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Latest Seller Hub and Item Specifics SNAFU update

By Chris Dawson October 29, 2019 - 12:00 pm

Today marks a full two weeks since the 15th of October Item Specifics SNAFU when eBay rolled out the latest Item Specifics mandates and updated names as well as Seller Hub failing to report accurate sales data.

The latest information for the US was published Friday and whilst some of the details may apply to the UK, it’s possible that other details will vary. Regardless of the unforeseen technical issues, renaming Item Specifics (or indeed introducing new mandates) has caused a great deal of stress for sellers at the start of Q4 and distracted them from getting on with more important tasks – setting up their warehouses, getting stock listed, replenishing inventory and generally coping with the busiest time of the year.

Item Specifics are not in themselves a bad thing – even if only a proportion of buyers use Item Specifics to narrow their search then it’s worth filling them out. What should never happen however is changes in Q4, especially unannounced changes – eBay announced new mandatory Item Specifics but they forgot to mention that they would be renaming a number of values (and indeed not just renaming but introducing similar Item Specifics with new names to replace existing attributes).

TheItem Specifics SNAFU is worse for some sellers than others. For instance if your listings ended then you have to revise them before you can relist them – eBay won’t be fixing ended listings. Another area that isn’t clear is what happens if sellers used the old size e.g. ‘Waist Size’ and had created a ‘Size’ attribute which is the new name. You may have had “W34” for ‘Waist Size’ and “Large” for ‘Size’ and there’s no way of guessing which attribute eBay will have in their new ‘Size’ attribute after they migrate data.

At the end of the day, sellers are going to have to wait for eBay to announce that they’ve fixed everything and then go through all their listings yet again with a fine tooth comb to double check everything. We’re really hoping that while eBay migrate data that they also rationalise all the various different values into a single set (for instance on eBay we spotted that for 34″ waist jeans, sizes are specified as ’34’ (3,354 items), ’34 in’ (952 items), ’34 Tall’ (351 items), ’34W’ (527 items), and ‘W34’ (1,714 items) – eBay need to specify which is their preference and then change all other values to match).

“In our efforts to deliver an enhanced site experience for our customers, we acknowledge that our Oct. 15 category update caused frustration for some sellers, and we apologize for any disruptions. We received reports of technical issues in Seller Hub, including sales graphs not being up to date, as well as problems with revising or creating listings in some categories. We’ve been working continuously to resolve all issues you shared with us.

Technical issues related to new item specifics requirements

Some sellers have expressed concerns that technical issues are preventing them from completing their listings when they update listings per new category changes. Except for item specifics fields that have been renamed in some categories, such as “Size,” we have not identified any issues that would prevent you from updating your listings. If you update your listings with required item specifics, your listings will successfully publish. If you do not provide required item specifics, your listings will not successfully publish.

Actions for sellers:

  • Existing listings—Provide required item specifics when you revise existing listings.
  • New listings—Follow the prompts and include all required item specifics, plus as many recommended specifics as you see fit.

Renamed item specifics fields in some categories are not auto-filling with required item specifics values and appear blank

The names of some required item specifics fields have changed in Toys, Fashion, Home & Garden, Collectibles, and Media & Gift Cards categories, and some fields in those categories, such as “Size,” are not auto-filling with the correct values when sellers revise listings. Initially, the blank fields prevented listings from being published. This issue was quickly resolved and listings are no longer blocked from publishing. We are now copying additional item specifics you previously provided into required item specifics. We will continue to copy until this issue is resolved.

Actions for sellers:

  • Existing and revised listings—You do not need to take any action for existing listings you created before Oct. 15 or when you revise those listings. If you previously entered a value in one of the old Size fields (e.g., Shoe Size), the value you entered is still there as an additional or custom item specific and will be copied into required item specific fields.
  • New listings—Follow the prompts and include all required item specifics and as many recommended item specifics as you see fit for new listings.

Item specifics that are not relevant appear when filtering on a granular basis

Certain categories that normally filter item specifics values on a more granular basis (e.g., a listing categorized by women’s dresses would only show dropdown values specific to women’s dresses) have been showing item specifics values that are not relevant (e.g., men’s and women’s values). We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Actions for sellers:

  • You do not need to take any action. The issue does not impact your ability to list your item with relevant item specifics values.

Missing sales data in the Seller Hub Performance tab

To restore missing data in the Seller Hub Performance tab, we are working to validate and reformat the data where necessary from Oct.12 to the current date. While this will make all previously affected data visible, some sellers will temporarily experience delays in the full display of new sales data. We expect this process to be completed by Nov.1. However, the majority of sellers will be back to near real-time display of data by early next week.”
– eBay.com update

  • James
    1 month ago

    Absolute disaster…

    This isn’t limited to Clothing categories although reading the eBay announcements there is no mention of other categories being affected.

    What about listings that have ended with massive sold figures – will eBay tie them back to the new listings?

    WIll they tie best match history from the old listing to the new listing where the old listing has ended through no fault of the seller??

    I think I know the answer but it’s a disgrace – whoever is responsible for this should be given directions to Boris’ ditch!!!

  • Toby
    1 month ago

    This is such a shambles that they all might as well run for parliment in December. They have the right mindset, the right lack of skills and an ability to completely gloss over what is a complete and utter massive cock up! They are perfect!

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