« Salesforce Force.com Developer Meetup @ PayPal | Main | 677 Trading and Shopping API Docs Now Available »

Developer Impact: Fall 2010 Changes

Today, Dinesh Lathi posted an important announcement about the Fall 2010 Seller Update (SR10.3). Here is the developer impact for those features. More details will follow in the documentation as each feature is released. Most Fall 2010 changes will go live the week of September 7, 2010.

New shopping experience for iPod/MP3 players, GPS, and DVDs highlight s great eBay values on these hot holiday products. Starting mid-September, listing with the eBay catalog will be required in these subcategories (Auction-style and Fixed Price, including Good 'Til Cancelled). Pay no Insertion Fees when you list or relist with the catalog.

Developer Impact:

eBay will be providing a 100% product-based shopping experience in three categories. These categories are:

  • iPod & MP3 Players (subcategory # 73839) [US, CA, UK, IE, DE, AT]
  • GPS Devices (subcategory # 156955) [US, CA, UK, IE, DE, AT]
  • DVDs, HD DVDs & Blu-ray (subcategory # 617) [US, CA]

This means that sellers will need to list using a product ID in those categories if a product ID is available for that item. If no product ID is available, sellers should list the usual way in that category.

Items listed with a product ID will show up on the improved product page. The best-value item will appear in an easy to use "value box" at the top of the page. Several factors go into determining who gets this placement, including eTRS status and competitive pricing.

Items that have an available product ID, but are not listed with that product ID will not be eligible for prominent placement on the product page, and will not get the insertion fee discount. However, the AddItem call will not fail.

More Catalogs Available

To support this requirement, eBay has increased the number of items that it provides pre-filled item information for. You may find product IDs for items that did not have product IDs in the past.

Code to Support Even More Future Catalogs

eBay is bringing more catalogs on as they become available. We suggest as a best practice that you build into your listing process for all items an initial search for a product ID. As a convenience, you can search for product ID by UPC and by product title. Then if a product ID is not available, list without the product ID.

This ensures items can take advantage of the additional information provided with pre-filled information, the improved product experience, and will be eligible for prominent placement.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

Enforcement: September 13 September 7

Site Support:

US, CA, UK, IE, DE, AT

eBay Listing Analytics application gives you new insight into how your listings are performing: impressions, clicks, sales.

eBay is replacing the Search Visibility tool with the Listing Analytics application to provide more information on listing performance. At the same time, the corresponding BestMatchItemDetails API is being updated.

Get answers to key seller questions:

  • How do my listings rank for a given search?
  • What does my sales funnel (impressions, clicks, views, and sold items) look like for my active and completed listings?
  • How do my listings compare to the top five listings showing up on the first page of search results (impressions, average views) for a given query?
  • What are best practices for getting more buyers to click on my listings and buy after they click them?

While every effort is made to ensure that API changes are backward compatible, the new version of the BestMatchItemDetails API may not be compatible with the previous version of the API.

For more information, see:

Release Date (Application and API):

US and Motors: Week of September 7

International: Early October

Site Support:

US, Motors, CA, CAFR, UK, IE, DE, AT, CH, FR, IT

Bulk-edit more fields, revise up to 500 listings at once with new functionality in the eBay bulk edit and relist flow.

Developer Impact:

With this release, the new on-site bulk listing management flow becomes generally available on the site. The underlying API that drives the flow will be made available in early 2011. It is a new API that is optimized for bulk editing and relisting.

The new API is robust and flexible and off-loads many listing tool functions like business logic validation to the API itself. Developers may want to consider this as an alternative to the Trading API.

The new API will be released early next year. There are currently no plans to deprecate the Trading API.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

Bulk listing management flow: General release week of September 7

New API: Early 2011

Site Support:

All sites

Get your unpaid items re-listed and back in front of buyers fast with auto-relist option in Unpaid Item Assistant. Choose to exempt some customers from the automated process.

Developer Impact:

Starting in September, Unpaid Item Assistant will be turned on automatically for all PowerSellers and above. The UPI Assistant will automatically open unpaid item cases 16 days after a buyer hasn't paid. This duration can be changed in the seller's My eBay Site Preference Settings (My eBay > My Account > Site Preferences > Unpaid Item Assistant Preferences).

eBay is also offering the option to automatically relist the item when the UPI case closes without a payment. Sellers must opt-in to this feature.

In addition, you can create a list of preferred customers for whom cases will not automatically be created.

Unpaid Item Assistant is available for eBay Checkout items and those that offer only approved electronic payment methods (for example, PayPal, Paymate, Integrated Merchant Credit Cards, and so on).

The UPI Assistant is not directly available via the API. Some developers may already provide similar functionality using the Trading API call AddDispute. You may want to turn that feature off for PowerSellers and above to avoid duplication. Or, your sellers may wish to opt out of UPI Assistant.

For sellers who opt into the auto-relist feature, there is currently no way to determine via the API if an item has been automatically relisted. You may wish to keep a careful eye on any UPI cases and see if GetSellerTransactions starts returning any unexpected RelistedItemID values. Sellers may prefer not to opt into the auto-relist feature.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

The week of September 7

Site Support:

All sites

Industry-standard shipping terms —Economy, Standard, Expedited, and One-day—used to describe domestic shipping services. Shipping options displayed prominently along with estimated delivery time on the item page and in checkout.

Developer Impact:

To reduce shipping-related questions—including confusion about the carrier services offered and time of delivery— we will be displaying the shipping options offered, along with estimated delivery, more prominently throughout the buying process. The existing generic shipping service (e.g. Standard Flat Rate, Expedited Flat Rate, Overnight Flat Rate, and Other) will be automatically renamed with one of the new Industry-standard shipping terms and the corresponding delivery estimates will be automatically added as shown in this table:

Current service name

New service classification

Shipping time used for estimated delivery

Other (see description)

Economy shipping

1 - 10 business days

Standard Flat Rate Shipping Service

Standard shipping

1 - 5 business days

Expedited Flat Rate Shipping Service

Expedited shipping

1 - 3 business days

Overnight Flat Rate Shipping Service

One-day shipping

1 business day

In addition, we are adding three new generic shipping services for sellers who ship into the U.S. from abroad. These services have longer shipping estimates to better account for international shipping and customs clearing times.

New service name

Shipping time

Economy Shipping from outside U.S.

11 - 20 business days

Standard Shipping from outside U.S.

5 - 10 business days

Expedited Shipping from outside U.S.

1 - 4 business days

At the top of the item page and during checkout, four familiar industry-standard service level terms will be used:

  • Economy (1-10 business days)
  • Standard (1-5 business days)
  • Expedited (1-3 business days)
  • One-day (1 business day)

As always, the estimated delivery displayed to buyers will be the shipping time plus your handling time. If the sellers selects a branded shipping service (e.g. UPS Ground, or USPS Priority Mail) this information will continue to be available on the shipping details section of the item page and during checkout.

If a seller currently lists with any of the UPS or USPS services or the "Overnight Flat Rate Shipping Service," their listings won't require any changes.

If a seller currently uses "Standard Flat Rate Shipping", "Expedited Flat Rate Shipping" or "Other (see description)", they should make sure their carrier's published delivery estimates match the shipping times eBay will be using for estimated delivery (See the table above). They may want to change their listings—and possibly their services or handling time to stay competitive and set the right expectations for their buyers.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

The week of September 7

Site Support:

US, UK, DE

Shipping to Alaska and Hawaii, APO/FPO addresses, and special US areas such as Guam and Puerto Rico: Exclude these buyers or show exact charges based on their location.

Developer Impact:

Sellers set the new special shipping rates in their My eBay. There is no way to specify this with the API. Developers should pass a flag in AddItem to indicate that the special shipping rates should be used for a particular listing.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

The week of September 7

Site Support:

DE, UK, North America, Asia-Pacific

Pass on your shipping discounts to buyers with the Shipping Calculator: Specify one domestic and one international discount.

Developer Impact:

Sellers set the shipping discounts in their My eBay. There is no way to specify this with the API.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

The week of September 7

Site Support:

US, CA, AU

Low-cost shipping insurance: Available exclusively with eBay label printing.

Developer Impact:

This feature is only available on the eBay site as part of the label printing process. There is no API equivalent.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

The week of September 7

Site Support:

US

Updates to reduce and manage buyer contacts: Ask a question link moved down on item page; Automated Answers turned on for all sellers.

Developer Impact:

No new API changes for this feature.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

Early August.

Enhancements to My Messages: Use it as your central inbox for buyer email with out-of-office reply, customized email signatures, and message filtering.

Developer Impact:

Newly available in the Sandbox, a preview version of upcoming changes to MyMessages allows you to set selected messages as high priority, retrieve only high priority messages, and get counts of high priority messages.

For more information, see:

Release Date:

Preview currently available in the Sandbox

Available in Production the week of September 7

Site Support:

All sites

Category and Item Specifics changes consolidated with other updates. Find out if your listings are impacted.

Developer Impact:

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

For more information, see:

Get complete details about all these important updates.
See the Seller Checklist for more information about how these updates affect you.

Sellers and developers will benefit from reviewing this information.

For more insight, you're also invited to:
Take part in an upcoming webinar on Thursday, July 15.
Join me and other leaders from eBay in a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, July 14. 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.
As always, thank you for selling on eBay.

We recommend taking advantage of the resources that Dinesh mentions above. More developer impact details will follow in the documentation as each feature is released.

July 13, 2010 in Categories and Item Specifics, Finding API, Product News, Sandbox, Seller Releases, Shopping API, Trading API | Permalink