Ebay Duplicate Listings Policy
A number of my clients sell on eBay as part of their overall sales strategy and I note that eBay.com are to introduce a new Buy it Now duplicate listings policy on the 26th October. The eBay duplicate listings rule has been in place of the eBay UK for a while now and although a few sellers have changed their ways, there are still hundreds of duplicate BIN listings on the UK version of eBay and eBay don’t appear to be in a hurry to do anything about it. However, now that the duplicate listings policy is being introduced to the .com version, they may well be planning a crackdown.
eBay.com has announced a new policy on duplicate listings, forbidding sellers from posting facsimile Buy It Now listings for identical items. The new policy comes into force on 26th October (so not the 60 days notice of any change that eBay has previously promised).
Here’s the full announcement; the edited highlights are:
- Sellers may have only one fixed price listing for any particular item. If you have multiples to sell, this must be from a single, multi-item listing.
- Different fixed price listings for similar items “must address a clear buyer benefit or need and must be clearly reflected in the listing title, price, photo or description”; for example 100 envelopes vs. 1000 envelopes, new iPod versus refurbished iPod.
- For the purposes of this policy, all a seller’s IDs count as one: you cannot list 100 envelopes on memberid001 and 100 envelopes on memberid002 to get around it.
- You can’t specify brands on generic models to get around the policy.
- Simply being in different categories doesn’t constitute difference.
- New BIN listings will no longer get a boost in Best Match.
- “a duplicate listing look-up tool will be available in the next couple of weeks” (couldn’t they launch it at the same time as the policy announcement? surely eBay has a project manager or two around the place!)
eBay UK Duplicate Listings Policy
eBay UK has had the same duplicate listing policy for a while though as far as I can see, it’s not being enforced very strongly; I’ve seen quite a few duplicate BINs in my shopping sprees of the last couple of weeks. eBay.com will apparently be looking at title, price, photo and/or description to determine duplicity. Duplicate listings will be automatically ended after 26th October; for the first transgression, eBay will refund listing fees but for duplicate sins, there may be an escalating range of sanctions up to and including account suspension.
What do eBay sellers need to do?
If you’re running duplicate listings on BINs on eBay.com now, then before 26th October, you need to consolidate them into one multiple item listing. Identify your best-performing listing, add all other stock to that and end the rest. Listing fees for these items will not be refunded.
eBay listings where the colour and size differ won’t be considered identical, but for the boost in Best Match, it’s better to list these as one listing with variations, rather than separate listings. Thanks Sue, a great article.
I have to say that I thought that eBay.com tried out the same, or similar duplicate listings strategy, back in July 2008 and it lasted only until the 18th November, before eBay.com back-tracked on their decision - I could be wrong, but this was the announcement at the time - http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200811181541072.html.