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

This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Tue Dec 5 15:10:56 2017

My post was meant to be SARCASTIC !!!

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 15:15:07 2017

My customer can't buy my item!

eBay fails again!

Another US based customer can't buy my US item!

I called and they were NO help. . .

I've lost the $149 sale :-(

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

by: b86fiero This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 15:33:55 2017

Agree, the site is an unbelievable mess.

I searched for a specific Creativity For Kids craft kit for my granddaughter. Buy Box result showed a title with 5500 in it.  Would somebody think they would receive 5,500 craft kits for the $28.00 price? The photo did not match the title and was for a totally different craft kit with a much higher price.  I could not find the listing I originally clicked on in the "see other" listings.  Same scenario when searching for jigsaw puzzles.

A sad state of affairs when a 16 year veteran of selling and buying on ebay can't find a dang thing.  

Sadder yet is that the majority of results I was shown are listings where sellers are manipulating search & browse by purposely omitting the "required" UPC to avoid any negative Product Reviews from appearing in their listing.  Appears those pristine listings are selling while those who follow the rules are getting drop kicked to the curb because of a bad review appearing in their listing that often has nothing to do with the product they are selling

The ebay Our Pick's leave a lot to be desired. Unflattering feedback with complaints about slow shipping and SNAD items should not get the seller near the Buy Box let alone front and center.  

What a lousy time of year to launch this snafu full bore.  

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: RKTOYS

Tue Dec 5 16:12:18 2017

@FeelingFroggy
Show me somewhere that I can sell off what's left of my inventory and I'll be happy to leave eBay forever.  "If sellers don't like it, they can leave" is a gross oversimplification of the situation that some people might be in.  Reality is that sometimes you're stuck and a trickle from eBay is better than tumbleweeds elsewhere.

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

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 5 17:39:38 2017

@FeelingFroggy
'' Reality is that sometimes you're stuck and a trickle from eBay is better than tumbleweeds elsewhere.''

Completely agree. I've always liked eCrater for example, but have never been able to get real traction on the site despite their apparent closeness with Google. Product mix? Categories? Hell, I don't know. Maybe just not enough listings to get attention.  But if I figure it out, and start getting good sales, then eBay can just: you-know-what!

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 18:25:52 2017

Product reviews for similar but not identical tems have also been inserted in my listings which are typically OOAK. Of course, it does no good to complain to ebay which is fubar snafu cubed in more ways than I can count.

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

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 6 08:26:20 2017

MING... Thank you. F U B A R    is much closer to the mark as SNAFU STATES it refers to Situation Normal.   HORRIBLE OUTCOMES should Never be NORMAL.

Changes for CHANGE SAKE is not NORMAL.   Why does nobody FLINCH  at the statement that  "CHANGE IS BAD?"   Because it takes very little EXPERIENCE with the Real World to recognize that  CHANGE is often... O F T E N ... Bad.   Good Change is SOOOOO RARE that it is celebrated when true.

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.

Wed Dec 6 09:48:24 2017

For a good laugh see the section where eBay is telling the world about their 'World Class Management Team'

 https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1065088/0001193125152154
24/d939081dex991.htm

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.

Wed Dec 6 12:13:54 2017

That "World Class" tag just took a hit...the data manger quit.

https://www.ft.com/content/d5838964-d8ab-11e7-a039-c64b1c
09b482

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.

Wed Dec 6 16:06:19 2017

Hal Lawton and his kooky ideas like Seller Hub is gone, so is Paul Todd the guy that was running Europe for eBay, read the comments at the end of this blog, sellers over there are just as unhappy as US based sellers.

 https://tamebay.com/2017/07/paul-todd-ebay-svp-europe-leaves-com
pany.html

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

by: Studiolines This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 00:27:47 2017

Anybody Bonanza experiences?

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

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 00:27:49 2017

This is the problem with Amazon, Walmart and Jet. This is why I do not buy from them. The lister has no control over what the ad says and often there are issues.
Wrong photo, wrong info, cases instead of individual packs, wrong sizes, anything and everything.
The draw of ebay is the choice you have of who to purchase from, having the same erroneous ads as the other 3 is not a plus.

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: The End

Thu Dec 7 06:44:02 2017

EBAY :
Outside of Antiques and legitimate Collectibles, it's all crap level junk.
If you want Real good quality stuff, go DIRECTLY to a website that specializes in that kind of product.
Outside of Antiques and legitimate Collectibles, your money has more value than what it buys on Ebay.

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

by: RLS This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 08:05:22 2017

"Holistic Solution" a phrase you use when you are winging it for wallstreet.
A true insult to thinking people

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

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 09:33:49 2017

ebay... please... just stop.

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

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 7 14:54:37 2017

OMG - no way - ebay has a glitch? who knew?

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