Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Feb 18 2016 22:29:14

Are You Ready for Feb 29th eBay Product Identifiers Deadline?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay held an informational chat session about its new requirements around Product Identifiers. You can find a write-up in Friday's Newsflash article, here are some key things you should know that came out of the session:

- The only GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number) currently recognized on eBay are 14-digit UPC and all ISBN numbers.

- eBay will soon make it possible to search by UPC, though buyers generally don't search on product identifiers directly.

- If you find a mistake in eBay's catalog when you enter a particular UPC, you can send an email to eBay requesting it correct its catalog data:
dl-ebay-catalogsubmission@ebay.com

- If you use Turbo Lister, make sure you have the latest version to fix the UPC field limitation.

- Original categories for new listings went into effect June 29, 2015; Multivariation listings in the original categories went into effect on January 29, 2016; and additional categories and GTC (Good Til Cancelled) listings go into effect on February 29, 2016. 

- If a PI is required for the category in which you are listing an item, and the required PI's are missing or unavailable: 
a) For a missing or non-existent UPC, ISBN or MPN, type Does Not Apply
b) For unbranded items, select "Unbranded" from the Brand drop down list.

Here's a link to more information about Product Identifiers on the eBay website.

What do you think of the Product Identifier requirements? Do you understand why eBay is mandating sellers add Product Identifiers, and are you ready?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Are You Ready for Feb 29th eBay Product Identifiers Deadline?   Are You Ready for Feb 29th eBay Product Identifiers Deadline?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 18 23:44:00 2016

With over 30000 listings over 5 stores do you really think Fleecebay is going to not relist them?????

If they do its a good reason to close all stores and retire....

We just don't care anymore and we have never been a carrot jumper and aren't about to start now.

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by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 07:04:16 2016

I have contracts with certain vendors that prohibit me to use their UPC's. So many of my items will have the does not apply.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Feb 19 07:07:59 2016

Article asks " Do you understand why eBay is mandating sellers add Product Identifiers...."

Yes, because due to the fact that eBay did not implement this years ago sellers are rushing to beat a deadline. Typical poor planning on eBay.  Amazon has a catalog. eBay wants a catalog. A catalog will save eBay---NOT!

Sales have never been worse for most sellers, so I doubt if many sellers are the least bit motivated to do eBay's bidding. Product identifiers won't amount to a hill of beans as it relates to sales unless they get that dreadful search fixed, and we know that if they will not spend money to advertise they will not spend money on search that works. Cassini does just what they want it to do no matter how many times Wenig states he is reconnecting with small sellers.

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 08:18:16 2016

Sorry, but an OEM 1969 Ford 302 4V intake manifold doesn't have a UPC!

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This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Fri Feb 19 08:55:24 2016

"Finally, another important reason why Product Identifiers are absolutely critical to the continued growth and success of the marketplace at eBay"

Wrong.

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Feb 19 09:06:05 2016

I have NEVER searched for an item I wish to buy using a UPC Code, whether on a eCommerce website, Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine.

This is irrelevant. Especially for a site which had their CEO recently state that they cannot compete with Amazon on commodities.

99% of used and collectible items do NOT have a UPC Code. Is eBay actually going to pull any listing that does not have a barcode or ''Does Not Apply'' in the item specifics by March 1st??

This will be just like the 2014 Holiday Season. Sellers were told if they didn't offer returns until January 31st, they would lose their Top-Rated discounts.

At the last minute, eBay found there was virtually no one willing to participate in the program, and backpedaled. Same thing will probably happen here.

Can and will this company follow through with this plan, and lose 20-30 percent or more of their listings overnight? Combine this with the already hidden listings and rolling blackouts, and possibly 1/2 or more of the unique items folks come to eBay for will be gone.

Another attempt at Amazonation that will not move things forward, but way back. If they really want to be like their competitor, they will need to go back to a system with no favored (big box / Asian sellers) searches. Lose the epic fail of Cassini. And make all items available for purchase at all times.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 09:42:06 2016

This might of worked a few years ago, but we no longer jump when ebay says jump, been there done that,

let them deal out what ever punishments they want to, we really don't care one bit, it will have little effect on our overall sales, we don't need ebay anymore, those days are long gone, we are in control of our business now, not ebay,

All this amounts to is a good laugh,

 

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Feb 19 09:45:45 2016

eXtinctBay writes: "I have NEVER searched for an item I wish to buy using a UPC Code,...."

Neither have I, and I imagine 99.9% of the online buyers haven't either. I suspect a good portion of the population only think of UPCs in the context of indicating the price of the item.

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by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 09:47:29 2016

Say you have an item that when it was purchased the UPC code was displayed on the packaging but you threw away the packaging.  Now you dont have the UPC code.

Where are you supposed to go to find the UPC code for this item ?  How many searches do we have to do before we resort to Does Not Apply?  

eBay is stepping beyond what they do best, which is to sit back and let the sellers sell.  If you have a UPC code .... Great maybe it will help you sale but why in the hell they would block a listing because it didn't have the correct UPC code is irrational.

About 25% of our listings are being flagged for not having product identifiers.  After wasting some time and looking at them in eBay ridiculous bulk editing tool (nothing bulk about it) we are finding that listings that were submitted to eBay with Does Not Apply, are being flagged as needing a UPC code.  Called eBay about it and it’s a known issue which they are working hard to resolve.  They only problem was I had to talk to three people before I got the response of “it’s a known issue”.  3 calls = 3 hours of wasted time and several emails later still no update as to fixing their mess.  

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 10:14:32 2016

They have not a clue. They remind me of rats trapped in a box , trying to scratch their way out.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Feb 19 10:20:58 2016

Cassini has to work, how else could customers buy my items?

And for those thinking eBay's going out of business ~ ROTFLMAO

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Feb 19 10:42:04 2016

Do it for Griff.  Yes, for Griff.  LOL

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 10:55:29 2016

Does anyone with a brain really think that fleecebay is going to follow through with the " We won't relist the item after March 1"

Think about it. Do you really really think that Fleecebay is going to unlist millions of listings. The bottom line says NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

They will do the same thing when they threatened to delist any listing that didn't have the correct picture size on them. They spewed their garbage and in the end they just wouldn't allow you to change anything in the listing until you updated the picture.

We still have pictures that are to small.

So FLEECEBAY HAVE AT IT. I'm betting you are all talk and no show on this threat to unlist items.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Feb 19 11:27:29 2016

I've NEVER searched using a UPC code.

99% of the items I sell never came with one.

eBay called me last week to talk about my items without UPC codes.

Does Not Apply was where I was at with my items on eBay.

I think eBay is doing this for Google. . .

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

Fri Feb 19 12:11:26 2016

I wonder if this will have any adverse effects on Handmade. I guess we will simply use "does not apply" just like we do on Google Shopping and Amazon.

@Meci - Ebay really could use a serious bulk editing tool to allow us to editing the listings to does not apply. I can get this done quickly on Shopify before uploading to Google Shopping but not on Ebay. If nothing else, being able to download a csv file, edit the listings, and then upload would make life easier.

Ebay listings haven't always placed well in Google. I wonder if this move is an attempt to make listings more Google compliant? Some of the frustrations with Ebay,Amazon, and Etsy could be avoided if the company spokespeople would at least give some reasoning behind their decisions and answer some fundamental basic questions so that we can understand their rationale even if utterly misguided.

My concern is items without UPC codes will not receive the same placements in search which could prove to be a disaster for handmade, vintage, antiques, or restoration parts such as mentioned in the "1969 Ford 302 4V intake manifold" post.  

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by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 12:29:34 2016

Nothing really makes sense anymore with what Wenig is saying about changing focus from big retail to artist and crafters.  If that is the case then why implement a policy which will not allow these types of items to be listed / visible on eBay.  Sounds like lip service to the BOD to knock down the success of other sites like ESTY.

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

Fri Feb 19 13:17:15 2016

Nothing really makes sense anymore on any venue or mixing corporate profit along side upholding the fiduciary responsibilities between corporate officers and share holders while trying to juggle the needs of sellers and small businesses. Someone is always going to be left sitting in the back seat.

I like Ebay and sell very well on the site, but I can only do so by distancing myself from emotion and seeing Ebay as merely a facilitator of transactions. Once I list an item, I have basically surrendered a piece of myself to being a corporate commodity. It's when a buyer writes back or gives me call to say "hey I love my piece" that I feel half human again on any of these venues.

I guess this is the reason, I'm investing so much time in Shopify and trying to foster an identity outside the corporate shadows.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri Feb 19 13:20:19 2016

Didn't someone in one of these posts a while back say "Does Not Apply" is not what Google uses for identifiers not existing?

Cassini probably equates "Does Not Apply" to "Does Not Get Seen".

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Feb 19 14:57:37 2016

@bitbybit - This is straight from Google's page regarding product identifiers:

"In the rare situation where your product has neither a GTIN nor MPN (for example, made-to-order or handmade products), set 'identifier exists' to 'FALSE' to indicate that you have no identifier for the product."

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by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 14:59:01 2016

it's not about searching the UPC code number itself, it's when you use those scanner apps, it will bring up your item.
for example, you're at target and see a toy you want to buy, it costs $29.99, you take your phone and scan the barcode right there and it will tell you the price of the item in several places, walmart, amazon etc.  

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