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Mon Nov 9 2015 08:43:15

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt Its Margins

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am surprised there has been no discussion from your readers regarding the eBay requirement for UPC Codes.
 
I have 1100 SKU's on eBay. This is a big burden to us to meet this requirement. This is probably close to 20 hours of work to accomplish this. We are selling 1 or 2 items a day this summer. We expect sales to increase this fall. However, we are close to losing money on the eBay platform right now. A few items I have do not have UPC's. Yet eBay is requiring them.
 
I was surprised that the Citi analyst for eBay appeared to be positive on these changes.
 
The results of these changes will be negative for them:
 
1. They will lose retailers.
 
2. Higher barriers to list will have fewer new retailers joining the platform.
 
3. By requiring UPC's they will set up a system of "race to the bottom" in regards to pricing.
 
4. The low margin big retailers that they have acquired will be the beneficiaries while the mid and small retailers are going to be eviscerated.
 
5. I suspect eBay is getting 2% to 5% commission on the big retailers that they have brought on like Target and Under Armour. eBay's margins should continue to be under pressure as they push business to the big retailers.

We have only been with eBay a few years. Yet not one of their initiatives has helped our business. We were doing 8 to 10 items a day at one point and our business keeps going down on this platform.
Best
(Please do not use my name.)




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Nov 9 09:17:37 2015

eBay management is really trying to make a suicide look like an accidental death.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 9 10:26:05 2015

Gesh people....When are you going to understand the Fleecebay isn't in business to make the sellers happy, just make the stockholders happy.

Fleecebay doesn't care if it takes you a hundred hours to update listings, just that you do it to continue to sell what few items there are.

Fleecebays playground, conform or leave. Fleecebay doesn't care as there are others more than willing to take your place.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 9 10:46:04 2015

RKRoys -- very poetic. All Ebay needs to do now is Make toolguy have to put in UPC codes and withhold his listings if he can't come up with them. Right now used stuff is King!

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 9 10:53:16 2015

I'm always surprised by eBay sellers who complain about adding UPCs or ISBNs to their listings. I've been adding those identifiers for many years for my eCrater items so they won't be rejected by Google. It doesn't take that long to type in a 12-digit number, and if it helps my item sell, I'll gladly take a few seconds to make sure the number is included.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Nov 9 10:54:46 2015

@ sasikat9

"Fleecebay doesn't care if it takes you a hundred hours to update listings"

Why would I need to update my listings?

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Nov 9 10:57:12 2015

@iheartjacksparrow

Google DOESN'T reject ads just because they don't have a UPC or ISBN.

I know because Google has picked up some of my eBay listings without the above.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 9 11:25:11 2015

iheartjacksparrow, I agree with what you say, but on eCrater, they allow you to use "identifer does not exist = FALSE" when a UPC does not exist.

In eBay's infinite wisdom they use "does not apply". What does "does not apply" even mean?  Is this something that eBay just came up with?  Is that phrase somehow coded invisibly to be the equivalent of eCrater's FALSE.  One wonders.

eCrater is a breeze--LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!, and it is so rewarding to do a simple Google Images search and see my products on the first page of the search results.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 9 12:18:26 2015

@Rexford - I often use "identifier_exists" and "False" for my items that are too old to have a UPC, or for some UPCs that Google does not recognize (such as items sold only at the Disney parks which have their own series of UPCs that Google declares fall under a "restricted usage GTIN" category).

I also agree about "does not apply" on eBay as surely using that phrase is not helping eBay sellers get exposure through Google. A check of the permitted Google attributes does not show "does not apply" as being a valid attribute.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 9 14:04:29 2015

Perfectly put iheartjacksparrow. And you and I must resist the temptation to teach someone who knows it all, if you get my drift.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Nov 9 17:21:32 2015

@iheartjacksparrow

Unless it's changed recently, the UPCs disappeared upon relisting.  So if you relist over and over, you do that UPC lookup over and over.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 9 18:51:01 2015

@RKTOYS - Are you referring to listing on eBay? Because I no longer sell there, only on eCrater (I'm not good at hoop jumping). I just list, and wait until the item sells. There's no re-listing on eCrater.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 9 18:57:28 2015

UPCs and ISBNs can increase a sellers visibility in Ebay and outside.  It can be a challenge for some sellers to update all their listings, but the benefit may be worth it.

I agree with the OP that it is a big chore for some of us.  I have a bit more than the OP has to update, but I will have them all updated as I think it may be a good tool in some categories.  

Not all things need or even have a UPC or ISBN or both.  But where they are available, I think we should use them.  And not just on Ebay, but on any site you sell on.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 9 19:34:41 2015

... %99.9 of all my items have UPC codes, so if it can help/will help - then its something I "would" add.

I added them before eBay even spoke about it, so it didnt impact me at all.

I havent seen any increase in sales - but if it helps eBay out of their mess with Google - since it will help myself - why not continue?

Whether or not it does "really help" I cant tell you - Im no SEO expert.

I DO know that eBay is lazy, worthless trash (on a good day) so outsourcing THEIR work to sellers is something Id expect from them - no surprises here for me.

On Amazon (natural comparison) its a must as well - so its not like eBay (in this case) is asking for something oddball.

In fact, alot of my competitors buy their own UPC codes and use them to list bundles on Amazon (does such a thing work on eBay?) and Amazon is MORE then happy.

Im not sure what the big deal here is - I personally dont see an issue.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Nov 9 19:54:09 2015

I agree Pace.  It would help if Ebay would fix the problems they are having with Google.  But I guess it may be to soon for them as it has only been going on a year and a half now.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Nov 10 08:18:41 2015

@jacksparrow

You said "I don't know why eBay sellers..." so I assumed eBay.  I know eCrater works differently; that's the only reason I jump through the UPC hoop there.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 11 07:13:36 2015

#1 - there is a "does not apply" option, which I use often, especially for clothing and Old Vintage items.
#2 - If you're selling in the electronics section (example) there's already a UPC code you can copy from another seller.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 11 07:15:13 2015

 I know eCrater works differently; that's the only reason I jump through the UPC hoop there.
^^
Ecrater has Google attributes and if you don't put your UPC or MPN code in, Google gives you a red! and your product will not show online.

Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt   Why eBay Product Identifier Requirement Will Hurt

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 11 09:47:25 2015

@iheartjacksparrow The beauty of eCrater is that, even without all those 'required' codes, buyers find our items on eCrater and they sell.



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