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Wed Aug 8 2018 00:02:47

eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay makes periodic changes to its category structure, and the latest changes that rolled out on August 1st caused sellers to encounter problems with listings in certain categories, including Clothing and Toys. If eBay can't get taxonomy right, it could spell trouble for its product-based shopping strategy.

A reader reported that eBay removed the Men's Sport Coat/Blazer sub-category from the Clothing category and put the listings into the Suits/Suit Separates subcategory. But none of the reader's listings for blazers were relisting due to an error caused by a mis-match in Item Specifics.

Of concern to him - a customer service rep had told him that as a workaround, he should enter data into the Item Specifics field for "waist," even though sports jackets don't have that attribute (as another seller also pointed out on the eBay boards). He said he then asked the rep to put his recommended solution in writing he could show eBay when the inevitable Item Not As Described cases would occur. "He quickly backed up and said it might not be a good idea after all and that I would just have to wait until they get around to fixing it."

He said other sellers in his category were also reporting category problems with men's shirt and jeans.

Another seller wrote to tell us the category changes resulted in all of his listings for polo shirts being moved to a new "activewear" category - "currently there are 2.5 million polo shirts in that category with no sizing Item Specific," he said.

"A shopper can select Men's clothing-Men's Casual Shirts and get sizing links, but if you are creating or editing a listing you get Men's Clothing- Shirts and then 4 choices. If you pick Polos there is no sizing info." 

We found sellers discussing the problems on the eBay forums in this thread, where a seller also had problems with the Item Specifics field for brands in the toys category. (That particular problem got the attention of someone after a long weekend of seller frustration, and the problem was fixed yesterday.)

Another seller reported a problem relating to category changes on this thread. Here's another problem in the shoe category.

One of our readers raised another concern related to category updates: he said eBay isn't updating Turbo Lister when it rolls out category changes, making the tool useless for those sellers who continue to rely on it.

eBay is moving to a Product Based Shopping Experience. Item Specifics are one of the building blocks needed for a catalog approach to ensure eBay shows the right product, with the correct attributes, to shoppers looking for a particular item. 

Failures in taxonomy compounded by ill-advised advice from customer service reps are concerning to sellers who must rely on eBay to get it right for the sake of their bottom line, particularly in light of eBay's insistence on the importance of structured data for the past 3 years.




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 8 03:45:24 2018

I hardly believe that this surprises anyone anymore. Fleecebay is ever so slowly destroying its self from the inside out. No one cares anymore. Glitches are an everyday thing. Customer Service is dumber than a box of rocks and upper management turns a blind eye.

The best question is " WHY ARE YOU STILL THERE " when fleecebay inhales for the last time you the seller are going to be on the outside and everything will be lost.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 8 07:42:16 2018

It's crazy-asking for a waist size for a sport coat. And by the way, if you look at that field there is an * asterisk on it which implies that it is required.

The sea of changes that go on at eBay on a weekly basis are staggering.  Lots of folks at eBay making these changes to justify their jobs.  No one has the time to edit hundreds of profiles, especially when they know that there listing will likely never be seen.  If you do sell something, there are extremely high odds (like no other site) that it will be returned.  eBay practically begs the buyers to return.

I wish when companies die that there were  physical graves.  I would like to one day dance on theirs one day.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 8 09:18:39 2018

Well when you do things like a "tuchas" then this is what you get.

I doubt anyone is surprised - nothing on eBay works right.

I listed a few clothing items - and all the new crazy specifics were there - and some werent "fully baked".

(before anyone yells at me for trying clothing on eBay - YES ITS JUST A TEST) (Im NOT getting into that category).

You just roll your eyes and say "this is what you expect from eBay" and move on and do the best as you can.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Aug 8 09:59:12 2018

If anyone thinks these listing issues are bad, just wait until eBay Payments rolls out.  

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 8 11:03:59 2018

I am not and never have been in the clothing business. But my family is/was for years. Four different retail stores across the spectrum. Classification and sizing of clothing has pretty much been a settled issue for years. (Well the Asian suppliers/sellers have disrupted it some because of the basic sizing differences).

With all of that said tho, only eBay would screw it up in major ways... .  

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by: Carol Is Here This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 8 12:51:25 2018

Good employees got forced out of Ebay and replaced with incompetents who are easy for Wenig and his cronies to push around. Then push under the bus when things fail.

They also are very antagonistic toward sellers.

Did you see the product development (think he was from there) Ebay employee telling off Ebay board people who asked if Ebay would pay for developing categories and doing the work lol?

So hostile. Telling people it was "beneath them" to want to get token payments for doing Ebay employees work. Until people pointed out that HE got paid and very well for working for Ebay.

I wish I could remember his name. I think it was a three word name?

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Wed Aug 8 13:25:12 2018

It's become so nauseating. Every day, multiple screw ups. Wall Street's ignorance. The Board's ignorance.  Omidyar has no reason to step in to the muck but I was glad to see his involvement in the Ethics in Technology Practise. They said it was to help prevent the next Facebook type scandal, but somehow I think there is quite a bit related to eBay in it's intention.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Wed Aug 8 13:27:13 2018

For anyone interested, here is a link to the site. It's not necessary a fun read and I'm not that far into it, but boy does it speak about everything that Wenig is and has done wrong.

https://www.scu.edu/ethics-in-technology-practice/?mod=a
rticle_inline

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 8 17:57:19 2018

It's Wenig's sandbox. I'm sure they sell scoops on ebay.
Sadly, he may need training in buying and it's use.

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by: Taylty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 8 19:18:36 2018

I finally had to cancel my ebay account after 15 years of selling.

I just can't afford to pay monthly fees when no sales are coming in.  My account was downgraded due to a system error where items were relisted after they were sold and shipped though eBay admitted it was nothing I did.  Then with every update my sales continued to drop.  I was selling close to 3k a month as a part time seller, my latest 60 day total,  10.00.  I cant justify 50.00 a month for that.  I sell mostly books so with the new fee structure increasing seller fees for book sellers it made sense to stop now.

I have an Amazon account that i took a break from because it was too much work for 2 shops when I  had been on eBay for so long, but now I will list books on Amazon and my vintage stuff on etsy.  If eBay ever gets their crap together and gets someone in there that remembers where they came from I will go back because when it worked it was a fun hobby that paid well.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 8 20:10:18 2018

"It's Wenig's sandbox."

Yes, and he is the giant annoying gnat that doesn't know when to fly away.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

by: Ms. S This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 8 23:03:46 2018

All our polo shirts are now categorized as button down shirts- if you go to change  to a  polo there is no drop down menu- you have to use the 'browse' to find the category. when you change to 'polos' all your item specifics are blanked out! that is a big deal- all the info we put in to the specifics is gone-  not only that the new specifics has no place for material, size and pattern. its a mess. so is male and female active wear- it has all changed to "tops" - the pants skorts etc. . called ebay and spoke to a rep who had no idea what i am talking about so i got a supervisor who took screen shots anad said she will 'call me back'.
>
> another great Ebay update!

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 01:42:02 2018

Ms. S,

eBay is using good sellers like you to built their interface and catalog, so you are the trail and error function of their development of their listing forms and catalog.

Are they paying you a consulting fee for your efforts in leading them in these efforts?

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

by: Ms. S This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 00:31:54 2018

category change update- tried to call ebay one hold for 1hour 11 minutes
used their call back system tonight 2 phones 2 answers same unhelpful result.
1- nothing she can do. me: let me talk to supervisor. me i want this fixed, i cant manually change all of our listings this is ridiculous. her- i will take it up with the higher ups, by the way these changes will really benefit you....me: this is our livelihood don't read off a paper to me i want a call back. is this happening to others, have you can a lot of calls?? her: yes we have had quite a few calls. they will be rolling out an update.... me: to fix this? her: (tentatively)  yes. me: i want someone to call me as to when. her: i will try.. me: either you do it or you don't theres no 'trying' . . her ok  thanks for calling eBay
2 explained the problem...blah blah. him: there is no category changes that i know of. me: yes there is ( explained problem again)  him:  i will ask someone in the 'back room'' , (on hold) . no there is no change of categories, i will bring it up to back room ( gave us case number). me: have you had other calls about this? him: no.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 08:49:43 2018

"If eBay can't get taxonomy right, it could spell trouble for its product-based shopping strategy."
What spelled trouble is that they are doing this at all.
Just a little research into this should have warned someone that they are ebay and that the entire no knowing what you are getting on amazon is not a great selling point. Some of the items that do sell well are the ones that all the "product/UPC based" sites have messed up due to other sellers incorrect info being in there. Ebay was the one place both a buyer and a seller could list an item or purchase an item without fear of someone else messing it up.  Those same companies sell on ebay and will mess up the ebay catalog as well.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

by: abfab This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 12:07:38 2018

One of the blues on Seller Board stated that in order to have your voice heard, no matter for what problem, when you call CS, they need at least I think he said 25% call ins in order to do anything about it. Just had that same answer from CS when I and another poster called in to complain that the RSS Feed ebay deleted from Stores (which eBay is supposed to be paying for)  no longer works with Google Shopping. Am still waiting for a Seller Board Blue to get back to me on it. Since 2014 have ALWAYS been able to see my Store items referenced in the Goog Shop until last week. First reply from Blue: be sure to be in the catalogue which may be affecting the Shop. NO...there is no formal catalogue for vintage clothing, antiques, or collectibles, only for NEW and we know that ain't working.Tried to put it off on Google and that I needed to meet the Google requirements to be listed. NOT. Always worked since 2014 until last week. Sorry for the rant.

And about categories: they have also deleted out Sportcoats and Blazers and my actual Blazer is now in Suits & Suit Separates. It is not a Suit, it is a Jack Nicklaus blazer. Obviously no one with retail experience is employed by eBay. And sellers, because of these errors, WILL be faced by SNADs having the wrong info posted, not by the seller but by eBay. And the seller cannot fix the mistake either.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster
Web Site

Fri Aug 10 13:15:14 2018

Ms. S. said, ''I tried to call ebay one hold for 1hour 11 minutes
used their call back system tonight 2 phones 2 answers same unhelpful result.''
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

eBay customer support is getting crushed.

Between overrun with contacts about PBSE/catalog problems, payment glitches, missing photos, and all other variety of eBay's unstable site and shenanigans, there are *numerous* reports of customers on extensive hold times and many of eBay's Twitter support are responding to ~5-day old backlog.

I'm sure the recent rounds of layoffs, and undoubtedly cuts in 3rd-party outsourced support budget providers is helping things any.

This is how eBay is ''significantly enhancing the customer experience in a technology company better than any other out there''

COPY/PASTE ➽ https://t.co/Q4Jfk0SJc8

PS: be sure to check out Wenig's comment that everything's going swimmingly with managed payments....

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update   eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 18:31:04 2018

laughing because there is nothing that I list on ebay that has a category in their "catalog"  Anything that I list on ebay get automatically mirrored somewhere else. If it crashes - ebay - so be it.



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