July 16, 2010, 3:06 PM

More changes are coming for eBay sellers

The online marketplace releases its final marketplace modifications for the year.

Lead Photo

EBay Inc. has announced its third and final round of changes to its marketplace for this year, moves aimed at improving consumers’ shopping experience. The majority of the changes are scheduled to launch between Sept. 7 and Sept. 13.

The online marketplace established four standard shipping options—economy, standard, expedited and one-day. Those options will be prominently displayed on the item pages and checkout. 

“This will be a really good thing for both buyers and sellers,” says Dinesh Lathi, eBay vice president of buyer and seller experience, in a video on eBay’s official blog. “Sellers, by using language buyers are very accustomed to seeing elsewhere in e-commerce, like economy, standard, expedited or one-day, will do a much better job of managing expectations.”

Sellers will also be permitted to exclude buyers in certain locations, or, if they choose to sell to buyers in locations such as Alaska, Hawaii and Guam, they can show those buyers the exact shipping charges before the buyer completes her purchase.

The online marketplace also aims to expand sellers’ use of its catalog, which standardizes product descriptions of electronics like iPods, as well as DVDs and Blu-ray disks. To increase seller uptake of the catalog, eBay is eliminating listing fees for sellers who list with the catalog, as well as boosting sellers’ placements on eBay search results pages.

Other changes include efforts to improve the efficiency of seller communications. For instance, eBay is turning on its Automated Answers feature for all sellers. That means that when a buyer clicks the ask a question link, Automated Answers uses information from the seller’s listing to answer commonly asked questions. If the buyer doesn't find the answer to his question, he can e-mail the seller his question.

Compared to the first two waves of changes to eBay’s Marketplace changes, which significantly modified eBay’s fees and seller ratings programs, this round was evolutionary rather than revolutionary, says Colin Sebastian, a stock analyst who follows digital media and Internet companies at Lazard Capital Markets. “The upcoming changes to take effect in September are comparatively mild,” he wrote , in a note to clients.

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