I’m seeing many hundreds of listings on eBay where the seller has simply added “does not apply” in place of a GTIN. Often I suspect it’s because the seller hasn’t invested in buying GTINs (Generally EANs in the UK and EU) for their own products, but in many cases “does not apply” has been used out of laziness for products from main stream manufacturers who already have a GTIN.
Nine months ago I looked at MK Electrics products on eBay which didn’t have the correct product identifiers completed. I’ve had another look at the same product (a K4871 light switch) today and dozens of listings in eBay search results still don’t have GTINs completed.
I have some sympathy, whilst I accused sellers of sheer laziness in the first paragraph, in truth it’s more probably frustration at the amount of work needed. Nowhere on the MK Electrics website do they display GTINs for their products and they are a pretty large business. If it’s hard to find MK GTINs what chance for smaller manufacturers?
Why selecting “does not apply” is a bad idea
If you select does not apply on your product listing eBay cannot surface product reviews on your listings. Google loves a bit of user generated content and whilst the reviews are seller specific, they will help to drive traffic.
As well as reviews, eBay listings with product identifiers get:
- Increased visibility on Google shopping and Bing and other search engines.
- Increased visibility in eBay deals, bargains, and other promotions
- Better listing information and item specifics, which are included automatically by matching your item with a product from the eBay catalog, which ensures your product is still seen when the customers are using filters to refine their searches.
- More accurate pricing guidance when you list your items
- Trending price alert in view item when your listings are priced lower than the trending price
“If the product identifier does exist and you enter “Does not apply” in the required field, your item will lose search visibility—meaning, shoppers will have a harder time finding your item on eBay and on external search engines. We strongly recommend sellers use “Does not apply” only when product identifiers truly do not exist to maintain visibility and remain competitive.”
It’s not just eBay!
In addition to eBay lack of a GTIN will impact your ability to list on other marketplaces:
- Merchandising opportunities on Cdiscount are not available to the seller if you do not add a product identifier
- You cannot list on La Redoute if you do not have an identifier.
- You cannot list on Newegg if you do not have an identifier
- You cannot list on Walmart if you do not have an identifier.
There is only one source of genuine GTINs – GS1 UK. Whilst there’s a cost involved if you need to source GTINs for your own product, those who sell branded products from mainstream manufacturers will be able to use their GTINs for free. The only thing you have to do is find out what they are and add them to your listings instead of selecting “does not apply”.