If you're an eBay seller, you already know the hottest topic in eBay world this week was the latest round of category and item specifics updates.

eBay Category & Item Specifics Changes 10-12-21
If you’re seeing changes to categories, saved searches, and item specifics on eBay today - it’s a feature, not a bug!

These changes were announced back in September as part of the Fall Seller Update, which should have given eBay plenty of time to prepare and execute the changes with minimal disruption, but unfortunately that was not the case.

Many postcard sellers were dismayed to find that eBay apparently forgot to map some of the new categories to allow for eBay Standard Envelope shipping. ESE was still shown as a shipping option to buyers but sellers could not purchase standard envelope postage when it came time to ship the orders.

eBay Standard Envelope Category Problems
Sellers report eBay Standard Envelope service is not available for one of the new postcard categories.

eBay Standard Envelope is a proprietary shipping method only available via the eBay labels platform, you cannot purchase this type of postage directly from the post office or any 3rd party providers, so these sellers had no choice except to pay out of pocket for more expensive postage options like first class or priority mail.

eBay has made no statement about whether or not they plan to reimburse sellers for those additional shipping fees incurred.

Speaking of additional fees, many sellers also reported being charged additional listing fees for revisions and $1.00 per listing for the Gallery Plus feature that is supposed to be free in collectibles categories.

eBay Sellers Incur Gallery Plus Fees Due to Category Changes
Sellers report additional $1.00 per listing Gallery Plus fees for items automatically moved to new categories by eBay.
Is eBay Charging Insertion Fees For Listing Revisions?
eBay sellers report possible glitch in the listing process showing additional insertion fees for revising listings.

eBay has acknowledged the additional fees were in error and promised they will be automatically credited "as soon as possible" with no need to call customer service, however 6 days later many sellers are reporting they still have not received the refunds.

Sellers of course are none too happy with the implementation of these changes, but what impact does it have on buyers?

Many of the categories affected in this round of updates were in Collectibles where potential buyers typically prefer to browse general categories of interest rather than searching for very specific, granular keywords.

Are eBay Category Changes Impacting Buyer Experience?
eBay sellers struggle with category & item specifics changes - are they affecting the buyer experience too?

Does eBay's focus on item specifics hurt the ability to browse more generally across the platform?

Many sellers also reported a glitch causing listing view counts to reset to zero, presumably related to having listing moved to new categories.

eBay Glitch Sets View Counter Back To Zero
eBay sellers report listing view counts have been randomly reset to 0 - will they return or are they gone for good?

Seller Tools & Announcements

The weekly chat with eBay community staff this week was devoted to eBay's new Collection and Price Guide tool for trading cards (an odd choice given how many community users would have preferred to discuss the category and item specifics updates.)

Re: Community Chat, October 13 @ 11:00 am PT - Price Guide and Collections
wrote: Postcards new item specifics are too many and a lot are things not really applicable to antique postcards. Such as “Era” is only as related to the World Wars ??? Will be very tedious listed cards going all these items. Hi - please don’t change your item specifics quite yet. the goal is…

I took Collection and Price Guide for a spin - it has potential, but the UX is still very clunky and without the ability to filter by important criteria like grade, the price guide is almost completely useless.

Check out the full rundown here:

eBay Collection & Price Guide For Trading Cards
A first look at eBay Collection & Price Guide for trading cards on desktop & the eBay mobile app.

eBay sent out an email to sellers with an eye catching title, but the actual contents left a bit to be desired. Unfortunately, there is no new news about payout timing options, but eBay says it may be "coming soon."

eBay Teases New Payout Timing Options?
eBay email subject hints at new payout timing options - is it really happening or just another communication blunder?

eBay has set the date for the next Seller Check In October 21st - the agenda looks a little light, so there may not be any major updates or announcements, but I'll be tuning in and providing a recap as always.

eBay Announces Next Seller Check In October 21st
eBay announces this month’s seller check in will be held on October 21st at 11 AM PDT (2 PM EDT)

eBay's Q3 2021 earning call is scheduled for October 27th.  I'll be recapping this one as usual too.

eBay Inc. - eBay Q3 2021 Earnings Call

Deep Dives

Finally in this week's deep dives segment we take eBay Ads on a ride in the wayback machine to the great Reebok eBay Feedback Fiasco of 2019.

Reebok Is The Poster Child For eBay Ads?
eBay Ads highlights Reebok partnership & success - have they forgotten the Reebok eBay Feedback Fiasco of 2019?

And a look at eBay's partnership with Samsung on a promotion that doesn't meet the supposed criteria for the eBay Certified Refurbished program.

eBay & Samsung Bend Rules In Certified Refurbished Promo
Samsung & eBay partner on refurbished promo, but only offer 14 day returns, not 30 days required by policies.

It's not the first time eBay has bent the rules for a large partner brand and unfortunately I'm sure it will not be the last, but it is disappointing to see that CMO Andrea Stairs is allowing these kinds of unethical marketing strategies to continue with apparently zero accountability.

Is this what CEO Jamie Iannone means by "doing business with integrity drives our success?"


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