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Developer Impact: Summer 2010 Announcements

Today, Dinesh Lathi posted an important announcement about the Summer 2010 Release (SR10.2). Here is the developer impact for those features. More details will follow in the documentation as each feature is released.

We're making updates this summer and fall to help increase your profitability with more satisfied buyers and more efficient selling. As promised, we're continuing to consolidate changes that impact your selling into two or three releases per year with lead time to adapt. This is the second release for 2010.

Clearly defined item conditions set buyer expectations, reduce questions
To make it easier for sellers to specify item condition, we're introducing more descriptive values in many categories. In some categories, specifying item condition will be required for new listings, revised listings and sell similar starting on July 27, 2010 and for Good Til' Canceled listings in the spring of 2011.

Developer Impact:
As mentioned previously, we are making these changes to item condition:

  • Changing the way that you specify item condition in the API
  • Making item condition values more granular
  • Making item condition mandatory in some categories

Starting early May, we recommend you use GetCategoryFeatures and GeteBayDetails to determine if item condition is required for your category, and what the possible values are. Before early May, you can use the Item Condition Lookup table.

March 22: New item condition values available in two categories in the Sandbox:

End of April: New item condition values roll to eBay.com for a single category, Cell Phones. During the migration period, you can continue to use the old way or the new way of specifying item condition.

Early May: New item condition values roll to eBay.com for the remaining applicable categories.

End of July: Only the new way of specifying item condition will be supported. If you continue to use only the old methods of specifying item condition, your call will fail.

More Information
For more information, see:

Keeping buyers on eBay, rewarding sellers for great service
Opening a case through the eBay or PayPal Buyer Protection program—especially when the  buyer tries and is not able to work out an issue directly with the seller—is  clear indication of dissatisfaction. That's why starting in September, along with low DSRs, eBay will consider buyer cases for item not received and item not as described to evaluate seller performance.

Developer Impact:
No new API changes for this feature. Sellers can go to their seller dashboard in My eBay to view their claims data. There is currently no way to retrieve this info using the API.

Sellers will be able to opt out of the automated eBay Payment Reminder emails if they prefer to send their own communications instead.

Developer Impact:
This opt out preference can be set via the Trading API call SetUserPreferences and retrieved with GetUserPreferences. Sellers can also opt out via My eBay. Developers who send reminder emails on behalf of sellers may want to encourage their sellers to opt out of automated eBay Payment Reminders. This will minimize the amount of email that is sent to a buyer about a given transaction.

eBay will send a standardized Feedback Reminder email. Sellers will no longer be able to automate their own Feedback Reminder email through Selling Manager or Selling Manager Pro.

Developer Impact:
No new API changes for this feature.

Email communication between buyers and sellers will be even more secure with anonymous email addresses and improved documentation of email conversations in My Messages.

Developer Impact:

Every user account on eBay will be assigned an anonymous email address which will be used during email conversations with other eBay users. Users will be able to reply to email messages using the anonymous email address directly from their email clients or from eBay developer tools. When users become transaction partners with each other, they can see the real email address.

API Changes
In most cases, in addition to the email address you already get, you will start seeing a new field in the call response that contains the eBay member's anonymized email address. Specifically:

  • GetSellerTransactions: Transaction.Buyer.Email will be supplemented by Transaction.Buyer.StaticAlias.
  • GetItemTransactions: Transaction.Buyer.Email will be supplemented by Transaction.Buyer.StaticAlias.
  • GetOrderTransactions: Order.TransactionArray.Transaction.Buyer.Email will be supplemented by Order.TransactionArray.Transaction.Buyer.StaticAlias.
  • GetMyeBaySelling: Transaction.Buyer.Email will be supplemented by Transaction.Buyer.StaticAlias.

In GetMemberMessages, the email address that is currently returned will be replaced by the anonymized email address, in the following field: MemberMessage.MemberMessageExchange.Question.SenderEmail.

A few sellers (who have been notified) will see the GetMemberMessages changes in a controlled, mid-April beta release. But most sellers will see the changes in June 2010.

More Information
For more information, see:

To highlight the most relevant listings from sellers providing great value and service, Featured First—the listing upgrade that allows items to be featured in the top two spots of Best Match search results—will be discontinued.

Developer Impact:
After June 29, 2010, for the US (site ID 0) only, when listing with GalleryType = Featured, the listing enhancement will be dropped from the listing with a warning. The listing will not fail. The feature will automatically expire from any existing listings on July 29, 2010.

Easier, more profitable selling
To help you stay on top in a dynamic marketplace, we're introducing new functionality and tools to make it faster and easier to edit, list, and relist in bulk—up to 5,000 listings at once.

Developer Impact:
No new API changes for this feature. Listing-tool developers are encouraged to support bulk revision of listings in their applications.

Starting in July, when one of your product photos is selected for the eBay catalog, you'll receive five free Subtitle credits.

Developer Impact:
No new API changes for this feature.

Category and Item Specifics changes are included with this release. Check to see whether your categories are impacted.

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

Get complete details about all these important updates.
For more insight, you're also invited to:

  • Take part in an upcoming webinar on Thursday, April 29.
  • Join me and other leaders from eBay and PayPal in a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, April 28. 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.

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

April 27, 2010 in Product News, Seller Releases, Shopping API, Trading API | Permalink