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There’s good news for all eBay members. This auction site has brought forth a new policy-a duplicate listings policy that will ensure a successful holiday selling season for sellers. The policy that came into effect on October 26, 2010, gives buyers an opportunity to engage in a quick yet inspiring view from an excellent selection of items, and forbids sellers from posting facsimile listings for items that are exactly the same. In other words, with the new policy search results will show great listings, without having repetitions from multiple duplicate listings. Buyers will save the time and effort it usually takes to scroll through descriptions of identical items from various sellers. Excellent listings are now made more easily visible, thereby giving sellers the right exposure. Here’s a quick look at what the new duplicate listings policy states.

New duplicate listings policy

Ø An item that is sold in a seller’s Fixed Price listing must differ considerably in terms of buyer benefit and value from items that are on sale in their other Fixed Price listings. In other words, sellers can only have a single Fixed Price listing for every identical item. If there is multiples of an item to sell, they should sell in a single multi-quantity Fixed Price listing.

Ø For items that are suited only for specific models, products or brands, like a phone charger, connector cable or auto part, you are allowed to have up to five Fixed Price listings for every item. This must be reflected in any two of these areas: item specifics, listing title, photo, subtitle, price, item condition, product ID, location, and description or in the section of compatibility in eBay Motors Parts & Accessories.

This exception is, however, not made for universal or generic items like generic lens caps, AA batteries, generic cases, cables, and others. So, you cannot specifically  mention brands on generic models in an attempt to circumvent the policy.

Ø You can now cancel the duplicates that you have and add the quantity to your best performer to ensure continuous sales. A good way to identify your duplicate listings is by using the duplicate listing look-up tool.

Ø Thanks to this new policy, duplicate Fixed Price listings have automatically been deleted, while the best performer has been kept. Insertion Fees and listing upgrade fees have been credited for the ended listings.

Ø Those sellers who continue to create duplicate listings for identical items will be penalized. Their duplicate listings will end without fee credits. They will also be subject to additional actions such as a loss of fees, loss of their seller status, and cancellation of their listing, limits placed on account privileges, and even have their account suspended.

Ø Sellers that have more than one user ID are allowed to have one listing for every item, rather than one listing per user ID. For example, if you list 100 envelopes on Member ID 001, you cannot have 100 envelopes on Member ID 002 so as to make a sale.

Ø This policy is not applicable to Auction-style listings with Buy It Now.

Ø Those Fixed Price listings that have been recently listed will no longer get an upfront allocation of impressions in the search results for Best Match. The way the new listings perform is based solely on how similar listings perform. Their ranking is then changed based on actual performance. Therefore, there is no need to create multiple listings of the same item in order to get a better rank for that item in search. Now sellers have the advantage of listing Fixed Price items at a low price, for a long duration, and have them in multi-quantity listings.

Ø New BIN listings hold no good to get a boost in Best Match.

How To Consolidate, End, And Avoid Duplicate Listing

Ø Consolidate: The best way to end your duplicate Fixed Price listings for identical items is by first identifying your best performing listing. Once that is done, you can end the others and make a revision of the listing that you have kept to add quantity.

Ø End: To end your duplicate listings follow these steps:
ü Enter the item number in the End My Listing Early form. You will notice the item number in your listing, confirmation email and My eBay page.
ü Choose the reason for which you are ending your listing early.
ü Your listing will end.

Ø Avoid: To avoid inadvertently relisting duplicates, remember to double check to make sure that the auto-relist function is working properly.

Understanding duplicates

eBay determines whether an item or listing is a duplicate based on the following attributes: price, color, size, compatibility, use, quantity, item specifics, title, description, item condition, photographs, subtitle, location and product ID.

Here are examples of what is considered significantly different:

Ø A box of 100 envelopes vs. a box of 1000 envelopes
Ø A set of 4 tires vs. a set of 8 tires

Here are examples of what is not considered significantly different:

Ø A new HP laptop with a pen vs. a new HP laptop with a mouse pad
Ø A box of 100 envelopes vs. a box of 101 of the same envelopes
Ø HDMI cable for Blu-ray vs. HDMI cable for Dell monitor

Take action

The moment you notice that you have duplicate listings, you need to take action to ensure that they are removed. Follow these steps to make sure that your listings comply with the requirements of the duplicate listings policy:

Ø If you are selling items that are required to suit certain products, brands or models, be sure to merge them into a maximum of five listings. Make sure that you specify the product compatibility in the listing. In the eBay Motors & Accessory listings, you will need to fill in all 300 spaces that are available with the various compatible vehicles before you think of even creating a separate listing.
Ø If there are items that are significantly different, they need to differ in AT LEAST TWO areas as has been discussed in the policy above. This is done so that the listings are not ended by eBay and you need not be penalized for it. Take note that if you change your title or price, it does not mean that your listing performance score, that is, the listing’s ratio of sales to impressions, will be automatically reset or that it will have an impact in your position in search. Yes, the title can have an influence on relevance, and if the price is raised, it may make your listing considerably less competitive. Both these are factors that determine the performance of a listing in Best Match search.

Ø Take note that the spaces that are present within units of measure in your title are now completely ignored when a match is being made to a buyer’s search. For instance, if a buyer enters 7 MB in the search, your listing will be of relevance whether your title states 7MB or 7 MB (with a space). Be sure to utilize all 55 characters to differentiate your listing.
Ø If you make separate listings for exactly the same items in two or more categories, the listings will be considered as duplicates. If you want to list the items in two categories, you can first list the item once in the primary category and, if it is offered, make sure to use the “second category listing upgrade.”
Ø To ensure that you do not have duplicate listings, simply remove the auto-relist functionality.

Best practices

To maximize your position in Best Match search, you need to follow the usual best practices, which are as follows:

Ø Select the correct format. You can choose either Fixed Price or Auction-style.
Ø If you sell items that differ in color and size, make sure to list the variations in a single low-cost “multi-quantity Fixed Price listing with variations.” This will help you to save on listing fees, allow you to put a price on each variation separately, as well as help you to handle your inventory beginning from your listing. The Best Match search views the variation information in these listings to establish the relevance of a buyer’s search. As mentioned earlier, make sure that you use all 55 characters of your title to differ information. The category look-up tool helps you to determine if multi-variation listings are offered in your category.
Ø You should always endeavor to pay the lowest possible fees. If you make a sale of more than 50 items in a month, you can be sure to  get savings with the correct eBay Stores subscription.
Ø If you want to sell in eBay Motors Parts & Accessories, make sure to use a parts compatibility listing. From the pertinent eBay catalog, you need to choose a part and all the vehicles that are compatible with that part will instantly be included in your listing. In addition, you can also manually compile your own list of models that are compatible with the part. You will be allowed to include up to 300 in a single listing. Best Match takes a note of compatibility information in the listing to decide if a buyer’s search is relevant or not. If you use the parts compatibility listing, be sure to use all 55 characters of your title. As mentioned earlier, you need to fill all 300 spaces that are offered to you with various compatible vehicles before creating another listing.

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