Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Jan 28 2017 17:57:14

eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is blaming sellers for its decision to delay its Product Identifiers mandate, but the facts don't add up.

eBay sellers get some breathing room as the marketplace delays the next phase of its Structured Data Initiative, known to sellers as Product Identifiers. After notifying sellers in some international markets earlier this month, eBay began notifying US sellers on Friday, though it has yet to make an announcement on the site.

In email notifications, eBay is blaming sellers for its decision to push off next month's deadline to next year, saying it's heard from sellers they aren't ready. But that doesn't explain why eBay has delayed features it had planned to roll out to help sellers add Product Identifiers to their listings, with or without the February 2017 deadline.

1) In August, eBay said sellers would be able to upload their catalogs in the fall of 2016, but now eBay says it will make that feature available to sellers in the summer of 2017.

2) eBay said it would begin accepting Amazon and Google Product Identifiers beginning in February 2017, but that is also being pushed off until the summer.

eBay has done a poor job communicating with sellers about the delays - even avoiding answering questions when directly asked at the 2 most recent weekly chat sessions.

Sellers need certainty when running their business. And sellers of items that don't have UPC codes or other identifiers, such as vintage items, have experienced needless anxiety as February draws near.

It's unclear why eBay has yet to notify all sellers, but it could have something to do with its stock price. By keeping the delays to its Structured Data Initiative lowkey, it avoided being grilled by Wall Street analysts on Wednesday (January 25) during its 4th quarter earnings call.

eBay sent an email to Australian sellers on January 12 and posted an announcement for Irish sellers on January 17, and sent an email to at least some US sellers on January 27th. 

Interestingly each communique has different dates for when the catalog portal and the Amazon and Google Identifiers would be available, but all are in agreement that the February 2017 mandate has been postponed.




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Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.
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Sat Jan 28 18:22:33 2017

eBay did not contact me with any information.  I sell collectible music and art, most of which have no product identifiers.  None of my art has identifiers.  I have product identifiers listed for all music products that have them, but most don't.  I sell a lot of promo and non-retail music, and most of that has no such number.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: munson68 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 28 19:11:19 2017

Being left in the dark by Ebay on this seems similar to being in the dark about TurboLister and a promise to replace it something similiar-No updates at all.Is there something coming,is it coming out on time,do we get to try it out??? And thanks for turning out the lights in Turbo lister for people with XP with noooo warning.Thanks Ebay....Thanks again

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 28 19:17:30 2017

eBay should just use Amazon ASINs and leave us all alone.

1) never trust eBay
2) eBay lies all the time
3) eBay always blames "the evil seller"
4) it's always the eBay mafias fault, always

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Jan 29 01:07:29 2017

Again eBay is making excuses and blaming other people for the problems that they them selves caused or brought on.

SOP for eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jan 29 03:07:38 2017

Amazon's ASINs are a hot mess and Amazon has been trying to get them cleaned up in recent history.  

Earlier today Ebay closed two of my variation listings because I used Does Not Apply.  They aren't suppose to be doing that, but they did.

On top of what Ina stated above, Ebay was also suppose to release a more detailed list of what items will require Product Identifiers.  Stuff like Lessthanthreerecords described are currently on Ebay list of exception, but the current list available is not detailed enough.

@munson68

As for TurboLister I'm not sure what you feel Ebay is keeping you in the dark about.  They said it would no longer be availing sometime this coming summer.  What is it that you feel they haven't shared.

When they told us about shutting TL down, they stated at that time that the New Seller Hub will be equipped to do the job.  Quite honestly I have not started playing around with the new seller hub, but I will sometime next month after I get my books closed out for 2016 and my taxes filed.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Sun Jan 29 11:01:21 2017

As Marie stated: The Amazon ASINs are a HOT MESS.

Absolutely true. There are multiple ASIN numbers for the same items with the same UPC codes, or in some cases, no UPC code at all.

It may be impossible to set up a standard catalog on Amazon with just one listing for each item, since they freely allow the creation of ''new products'', which are in many cases mere duplicates of existing items.

Frequently, a seller will make a new listing for something that was blocked by Amazon due to the item being ''gated''. And their bots do not catch it, so all of a sudden there are six or seven listings for the same exact thing.

This is frustrating when researching items for resale, since the pricing is very inconsistent. And having many unnecessary listings in the Amazon catalog certainly places a drain on their server bank, which is something eBay will not deal with.

So, even though the Bay touts structured data as the answer to all their troubles (as they constantly tell Wall Street), it can be an out-of-control monster.

And, yes, there are many advantages to a catalog, but it is not the be all and end all. As I have stated before, buyers search by item name, and rarely have or know the UPC code unless they have the item in hand.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: RoKphish This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 29 11:36:50 2017

''eBay has delayed features it had planned to roll out to help sellers add Product Identifiers to their listings, with or without the February 2017 deadline.''

I foresee a HUGE problem being able to list items that are Vintage, Used and/or Never Had a UPC to Begin With. I do not trust eBay to address the issues that WILL arise with sellers that sell these types of items. They say they'll ''have your back''.

... yeah, right.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jan 29 11:59:03 2017

@rokphish

Ebay is NOT requiring Product Identifiers / UPCs on Vintage items.  Ebay has stated this a few times.  You do not have to worry about vintage items as they will be fine even when this rule is implemented on Ebay.

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

I had Ebay close another listing this morning for no UPC.  As usual, They just can't get things together.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 29 13:25:05 2017


remember when grifter said if the sellers do not "help" with the catalog fleabay would be gone?

sure hope this is the one time he did not lie.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 29 14:11:07 2017

Amazons ASINs are a mess - but theres one main difference.

Unlike eBays "report XXXXXX" and then when you do so - nothing happens - bad buyers are still there, fake items are still there, even bad eBay employees are STILL THERE - at least on Amazon I can email Seller Central Help and get them to merge and clean up ASINs.

In fact I do it ALL the time (for items I need to list) and Amazon thanks me 1000x for it.

Cleaner ASINs = LESS buyer confusion and more sales.

Amazon still has a LONG way to go - especially when they let people create CUSTOM ASINs that are proprietary kits.

But its better then no action from eBay, and you dont hear Amazon bitching how its all the evils sellers fault.


BTW (off topic) - when you get the wrong item back from Amazon on a buyers return - you can take a picture, open a case and most times get paid by them ... UNLIKE eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jan 29 14:18:49 2017

OK, this is getting a bit crazy.  Ebay closed one of my variation listings, the reason was a missing UPC.  In reviewing the GTC listing they closed, ALL the UPCs were present.  

Ebay really needs to get this together.  

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 29 15:17:44 2017

@Marie
''Ebay is NOT requiring Product Identifiers / UPCs on Vintage items.  Ebay has stated this a few times.  You do not have to worry about vintage items as they will be fine even when this rule is implemented on Ebay.''

To list without issue may be true (or not...we will see)....the big question is will they be visible at all.  I think they will gladly take our listing fees (they don't want to screw that up), but will vintage items become even more invisible than they are now due to the identifiers fiasco brewing.  That's the question...

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jan 29 15:22:03 2017

They have not implied or said that vintage items will be lowered in the search.

But lets think about that logically.  If all sellers can't come up with a UPC for vintage items, then none of the sellers will have UPCs for their items.  If no one has UPCs and they get lowered in the searches, then it would affect ALL sellers equally, therefore there would not be any change.

With Ebay, there are plenty of things to worry about.  I personally don't think this is one of them.  But just my opinion.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

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

Sun Jan 29 16:31:09 2017

Ebay's remaining sellers have "Ugly and Broken" for the money. It's a wasteland.
Well, it's not like we didn't warn them.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Jan 29 19:19:24 2017

@Marie
''If all sellers can't come up with a UPC for vintage items, then none of the sellers will have UPCs for their items.  If no one has UPCs and they get lowered in the searches, then it would affect ALL sellers equally, therefore there would not be any change.''

If ALL vintage sellers do not have UPCs, wouldn't it be easy to just throw all of us vintage sellers under the bus or on one of their unserving servers? Yes, you are right, all vintage sellers would be equal, as in NO sales. Isn't this what eBay has always wanted and one of Donahoe's missions all these years?

Today a friend of mine who only does auctions and almost always has bidders on ALL listings with many ''bidding wars'' toward the end, did terrible. Many with zero bidders and only a couple with a slight dollar increase at the end. Something is seriously going on.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jan 29 19:31:39 2017

@bitbybit

And that proves what?

Per Ebay vintage sellers are NOT required to have product identifiers.  But vintage sellers aren't the only ones that won't be required to have product identifiers.  

I'm not understanding why Ebay NOT requiring certain categories to have product identifiers is a bad thing.  From what has been posted here and other places, many sellers have made it clear that they don't like the direction of structured data.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

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

Sun Jan 29 20:44:16 2017

one big problem is the UPC identifiers only have about a trillion possible combinations. There are fare more than a trillion products out there, and so overlap a lot. Also, very few people use the UPC codes to look for stuff. If ebay wants the good days back, all they have to do is make separate buyer and seller feedback and remove the anonymity of buyers and allow it to be an optional feature. In MY OPINION, i believe the anon BS was simply so ebay could cook the books, and spinning off paypal was a strategic move as well because the heat was on...

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 29 21:45:07 2017

I sell only vintage and out of production items. Often I will list a brand new camera for example that is sealed in the box but was made prior to the invention of the UPC. Last week I listed one from 1962. Listing an old item and new condition can help the search and price immensely. How is that going to be possible if they retire the Doe Not Apply option?

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 29 23:25:02 2017

I think the whole UPC/product identifiers thing is a red herring. For starters most people search for an item by it's title. Most people don't have a UPC code in front of them.  Just observing my own sales, I spend more time per listing filling in every known detail to improve my standing in search. Yet, impressions and sales continue to decline at double digit rates. It seems to me all of those details don't accomplish anything for my bottom line. There isn't any denying that Ebay's search functionality is flawed. It is a well documented fact. Is it possible that all of the specificity actually accomplishes the opposite effect? As in items become more difficult to find or are dropped out of results entirely. We are talking about a company who struggles to keep their platform running and can't even program shipping holidays into their operation. I think it's a question worth pondering.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays   eBay Blames Sellers for Structured Data Delays

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 30 00:11:43 2017

eBay is so behind in stuff it's not funny. I'm still waiting for USEABLE sales reports to replace the ones that Omniture used to give us. The current "beta" reports have been in "beta" for over a year and are useless.

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