Somewhere around mid-September eBay dropped a bombshell to their users announcing that the watermarked pictures won’t show any more in the searches. The rule was supposed to apply to every type of watermarks, regardless of the fact if the pictures are the property of the seller or not.
Naturally, this kind of announcement triggered a real storm of negative comments on relevant forums, as the store owners were facing a pretty complicated situation. Namely, some of them have thousands of listings across the platform, and all those listings would need to change in order to comply with the announced rule.
Removing watermarks from the existing pictures would be a massive task that the most active vendors, with the largest amount of listings would have to carry out. Naturally, this is connected not only with significant costs, but also with some really huge logistical problems. Simply, making changes on thousands of listings would require a massive amount of time, as well as a huge number of working hours in order to edit the images.
The feedbacks were so frequent and so negative, that they caused a real stir within the eBay community, making many vendors rethink their presence on this platform if the rule was to be enforced.
This was recognised by the eBay management and they decided to take steps in order to remedy the situation. According to Rob Hattrell who is the VP of eBay UK, after they had the chance to communicate with the sellers, and after collecting the feedback from both those who use watermarked pictures and those who don’t, they decided to revert the process and cancel the picture watermark policy.
They still do encourage sellers to use pictures without watermarks, as these have proven to draw better conversion rates, but they will not be enforcing the issue in a form of the rule. Instead, the watermark removal policy will be used as a guideline, but with no repercussions if the watermarks are used.
Of course, this piece of news came to be a very well accepted by the sellers’ community. The things will remain the same, and there will be no need for additional tasks and additional investments in removing the watermarks from the existing listings. eBay does hope that over time, thanks to the new guidelines the number of watermarked pictures in listings will decrease, especially because it has been proven over and again that the pictures that don’t have watermarks on them tend to earn customers trust faster and result in increased sales.