eBay block relists with invalid product identifiers

By Chris Dawson July 9, 2017 - 9:19 pm

We’ve heard from a couple of readers who have been told by eBay that their listings have incorrect product identifiers and that they won’t be able to relist until they correct them.

“Some of your listings contain invalid product identifiers. Over the past 2 years, we’ve expanded our use of product identifiers, and have introduced further checks to make sure that information is valid. We’ve noticed that some of your listings don’t include valid product identifier information. From 10 July You won’t be able to relist these items without including valid product identifiers.”
– eBay emails

The follow up question from sellers is does this mean that the “Does Not Apply” option is about to be removed by eBay? This is of course coming – announced in the Autumn 2016 seller release eBay confirmed the option will go and also that Amazon an Google as well as self-created product identifiers would be introduced.

  • “New options, including Amazon, Google and self-created product identifiers will be available from summer 2017.
  • We’ve postponed our next product identifier mandate – additional categories of new and Good ‘Til Cancelled listings for manufacturer refurbished items – to next year, along with the removal of the Does not apply listing option.”

– Autumn 2016 eBay Seller Release

Is anything changing with eBay Product Identifiers on the 10th July?

We’ve double checked with eBay and none of the rules or options around Product Identifiers are due to change on the 10th of July.

What appears to have happened with some sellers is that they have been identified as using invalid values. Example: adding the same value on the MPN and the Brand field, having MPN values such as “see description” etc. If that’s you then you’ll need to update your listings and preferably to valid and correct Product Identifiers.

eBay have a help page detailing common issues with product identifiers so if you’re trying to figure out why your listings are being flag it’s worth taking a check on the likely cause.

  • Brian
    10 months ago

    This is the email we have received —

    We’ve noticed that some of your listings don’t include valid product identifier information.
    From 10 July
    You won’t be able to relist these items without including valid product identifiers.
    From September
    We’ll block any Good ‘Til Cancelled listings with invalid product identifiers, instead of them being automatically renewed.
    It would be interesting to know if the ” guilty ” Good till cancelled listings will be end up in the “unsold ” box – or permanently deleted .
    I will have to ammend all “guilty ” listings as “Does not apply” – as we have difficulty finding EAN numbers for some of our products .
    If Ebay eventually roll out compulsory EAN numbers it is going to be a nightmare for many sellers- could be the end.

  • Brian
    10 months ago

    Hi Chris or any knowledgeable person please tell me if are MPN EAN etc numbers are required on —
    -Used items –
    seller refurbished items
    Manufactuer refurbished. items
    for parts or not working items

    Thank you

  • Martin
    10 months ago

    And custom hand made items which have variations different sizes and colours. We hand make our products so no EAN available.

    Buying EAN numbers for all our possible variations colour and size change is also not viable.

  • 10 months ago

    Hi Chris and Martin
    Custom made items do not need EANs, nor do antique items produced before we had Product Identifiers.
    Used and refurbished items will have the original Product Identifiers (EANs or MPNs) as they are the same item but used/refurbished.

    • BFT
      10 months ago

      I sell variety packs of similar new items. Each of the items has a barcode, but obviously the pack of, say 6 or 10, does not have its own barcode.
      Does anybody know what will happen in cases like that? I have telephoned eBay customer services and spent an hour on the phone talking to someone who didn’t have a clue – makes eBay look like a bucket of Muppets.

    • 9 months ago

      @BFT: You should use the individual item’s UPC/EAN and then put the number in the combined pack in the Lot Size field. If you have three sets of 6, then your quantity would be 3 with a Lot Size of 6.

  • Alan
    10 months ago

    Ebay will only have the right to impose this rule when they actually bother to know the EAN or MPN themselves! Their catalogue is atrocious.

    We try listing all sorts of goods – many established brands – by entering the product identifier and 95% of the time eBay has no clue what it is. Sometimes it recognises the product category, but always guesses the wrong product or the wrong version or generation. The result is clearly WORSE than a clear description in words.

    It is simply untrue that “Used and refurbished items will have the original Product Identifiers (EANs or MPNs)”. Thousands of private sellers sell unboxed – even unidentifiable – used products to hoards of happy buyers. And eBay offers no help in helping you find an EAN.

    With the “Does Not Apply” option due to be removed, it seems they are following Amazon in only wanting giant pro-sellers shifting vast volumes of current, known big sellers from their multinational friends.

  • Bryan
    10 months ago

    Who uses Product Indentifiers to look for items on Ebay ??? No-one I know. We search by description although this is becoming increasingly more time consuming with lots of listings now being shown that do not relate to the search description entered. EANs or MPNs whatever they might be do not exist for most of the classic car parts I buy or sell and classic car owners looking to buy parts wouldnt know what these numbers were if they did exist.
    GET REAL EBAY , Stop making it difficult for the ordinary seller to sell via EBAY.

    • Alan Paterson
      10 months ago

      I think you have missed the point Bryan.

  • brian
    10 months ago

    The woman posting as – “selling on ebay ” – advertises herself as an independant ebay business advice giver – 10 years Power seller experience- needs to get her facts right.
    Used goods DO NOT need EAN numbers – & according to ebay chat- at the moment are not pencilled in for the future.

    • DBL
      10 months ago

      They do not NEED product Identifiers but if you have one and add it your product is then identifiable in/by search. So if you have it put it in if not its not a requirement.

  • James Dance
    10 months ago

    Why is nobody reporting the massive issue with the book category. Were ebay are entering certain product identifiers in the wrong category, Then handing out miss categorised policy violations which then result in loss of sales. Its been going on for months. Ebay have acknowledged to me on the phone that this is a site issue. Why is this not reported on here?

  • 10 months ago

    Is it just me that sees a scenario where someone at Ebay will press a switch one day and millions of listing will disappear overnight as they do not contain the “correct” product identifiers?

  • james
    10 months ago

    last month ebay deleted all my listing that HAD a correct EAN.
    no warning, no excuse, no apology.
    lost the momentum and sales history on essentially everything.
    had to relist nearly my entire store from scratch.
    they can’t even offer an explanation as to why.
    sure this will work out wonderfully though.

  • brian
    10 months ago

    I wonder what percentage of Ebays turnover/profits is made by the small time seller ?
    This change will drive a lot of away -due to being unable to fathom it all – leaving the big companies to fill the space .

  • brian
    10 months ago

    James- perhaps you should go back to list everything as “does not apply” – and wait for the day of reckoning!

  • brian
    10 months ago

    Hi James – perhaps you should go back to everything as -“Does not apply ” – and wait for the day of reckoning!

  • brian
    10 months ago

    The system is allowing you to put incorrect EAN numbers in & accepting them. At a later date Ebay comes back to saying its a wrong one..
    Hope they dont start giving our punishment for this.

    • bft
      10 months ago

      I’m in trouble then. I was trying to list an item using the correct EAN a while ago, but it was rejected by eBay for some reason – so I used the EAN from the bag of scratchings I had just scoffed and that was accepted! I think I will be cast into the fiery pit on judgement day.

    10 months ago

    What is the point??

  • Alan
    9 months ago

    My items are unique and handmade … despite the reassurances I forsee problems later down the line. Multiple frustrating conversations with overworked ebay staff.