Sellers of antiques and collectibles should be prepared for changes ahead, otherwise their items may become harder for buyers to find.
Beginning in May, eBay is consolidating categories, requiring sellers to use Item Specifics (product attributes) to ensure buyers can find their listings.
eBay announced category changes
as part of the eBay Spring Seller Update 2021 on March 3rd, though it didn't draw attention to changes in antiques and collectibles.
It came to our attention through a thread on the eBay discussion boards
. The seller said consolidating so many items would create "vast" categories that buyers would have to wade through, and they said it would mark the downfall of eBay's Antiques and Collectibles market.
An eBay moderator said that on the contrary, it would make it better for shoppers. "For example in Antique Furniture we are removing the category levels for Age Range from the category structure and replacing them with an item specific. So instead of listing in the 1800-1899 Bookcases category you will instead list in the Antique Bookcases category, and will be asked to select an item specific for Time Period Manufactured."
In that example, it should allow easier listing for sellers, as there are fewer categories to review, and allow eBay to surface filters for Age Range at the same level as furniture type so that buyers can choose if they want to browse and review listings by Product or Age Range, he explained.
Whether you agree with eBay about the new approach or not, sellers who do nothing could be negatively impacted.
eBay stated, "When the category structure changes, your listings may be automatically moved to another category, based on the item specifications that you provided." But it appears sellers will have to fill in the Item Specifics themselves.
Using the example the eBay moderator provided: If you don't change your bookcase listing to add an Item Specific indicating its date range, it may be harder for shoppers to find it.
If you have thoughts about the changes eBay is making to its category structure on May 11, let us know!