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Sun Mar 4 2018 20:03:00

The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
We have been on eBay since nearly day one, a seller for the better part of that time. While we have had much success on eBay, I see an issue with eBay losing listings that started for us in 2017. By that I mean the listing vanishes as if it never existed. 

It doesn't matter if it is a rarely moving listing sales wise, or a hot listing selling big numbers, it just vanishes. It isn't in the unsold. It isn't anywhere. My sync software could have a listing on eBay setting with large quantity or setting idle with zero quantity, it just simply vanishes at eBay. 

eBay of course is no help as far as tracking a listing number and the wonderment of where it went. With the SKU count level we "try" to maintain on eBay, I have had to devote one of my team members to spend a significant portion of time checking or watch dogging this stuff.

Here is what is happening for example, in an audit of one small subset of our inventory consisting of 83 SKUs or listings, 18 of those SKUs have just vanished as of today Feb 27, 2018. This has happened since Jan 1, 2018. And that is a significant percentage of that subset of those particular listings. Each of these 83 SKUs or listing were newer listings built in eBay at or around a certain date in 2017. 

I highly suspect that there is or was a problem in eBay's distributed resources, at least for those listings built in 2017. The 18 of 83 SKUs I mention are but a small number of the listings we have found missing in 2017 and 2018 so far. Jack the SKU count or listing numbers up to 5000 for our year 2017 created listings as an example, and it becomes a significant headache. 

I've seen some pretty complex IT structure and can make reasonable guesses at the why of this, but who knows how really widespread this is, is it just a small few sellers that happened to be using a particular infrastructure resource at the time, or does it have much deeper reach or failure? 

It isn't for just one eBay account either, we have several selling different things and it has happened across all of those accounts although to a much lesser degree. No one will probably ever know. And who knows if newer listings may suffer the same fate.

But the point of my letter, if you have loads of listings you MIGHT have unlisted stuff setting on your warehouse shelf that you think is listed.
Best regards!
D.



Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 4 20:23:02 2018

Geeeeez, is there anything at eBay that consistently works correctly?

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: jdbok This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 4 23:44:20 2018

I have noticed this for the past 2 years and gave up trying to notify or get help from ebay
its nearly impossible to track I find them during biannual inventories and when items in other streams sell and I go to synch with ebay and lo and behold the items is vanished on ebay
I use turbo lister to list and average about 5-600 listings at all times so any missing listing that I have paid for and spent time on is significant and I just add it up to the increasingly sadistic overhead that is ebay

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Mar 5 01:16:37 2018

I haven't noticed any missing listings but will keep an eye out henceforth.  

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: Jono77 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 04:40:22 2018

I list on eBay UK & have had the same problem for over a year now. I assumed it was eBay bots programmed to erase listings that remained unsold for too long but after only3 months one of my listings disappeard completely. Even the unsold listings were erased. There was no trace of it.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 05:22:25 2018

Its nothing new. Has been happening for more than a few years. It goes along with the surprise listing when ebay relists something that sold months ago.

Just one of fleabays problems that they refuse to ( or don't know how ) to fix. There IT department is in serious need of education. They should all be fired and a new set of programers who know what they are doing hired.

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 06:13:50 2018

Old listings , sometimes will do weird things, I believe ebay programing is driven by search manipulation so much that certain new code does not often get written properly or saved in a timely manner to each listing, then with another change in code, the listing eventually becomes Corrupt.

We have experienced this very same issue, where all of a sudden an item disappears we are only alerted to this because  the particular item sells on a regular basis, then stops, then we start investigating why, our only way to resolve it, is to redo the listing from NEW, which leads to the history being wiped out, but at least it is getting indexed into search again.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Mar 5 06:31:26 2018

This has been going on for years.  And sold items are also sometimes relisted without the sellers permission.  If you call eBay customer service they will often deny it.

As for the sold items being relisted without ones permission, a few years ago I had it happen (as it does about every 6 months or so).  I escalated it way up the chain. far above the CSR level.  What eBay found out was that the sold item that was relisted was not even relisted from my IP address. What they would not do however was admit that it wast relisted from theirs.

Always a good idea to go through your inventory once per year category by category.  You will likely find a few of your items in each category have vanished.  This is unique to eBay.  I sell on five other platforms and it has never happened on the others.

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by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 07:36:21 2018

IF you see within 30 days you can grab it from completed.  If you don't catch it in time, try ENDED. Just might be there.    SEE, BOSS???  I've been telling you they just go poof, you just don't believe me. And once they're gone for a few months, it's START ALL OVER.

Where should we send the bills, ebay?

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 08:02:12 2018

Like everyone else, I've had this happen.  At one point it was more than 40% of my available inventory that had fallen off when I wasn't looking.

I inventoried every stinking thing and relisted. Who knows what I'll find this year.  (next month after taxes are done I'll start inventory AGAIN )  This time they will go on a different venue

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 09:05:37 2018

Happens to me all the time and for years. I know it is not stale inventory because since the active content issues of last year, I have kept all that cleaned up.

There are over 5000 items in my website but if I list over 4000 on ebay, within a day or two it is back under 4000 but I have an anchor store so listing amount should not be an issue.  In the last couple weeks my inventory has been reduced to 3955 despite having listed 86 new items in that same time frame.

I have not noticed any items that I do not already know have been ended in the ended section but I just do not have time to check it regularly.

The 0 quantity which I have been utilizing is being ended now, but I get emails for those.

They also reduce your quantity on their own.
I am very afraid to link ebay to an inventory service as I am afraid what they do will cause issues with the inventory elsewhere.  
Do any of you find this happens or since item not sold does it not reduce your other venue inventory?


Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: geoffreymason This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 09:14:12 2018

This is nothing new and has been happening for years. I first noticed it about six years ago, when 50 or more of my premium items disappeared. It has continued periodically (regularly?) since. During a protracted illness over the past two years, I was unable to monitor closely and got by as well as I could considering the state of my health (all better now, thanks), and was astounded to find what a large chunk of my inventory had vanished from the ebay system. (I have about 1,400 items in the mix at any one time.) I'm still sorting and checking and relisting, and anticipating further unpleasant surprises. And, yes, ebay never accepts responsibility for or even acknowledges the problem. It's feels good to be diversifying.

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 11:24:22 2018

Am I the only eCommerceBytes reader that pays attention to the eBay Seller Updates?  

Several years ago, eBay announced that they would be ending any listing that had no sales activity after 16 months of visibility.

As listings get stale, they drop down in search results. Therefore, I use the item NOTE line to my advantage. The first thing on my Note line is the DATE the item was listed.

I use the Active Selling list showing "ending soonest" to watch daily for items that have been for sale at least 6 months. I end those, then look them over, do a Sell Similar and change the title line, photos, description and/or price as appropriate.

The listing is now new, goes to the top of search. Not all, but many of those items sell after this procedure.

The ended listings will set on the Unsold list for up to 3 months (in my experience). The days I might not have the time to do brand new listings, I can fall back on those for some quick changes and have them up. eBay likes to see new things added on a regular basis and that fills the bill.

I've never had a listing vanish, and I've never had one relist on it's own. I use Auctiva for my original listing, sometimes relist there, but quite often just do a sell similar, but never a relist. Sell Similar is a fresh new listing to eBay, relist is just the same old listing again.

Maybe this will help some of you have more sales with less stress. Have a great week everyone and no, I don't work for eBay.

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 11:29:31 2018

Sign up for selling on Bonanza and import your ebay items to Bonanza - I've lot's of stuff on Bonanza that ebay chooses to make unavailable.  Screw them - let Bonanza have the listing and I don't even have to duplicate the listing or lose the work. Yeah Bonanza

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 11:49:52 2018

I have notice the missing listings for well over a year.

Also, I can check my active listings and the it will say 183.
Then, if I click on my ID, go over to the right to see other items for sale, the items showing will be 156.
There is normally about 20 items difference in the counts.

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Mar 5 11:58:13 2018

Verrry interesting.

When eBay goes to product-based listings, what happens if they may decide to not list your item, even though you are paying for a Store subscription, and you can prove it?

I would believe that, with this new program, that they will have to include EVERYTHING available, from high to low price on EVERY item.

If eBay is blacking out or not showing merchandise that a customer has paid a fee to feature on their site, this is ILLEGAL. No matter if their User Agreement states that you listings may not be shown at all times.

Hope for eBay's sake that they are fully prepared to show all purchase options at all times with this new format. If not, it will finally be time for punishment by attorney(s) general to pursue.

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Mar 5 12:12:57 2018

@Just Plain Irritated

I use these same tactics, and always relist with Sell Similar.

Reminds me of a time at a local Flea Market when a seller set up his booth at 7 AM. Of course, when anyone starts unloading their merchandise, buyers flock to them in hopes to be the first ones to see their stuff. A ''feeding frenzy'' takes place.

About 1-1/2 hours later, the seller started loading up their car to get ready to leave. Or so I thought- he drove to the other side of the sales lot, and started the process all over again. People mobbed him again, and he gained quite a few sales (of stuff no one would even touch just an hour earlier).

Same principle here- when items on eBay are re-listed, they are, all of a sudden, deemed ''fresh'' in the eyes of the buying public (and will not be buried by eBay).

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Mar 5 13:21:52 2018

Just Plain Irritated says "Am I the only eCommerceBytes reader that pays attention to the eBay Seller Updates? "

I'm not sure why you would think that, as most readers here are big consumers of information, but if you can explain why items disappear before that 16 months is up I'd love to hear it.  It's common.

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: jdbok This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 13:23:54 2018

All of my items are sold similar within 30 days nothing has been sitting on eBay for 16 months rarely 6 months but regardless they are sold similar as new items every 30 days every item and some of those items still get Vanishing on eBay and yes I have inexplicable unavailable items listed and sold without my knowledge there's nothing I can do about it except eat the loss

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 13:51:24 2018

Ummm.  Not to be a contrarian, but I've had SEVERAL items that have been listed on eBay IN EXCESS OF THREE years finally sell with NO pricing adjustments by me in the past three months.  Record might be the one that just brushed up against FOUR years before it sold.  NOT the real topic here, but I've also had eBay's Robot Killer Drones NAG me about "... this item has had zero sales in past 16 months..." when it was a MULTIPLE quantity listing with TWO sales in just the 10 days prior to that "no sales" NAG.

Perminate Link for The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings   The Case of Vanishing eBay Listings

by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 5 15:11:12 2018

Been revising older listings- I pick up a given box, and roughly five percent of the items are no longer listed. No idea what happened to them, but I run about 5% (this is on older items, I do not have reason to check the newer listings but HOPE those are all on- hope springs eternal)

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