Tips – for the eBay Seller

Layman’s Version of New Visa Mastercard Requirements For PayPal Merchants

Posted on July 19, 2010. Filed under: eBay, Paypal, Tips & Hints - Website Sales, Tips - for the eBay Seller | Tags: , , , , , , , |

All ecommerce sellers who accept PayPal will need to accept the new Commercial Entity Agreement by October 1, 2010 in order to continue receiving Visa and Mastercard funded payments.  

Accepting this new Commercial Entity Agreement actually means that you are agreeing to accept each of the different commercial agreements for several banks.

  • Commercial Entity Agreement with JP Morgan Chase
  • Commercial Entity Agreement with HSBC
  • Commercial Entity Agreement with Wells Fargo
  • Commercial Entity Agreement with Wells Fargo – Pro
  • Commercial Entity Agreement with National Westminster Bank
  • Most of the Commercial Entity Agreements are very similiar but there are some differences.  While the agreements are obviously very complex, I have tried to boil them down into a short list of 5 Do’s and Don’ts that encompasses the highlights of various agreements. 

    1. WHO can and should give and get information?

    Ecommerce merchants must clearly identify themselves to buyers so that buyers know from whom they are purchasing.  This includes the requirement that sellers provide the address of their permanent establishment on their website if they are accepting PayPal payments on their website.

    Sellers cannot ask buyers for their Visa/Mastercard information (card number, expiration date, CVV2 number) and if for some reason the seller gains access to this information, either by design or by default, then the seller agrees to notify PayPal and the buyer promptly.  This is a major requirement because all sellers who accept PayPal must be compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.

     2. WHAT must sellers do in the event things do not go as expected?

    If sellers plan on limiting the return of their item, they must clearly indicate that to the buyer BEFORE the purchase (thus explains eBay’s requirement that all listings have a return policy stated).  If the seller does not want to offer a refund for the return of an item, they need to state something like “NO REFUND, EXCHANGE ONLY”.  Of course, the seller must always provide the item as described.  For example, if a seller offers a blue shirt but delivers a red shirt then Visa / Mastercard would expect them to give a full refund.  But if the seller delivered a blue shirt but the buyer decided that they didn’t want the shirt because it didn’t look good on them then the seller has a right to offer to exchange the item rather than refund the purchase price.

    In the event of a chargeback, sellers must work through PayPal to resolve complaints.  This is often a source of seller frustration because PayPal decides which chargebacks they will fight.  

    3. WHEN can an ecommerce merchant accept PayPal?

     Sellers can only use PayPal to accept payment for goods and services they have provided within a 30-day window (and the days are counted as BUSINESS days).  PayPal cannot be used to collect payment for any previous “debt”.  So, for example, if you are a service provider who offers payment terms (ie customers normally pay their invoices by check within 30 days)  and your customer doesn’t pay your invoice then you cannot agree to accept PayPal for the service you provided 6 months ago but never got paid for with a check. 

    PayPal also cannot be used to accept payments for any good or service that would be considered illegal.  

    Partial shipments can be billed separately so that means one shipment tracking number must be provided for each and every PayPal payment.  If  an eBay buyer purchases 3 items and makes 3 separate payments, each with full shipping cost, a seller who combines all 3 items into one package and gives back a partial refund of shipping for each transaction is at risk for 2 out of the 3 transactions since there will only be one tracking / delivery confirmation number available.

    4. WHERE can ecommerce merchants indicate to buyers that they accept Visa / Mastercard?

    Sellers can display the Visa / Mastercard logos on their own websites as long as the logos are not misleading.  Sellers cannot make it appear to potential buyers that they are accepting Visa / Mastercard directly unless they have their own merchant account.  So any ecommerce merchant who accepts Visa / Mastercard only through PayPal must make that clear by using appropriate logos and wording.    And ecommerce merchants cannot display logos in a way that would imply that Visa / Mastercard endorses the product or the website.

    5.  HOW are ecommerce merchants expected to accept PayPal?

    Sellers cannot establish a minimum or maximum transaction amount.  If a buyer wants to use PayPal for a $1  purchase, for example, then an ecommerce merchant must accept payment and must not charge extra (surcharge) to the customer who uses PayPal.  This provision applies to U.S. sellers but some countries do allow merchants to add a surcharge if it is disclosed in advance.  But this is strictly forbidden in the U.S. 

    Additionally, sellers cannot in any way try to discourage buyers from using credit card funded PayPal payments.

    NOTE that I am in no way giving any financial or legal advice, just doing my best to summarize all the lengthy legal agreements of the new Commercial Entity Agreements.

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    Fact or Fiction? NonPaying Bidders Can Leave Negative Feedback for eBay Sellers

    Posted on July 10, 2010. Filed under: eBay, Tips - for the eBay Seller | Tags: , , , , , , |

    In eBay-sponsored Webinars and Radio Shows this year, various eBay employees (including John Donahoe himself) have been proud to announce that eBay is now offering sellers protection against nonpaying bidders.  eBay states that nonpaying bidders should not be allowed to leave negative feedback for sellers.    It does make for a great “story”.  However, unfortunately for sellers, it is truly a work of fiction with only a very small basis in fact.

    Deadbeat bidders “should not” be allowed to leave negative feedback for sellers but, in actuality,  they can leave negative feedback in all instances except one.  And, of course, eBay does not make that clear to sellers.  And, as a matter of fact, whenever sellers call in to speak to eBay customer service they are most often told that there was some kind of glitch that allowed a particular buyer to leave negative feedback even when they didn’t pay.

    Thus, I am writing this blog post to lay out the facts which are quite different from the eBay “fiction” (the nicest word I could come up with).

    So, whenever an eBay bidder doesn’t pay there are basically 4 different actions that an eBay seller can take.  Below is the level of protection a seller has / doesn’t have in terms of having their reputation tarnished with negative feedback:

    1. Seller Takes NO ACTION against the Buyer

    Can Negative Feedback Be Left – Yes
    Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – No

    2. Seller Files a MUTUAL CANCELLATION against Buyer

    Sometimes a buyer asks a seller to cancel the transaction which would then result in the buyer not receiving any adverse action on their account.  A mutual cancellation means that the bidder does not receive a nonpaying bidder strikes and is, thus, eBay does not consider the buyer has done anything wrong.  Often times sellers will agree to a mutual cancellation because they are fearful that buyers will leave negative feedback if a seller reports them for nonpayment.  Most of the time sellers think they are “protected” from negative feedback but they are not.

    Can Negative Feedback Be Left – Yes
    Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – No

    3. Seller Files Unpaid Item Dispute MANUALLY against Buyer

    Can Negative Feedback Be Left – Yes
    Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – Yes (at eBay’s discretion)

    4. Seller Files Unpaid Item Dispute AUTOMATICALLY through Unpaid Item Assistant against Buyer

    Can Negative Feedback Be Left – No (once the dispute has been opened)
    Can Negative Feedback Once Left be Removed for Reasons of Nonpayment – Yes (at eBay’s discretion)

    NOTE (1): If a buyer ends up paying with an electronic payment method after the UPI Assistant opens a case then the buyer can leave negative feedback.

    NOTE (2): UPI Assistant works with the eBay Checkout system but not all third party vendors have systems in place that support sellers using the UPI Assistant

    For any sellers who are not familiar with eBay’s UPI Assistant, there is a 2-minute video of eBay’s Jim Griffith explaining how the automated process works.  Click  HERE  for that video.

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    eBay Seller Peformance Standards For Sept 2010: Some Clarification Provided

    Posted on May 12, 2010. Filed under: eBay, Tips - for the eBay Seller | Tags: , , , , |

    eBay recently announced their second “bucket” of changes for 2010 and one of those changes deals with new Seller Performance Standards .  

    I have read the Update details and visited the Special Forum Boards and still there were a few things that were unclear to me.  I spoke with two eBay representatives today and got some clarification regarding these new Seller Performance Standards that go into effect September 2010.


    Seller Unresolved Cases 

    Beginning September 2010, all eBay sellers can have no more than 0.3% of their transactions resulting in an unresolved case.  That is 3 cases for every 1,000 transactions.    So, this requirement is of extreme importance to sellers.

    * A case is designated as “unresolved” if a seller does not respond to an eBay / PayPal case and the buyer ultimately receives a refund.

    * A case is NOT designated as “unresolved” if eBay / PayPal find in favor of the seller and do not award the buyer a refund.

    * A case where the seller responds but ultimately eBay / PayPal finds in favor of the buyer will most often, but not always, be designated as an “unresolved” case. 

    * See below for how a case is defined when a chargeback is involved.



    If a buyer initiates a chargeback before opening a case with eBay / PayPal then they will be prevented from opening a case.  When that occurs, there is no “case”.  So, as a seller, if I know for sure that I would win a chargeback (for example, if I have proof of delivery when the buyer says they never received the item) then I would want the buyer to initiate a chargeback with their credit card company (which doesn’t count against me)  rather than open a PayPal / eBay case (which does count against me even if I “win” the case).

    When a buyer opens a case and then afterward initiates a chargeback, eBay / PayPal close the case without resolving the matter but the closed case is not designated an “unresolved” case counted against the seller.

    Disputes vs Cases

    Disputes or claims will not be counted unless they are “escalated” into a case.  At that point, all cases will be counted against a seller’s performance no matter the outcome.  So, obviously, it is in a seller’s best interest to communicate with a buyer right away and attempt to resolve the matter before it is escalated.

    If a buyer files a dispute with PayPal, they are allowed to escalate the dispute into a case (a)  immediately if it is an INR [item not received] dispute where $2500 or more is involved, (b) only after 7 days if the dispute is an INR dispute where less than $2500 is involved or (c) immediately if the dispute is one where the buyer claims SNAD – Significantly Not As Described. 

    If a buyer opens a claim against a seller through the eBay system, they can escalate to a “case” when (a) the seller has responded to the buyer’s claim or (b) if 7 days pass without a response from the seller.

    So, as a seller it is important to first recognize where a buyer initiated the complaint (either with PayPal or with eBay) and that will help you determine the best course of action.  For example, if a buyer opens a claim through the eBay system, it might be wiser to communicate with the buyer via phone to resolve the matter AND THEN respond via your eBay console to document how the matter has been resolved.  In that way, you have 7 days to come to an agreement with the buyer before they escalate and, thus, ultimately avoid a black mark on your account since the buyer most likely won’t escalate at that point. 

    Removal of Cases Toward Counts

    If a buyer is suspended, his/her cases will be removed from sellers’ counts automatically.  It is unclear at this point how cases that are opened mistakenly will be removed.  There is no way at this time for eBay representatives to classify a case (either open or closed) as one that was opened in error but by September there will be a process in place to handle these small number of cases.

    The Human Factor

    I was assured that the entire evaluation process as it relates to these new seller standards would result in no automatic adverse action being taken against any seller.  I was told that a “human” would review a seller’s particular stats before any consequence was handed out. 


    My Personal Opinion / Assessment 

    I think eBay’s Seller Performance Standards are incredibly complicated.  They are complicated by design because eBay is trying to establish some very objective standards to differentiate “good” sellers from “bad” sellers without painting themselves into a corner.  The complexity in the rules was created out of eBay’s desire to leave themselves a “grey area”.  This area is one that gives eBay the legal ability to make a judgment about a seller’s “right” to sell on the platform.  Personally, I don’t like rules that are complicated and I don’t necessarily trust eBay to make good decisions about an individual seller’s “goodness”.   However, I do believe that eBay is providing enough detail about the complicated rules so that any seller who has the time and desire to sift through and figure it all out can do so. 

    And there is nothing I am going to change about my business practices that would affect my selling status on eBay and that is probably true of most sellers.  Most “good” sellers are going to keep on doing what they’re doing and let the chips fall where they may.  And most “bad” sellers don’t think of themselves as bad sellers or simply don’t care; they’ll keep selling on eBay doing the same thing they have always done until the day their seller privileges are suspended.  So, at the end of the day, my final assessment as to how these new rules affect me personally is quite simple: ain’t no thing but a chicken wing. 

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    PayPal’s New Policy Changes March 2010 Will Cause eBay Sellers to Bear the Costs of Another Type of Buyer Fraud

    Posted on February 20, 2010. Filed under: eBay, Paypal, Tips - for the eBay Seller | Tags: , , , , , , , |

    PayPal has announced changes to their user agreement that will take effect on March 10, 2010: (the following has been copied directly from PayPal)


    “Amendment to the PayPal User Agreement, Acceptable Use Policy, and Student Account Agreement Effective Date: Mar 10, 2010

    • Amendment to the PayPal User Agreement

    Section 8 (Fees) of the User Agreement is amended to state that you may not send a Personal Payment to a recipient in India. Any payment sent to India must be for a Purchase Payment and will be charged the Purchase Payment fees.

    • Amendment to the PayPal User Agreement

    The following will be added to section 11.7 (newly numbered 11.5) as an additional example of transactions not eligible for seller protection:

    “Items that are not shipped to the recipient’s shipping address on the Transaction Details Page. If you originally ship the item to the shipping address on the Transaction Details Page but the item is later redirected to a different address, you will not be eligible for seller protection. We therefore recommend not using a shipping service that is controlled by the buyer.”

    • Amendment to Section 13 (Protection for Buyers) of the PayPal User Agreement

    Section 13.3 (Eligibility of Item Purchased on eBay) has been amended. Eligibility for PayPal Buyer Protection is now based on whether the PayPal or eBay buyer protection message is included in the eBay listing. Previously eligibility had been based only on whether a PayPal Buyer Protection message was shown.

    • Amendment to the PayPal Student Account Agreement
    1. The following language is added to section 3.c (Parent Control):x.: “Marketing Promotions. If the Parent Account has opted-in to receiving marketing notifications in its Account Profile, then we may send such notifications to the Child as well.”
    2. The following language is added to section 3.d (Child Control):x.: “Marketing Promotions. The Student may participate in marketing promotions or campaigns offered from time to time.”
    3. The last paragraph of section 4 (Liability) will read:“Any online agreements that are accepted by the Child, including terms and conditions of any promotion the Child participates in, are accepted by the Parent as if the Parent had taken the action. The Parent is responsible for educating the Child on internet safety.”
    • Amendment to the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy

    Beginning March 10, 2010 the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy is being amended under the Activities Requiring Approval section to add airlines and scheduled or non-scheduled charters/jets/air taxi operators as services that require pre-approval.”


    My comments: There is one change above that baffles me.  PayPal states beginning March 10th “If you originally ship the item to the shipping address on the Transaction Details Page but the item is later redirected to a different address, you will not be eligible for seller protection. We therefore recommend not using a shipping service that is controlled by the buyer.” 

    Given that:

    1. The U.S. post office will forward shipments to a different address if the recipient (buyer) submits a change of address form


    2. FedEx will forward shipments to a different address if the recipient (buyer) calls in to FedEx and, to add insult to injury, the shipper gets the privilege of paying for the change


    3. UPS will forward shipments to a different address if the recipient (buyer)  requests a change and pays for the forwarding cost

    what shipping service is PayPal actually recommending that sellers use to ship items in order to receive seller protection?  It’s painfully obvious that there is no reasonable way that most sellers can mitigate this particular risk of fraud.  Therefore, it’s clear that PayPal’s intent is simply to shift the cost of this particular fraudulent activity to sellers.

    Given that PayPal is making this policy change there must be a signficant number of eBay buyers who are perpetrating this type of fraud.  So, as an eBay seller what steps can you take to try and reduce the possibility of becoming a victim after March 10th?

    First, recognize that while you are covered under the PayPal seller protection for shipments to both confirmed and nonconfirmed addresses, you are obviously more at risk for shipments to nonconfirmed addresses.  If you have a “new” eBay user purchase a very expensive item and include an unconfirmed shipping address in their PayPal payment then you have to decide if you are willing to accept the risk that you could lose your item and your money.  The more “red flags” there are, like the user being newly registered on eBay and having an unconfirmed address, the more risk that is involved in the transaction. 

    Some things you can do to lessen your risk is to sell your expensive item on another venue where you have more control over the payment methods you will accept or where the buyers are a less risky group.  Alternatively, if you still want to sell the item on eBay you could always list the item at a slightly inflated price with a Best Offer option.  That way, you could manually decide whether or not to accept someone’s Best Offer based not only on the amount of money they offer you but also on their eBay reputation.  I know I would be willing to take a lesser amount from a long-time eBay user with good feedback because there is less risk of being a victim of fraud.  Slightly less reward but potentially significantly less risk.

    Shipping through the post office is less risky than shipping by FedEx or UPS.  A recipient could put in a change of address and have packages forwarded with the intent to defraud the seller but it is not as likely for postal shipments for several reasons.  First, a postal mail fraud crime carries much more severe penalties and most, but certainly not all, items shipped through the post office are smaller packages that are usually less valuable than packages shipped through Fedex or UPS.  Therefore, most buyers would not go to such trouble of commiting fraud by forwarding the package through the post office when the items sent through the post office are not very valuable.

    For heavier and more valuable packages, sellers most often use UPS or FedEx so there is more risk using these carriers.  So the question is which carrier is now the less risky carrier for shipping items purchased on eBay using PayPal.  UPS will reroute packages to a different address if the buyer requests it and pays for the address change but UPS will only do so after they have first attempted delivery to the original location.  On the other hand, FedEx Ground (and Home Delivery) services will change the address as requested by the buyer even while the package is still enroute and no delivery attempt has been paid.  Therefore, FedEx shipments are very risky to eBay sellers.  However, there is one exception.  If a seller wants to prevent FedEx from rerouting the package then the seller needs to choose and pay for “Adult Signature Required“.  When this particular signature option is chosen, no address change will be honored.  Not even the shipper can request an address change once a package  has been shipped via FedEx Ground (or FedEx Home Delivery) with “Adult Signature Required.”

    Being an ecommerce seller involves managing all sorts of risks.  And the rewards of being an entrepreneur can be great.  However, it seems to me that the financial rewards of being an eBay seller keep decreasing while the risks just keep on increasing.

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    The 2009 Top 10 Holiday Selling Tips for Ecommerce Merchants

    Posted on October 16, 2009. Filed under: Amazon, eBay, Tips - for the eBay Seller |


    The holiday selling season this year is looking great!  We have ordered in more product this year than we have in quite a few years.  And we have been preparing for Chistmas 2009 for the past few months. 

    If you have not yet started to prepare for the holiday selling season it is not too late.  For ecommerce sellers who want to take advantage of this year’s great holiday selling season, we have developed a Top 10 list.

    1. Get “Personally” Ready

    This is the time of year to keep expectations reasonable about your personal time commitments.  Don’t overcommit and by all means enlist others in your family now to help out even more with chores around the house during November and December.  Take time to eat well and rest because getting run-down and sick during the holidays is not an option for any ecommerce seller who wants to experience the most success during the last quarter.

    Now is definitely the time to do your own holiday shopping, too.  While there will likely be some things that will need to be purchased as the holiday gets nearer but many gifts can be purchased now.  And, for the items you need to purchase closer to Christmas, consider purchasing online eto save time running around to the stores.

    2. Contact Manufacturers & Vendors Now

    Make sure you ask your suppliers about important deadlines during the holidays.  Inquire as to the “best” way to order that will get you the fastest shipments – by phone, by email, or by fax.  Some suppliers are very strict in how they will accept orders and others are not quite so formal.  But, even so, the supplier may process fax orders more quickly for example.  Find out. 

    Be sure to ask your suppliers if there are any specials right now.  Not all specials are “advertised.”  Most ecommerce sellers will be pleasantly surprised if they ask about pricing specials or free shipping offers.  Many suppliers will give better pricing breaks on larger quantity orders or will offer free shipping for orders above a certain amount.  If you don’t ask, you could be missing out on some good deals.

    Also, be sure to ask your supplier which products are currently in low supply and/or will not be restocked before the holidays.  Priortize ordering those items now to keep on hand throughout the holiday selling season.  This is the time of year when the good relationship you have developed with your account rep is helpful.  Make sure to send a small gift after the holidays to your account representative to thank them for their efforts to help your business grow.


    3. Get Control of Your In-stock Inventory

    Validate your inventory counts now and establish re-order points so that you don’t run out of hte most popular selling items. and so that you don’t end up making a sale for an item you don’t actually have and can’t get quickly.  Holiday shoppers are not very tolerant of out-of-stock situations.

    4. Order & Purchase Extra Shipping Supplies Now

    Keep stocked up on paper, printer toner, self-adhesive labels (if you use them), bubble wrap, and any other supplies you typially use.  Make sure to inventory supplies once or twice weekly to avoid coming to a standstill because you run out of any one particular item.  Order free priority mail boxes and other postal supplies now.  In November and later, there is sometimes a significant delay in getting postal supplies and you don’t want to be spending your time running from post office to post office begging for a few boxes from each and/or having to spend money to purchase boxes from a supplier that you could otherwise get for free from the post office.

    5. Prepare As Much in Advance as Possible

    Print box inserts now in bulk.  If you include an insert in your packages which mentions “5 star service” and/or you include an insert to advertise your other venues like your own website, now is hte time to prepare the copies you think you’ll need during the hoildays.  It may be significantly cheaper and less time-consuming to print one insert and then have it photocopied at a local Kinko’s.

    6. Prevent Problems during the Holidays by Taking Action Now

    Get ird of “problem” inventory now, when you have more time to handle customer service issues.  If you have a particular product line and/or specific SKU that is known for having issues such as easily damaged in transit or fails to work often then now is the time to liquidate that product.  You don’t want to be spending valuable holiday selling time dealing with customer service issues instead of making money and you don’t want to have disappointed holiday shoppers who may be counting on receiving the item intact and in good working condition quickly.  Holiday shoppers don’t have time to deal with returns and damage and they become much more frustrated during the holiday season than they might otherwise.

    7. Establish Internal Policies to Handle Customer Service Issues Quickly

    Think in advance how you will handle any potential customer service issues during the holidays.  For example, be sure to know the process of filing an insurance claim BEFORE you need to do so.  And keep in mind that holiday shoppers can’t and won’t wait weeks for the claim to be resolved.  Having an idea in advance of how you will handle common shipping issues will help you deal quickly and efficiently with problems so that you don’t get sidetracked.

    8. Review Your Listings on All Venues and on Your Website

    This is definitely the time of year to make sure your eBay listings are in compliance with eBay’s policies.  Having your items removed during the busy holiday season and spending time to revise your auctions at that time is definitely not how you want to spend your time in November.  In reviewing your Amazon offerings and the information on your own website, make sure that the contact information you have listed is still valid.  If you have never input your contact information or if you have changed your email address, phone number, or anything else during the year, make sure the pages reflect the updated information.

    9. Establish Cut-Off Dates for Holiday Arrival & Understand How Expedited Shipping Costs are Calculated

    Make sure that you know in advance the latest dates you can ship in order to get items to the recipients in time for the holidays.  FedEx Ground service delivers to residences Tuesday through Saturday, for example, so that any delivery that must arrive to a residence on a Monday has to be sent by UPS Ground or FedEx expedited shipping.  And expedited shipment options for FedEx and UPS are heavily dependent upon the dimensions of the box as well as the package.  It would sure be disappointing to receive an amended shipping charge a few weeks later that is $20 greater or more than the  amount billed to the buyer.  Amazon 3P sellers who participate in the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program get a boost in the last-minute holiday sales over their competitors who don’t use FBA.

    10. Make Sure You are FOUND this Holiday Season

    Brush up on how each of the venues promote listings.  This month, eBay changed how the search results for Fixed Price items are ranked, introducing the number of “impressions” an item receives in relation to the number of items purchased.  It might be a good time to start listing some auctions on eBay to be sure your listings naturally rise to the top of the search.  If you sell on Amazon, make sure you understand how the “Buy Box” is awarded since “owning the Buy Box” on Amazon during the holidays is a golden opportunity.

    I wish you the best of luck this holiday season!

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    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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