For the Seller: 5 Little-Known eBay Policies & Tips

Posted on September 27, 2009. Filed under: Tips - for the eBay Seller | Tags: , , , |

eBay seems to always be in a state of constant evolution and, as such, it isn’t always easy to keep up with new rules and new functionalities on the site.  Even after selling on ebay for more than a decade, I learn something new about the eBay platform every week.  So, I thought today I would share 5 little-known eBay policies and tips.


1. Feedback removal is possible in the case of international customs issues.

According to the eBay Help Pages, an eBay seller who receives a negative feedback rating from an international buyer can have the rating removed in certain circumstances.  It is important to note, however, that the seller must have taken certain steps to inform the international buyer in advance about customs fees.  The following is from the eBay Help pages:

Customs Requirements

We will remove Feedback if the listing meets the Customs Requirements below and the seller receives a negative or neutral Feedback comment which references customs delays or customs fees.

The following text, or very similar text must be included in the listing and be:

  • In the format below

  • In a font size no smaller than the majority of the other text in the item description

  • Prominently displayed (in the upper half of the description, free-standing, etc.)

International Buyers – Please Note:

  • Import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges. These charges are the buyer’s responsibility.

  • Please check with your country’s customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding/buying.


2. Seller Contact Information Can be Included in Listing Description.

eBay has frequently changed the policy regarding the inclusion of seller contact information in listings.  The current policy does allow sellers to include their contact information in the listing as long as the “spirit” in which it is listed does not violate the fee circumvention policy.  In other words, a seller can say something like “If you have questions about this listing, please contact me by phone at 555-555-5555 or by email at” .   


3.  Beginning October 2009, all auction formats using BIN option have to adhere to new Buy Now rules.

eBay is currently running a listing special giving sellers 33% off insertion fees for auctions.  It is important to note that next week, a new rule goes into effect for auction formats.  This is from eBay’s July 2009 Seller Update:

What is the new guideline for using the Buy It Now feature with Auction-style listings?
The Buy It Now price you set when listing your item must be at least 10% higher than your auction start price for that same item. All Auction-style listings with the Buy It Now feature listed on or after October 1, 2009 will be required to follow this new guideline.


4. You won’t have to keep signing in to eBay repeatedly if you change your preferences.

Tired of being asked for your eBay password every 2 minutes?  Just change your preferences.

From my eBay, click on Account Tab then choose Site Preferences then General Preferences then Other General Preferences.

Click YES on the option to “Keep me signed in on this computer.”



5. Instead of putting items on auction, try listing them in your eBay store for a few weeks or months then use Markdown Manager.

If you take a look at your active items in the My ebay section, you will see a column with the number of watchers beside each item:




I am often asked by sellers why any potential buyer would add a fixed price item to their watch list.  I think people do so because (a) they are your competition and they want to watch how many you sell at that price or (b) they want the item but it isn’t within their budget at the moment and they intend on coming back to buy it in the future or (c) they want the item but are waiting to see if you will lower the price.

Whenever a seller uses Markdown Manager to offer a reduced price on a store inventory item, the watchers are notified.  By choosing to run Markdown Manager specials on those items with several watchers, you increase the chances that the item(s) will sell quickly since watchers will receive an email from eBay alerting them to your sale price on that item.

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5 Responses to “For the Seller: 5 Little-Known eBay Policies & Tips”

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I like #5, I try to use that trick often, but what we need to make it more effective is to have the Watch Count translate over to Markdown Manager. Right now it’s the process is really hunt and peck, a real PITA to do in any kind of bulk …

… unless I’m missing a trick, which if I am I’d love to hear about 🙂

Thanks, Cliff

Excellent tips! There are now so many nuances to selling on eBay that it can be hard to remember them all. Great reminder!! Thanks!

Back when I used eBay I would watch fixed price items that were unrealistically priced for just that reason, (c) now I email them and say if you want to sell it, list someplace else. Some do.

[…] einfach, auf dem neuesten Stand der Regeln und Funktionalitäten zu sein. Auch der Autor von TheBrewsNews lernt selbst nach einer langen Verkaufserfahrung bei eBay wöchentlich auf der eBay-Plattform […]

Back when I was an eBay buyer, I mostly added BIN items to my watch list while shopping around to make it easier to find again later when I made the decision to buy – kind of like window-shopping – might be nice to have, but is it what I most want to spend my money on? Is it the best price I can find? Is there anything else I want more? Oh, this might make a cool present for X later on… I think the markdown manager is a great tip – I almost bought a marked down item when I got the email, but it was too late when I got it, because, I didn’t shop on eBay anymore by then.

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