Raise your hand if a recent report that eBay will merge eBay Motors listings into eBay.com made you slap your forehead.
We thought so. Well, calm down because what initially seemed like a decision worthy of the OMG hall of fame turns out to be not so horrifying after all. Here are four things eBay sellers need to know about the eBay Motors changes that are scheduled to start rolling out in February.
1. eBay Motors isn't going away
If we've learned anything about eBay over the years, it's that all change on the site is driven by "the experience." In this case, eBay wants the search experience for vehicles to be the same as when you search for, say, collectible dolls or soap.
As an eBay spokesman recently commented on EcommerceBytes.com, eBay Motors will continue to exist as a separate site. But, starting in April, if a buyer on eBay.com searches for vehicles, they will stay on eBay.com instead of being bounced over to eBay Motors, where things look quite different.
The look and feel of the search—at least for Cars & Trucks—will be more like what you see on eBay today
"They will no longer be directed to eBay Motors if they select 'Cars & Trucks' [within the search refinement options], and will have a consistent search experience on eBay.com," the spokesman notes. "If a buyer initiates the vehicle search on eBay Motors, they will continue to receive the same search experience being delivered for vehicles searches on eBay Motors today."
We imagine the experience will be something like when a car dealership holds a parking lot sale at the local shopping mall. Buying a pair of snow boots, a rhinestone-studded vest for your dog or a speaker dock for your iPod? Why not shop for a car while you're there?
2. eBay.com won't be flooded with additional inventory
One of the concerns we heard from sellers is that when thousands of vehicle listings are suddenly comingled with the eclectic inventory that exists on eBay.com, it will be impossible to find anything.
The thing is eBay Motors inventory has always been accessible from eBay.com. And if a search happened to turn up items in cars, toys and clothing categories, for instance, the buyer could use the search refinements to narrow down the results.
That won't change. But as we noted above, the look and feel of the search—at least for Cars & Trucks—will be more like what you see on eBay today.
By the way, the new search experience only affects vehicle listings, not parts and accessories. These were added to eBay.com as part of the Spring 2012 updates.
3. Some new features will debut, others will be retired
Because certain eBay Motors listing enhancements no longer exist on eBay.com, eBay has decided to make the features consistent across both sites. Starting Feb. 4, eBay Motors listings will no longer be able to use ProPack, Highlight, Border, Listing Icons and Featured Plus! upgrades.
These enhancements will be automatically removed from Good 'Til Cancelled listings at the time the listings renew, and sellers will no longer be charged for the discontinued features, eBay notes.
As a replacement for these, eBay will now offer Subtitle, a $3 add-on, and Value Pack, which packages together the Subtitle, Gallery Plus and Listing Designer features at a discounted price of $7. Gallery Plus lets buyers roll over your picture in search results and see a magnified version. Listing Designer is eBay's version of listing templates.
Additionally, eBay will now automatically supersize images for free on all listings. Previously, this feature was optional on eBay Motors, and cost 75 cents per image.
These listing options continue to give you the most powerful and cost-effective way to sell your vehicles online
4. Feature fees will go up
Along with changes to listing upgrades starting Feb. 4, eBay will increase fees for certain optional listing features.
Placing a reserve price on your vehicle listing will now cost $15, instead of $7. Longer duration listings will also cost more: A 10-day listing will now cost $18, instead of $15, while a 21-day listing, previously $32, goes up to $40. And if you want to give auction buyers an option to Buy It Now, this little extra will cost $5, instead of $2.
"These listing options continue to give you the most powerful and cost-effective way to sell your vehicles online and reach the broadest possible audience of interested buyers," eBay notes.
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