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eBay Asks Sellers Again to Add Product Identifiers

eBay posted an announcement on Tuesday asking sellers to use product identifiers when listing items. Product identifiers are already required to list in some categories as part of eBay’s plan to create a catalog to make its site more appealing to Google.

eBay is calling it a make or break initiative as it continues to struggle with Google SEO issues, and the reminder during one of sellers’ busiest weeks is sounding a bit desperate on eBay’s part.

“Sellers, we know you’re right in the thick of the holiday season – and we hope our “Wish Bigger” campaign is driving more shoppers your way,” eBay wrote. “Here’s one more holiday selling tip: Be sure to include product identifiers such as brand, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) to boost your listings’ visibility on eBay and external search engines.”

Here’s how eBay has explained the need for Product Identifiers:

“Search engines, including the one on eBay.com and external sites like Bing and Google, use thousands of algorithms to help identify and display relevant product matches during online search sessions. Product identifiers help those search engines capture eBay sellers’ merchandise and display it for relevant searches. Product Identifiers also help grow the eBay catalog – which will ultimately facilitate faster, better buyer/item matching on eBay.com. Over time, as more sellers use product identifiers in their listings, the eBay catalog grows – connecting more shoppers to your listings.”

eBay also reminded sellers on Tuesday that product identifiers will be required for multi-variation listings next year – originally it was going to make that a requirement in September, but due to technical issues, it postponed the requirement until early next year.

eBay told sellers it will add additional categories to the requirements next year, and it shared its roadmap with Wall Street analysts early this month. Sellers weighed in on eBay’s catalog plan (and its reliance on sellers to build it) in this August 31st blog post.

You can find eBay’s reminder to sellers this week on its Announcement 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.