eBay User Agreement Update 2-9-22 Comparison

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay released an update to the User Agreement in conjunction with the Winter Seller Update today. Value Added Resource has an exclusive comparison of the most important changes!

But first - a little housekeeping.

No Warranty of Accuracy; Disclaimer. This comparison was created using automated and manual tools. We make no warranty, and expressly disclaim all warranties, as to the accuracy or completeness of the documents, files, data, and information provided.

Excerpts provided are not meant to be an exhaustive list of all changes to the User Agreement. As always, we recommend reviewing all terms, conditions and agreements before using the eBay platform.

User Agreement
This User Agreement is effective upon acceptance for new users, and from March 10, 2021 for existing users. The previous amendment to this User Agreement was effective for all users on October 8, 2021.

The first section of changes doesn't have anything particularly important, but it's clear the lawyers have been here. I guess "just about anything" was too open ended and eBay apparently feels it needs to be extremely clear they are not a party to the transaction and do not take any responsibility or accountability for....anything.

It's ok eBay, sellers are already well aware of that.

The next section combines a few things, but what really caught my eye was you will not "share your log in credentials with any third parties. If you require that authorized third parties (employees, agents, etc) have access to your account we offer a Multi-User Account Access program for that purpose."

In the past, MUAA has been touted as simply something more convenient for sellers who have employees or assistants helping them. This is the first time I can remember it being specifically called out as a security feature and that the UA requires you to agree to not share your log in credentials.

Given the amount of hijacked account fraud I've seen on the platform, not sharing your password does seem like a logical security protocol, however I have to wonder if adding this in is eBay's way of wiggling out of responsibility for hijacked accounts.

It would be easy enough for them to say "we don't know how your account was compromised - maybe it was someone you shared your password with."

"We charge sellers for the use of our Services. In some cases, where a buyer receives supplemental Services such as authentication Services for items in certain categories, we may also charge the buyer for such supplemental Service." 👀

For those who noticed recent changes in the terms of authentication that say "no cost to you *for a limited time", it looks like we now at least have an answer of who will be paying, if and when eBay decides to pull that trigger.

This one is mostly just about cleaning up old PayPal references after the migration to Managed Payments. However, the bottom section about third-party advertisements is very interesting.

The previous UA in this section said "We may display third-party advertisements (including links and references thereto) or other content in any part of our Services, in our sole discretion and without consent from, or payment, fee reduction, or other credit to, sellers."

There was no explicit mention of listings, and if it was important enough for the legal team to call out explicitly, there's likely a reason. I predict we'll be seeing more third-party advertising on listing pages, in addition to the Promoted Listings that already clutter the page.

Another interesting addition related to ads and marketing. "Cooperating third-party operators of websites, applications, services, and tools" sure sounds like eBay is going to be using seller info to advertise and/or promote the site.

More cleaning up PayPal language and stipulating all the ways eBay can charge sellers for return shipping.

The change from a specific cancellation timeframe (one hour) to a more generic answer (within the time period provided in cancellation policy) is noteworthy.

The linked Order cancellation policy page still says 60 minutes as of today, but it won't surprise me if at some point in the future that changes without notice because eBay gave themselves that wiggle room here.

The addition of terms allowing eBay to deduct cost of a shipping label from the buyer's refund suggests eBay may have been having a hard time collecting from payment methods on file in cases where the buyer should be responsible to pay.

Side note - if a buyer disputes a charge to their payment method for a separate shipping label fee charged by eBay, that dispute is eBay's responsibility and comes out of their pocket. However, if a buyer files a a chargeback for the reason "did not receive refund" that will be against the seller.

If eBay doesn't very explicitly explain to buyers exactly why they didn't get a full refund, I think we can all guess how that is going to go down (and maybe even if they do - we all know how often buyers don't read all the details).

Mostly housekeeping and cleaning up language in the next three sections as well - though it's interesting to note that eBay seems to be moving away from the term Managed Payments and toward eBay Payment Entities.

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!