eBay Watch: Sellers Must Verify 'Trusted' Computers

eBay announces new seller trust initiative, Terapeak 5.0 launches, a look at eBay acronyms and Chris Isaak to perform at eBay Live.

eBay and Online Marketplace News
EBay announces new seller trust initiative, Terapeak 5.0 launches, a look at eBay acronyms and Chris Isaak to perform at eBay Live.

Sellers Restricted to Trusted Computers to Lower eBay Fraud
This week eBay's Senior Director for Trust & Safety, John Canfield, announced a new safety initiative to be rolled out this week. This initiative is designed to stop those who gain access to the accounts of well-established members and post fake listings on the account. In his recent public posting, Canfield says that eBay will start noting which computers members typically use to conduct their buying and selling activity, and after a data collection phase, eBay will verify sellers by the computer they use when they list an item.

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For sellers who log in on a borrowed computer or traveling sellers who use hotel or library access points, eBay will make an automated call to the phone number they've registered to confirm ownership of the account. Canfield suggests that in preparation for these changes, sellers need to ensure they have the correct contact information, as well as a cell phone or second number provided in their eBay account details.

Unfortunately, if you happen to be traveling, or using a borrowed computer, and do not carry a cell phone that can be registered with eBay, the company has not yet provided any real information for a back-up plan to ensure you can get your items listed, other than to say "eBay may prompt you to verify your identity in other ways". For high-rep sellers who list from multiple computers or travel, it may be time to invest in a cell phone if you don't already have one. The Trust & Safety team will be hosting an online workshop about this new initiative,  "Trusted Selling with Identity Confirmation" on May 6.

Terapeak 5.0 Offers Improved Research
This week Advanced Economic Research Systems (AERS), an eBay Certified service provider, announced version 5.0 of its market research product, Terapeak. This subscription-based market research service offers eBay sellers the evaluation tools needed to help select the best item pricing, the best keywords and categories to use as well as how to determine the peak times customers will be shopping. It also includes two years' worth of category trends to track individual item seasonality.

In this latest version, the new research features include the ability for eBay sellers to see hot new product lists, hot buyer searches and also top seller names to see where you rank amongst your eBay competitors. A new quick navigation menu also lets you see the top titles for any eBay seller so you know what products make them the most money. Terapeak tools can also show sellers information on what shoppers are searching for on the eBay platform and what products and titles are experiencing the most sales activity. Terapeak 5.0 will be showcased at the eBay Live! 2008 conference in June.

EBay Live Updates
As June 19 and eBay Live! prepares to kick off, the company updated its site to announces lots of extra goodies for registered participants. This year the Live crew is offering a housing block for attendees, which is a group of hotel rooms reserved at a special rate for eBay Live! participants. There will also be a free shuttle service provided from this housing block to the event, which is taking place at McCormick Place West. Monique Svazlian, the event manager for eBay Live!, also announced that the closing act at this year's gala will be Grammy-nominated artist Chris Isaak. Tickets for eBay Live! are discounted by $45 if you register by April 30, 2008.

eBay Workshop on Cost of Goods and Inventory
Phyllis Wischer, business success coach at SageFire, Inc., will be hosting an online eBay workshop on Wednesday that discusses the cost of goods and inventory management and how these issues affect your eBay business. Wischer is expected to show sellers how to track this information and will also discuss eBay fees, PayPal fees and shipping costs as factors of your cost of goods sold. The workshop will be held April 16 from noon to 1 p.m. Pacific time.

Learn the Lingo: Common eBay Listing Acronyms
While listings are limited to 55 characters, eBay sellers can use abbreviations to describe an item while still including important information about the merchandise. To help make the most out of your precious little space, here are some common eBay acronyms and their meanings. You can use the abbreviations in both your title and description to help sell with less text space.

  • ADDY - E-mail address
  • BIN - Buy it Now (eBay's Instant Purchase)
  • BL - Big lot
  • CM - Customized
  • FAQ - Frequently asked questions
  • G or GD - Good (condition)
  • MS - Mint state (coins)
  • NAP - Not affected play (records)
  • NBW - Never been worn
  • NEG - Negative feedback
  • PM - Priority mail
  • SIG - Signature
  • W/C - Water color (paintings)
  • YGF - Yellow gold filled (jewelry)

For a detailed list of acronyms, see the Online Auction Abbreviations page in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.com.

Vangie Beal is a seasoned eBay seller, frequent contributor to ECommerce-Guide.com and managing editor of Webopedia.com.

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