EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 391 - June 12, 2016 - ISSN 1528-6703     6 of 6

EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor - June 12, 2016

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In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From shipping issues to payment processing, from fees to online marketplace policies, EcommerceBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.


Dear Ina,
Go look at the new eBay shipping supplies store feedback (ebayshippingsupplies) - LOOK at the feedback left for the "8 rolls of ebay shipping tape".

You will NOTICE buyers complaining that they expected 12 rolls of the tape and only received 8 - you look at the title of the item on the feedback page it reads 8 rolls and you look at the actual ad the buyer placed a bid on IT SAYS 12 ROLLS!

WHY would the feedback reflect that it was 8 rolls when the actual title the seller write says 12 rolls??? Why does this CHANGE when you click on the actual item - what is the story here????

Looks as though a few funny things are going on here.


Dear Ina,
Starting earlier this week I was baffled to see that on my own 1,553 listings on eBay ALL of the Catalog Data regarding the DVDs / BluRays that I had listed in my Premium store had all of that All-Fired-Important-To-Continued-Existence of eBay had disappeared.

To be clear I've ALWAYS used the UPC as a starting point when I start any new listing on eBay. Those who think UPC pointless and a waste of their time have no friend in me as for Movies, CD, and similar Media items it is a Godsend as ALL of those UPC numbers are UNIQUE to that particular item. This means that when I search any given UPC for a Widescreen, Extended, Director's Cut, Unrated, Multi-Disc version... it ONLY shows me THAT EXACT item to use for price comparison.

By REMOVING all that data from my listings it means that any of them that have those special qualities are just jumbled in with ones that LACK any of those features.

To on the one hand insist that Catalog Data is the Be-All End-All of eBay's future success and then, even as a TEST, remove those all that data is just too stupid for words.

Overnight I had a BLIND (literally BLIND ) interested buyer contact me as when he used his Text to Speech program to TRY to find out if a particular brand new JAPANESE Anime DVD had ENGLISH as an alternative to JAPANESE only language track. He told me that when he high-lighted the DETAILS notation on his computer NOTHING at all showed up. This is instructive as it not only reveals that this silly change / test is NOT restricted to how I view listings but how OTHERS see the same thing.

One step further. Every single listing by OTHER SELLERS that I've viewed also have the details completely missing. IF the seller CHOSE to put some of that data in their own comments.. those can be seen, but the CATALOG info is missing on every one of them.

Please use your contact to NAG whomever needs to be NAGGED to end this dam-fool test ... YESTERDAY.

By the way when I use my iPhone eBay Mobile App to view these same listings... the DATA is there with SOME on the first screen and the rest semi-hidden behind "Radio Buttons".

In what universe should the MOBILE APP where buyers are staring into tiny screens at postage stamp sized photos supposed to be superior to making buying decisions from a 15 to 22 inch laptop / monitor?

See, "eBay Hides Product Attributes in Mystifying Move" on the EcommerceBytes Blog - thanks to Greg for bringing this to our attention!


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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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