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eBay Watch: Let's Get Digital

While the elves at eBay toil away day and night as the holidays approach, life goes on as usual in San Jose. It was a rather quiet week again for the auction big shot, but the company did make a few important announcements.

Wanna Be Like iTunes?

Sellers who have aspirations of becoming the next world dominator of electronic file downloads will be happy to hear that eBay is finally improving its platform in which to sell "digitally delivered goods." Mara Holian, a member of eBay's Product Marketing team, announced the changes this week. Among the changes being made are the following:

  • "List as a Digital Item" option in the Sell Your Item form — Selecting this option when you start listing lets us know you're selling a digital item, so you won't have to fill out sections that don't apply (such as "Shipping"). You'll also see a "Digital Item Delivery" field in SYI, where you can provide delivery information to your buyers (such as how to access the file once they've completed their purchase).
  • Search filter for digital items in certain categories - Buyers in categories that are more likely to feature digital items (such as Movies and Books) will be able to filter their results to see just the digital items that meet their search criteria.
  • Digital Information Box on the item page - On listings for digital items, a new information area will help buyers identify digital items, confirm the file type and learn about any system requirements they will need.

You Can't Fool Me

As part of eBay's ongoing battle with scammers, the company also announced some additional changes in the way members communicate with each other. Here's what they had to say:

As you know, an important part of staying safe on eBay is knowing who your trading partners are. We think this is also true when you are choosing whether to respond to e-mails sent to you through Contact eBay Member.

In early October we started including publicly available information about the sender, such as their Feedback score and date of registration, on Contact eBay Member emails. This information appears near the top of the e-mail, and is designed to help you decide whether or not to reply.

In the next week, we're going to expand this to include additional transaction history information between you and the sender. For example, you will see messages such as "I am bidding on 3 of their items", and/or "We have traded 10 items" when these situations apply.

As always, if you are concerned about the contents of a Contact eBay Member email, or if the email contains an offer to buy or sell outside of eBay, do not reply to the sender.


Vendio, a provider of services that empower merchants to reach consumers and manage online transactions, Thursday launched Vendio Reviser, a service that helps eBay sellers make fully automated or manual revisions to their live listings.

"Historically, eBay Developers have focused their attention on automating processes before and after an eBay sale, with little attention to live listings. Similarly, the majority of eBay sellers put most of their focus on listings before they launch and after their products sell," said Mike Effle, Vendio's Executive Vice President, Sales Management in a written statement. "Based upon user surveys and our work with large volume sellers, we developed Vendio Reviser to give sellers a new opportunity to make bulk and even automatic revisions to their listings on eBay. For sellers currently revising items individually on eBay, Vendio Reviser will help them revise hundreds of items in the time it used to take to revise just one."

With Vendio Reviser, eBay sellers can automatically do the following:

  • Lower reserve or Buy it Now prices as items with few or no bids get close to ending.
  • Create declining price auctions that engage buyers waiting for the next price reduction.
  • Edit titles, categories, or activate eBay marketing features on the fly in bulk.
  • Extend shorter duration listings to the next longer duration if there are no bids.

Vendio Reviser offers three ways to revise live eBay listings. The Auto-Revise feature enables sellers to perform continuous and automatic revisions to their live items with no ongoing manual effort. Once the seller sets up simple rules, Auto-Revise automatically finds live items meeting the seller's revise criteria and makes the requested revisions.

Some Auto-Revise capabilities are designed to let you accomplish the following:

  • Decrease items' price 10 times by one percent each time with revisions occurring every three hours.
  • Find items ending soon with no bids and extend them to next longest duration.
  • Find items ending soon that have not met reserve and lower the reserve price by 10 percent.
  • Rotate categories for items throughout their durations.

eBay sellers can also make one-time bulk revisions using the Find & Revise feature, which is designed to help them find all the live items meeting certain criteria and make the appropriate revisions to the group of items at once. Finally, the Bulk Reviser is built to allow sellers to make multiple revisions to up to 50 items on a single Web page. The live items are organized in a spreadsheet like format, making it easy to tab across fields and make edits across the items quickly. An additional feature allows sellers to copy values from one item to multiple items to make bulk edits fast.


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