Home>Get ready for changes coming in 2013

Get ready for changes coming in 2013

Online retail is growing fast! Buyers have more options than ever before, so they expect more from their shopping experiences. High quality product imagery and descriptions, free & fast delivery and money-back returns are now expected standards.

Helping you compete and succeed

In 2013, eBay will be updating the Top-rated seller program to provide increased visibility to sellers offering these services, as well as launching new initiatives to promote high quality listings.

 New picture requirements

In 2013, requirements for pictures will be updated to ensure quality imagery on the site.
All sellers will be required to upload at least one picture for each listing – Remember, you can now upload up to 12 pictures for free! Adding high quality pictures to your listing helps you increase sales, gives your buyers a more accurate picture of what to expect, and distinguishes your listing from others of its kind.
Minimum picture size will be enforced – All pictures will need to be at least 500 pixels on the longest side. However, eBay recommends 1600 pixels on the longest side so you can take full advantage of eBay picture services including Supersize.

1600 megapixel pictures can be taken with an average 2 MP camera or better

Note: Picture size doesn’t slow down picture loading speed for buyers
Other picture requirements to be introduced next year may include the removal of text and borders. Small translucent watermarks in the bottom-right corner of images will still be allowed.

Example of a great picture that meets size requirements and guidelines

 Updates to the eBay Top-rated seller program

Since it was first introduced last year, the eBay Top-rated seller program has been very successful in highlighting sellers who provide great service – over half of all eBay sales are now from Top-rated sellers. As buyer expectations continue to evolve, the eBay Top-rated seller program will be updated to keep pace.

Both industry research and purchase behaviour show that free and fast postage and a good return policy are increasingly important. Buyers expect their items to post without delay once they pay and they want to be able to see when their order has posted. And just like when they shop offline, they want the reassurance that comes from knowing their purchase can be returned and their money refunded.

Updates coming in 2013 to the Top-rated seller program will emphasise these services (i.e. postage and returns) to help keep eBay THE top shopping destination. Many of these changes have already been introduced on the eBay.com site and more information can be found here.

When the 2013 program is finalized we will share the specific requirements to gain or maintain eTRS status on your listings.

 Listing best practices: Fast, free postage & handling

Online shoppers can now experience very fast delivery of some of their purchases as postage services are breaking new ground in Australia. Fast and free postage enables e-commerce retailers to bridge the immediate gratification gap that shoppers experience with traditional bricks and mortar retail.
Offer free postage – this removes the barrier some shoppers experience when looking at postage fees in addition to item price.
Fast handling time of 1 day or better – buyers like their items to be posted to them soon after purchase, so make every effort to post items as quickly as possible. Make sure you are setting expectations appropriately and that you meet your stated handling time so you don’t disappoint buyers and risk receiving low postage time seller ratings.
Provide an express postage option – so shoppers can be comfortable that they will get their purchase whenever they need it.
When using a tracked service, upload tracking numbers – that way, both you and your buyer can check the status of a delivery at any time.
View how to change your postage preferences.

 Listing best practices: Returns

 Returns expectations
When sellers accept returns, shoppers expect a reasonable time-frame and money-back as a refund option.
Set a good return policy – one that your business can support, and which strives to exceed buyer expectations by accepting returns for any reason. 30 day money-back returns is recommended.
Provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions for returns in your “Additional return policy details” section.
Clearly indicate who is responsible for return postage costs – you or your buyer. If this varies depending on the reason for the return (for example, buyer changed their mind versus a flaw in the item itself), make this clear in your policy.
State what you require to accept a return – for example, tags must still be attached, item must not be adjusted, installed, etc.
 Returns processing
Keep a valid return address on file– to specify or update your return address:

Go to the Account tab in My eBay

Click Addresses on the left side of the page

For the Primary return postage address, click Change

Click Edit address

Enter your current address, and click the Post to this address button

Inspect returns promptly so you can issue a refund in a timely manner.
 Preventing and reducing returns
In general, you should provide specific details that set the right expectations with your buyer and clearly describe the condition of the item you’re selling.
Make descriptions easy-to-read – use headlines, bulleted lists, and other visual elements.
Add high quality pictures to give buyers a more visual shopping experience and a more accurate idea of what to expect and distinguish your listing from others of its kind. Pictures are now free!
Complete item specifics and reiterate key information such as brand, model, capacity, features, dimensions, name and item condition.
Include exact measurements of your item – for example, when listing in a fashion category, use the new size charts and include inseam measurement, bust size, etc when appropriate.
Accurately describe item condition and clearly describe imperfections for items that are not brand new– scratches, stains, chips, missing accessories, defects, and other flaws.
Ensure your listing is optimised for mobile and apps – Look at your own listings on an Apple, Android or Windows mobile device.
Note: Remember, sellers should ensure that their current returns policies and listing information comply with eBay's Returns Policy Requirements which have been updated to reflect requirements of the Australian Consumer Law.
Read more about listing best practices.

 Take Action

When Action
Now Review your listings and adopt listing best practices where possible
Review and upgrade your pictures where necessary in preparation for new picture requirements coming in 2013.
Early 2013 Launch of new picture requirements and updates to the eTRS program. Further details to follow in the coming months.