eBay delay Product Identifier roll out

Product Identifiers hmIf you’ve been worrying about how you’ll add product identifiers (GTIN – EAN/UPC/JAN/ISBN) to your multi variation listings you can stop now. eBay have scrapped the roll out intended for the 1st of September and say that they’ll delay implementation until some time next year.

In all likelihood the reason for the delay is not a lack of will, it’s probably that technically eBay simply aren’t ready. Whilst you can add a product identifier to single item listings, currently only the parent of a variation can be assigned a product identifier. It’s not possible to add them to child listings. eBay acknowledged this saying “This is in response to some technical issues our sellers have highlighted when trying to add this information. We’re looking into the issues and apologise to those affected for any inconvenience caused“.

Insisting sellers do something that’s not possible would of course be ridiculous, just as ridiculous as going ahead and fudging the issue by forcing sellers to assign one GTIN to all variations of a product when each different size or colour should have their own unique GTIN.

This is of course something eBay should have realised long ago, and it’s not something that’s not been highlighted multiple times. We’re guessing that at some point in the future the technical weenies will do what needs to be done so that GTINs can be uploaded to all child listings on eBay.

In the mean time this will of course put a dent in eBay’s plan for a more catalogued approach which they’ve said is vital to drive traffic from search engines. Google for instance isn’t interested in product feeds with Product Identifiers missing, so sadly it might be some time before your products start appearing in search across the web.

Edited to add

For an update from eBay with more background information now read Insights from eBay on Product Identifier delays