Time Running Out for GTC Listings

eBay will require sellers to supply handling time and return policy.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Sep 09, 2009

eBay sellers should review their Good 'Til Cancelled listings to make sure they comply with policies that will take effect later this month.

According to eBay, sellers must specify a handling time and return policy in GTC listings before Sept. 22, or risk having listings taken down. eBay began requiring this information in all new listings and relists in mid-June, but gave sellers with longer term listings more time to comply.

When the policy was originally announced, Auctiva was quick to respond, creating required fields for return policy and handling time in its one-page eBay listing tool.

Specifying handling times and return policies should benefit both sellers and buyers, says Laura Della Torre, a senior manager at eBay. She notes that bad shopping experiences are often the result of a gap between what buyers expect and their actual experiences, which results in unhappy buyers and low seller ratings.

"We're working to solve this problem by bridging this expectations gap," she explains. "Requiring handling time and return policy allows us to set the correct expectations up front for delivery estimates and return policy. It's a win for buyers, and in turn, a win for sellers who will benefit from better buyer perception."

While the new requirement does not mean users must accept returns, those who do take returns must clearly state how long buyers have to return goods, how they'll give refunds and who will pay shipping costs for returned goods.

Merchants do not have to specify a handling time for products in the Real Estate, Specialty Services or Motors categories, nor for items that are to be picked up. However, if an item is both shippable and available for pick up, the seller must specify a handling time.

Auctiva's Bulk Listing-Revision Tool will help customers comply with the new requirements

Auctiva's Bulk Listing-Revision Tool will help customers comply with the new requirements, notes Auctiva Product Manager Tony Maxey. Auctiva customers who are on a listing plan and those who are still on their free 30-day trial can use this feature by going into their Saved Listings pages.

Auctiva developers began working on the bulk revision tool shortly after learning of eBay's plans to implement the policy change.

"eBay is telling sellers who have not entered their return policy and handling time in their GTC listings they need to get that done by Sept. 22. It's crucially important, they say," Maxey reports. "The Bulk Listing-Revision Tool that we introduced on the Auctiva site earlier today was developed as a 'power tool' for our customers to use in just this sort of situation."

When customers create new listings through Auctiva, return policy and handling time are required. All listings created through Auctiva since June 15 conform to eBay's policy. However, active GTC listings created before that time may not be in compliance.

For more information on the new requirements, please click here.

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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