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eBay UK Autumn Seller Release:
Duplicate Listings

By Chris Dawson August 7, 2018 - 1:36 pm

If you’re wondering why your listing visibility has dropped recently, it might be because you have duplicate listings. eBay have confirmed in today’s seller release that from July 2018, sellers with duplicate listings have started to see a loss in visibility for their inventory.

Remove any duplicate listings

eBay are reminding sellers that having or creating duplicate listings is against their policies, as it negatively impacts the shopping experience on eBay. They say that it pollutes the site and prevents buyers from easily finding and comparing items that interest them.

From July 2018, eBay have started to accelerate our ongoing process of reducing the listing visibility for sellers who violate our duplicate listings policy. eBay will be demoting sellers in Best Match who have duplicate listings and this will be applied to their whole inventory, not just on duplicated items.

What are duplicate listings?

Duplicate listings are two or more listings for items that have no significant difference between them. Even if your listings have some material difference, they will be considered duplicate if they appear to be the same item in search results.

Acceptable ways to sell within eBay’s duplicate listing policy

  • Listing identical items in one multi-quantity fixed price listing using the advanced listing tool
  • Creating auction-style listings
    • You can have more than one auction-style listing for identical items. However, only one duplicate auction-style listing without bids will appear on eBay at a time.
    • Separate listings may be created for the same item on different eBay sites, as long as the international delivery options don’t result in the listings cluttering the search results of any individual site.
  • Listing items with variations, such as size and colour, in one fixed price listing with variations using the advanced listing tool

You can also have up to five fixed price listings for identical items made to fit specific products, models or brands — like phone chargers, connector cables, or auto parts.

The following types of listings, if they are for identical items, are considered duplicate listings even if the listing format or details vary:

  • An auction-style listing with the Buy it now option and an auction-style listing without the Buy it now option for an identical item
  • A fixed price listing and an auction-style listing with the Buy it now option for an identical item

Remove your duplicate listings

We know that from time to time sellers accidentally list duplicate items. Sometimes with several people carrying out the listing process it’s inevitable. eBay suggest in the strongest possible terms that you check through your listings and ensure that any potential duplicates are removed (merge your inventory onto your strongest performing listing).

  • 2 months ago

    As Ebay are able to identify duplicate listings, why don’t they provide a means for sellers to quickly identify any such listings in order to amend or remove them? Oh no, that’s too sensible. Why not just demote ALL of a sellers listings instead. Let them see their sales fall and try to work out that there might be ONE listing somewhere that’s dragging everything down. But let’s not tell them which one.

    No one is arguing that duplicate listings shouldn’t be removed, but it’s the way Ebay goes about dealing with such issues that stinks.

    Another example in this poxy release, is that they will now not protect sellers from INR claims if they don’t upload tracking within the delivery deadline.

    Again, it’s fair enough to encourage uploading of tracking, but we found we were being penalised for late delivery because Ebay was taking the date an item was COLLECTED at the post office, instead of the date delivery was attempted. So we stopped uploading tracking, as Ebay have not sorted THEIR problem out, Why should sellers have to spend time on the phone to deal with this stuff????

    So why refuse to accept tracking after an arbitrary date? if you can prove delivery. that should suffice, no matter whether you uploaded tracking or not. Or does justice on Ebay have a best-before-date.

    Again, this stinks.

  • Stuart
    2 months ago

    I have to agree with the above. If we don’t know we have them how are we supposed to remove them?

    Is it duplicate because it has the same EAN and SKU or is it done by title or what?

    We have seen a sudden drop in sales in the last couple of weeks after 3 months of being up on last year, I have to wonder if it is this now?

  • 2 months ago

    We quite often get duplicate listings which are immediately removed when Linnworks has a hiccup and makes a mistake and lists things twice. Had one this afternoon. Occasionally automated software will get over-zealous when an item is removed and put it back up automatically.

    The duplicate gets removed automatically by eBay within seconds and all is good. We run nightly checks to make sure there aren’t any other duplicates we or eBay haven’t seen and remove them if we do. Are we to be punished for this egregious behaviour that doesn’t impact the buyer search experience at all?

    Meanwhile reports of duplicates live on the site that we find go unaddressed for weeks on end.

    There are duplicates and there are duplicates. I don’t expect eBay to tell us how Best Match works, but hopefully the are taking time that the duplicate is live and the % of all listings put live into account before hitting an ENTIRE SELLER’S ACCOUNT with a penalty.

  • Julius Oliveti
    2 months ago

    I have one competitor. They have about 10 accounts. They have been reported to eBay many times by me and have had about 500 listings removed due to duplicates yet they STILL are doing the same 3 years on!

  • Dave P
    2 months ago

    I still think it is madness that you can’t offer international shipping on a UK listing and also list on the US. As ebay themselves like to point out, buyers like to shop across borders

    • 2 months ago

      It’s not madness, but listing on eBay.co.uk with shipping to the US and listing the same item on eBay.com would result in search results looking like:

      Widget £9.99 shipping to the US £5.00
      Widget $13.00 shipping $7.00

      That’s a duplicate and if you were a US buyer the second is a more attractive presentation which is why listing on eBay.com is a good idea.

      All you do to avoid the duplicate listings on eBay.com is on your UK listing add worldwide shipping but exclude the US as a ship to destination (and of course also exclude any eBay other sites you list directly on)

    • james
      2 months ago

      or make a “special edition”
      widget + Stars & Stripes pin badge bundle = $13.05
      not a duplicate.

    • Dave P
      2 months ago

      I see your point Chris but, unless I am misunderstanding which listings are displayed, it still means that anyone from the US shopping on .co.uk will disregard our listing because it shows as not shipping to the US. I don’t think our US listing will show up on .co.uk will it?

      Now the example between the US and UK isn’t the greatest as the vast majority of buyers will stick to .com but this is less the case for es, it and au consumers.

    • 2 months ago

      Hi Dave, I can only tell you what eBay say which quoting their Duplicate Listing Policy is

      Restricted: “Separate listings for the same item are allowed on different eBay sites, as long as the international delivery options don’t result in the listings cluttering the search results of any individual site”

  • David
    2 months ago

    We sell a product that is identical bar the width – people buy it by the width, and it can’t be all rolled in to one listing as its available in lots of colours and lengths.

    eBay now say they will remove listings if they are considered similar, which these well could be, but they are not.

    I don’t fancy losing the 13,000 sales history one listing has got that has taken 2 years to get!

    • Dave P
      2 months ago

      Think you would be fine on this assuming the title is different and the GTINs also differ

  • Julius Oliveti
    2 months ago
    • 2 months ago

      I see the top 5 results are separate accounts all run by the same person using 2 Ltd companies.

      Account 1 – Correct company name & VAT number
      Account 2 – Has no business details but list the same VAT number.
      Account 3 – Lists their old Ltd company name that was changed at company house in 2014 & lists the same VAT number.
      Account 4 – Second Ltd Co & VAT number
      Account 5 – Second Ltd Co & VAT number

      All companies have same Directors.

  • Shaun Allison
    2 months ago

    I sell vinyl 45rpm records, mainly aiming towards the collectors market. The same 45rpm can have variations that are important to a collector. Push out centre / solid centre with paper labels / solid centre with plastic injection labels. Card or paper picture sleeve. Colour of label on the record. If appropriate, these variations are included as part of the description, as people may want to search on these (although 80%+ of records do not have any variation). How can I find out if ebay consider these as duplicates, as the Artist and Title are the same.

    • 2 months ago

      All are fair reasons to be listed without being considered duplication by ebay, no need to worry. Any vinyl collector would say the same, so you’ve got literally 100,000s of ebayers out there who’d agree.

  • 2 months ago

    I think the issues here is sellers running multiple accounts with each account listing the same products with slight variations in product titles & price.

    They then also list the same product on each account with slight variations too.

    One of the biggest sellers in our sector runs seven accounts like that. We’ve reported them to eBay but see no action is taken.

    All their accounts & products still crowd out at the top of best match searches

    These are the sort of sellers eBay should remove.

    Listing a couple of duplicates by accident should be not a big issue and can simply be resolved by the seller

  • Julius Oliveti
    2 months ago

    You are correct Beachbum. If thats not duplicate listings over multiple accounts I don’t know what is!