Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Dec 4 2017 23:15:08

eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay added an Amazon-style Buy Box to its new catalog Product Pages as it feels pressure to show Wall Street analysts progress in its Structured Data Initiative. But there's a major problem that is causing a poor buying experience: Some Product Pages indicate a quantity in the title. 

That means if a buyer makes a purchase from a seller who "wins" the Buy box who is listing a quantity of one, but the title for that Product Page says a greater quantity than 1, that buyer will likely be very disappointed when he or she doesn't get more than one item. (See the screenshot on this page.)

The gaffe is a major embarrassment to eBay CEO Devin Wenig who calls himself a technology leader in his eBay bio and who is counting on the catalog approach to turn things around for the company. An eBay moderator admitted in November he didn't know the cause of the problem and was unable to answer questions about how eBay selected titles for Product Pages.

This thread, "Product Landing Pages Are A Disaster If You Let People Purchase From Them," explains the issue, and includes eBay's response where the moderator acknowledged the problem (but has not returned in over a week).

As the original poster writes, "Allowing people to purchase from these Product Landing Pages (see screenshot from buyer topic) is a disaster. This shows a 20 pack of violet tape, but the buyer might get 20 rolls of black tape, 10 rolls of black tape, 5 rolls of black tape, 2 rolls of black tape, or one roll of black tape... or some safety glasses!... instead. In this case, he got 1 roll of black. How can this possibly be happening?"
 
"Yeah," the eBay moderator sheepishly writes, "this is an important issue that we're trying to address. In some cases listings are associated to the wrong product, which leads to this experience."

He suggested: "You can report such items by clicking on the flag next to the item and we will immediately review and disassociate any irrelevant listings from the product page."

In response to a question, the eBay moderator wrote, "I haven't looked at each listing but it's quite possible that some listings were associated to this product by eBay. As I mentioned, we're working on a holistic solution to prevent such wrong associations."

A reader wrote to us this morning to say it has already cost them negative feedback:

"I am a power seller on eBay and have run into a serious glitch that has cost me negative feedback. In eBay's quest to look more like Amazon, I have noticed that the Item title provided by eBay does not match my title even though I am listed as the seller. It is my picture, my description, and my price but not my title. The problem is that the title is one from a multiple quantity listing and I only sell singles. I have no idea who to contact on eBay about this."

Comments (36) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

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

Tue Dec 5 00:32:45 2017

LOL, eBay technology is the laughing stock of Silicon Valley, they can hardly serve a web page to users, the shopping cart barely works for buyers, so they can't fill their cart up with anything half the time.

The structured data initiative, AI, Catalog data, augmented reality are all buzz words Devin utilizes to fool Wall Street , Devin just had an analyst upgrade eBay stock today, must have slipped him some cash under the table because there is no real reason for eBay to be upgraded in the real world.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 01:30:52 2017

How has Wall St. failed to realize that ebay runs LIVE experiments...no beta testing allowed?
I've said it before...ebay has two assets: 1) cash 2) bad ideas
If Wenig thinks he can bend the demand/supply curve, I have a bridge I think he will buy.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Dec 5 01:47:06 2017

Ebay is literally falling apart buzzword by buzzword.

This is what happens when the Not Ready for Prime Time Players find the big boy pants are far too large for them.

What a pathetic mess the platform is. Cart doesn't work. Can't serve up web pages. Ghost listings of already sold items. Mysterious double listings. Everyday dozens if not a few hundred of preventable technical problems. Live beta testing of poorly written code that ripples outward causing unpredictable problems.

Ebafia, the unTech company managed by incompetents.

The only things ebafia does do well are lying, cheating, and stealing.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: yesmikan This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 02:00:34 2017

Here's an example I found. The product page seems to be offering a quantity of 12 (6 X2) but the seller in the buy box is only offering 1.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&i
pn=icep&toolid=20004&campid=5335843056&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fp%2FTasty-Bite-Entree-Indian-Cuisine-Punjab-Eggplant-10-Oz-Case-of-6-X-2%2F1101783009%3F_trksid%3Dp2047675.l2644

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 07:42:03 2017

This is a problem on Amazon too. There are a lot of thrift-sellers who dump their junk-data over to Amazon. It seizes the brand/mfg spot. And then you have to work with Amazon to clean up the data.

For example, someone will have "one lot of 3 TV remotes". And they'll say "Samsung" and model "12345". They'll put in bad pictures, lousy description, and the "lot" title. But if someone else wants to sell a "Samsung Model 12345", they'll be blocked as you're not allowed to generate multiple listings for the same make/model. They'll also break other rules, like aggressively watermarking their photos. And, to work around the duplicate listings problem, they'll write "generic" for the manufacturer, or manipulate model #'s using their own SKU #.

It's a job in itself to clean up all of this data with Amazon. And when you do, the other sellers hate you because they don't understand how the structured data is supposed to work. In order to generate a "used" listing, you need to first generate a proper listing for the product itself. And then you place your "used" images and details under that proper listing.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 08:26:55 2017

A few have said that most of regular comments on here are negative against ebay, so for my comments today I have decided to be more positive and more helpful

A buy box that doesn't work, is not as bad as it sounds, most of the sellers never get selected anyway, so it only affects a small percentage,

Disappointed buyers  should not be complaining, there are far more worst things in life that can go wrong, cheer up, be grateful you actually received something,

Job well done ebay moderator, on the ''holistic work'' sometimes if you dream hard enough things can work out, and it's refreshing to see ebay is working on this issue,

For the seller that got the negative feedback, I would say not to worry, ebay only displays negatives for only one year, plus I don't think anyone looks at feedback anyway.

As for Devin,,,, you really should not worry too much about feeling ashamed your ideas are failing, people fail all the time, be happy, nothing you can do to ebay will affect your big income, all is good, the weekend will soon be here, forget about it,

Positive comments actually do feel better....,,,,  

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Dec 5 10:28:27 2017

I also have a positive comment.

NONE of my used items will ever see a buy box!

If you sell antique or collectables neither will yours. . .

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 10:33:36 2017

This continues because there is no consequence to ebay...NEVER.
Sellers are held to standards and are punished over the slightest of errors....
eBay....never.
They know nothing will happen to them....

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 10:57:29 2017

@scotty

The is no consequence to ebay because those same sellers would rather moan and groan and whine instead of leaving. As long as ebay has plenty of sellers it will continue. It is after all their playground and if one doesn't like the rules then they should leave.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Dec 5 11:08:23 2017

Does eBay really need to constantly ''reinvent the wheel''??

All the so-called technical enhancements to the site have seemed to cause chaos rather than improvement of the buying and selling experience.

Seems like a BACK TO BASICS approach would better serve this company instead of throwing things against the wall which do not stick.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

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

Tue Dec 5 11:13:36 2017

Devin has already destroyed the eBay marketplace with his 'replatforming program', maybe Ina can pull the transcript from the CFO that discussed this 'replatforming' of the eBay interfaces.

Why they did it, so Devin could leave his idiotic imprint on the marketplace and justify his job, the only thing Devin is good at is bribing Wall Street analysts, and feeding them buzz words they can use to fool retail investors.  

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

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

Tue Dec 5 11:16:29 2017

Here is a link for those who want to research a bit more on what this CFO and Devin are really up to.

https://goo.gl/of6fe3

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 11:23:53 2017

Well ..... when you spend your waking hrs bombarding people with RETURNS, instead of concentrating on SALES ... this is what happens.

The page set up is wrong/bad - due to the POOR aping of Amazon.

eBay (instead of selecting sellers based on experience etc) randomly picks people based on price and returns policies - and it just gets worse from there on in.

Trust eBay aka the VERO monster to screw up during the holidays !

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Dec 5 13:32:52 2017

Ebafia tech is an oxymoron.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

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

Tue Dec 5 13:48:57 2017

eBay and Devin are just as dumb as their programming is bad, they are trying to increase velocity and marketplace turnover so they run an auction promotion that no sellers really wants to use, sellers are just going to sit on multi-millions of dollars of unsold listings until they run the next fixed price promotion.

Talk about idiots, this executive team takes the cake and the crown for being moronic.  

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 13:53:55 2017

eBay is also manipulating listing titles to fit google searches.  We had an item listed on eBay we were testing a couple weeks ago and noticed that searching for something like part number "xyz" on google was showing results on eBays new template layout showing "xyz", but when you clicked on the "more details' button it took you to the old listing format and the title then changed to "xyA".  The sneaky bastards are forcing item not as described cases on us with title manipulations.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 14:22:17 2017

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/
citi-bank-hires-zoher-karu-to-head-its-asia-pacific-analytics/articleshow/61935838.cms

Merry
Christmas, Devin...from your long suffering "fans"

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Tue Dec 5 14:52:53 2017

What @maxmad said ▲ ABOVE ▲

Max: Hopefully those ''Previous Posters'', that you refer to, in your above post.....  will come here and notice this particularly rare, but ''somewhat important'' Ebay Blunder, that you have chosen to ''Positively'', instead of ''Negatively'' highlight, in your thoughtful, thorough, detailed, considered, and astute analysis of this thorny issue, and they will realize that even the people here, that are so critical of Ebay, can change.

I for one applaud you, and your apparent change of attitude.  It is long awaited, and much appreciated.  I only wish the topic had included Exsy also, as I have noted quite a number of cheerleaders over there, that also think this venue (ECB) is particurlarly disturbing, and contrary to the health, well-being, and continued good relations, enjoyed with Exsy management.  Hopefully the others here on ECB, will follow your magnamous lead, and bring us into a new era of Venue/Seller relations.

You WERE one of the negative ones, singled out in that post, weren't you ???  (If not, disregard the above comments)

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

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

Tue Dec 5 15:01:44 2017

We will be positive when the incompetent management team is fired and a new CEO who actually understands web programming instead of Wall Street Buzzword dropping takes their place at the top of eBay.

You judge management by what they do, Devin has done nothing but flop with Seller Hub, Promoted Listings criminal schemes, cross promotion of sponsored listings on pages sellers pay eBay to publish via store subscriptions, reintroduction of 3rd party ads that he bragged about taking down at eBay open.

It is about what you actually do, not the hot air coming out of your mouth that people judge you by.

If you judge Devin by the numbers instead of the hype that comes out of his mouth you would know that GMV has been flat since 2014 and Wall Street knows about it.

Perminate Link for eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data   eBay SNAFU as It Struggles with Structured Data

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

Tue Dec 5 15:05:04 2017

Here are the real facts on Devin's so called turnaround of eBay....

https://tinyurl.com/ybsgqnp6

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