Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu June 27 2013 21:33:12

eBay Sellers Worried over Photo Compliance Emails

By: Ina Steiner

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Emails eBay sent to sellers meant to help them get their photos into compliance with a new policy has actually caused angst on the part of sellers who said their listings already were in compliance. Some recipients said the email reports must have stemmed from a glitch on eBay's end.

However, eBay's Head of North America Trust Factors Jahan Shafizadeh told EcommerceBytes the data behind the emails was not real time and were from a snapshot in time. "As sellers update their images, our reporting becomes a bit aged."

Some sellers who received the emails with the subject line "MC999 Enclosed listings need photo revisions" said they spent time reviewing the list of supposedly non-compliant photos and said eBay's own tools confirmed the photos were fine.

A seller who said he had not received any previous warnings and had triple-checked all of his photos said, "I'm not changing anything quite yet as there isn't anything to change. All I could do is simply take the same pictures and create the same listing."



It's worth noting that eBay is not planning to flick a switch on Monday to shut off all listings with non-compliant photos. You can read more about the issue in Friday's Newsflash. In the meantime, feel free to air your concerns here, and we'll continue to monitor the issue into next week.




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by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 27 22:20:24 2013

This will be a hot mess.

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by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 27 23:16:38 2013

So now we will no longer be able to draw an arrow and add text showing where a defect might be in our item for sale? It is much easier to point out the location in a picture than to try to describe it with text.

The other problem I see is that the photo uploader is already so problematic, with many errors occurring while uploading, but ebay will not tell us what those errors are. The photo uploader just says it failed to upload. With larger file sizes, this is sure to get worse.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 27 23:30:50 2013

I recd notice. However, item sold 6 weeks ago??????

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This user has validated their user name. by: twentyjuan

Thu Jun 27 23:38:46 2013

I received their email about photo size a while back. Over 400 listing where not in compliance. My photos were fine, just a tad below their requirement, and sales were steady. I literally downloaded all the images into a folder. I used Adobe Photoshop to enlarge them in bulk without losing quality, and I enlarged them all too 700X700 beyond the ebay requirement. Then I used FileExchange to revise and add the larger images. The file exchange report said that all 400+ listing were successful. I checked 2 or 3 of the listing randomly, and the images are bigger, much bigger than before. A couple of days ago, I get the same email from ebay (MC999 Enclosed listings need photo revisions) for the same items not being in compliance because of image size. I checked a few of the listing and they have the pink notice along top stating ''Your listing is successful but there's a problem with your Gallery picture''

The problem is, that for some reason, the picture does not bring up their little zoom tool. Yet if you click on the picture, it enlarges bigger than the required size.

If they think I am going to manually deal with 400+ items one by one through their upload tool, they have another thing coming. They can take the listings down for all I care. At the end of July, due to a positive life change, I will no longer have to sell ebay again! I'm sick of this company and their greed, it will be their downfall. Small sellers like me that made them a household name over the years, and over the years they have turned on those same sellers.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Jun 27 23:41:50 2013

eBay's hypocrisy could not be better illustrated than this entire IT mess surrounding photo compliance. Sellers are forced to comply with a new policy, yet eBay is completely unprepared for accurate enforcement.

The only credit eBay gets is the fact that sellers have had months to prepare for the changes - everything eBay has done after that has been a time wasting unmitigated chain of incompetence on their part.

Here is a timeline showing how consistently unprepared eBay has been despite having even more time than sellers had to revise their photos.

First there was the June 1 email which claimed to provide sellers with a list to their listings with images which were not in compliance. The aforementioned list.... was missing from the eBay issued warning email.

A call to eBay customer service resulted in being supplied with a link to the third party tool created to scan sellers listings and identify undersized images.

After running the tool, and attempting to edit listings in Turbo Lister, it we quickly determined that Turbo Lister was not working to update photos.

Another call to eBay customer service where we were told there was a random server error which was causing some but not all images to be reduced to a size below the new standard.  We were told to try again in 48 hours.

Two days later, we again attempted to update listings with Turbo Lister, and again, the updates failed.... Another call to eBay.

NOW the story changed... Turbo Lister is the problem. We were sent instructions that we had to follow before updating Turbo Lister. This involved deleting files, and then having to resynchronize Turbo Lister to our listings.

eBay's slow systems caused the resynchronization to take over 4 and 1/2 hours to complete.

At the end of the synchronization, we were finally able to update photos and have the updates stick.

Then, two days ago, eBay sends us another MC999 warning notice, this time telling us one of our listings had images which were too small. Fortunately, that single listing number was included unlike the first notice.

As we had previously updated our listings and had run the tool, we knew all of our listings were being reported by the tool to be 100% in compliance, and this listing on the report was one of the listings we had revised.

We ran the image scan tool again, and it reported 100% of our listings were in compliance.

Another call to eBay Customer Service. We explained the latest notice, and that eBay's image scanning tool was reporting the size of the photo of the listing in question to be 1600 x 1600 pixels - well above the minimum established by eBay.

The CSA goes to the listing and reports that they see the image being reported on their system as being 600 x 600 pixels - this is still above the standard required by eBay. CSA promises to escalate the issue and the conflicting information. They also promise to email us with an update in 48 hours.  No such update was ever received.

Given eBay has had more time to prepare their systems for this change than sellers have had to reshoot their pictures and update their listings, one would think that eBay's end would be 100% ready.

Sadly, the whole process from the eBay side has been one long series of disinformation, misinformation, broken systems, inaccurate warning messages, glitches, and lies from eBay spokespeople who are trying to conceal the fact that eBay's IT systems are not ready to handle enforcement of the new picture requirements reliably or accurately.

In the mean time, sellers are investing hundreds of hours to comply, and eBay's systems are so bollixed that there is no way to know how much of a mess July 1 will turn out to be.

There is a term in the military that aptly describes eBay's IT preparedness for this new image requirement process... Clusterfock.

Sellers deserve better and more consistent treatment and preparedness than they have received at the hands at their task master eBay.

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by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 27 23:47:36 2013

i got the same email for a listing completely in compliance.  the funny part is i have about 400 listings which are definitely NOT in compliance and the send me an email on one that is.

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

Thu Jun 27 23:52:41 2013

I received some days ago a message in the eBay invoice about photos. I have some photos under the new size requirement. So I was expected see one of them in the e-mail. But we are talking about eBay and their ''automatic millionaire'' check system. It was about an item with a photo with their requirement.

So one more thing. eBay is making mistakes. I will not be surprise to see a lot of auctions/BIN end or not allowed thanks to their errors.  

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by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 28 00:50:43 2013

Come July 4th, many small businesses will get their heads chopped off by ebay. Most will self-exiled to other sites.

Those who remain will carry on the fight for INDEPENDENCE DAY! God bless all small American sellers!

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Worried over Photo Compliance Emails   eBay Sellers Worried over Photo Compliance Emails

by: vendorren This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 28 01:10:17 2013

I just closed my eBay store. sales have tanked along with all the other crap from eBay. It came to a point that I just cannot take eBay any longer and their treatment of sellers. All my photos had been enhanced and looking great. I took great care making sure of it. Problem, all are 480 X 480. I have some clearance items that I will offer after the summer. I feel relieved!  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Jun 28 03:12:59 2013

I received two emails so far.  The first one was pretty accurate as far as it went, but I knew it did not cover everything.  And I have no clue why they would throw in there just some closed listings.  Not all of them, just a few handfuls.  

Then this last email was really bad and about 95% I had already corrected.

Now the thing is I know I have more out there that have not been changed, but Ebay isn't identifying those.  Guess I'll just do the best I can and catch the rest as Ebay starts to close them.

Also I have noticed on a handful of listings that I had to change them again.  I had changed them once before a couple weeks ago and yet the changes don't show.

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by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 28 03:53:40 2013

I received a few of these emails saying a couple of mine did not comply. I could not figure out why. Here after a little searching they were saying my photos were not large enough. However, my photos had been perfect up till then re size and how they looked. So, I enlarged them so that the photo editor would no longer tell me they were still wrong. So once I made them larger; now they are blurry for the listings. Therefore a much greater chance I will not be able to sell the item because now they look terrible. In any case I am now 100% complying. I think they have been nit picking everything. Everything was fine. Now I am told that if there is ANY listings at all that do not comply by July 1st we will lose our Top Rated seller status! Give me a break!

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

Fri Jun 28 03:56:05 2013

I spent more than 200 hours re uploading photos to more than 1500 listings (ALL must be compliat not just the gallery/first photo.) that were all compliant when originally uploaded.

Ebay wants tech props for Cassini when they can't even fix these rogue "problem servers" and TurboLister?

I spent a month on this project because of ebay incompetence and negligence.

These guys couldn't program a Commodore 64.

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by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 28 05:56:30 2013

Yet another eBay SNAFU. (most people know what that acronym stands for).

Yes, I can see tens of thousands of listings being "inadvertently taken down" for non-compliance. On more than one occasion, we've had listings taken down by their duplicate listing "tool" because clearly a size 5 ring is the exact same product as a size 10 ring. On both occasions, it took several calls to CS to find someone that knew what they were talking about enough to realize that they (ebay) had screwed up yet again. Bear in mind folks, that once they "accidentally" take down those listings, you won't be able to put them back up until they are in compliance.

Our eBay store goes dark on Sunday!

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by: lostinohio This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 28 08:21:52 2013

Hello everyone – long time lurker.  Wanted to add my thoughts on this topic.

This has probably been mentioned before, but until VERY recently, TurboLister would resize your photos smaller when you imported them back into the program.

I was making my photos 600 x 800 since they first announced the change, and imported unsolds back into Turbo to make certain I didn't inadvertently duplicate list an item since that's a big NO-NO for US sellers.  I was unaware they were changing the size.  All those listings are no longer in compliance due to eBay changing the size of the pics in Turbo!

I have several hundred listings that need changing and since nothing is selling, I am totally apathetic.  I sell one of a kind items.

I haven’t yet updated Turbo (the import problem is supposed to be fixed) but will use Seller Sourcebook to store my listings in the future.  I do not trust Turbo.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Fri Jun 28 08:34:21 2013

@lostinohio

Don't sweat - 800x600 (or 600x800) is perfectly fine! TurboLister will give you a warning message that the size is to paraphrase "not-optimal", but you should be left alone.

Just cross your fingers, sacrifice a fatted calf and don't let a black cat cross your path.

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

Fri Jun 28 08:55:20 2013

In the ebay help section they gave us a website we could go to that showed us what photos needed to be enlarged. I did that , the website also enlarged the pictures for us that needed to be enlarged. I ended some old listings I had that were out of compliance that were not selling. I received an email also stating that the photo's were out of compliance including the listings I ended several days before the email. I noticed on the EKG that someone else posted about this , they called ebay and ebay stated it was a glitch.
So when ebay ends my items on July 1st that I have fixed and harasses me to fix items I have ended, I will send that to the FTC and the state attorney general in my state.
It is ridiculous that ebay hounds it sellers to make photo's larger and get into their compliance rabbit hole and then have ebay with a system that cannot tell that the listings have ENDED.
I am about fed up.
Of course their is no apology from ebay or announcement

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jun 28 09:52:48 2013

Auctionguy, I am now photographing flaws by using a white pointer.  I photograph the pointer pointing to the flaw.  There is a great workaround so there is no need to add arrows using Photoshop.

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by: mamie14425 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 28 12:21:05 2013

It was our understanding that listings that are Good Till Cancelled would not have to be revised/updated but would be grandfathered and exempt from eBay's policy.....we have 700  items in our store all are listed GTC and we are being hounded to update our photo's....We have also been asked to revise our Stock Photo's for new items....we have checked all of our listing and all of our listings are compliant....For the love of Pete eBay get off our backs....  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Jun 28 12:52:20 2013

@mamie14425

I don't think that is correct.  Where did you read or hear about this.  It is the first I've heard this.  It would be wonderful if correct, but I think you may have just misunderstood what they are doing.

It is my understanding that the GTC listings are fine if the pic isn't up to EBay's new standards after July first, up to the moment they try to relist.  Then they would not be allowed to relist until you corrected the pics.

So meaning if your GTC would be relisting on July 25, your listing is fine the first 25 days of July, but when it would try to relist on the 25th, Ebay would not allow it until you fix the pic.

I'm with Ming and many others.  I've spent well over 200 hrs trying to update my listings.  Many of those hours are spent spinning my wheels looking at listings that Ebay says are not in compliance, when they actually are in compliance.

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by: Dragonfyree This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 28 12:57:58 2013

Do they let the current Non Good till Cancelled items end before they start enforcing?

I was also one of those people who updated all their listings and then found out Turbo Lister had a problem and they were no longer in compliance.  Almost all of the 700 I have running currently are out of compliance, but it's so much easier to change the picture in TL than on Ebay itself, so I fixed them in TL.

After I found out about TL problem, I stopped downloading back into TL and just deleted my sold items.  Harder, but easier than retaking photo's all the time.  So I'm ready for all my new uploads.

It looks like Turbo Lister was fixed on 6/25.  Do they think they are giving their TL users enough time, especially since many probably don't even realize there was a problem until they got the letter.  

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