eBay: Mandatory Product Identifiers deadline just one month away

By Chris Dawson January 27, 2016 - 1:09 pm

Product Identifiers hmThere’s just over a month to go until Product Identifiers will become mandatory for new and manufacture refurbished items on eBay UK (and eBay in France, Germany, Italy and Spain).

All new, relisted, revised and Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will be impacted if you’re listing a product in a from the week of the 29th February.

Here at Tamebay we appreciate what a pain this is and the sheer amount of time it’ll take to add them. It’s not a trivial listing update as, unless you have the product identifiers to hand, you’re going to have to research each item before you can add the GTIN.

In some cases you may even need to purchase GTINs from GS1 if you have your own branded products. If that is you then GS1 have a new portal designed to assist marketplace sellers.

We have heard of problems, some users reporting eBay’s report of non-compliant listings is including listings in categories which don’t require identifiers. We’ve also heard a number of people complaining that eBay File Exchange isn’t working for them, although eBay have told us that they don’t see any fault on their side.

Despite the difficulties, eBay say the benefits of Product Identifiers will pay dividends. They say that “Listings with product identifiers generally have better visibility in search results, both on eBay and in search engines. And later this year, when you add product identifiers you’ll also benefit from merchandising advice, special promotions and customised marketing emails to help you sell more. If your item is listed in our eBay catalogue and has associated product reviews, we’ll automatically add them to your listing to help increase your conversion“.

Are you well along the way to adding Product Identifiers to all your listings, or are you one of those who will simply wait for your listings to fail before you get around to updating them?

  • james
    2 years ago

    “If your item is listed in our eBay catalogue and has associated product reviews, we’ll automatically add them to your listing to help increase your conversion“.

    aw hell no!

    dont want it, you can keep it. take your “automatic help” with anything and shove it ebay, your idea of help is adding an extra ten hours per week to my workload.

    why do i want someone elses negative reviews on my product? i can already picture “seller abusive and item late” reviews for products, which were nothing to do with me. plus four hours on hold to ebay cs to get it removed i’m sure.

    no i dont trust ebay to get it even remotely right.

    file exchange was broken for four days straight and you didnt see a problem? yet we’ve to trust you with this?

    provide a button for “does not apply” to every product with a single click. otherwise i’m gonnna have to go through and remove them all manually again.

    what are ebay offering in exchange for all the extra workload they’re piling on?
    increased sales? no, sales are down.
    increased visibility? no, google sees right through ebay tricks.
    irrelevent and unmoderated reviews? dont want, thanks.

    • PayPalUser
      2 years ago

      Hi Chris and Dan,

      Like most sellers on here, we are absolutely desperate to get away from eBay, and deal with a professional organisation that does not treat its customers like something that they’ve trodden on

      Can you please make enquiries with onBuy, they did say that they would be ready to open by July last year, but nothing seems to have happened.


  • paddy
    2 years ago

    Nothing that I sell has an EAN number. From what I can gather I’m going to have to change every affected listing to “Does not apply”.

  • chrisL
    2 years ago

    If you are selling Clothing, you will see that all clothing categories will need either the EAN or “does not apply”.

    What makes it worse is that there is no way to bulk update this when you have variations, for example for every T-Shirt I sell, I have S-XXL so I needed to go into every single listing and manually add the “does not apply” or the EAN to every size variation.

    I only have 375 active items but due to variations, this took me a whole weekend to do.

    • 2 years ago

      Hey Chris,

      I feel your pain – I’m doing all of our German & AU listings now and its taking forever. One listing has 300+ size and colour variations … clothing is fun!

      I was also under the impression this had to be finished by January 2016, can anyone confirm this?

      Many Thanks,

    • chrisL
      2 years ago

      Hi Carl
      As far as I kow the requirement for Clothing is by latest End of Feb, which means that the listings will not be renewed if this is missing by that date.
      Thats why I wasted the whole weekend doing it in advance.
      It is a pity that Ebay does not give us a tool to bulk update and that we have to go into every item and do it manually.

      ps: I have just checked the announcement and it is correct as End of February:

      ” We’re writing to remind you that we’re adding new categories to our product identifier requirement from 29 February 2016. This applies to all new, relisted, revised and Good ‘Til Cancelled listings of new and manufacturer-refurbished items. The requirement applies to both single and multi-variation listings.

      We recommend you start adding product identifiers to your listings now to make sure you’re prepared. From the week of 29 February, you won’t be able to complete listing, relisting or revising items in these categories without including the required product identifiers. “

    • 2 years ago

      I was told by a guy on the phone @ ebay that you can do it via file within File Management somewhere but if its anything like bulk updating prices by the time you get it to work you may aswell just ”smash it out” manually…

      I’m just glad we already had a spreadsheet with all our EAN’s saved. PLUS copy and pasting from the edit quantity and price screen gives you your SKU in excel then a VLOOKUP formula to those EAN’s means I have them in the same order as my edit listing page.. (making it a little tiny bit more manageable!)

    • Jason
      2 years ago

      Same, it takes far too long to gather every single EAN for each size. This is the reason why very little clothing is on Amazon. Searching clothing EAN on google will rarely bring up anything so I really do not see any benefit of this.

  • 2 years ago

    we sell used mobile phones. Although they are used ebay wants an EAN and MPN. If I leave the fields blank the system complains. An apparent knock-on effect is that ebay now thinks I’m selling duplicate items when I’m not. In mobiles we cannot do variations and being used items we grade the cosmetic condition (ie: A, B, C, etc). ebay says that just being Grade A (ie: almost new) vs Grade C (ie: um, “well loved”) is “basically the same thing”, even though the title in one says “Grade A”, the price is different, the photos are different, the SKU is different, etc. I’ve been listing like this on ebay for almost 3 years, but I’m told that I must have changed something – no thought that perhaps the ebay robots are getting confused by the ebay catalogue. All a bit frustrating.

  • james
    2 years ago

    cant revise item – EAN required
    cant add EAN – specifics cant be amended during restricted revise (eg. a variation sold out)

    WHY YOU SO STUPID EBAY??????????

    the only solution? knowingly leave incorrect, misleading, or inaccurate info online.
    leave ebay.

  • Rich
    2 years ago

    We are a small manufacturer of thing we sell on ebay only. Why do we have to get ean numbers from gs1 which would cost is a couple of hundred quid when there are many people offering numbers on ebay itself for about 6 quid for 1000 numbers?

    • chrisL
      2 years ago

      Hi Rich,
      For the case that you manufacture yourself, then I would not even borther with the EANS, just mark your listings as “does not apply”

  • zina
    2 years ago

    I have spent days and days changing each listing to ‘Does not apply’ as I sell personalised items.
    Now I want to make some bulk pricing changes on Turbo lister….and guess what – it doesnt recognise ‘Does not apply’!!!!
    Arrgghhh – Im so fed up with ebay, undoing all my hard work and creating more crap for me to sort out.
    I am losing the will to live 🙁

    • james
      2 years ago

      don’t type “does not apply”, there should be an option called “does not apply” in the drop-down.

    • zena
      2 years ago

      James, this works on ebay, but it does not work in Turbo Lister. I have a lot of items listed so rely on Turbo lister to do things in bulk, now I cant use it.

  • Sparesman
    2 years ago

    Most private buyers and probably many business buyers wouldnt have the faintest idea what the product identifiers are for the items they are looking to buy. I just cannot see why ebay continually make it more difficult for sellers to make a listing . I would think most buyers search by description and maybe category when looking for items to buy. Certainly I do and so do most people I know in the classic car world.

  • zena
    2 years ago

    Why is it i get the feeling Ebay are trying to be like Amazon? Slowly integrating requirements and trying to kill off small guys!
    Its about time another selling platform was invented that understood how a business runs.

  • RP
    2 years ago

    I can’t believe how so far off the mark eBay are with their logic. When their CEO announced in a key speech last year that they realised the “mum & dad” businesses who built ebay had been abandoned, he made it a goal to re engage these small businesses.
    How does making it HARDER to list on ebay achieve this? As a 13 yr Australian based seller I firmly believe they need to SIMPLIFY the whole process!
    In August last year my wife started to sell on Facebook & Gumtree (owned by eBay). In many ways so much better, simple & quick to list. Her sales growth has been stronger than mine…sellers want to list items quickly & simply.

  • Gerry007
    2 years ago

    Rather tyipcal of ebay, not thought it throuigh properly, so when the seller hits a brick wall, they give you the option of “does not apply”….

    Rather counters the whole idea doesn’t it!!

  • elvis
    2 years ago

    Where is the cheapest place to purchase GTIN’s?

  • Rich
    2 years ago

    So we have just have a great weekend updating all our listings with their multiple variation to EAN’s or DNA. So we are now fully compliant.
    What is going to happen to the non-compliant listings from other sellers come the 1st March? Will the listings stop working and if so will ebay stop collecting fees for these listings or will it be simply like the great photo fiasco – nothing! and we have all wasted our time trying to meet this latest set of requirements?

  • richinbkk
    2 years ago

    I had to do listings one by one. The screen was so slow too. It took a long time. Variation listings were a real pain. I had to figure out how to do it myself as the information pages mentioned everything other than that.
    Turbo lister did not appear up to it and I didn’t fancy the bulk listing tool as I have had it crash mid-way before now.
    Even though I think I did it well first time, I have still had to repeat the process on some stragglers.
    I don’t have many listings now as my ebay business is failingly badly; some consolation I suppose.

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