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Mon Sept 26 2016 15:05:49

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay wants sellers to help it police its new product catalog. On Monday, it issued a request to sellers asking them to help it improve the integrity of its product pages. 

Product pages are a somewhat new concept to eBay, which built its marketplace with listings rather than the catalog approach used by Amazon. eBay CEO Devin Wenig is betting heavily on its "Structured Data Initiative."

Like Amazon, eBay now displays product pages dedicated to a specific product (aka UPC or ASIN), and it displays sellers' listings it thinks are a match to that product. eBay is asking sellers to flag listings that appear on product pages if they don't match the product.

eBay used screenshots to make its point, showing a product page for a specific Seiko watch; on the product page are various listings - one of them for a bracelet, not a watch.

Users can flag any of the listings to indicate they do not belong on that product page; so in this example, a seller would flag the bracelet. eBay explains, "Once removed, the item will still be available on the site for purchase, but will no longer be associated with this particular product."

There are many questions: how did the bracelet listing show up on the watch product page in the first place (did the seller enter the wrong UPC code)? 

Will eBay manually review the flagged listings (will it be humans or machines checking the accuracy of the report)? Or, will eBay wait until there are a certain number of reports and then automatically remove the listing? 

How good a job will eBay do in using user-generated feedback to clean up the catalog? And will some sellers try to abuse the system?

What do you think of the new catalog approach, and what do you think of sellers policing product pages?




Comments (36) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 26 15:55:12 2016

As with any eBay "initiative", there are more questions than answers.  And that's usually because there ARE no answers.

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 26 16:05:02 2016

I have better things to do with my time than pander to Ebay, like clean out the cat box.

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 26 17:58:48 2016

NOTHING GOOD CAN COME OF THIS.  There is already TOO much confusion and contradiction from ONE web-site to the next where on ONE site to FLAG a listing might mean that the person who did the FLAGGING is saving it to his/her own Save to Look at Again list... on another it might mean VIOLATION OF RULES.  I had totally unjustified BAN from Craig's List about 5 years ago with exactly NO reasonable way to find out why nor any way to get UN-Banned.  At the same run of time I had ELECTED to FLAG some wild-azz sellers who thought exactly NOTHING of posting IDENTICAL listings 3 and 4 times a DAY to Houston Craig's List... each and every day even though EACH one listed STAYED UP for something like 45 days.  To my recollection NONE of those that I was flagging back THAT YEAR actually every disappeared.  

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Sep 26 19:15:12 2016

"How good a job will eBay do...." You can stop right there. When has eBay ever been able to do a good job with regard to anything on the site?

I can see a potential for seller fraud. If I don't want another seller's items, which are identical to mine and at a lower selling price, to show up under the UPC, I simply report them all. Less competition.

But I do have hope that there are honest sellers who would want to do the right thing and see that errors are corrected. It will be interesting to see how this works out, and if eBay actually follows up on the reports.  

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 26 23:02:22 2016

Can someone please direct me to the Pay for play section of this rule? That way I can get rid of any seller I don't like!  (Sarcasm)

VERO works like that, listings work like that, eBay does it for buyers do I'm sure it's just asking around.....

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: phantom This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 01:18:39 2016

More of the death spiral.  An ebay catalog full of commodities.  No one make money on commodities except ebay and paypal.   Ebay has forgotten what made them successful.
Ebay is forcing it GOOD sellers to move product to Amazon.  Only fraudsters will be left selling on ebay.

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 09:09:45 2016

Sellers have to now:

Bu items
List items
Take Photos of items
Create content for items
Ship items
Accept returns for items
Pay eBay
Pay Paypal
Absorb fraud from eBay
Create eBays catalog (upcs etc)
Police eBays catalog

so can someone (NOT TOOL THIS TIME PLEASE - yes we see you and you sell 10 bazillion airplane wrenches a day) what EBAY does in all of this?

Do they at least:

Put snacks in the vending machine?
Put toilet paper in the bathrooms?
Give you your paycheck?

Lord they are the laziest, stupidest bunch of people ever ...

Maybe they can trot GRIFF out and let him BEG for it again (cause if you dont put UPCs in - its the complete ruination and end of eBay) (so he cried)

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Sep 27 09:52:01 2016

"Ebay" should LOWER THE FEES back down to 2.5%.
Then Ebay should SHUT UP.

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 10:12:14 2016

@The End

HA HA HA Ain't goin to happin

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Sep 27 11:57:09 2016

eBay says "So we're giving sellers the opportunity to help make sure the right products reach the right buyers every time."

Search isn't even giving buyers the right products........when they fix this I'll consider doing their busy work.

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Sep 27 13:26:55 2016

So does this mean you all would prefer that we wait for Ebay to discover the problems and then correct them?

Why not invite the sellers to help with this problem?  You don't have to participate if you don't want to, but what is so wrong with them saying they will listen if you tell them there is a problem?  They don't very often do that.  Many here have many times said they wish Ebay would listen to their sellers more.  So now that Ebay has invited sellers to participate in cleaning up the catalog they are somehow wrong!!

You may not like the idea of the catalog, but a more accurate catalog makes all listings using the catalog stronger for the SELLER.

So participate or don't.  That is completely up to you.  

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 14:56:43 2016

Marie :) yes but ......

Does eBay listen when sellers talk about returns fraud? No

Does eBay listen when you complain about search? No

Does eBay listen when you get unfairly Vero'd? No

Does eBay listen when another seller steals your pictures? No

So why should sellers be confident that ebay will listen to this "now"??

I'm NOT saying you are wrong, not at all - my point is that it's like "the boys who cried wolf" with eBay since their track record is only slightly better then abysmal.

:)

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Sep 27 15:09:16 2016

@pace

Like I said, participate or don't, it is your decision to make.  There is no right or wrong answer, just do what is right for you.

But if we use your argument, we will never get anywhere.  So whatever you decide is right for you, that is what you should do.  

I never said that I was "confident" Ebay was going to do anything.  

If some seller decide to get involved, then in time we should see the change.  If Ebay is just puffing smoke, we will be able to see that to.  And I'm talking SPECIFICALLY about the subject of this thread.  Just the catalog, not other issues.  That would be a very long thread indeed if we discussed all the other points you made.

With all that said, I believe the return process has improved over the past year with some changes Ebay made.  And in part they did listen to sellers.  The return policy still has a ways to go to help alleviate fraud.  Hopefully there will be even more improvement soon, but I won't hold my breath for that to happen.

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 15:48:54 2016

ebay asking for help ususlly end up with:

"you spoke, we listened, we raised fees"

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Sep 27 17:27:17 2016

So eBay will ''review'' all flagged listings (to confirm the item does not match)?? They do not have the people in place to do so on an individual basis.

Every listing that has more than two flags will be sent to purgatory by a bot. The big sellers will have one or more of their employees flag each competitive listing.

They will do this once on a desktop computer, and again with their smartphone. And since the flags will be sent very closely together, the bot will determine that listing to be ''bad''.

Seems like this is a back door method for large sellers to quickly gain an advantage over small sellers. Of course this is what eBay wants (no big secret here).  

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 17:32:17 2016

UPCs, generally are a mess in many areas. In addition of manufacturers and distributors reusing UPCs on different products. There is also the practice of issuing an entire line of different versions, or themes with one UPC.

Then there are many manufacturers such as in the cosmetics, beauty and grocery lines who use in house SKUs and not UPC or EANs.

Then there are the thousands of purchased UPCs with items never entered in any DB or only partially.

I have not even begun to speak of the fraud of sellers just stealing or making up UPCs.

Amazon's catalog in many categories is a mess and eBay's will be also.

A lot of luck guys......

Software can not solve it -- I point to Amazon for example.

I could go on -- but will leave with the biggest problem with UPCs uniqueness is (and most people will not agree, but nevertheless) the manufacturers. (besides the Chinese)  

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 17:34:45 2016

@ eXtinctBay

I agree completely.

(That's in addition to all that I posted above.)

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 17:47:50 2016

Someone please put ebay out if it's misery....

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 18:08:22 2016

Marie - what bothered me wasnt your point - I agree - ANYTHING is/would be an improvement and even 1 more sale a day/week is better then nothing.

My point was, once again the onus is on the seller. Its a mntra repeated over and over again.

With 5000 employees - cant they do some of the work - what do these people do all day?

As for returns - next to VERO fraud - yes its my biggest issue on eBay and I apologize if I bring it up too often - I just dont like my "partner" helping some stranger steal from me.

I dont see (personally) any improvements in Returns - beyond the ability to go "no returns" which means little anyway - since EVERYTHING on eBay just becomes SNAD.

In fact eBay shold just use it as a slogan .... "just say SNAD me! and you're done!"

I see your point and am in no argument with you - but eBays past behaviors tell another story - esp when they ask sellers to do THEIR job.

eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog   eBay Wants Sellers to Police Its New Catalog

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 27 18:14:10 2016

Heck no, do it yourself ebay.  

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