eBay block relists with invalid product identifiers

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We’ve heard from a couple of readers who have been told by eBay that their listings have incorrect product identifiers and that they won’t be able to relist until they correct them.

“Some of your listings contain invalid product identifiers. Over the past 2 years, we’ve expanded our use of product identifiers, and have introduced further checks to make sure that information is valid. We’ve noticed that some of your listings don’t include valid product identifier information. From 10 July You won’t be able to relist these items without including valid product identifiers.”
– eBay emails

The follow up question from sellers is does this mean that the “Does Not Apply” option is about to be removed by eBay? This is of course coming – announced in the Autumn 2016 seller release eBay confirmed the option will go and also that Amazon an Google as well as self-created product identifiers would be introduced.

  • “New options, including Amazon, Google and self-created product identifiers will be available from summer 2017.
  • We’ve postponed our next product identifier mandate – additional categories of new and Good ‘Til Cancelled listings for manufacturer refurbished items – to next year, along with the removal of the Does not apply listing option.”

– Autumn 2016 eBay Seller Release

Is anything changing with eBay Product Identifiers on the 10th July?

We’ve double checked with eBay and none of the rules or options around Product Identifiers are due to change on the 10th of July.

What appears to have happened with some sellers is that they have been identified as using invalid values. Example: adding the same value on the MPN and the Brand field, having MPN values such as “see description” etc. If that’s you then you’ll need to update your listings and preferably to valid and correct Product Identifiers.

eBay have a help page detailing common issues with product identifiers so if you’re trying to figure out why your listings are being flag it’s worth taking a check on the likely cause.

21 Responses

  1. This is the email we have received —
    ——————————————————–

    We’ve noticed that some of your listings don’t include valid product identifier information.
    From 10 July
    You won’t be able to relist these items without including valid product identifiers.
    From September
    We’ll block any Good ‘Til Cancelled listings with invalid product identifiers, instead of them being automatically renewed.
    ——————————————–
    It would be interesting to know if the ” guilty ” Good till cancelled listings will be end up in the “unsold ” box – or permanently deleted .
    I will have to ammend all “guilty ” listings as “Does not apply” – as we have difficulty finding EAN numbers for some of our products .
    If Ebay eventually roll out compulsory EAN numbers it is going to be a nightmare for many sellers- could be the end.

  2. Hi Chris or any knowledgeable person please tell me if are MPN EAN etc numbers are required on —
    -Used items –
    seller refurbished items
    Manufactuer refurbished. items
    for parts or not working items

    Thank you

  3. And custom hand made items which have variations different sizes and colours. We hand make our products so no EAN available.

    Buying EAN numbers for all our possible variations colour and size change is also not viable.

  4. Hi Chris and Martin
    Custom made items do not need EANs, nor do antique items produced before we had Product Identifiers.
    Used and refurbished items will have the original Product Identifiers (EANs or MPNs) as they are the same item but used/refurbished.

  5. Ebay will only have the right to impose this rule when they actually bother to know the EAN or MPN themselves! Their catalogue is atrocious.

    We try listing all sorts of goods – many established brands – by entering the product identifier and 95% of the time eBay has no clue what it is. Sometimes it recognises the product category, but always guesses the wrong product or the wrong version or generation. The result is clearly WORSE than a clear description in words.

    It is simply untrue that “Used and refurbished items will have the original Product Identifiers (EANs or MPNs)”. Thousands of private sellers sell unboxed – even unidentifiable – used products to hoards of happy buyers. And eBay offers no help in helping you find an EAN.

    With the “Does Not Apply” option due to be removed, it seems they are following Amazon in only wanting giant pro-sellers shifting vast volumes of current, known big sellers from their multinational friends.

  6. Who uses Product Indentifiers to look for items on Ebay ??? No-one I know. We search by description although this is becoming increasingly more time consuming with lots of listings now being shown that do not relate to the search description entered. EANs or MPNs whatever they might be do not exist for most of the classic car parts I buy or sell and classic car owners looking to buy parts wouldnt know what these numbers were if they did exist.
    GET REAL EBAY , Stop making it difficult for the ordinary seller to sell via EBAY.

  7. The woman posting as – “selling on ebay ” – advertises herself as an independant ebay business advice giver – 10 years Power seller experience- needs to get her facts right.
    Used goods DO NOT need EAN numbers – & according to ebay chat- at the moment are not pencilled in for the future.

  8. Why is nobody reporting the massive issue with the book category. Were ebay are entering certain product identifiers in the wrong category, Then handing out miss categorised policy violations which then result in loss of sales. Its been going on for months. Ebay have acknowledged to me on the phone that this is a site issue. Why is this not reported on here?

  9. Is it just me that sees a scenario where someone at Ebay will press a switch one day and millions of listing will disappear overnight as they do not contain the “correct” product identifiers?

  10. last month ebay deleted all my listing that HAD a correct EAN.
    no warning, no excuse, no apology.
    lost the momentum and sales history on essentially everything.
    had to relist nearly my entire store from scratch.
    they can’t even offer an explanation as to why.
    sure this will work out wonderfully though.

  11. I wonder what percentage of Ebays turnover/profits is made by the small time seller ?
    This change will drive a lot of away -due to being unable to fathom it all – leaving the big companies to fill the space .

  12. James- perhaps you should go back to list everything as “does not apply” – and wait for the day of reckoning!

  13. Hi James – perhaps you should go back to everything as -“Does not apply ” – and wait for the day of reckoning!

  14. The system is allowing you to put incorrect EAN numbers in & accepting them. At a later date Ebay comes back to saying its a wrong one..
    Hope they dont start giving our punishment for this.

  15. My items are unique and handmade … despite the reassurances I forsee problems later down the line. Multiple frustrating conversations with overworked ebay staff.

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