Sellers have been experiencing issues this weekend when listing (or relisting) certain brands on eBay - has it finally come, one seller asked on the eBay discussion boards. "Can't seem to use "Does not Apply" for UPC on certain name brand new items."
This morning, a reader sent us the error message they received when trying to relist an item:
It looks like there's a problem with this listing.
Calvin Klein products have a registered UPC. Please enter a valid UPC that matches your item.
While eBay had required sellers to add a UPC code to listings offering new and refurbished items for sale in many categories, it had been allowing sellers to place a "Does not apply" message instead of a code. On the eBay discussion board
, a seller expressed their frustration they were experiencing this weekend:
"Not looking forward to the extra time to enter UPC on every listing. Right now it seems mostly on certain brands, Disney, Calvin Klien, Ralph Lauren. I guess it is time to start digging into inventory to get UPC codes for 1400+ listings. Duh, Duct tape can't fix stupid. I don't know if that's me for not preparing for this as warned or eBay for forcing this on us."
It's interesting to note that some sellers remain confused about the reason for eBay's requirements, stating that buyers don't search by UPC code. But eBay's "Structured Data Initiative" is really about creating a product catalog so it can show shoppers product pages in addition to individual sellers' listing pages.
The EcommerceBytes reader explained what's different for him and other sellers this weekend: "This is the first time that I have been unable to relist several brands due to the fact that I do not have a UPC code. "Does Not Apply" has always worked."
And, the reader continued: "If eBay go down this road this will be a blow to sellers who sell used items, or new items that simply don't have a UPC on the tag."
Note that as far as we know, the UPC requirement does not apply to listings for used items. In the Fall 2016 Seller Update
, eBay had written:
"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."
It doesn't help that a search for "eBay Product Identifiers" on Google comes up with an old eBay help page
from 2015 as the first result. The other page-one search results all link to industry discussions, but no main up-to-date landing page or help page on the eBay website.
Using eBay's Help search comes up with a link to this page
(also undated) that states:
"Beginning this summer, listings for new or manufacturer-refurbished items in most categories will be able to use non-standard product identifiers (e.g. ASIN, Google ID, etc.) as well as proprietary identifiers like an inventory control number. These will be offered to sellers in addition to what currently exists (UPC, GTIN, ISBN, etc.). While "Does not Apply" and "NA" will continue to be available, it is recommended that sellers provide non-standard and proprietary identifiers in order to benefit from some search functions and listing insights."
This afternoon, our reader sent us an update: "Per my earlier email this morning, hold on to your hat - I was just told by eBay customer service that the change that I mentioned to you has been implemented, WITHOUT ANY NOTICE to sellers. So for certain brands, (clothing category) the hundreds and thousands of products that do not have UPCs, well, they will not be able to be relisted."
There's no notice on the announcement board, stay tuned for further updates.