eBay have yet again played around with item specifics causing more work for sellers, and this time in their flagship category Clothes Shoes and Accessories.
Up until now Mens Suit Item Specific sizes have been in the format “44 Regular” or “42 Long”. eBay have decided to split the chest size and length into two different item specifics. The first is “Chest Size” and the second is “Length”. The net result of this change is that out of 27,000 listings for mens suits on eBay 19,000 won’t ever be found by buyers.
If as a buyer you use the eBay product finder (the left side bar) to search for a suit you’ll miss out on 70% of the available listings that may have been of interest to you. More importantly it means that 70% of the suits sellers have paid to list on eBay are unlikely ever to be found by a buyer until they each individually edited.
Item specifics are great for highlighting item details and I appreciate them as a buyer because they enable me to find what I’m looking for. However eBay’s constant tinkering with them and needlessly changing them is not only a constant source of frustration but serves absolutely no one. It doesn’t benefit sellers, it doesn’t benefit buyers and ultimately it doesn’t benefit eBay who miss out on final value fees.
Another example of needless change this year in item specifics for Clothes Shoes and Accessories was the pattern of the garment. At the beginning of the year there was an option for “Plain”. Later in the year it was changed to “Solid” and now for no particularly apparent reason it’s yet again been changed to “No Pattern”. Buyers aren’t stupid, they’ll easily figure out that “Plain” means that the garment has “No Pattern” but it does mean that they won’t find even more items on eBay almost 21,000 of the 27,000 suits on eBay (77%) no longer have the Pattern Item specific correctly completed.
Changing item specifics is something that should be done rarely and not at all if possible. Sellers become accustomed to typing particular attributes and many won’t even realise that the options have changed. Specifics in listing tools like TurboLister should match those displayed on eBay’s product finders.
It’s hard enough to list when you have to pick a category, shop category and countless Item Specifics, it’s almost impossible when the attributes keep changing, which is why Item Specifics should not be changed at all unless absolutely necessary. eBay you need to give sellers some stability on your platform and at least give us a fair shot at getting our listings correct and able to be found by the buyers who would undoubtedly buy them if they could just find them.