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eBay are taking action on Duplicate Listings

By Chris Dawson July 15, 2015 - 11:22 pm

We’ve received a number of questions from sellers over the past few weeks as to what’s classed as a duplicate listing and what qualifies as two distinctly different listings. If you’ve got to ask the question you’re probably treading in murky water and our advice is don’t risk it.

What’s more interesting though is what are eBay doing about duplicate listings, especially duplicates from the same seller across multiple eBay user IDs.

One Tamebay reader has been monitoring duplicates and had some interesting news to share. They told us “For ages eBay seemed not to be doing anything about this plague. A week or so ago you ran an article about how they are getting tough on this and are demoting accounts, or multiple linked accounts doing this. I have reported a few over the last week (by phone) and nearly all of them have been actioned“.

eBay will of course allow sellers to leave one listing live, but they’ll force them to cancel the other duplicates. There are two benefits to sellers who report their competitors – Getting higher up the Best Match search results by having duplicates removed and as a side benefit eBay demote eBay sellers breaking the rules.

It appears that there is a two working day turnaround for reports to be actioned, so don’t expect an immediate result. However our reader tells us that eBay let slip that they had a meeting last week and they have increased the people in this department to tackle duplicate listings as they see it as a priority to clean up their catalogue.

Oops, it’s a duplicate eBay Deal!

One has to wonder just how much of a problem duplicates are for eBay and how hard it is for them to detect them without reports from other users. I was having a browse of the eBay Deals this evening and stumbled upon two laptop listings from the same seller. Yes you guessed it, they’re duplicates with a slight difference in titles and price. However checking the listings they both have the same MPN which confirms that it’s the exact same product.

Daily-Deal-Duplicate-Listings

I don’t want to come down too hard on the seller – although they shouldn’t have duplicates we all know how easily they can slip through the net by mistake. My question is: How come the Daily Deals team didn’t spot the duplicates when they signed off on the Deals, especially when eBay are focussing so heavily on cleaning up duplicate listings?

  • Chris
    2 years ago

    I don’t think eBay have thought this policy through. It shouldn’t be one rule for all categories. We sell laptop chargers and some chargers fit 5000+ models of laptop. Ebays rules say when you are selling a compatible item you are allowed to list 15 compatible models. E.g acer aspire 5749 replacement laptop charger, acer aspire 5750 replacement laptop charger etc. Well what about the other 4985 models? Yes, you can try putting other models in the description but as a customer would you really expect to trawl through 5000 model numbers in the description to check your laptop model is listed.

    They need to do a compatibility list as they do with car parts in the ebay motors, but until they do that this duplicate listing rule should be ignored for computer parts.

  • superduper
    2 years ago

    Pulling exact duplicate title listings I don’t have a problem with,

    But doesn’t it already stop you from listing if the title is the same ?,

    What about the same title with different categories, which would also attract more buyers,

    But if there is 1 word difference it is not duplicate listing,

    If it has sold at all on the 2nd listing it means people are finding the 2nd listing who haven’t found the 1st listing,

    Therefore the 2nd listing generates extra sales and more money for both ebay and the seller,

    I am happy with the system as it is, I understand ebay don’t want to subsidize the cost of hosting duplicate listings but if the listing sells 1 item in 30 days the hosting fees should be covered,

    If they start this where does it stop what will be the new rules, a lot of listings will be pulled even though they generate revenue, both the listings you show above have had sales, surely this is what matters, as this is what we are here to do is make money.

    • 2 years ago

      If the product is the same by one seller over 1 or multiple accounts (even though the title is different, or the EAN has been generated to be different) its the same product and therefore a duplicate.

      This is against eBay policy and whilst they did nothing or seemingly nothing about it before they are getting tough on it now.

  • Simon E
    2 years ago

    Many years ago we used to put our SKU in the title. It was the way that I was able to process the orders at the time. I then changed to remove the SKU but I had problems. As we sell silver charms, around 5000 now, there are only so many ways to say HORSE silver charm or cat charm. If I started a listing on ebay “Sterling silver cat charm” then 20 cats charms later all with the same title they would be removed.
    EKM (Bless them) also had issues with duplicate titles.

    I then realised that to COMPLY!!!! I would include the SKU in the title as it is unique to each product.

    I didn’t want to do it as, especially on ebay, the limited 80 characters are precious.

    Nowadays it seems to work for us as it keeps the title unique, customers can see the SKU and sometimes search for “alternative platforms”, and the returns we get on website, ebay, amazon, rakuten, I can sort much more quickly and restock and refund.

    • Mark
      2 years ago

      If adding SKUs to the title gets round the duplicate issue won’t the cheating sellers simply add a random number (fake SKU) to each listing.

  • 2 years ago

    What about the consideration of ebay sellers that have historical shops.
    I have been selling on ebay for 10 yrs and have multiple id’s that all create revenue.They were created to sell for different reasons 1 large qty orders, 2 small royal mail sized packets and a 3 FREE p&p shop. When ebay changed the rules and wanted all listings free P&P

    I would have loved to reduce one shop to manage but can’t afford to lose the sales.
    Ebay should consider crediting your sales history and feedback to one shop.

  • 2 years ago

    There was a time when eBay would merge ID’s and feedback into one but I don’t think they do that now.

  • richbkk
    2 years ago

    Just doing a short search, the thing that struck me was being shown items not related at all to my search. People put in words in the title that are clearly wrong. Great news that duplicate listings from other sites are being demoted too

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