who does not sell gets invited all the time not right.”

eBay typically runs promotions for sellers who are not utilizing their account on a daily basis or haven’t listed or sold items in a while.

Invited sellers will automatically receive the eBay’s promotion rates when they list items auction-style through eBay Seller Tools, Sell Your Item form and most other third-party tools.

Visit eBay’s website for details, fees and restrictions.

eBay Acquires Svpply- A Shopping Discover Site

Appeagle.com–EBay has had its sights set on Pinterest for a long time, since the visually inspired social network has gained so much momentum in recent months. Since EBay can’t acquire Pinterest, like you know they want to do, the company has snagged the next best thing. The company recently announced that they have purchased shopping discover site Svpply for an undisclosed sum.

Svpply is very similar to Pinterest, but it’s been around for about three years, before Pinterest was even conceived of. Like Pinterest, Svpply users can bookmark and repin their favorite products that they glean from other users on the site and across the Internet. The site is monetized through a process whereby users are encouraged to discover new styles and click through their favorite items to make a purchase.

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Inside Look at eBay’s New Global Shipping Program

December 11, 2012—Earlier this month, eBay announced a new Global Shipping Program for third-party sellers and now, eBay is seeing the results. This week eBay said they were seeing positive results and feedback from the new program from both buyers and sellers who have sent and received international orders through the program. This is great news for interested sellers looking to join the Global Shipping Program.

Senior Manager of eBay’s Global Shipping Program, Manish Joneja, said eBay’s new program is seeing early positive results and the GSP makes international transactions as easy as domestic transactions.  Sellers participating in the program are seeing an increase in sales along with a new customer base from countries they hadn’t had access to before. So far, third-party sellers have been happy with service levels for tracking and delivery time. As for buyers, Joneja mentioned, “we’re also hearing from buyers that it’s a great experience too.”

eBay’s Global Shipping Program removes the complexity and risk of international shipping for buyers and sellers and many sellers have announced their interest in the international exposure eBay’s new program offers. However, the only drawback sellers have is the potential for listings to appear much more expensive than domestic listings on eBay’s other country websites.

To make the new service similar to that of a freight forwarder, eBay has partnered with Pitney Bowes so sellers can send international orders to a U.S. hub where Pitney Bowes will process and send items out to international buyers. The program includes buyers in UK, Canada, Australia and 15 other European countries.  

Are you interested in using eBay’s new Global Shipping Program?