eBay Links Policy: An Apology to Everybody

Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 2:18 pm Pacific USA Time.

This isn’t my fault, but I’m apologising anyway.

At eBay Live!, I was doing a class about not breaking eBay rules. I told the audience that you could link your email address inside your eBay listings. A guy interrupted me. He had just been to the eBay Developers Conference, and it was announced that email addresses would NOT be allowed inside listings anymore. Something about fraud concerns.

I went kooky. I left my class, and started calling cell phones of eBay staff I’d met at DevCon. They confirmed yes, email addresses have to come out. If an email spoof artist goes to a listing, he can now see the right email address matched with the right eBay user ID. He can then BETTER fake a fake eBay email by knowing your email address and your eBay user ID. Instead of writing, "Dear eBay User" or something, he can write your eBay user ID. You might think the email is real.

And when would eBay crack down on email addresses in listings? No formal date ready to announce, but expect somewhere around Sept or Oct 2008. Best to start changing clients’ templates now, we were told.

We were also told that eBay was going to no longer allow links from the About Me page as part of the new links policy. We heard the new links policy was still being discussed, and no announcement was ready, but we were under the impression something was going to change in some way!

A few clients heard about these announcements, and wanted to be compliant early.
They wanted these changes made, and we charged them for these changes. They now have templates without email addresses, and links gone from the About Me page.

And today, eBay announced a big NEVER MIND to the links policy changes we heard about in May, June, and July. Never mind. Not making ANY changes. Carry on as you were.

Which means that those same clients might have to pay for our time to put these things back. I feel awful about it, but can’t sell our time for free. We didn’t cause this problem. Nobody should be punished for trying to be compliant with rules ahead of schedule.

I had the whole new links policy in this blog, remember? T&S told me that was probably where the links policy was going. I acted on that info and what I learned at and since eBay Live.

I’m just as frustrated with everybody else. I want to go by the rules. I am told the rules. We want clients to go by the rules. And this is a case where some clients will have wasted money in a rush to go by rules they were told at eBay Live and since that they would HAVE to go by.

I’m sorry to everybody. I gave you the best information I had in each moment. The same info came from other sources too (I think CA’s webinars gave some of the same info and advice). We all did the best we could!

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Categories: Just An Observation

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One Response to “eBay Links Policy: An Apology to Everybody”

  1. Connie says:

    Hey, if the customers asked you to do it before the rule was in place, sorry, but I wouldn’t feel bad charging them to change it back. I read the rules and knowing eBay decided to wait to act on them WHEN then became rules. If I jumped every time eBays says they’re GOING to change a rule I would be forever updating my ads.
    The customer has the choice of not putting the info back, doing it themselves, or paying someone less expensive to do it. Besides, knowing eBay, the rule will go into effect in October and they’ll have to pay to take it all out again.
    You were acting on good faith and didn’t pressure anyone…I wouldn’t worry about it.