For anyone that received the slightly intimidating letter from eBay today about changes to the Trading Assistant Program, I wanted to take this opportunity to quickly go over what these changes mean in plain English before anyone started to panic.
Essentially, the TA program is changing in several ways, most of which are behind the scenes and will just lead to greater visibility. For the average seller, this means very little in how you run your business other than you may suddenly have more volume. But you do need to do something to “opt-in” to these improvements.
eBay is trying to ensure that all Trading Assistants are aware of the new changes and are making sure of this by essentially forcing you to re-sign up for the program at http://www.ebaytradingassistant.com. There you can accept the new User Agreement and make sure that you are still eligible. You will also need to re-fill in your TA profile so I would recommend having your old profile open in another window so that you can just copy and paste.
For all TAs, home based or retail stores, the following changes affect you:
- There is a new User Agreement. You will need to read this and accept it at http://www.ebaytradingassistant.com
- The terms for sellers have changed slightly. The new terms are, “To qualify, all Trading Assistants on eBay are now required to have an eBay Membership in good standing, a minimum of 100 eBay Feedback (98% positive), and sales of at least 10 items on eBay in the prior 3 months.”
- New TA Directory and Sales Lead Section to help customers to better find you. You will have to re-create your profile to be included in this on the eBay Trading Assistant site. You should be able to just copy and paste from the old to save time.
- They debuted new marketing materials such as logos, press releases, etc.
For Trading Posts only, there is one very big change. As the message from eBay indicates, “The name “Trading Post” has been changed to “Registered eBay Drop Off Location.” Use of the term “Auction” or “Auctioneer” in a Trading Assistant business name, signage, and marketing materials is no longer permitted (unless you are a licensed Auctioneer).”
While this may seem like a little detail, if you have already used the older term on your marketing materials, this could be a big inconvenience or expense.
Overall, the big change over only took me less than 5 minutes so, while the email from eBay makes it sound like a big deal, it really is a very simple process. If eBay is making it easier for customers to find us, that can only be a good thing, I say!
Expect to see this new info in The Trading Assistant’s Assistant: How to start a part-time job or full-time consignment drop-off business on eBay in the future. It will take us some time to update the text but luckily the majority of the changes don’t affect the info in the book.