Product Identifiers are now Mandatory on eBay

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eBay’s Product Identifier requirement has now gone live. This means that you may find ‘Good til Cancelled listings’ are failing to renew if you’ve not already updated them. You also won’t be able to list new products without adding the required details. eBay have a available.

Product Identifiers may include a GTIN (EAN, UPC, ISBN), Brand and Manufacturer’s part number (MPN).

“Does not apply” ruse

One simply way around the new Product Identifier requirement appears to be to simply bulk list all of your items to set “Does not apply” for each attribute.

Why “Does not apply” is a bad strategy

Does Not Apply eBay Product Identifier

Whilst we have every possible sympathy with sellers who have too many listings and simply don’t have the time to set real attributes, it’s worth pointing out that simply selecting “Does not apply” is likely to hurt you in the long run.

One of the reasons eBay is so keen to get catalogue information on your products is so that they can better compare products in search results and surface your products when possible. They are much more likely to prefer products with completed data than those which are effectively blank.

Another consideration is that Google have started to insist on at least a GTIN in their product feeds. If you’re hoping that the fees you pay to eBay will be used to drive traffic to your items, taking the lazy way out won’t work. eBay can’t upload your products to Google if you don’t give them the required information.

Check your failed GTC relists

Inevitably you’re likely to find the odd listings which doesn’t renew due to a missing Product Identifier so make sure you keep an eye out for unexpectedly ended items.

We’ve also heard (but been unable to reliably duplicate) that some sellers are adding Product Identifiers to all of their listings, only for reports to then state a few listings still need to be edited. It’s worth running your report to make sure that no listings have mysteriously added themselves to the list of those needing Product Identifiers adding. Of course again you’ll find any failed listings in your ended items.

20 Responses

  1. We use a 3rd party software to create/control our ebay listings and whilst new listings are created in the software and uploaded to ebay, with all the product identifiers, originally, all our listings were imported from ebay into the 3rd party software, so were missing some of the product identifiers.

    We have used the reports from ebay to add the information to our 3rd party software then revise the listing to get the information onto ebay and on the whole, this has worked ok, but we have had some that would not update or would re-appear on the list.

    We now just end the listing and then re-list via the software which does seem to sort his out, luckily its not been many and we are currently showing that none of our 6185 listings need product identifiers adding and long may that continue.

    Once again we have done what ebay have asked us to do and look forward too reaping the rewards, just like all the other tasks set to us by ebay, Picture Standards, Free shipping & the 1st batch of product identifiers, now where’s that emoji indicating “Tongue in Cheek”


  2. Just remembr that does not apply wording is case sensitive and different for MPN , Brand and EAN. For MPN and Brand it must be spelt “Does Not Apply” whilst for EAN is it “Does not apply”

    ebay like to make things difficult for us lol

  3. I remember searching on eBay using EANs a few years back and it would return a list of products with those EANs.
    Now it seems to be 1 out of 10 will return search results and the rest gives you “This listing (xxxxxxxxxx) has been removed, or this item isn’t available.”.

  4. So we all put the EANs on all our products as per eBay’s request and if I search eBay for a EAN number as a buyer may it just says

    This listing (4710xxxxx1253) has been removed, or this item isn’t available.

    You would think they would make it a searchable option now listing have made in a requirement to list

  5. Of any of the EAN’s that I have tried to search they have all been successful

    The does not apply shortcut is not going to benefit anyone in the long run as in reality your competitors will do it, its a case of either putting the work in and doing it or falling behind the curve in both eBay search results and Google shop results

  6. To date, none of my GTC listings “without” product identifiers have been binned in my unsold list by Ebay.

    Too much revenue to lose, as I predicted, if this is worldwide. Just like the pictures fiasco which was never implemented.

  7. Has anyone done this successfully with file exchange? whenever we try to update the EAN we get an error code which isn’t on the list of error codes. so really useful.

  8. I can’t see how eBay want identifiers to help with catalogue items because they seem to have pretty much wiped out the catalogue. Try listing a CD or DVD or game console and the chances are eBay will tell you the item isn’t in the catalogue.

    I reckon they’re changing to a new provider or something but in the meantime they better not penalise sellers for not listing against a catalogue item when the catalogue isn’t there.

  9. Heres my personal NIGHTMARE with this absurd policy
    Product Identifiers nightmare
    1st Off can we understand what a Phonograph Record (Album/ LP) is? (I’ve yet to find one ebay rep. in the Philippines who even knows what a Phonograph Record is. (This makes for a frustrating phone call right off the bat) and unfortunately I always get a rep in… you guessed it… Philippines

    Many Records were manufactured from 1920’s thru to today. As of 1980 Barcodes came into existence. I sell records from BEFORE 1980.
    Hence NO Barcode, Hence No UPC Product Identifiers. Hence NO Love from the new fangled “I have a brilliant Idea” Youngsters incorporating Rules and regulations at ebay headquarters. (My guess is 99% of the hot young geniuses couldn’t possibly undertstand that this new rule will effectively kill off businesses like mine. (I sell Records)

    so whats the problem?
    Each and every day my listings that have been marked GOOD TILL CANCELLED are removed from my ebay store. And I receive this message
    Your listings have been removed: Required product identifiers

    Now when I originally listed these items.. I checked the box DOES NOT APPLY when asked about the UPC Code Product Identifier. And ebays system did in fact accept and list my items for 30 days.
    Only to BOOT it off my store 30 days later instead of auto relisting.

    hence the NIGHTMARE as I’ve thousands of records listed and am now swimming uphill on a daily basis re- re listing these same items.
    To add Fury to the fire I’ve been contacting ebay reps all week and NOT One of them (understands what I’m selling) Nor can solve the problem of why this is even happening,.
    I was told on the 19th (yesterday) it is a “random protocol and I’m guaranteed that after the 19th it will no longer happen again)
    Today is March 20th.. I just had several more records taken down this morning.

    Get your **bleep** together EBAY. Care about small businesses. WE ARE YOUR BACK BONE. meantime If all record sellers and prospective Record buyers could just have an alternative vehicle to sell (Like Discogs.) with enough power. (**bleep** near impossible) then this would not be so important.

    Record Sellers, Used Stamp, Book, Coin Dealers we should unite and BOYCOTT ebay and get the word out that ebay NO LONGER SELLS these items. Maybe then they will give a **bleep** about us.


  10. So dumb- I never search by UPC. Loss for eBay, sellers and buyers for lack of inventory.


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