Are you breaking policy on eBay?

Friday, 24 May 2013 at 4:19 am Pacific USA Time.

Working with eBay sellers I get asked about eBay policies on a day to day basis. There are a few that keep cropping up and are causing some pain for sellers.

Links in listings

The links policy was updated in 2011 on but we are still seeing sellers break this policy. One that seems to occur frequently concerns email addresses. Email addresses (clickable and non-clickable) are NOT allowed on eBay. The ONLY exceptions to this rule are the Business & Industrial, Motors > Vehicles and Real Estate categories. Listings should have been revised to comply by early 2012. It took a while but we are now seeing enforcement of this rule.

eBay want you to use eBay messages so that communication is tracked. This is to help in dispute resolutions as you could have been a 5 star seller via email, but eBay customer support would not see this. It means that you are not at the mercy of your antivirus software either and won’t miss buyer communication. This is a good policy change for the seller.

If you notice you are doing this still on eBay, we can help bulk revise your listings. We blogged about it way back in 2011!

New picture standards

This is a relatively new policy change that was announced fall 2012 but we are seeing enforcement already. eBay now complains bitterly if you try to break the dimensions part of this policy. All pictures must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side. This also means EXISTING listings need to be revised. We are seeing listings removed and wrists slapped OFTEN.

Pictures may not include added borders, text, or artwork except for watermarks for ownership and attribution according to eBay. Many sellers are complaining that the borders and text ARE their watermark. Watermarks should be used in a non obtrusive way and not for marketing purposes. Digital watermarks are also a great alternative to protect intellectual property.

So what EXACTLY is needed?

Watermarks should never obstruct the product in the picture. It needs to be no bigger than 5% of the total image area and have an opacity of no more than 50%. Links are not allowed in watermarks either!

For example a 500px x 500px image must have a watermark no bigger than 25px x 25px.

Skirting around eBay policy is never a good thing. The penalties are high and the policies are there to protect buyers and sellers. Some of the new eBay policy changes are actually forcing sellers into best practice rather than just recommending it. We all want eBay to be the best place to shop!

Have you tripped over a policy on eBay lately? Need help with changes? We are always OPEN.


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Categories: eBay

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