eBay catalogue data goes AWOL

No primary category set

I’ve got two almost identical listings on eBay, the only difference should be that one is an auction and the other is a fixed price listing. However the fixed price item (listed today using “sell similar”) has a large chunk of content missing – namely eBay’s catalogue information.

I spent this afternoon listing a whole load of products that have just come into stock, and in accordance with eBay best practice spent the time to search eBay’s catalogue data and list each product against the matching entry.

Half the items I listed were printers and on every single printer listing that went live today the catalogue data is missing. The only attribute that remains is the stock photo (which I tend not to use preferring to use my own product shots).

The catalogue data hasn’t been entirely deleted, if you check the product attributes for an HP 4200DTN printer you’ll only see the stock photo, but if you check the matching eBay product page for the HP 4200DTN printer the catalogue data is there. Many categories appear unaffected by this glitch, but it’s worth checking a random sample of your listings that went live today.

Personally I don’t like relying on eBay catalogue data at the best of times – there are too many bugs which you’ll only see by checking each catalogue entry that you use line by line. For instance here is an eBay catalogue screen shot for a monochrome (black only) printer. Somehow the printer has had a colour print speed attribute added – A buyer reading this catalogue data might reasonably assume that they were buying a colour printer!

eBay have started making catalogue data mandatory in some categories across the site. Hopefully glitches such as this won’t prevent sellers from listing products as the items are still associated with the catalogue entries, it’s just that the data is missing. If you are listing items using eBay catalogue data it’s worth duplicating the information in the description area of your listing. If the catalogue data vanishes and you haven’t duplicated the data it’s unlikely you’ll get many sales.

You’re probably wondering why bother using catalogue information at all seeing as it’s so unreliable. However I’d encourage you to list against eBay’s catalogue where ever there’s a product match (even if your listings end up without the insert) as it ensures your item will appear on eBay product pages boosting it’s chance of being found and purchased.

4 Responses

  1. When we were instructed to include ISBN numbers for Books I spent a happy and constructive day amending numerous entries to include them. Some the ISBN just disappeared and I tried again. Again they just disappeared. I tend to think that the reason for this is that the Master Files are not complete and if it does not recognise the ISBN number it just deletes it. The same happens if you type in the number incorrectly. But then I noticed that several, possibly as many as 10% have incorrect information in them. I first noticed this because I had in front of me a Hardback Book yet the ISBN Listing said it was a Paperback. As I have had a Wholesale Relationship with this Publisher for about 30 years I knew that there was only one version and that was the Hardback. There had never been a Paperback version. But then I noticed other incorrect information on other Books. Another item that was often misleading was the date quoted for a Book going out of print. This date is usually the date on which the Publisher cleared their Warehouse. The problem is that often the Book has been Remaindered. So while it might not be available from the Publishers Warehouse it is still available from Remainder Warehouses and of course there will be significant numbers of new copies on the shelves of Retailers across the Country. Most entries had a stock photograph and at least a reasonably accurate description but it was patchy. Some publishers some of their List was reasonably detailed but then another Book published at about the same time there would be no details on file. But at least its a start.


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