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May 28, 2008

eBay needs to improve “choice” implementation

Filed under: eBay — estreet @ 10:41 am

I research eBay changes. And boy have I been busy this year. I really can’t keep up. Here’s the latest policy announcement.

Yesterday, I researched the removal of the “Choice Policy” in depth. eBay used to prohibit sellers from offering a choice of colors or sizes in listings. It was banned because eBay determined it was used for fee avoidance and it would be confusing to buyers.

Now a seller can offer a choice of colors, sizes or configuration. This is the definition under eBay’s “Circumventing Fees” help page:

Choice Listings – A listing where a seller allows buyers to choose from a selection of completely different items. In general, sellers are permitted to offer a choice of sizes, colors and configurations of a particular item within a listing, However, a listing may not offer buyers a choice of completely different items.

eBay provides an example of choice in selling Men’s shoes. But I looked at the current Men’s Shoes listings and no seller is offering choice because their listings would not turn up in the search results. Most buyers would search on “Nike shoe 10” not “Nike shoe”. So you will not get traffic unless you specify the size.

Another category has size built in. Look at Clothing, Shoes & Accessories: Infants&Toddlers. The leaf categories are 1T, 2T, 3T, etc… So you can’t offer other sizes in this category.

Maybe eBay will implement a method of specifying choice in the future. But for now, the seller has to make up their own way to offer choices. And be careful, the penalties are severe:

Circumventing Fees: Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:
Listing cancellation
Limits on account privileges
Account suspension
Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
Loss of PowerSeller status

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