I spent an annoying day today trying to make all the edits necessary to be compliant with the new eBay return policy. Now, we have a return policy and have had one for a while but in some of our older listings, this was in the description and wasn’t a part of the listing text. So we had to make sure every listing had the return policy section completed correctly and while some simply say we accept returns without our usual little blurb, I am calling it good enough and moving on.

While we were at this mass of changes, we also took out all mention of insurance being optional. This actually took more time than the return policy process because these mentions were in the description of the items and, for listings where items had sold, this meant that the only way to edit the listing text was to end the listing and relist it. Thankfully, we only had to do this on a handful of listings and good ole Turbo Lister took care of most of them for us.

But after going through this arduous process, I cannot help but feel like eBay could throw us sellers a bit more of a bone on big changes like this.

I understand why eBay doesn’t want sellers to edit listings after items have sold because corruption would be everywhere. But would it kill them to give us a designated section we could specify as “policy” that we could edit on some kind of limited schedule? Even aside from big policy changes like this, it would be nice to be able to edit my listing text site wide even a few times a year without having to always end and relist listings.

Also, better bulk edit tools would be great. Now Turbo Lister was a CHAMP and a huge help with making all these big changes. if you haven’t made your changes yet, I highly recommend using TL even if you are only going to use it for this and for nothing else because their find and replace in HTML feature allowed us to kill all offending text very quickly. It was all, Search, Replace, Sync, Done. If there is interest on how to do a bulk edit in Turbo Lister, I’ll write up a tutorial for future changes but I was really pleased as heck at how much work that rusty old free program saved me.

(Now that I have publicly praised it, Turbo Lister will probably crash just to spite me.)

But if you didn’t have Turbo Lister, there would have been no way to make these changes than literally going through every listing because for all the bulk tools eBay has added recently (many of which are great) you still cannot bulk search and replace which is a simple thing that would be a huge help. eBay needs to add something to MyeBay to allow sellers to bulk edit without having to download TL. Sure, TL is free but sometimes a download just isn’t an option so webtools would be a really big improvement over this process.

Lastly, what would be the biggest help would be some kind of compliance wizard that creates a simple notice starting a few months before a policy change to give sellers a heads up on which listings need to be changed. For instance, give me a temporary view where I can see all listings without a return policy so that I can see at a glance which ones I’d missed and need to edit.

Now I basically created my own version of this view when doing the insurance check by searching for my insurance message in my store search and revising until there were no search results (meaning I got them all). But even a simple algorithm that pops up a message saying that “your page may not be compliant” for the words “insurance optional” or “buyer’s risk” or whatever combination of words would catch the most people would have been a big help to just give sellers a heads up on which listings still needed to be edited.

After all, most sellers aren’t always totally up to date on the latest policy changes. It’s one thing to read “blah blah site changes” and another for eBay to tell you that, under the new policy, this listing RIGHT HERE would be in violation. It is a little detail but it would be a huge help. 

The return policy worried me less because they just defaulted everyone to a return policy if they didn’t pick one. But the insurance policy was very “grr grr if we find this message you are in trouble” which is why we wanted to get started on killing those messages ahead of time. But I know we weren’t the only sellers out there with an insurance is optional type message and I am willing to bet a large percentage of them have no idea how much work it’s going to be to kill that message.

What I’m saying is, I appreciate that you need to make changes, eBay. I also appreciate that you are limited changes to once a year. But could you throw us a sellers a frickin’ bone here? A few tools to help us make these sweeping changes would be a huge help!


So how did your bulk edits go?