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New eBay Policy related to Search : Lengthy essay from eBay

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If you sell on eBay, this information is for you. eBay is making a number of changes to the Search area. As part of this, a number of rules related to listing are changing.

This does not directly relate to shipping. eBay asked ShipRush to help communicate to sellers, so here it is!

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New policy improves search for buyers, boosts exposure for sellers



This year eBay will help drive a more successful holiday selling season for all sellers by ensuring buyers have a quick, inspiring view of the great selection available for their holiday purchases. Effective October 26, the new Duplicate Listing policy will help prevent search results from being dominated by multiple duplicate listings of the same item from the same seller, and improve exposure for great listings from many more sellers.



Sellers who have listing thresholds for Fixed Price items may inadvertently relist upon delisting, exposing sellers to possible actions including listing cancellation, loss of fees, limits on account privileges, loss of seller status, and account suspension.



HIGHLIGHTS



Starting October 26, when the new Duplicate Listing policy takes effect:



· For any Fixed Price listing, the item offered must be significantly different from the item offered in any of your other Fixed Price listings. The difference must address a clear buyer benefit or need and must be clearly reflected in the listing title, price, photo or description. See examples to better understand the spirit and intent of the new policy and what qualifies as a significant difference.



· In the Fixed Price format, you can have only one listing per item. Multiples of an item must be sold in a multi-quantity Fixed Price listing.



· If you have more than one user ID, you are limited to one listing per item across all your selling accounts.



· For items that fit specific products, models, or brands—for example a connector cable, phone charger or auto part—you can have up to five Fixed Price listings per item. The specific products or brands the item fits should be specified in the listing title or description or in the compatibility section of compatibility listings in eBay Motors Parts & Accessories. See examples.



· The new Duplicate Listing policy does not apply to Auction-style listings. Note that Auction-style format listings are still subject to the Search & Browse Manipulation policy.



· New Fixed Price listings will no longer receive an upfront allotment of impressions in Best Match search results to jump start a listing performance score (the ratio of a listings sales to the number of impressions it receives). The clear advantage for all sellers will be to list Fixed Price items in low-cost, multi-quantity listings.



· Starting October 26, eBay will automatically end duplicate Fixed Price listings for you and credit your Insertion Fees and any listing upgrade fees on your next invoice.



· Use the duplicate listing look-up tool to quickly identify your duplicate listings.


TAKE ACTION

No action is required for compliance with the new policy—starting October 26, eBay will automatically end duplicate Fixed Price listings for you and credit your Insertion Fees and listing upgrade fees. Take these steps if you want to manage the changes yourself before October 26:


- Use the duplicate listing look-up tool to identify your duplicate listings and to see how each one ranks in search results.


- To consolidate listings, keep your highest performing listing and cancel the duplicates. Revise your best performer to add quantity.


BEST PRACTICES

- Follow all the usual best practices for maximizing your listing performance in Best Match search, including choosing the right format—Fixed Price or Auction-style.

- Whenever possible, if you sell items where the differences are variations like color and size, list all the variations in one low-cost, multi-quantity Fixed Price listing with variations. You not only save on listing fees, you can price each variation separately and manage your inventory right from your listing. Best Match looks at the variation information in these listings to determine relevance to a buyer's search—so use all 55 characters of your title for other differentiating information. Use the category look-up tool to find out if multi-variation listings are available in your category.

- Make sure you’re paying the lowest possible fees for your listings. If you sell more than 50 items per month, you can get significant savings with the right eBay Stores subscription.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



What is the new Duplicate Listing policy?

The new Duplicate Listing policy specifies that for any Fixed Price listing, the item offered by a seller must be significantly different from the item offered in any of the seller’s other Fixed Price listings. Multiples of Fixed Price items that are not significantly different must be offered in one multi-quantity Fixed Price listing. If the item is uniquely fitted to specific products, brands or models, the seller can have up to 5 listings.

Does the new policy apply to Auction-style listings or Auction-style listings with Buy It Now?

The new Duplicate Listing policy does not apply to Auction-style listings or Auction-style listings with Buy It Now. Note that Auction-style listings are still subject to the Search and Browse Manipulation policy.



What will happen when the new policy takes effect?

Starting October 26, eBay will begin automatically ending duplicate Fixed Price listings from the same seller. The first time a seller’s duplicate listings are ended, the best performing listing will be retained and eBay will credit your Insertion Fees and listing upgrade fees from the ended listings.



What happens if sellers continue to list duplicate items after October 26?

Sellers who continue to create duplicate listings for identical items may be subject to a range of additional actions including listing cancellation, loss of fees, limits on account privileges, loss of seller status, and account suspension.



How do I know if I have duplicate listings?

Use the duplicate listing look-up tool to identify listings that will be considered duplicates. The tool will also show you each listing’s rank so you can consolidate your inventory into the best performer.



What is considered a duplicate listing?

Any listing for an item that is not significantly different from the item in another one of your listings will be considered a duplicate.



What is considered a significant difference?

A difference is considered significant when it addresses a significantly different user need or offers a significantly different value to buyer. The difference must be reflected in the listing, for example in the title, price, or description.

For example:

· Box of 10 envelopes vs. box of 100 envelopes

· Set of 2 tires vs. set of 4 tires

· New iPod vs. refurbished iPod

See the Duplicate Listing policy for more examples.

I have more than one seller ID. Can I list identical items under different seller IDs?

No. The policy permits one Fixed Price listing per identical item per seller across all your selling accounts. Sellers who create duplicate Fixed Price listings for identical items under different seller IDs may be subject to a range of actions including listing cancelation, loss of fees, limits on account privileges, loss of seller status, and account suspension.


Is there anything I need to do before October 26 to comply with the new policy?

If you don’t have duplicate listings, you don’t need to do anything. If you do have duplicate listings, you’re not required to take any action—eBay will begin removing duplicates automatically starting October 26 and credit your Insertion Fees and any listing upgrade fees. If you have a significant amount of inventory in duplicate listings, we recommend you consolidate your inventory into the best performing multi-quantity listing or differentiate your listings before October 26.



Can I relist any listings eBay has ended?

You can relist Fixed Price listings ended by eBay if you change the listing to reflect significant differences in the item. Otherwise they will be ended again.



When does this new policy take effect?

The new policy takes effect on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 12:01am Pacific Time.




Where can I read this new policy?

Refer to the Duplicate Listing policy page to read the policy in full.
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