Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Jan 12 2017 13:23:46

eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is delaying a key phase in its Product Identifier mandate. In August as part of the Fall Seller Update, eBay had told sellers they were required to have product identifiers in all listings in "most" categories:

"By February 2017, new listings of new or manufacturer refurbished items in most categories will require at least one of the product identifiers (e.g. UPC, GTIN, one of the above, etc.). Also, note that the options "Does not Apply" and "NA" will no longer be available for the majority of items. Some categories and item types will continue to be exempt. The list of exemptions will be communicated by next year."

But eBay told sellers in Australia overnight:

"We've postponed our next product identifier mandate (additional categories of new and Good 'Til Cancelled listings for manufacturer refurbished items) to next year, along with the removal of the "Does not apply" listing option."

eBay said it was sellers who were not ready. eBay Australia explained that while the updates were scheduled for February 2017, "we heard that you needed more time to get prepared. We listened to you so we're relaxing our timelines on the following points,..."

A reader from Australia sounded relieved at the respite, telling us, "This is good news for me as a seller because 99% of my items are vintage, with no UPIs, and I was petrified that all my UPI "does not apply" listings would end up being dumped in some sort of Glitch when eBay implemented this on 17th Feb."




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Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 12 15:43:37 2017

So what's going to happen with with items that do not have an Identifier and use "Does Not Apply".  Most, if not all, vintage items do not have this number.

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: toyman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 12 16:08:36 2017

They are really going to find themselves in a hard place, if they don't move vintage Toys & Games items and vintage Collectibles items out of these required categories.

Pretty much any of these items, with any age to them, do not have one of these. It could be  nightmare for those of us who focus on these areas.

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 12 16:38:50 2017

If it's like amazon, zero exposure, items remain unseen

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Jan 12 23:09:12 2017

Ebay (given what it is) should Not be issuing mandates of any kind.
Wenig's not the guy.
Get somebody in there that understands.

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: Joey4711 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 00:28:36 2017

Knowing Ebay they will tell us to use the upc on the back of a vintage action figure cardback. The problem is all of those figures are graded at different levels, thus different pricing. Perhaps they don't care about the millions they make from that area, because in their quest to be Amazon junior they forget what made them successful.

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: ellisdtripp This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 00:36:10 2017

Buy UPCs, they are cheap enough, you can get them cut rate on the internet. They are yours,  they belong to you. They will fulfill identifier the requirement but don't really go anywhere. So who cares? Re-use them. I've been doing this for years.

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 02:10:07 2017

Our items don't come  with product identifiers - so what are we supposed to do????

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Jan 13 02:55:23 2017

@scotty

Ebay has repeatedly stated that vintage items don't apply to this policy.  And there are other exceptions, but I don't remember all of them.

This is from one of Ebay's help pages.

Sellers who list used, collectible, vintage, or one–of–a–kind items are not required to include these unique product identifiers at this time.

Ebay was actually suppose to release a more detailed list of what is excluded but I haven't seen it yet.  I don't know if that holds true for others, I just know I haven't seen it.

**************************

Ebay did something very similar back in 2015.  In late spring they started shutting down some listings that did not have UPCs.  For me they shut down a few hundred listings, then suddenly they stopped.  

Similarly a week or so ago I had one listing closed because it didn't have a UPC, but since that time nothing.



Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 05:35:19 2017

Whew. Thank you, Marie. Do you know if the lack of UPI compromises the  search results?  

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This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Fri Jan 13 08:23:14 2017

EXACTLY what ellisdtripp said

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by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 09:23:31 2017

I would go with ellisdtripp upc idea. Better to be safe than sorry.
I have had UPC's that were set up disappear and my listing ended. I had either a UPC or does not apply on every listing that it would accept (it was just not working on all listings).  Just the point that glitches happen regularly so be prepared if at all possible.

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: uppercutknives This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 09:31:35 2017

Ebay stuffs another nail in its coffin with this mandate. Many small sellers will choose to leave ebay for greener pastures. Ebay can't do anything right so why could we assume this is a good thing.  

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 10:25:31 2017

I find  it  hard  to  take  seriously  that  ebay  "thinks"  at  all  of  anything  other than  their  own  pockets.  And  even  then!

Many clothing  items  have  no UPC  tags  on  them when  purchased  either as  remainders  or  used;  either companies  mark  the tags  so  you cant  SEE  the  numbers OR  people  cut  the tags  out.  Purses  don't  generally  come  with  them  either.  Certainly  no  vintage  items  had  them!  Older  books;  jewelry;  shoes;  household  stuff---yeah.  This is not really gonna  work.

And--this is the SAME  company  whose  web  site  has--for WEEKS  now--told me  that  the Del Confirm  Number I have  just  carefully entered is NOT  FROM A COMPANY THEY  RECOGNIZE--even  tho I used THEIR drop down  selection and  triple  checked  the number on  my  Receipt.  Yesterday  I  noticed  some  verbiage  about  how  if  I  keep  insisting on using  these  sort of  numbers---well I  dunnno  what  they  will DO to me  but  I  am  sure it is as  stupid  and pointless  as  the REST  of  their  verbiage.    

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: methuen-web-sales This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Jan 13 10:41:15 2017

Where I have run into needing a UPC or the like, I've put in one that I made up.  It works and the eBay brain doesn't know if it is legit, just that it passes through the ''check digit'' program.  Sometimes I wonder if the folks at eBay got their degrees from K-Mart.  

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: CayenneCat This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 11:21:46 2017

I buy new items from QVC to sell on ebay, and many do not have UPC codes. I've also purchased items directly from the manufacturer, and those items usually don't have a UPC code.  I hope ebay keeps the ''Does not apply'' option.  

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 11:44:57 2017

I've been using old upc's that were issued to me 20 years ago. They work. Also has anyone thought about this might end up being a good thing for website owners with ebay driving sales away - people will probably just end up googling what they want instead of automatically looking for it on ebay? thoughts on that please

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Jan 13 11:49:42 2017

As Ina (and Marie) noted, this requirement applies to NEW items.

Could the Bay really be stupid enough to require UPCs on items that were produced long before barcodes??

Well, no. It is a shame that every change be assumed as negative before the facts are understood.

THE SKY IS NOT FALLING!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 11:57:18 2017

My question is related to the search impact on non-UPC items...this is the great unknown...and I doubt they will clarify the impact (if any) it will have.  If they are basing search, etc. on catalog and product identifiers, what happens to the "Does Not Apply" items in the search queue?  Will it be strictly organic or what?  This is my question....

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Jan 13 12:25:19 2017

Exactly ExtinctBay!!!

I'm not sure why anyone would want to pay for UPCs.  Ebay has stated they will allow us to create our own.  That feature hasn't been released yet that I'm aware of, but it was stated in the Fall Seller's update.

Also Ebay isn't imposing this rule just for the heck of it.  It isn't there just to make your life more difficult.  It is the direction all sites will have to go to stay healthy in Google searches and others.

Ebay isn't doing this just to cause you work or problems.  Personally I think it is a PITA too, but I understand the need.

It isn't a quick thing by any stretch of the imagination.  Ebay has been trying to get this off the ground for at least the last 3 years.

I don't know if it will impact the Ebay search status.  I've said this many times and I'll say it again.  Personally I think way too much is made of this as your search status only applies to Best Match.  I would venture a guess that most buyers don't use BM.  They use Lowest Price or Ending soonest or even newly listed, but not BM.  IMHO the bigger problem is hidden listings, not the formula for the ranking in BM.  But just my opinion.

Perminate Link for eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers   eBay Delays Product Identifier Mandate for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Jan 13 12:28:34 2017

@Scotty

Of course search will be organic. Do buyers look for an item by UPC? No, they search by name.

Most all who search by UPC have the item in hand, and are researching it to find the correct competitive price for resale. Buyers also use it if they are at a B & M store and want to compare online prices.

And those who are seeking a vintage item with no barcode have the name in their saved searches, or just look at title keywords to find listings they may be interested in.

@Marie

Thanks;)

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