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Images lost in eBay photo glitch gone forever

By Chris Dawson July 25, 2018 - 10:00 am

We reported a bug where eBay images went missing from sellers’ listings at the end of June. In early July, eBay told sellers that they were working hard to restore the missing images. It now appears that there is no chance of eBay restoring images and it will be down to individual sellers to correct any listings affected by the eBay photo glitch as they are gone forever.

eBay has emailed many of the sellers impacted apologising and offering 200 free insertion fee credits to use by the 28th of July. That’s err… four days time.

“We made a technical error during a recent update that caused many sellers to lose images associated with their Good Til Cancelled listings. We cannot, unfortunately, retrieve many of the lost images. If re-uploading images is feasible for you, we encourage you to do so.

We know this has been extremely frustrating.

Sellers make up the backbone of eBay, and we’re committed to helping your business grow. To set you up for future success, we’re crediting you back for insertion fees on the impacted listings and providing you with 200 zero insertion fees to use until July 28, 2018.”
– eBay email to impacted sellers

How can you recover images lost in the eBay photo glitch?

Many sellers won’t have images stored on their computers or if they do they may not be named and easily found. This will be especially true if you listed from a smartphone or tablet using the eBay app. However one eBay user known as stuff4divas has figured out that images may well be retrievable from Google Cache.

  1. Put the item number into the Google search box
  2. Under the item in the search result, there is a green description with a drop down arrow all the way to the right
  3. Click on it and it will show ‘Cached’
  4. Click on Cached and the listing will pop up.
  5. Drag the photos to your desktop then upload them back to your eBay listings

Sellers don’t appear particularly happy about the eBay photo glitch, not least because of the hours of work involved in editing listings and adding images back in but also there are reports that when the listings roll over and automatically relist that the photos are disappearing a second time, although this hasn’t been 100% confirmed.

These types of glitches simply shouldn’t happen and even eBay themselves acknowledge that they are unacceptable. That being the case, there’s not a lot of recourse for sellers other than to manually rescue and add the images back to their listings and perhaps take time to use the 200 free listings over the course of the next few days.

Regarding tech problems on eBay:

“We hear this a lot and it’s real and one thing I will say is that there are too many. There are too many and it’s unacceptable that at times we put out a platform that doesn’t work in the way it’s supposed to.”
– Bob Kupbens, eBay Mid-Year Check-In

  • Rob
    3 weeks ago

    Don’t think I am effected by any of the picture loses. But to be offered 200 free listings to use in 4 days is a joke. If sellers are a shop then they are likely to have plenty of spear listings to use at the end of each month.
    If they really want to apologize and try to make up for their mistake why not take 4% off their seller fees for the next bill. After all we will be hit with 4% extra fees when we make mistakes soon. So ebay should live and die by the same rules.

    • james
      3 weeks ago

      according to the ebay statement, this only affects GTC listings.
      as far as i’m aware, GTC listings are only open to those with ebay stores.
      anyone with an ebay store should have ample spare listing credits.
      really sincere apology from ebay. can you feel the love?

  • Jonah
    3 weeks ago

    Sadly goes to show the perceived contempt that eBay shows it’s sellers. How different the platform would feel with a little humility now and then.

  • paul
    3 weeks ago

    i went through about 12 days of pure hell. foning every single day and sometimes 3 times a day and email chat only to be met every day with false promises and utter lies. nobody ever foned back. they just passed the buck every time. i spent 3 further days sorting out all the listings that were affected which was really difficult cos its very hard to identify certain items by description only if you sell many similar items and was charged 12p for each one…i never got offered free listings or even an email..thanks ebay.

  • Gillian Frosdick
    3 weeks ago

    Never got any free listings at all. Some of my photos have long gone as I delete off the phone, I’ve approximately 1.200 to delete as I’ve closed store for a week.

  • Dave
    2 weeks ago

    2nd of August and this email has landed in my inbox:

    Dear xxxxxx,

    During a recent site update, we experienced a technical error that deleted images from Sellers’ Good Til Cancelled listings. We’ve restored the first image for all impacted listings, but weren’t able to recover additional images.

    We’d like to apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.

    While errors can happen, we recognise that this creates additional effort on your part, which takes away from your business.

    Again, we apologise for this technical error.

    Thanks for selling with us,
    The eBay Seller Team

    • Rob
      2 weeks ago

      Just received the same email. I have discovered this week some of my listings are missing pictures as buyers have been emailing me asking for extra pictures. Very annoying as I buy store return stock so some have defects which I picture to show any damage.
      What ebay really mean in their email is, sorry some of your images have been lost. When a buyer opens a not as described case against you due to us losing the images we will now start charging you an extra 4% fees.

    • james
      2 weeks ago

      received the same email.
      “We’re sorry. We lost images on some of your listings”
      WHICH BLOODY ONES????????
      got over 1000 listings, i’ve to check these all manually because ebay screwed up AGAIN?

      and what’s this “ebay for business” logo at the top of the mail?
      they invented a new department specifically to apologise for cockups?

  • paul
    2 weeks ago

    tell me about it mate , i have 2 accounts with about 1200 listings…. took me about 6-7 hours to go through them all…..then another week to sort out the affected ones , plus the 12 days prior to all this on the fone everyday being pissed around and constantly lied to with false promises etc….an incredibly offensive response by ebay to the hassle we are enduring…. i still not been offered any form of compensation….

  • Andy P
    2 weeks ago

    I too got the email, I thought it was spam at first. The message doesn’t show in eBay messages or announcements. What a total joke, at least give sellers some way of identifying the affected listings rather than having us open up every one of our listings to see if eBay have buggered them up.

    When are eBay going to improve themselves into a semi-professional company?

  • simon
    2 weeks ago

    Exactly James.
    What are the offending listings would be a good place to start so we can sort out their mistake. Are they so ignorant that we have to tell them to let us know?
    I have 1200 listing and do not want to go through them to find the offending ones (if any).
    Why are the people at eBay so damned stupid. Why don’t they tell us the listings? Where is their backup!!!!
    Why do we pay all our fees only to find this world renown company can’t even do basic stuff right and we then have to spend hours/days to fix the problem they created.
    What company does not keep backups……..ridiculous and pathetic.

  • simon
    2 weeks ago

    I also think they do have the images but know it would take them a lot of time and money to fix, and why do that when you can say “sorry” and get the sellers affected to fix the mistake for them.

  • paul
    2 weeks ago

    they DO have the images…. the first time it happened with 4 or 5 listings they actually sent me the missing ones , albeit they didnt tell me the corresponding item numbers so i had a load of about 40 or 50 fotos in a folder and was left to figure it out for myself……..this is my journey , maybe i posted it B4 i cant remember…

    probably around the 1st of july 4 listings had fotos removed which I tried to sort out with ebay but it amounted to nothing and I ended up adding new fotos myself as the items were easy to identify

    went through both accounts on sat 13th and found no problems on w666fly but there were 45 affected listings on nackymoo so I contacted ebay by email (see emails) and just got messed around and false promises and lies , they retrieved some pics and sent them to me but that was no use cos I dunno which item numbers they were for
    gave up with email and foned direct on Saturday and was told they would look into it and fone me straight back , that never happened

    so foned again on Sunday and spoke to Kevin who gave me an ebay ref no. 1-167734666077 to use in any future correspondence and was told it had been put to the IT department , he foned me later that day and said that the issue would be resolved within 2-6 hours and all pics would be added to the correct listings

    on Monday the issue still had not been fixed and no contact from ebay either so I foned in yet again and spoke to someone else whos system crashed and she couldn’t access the ref no. and also Kevin was off that day so she said she would leave a note on kevins desk and he would fone me first thing Tuesday morning

    that fone call never came so I foned in yet again and spoke to another woman I think was called linda whos system also crashed so she got in touch with Kevin who I was assured is going to fone me back today before 5.30 and I was also advised it had been passed to the supervisers too
    yet again the call was never returned and the listings are still unchanged
    Wednesday 18th foned again , couldn’t get through so requested a callback within 5 and 7 minutes , still no callback after 30 minutes so foned in again and waited on hold for half an hour before the call was answered by shane who
    Basically did the same as linda by trying to reach out to shane and get him to fone me with an update , and again I was promised this would be resolved..
    Thursday and still no fone call so I called again and spoke to simon who again tried reaching out to shane but I insisted on speaking to someone in a higher authourity so he reached out to Kevin (again) in trust and safety dept. and was promised that Kevin would fone me
    As yet (fri 20th july) there has been no fone call , only an email to say all the listings have been removed and another email saying they attempted to call but the number was wrong , more and more hassle every single day , anyway I Foned again
    And was told that all the listings will be re-instated with all the original fotos within 24 hours…
    Sat 21st , no surprise that not a single one of the listings has been relisted and no contact from ebay , so I foned in again and spoke lisa to and she said there were 2 guys in the listing department dealing with it and they tried to relist them but it didn’t work so they are still currently working on it , after my call I got an email saying the listings had been restored , they had not been re-listed , they have just been put into my ended listings section on my account and if I try to relist them the fotos are still missing…
    sat 21st , got a fone call saying that was it…there was nothing they can do , you have to sort them yourself , i asked about compensation and was flatly refused , i have just spent about a week re-listing all the items , the problem is trying to identify the item as most of the items i sell are very similar….i am absolutely disgusted with the way i have been treated..nothing but lies , false promises and contempt…

  • NorthCrystal
    2 weeks ago

    Seems like they don’t even care about a proper PR message to sellers. The email sounds like written briskly by some fresh apprentice (sorry kid!).

    • alan paterson
      2 weeks ago

      Glitches happen and there is a solution / back up to every problem.

      Do you guys not have your images backed up?

      Can I recommend http://www.biggerbids.com

      we lost images over this ebay glitch . we can go way back over a decade with bigger bids. It holds not just the images but the entire auction, description, everything and is compatible with mobile devices with their new responsive templates.

      I sound like a sales man for them and this is not a sponsored post. when we lost some of our images due to the “glitch” we simply copied them back over from bigger bids.

      Com on guys – we should be backing up our images. Its not good that ebay lost images but its also not good if sellers dont take the responsibility to have a back up – then it really IS a problem.

    • Northumbrian
      2 weeks ago

      Point is its utterly poor service
      Why are ebay somehow Absolved
      From having a backup

    • Rob
      2 weeks ago

      @Alan, yes glitches happen. It’s the way ebay go about sorting them out and the messages we get from them that annoy people.
      At the same time as the images going missing sellers are getting messages saying if you get a certain percentage of defects we will charge you extra. Yet when we have errors or things go wrong we just say sorry.

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