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eBay Description Fields Coming Up Blank

Thanks to a report on Ecommerce EKG, we’ve identified a technical problem impacting eBay listings. On Thursday, sellers began noticing that descriptions were missing on some of their eBay listings. It’s a serious issue, since a listing lacking a description is bound to turn would-be buyers away.

November 06, 2014 11:43 AM
DESCRIPTION field totally blank. Found one of our listings yesterday and called eBay about it. They told me to clear cache, I did that and no change – Wasn’t able to see our description. Now a day later it has appeared again.

Today we are finding more listings that do not have any description. So far we have located about 6 listings. We have 14,000 plus listing and to search them all not do-able.

If someone can actually find your listing, now eBay is blanking out your descriptions. Unreal.

We easily found four discussions on the eBay discussion boards describing this problem. Some people found that editing the impacted listings cleared the problem, but not all cases.

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One seller noticed the problem when one of his listings for a popular item stopped getting watchers and bidders. “The auction was for the best item I had up at the time. I noticed that both watchers and bidders had stopped increasing on Thursday. “I happened to look at it today (Friday). The description box was totally blank. I did a “revise your auction,” re-adding the description in the seller update area. That somehow brought the old description box back to life. It’s been OK for an hour now. Who knows how many bids were lost,” the seller wrote.

Browsing eBay, we found a listing that was missing the description – instead, there was nothing but white space until one scrolled way down and found the footer.

On the Ecommerce EKG report, a seller observed, “This appears to be happening to newly-created listings. It has something to do with frames permissions. FireFox and Chrome display as blank. IE 8 and Opera 12 display an error message. The problem went away when I revised – changed category and reentered item specifics.”

Sellers also reported a problem in which photos are failing to display in listings. A seller filed an Ecommerce EKG report on Sunday, “Images for auctions are not loading at all. In list view they do show, but when clicking on an auction none of the images are visible.”

A seller reported the same problem on the eBay discussion boards. In a thread titled, “Is anyone having trouble with photos not showing up in the listings,” the seller posted, “The photos show up on the main page, but when I click on the listing the photos are not there. Is something going on sitewide? I don’t see any eBay maintenance for today. Anyone else having this happen?”

Indicate whether you’re seeing the missing-descriptions problem (give it a thumbs up) or not seeing the problem (thumbs down) on the Ecommerce EKG board.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.