From today eBay UK has increased the number of electronics categories in which sellers should list their items with a matching product from the eBay catalogue. Sellers must, where possible, list an item against a matching product from the catalogue, to ensure they avoid having their items removed.
The introduction of catalogues in May 2011 makes searching for specific items easier for buyers and helps sellers to save time when creating and adapting product listings. The main advantages are
- To provide buyers with a positive shopping experience: The eBay catalogue provides buyers with a user friendly way to find specific electronic products both quickly and easily
- Help to maintain and drive sales: Sellers need to ensure they always list an item against a matching product where one exists, to avoid listings being removed. Start preparing today by listing and relisting relevant products to avoid losing out on potential sales
- Save time: Sellers can now save time spent on listing items by taking advantage of the pre-filled product information and stock photos when matching to the eBay catalogue
- Increased visibility: The best deals from Top rated sellers will prominently appear at the top of the product page, with best offers from other sellers showing below
The new categories where sellers should list against the eBay catalogue are: Apple Laptops; Apple Desktops; iPads, Tablets & eReaders; Printers; Routers; Hard Drives; Monitors and Televisions.
This does create some dilemmas though. Firstly what do you do when your item doesn’t match the catalogue information and secondly what do you do if the catalogue information for your item is incomplete or worse the catalogue data is incorrect?
Listing if your item is not in the catalogue
If your item simply isn’t in the catalogue you can select the “Continue listing without a product” link and list the item as you normally would.
Listing if your item is not an exact match with the catalogue
If the catalogue information isn’t an exact match for your item the situation is unclear. I sell printers and often there are several different models available, e.g. an HP 4000 printer, an HP 4000N (with a network card), an HP 4000TN (with a network card and extra paper tray), and an HP 4000DTN (with a network card an extra paper tray and a duplex unit). Suppose I have a 4000DTN but it’s missing it’s duplex unit and the extra tray (which isn’t an unusual situation) – should I list it as a 4000N even though the product code on the printer is DTN, or should I list as a 4000DTN and hope the buyer reads the description to find that some parts are missing? This is a call that each seller will have to make on a case by case basis.
Listing when the catalogue data is incorrect
The worst situation are the many instances where the catalogue information is simply wrong. For example the eBay Catalogue Information for the HP LaserJet Mono 4000TN printer has the description for an HP LaserJet Colour 4500 Printer! One would have to excuse a buyer who thought that they were purchasing a colour printer if you listed against this catalogue data.
If the catalogue data is incorrect you have two choices – list without catalogue data and there is a chance your listing could be ended, or list with the incorrect data and call out the errors in your listing description. It is also worth highlighting the errors to eBay support so that they can be corrected.
Should sellers be able to edit catalogue data?
Is it time for eBay to open up the catalogue data to allow users to correct misleading or incorrect information? Would you like the ability to edit catalogue information or to add new entries to the catalogue data? What would happen if you listed against catalogue data which another seller subsequently edited?
How will you handle instances where your product isn’t an exact match or where the catalogue data is incorrect?