Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Aug 31 2015 21:16:46

Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

By: Ina Steiner

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Each quarter since last year, eBay management has to face analysts and investors and address the fact that its Google SEO problem is still negatively impacting growth. In April, eBay's Devin Wenig promised to make eBay the first online global marketplace to use structured catalog data at scale for all listings as a way to make its listings more search-engine friendly.

Phase one, which saw sellers forced to add Product Identifiers for listings in select categories and was implemented on June 29th, got off to a rocky start. And phase two, which was supposed to kick-in tomorrow, has hit a road bump and is being pushed off until next year, according to an announcement on eBay UK.

Phase two was to require sellers to include Product Identifiers for multi-variation listings. "We'd like to let you know that the requirement for including product identifiers on multi-variation listings is being postponed to next year," eBay explained. "This is in response to some technical issues our sellers have highlighted when trying to add this information." It apologized to users for the inconvenience. (Presumably this applies to all country sites - eBay has not responded to questions from EcommerceBytes.)

While Wenig is pitching the idea of a product catalog as a new one, it's not. eBay had launched Product Pages in 2009 as part of its "Amazonification" move to a product catalog in certain categories. But eBay abandoned the approach in 2012.

This 2011 article in EcommerceBytes shows a screenshot of eBay's attempt at offering a structured-data catalog approach.

Wall Street analysts are buying in to the latest promise of the catalog approach, and eBay's own seller advocate called it a "make or break" project. (See Tuesday's Newsflash for more.)

But the problems with its latest attempt begs the question, is eBay technically capable of launching a structured catalog? (And should it even try?)




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Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

by: blackmail This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 31 21:37:07 2015

I think it is just a non payment to Google and loss of buyers and small-medium sellers

that is taking its final toll on eBay soon it will be just a venue for large box stores with catalogs,
smaller sellers will be purged as always

they will receive what they sow
 

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 31 22:23:41 2015

I wonder if ebay is capable of anything. Everything is so screwed up all the time , I cannot tell you all, what you already know. Its just too much. This is obviously all moves to get rid of used merchandise , as well as collectables & antiques.

This venue has become deformed. It all started with mostly used items , I could literally find anything. Now , good luck with this crap shoot venue.

They cannot seem to fix any of this broken mess. They only , maybe have the catalog for china crap.

How do you catalog a zuni 40 year old necklace , antique silverware , and why if I could , would I trust these azz monkeys to sell anything of value? If I could actually be seen.

The retarded search & the whole mess, should be scraped. Trash is Trash.

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 31 22:25:33 2015

If they want a complete catalog, let them go license Icecat.

eBay just always likes to hang their issues on sellers. Sellers work for free (forced catalog creation ) Icecat costs money. It's eBay so you know which option they chose.

No they aren't capable of doing it alone, they can't really do much of anything.  

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Aug 31 22:32:10 2015

I highly doubt eBay has the talent, knowledge or ability to execute a catalog despite requiring sellers to submit product data.

I sell a brand new in package phone accessory made by a major manufacturer. From day one, eBay did not have product data that tied to the UPC Code or the manufacturers model number.

Numerous relists later, eBay still does not have any product data for the item in their catalog .

If eBay were truly concentrating on building their catalog, this would not be the case.

Apparently, eBay's efforts to build a ''catalog'' appear halfhearted, or maybe as is typical for eBay, lack of experience and flat out incompetence rules the day.

eBay managed to bamboozle Wall Street analysts with the distraction of building a new search engine.  Since that search engine has been implemented, sales across eBay have been steadily shrinking.

eBay management has thus far been able to avoid any admission their new search engine is a failure choosing instead to blame declining sales on the hack and demotion by Google.  

Wall Street continues to buy into these excuses and seems unwilling to challenge management on their failed search engine.

Given the inability to fix their search engine, it is obvious that efforts to build a catalog will produce the same sales defeating result.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 31 23:00:58 2015

Most of whats cataloged , is attributes. Google search is attribute based,& building a catalog , requires a proper input of attributes. UPC MP# does not cut it. Sure , you need this too , & much more. UPC , Part # , Color , Material , country of manif. , Use , ect... There is so much more involved than what they base there attributes too.

I cannot play with their attributes , & see if their compatible , then where does a catalog come in. They could learn a thing or 2 from ecrater , when it comes to google & the use of attributes.

Sales to google from ebay are few , cause they don't have a clue.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Aug 31 23:39:17 2015

eCrater has been requiring UPCs, ISBNs, and other identifiers for years so that listings by their sellers would show up in Google searches. It was truly laughable for eBay to "beg" for GTINs to be added to their listings. And I agree with Gizmo: Is eBay capable of anything at this point? They keep coming up with "innovations" and "great ideas" that seem to go nowhere, and constant glitches which they are unable or unwilling to deal with. Does Wenig have "thinking days," too? If so, he needs to "think" about how to repair a broken site.

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

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

Tue Sep 1 00:21:38 2015

Spin the wheel....
What lies are we going to tell wall street this week to buoy our stock.

They tried to buoy PP stock with the increased pp fees- 2.9 + 30- the market said they loved it- PP is increasing the take rate- but no real effect on the stock today.

Better spin the wheel again JD.

Now, we still have JD to deal with AND the new maniac at ebay- a softer gentler ebay- RIGHT.

Maybe some re-branding- hehehe.

MH

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

Tue Sep 1 00:22:38 2015

Oh, in case your wondering....

There will NEVER be a catalog.

Mass Howler

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

Tue Sep 1 01:21:43 2015

No.

They lack the technological capability to do anything correctly.

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Sep 1 06:50:03 2015

I am quite amazed that when the rest of the site is held together with spit and duct tape, that they would even take on this task.

Outside of trying to be just like Amazon (and you know how bad the Ho wanted that) what is the point of it all?

First priority should be fixing the VERY broken search feature, which was a miserable failure.

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 1 08:23:23 2015

Ina, may I suggest you discontinue the MBA-style mumbo-jumbo - phrases like "negatively impacted..." ?  The simple, plain English truth is that The Hoe got hammered by Google!

Instead of using the seven syllables of "negatively impacted" I suggest concise, descriptive verbs. Choose from this list: harmed, damaged, hurt...you get the idea.

People like The Hoe throw around vague, made-up lingo like "negatively impacted" or phony non-words like "proactive" to disguise their true intentions and HIDE the truth. Let's keep it real.

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 1 08:28:41 2015

@Ric

What? You're tellin' me Wall St. actually embraced Can'tSeeMe? Have any of those brilliant analysts taken a look back at that? I guess given eBay's [lack of] stock performance, the answer is Yes.

But, that $23MM "retention bonus" - or should I say, "retention bogus!" check cleared for The Hoe! Ka-ching!

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 1 08:36:27 2015

@Rexford

You can bet that Devil Wingnut won't be "taking on [the] task..." of building a product catalog. He'll farm it out to some consulting co. which will then hire even MORE semi-brilliant IT "talent" from the world's #2 [in bloated population] Third World He// Hole where life is cheap and LABOR even cheaper! A few dozen "subject matter experts" will be imported via the corrupt H1-B visa immigration loophole.  They will then perform "knowledge transfer" to $300 a MONTH 90-day [or less] wonders toiling in mud huts back in India. The whole stinkin' pile will be deployed to much fanfare by PR flaks and rousing applause from Wall St. for a quick exercise in pump-and-dump stock manipulation. The consulting firm will pocket millions, as will Devil Wingnut.

Stay tuned, and tell me if my prediction turns out differently.

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

by: Russ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 1 08:49:22 2015

The ''hack'' of eBay in the not-too-distant past heralded an onslaught of site glitches, failures and questionable ideas/policies.  Not that the site wasn't already rife with issues, glitches and other fun surprises...

And then this ''make or break'' catalog nonsense...what next? You know something's coming down the pike.

A long shot here but could the hackers be from the Impact Team?  The same group claiming to have hacked Ashley Madison...not just for their ''immorality'' but for questionable business practices.  As for the business practices...well, eBay is tops on that qualification list, for sure.  And those hackers are top-notch IT folks, obviously.

Hack away!  And welcome to eBay China...I so hope the ''catalog'' will be translated into English!

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 1 08:49:40 2015

So, the fall update will be here in a couple of weeks, and the "make or break" project is postponed until who knows when.

This fall update better be a basic roll back to pre HOE era, or I doubt ebay  survives the mass exodus.

WE ARE FED UP EBAY.

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by: Go tell the Spartans This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 1 09:25:31 2015

JD is a very intelligent person when it comes to breaking up a company into its parts to make money, but when it comes to actually building something, or in the case of eBay, rebuilding something, he's technically challenged. That said, I needn't remind folks that he is challenged when it comes to common sense.  

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

Tue Sep 1 09:27:19 2015

Maybe they should try creating a flea market atmosphere...

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Sep 1 09:41:20 2015

NO catalog needed for my old used tools!

Even if there was a catalog 90% of it would be chinese made products.

Ditch the catalog idea and do some advertising, I want to see Dale Jr. driving the eBay car again! ! !

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 1 09:47:51 2015

What does one expect when they are employing second rate IT people.  These people can't program anything important. They should all be fired along with the substandard customer service from all those foreign countries who don't understand the English language.

Ebay is the best example of greed in America.  Arrogant useless leaders who can't lead a horse to water but are managing to lead all their sellers to the poor house.

How funny is that???

Perminate Link for Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?   Is eBay Technically Capable of Launching a Product Catalog?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 1 11:29:03 2015

This is what happens when you have an ecommerce company run by people who have no clue what to do.

Most of the people running eBay today have no practical experience in ecommerce, big box stores, wholesale, retail, or mail order.

What would a moron like Jordan Sweetnum know about eBay seller experience? How would Wenig know how to bring in business when his last job was being a 2 bit money guy ?

Wouldn't the 23 million given to JD have been better spent hiring a  real IT group?

EBay ATM is all smoke and mirrors, doesn't anyone see the emperor has no clothes ?

The stupidest thing was Griff making an azz of himself, BEGGING sellers to use UPC codes.... How does he look at himself in the mirror every morning? Is he still a man or a weasel ?

Never mind the stupid birthday party, never mind the fake Paypal breakup - call Google, invite them over for a conference, lock both yourselves in a room and don't come out until it's all solved .... Why is this so hard?

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