Why you need to get to grips with eBay Catalogue today!

By Chris Dawson June 15, 2018 - 9:00 am

If you’re not seriously looking at the eBay Catalogue and starting to match your products against it then you should be. As announced in the eBay summer seller release, eBay are expanding their Shop by Product experience and by September it will be mandatory in many categories.

Currently, Shop by Product applies to a limited number of categories such as Amazon, Apple, Dyson, Pure, Google, Jawbone, NEST and Roku but even that is already causing issues (it might be eBay, it might be third party providers) as reported by David Brackin who woke up to discover he was no longer selling Apple products on eBay and he’s still not managed to get them relisted.

Categories which require listings against the eBay catalogue from September
Cardio Equipment
Cell Phones & Smartphones
Computers/Tablets, Networking Tablets & eBook Readers
Major Appliances
Portable Fans
Programmable Thermostats
Small Kitchen Appliances
Space Heaters
TV, Video & Home Audio: Internet & media Streamers
Voice-Enabled Smart Assistants


The reason that Shop by Product and the eBay catalogue is important is that from September it will be expanded to a much greater range of products on eBay and you want to be prepared for this one. 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. This is a much bigger set of products than was included in the Product Identifiers as it includes both new and used conditions. From August 2018, you’ll also 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.

Q4 is not the right time to be making it hard to list inventory

eBay’s core strength is the immense breadth and depth of the inventory that sellers bring to the site. Let Amazon pile it high and sell it cheap with mundane household essentials, eBay is the world’s marketplace where you can buy and sell literally anything that’s legal. The only way this will remain the case is for eBay to enable sellers to do what they do best and bring products to the marketplace with the minimum of friction and to list in an efficient manner and that doesn’t include 24 hour delays.

The worst possible time to be playing with this is right at the start of the busy Q4 selling season when sellers need to be focused on sourcing and listing a wide range of inventory for the busy period. Tamebay thinks that eBay should seriously consider delaying mandatory catalogue listings at least into the New Year, and, if it is to avoid losing its core advantage over Amazon, to make it optional for sellers to join in until it is considerably better established.

  • Jenny
    1 year ago

    What worries me is that they may ignore requests to amend details within listings, even if we are the brand owner.

  • Toby
    1 year ago

    The ebay catalogue is at best a joke. it has so many inaccuracies that many sellers tell buyers to double check it in their listings which not only defeats the object, but also fails to reflect the fact that alot of buyers simply don’t read the listing! ( Title is king!)
    Car parts is a joke. For my car there are two different engine variations with each one having its own brake, exhaust and other parts…. so it amazes me that on a fairly popular car that the ebay catalogue lumps the two together.
    If it wasn’t for me knowing the differences then i would have bought an incorrect exhaust system from poland, an incorrect set of brake disks and pads and a few other bits… all wrong, but clearly stated by ebay as correct ( even down the model year).
    Tell me again how this is going to create a better buying experience? I could have bought them all and then had the hassle of returning them all and the sellers the hassle of and expense of sorting it.
    A catalogue should be made from manufacturers supplied info, not just generally added by anyone.

  • Jonah
    1 year ago

    Toby eBay aren’t bothered- you return something and they invariably profit on the postage anyhow. When the merchant re-lists the item then it’s another listing fee….. a whole profit making business out of a no sale.

    • 1 year ago

      So what you’re saying is, ebay would rather make a quick buck (somehow) on all the extra returns being made due to catalogue discrepancies, rather than worry about the rather obvious consequence of buyers not coming back, fed up with ordering and returning products that weren’t what they thought they would be.

      That’s the mentality of street level drug dealers. I ripped someone off today, hooray! Hustle, hustle. No thought for the future.

      Whatever you think of ebay and their catalogue idea (and no, I don’t think it’s great either) surely they’re a bit better at business than street hustlers? Afterall, what they’re doing now, they’re hoping will improve business. So they must have some foresight and thought of the future.

  • Andy R
    1 year ago

    We do not sell anything that falls within any of these categories, so it is not relevant to us.

    What is relevant, however, is that our customers are increasingly buying direct from our own website, as they are telling us they cannot find the items like they used to on Ebay.

    This is due to the changes Ebay have made to the searches and to seller visbility, as well as continued site problems (when did it ever work properly ???).

    Our own customers are telling us this and we now do more business off Ebay than on it.

    A telling message from one customer this morning on our website

    “Hi. Have tried repeatedly to find your items on Ebay, but the site keeps timing out and the results are not what we asked Ebay to search for ! So we’ve bought directly from your website and really appreciate the discount. Bye Bye to Ebay!”

  • Terry
    1 year ago

    We are in a similar position to Andy, the catalogue does not have any relevance to the categories we sell in. However, the last couple of weeks have been abnormally quiet for us. I have contacted E-Bay twice in the last week or so about it to enquire if there are any reasons and the response, outside of the usual tweaking of prices, updating photo’s, item specifics etc, was that the whole site has been a bit quiet because……the sun came out. I felt compelled to point out that the sun does come out every year, just not on the exact same days !

    There has to be something else going on, whether its changes to search, changes to visibility, something to do with the removal of shopfronts, or something else entirely, I have no idea, and CS were not forthcoming.

    Going back to the catalogue, trying to find something on ebay has become a challenge because there is so much rubbish coming up in search. I frequently lose the will to wade through it all and buy elsewhere, preferably from a supplier website.

    It is interesting that rather than deal with the problem of duplicate listings, poorly structured variation listings, incorrect seller locations, and other failures to follow policy, which would have cleaned the site up a lot, but left those who follow the rules to get on with the day job, the decision has been to implement a catalogue, thus creating yet another monster for sellers to comply with after all of the aggravation last year. I am deeply concerned that the task of managing the catalogue, ensuring it is accurate, and keeping it up to date is a task which has been grossly underestimated by EBay. Putting it on sellers without a very quick, transparent process to deal with required changes, is not going to work.

    More storm clouds ahead it appesr.

  • Steven Elkins
    1 year ago

    ebay should definately drop the catalogue idea, unless they can man it with humans to quickly correct errors in real time. Otherwise its just an invite to drive frustrated customers off site.

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