AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Tue Sept 26 2017 20:18:11

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

By: Bob

Sponsored Link

There's a mystery in the eBay book category, online seller and AuctionBytes blogger Bob reports. See why this glitch is a recipe for disaster.

Take a photography art book, mix in a cup of British history, lightly season with a murder/mystery, place on a coffee-table book, then bake until done.
 
eBay's had an annoying glitch for over a month now. When booksellers use identifying numbers from eBay’s catalog, some of those books are listed as cookbooks - when they have absolutely nothing to do with food or eating. Looking through eBay's cookbooks category, almost 10% of the listings shouldn't be there. These misplaced books range from novels to books on classic artwork. I spot-checked some other book categories and this doesn't seem to be an issue (there's an occasional wandering nomad in there, but not like in cookbooks).
 
One seller reports that when they checked out their own books listed in the cookbook category, a full 25% didn't belong there and that there was, seemingly, no way to correct this without eliminating the identifying number -which would be against eBay's policy. I wonder what category Joseph Heller's Catch-22 should be listed under?
 
This issue has been reported by sellers in the eBay boards for over a month and one eBay employee has responded: "I can understand how the cookbooks issue is extremely frustrating. I'm following up with the team to make sure it gets fixed."
 
Poor guy. He must be new. He hasn't quite figured out how eBay works yet. Or doesn't.
 
Here's a prediction. As long as eBay continues its laissez faire attitude towards these types of embarrassing glitches, and as long as it forces its hard-working sellers to jump through unnecessary hoops in order to hide its own poor judgement, it will continue its downward slide toward an online yard sale.

About the Columnist
Bob has been buying and selling online for almost 20 years. Some experts claim that his limited budget was the major cause of the 2001 dot-com crash. He denies the charge.

Comments (30) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 26 21:08:34 2017

Oooo - that would be giving yard sales an undeserved demotion.  Last time I checked, they manage to do just fine without relying on UPCs just to have a 'right' to display their wares.  In their own 'bay'.  That they paid for.  

By the way, think the eBay rep who recently matriculated from eBay's sickening platitude school 'understands' how utterly foolish he or she looks when claiming to "understand [the] frustration" caused by an issue that has existed longer and without correction or even feedback on any 'progress' for longer than eBay has been In UPC mania mode?

And for which the consequences to the affected CUSTOMERS are clearly NOT 'understood'?

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Tue Sep 26 22:27:02 2017

It looks like Ebay is getting ready to rid itself of sellers and do all the selling, shipping and handling their self. Send us your stuff and shut the hell up. WE will control everything. Everything they have been doing has been leading up to this. Wonder why they want all these Identifiers, codes, etc. and the almost frantic, paranoid way they act about the communications between buyers and sellers and the insane idea of charging sellers if they even THINK an outside Ebay deal is being arranged, when there is NO proof.  If you give up control of your customers, no more package inserts and seller coupons or promotions. Yes, it's Ebay desperation at its finest. I know I missed a LOT of things that Ebay has done to crush sellers, but wsthese are a couple. It's so hard to keep up with the constant asinine changes. JMHO

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 26 22:37:49 2017

Just use the ISBN number no? Isnt that always right?

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 26 23:17:25 2017

I know exactly why this happens. Because when all the cataloging started, some idiot sellers who put the first UPC, ISBN or other identifiers in listed them in the wrong category. Ebay's catalouge or upc list goes by past sellers listings and in what category they were listed. The schmucks at ebay dont know how to even go about going into their system and figuring out how to fix this. They have a high employee turnover rate in their tech dept. Since most dont stay long no one knows what the previous people did when they worked on the system, and if and when they do go in to try and fix it, it causes massive glitches and bugs.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Sep 27 02:50:11 2017

Geetar is correct.  That is definitely part of the problem and it isn't just with cookbooks.  Ebay is aware of the problem as it has been reported many times according to the Ebay threads.  

I've even had UPCs rejected by Ebay saying it is not correct, when in fact it is.  But somewhere along the line some other seller put in the incorrect UPC first or something.  I sent this into Ebay a while ago with information supporting my claims.  Still no fix.

This is some of what Amazon is going through as well.  Their system is a hot mess as well.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Sep 27 07:02:20 2017

You haven't seen anything yet.  When UPCs are required for other category items you will see sellers scramble to come up with UPCs for their new products that don't have one.  Many will be willing to put just about anything in that field to get their items listed and a big mess will follow. This is yet another reason why eBay should not  have brought the hammer down so hard on this requirement.

I sell on Amazon and I've had to contact Amazon many times and show them a photograph of the UPC on my item to prove that one of their sellers was using the wrong UPC.  Amazon actually fixes it very quickly but knowing eBay's track record on customer services and technology I don't see that happening.

I bought some name brand items in a well known and reputable deep discounter in London and the actual manufacturer had put the exact same UPC or EAN on all of the labels, even though each item was different. (Same type of item, but different colors, patterns, etc.)  Rather than simply not use those UPCs for listings, many sellers would use the same UPC for listing each different and they'll likely either create a mess or not be able to if eBay systems recognize that UPC on another item.

Pandora's box will be here soon.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Sep 27 12:36:43 2017

.....Just another illustration of why eBay needs to first concentrate on its core business rather than going in other directions.

With their constant problems and glitches, how on earth could eBay think they can handle logistics, procurement, and fulfillment (FBE)????

Meg Whitman famously stated ''A Monkey Can Drive This Train''. But the primates in question are flinging poo instead of keeping their hands on the wheel.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 27 15:31:44 2017


stupid catalog for books is ridiculous.

when trying to list a book with a upc, about 85% are listed in the wrong category.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 27 22:56:19 2017

eBay is too damn cheap to do cataloging right.

They should have licensed itemdb or icecat, but it’s cheaper (read free) to force your sellers to do it.

Marie is right about incorrect upcs - it happens to me as well.

I NEVER use eBay’s catalog either since it’s incorrect often.  Sad thing is that if you do use it and it’s wrong (causes you a snap return) eBay blames yo for using it!

“Alexa, please teach eBay about ecommerce “

lol just use ASINs already!

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: GretchensFetchins This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 28 00:02:56 2017

This problem has existed for years.

I never use their catalog.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

This user has validated their user name. by: JusTrains

Thu Sep 28 01:00:18 2017

pace306 - Hahaha... you so funny!

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 28 01:37:22 2017

this problem has gone off and on for years, sometimes books are listed as "textbooks" or "other" when they are clearly fiction.  the cure is to give sellers an overide so they can choose their own category if they want to.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Sep 28 02:22:35 2017

I had hoped that Ebay would have learned by the mistakes that Amazon has made on this subject.  But unfortunately they did not and they are doomed to have the same issues as Amazon.  And worse yet, it is very difficult to work out of the self inflicted issues.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: Bookseller1234 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 28 04:40:30 2017

Check out the UK category:
Computers/Tablets & Networking > Manuals & Resources

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Manuals-Resources/3516/i.h
tml?_from=R40&_nkw=

Most
of the items in that category, must be about 2 million, are books which shouldn't be there.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: SallyAnne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 28 07:54:32 2017

This 'glitch'' has plagued booksellers for years. And it's not just  about putting books that aren't cookbooks into the cookbook category. Books identified as text books or ''other'' happens just as often, when they are clearly not textbooks. The best work around is to use the antiquarian and collectible category, where an ISBN or catalog isnt required. Probably hurts in search, but I can't bring myself to miscategorize my books. I sell on Amazon too, and it's much less of a problem there. And if it does happen, you can fix it almost immediately.  

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 28 10:41:23 2017

Here we go again with the boiler plate "I understand your frustration" [they don't!] and "I'm following up with the team to make sure it gets fixed." Shouldn't have happened in the first place but it did because they didn't scrutinize the whole design process up front or if they did they didn't bother to test their assumptions. IOW, it's S.O.P. at feeBay. NO ONE will be held accountable. After all, some 'team' is responsible and we wouldn't want the 'team' to feel bad, would we?

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 28 10:47:08 2017

Used to be: a SEARCH for Betty Crocker Cookbook brought them up just fine.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 28 11:01:54 2017

Ebay has a huge problem demanding UPC's - I was on the forefront of this disaster - I sold to the hotels (early 90's) - I sold ALOT to the hotels - they came up with this you gotta have a barcode business. They had their own in-house barcode system but didn't want to be bothered by issuing upc's the the outside vendors. The vendors were small sellers who didn't understand how things worked so they were out getting frito or pepsi upc's from the grocery store. I know be cause I was the only vendor in town who owned a barcoding machine. They'd pay me to run their barcodes tickets.

Fast forward to 2017 - so those tricky chinese we all love so much (not) are now shoving anything and everything into catagories that do not require UPC's. I specifically see it in my seller catagory as I am sure many of you guys do too. Things that are so totally out of wack and non-related it took me a minute to realize what was that carp there? Ebay needs to hire a whole slew of people just to weed out the junk so the buyer doesn't have a really horrible search for what they want. BUT we already know their not throwing the baby under the bus so it's only going to be worse by the day.

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

by: NorthCoast This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 28 12:08:27 2017

Not quite the same situation, but when I was listing a necktie, instead of the screen that normally comes up after entering my title, a catalog item came up. There was also a message that ebay thought my listing best matched that catalog item.  That item was an uncirculated dime.   No wonder nothing is selling.  

Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion   Cooking the Books Gives eBay Sellers Indigestion

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Sep 28 12:15:36 2017

@epuise

This isn't about the basic search function.  This is about the categories and other listing factors.  Bad UPCs and ISBNs have caused significant problems for many sellers to have their items in the proper category.  By category is a search function too.  So try it by focusing your search on Cook Books.  It will be very different from a main search return.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.