Mid-June Brings New Requirements

eBay revises rules for certain categories and enforces return policy.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Jun 09, 2009

While all eBayers have until next week to ensure their listings comply with new return policy regulations, jewelry merchants will also have to be careful where they list items.

That's because on June 15, a new jewelry policy will go into effect. The new policy limits listings in the fine jewelry category to pieces with genuine stones set in a solid precious metal. Jewelry that does not fulfill both requirements and is listed in the fine jewelry category could be taken down, the auction site notes.

"For example, if a 1 carat diamond ring in a solid gold setting is listed with a Buy It Now price of $2.99, the price of this item calls into question the truthfulness of the item details," eBay states in its FAQs. "These types of items will be removed to preserve the trust and confidence in the eBay marketplace."

Merchants who post items in the fashion jewelry category will have to remove all references to the word "diamond," unless the stone described in the post is an authentic diamond. And jewelry that eBay would categorize as "fine jewelry" will not be allowed in the fashion jewelry category.

Officials will begin enforcing these rules in mid-July.

Additionally, June 15 is the date when eBay U.K.'s free shipping mandate will take effect. Sellers listing items on ebay.co.uk, such as video games, mobile phones, consumer electronics, computing, photography and clothing, will be required to offer free shipping as a first option to domestic buyers.

We want to narrow the gap between buyers' expectations and their experiences by providing return policy information up front

Although these changes will only affect some merchants, eBay's new return policy requirement affects all sellers. According to eBay, sellers must specify a return policy and handling time when they relist or post items by June 15. This doesn't mean sellers must accept returns, the auction site notes—although it encourages sellers to accept returns. But if sellers don't want to accept returns, they must state this as a policy.

"We want to narrow the gap between buyers' expectations and their experiences by providing this information up front," eBay notes in its FAQs. "Buyers want to know when they can expect to receive their items and if they can return them."

If sellers do accept returns, they must specify how refunds will be made and who will pay shipping and other fees for returning goods. Items listed in the Motors category are exempt from the requirement, and Good 'Til Cancelled listings do not have to comply with the requirement until September, according to an eBay announcement.

Goods that are available for local pickup do not need to have a specified handling time. The deadline to update listings with a return policy and handling time was originally set for mid-March, but eBay extended the deadline.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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