One of the world`s leading online marketplaces – eBay is changing its rules with regards to the images that sellers are using to promote their products. The announcement which was made earlier in May informs sellers that the images that they upload to market their products can be re-used by eBay if they feel the need.
Previously, eBay sellers were given the chance to opt out of their images being added to the eBay catalogue, but this has now changed, to make it obligatory. The eBay catalogue is set up to help seller`s products to be found. When an item is added to eBay, sellers should link their product to the catalogue to help them to be identified and to be found more easily.
The eBay catalogue has data stored about each product, as well as photos, meaning that firstly, sellers can save time, and secondly, that buyers can get the information that they need.
By giving themselves the chance to use all of the photos that are uploaded by sellers, eBay can make their catalogue as extensive as possible.
So what are the positives and negatives for a seller?
By being able to use your specific images, eBay will be able to promote your products across the site, on product reviews or on themed web pages like Curve – even if your product is unique. By having your images in the eBay catalogue, you might be able to improve your product`s visibility.
It seems a little unfair that some people will have spent time and money taking professional photos of their product, for the images to then be used by other sellers to promote their products. This is, however, what is likely to happen under the new changes. Of course, you are still able to use your new, shiny photos so all is not lost.
If you have licensing issues with regards to your images, it is recommended that you try to re-negotiate the terms of your usage conditions. There is no going back on this, so unfortunately if licensing restricts you from allowing eBay to use your images, you will need to find new images.
It has been suggested that one potential softener would be to watermark your photos – which would at least get you the recognition for the image – or force others to not use it.
With the exception of possible licensing issues, this change is at worst, annoying to sellers who have spent creating product photos. However, other online marketplaces such as Amazon also use the best sellers` images for catalogues and promotion, and with the possibility of extra publicity, maybe the changes aren`t so bad.