eBay UK Summer Seller Release:
Shop by Product
In Spring 2018’s business seller news, eBay announced the trial of a new Shop by Product experience. This includes sellers matching listings to the eBay catalogue and eBay can then display groups of similar listings together.
Shop by Product second wave
Starting in June for a limited number of product lines, eBay will test making Shop by Product the default shopping experience. Listings within these product lines that aren’t yet matched to the eBay catalogue may have minimal or no visibility to buyers. Yes, that’s right, if you’re not adding your products to the eBay catalogue as Shop by Product is rolled out you’ll be killing your sales.
As eBay start to test the experience they are also preparing to expand tests later in the year to a much larger range of products. They announced this earlier in the year so it’s no surprise, but what it does mean is that in preparation they’re asking sellers to match products in more categories to their catalogue. This will include a considerable larger range of products compared to the first wave of testing and so impact a greater number of sellers.
Cell Phones & Smartphones
Computers/Tablets, Networking Tablets & eBook Readers
Small Kitchen Appliances
TV, Video & Home Audio: Internet & media Streamers
Voice-Enabled Smart Assistants
From August 2018, you’ll need to match your Good ‘Til Cancelled listings with the catalogue in the categories above. eBay will also provide you the ability to suggest improvements to the catalogue for products that you feel aren’t accurately described, or are missing critical information. You’ll also be able to suggest new products to the catalogue if you have stock which isn’t already in the catalogue.
From September, you won’t be able to successfully revise an existing listing or complete a new one if you don’t use the catalogue.
What should you do now?
There are two options for sellers which will have dramatically different impacts on your eBay sales.
You could ignore the directive and add existing listings to the eBay catalogue as and when you edit them or your create a new listing. This is definitely the easiest course of action but you are likely to see a dramatic drop in sales and of course the full impact will start to hit you just as we enter Q4 – editing thousands of listings at the busiest time of year won’t be ideal.
The other option is to start matching your listings in August as soon as the tools are available. This has the added benefit that you can identify listings for which catalogue information is missing, incorrect or incomplete.
Our advice would be to start sooner rather than later as we’re only too well aware here at Tamebay that this is a mammoth task and a ton of work – of course this task will be considerably easier if you’ve already been adding GTINs to your eBay listings.
Which of your listings need editing?
First check out the Seller Release information to make sure you know what’s required and if it impacts your listings.
You’ll also start receiving email notifications about which of your listings need revising in order to display in the Shop by Product experience. Seller Hub will show recommendations on product matches for your listings to help you with your revisions, and eBay will be updating tools to help you suggest edits and new products in the catalogue.
Get some help
Speak to your multichannel management provider and ask if they can assist with some automation. eBay are working with channel partners to make sure they enable catalogue recommendations on product matches for your listings, along with the ability to make suggestions to the eBay catalogue.
” Get some help ” Not all of us have a multichannel management provider thank you.
Ebay does not care about sellers . No markdown manager for 14 days, free returns, best buy box so its an Amazon style race to the bottom. Shocking how Ebay has changed in the last 6 years. Paypal dont need them
The worry here is that the only factor buyers choose from will be price. Our work creating great descriptions, taking great photos will all be wasted.
Previously we could have a higher price and still sell well due to great feedback and good quality listings. That is all going to be taken away.
We have our own brand of products. When eBay ‘grouped’ listings last autumn we saw 1000 reviews lost from 55 of our best selling products. This lost us circa 25k in sales. eBay did resolve it with the help of their structured data team in Israel, but it took 2 months.
The reason for this issue? It was down to EAN copiers (sometimes for completely unrelated products). Sellers trying to gain our reviews for their items as they could not be bothered to work hard to gain their own. This will happen again but now we check our listings very regularly and file NOCI forms with Vero on a daily basis.
Has anyone noticed that in the Expanding Shop by Product section of the release, under the frequently asked questions, it states:
“Which details should I include when I add a product to the eBay catalogue?
The title should be clear and accurate, and the product image(s) should be high quality, with no graffiti or watermarks. A product description is helpful but not required.”
So does this mean to list in the catalogue, which eBay are telling us will become a requirement and if we don’t our listings won’t be visible to buyers, we can no longer use watermarks? In November eBay back tracked on the no watermark policy and sent out an announcement saying they’d listen to sellers and were not going to enforce this: “Having listened to our sellers’ views on this, we’ve decided not to enforce this policy and to keep it in place as guidance only.”
So are they backtracking yet again? If they are, this info about watermarks is hidden away, its not in the main seller release info, just under one of the frequently asked questions in a section of it, its not very prominent .
I think what they’re saying is that not only are they forcing us to use the eBay catalogue, they want us to write it for them also.
I guess they can’t be bothered.
I’d presume that you can use your own images in the listing, its just the first one that has to be clear.
I’ve just checked two of our items which have catalogue pages from using the EAN.
One of them is misleadingly wrong because of another seller’s title.
There’s no obvious link to report the page. I don’t want to mislead buyers.
3 phrases spring to mind: sisyphean, kafkaesque, and digging one’s own grave. . When did cataloging the entire world of possible products past and present become thinkable?
Everytime these announcements are made to ‘improve the ebay experience’ my heart sinks and my anxiety about the future rises!
I’ve got so many products that just aren’t going to be able to be pigeon-holed so easily into this catalogue system, many are unbranded, many are bundled and many are unique and i’ve already invested sooo much time in making sure they have managed to jump through the latest series of hoops.
I think we’ll see multiple entries for the same product, incorrect listings (as buyers struggle to find the correct upc for their product) and an impossible system in which to fit various products. And ultimately i feel that if i do manage to plough several months work into creating catalogue listings, then all i’ve done is invest a ton of work into building a platform where others can clone my listings quickly and easily and then engage me in a price-war race to the bottom. Our ability to use creativity, determination and skill to sell products better than the next seller is being removed.
I won’t be racing to produce their catalogue listings (digging my own grave) half as quickly as i am now racing to dump the stock via big sales in order to reduce my listings.
Will this catalogue system be used for ‘used’ items?