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2010 Fall Seller Update

Fall 2010 Update
Overview
Stay on top
Shipping enhancements
Buyer communications
Category, Item Specifics & Item Condition updates
Seller checklist
Tips & tools to edit listings
eBay.com announcement
More detailed item conditions help buyer satisfaction, reduce questions

More detailed item conditions help buyer satisfaction, reduce questions

A clearly specified item condition is a good way to reduce buyer questions and prevent low DSRs for Item as described. To make it easier for sellers to specify item condition in detail—yet keep the definitions simple enough to ensure buyer clarity—a more descriptive set of item condition values is now available in many categories. In selected categories, sellers will be required to specify item condition in most listings.

Highlights
Take Action
Table of item condition definitions by category
Frequently Asked Questions
Best Practices


HIGHLIGHTS

Conditions that make sense for your category. Depending on the category, you'll have a choice of up to six item conditions to describe your item. The conditions will vary from category to category. Condition values that work for tech items, for example, won't for handbags or car tires. That's why we've worked closely with both buyers and sellers over the past several months to identify more descriptive values appropriate to the category. Use the look-up table on eBay.com to see the values in your selling categories.

Many categories excluded. Because condition varies so dramatically among antiques and collectibles, in general, we won't be introducing new values or requiring item condition in these types of categories. We will also not require it in categories such as tickets, real estate or gift certificates where condition really doesn't make sense. Please check the look-up table on eBay.com as there are exceptions in many categories.

First deadline in July. Between now and July 27, 2010, using item condition is optional, but we recommend you begin including it in your listings as soon as possible. Item condition will be required for all new listings, revised listings and sell similar in these categories on July 27 and for Good 'Til Cancelled renewals in 2011. Get familiar with the new conditions and begin applying them now.

TAKE ACTION
  • Review the new item condition values in categories where you sell as well as the definitions of the values available in Help. Use the look-up table on eBay.com to view categories and matching item condition definitions.
  • Start adopting the new item condition values. As of July 27, you must specify an item condition for new listings, including revised listings and sell similar in the required categories. Item condition will be required for Good 'Til Cancelled listings in 2011.
  • Watch the 2 minute video, How to apply new item conditions.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is changing with item condition?
eBay is introducing a more descriptive set of values for item condition in some categories. See the look-up table for the new values by category. Sellers will be required to specify item condition in selected categories using the new values over the coming months.
When will the new definitions be required?
The new item condition values are available for you to try out right now. Item condition will be optional for the next couple of months, but we strongly encourage you to start using it right away. As of July 27, you must specify an item condition for new listings, including revised listings and sell similar in the required categories. Item condition will be required for Good 'Til Cancelled listings in 2011.
Are some categories excluded from this change?
Because condition varies so dramatically among antiques and collectibles, in general, we won't be introducing new values or requiring item condition in these types of categories. We will also not require it in categories such as tickets, real estate or gift certificates where condition really doesn't make sense. Please check the look-up table as there are exceptions in many categories.
Will there be just one set of item condition definitions per category?
A single category could have more than one set of item condition definitions associated with it, especially if the category is a broad one that contains a variety of products. For example, Sporting Goods contains both hard goods (such as hockey equipment or camping gear) and soft goods (like running shoes and sportswear). It will always be clear which set of item condition definitions you have to choose from when you list your item.

The look-up table of item condition definitions is organized by category, but subcategory exceptions are clearly marked. Make sure you double check your selling category for any such exceptions.
Why is eBay introducing new values for item condition?
An accurate description of an item's condition is one of the most critical pieces of information in a listing. It sets accurate expectations and can improve buyer satisfaction with the transaction. Questions about condition are also one of the most common reasons buyers contact sellers for additional information. Additionally, items that include better quality information (such as item condition) are more readily compatible with comparison shopping sites and affiliate channels, which drive more traffic into eBay as a whole.

To make it easier for sellers to specify item condition in detail—yet keep the definitions simple enough to ensure buyer clarity—a more descriptive set of item condition values is being introduced in many categories.

For buyers, the new, more descriptive values should provide a more satisfying shopping experience. When item condition is consistently specified, buyers know exactly what they're getting, and find that information in a consistent place. Plus, with more options to filter by item condition, it's faster and easier for them to find just what they're looking for.

For you as a seller, the new values should help reduce buyer questions, increase customer satisfaction, and avoid claims and low DSRs for Item as described.
Why is item condition being required?
Item condition is critical to an accurate listing description. By making it mandatory, we're making the marketplace more transparent and helping to ensure smooth transactions between buyers and sellers.
When will the new values be available?
The new item condition values are available for you to try out now. You will see them in eBay's Sell Your Item form and in Turbo Lister, Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro.
How long will the current values be accepted?
The current values will continue to be accepted in eBay's APIs until July 26. On July 27, item condition will become mandatory in the relevant categories and only the new values accepted in new listings, revised listings and sell similar.
I already specify item condition. Do I need to update my listings?
In most categories, you will need to update your listings even if you already specify item condition. This is because the old and new definitions are not comparable and cannot be safely carried over (or "mapped") by eBay for you.

However, if you list items in the media categories and already specify item condition, you do not need to update your listings. eBay will map the items in these categories for you because the item condition definitions are not changing. Item conditions will be automatically mapped for items that already specify an item condition in Books, DVDs & Movies, Music, and Video Games.

Please note the following subcategories aren't included in the mapping project—you'll need to update these yourself:

Books
  • Accessories
  • Antiquarian & Collectibles
  • Wholesale & Bulk Lots
DVDs & Movies
  • Wholesale Lots
Music
  • Records
  • Wholesale Lots
Video Games
  • Accessories
  • Merchandise
  • Other
  • Vintage Games
  • Time Cards
  • Systems
  • Wholesale Lots
  • Guides
When can I start editing my listings?
All the listing flows and bulk editing tools will be updated to show the new item condition values at the same time the values are available on site. You may need to download the latest version of any tool (such as Turbo Lister) in order to list or revise items with the new values.

You can also edit the item condition field using the new bulk functionality available for testing beginning in June.

For an overview of how to edit listings in bulk, visit our Tips and Tools for Bulk Editing page
In which categories is item condition not mandatory or not included at all?
In some categories (like Gift Certificates), item condition isn't relevant, so we won't be including it at all. In collectibles categories, you might have the option of choosing an item condition, but it won't be mandatory for the most part. However, there are exceptions in many categories; for example, in Antiques, you would be required to specify the condition of a price guide or publication. Please use the look-up table to determine if item condition is mandatory for your preferred subcategories.

The following categories do not, for the most part, require item condition:

Antiques*
Art*
Coins & Paper Money*
Collectibles*
Crafts*
Dolls & Bears
Entertainment Memorabilia*
Gift Certificates
Pottery & Glass
Real Estate
Specialty Services
Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop
Stamps
Tickets
Toys & Hobbies*
Travel*
Everything Else

* Item condition will be mandatory in some subcategories within the category. Please check the look-up table for these exceptions.
How is the Motors category (Parts & Accessories and Vehicles) impacted by this change?
Item condition will not be required in Motors Parts & Accessories. We are introducing new values and definitions in this category that you can use to describe your item's condition. However, they are not being made mandatory at this time.

In Vehicles, there are new item condition values and definitions for eBay Motors in two subcategories: Powersports and Other Vehicles. Item conditions will continue to be mandatory when listing in the Cars & Trucks, Motorcycles and Boats categories. We've defined the existing item conditions and new ones introduced clearly across the category so you know exactly which condition to select. Use the item condition look-up table and select the eBay Motors Vehicles tab to see these new and the preexisting values.
Why can't we keep the existing item condition values?
Both sellers and buyers have indicated the existing choices for item condition are not specific enough to describe items accurately. The new values were created with extensive input from sellers and buyers. In many cases, they vary from category to category to accommodate different types of products.
How do I decide which item condition value to use?
We've worked with buyers and sellers to create values that make sense and are as clear as possible. Exact definitions for each value will be published in Help. For sellers, these definitions will be available in the Sell Your Item form as you list. If you list using third party tools, exact definitions will be one click away. For buyers, definitions will be displayed within the "more options" layer in search and on the item page.
How will item condition work with search?
Buyers will continue to be able to refine their searches by item condition using the Condition menu on the left side of the search results page. At first, only the "New", "Used" and "Unspecified" item conditions will be available to choose from, and all items will be categorized under one of these conditions. However, as more sellers begin using the new values and the product is further enhanced, this may change.

Selecting a condition value on the search results page will return results across categories. For example, suppose a buyer searches for "Harry Potter" and gets listings of books and clothing. If the buyer uses the 'New' filter in the left-hand margin, the search results will include new books and new clothing.

Search will also use the new item condition values in addition to title to search for items. For example, a search for "brand new dress" will bring back items with title dress and the item condition "New."

The values will be transferable across local eBay sites as well. For example, suppose a buyer searches for "Harry Potter" and clicks on "New," UK listings of "New" items that are displayed on the US site will continue to be displayed in search results, unlike today.
Will I be demoted in search if I do not use these new values at the outset?
Your position in search results is not affected by the type of item condition value you have used. Also, items listed using the old item condition values prior to the required conversion date are still searchable with the new Condition menu on the left-hand side of the search results page. For example, all items that are listed as 'Brand New' (with the new definitions) and items listed as 'New' (with the old definitions) will be available when a buyer applies the "New" filter in search.
How will revising items work when the new item condition values are still optional?
If you are revising something on your listing other than item condition, you will not be required to update the item condition during the optional timeframe. However, if you want to revise the item condition value, you will be required to select from one of the new definitions. This is also true for relists.
How will revising items work once the new item condition values are made mandatory?
Starting July 27, 2010, you will be required to add an item condition anytime you revise a listing that lacks it unless your item is in a category that does not require condition. This is true for all types of listings, including Good 'Til Cancelled.
When will the new item condition values be available in the bulk editing tools?
All the listing flows and bulk editing tools are updated to show the new item condition values at the same time the values are available on site. You may need to download the latest version of any tools (such as Turbo Lister) in order to list or revise items with the new values.

You can also edit the item condition field using the new bulk functionality.

Best Practices
  • Start using the new item condition values as soon as they are available.
  • Ensure that your item description aligns with the item condition you specify—you cannot have contradictions between the two.
  • Continue to fully describe the condition of your item in the body of your listing and make sure this description is consistent with the new item condition value you choose.
  • Continue to identify in your listing any defects or other information a buyer should know in order to make an informed decision.
  • Provide plenty of photos that complement the item condition and description.