Gear up for eBay’s upcoming changes: eBay introduces the new Duplicate Listing Policy
Are you aware of the new policy that has come into effect this October 2010? eBay has introduced the Duplicate Listing Policy ahead of the holiday season. As eBay puts it, this is : a new policy to improve search results for buyers and boost exposure for sellers. The changes to your duplicate listings is inevitable but, there are certain things you could do to ensure better visibility on your listings even with this new policy in effect.
Ebay’s new duplicate listing policy contains these guidelines/rules.
eBay says, starting October 26:
- A new Duplicate Listing policy will be enforced to prevent search results from being dominated by multiple duplicate listings of the same item from the same seller.
- The item offered in a seller’s Fixed Price listing must be significantly different in buyer benefit and value from items offered in their other Fixed Price listings. In short, sellers may have one Fixed Price listing per identical item. Multiples of an item must be sold in a single multi-quantity Fixed Price listing.
- Starting October 26, eBay will automatically end duplicate Fixed Price listings, keep the best performer, and credit Insertion Fees and listing upgrade fees for the ended listings. Sellers who continue to create duplicate listings for identical items may be subject to a range of additional actions including listing cancellation, loss of fees, limits on account privileges, loss of seller status, and account suspension.
- You may want to take action now to cancel your duplicates and add the quantity to your best performer(listing) before October 26 to ensure continuous selling. To help you quickly and easily identify your duplicate listings, a duplicate listing look-up tool will be available in the next couple of weeks. Be sure to check back for an announcement. Here’s where you’ll find a link to the tool when it’s available.
- Newly listed Fixed Price listings will no longer receive an upfront allotment of impressions in Best Match search results. The clear advantage for all sellers will be to list quantities of the same item in one low-cost, multi-quantity Fixed Price listing.
- For sellers with more than one user ID, the one-listing rule per seller applies across all selling accounts—i.e., the seller can have one listing per item, not one listing per user ID.
- The new policy does not apply to Auction-style listings.
What is it about ?
To counter duplicate listings dominating the search results thereby improving visibility on many items and sellers alike.
It wouldn’t exactly be regarded as a counter measure but a way of giving every seller a chance to be seen by improving visibility for listings during the holiday season.
What can it do for sellers?
Sellers with little or no visibility can rejoice over this and then there are others who should watch out because eBay automatically removes your duplicate listings when the rule comes into effect so it is probably wise to end your duplicate endings before that and make sure you add or increase quantity available in your best selling item.
How do you know what certifies as a duplicate listing?
Yes, certain sellers might be aware of their duplicate listings and some others not very sure about a certain item falling under the duplicate listing category. If you are getting worked up about losing your listings-don’t worry, eBay has now made available to users a duplicate listing look-up tool to help users identify their listings.
The difference between significant and insignificant items as a duplicate listing has been specified by eBay. This is the information taken from there.
What is considered a significant difference?
A difference is considered significant when it addresses a significantly different user need or offers a significantly different value to buyer. The difference must be reflected in the listing, for example in the title, price, or photo. For example, the following items would be considered significantly different:
- Box of 10 envelopes vs. box of 100 envelopes
- Set of 2 tires vs. set of 4 tires
- New iPod vs. refurbished iPod
What is not considered a significant difference?
Items that would not be considered significantly different include situations where
a) the item is identical
b) the item is identical but the listing is changed to appear different, or
c) the items are nearly identical and do not serve sufficiently different buyer needs. For example:
- Listings in which an item of insignificant value was added
- New Dell Latitude laptop with a pen vs. New Dell Latitude laptop with a mouse pad
- Box of 10 envelopes vs. box of 11 of the same envelopes
- Separate listings of generic or universal items that fit most products versus items that are made to fit only a few specific brands or models:
- HDMI cable for Blu-ray vs. HDMI cable for Dell monitor
- Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries for wireless mouse vs. Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries for TV remote control
Your new listing won’t get into best match search results automatically!
In an effort to increase visibility on listings, an extra measure has been taken by eBay to ensure that sellers have a fair advantage by removing duplicate listings and instead allowing the option of listing more than one of the same items as multi-quantity fixed price listings.
So, for fixed price listings you should make use of multi-quantity fixed priced format as eBay clearly states that “Newly listed Fixed Price listings will no longer receive an upfront allotment of impressions in Best Match search results.” This means, newly launched listings will automatically receive a certain amount of search visibility, depending on how good a seller you are.
To maximize your position in Best match search it is imperative that you follow eBay’s Best Practices The eBay site has given a few best practice points that could help you get your listings into the Best Match search. Here they are:
- Follow all the usual best practices for maximizing your position in Best Match search, including choosing the right format – Fixed Price or Auction-style.
- Whenever possible, if you sell items where the differences are variations like color and size, list all the variations in one low-cost, multi-quantity Fixed Price listing with variations. You not only save on listing fees, you can price each variation separately and manage your inventory right from your listing. Best Match looks at the variation information in these listings to determine relevance to a buyer’s search – so use all 55 characters of your title for other differentiating information. Use the category look-up tool to find out if multi-variation listings are available in your category.
- If you sell in eBay Motors Parts & Accessories, whenever it’s available use a parts compatibility listing. Choose a part from the eBay catalog and all compatible vehicles will automatically be included in your listing. You can also manually include your own list of compatible models – up to 300 in one listing. With parts compatibility listings, Best Match looks at compatibility information in the listing to determine relevance to a buyer’s search. With these listings, use all 55 characters of your title for other differentiating information. Note for these listings you have to fill all 300 spaces available with different compatible vehicles before creating a separate listing. See examples.
- Make sure you’re paying the lowest possible fees for your listings. If you sell more than 50 items per month, you can get significant savings with the right eBay Stores subscription.
Take action now
These rules should be taken note of to prepare yourself ahead of the changes to ensure that you do not lose out on eBay sales during the holiday season. The best match search results is an important factor in getting your listings noticed so follow the best practices to get your listings in the best match search, review your duplicate listings, remove them and use the multi-quantity listing option instead for your listings. The holiday season is a very busy time for sellers as it is the busiest sales season in the year. Along with following the best practices to doing well on eBay you can do a bit more to add some jazz to your eBay business with an attractive eBay store design and a listing template design which could be the added advantage in bringing holiday shoppers to your store.