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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2884 - September 04, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    4 of 5

eBay Stumps Clothing Sellers with New Item Specific Requirement

By Ina Steiner
September 04, 2012

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Clothing sellers on eBay woke up to some unannounced changes over the Labor Day weekend that are making it difficult to list or relist their items for sale. Sellers said eBay is requiring them to add a "Style" attribute under Item Specifics for dresses in clothing. But eBay had specifically stated that its Fall 2012 update would include no changes to Item Specifics in Clothing in September.

Under the Fall 2012 Category, Item Specifics, and Catalog Updates chart, eBay stated, "Item Specifics Updates in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories: No updates taking place in September."

"Had a bunch of my relists kicked back to me because it said I needed to add an item specific," wrote a seller on the eBay discussion boards. "New REQUIRED item specific under dresses "Style".....with some of the stupidest not to mention incomplete, choices ever. I'm at a total loss as to what to put in as few of my dresses even remotely match the styles listed and I'm afraid if I make up my own then I'll get lost in some search black hole forever. Anyone else having issues with this?"

Another seller listed the available choices for dress "style": Ball Gown, Blouson, Bubble, Corset, Empire Waist, Maxi, One Shoulder, Peplum, Shift, Shirt Dress, "Stretch, Bodycon," Sundress, Sweater Dress, Tea Dress, Tiered, Tunic, Wiggle/Pencil, Wrap Dress.

Many sellers agreed that the attributes eBay provided for the "Style" Item Specific under Dress did not make sense to them, and sellers began uploading pictures of dresses to discuss which style they were.

Not only that, one eBay seller said she chose styles for her listings, but her listings were not appearing in the Item Specific filters on the left side of the search results pages:

"This is an absolute mess," she wrote. "Just doing some searching around in dresses. "styles" in particular. Sellers have listed things is styles that are not even close! Plus eBay is messing up too! I have a dress listed in the blousan "style" but when I search by it's brand, then use the left drill downs and "chose more" to see all "styles" there are none listed under "blousan". So, I pick the "not specified" style to see if I can find it. Sure enough, there it is but when I click on the listing to check out the item specifics, it clearly shows "blousan" under "style" WTH????? Is Ebay just putting them wherever they want instead of the specific we are choosing?"

Update: See Thursday's Newsflash news story for an update - the problem described was a glitch that has since been resolved, according to an eBay spokesperson.

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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