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.