Summary of new features announced at eBay Open

It may have been difficult for sellers to keep up with the new features eBay announced at last week’s virtual eBay Open event; various executives discussed it in keynote sessions over the 3-day conference, with no accompanying messages on the vendor announcement board.

To complicate matters, the executives discussed some “new” features that had already been announced. Here’s a roundup of upcoming eBay changes that stood out – we expect eBay to announce them in more detail in an upcoming Fall Sellers Update.

Marketing – eBay store photos, videos, buyer groups, live trading
eBay will allow sellers to upload up to 24 images, up from 12, for free across all categories. We’re not sure of the exact timing, but sellers are reacting on this message on the eBay message board expect it to launch in November. During his speech, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said DC fashion sellers suggested the idea during a meeting he had with them earlier this year.

eBay store subscribers will be able to upload videos to their storefronts on eBay that can be used as branding tools, a way to showcase their expertise and share their personalities, and upload explainer videos. The videos will mostly be released for all Store sellers by the end of September.

And eBay CEO Jamie Iannone talked about a new tool called Buyer Groups that lets sellers tailor experiences to eager buyers.

Iannone also said eBay has begun experimenting with live commerce, which will eventually provide sellers with more interactive ways to reach customers. eBay had announced its live shopping platform for mobile devices in June.

Shipping labels for items sold through the Authenticity Guarantee
eBay will “simplify” shipping orders to Authentication Centers for items sold through the Authenticity Guarantee Program. eBay will set a consistent shipping price and automatically provide sellers with a shipping label. It will debut in the US in the Sneakers category and expand to other categories and markets next year. It doesn’t look like an optional service. Whether sellers like it depends in part on how eBay negotiates with carriers on price.

New eBay International Shipping Program (EIS)
eBay will migrate sellers from its global shipping program to a new program called eBay International Shipping (EIS). One big change is that buyers “will have the choice of paying import charges, including duties and taxes, at checkout or upon delivery.” Even more impactful for sellers, eBay will handle returns through the program. Read “eBay Launches All-New International Shipping Program to Replace GSP” for more details.

Payments and installments
While not new, eBay has revamped scheduled payments and its “on-demand” payment feature which is free for bank accounts or for a fee for Visa and Mastercard debit cards.

In April, eBay announced a usable funds feature that it was going to roll out over the next few months. Announced as part of the Spring Seller Update, it allows sellers to use their funds to make purchases on eBay. During Thursday’s eBay Open keynote, eBay said it was continuing to expand the availability of usable funds to US sellers this year.

Reduce unpaid items – with immediate payment on top deals
eBay will begin collecting payment information from buyers during the best offer submission process. So once a seller accepts an offer, eBay processes the payment, reducing the number of unpaid items. Some buyers are already participating in a pilot program (which we talked about last year), and eBay will be scaling it up after the holidays.

Parts and Accessories
eBay is rolling out a new experience in parts and accessories, which is one of its biggest categories, putting fitment first. It also improves the way search uses Fitment. See more details in our coverage of the eBay Open Day 2 keynote.

New employees in direct contact with the seller
Attendees were able to “meet” new employees, including Xiaodi Zhang, VP of Seller Experience, and Adam Ireland, VP of Americas Operations. They could become more sales-oriented executives as Jordan Sweetnam takes on more responsibility in Europe.

Changes to item categories and specifics
The day before the conference, eBay announced the category and item specifics changes that are usually announced as part of the fall seller update.

Stay tuned to eBay to share details about these features in the Fall Seller Update and leave a comment to let us know which features are most useful to you.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on e-commerce since 1999. She is a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is the author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” ( McGraw-Hill 2006). His blog was featured in the book “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (September 2005 – present) and Investigative Journalists and Editors (March 2006 – present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send topical tips to [email protected] See disclosure at

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