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eBay bugs and glitches round up (that’s left 86% of jeans with no size specified)

By Chris Dawson October 16, 2019 - 10:01 am

There have been a number of eBay bugs and glitches which have impacted sellers ability to run their businesses. Rather than report them one at a time we’re going to run through them all here:

Item Specific name and value changes

eBay gave 8 weeks notice of new mandatory Item Specifics and because they were originally scheduled to come into effect on the 8th of October but were delayed a week to the 15th it was actually 9 weeks notice. Whatever prep you did has largely been wiped out by eBay changing multiple Item Specifics names and attribute values.

This is really unforgivable at the start of Q4 – if name and value changes were coming then sellers should have been informed in plenty of time. eBay still haven’t given guidance to whether they are in the process of migrating the old values (e.g. ‘Inside Leg’ to ‘Inseam’ or if it’s down to sellers to run around and fill in the new attribute for all their listings.

This isn’t something unique to the UK – sellers on both sides of the Atlantic are tearing their hair out trying to run their businesses but with their listing and editing tools failing. The only good news is that Good ’til Cancelled listings won’t fail to renew, but you can’t even change quantity available or price without adding the new Item Specifics which it turns out you had zero day’s notice of.

Optiseller recommended but not updated

eBay simply don’t have any tools to manage Item Specifics, so they have been recommending OptiSeller (which is actually a great tool). The problem is that sellers have told us yesterday that they went to OptiSeller to try and deal with the mass of listings which need updating just to discover that the new Item Specifics weren’t in OptiSeller. The one tool that eBay recommended (in an Announcement Board post yesterday) to deal with the problem doesn’t actually work yet.

Buyers can’t see sizes

Whilst sellers are trying to deal with the SNAFU eBay have landed them in, there’s bad news on the buyer side too. Buyers can’t actually see any sizes for buying as the old Item Specifics appear to have vanished and the new ones haven’t appeared in their place.

As an example, if you tried to buy Men’s Jeans on eBay yesterday, the only size options given were ‘Size Type’ with values of ‘Regular’ or ‘Big & Tall’. Everyone knows that men buy jeans in waist size and leg length in inches – typically you might want a 34″ waist and 34″ leg or similar. The only way to select the size as a buyer was to click into each and every listing and cross your fingers that your size might be there.

It matters little that this may be a transitional period between the old Item Specifics and the new ones. It’s just a car crash when you remove the old Item Specific before the new one even displays for buyers when it’s something as critical as finding a pair of jeans by size.

No Item Specifics

It’s also weird to see the depth of detail eBay expect sellers to provide with both ‘Material’ and ‘Fabric Type’ as options (seriously do we need both?!) and eBay’s primary search suggestion of shopping by price – Jeans ‘Under £6’, but under £6 or over £6 is irrelevant if they’re not in your size. Surely what buyers want is not the most beautiful pair of jeans three sizes too small but just the ability to see a selection of jeans to choose from that actually fit them.

By this morning, ‘Size’ had crept back in, but this is an amazing mishmash of all previous iterations and with ‘Inside Leg’ gone, the new ‘Inseam’ is yet to appear. ‘Size’ is currently yet another car crash, as an example I would normally go for a 34 inch waist so today’s options to choose from are:

  • ’34’ (3,354 items)
  • ’34 in’ (952 items)
  • ’34 Tall’ (351 items)
  • ’34W’ (527 items)
  • ‘W34’ (1,714 items)

Having the new ‘Size’ Item Specific is better than no sizing at all, but why have five different measurements that all mean 34 inches when you’ve just created a new Item Specific, all of which have significant quantities of inventory which will be hidden if I select one of the other attribute values? It’s a mess and at the least one might expect all these differing values to be merged pronto.

eBay Item Specific Size for Jeans

Now that we have the waist size back (although calling it ‘Size’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be a waist size, it’s the most non-specific Item Specific eBay have), so hopefully ‘Inseam’ will be added soon and sellers can spend hours transferring their values from the old ‘Inside Leg’ in what many will consider a pointless exercise that eBay should have done for them.

86% of all mens’ jeans on eBay don’t have a size specified

Most telling of all, out of 650,934 pairs of mens’ jeans 566,289 have the size attribute ‘Not Specified’. That means with eBay’s tinkering 86% of all mens’ jeans don’t have a size that fits in eBay’s boxes or the size that fitted in the old box hasn’t been migrated. I’m not sure how long it will take sellers to update more than half a million listings, but the most you can bulk edit at one time is 500.

We can only surmise that eBay are still working furiously behind the scenes to sort out the mess created by the Item Specifics updates… and then leave sellers to do the real work of updating millions of listings. But one can’t help wondering who gave the authorisation to push the button on the update and if they really understand quite how much work they’ve created for sellers by launching a raft of new unannounced items specifics. Perhaps the inability of buyers to search by size for clothing and shoes will focus their minds on getting it fixed as quickly as possible. Lessons need to be learned from this roll out… but we kind of recall having said that multiple times in the past about Item Specific updates.

Seller Hub not updating

Finally, on top of all the eBay bugs and glitches in the Item Specific updates, eBay Seller Hub hadn’t been reporting sales yesterday with graphs not up to date and sellers left wondering if yesterday was a good, bad or indifferent day. eBay posted the following note in the UK and the US.

“We’ve received reports of technical issues in Seller Hub, including sales graphs not being up to date, as well as problems when revising or creating listings within Clothing, Shoes and Accessories categories.
We’d like to assure you that eBay is aware and we’re working on fixing both issues as a high priority.”

– The eBay Team

  • Toby
    1 month ago

    What a suprise…. another complete shambles by ebay. they need to remember that gone are the days when ebay was the only place to go. New buyers will look at this and think stuff that. I find that the ebay search is a night where ever you look.
    I run and pool and spa business and the search engine seems to concentrate on just a few words of what you type in… so a search for filter cleaner will bring up a product, but hot tub filter cleaner wont… despite the title int he listing being hot tub filter cleaner ( This is just an example and not an actual issue… i had to think of an example fast!). It doesn’t help when the cats it searchs on the left hand side completely miss out whole sections… like home and gardens often, so you scroll down and can’t see it so assume that there is nothing in those catagories. Yet jump across to the upper right and use the cat’ selection there…. and boom… 50 listings come up! You never know what is the issue, if there is even an issue…. It is just a shambles. If i type in few key words and they match part of a listing heading then it show… not just in one search area, but in all that do the same job.
    Rubs salt into the wound when completely irrelevent listings come up instead.
    Anyway…. it’s just the same old rants from me… nothing changes, this latest botch job doesn’t suprise me…. Just sit back and wait for them to tell us how well they are doing.

    • Fred
      1 month ago

      I know what you mean regards your “filter cleaner” example. It’s scared me off doing auctions because I know that most people won’t be able to find my items even if it seems they are searching for the right thing. Nevermind this “search by photo” feature they want to do, fix the basic search first. Instead remove box-ticking “item specifics” requirements, I don’t know ANYBODY who searches with them. And they are a pain to fill out. I know I have never searched with them. I just want to search a term and have EVERY listing feature that term show up. Don’t need eBay to hold my hand and remove results the AI doesn’t think im looking for.

    • Steve
      4 weeks ago

      Fred, eBay seem incapable of fixing any previous mistake. They just rush out more ill-conceived ‘improvements’ and notices that make things continually worse. My answer has been to almost entirely give up on eBay. It used to be my full-time job.

  • Dav
    1 month ago

    But didn’t departed CEO Devin Wenig say that search was being improved and tweaked to the benefit of everyone?! LOL. One thing you can bet is that every change eBay makes is gonna be worse than it was before. EVERYTHING! Either by stupid decisions, stupid changes, stupid management, poor programming, poor IT, no testing of anything before it’s rolled out, and complete incompetence as a company from top to bottom, you can bet eBay is a complete shambles and failure. They’re a total freaking disaster. Period!

    • Steve
      4 weeks ago

      I think Wenigs salary was in the ball park of $17 million a year. I wish I could paid a fraction of that for being a total disaster!

  • Bry
    1 month ago

    Ebay has some serious issues to figure out. And figure out fast. Glitch after glitch. First it was the promoted listing issue, then business policy issue, now this issue. Meanwhile both buyers, and sellers are suffering as a result. Sales have tanked. And during the start of the 4th quarter to boot. Ebay has long forgot that without sellers they have absolutely nothing. Not to mention what are ebays shareholders thinking about all of these issues as of late? Maybe they should use some of that extra revenue they generated by their promoted listings to….I don’t know hire a better tech team?

  • 1 month ago

    There’s an easy way to deal with Ebay’s problems.

    Stop selling there.

    When sellers start closing their accounts they will sit up and take notice.

    And buy from Amazon or, better still, support your local high street, if there are any shops still left, that is.

    • LJ
      1 month ago

      Yes and it is quite clear that sellers are leaving in their droves. But has eBay sat up and took notice? Nope! Instead they hike the fees and costs for the remaining sellers so it appears to their shareholders that they are still turning over the same amount or more.

      Charging FVF’s on postage (2014), increasing monthly shop subscriptions (spring 2018), introducing Promoted Listings (2018) are just a few ways that they have squeezed a little bit more out of the seller. But they are beginning to run out of ways to squeeze any more out, and that’s when it all comes crashing down.

      Regarding the glitches, it’s beyond a joke now! When you speak to eBay concierge even they seem fed up with it. In any other company heads would be rolling, and people would be held accountable. But it seems the clowns that run the IT department haven’t a clue! Glitches that take weeks to fix. Glitch after Glitch that affects sellers ability to sell. I’ve got so fed up with glitches this year that I have spent the majority of it building on my own website, improving SEO, Facebook advertising etc and have significantly increased sales outside of eBay.

      It’s a shame but I think eBays days of being one of the leading marketplaces is numbered.

  • Sarah
    4 weeks ago

    Its not just jeans that are being affected. In the lingerie section you can now search for Bras by Cup size but not the band. There is section for them together but most sellers haven’t transfered over and most of the bras are now missing from the search!

  • Sarah
    4 weeks ago

    Ebay your ambition out weighs your talent!

    Its all clothing and ebay.DE have lost all the sizes that were on there.

    No changes could be made to listings that day because as the size was missing the listing couldnt be saved again after making changes so I couldnt take off sold out items.

    A problem which is still ongoing is the inability to remove variations on high quantity variation listings. After pressing delete the screen goes grey but without the delete box. I cant scroll up or down I can only press back to leave without making a change. This means that I cant remove sold out sizes!

  • Jonah
    4 weeks ago

    eBay – your site isn’t working. Make offer to buyers on BIN listings- the free UK postage option is being displayed to non UK buyers- it’s causing uproar. Non UK buyers believe they are committing to purchase with FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. Sort it out !!!

    • Andrew
      4 weeks ago

      What did eBay say to you when you contacted them?

  • Jonah
    4 weeks ago

    With respect Andrew we have better things to do with our time than contact eBay and wait in endless queues to talk to a Philippines rep who reads to you off a sheet. We are in the process of vastly reducing our eBay interface (after 20 years of hoop jumping), shame really.

  • Steve
    4 weeks ago

    Add this one: the ‘Get it Sold – Send an Offer’ is total junk. Every single recommendation eBay sends me ends in an alert telling me the user ID has been suspended. After that, the recommendation just sites there. Just more junk.

    And another recommendation – the recommended backhander to sell your stuff on top of the fixed fees is creeping up – which is only to be expected.

    Fpr a long time peope have been saying eBay is going down the pan. These days I think it’s just bubbles from the U-Bend.

  • Mark
    4 weeks ago

    As a very very long time eBay seller and consultant and ex eBay in house trainer and consultant, it’s sad to see the evidently marketplace struggling and waning. Although, sales are on the rise for several of our clients which is most unexpected. On average 50% up on last year. So I can’t be too negative and there are evident improvements in search (thanks Wening).

    Amazon is increasingly our consultancy’s main focus … by orders of magnitude. The only thing Ebay does squarely and consistently better is seller support. I so wish it was a stronger marketplace because Amazon marketplace is flawed like you wouldn’t believe. I’d say 1:10 listings is actually passable.

    Ebay need to work out what they want to be. Perhaps lower their fees, seperate the site into BIN and Auctions (not quite like eBay Express, but something integrated) sort out reviews, and prioritise local territory based sellers? Among many other things. Who knows.

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