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Developer Impact: Spring 2010 Announcements

Today, Dinesh Lathi posted an important announcement about the Spring 2010 Release (SR10.1). Here is the developer impact for those features. More details will follow in the documentation as each feature is released.

OUR LOWEST INSERTION FEES EVER COMING THIS SPRING: FREE AUCTION-STYLE LISTINGS; FIXED PRICE AS LOW AS 3¢ WITH FULL SEARCH EXPOSURE
Great news: Starting March 30 the upfront cost of selling on eBay will be dramatically reduced for sellers of all sizes with our lowest Insertion Fees ever. Whether you're running a business or selling to earn extra cash, choose from a range of options designed to make your selling easier and more profitable:
Choose the option that's best for you:
1.  New "eBay everyday" standard rates: List Auction-style FREE—pay only if it sells
The new eBay standard rates are perfect if you sell occasionally. 

  • List up to 100 items a month Auction-style free—no Insertion Fees—when you start your Auction-style listing under $1.
  • Get new, lower Insertion Fees for all other start prices.
  • Either way, pay one easy Final Value Fee of 9% of the winning bid—and never more than $50—pay only if your item sells.
  • List in Fixed Price for 50¢ with Final Value Fees mostly the same as today

2.  New eBay Stores subscription packages: Fixed Price with full search exposure as low as 3¢ plus great low rates for auctions
The new eBay Stores subscription packages are the right choice for most sellers with 50 or more listings a month:

  • List in Fixed Price with full search exposure for as low as 3¢ Insertion Fees with Final Value Fees for the most part the same as today
  • Get FREE pictures
  • Get deeply discounted fees on Auction-style listings

Developer Impact:
No API changes are needed to support this change. Any rate or subscription changes will be automatically reflected in the API. Sellers are encouraged to review their listing strategy to see which options work best for them.

Only one Fixed Price format
"Full search exposure" is key because starting March 30, there will be just one Fixed Price listing format on eBay. Store Inventory Format listings will automatically become regular Fixed Price listings with the same duration and renew at the new rates—and surface in search results right along with all other listings.

Developer Impact:
In the API, the FixedPriceItem (FPI) listing format will be replacing the StoresFixedPrice (SFP) listing format. We are offering a migration phase where AddItem will continue to accept either FPI or SFP as listing formats. However, the item will be displayed as FPI on the site and in search results. GetItem and other Get calls will return the format you originally used in the request (FPI or SFP).

In early 2011, SFP will no longer be an accepted option, and your AddItem call will fail if you include it. We recommend you take the following actions as early as possible to avoid issues:

  • Remove StoresFixedPrice as a listing option from your user interface
  • Start using FixedPriceItem in your AddItem instead of StoresFixedPrice.

Starting with 653 (late Jan), the existing eBayNotes field in will start returning whether or not that item has had sales in the last 16 months. Sellers can use that information to help them make decisions about which selling strategy works best for them.

As of March 30th, 2010, any existing SFP listings will be treated as FPI on the site. Items will immediately get the higher FPI exposure, and will renew or relist at the FPI price.

Any listing enhancements (e.g., bold, subtitle, etc.) will also renew or relist at FPI rates. Sellers will want to evaluate their use of listing enhancements to see if it supports their listing strategy at the higher rates.

This feature will be available in the Sandbox for testing after the Production release. Note, however, that most Sandbox items will not meet the criteria for having sales information returned in eBayNotes (a listing with no sales for 16 months).

Developers who do not yet support the eBayNotes field in GetMyeBaySelling should consider adding support for it. Sellers will find that information particularly valuable between now and late March as they evaluate their existing SFP listings.

Subscribe or upgrade your subscription early and save!
We want to make sure you have plenty of time to get ready: Use the handy Fee Illustrator to determine which option will be most cost-effective for you. Then subscribe or upgrade now with no additional monthly fee until April.

Developer Impact:
No new API changes for this feature.

BUILDING BUYER CONFIDENCE—NEW EBAY BUYER PROTECTION PROGRAM
We're making a big move to bring buyers and keep them on eBay with the new eBay Buyer Protection program. All over eBay, the message to buyers will be loud and clear: "eBay's got you covered," so buy on eBay with the confidence and satisfaction you expect from a trusted retailer. As always, direct communication between buyers and sellers to get issues resolved will continue to be encouraged.

Developer Impact:
No new API changes for this feature.

The eBay Top-rated seller badge also ensures quality service and keeps buyers coming back. More and more of you are now enjoying the benefits. U.S. sellers can also now qualify for Top-rated status in more countries.

Developer Impact:
We know that sellers appreciate visibility into their performance on eBay. Sellers who sell on UK/IE/DE/AT/CH currently have only 3 possible status levels returned in GetSellerDashboard for those sites: BelowStandard, Standard (default), and TopRated. We are adding an additional level of granularity to the response so sellers can also see if they are AboveStandard.

AboveStandard indicates that the seller is performing above the standard level for that country. UK and DE PowerSellers who are AboveStandard are eligible for Final Value Fee discounts.
Starting early Feb, if you specify version 653 or later in your request, you'll also start seeing AboveStandard (when applicable) in the response.

AboveStandard is an already existing enum (as of 635) so you do NOT need to upgrade to the 653 WSDL to pick up this tag. You probably already support it for the US site.
3rd-party developers will want include this status tag in any user dashboard, or listing cost estimates they provide. Note that a default status value is returned for all sites (whether or not there have been any sales on that site), so developers may want to filter out values for sites that the seller does not sell on.

MORE UPDATES TO BOOST SELLER EFFICIENCY
Sellers in eBay Motors Parts & Accessories will be able to create one listing with a complete list of compatible vehicles—a huge saving in Insertion Fees and time.

Developer Impact:
The API fully supports Parts Compatibility. Developers with sellers who list in Motors: Parts & Accessories will want to add support for this feature to their applications.

Parts Compatibility is available today in the Motors Sandbox in selected test categories. Starting in mid-March, Parts Compatibility will be supported in limited Parts & Accessories categories in the Production environment.

Trading API SDK support for Parts Compatibility will also follow in March.

Listing with Parts Compatibility:

  • Use the new Product API to retrieve the correct eBay Product ID (ePID) for your part (if available). Include that ePID value in the ProductReferenceID container in your AddItem request. The Product API will be available with 655 (early Feb).
  • Use the new Product Metadata API to retrieve a list of parts compatibility information specified as name and value pairs. For example, to specify a part's compatibility with a vehicle, the name would map to standard vehicle characteristics (e.g., Year, Make, Model, Trim, and Engine). The values would describe the specific vehicle, such as a 2006 Honda Accord. Pass those name value pairs in the new Item.ItemCompatibilityList container in AddItem. The Product Metadata API will be available with 655 (early Feb).
  • Specify parts compatibility manually by specifying the part's relevant dimensions and characteristics (e.g., Section Width, Aspect Ratio, Rim Diameter, Load Index, and Speed Rating for a tire) using attributes in Item.AttributeSetArray. A table of attribute values is available now.

Finding Parts Compatibility Items:
Parts compatibility improves search relevancy and frees up item titles and descriptions for more useful descriptions of the part. Listings with parts compatibility information also get a Best Match boost in search results. The compatibility match is also displayed in the search results (e.g., Fits: 2004 Honda Accord).

This new search behavior is supported by the Finding API and the Best Match Item Details API. The deprecated calls FindItems, FindItemsAdvanced, GetSearchResults and GetCategoryListings do not support Parts Compatibility items.

For more information, see the Trading API Release Notes.

You'll be able to list multiple variations of a product in one Fixed Price listing in many more categories.

Developer Impact:
The Items with Variations feature has been added to more categories. For technical information on how to use this feature in the API, see Describing Variations in a Listing.

Return policy and handling time will be required for new listings and re-listings in eBay Motors Parts & Accessories in June—editing tools make updating listings easy

Developer Impact:
Return Policy is specified in Item.ReturnPolicy. ReturnsNotAccepted is a valid value. Handling time is specified in Item.DispatchTimeMax.

Most listing-tool developers should already support required Return Policy and Handling Time in other eBay categories. In late 2010, they will also be required in Motors: Parts & Accessories.

Only new, relisted, and renewed items will be checked for compliance.

Developers can help sellers comply with the new requirement by flagging non-compliant listings for their review. Also by offering bulk editing tools to so sellers can search live listings and revise.

Category and Item Specifics changes are also coming with the rest of these.

Developer Impact:
Please refresh your cached categories and item specifics when the changes go live.

In keeping with the practice started last year, we're continuing to consolidate changes that impact your business into two or three major releases a year. Get details on all the updates coming in the spring 2010 update, including the new fee structure.
For more insight into the upcoming changes, including fees, you're also invited to:

  • Take part in the upcoming webinar on Thursday, January 28.
  • Join me and other leaders from eBay and PayPal in a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, January 29. Check the Announcement Board for more details coming soon.
  • Talk with members of my staff during the next two days on a special discussion board we've set up for this purpose.

We recommend taking advantage of the resources that Dinesh mentions above. eBay developers can also get their questions answered:

 

January 26, 2010 in Best Practices, Business News, Categories and Item Specifics, eBay Motors, Finding API, Product News, Sandbox, Shopping API, Trading API | Permalink