eBay has just posted an important new policy announcement on their site. The essence of this policy is that eBay will begin prohibiting duplicate fixed-price listings items next month to declutter search results and give more sellers added visibility,
If you haven't seen eBay's announcement yet, you can read it here. More specific details can be found at this link. The Duplicate Listing Policy pages can be read here.
Beginning Oct. 26, eBay will begin enforcing the new Duplicate Listing policy, which mandates concurrent fixed-price items from a single seller be "significantly" different. Sellers who want to sell identical items in the fixed-price format will have to create a single multi-quantity listing.
"The purpose of the policy is to maximize sales for all sellers on eBay by ensuring that buyers consistently see the widest, most inspiring selection of items relevant to their search," say eBay's Laura Della Torre, Sr. Manager, Strategic Partnerships. "The policy is specifically intended to prevent situations where search results are dominated by multiple duplicate listings from the same seller—one of the most common complaints from sellers and buyers."
Once the policy takes effect, eBay says it will automatically end listings that are in violation of the new policy (and credit sellers for their insertion and listing enhancement fees). The new policy affects only fixed-price—not auction format—listings and will apply to all eBay categories as well as eBay Motors.
All merchants must adhere to this new policy, eBay notes, even those with multiple eBay IDs. Sellers who fail to abide by the new rule could have their listing cancelled, have limits placed on their accounts, lose their seller status or have their account suspended.
The only exception to the "one listing per item" rule are products that fit specific items, models or brands. These includes items like car parts, connector cables or phone charges, eBay notes.
So what makes listings significantly different? Attributes like color and size, eBay answers.
"A difference is considered significant when it addresses a significantly different user need or offers a significantly different value to buyers," the auction site explains in its FAQs. eBay adds that adding the Best Offer option does not make a listing significantly different from another.
While eBay has said 'enforcement' of this policy (e.g. eBay automatically ends fixed price listings they deem to be duplicates) will not begin until October 26, we strongly urge you to start now to comply with this policy.
eBay says in the announcement that they will be providing a tool to help you identity duplicate listings. This tool is NOT yet available; eBay says it will be in 'the next couple of weeks'. In the meantime, eBay says that "no action is required" for compliance with the new policy as they will automatically end duplicate listings commencing October 26. However, they provide a list of steps you can follow if you want to manage these changes yourself which you can read about under the 'Take Action' topic here.
Looking past October 26, we suggest that Auctiva Sellers pay attention to the following:
1) If you are using Auctiva's automated scheduling and/or automated relisting features, please look carefully at what you have set up to ensure that you will be using Auctiva scheduling or relisting to inadvertently post listings that will be 'duplicate' under this policy.
2) If you are listing fixed price items in categories that are open to multi-variation listings or in Automotive Parts and Accessories where Parts Compatibility listings are supported, we recommend you take full advantage of those features both of which are supported on the Auctiva site.