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eBay Prepares Sellers for iPhone 5 Frenzy

Sets listing restrictions, says smartphones keep online shoppers engaged.

With Apple unveiling its new iPhone 5 today, eBay has released guidelines on its U.S. and U.K. sites for merchants who want to sell the highly anticipated device.

Separately, eBay reports that new technologies, like the iPhone 5, will ultimately benefit online sellers—whether they sell the devices or not—because they keep buyers online longer.

The marketplace says most sellers will be allowed to offer the iPhone 5, but some will be limited in how many they can list per week.

On eBay U.K., Apple-authorized resellers can list as many iPhone 5s as they want. Others will be limited. Top-rated Sellers and merchants with a history of selling in the Mobile & Smart Phones category will be able to list eight phones a week, merchants who meet eBay’s minimum performance standards can list four per week, and those who have confirmed their personal information can list one iPhone 5 a week, eBay reports.

However, all sellers on eBay U.K. who offer the device must accept PayPal, eBay reports.

The smartphone boom is resulting in consumers spending more time shopping by interacting with brands, browsing items and researching deals

eBay.com has similar guidelines for after the phone’s release date, which is scheduled for Sept. 21, according to news reports. However, it will also let some sellers list the iPhone 5 before the release date.

During that time, Apple-authorized sellers can list 25 devices a week, Top-rated Sellers up to four and sellers who meet the minimum performance requirements up to one a week, eBay states.

New technology, iPhone 5 keep buyers online

New technologies, like the iPhone 5, are expected to keep consumers online longer, according to a recent survey conducted by researcher Conlumino that was commissioned by eBay.

It finds that though advanced technologies speed up browsing times, they encourage shoppers to be online longer since they can do more with their devices. The study notes location-based technology, for instance, which allows buyers to look for items online and then compare prices to items sold locally.

According to the survey, today U.K. shoppers spend about one hour and 20 minutes researching and browsing “nonbasic” items like clothing, home and garden products, and electronics. However, that time is expected to jump to about two hours and 30 minutes in just two years.

“The smartphone boom is resulting in consumers spending more time shopping [by] interacting with brands, browsing items and researching deals,” says Olivier Ropars, senior director of eBay Mobile.

He adds that for some consumers, buying online is a way to relax and pass the time, and “advances in mobile allow them to do this whenever and wherever they want.”

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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