EMAIL apologise for Item Specifics SNAFU – It’s a balls up!

By Chris Dawson October 17, 2019 - 5:27 pm

eBay have put out a lengthy post apologising for the Item Specifics SNAFU that took place in the latest update and undertaking to sort out many of the outstanding issues so that sellers don’t have to.

  • eBay say that listings are no longer blocked from being re-listed or revised because the required item specific is blank
  • Left hand navigation filters are fully restored with all available item specifics.
  • eBay are working on a solution to create a copy of the old item specifics data and copy it into its new equivalent so the required item specific will be automatically filled with the same value

We are posting the full eBay announcement below, but bear in mind that this relates to and some or all might not apply to eBay UK or other country sites.

“Our technical teams have been working around the clock to resolve two issues caused by the Oct 15 category update rollout:

  1. An issue that prevented sellers from re-listing or revising listings in certain categories
  2. Search using left hand navigation filters is missing certain item specifics such as size

We recognize that in our desire to deliver an enhanced site experience, we have caused issues for our sellers and we apologize for this. Our intention is to provide as much detail as possible to help you manage any impact to your business.


As announced in the Fall Seller Update, we are working to make it easier for buyers to find your items and give you guidance about item specifics. In doing so, we have been migrating categories into three types of item specifics – required, recommended and additional. As we roll out these changes, item specifics in certain categories may change, be added or removed, so that we can create better descriptors, which help to further index the listing in search and provide better visibility to buyers. For example, the various item specifics that represent size in the sub-categories of clothing, shoes and accessories (ie: Size (women’s), Size (men’s)) were updated and consolidated into one normalized item specific – size.

Current Situation:

There was a technical issue and some of the item specifics did not update correctly. As a result, some listings were blocked during re-list or revision.
In addition, the new, required field is showing up as blank and the listing appears incomplete.
This issue also created a problem in search, with the new item specifics not appearing in the left hand navigation search filter.

Important updates:

As we work to completely resolve this issue and ensure item specifics are mapped correctly to the new item specifics, you can take note of the following:

  1. Your listing is no longer blocked from being re-listed or revised because the required item specific is blank. Behind the scenes we will map the new item specific to the original item specific.
  2. Left hand navigation filters are fully restored with all available item specifics. Your listing will appear in all relevant search results when using the left hand navigation filters.


Next steps for sellers:

For now, you should continue providing all of the required, recommended and additional item specifics as needed. For the required item specifics that are blank, no action is required on your part – we will map the fields on the back end. Additionally, we are working on a solution to create a copy of the old item specifics data and copy it into its new equivalent so the required item specific will be automatically filled with the same value.
We’re aware that some sellers have chosen to end their listings and use the ‘sell similar’ feature to change the information in their listings. We do not recommend doing this. However, if you decide to, please 1) check your remaining free listing allowance first to avoid incurring additional insertion fees, and 2) be aware that ending a Good ‘Til Cancelled listing will remove its sales history.
We will continue to update this announcement with news as it becomes available.
We appreciate your patience and as always, thank you for selling on eBay.”

– Announcement Board Post

  • Rob
    10 months ago

    What a mess!… I’ve just searched for a “Leather Waistcoat” on eBay, and filtered by size.

    I was expecting a choice of S, M, L, XL , XXL, but was overwhelmed with the following….

    0 (25items)
    1 (4items)
    10 (48items)
    10XL (77items)
    11 (1item)
    12 (46items)
    14 (39items)
    16 (38items)
    18 (39items)
    1X (2items)
    2 (6items)
    20 (34items)
    22 (19items)
    25 (20items)
    2P (1item)
    2X (79items)
    2XL (33,632items)
    2XLT (42items)
    2XS (1,757items)
    3 (27items)
    32W (1item)
    34 (18items)
    36 (108items)
    36S (2items)
    38 (191items)
    3X (103items)
    3XL (30,812items)
    3XLT (19items)
    4 (21items)
    40 (258items)
    40L (5items)
    42 (218items)
    44 (2,183items)
    44R (16items)
    46 (2,203items)
    48 (2,235items)
    4X (94items)
    4XL (19,217items)
    4XLT (22items)
    5 (6items)
    50 (2,231items)
    50L (23items)
    52 (2,301items)
    54 (2,243items)
    56 (201items)
    5X (80items)
    5XL (14,268items)
    5XLT (9items)
    6 (25items)
    6X (15items)
    6XL (10,182items)
    6XLT (2items)
    7 (9items)
    7X (19items)
    7XL (9,638items)
    8 (117items)
    8X (3items)
    8XL (357items)
    9 (3items)
    9XL (57items)
    Big 10X (1item)
    Big 1X (1item)
    Big 2X (26items)
    Big 3X (20items)
    Big 4X (9items)
    Big 5X (10items)
    Big 6X (4items)
    Big 7X (5items)
    Big 8X (5items)
    Big 9X (2items)
    L (39,972items)
    LG (16items)
    LT (32items)
    M (37,867items)
    MT (13items)
    One Size (52items)
    PL (3items)
    PM (4items)
    PP (3items)
    PS (4items)
    PXL (3items)
    PXS (2items)
    S (37,929items)
    SM (495items)
    SP (2items)
    XL (41,172items)
    XLT (26items)
    XS (34,604items)
    XXS (1,761items)
    XXXS (877items)
    Not specified (235,190items)

  • Don
    10 months ago

    eBay seems to implode a couple of times a year because of technical issues and new features being rolled out. Meanwhile Etsy rolls out new features without any issues whatsoever. It can be done correctly.

  • Robin
    10 months ago

    Till they fix this mess – or even better the rest of the bugs & glitches – they should stop charging shop subscription. What they write in T&Cs about not being responsible for accidental downtimes don’t cover their incompetence.

    • 10 months ago

      I agree. eBay don’t agree. When I asked one of their (usually very unhelpful) phone “agents” for money back, she told me that I would not be given any money back. I told her that it was a breach of contract – I have paid for something (the Sales Reports as part of my shop sub) and they have not provided it!

      Update: A week later – it still has not been fixed.

  • Mark
    10 months ago

    By a coat


  • Phil
    10 months ago

    Are you able to simply revise active listings to enable the change, or does this exercise require you to relist (and so lose sale history?)

  • Chris
    10 months ago

    Go to the bottom of the class ebay. Honestly, every single update seems to be a huge issue and cause mayhem.
    Okay, I know it is foolish to ask such an obvious question but why oh why can’t ebay check their changes first? Doesn’t it make financial sense to do this? Really, what is their problem?
    A child submitting their homework does better than this.

  • 10 months ago

    It affects footwear as well, it is impossible to get the listings to work correctly when adding them from inventory management system, even although the system have updated their specifics to match eBay and Amazon. The variation sizes are not processing correctly and neither are most of the other specifics.

    Ever heard of a (Shoe Shaft Style) I mean who on earth thought up these ridiculous item specifics. It appears to relate to the leg length, but as shoes don’t actually have leg lengths, would it not make sense to have that in relation to boots.

    Amazon have made the same mess with their changes this month for shoe listings. What is wrong with these companies, do they have no idea at all what their peak trading seasons are. As well as the whole process being a shambles, why introduce this in Qtr 4,

    • 10 months ago

      Totally agree. In whose interests was it for such changes to be introduced in the busiest quarter of the year? It certainly is not in the sellers’ interests to have this disruption. A new article was written on Tamebay on this very point yesterday.

  • Rob
    10 months ago

    I’ve just been listing some Men’s jeans.

    Ebay have removed the Item Specific Named “Rinse/Treatment” so it is no longer possible to filter between Stonewashed / Acid Wash / Coloured Etc.

    They have however added 2 item specifics named “Character” and “Character Type”, where some of the options include “Barbie” and “Angry Birds”

    Seriously eBay???…. Who makes these decisions?

    It is no longer possible to filter for Men’s “Stonewashed” jeans, but if a man wants some “Barbie” jeans, you have added a new items specific especially?

    I give up!

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