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eBay Changes to Search Could Impact Seller Visibility

eBay warned sellers on Monday that not having Product Identifiers in listings could decrease their visibility in search – that’s because eBay added a feature that allows buyers to search by Product Identifier numbers.

“Starting today, buyers can search for any item on eBay.com simply by entering its GTIN, UPC, EAN, ISBN or MPN directly into the search bar. Listings that contain the required identifiers will receive better search visibility, so if any of your existing listings are missing these identifiers, be sure to update them as soon as you can,” eBay advised.

eBay explained, “Now, when buyers use a product identifier to search for an item, their results will include all the listings matching that item.”

However, eBay has also said in the past that buyers generally don’t search on product identifiers directly.

EcommerceBytes took a close look last year at why eBay was requiring Product Identifiers in this Update article after eBay announced the first phase of the initiative would take effect on June 29, 2015.

eBay announced another change that it already made to eBay search and had befuddled sellers who were unaware. “To better streamline the search experience, we’re also changing the way eBay item number search works,” eBay explained. “Now, when you search for an item by its unique eBay item number, only active items that match will show up in the results.”

It then provided some workarounds:

To search for sold or completed items that are no longer active, you can:

  • Search for the item number and then click on Completed Listings in the left hand pane.
  • Or look up your items in My eBay (or the Seller Hub when it becomes available later this summer).
  • Or you can navigate to any eBay item by going directly to this URL by putting your eBay item number at the end of it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Put your eBay item number here.

Unfortunately the message came late, with sellers reporting the missing functionality as a probable glitch on the Ecommerce EKG board.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.