eBay Item Specifics recovery progress report

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eBay have published a progress report on the Item Specifics and Category & Classification changes that rolled out for selected categories a week ago on the 15th of November. Things didn’t go quite as planned and they have been working away behind the scenes on an Item Specifics recovery plan with two main aims – to enable sellers to edit and list Items by pausing the mandates and at the same time preparing to copy values across to the new Item Specifics where possible:

“Dear sellers,
Thank you for your continued patience as we complete work on the category and classification changes and additional item specifics requirements in some categories. Work is progressing and we have the following updates and tips for you.

What’s changed:

  • Using the item specifics provided in the listing, most active listings created in ‘retired’ categories have been moved into other existing, or new categories. You may now need to provide additional information in the Required item specifics fields when revising these listings. You can read more about category changes here.

  • Some item specifics have been changed to make them consistent across different categories, e.g. there’s now just one Required item specifics field for Size, replacing the previous Shoe Size, Size (women’s), Size (men’s), etc. options.

Tips for sellers:

  • If any Recommended or Additional item specifics aren’t relevant for your item, you don’t have to fill them in when creating or revising listings.

  • If you’ve already entered a value into one of the old sizes fields, e.g. Shoe Size, the information is still there as an Additional item specific. Your listing will still be found by buyers using search filters. You can revise your listing without adding the corresponding Required item specific, but we strongly recommend you fill it in.

  • EAN is showing in some categories as a Required field with no option to select Does not apply from the drop-down menu. If no EAN exists, you can still complete your clothing, shoes or accessories listings by leaving this field blank. Please note that some sellers have been typing “Does not apply” in the field – this isn’t necessary and it’s not recommended. If you don’t have an EAN, please don’t enter anything—simply leave the field blank.

What we’re working on now:

  • We’ve created a solution to copy the old item specifics values (e.g. Shoe Size) into the new item specifics values (e.g. Size). Once fully tested, we’ll roll out this solution to restore missing Required item specific fields. We won’t be able to copy data for multi-variation listings, so we encourage you to fill in the Required fields so they don’t appear blank.

  • The left-hand search navigation used by buyers on computers is working again for most item specifics. Except for a small number of categories, your listing will appear in relevant search results when using these filters. We’re working to fully restore all categories.

We appreciate your patience and, as always, thank you for selling on eBay.”

– Regards, The eBay Team

9 Responses

  1. “We’ve created a solution to copy the old item specifics values (e.g. Shoe Size) into the new item specifics values (e.g. Size). Once fully tested, we’ll roll out this solution to restore missing Required item specific fields.” – The Ebay Team

    I don’t like the sound of this!… Currently when I go to revise a listing, the Item Specifics that eBay recommend are incorrect a lot of the time.

    For example, jeans that I previously had listed with a 34″ Waist and 30″ Leg, eBay are suggesting 30″ as the new “Size” Item Specific and 34 as the “Inseam”

    This has the potential to do more harm than good, so I hope eBay are going to give us the option to have the missing item specifics restored and they aren’t just going to do it automatically.

    Personally, although it will take me several man hours, I’d prefer to sort this mess out myself, rather than risk having eBay mess things up for me even more.

  2. Its still a complete mess as a good percentage of listings are still missing from search. It looks like some sellers have migrated to the new sizes and others have left everything as it was. Why did they think this was a good time to be mucking about with item specifics?

  3. I am constantly amazed at eBay’s incompetence when doing any programming / updates / “improvements”…….do they not test things first? Do they have anyone who actually uses eBay as a seller and can try the changes on a stand-alone system?

    They are paid huge amounts of money and it consistently goes wrong every time they mess around. On a slightly different eBay failure, I am still not sure my seller totals are back and correct, I am still missing at least one day’s worth on the chart. Though in my account, they have managed to charge fees for the items sold on that day, but not show the corresponding sales in the chart!

    And picking up on Sarah’s comment, why do they keep faffing around on things…..who asks them to?

    I tried to comment on the latest order record page…….the comment link crashed, then sent me to a dead email address……..of course eBay can now say no one commented…….yes, because your comment link was dead / broken!

    Rather than faff around for seemingly no reason I would much rather eBay focused more effort on non-bidding watchers and the woefully poor “watcher to real bidder” conversion rate!!

  4. I’m completely amazed at how much they’ve changed in the background – there is no proper instruction for how everything is going to be dealt with moving forward. If my listing software is using inside leg will this be automatically mapped to inseam or will I need to change it for any listings moving forward? From my understanding, it will only be items which are currently listed which will get the specifics mapped.

    I’ve also noticed a number of my listings previously accepted “styles” are no longer on the recommended lists.
    Mens Casual Shirts & Tops – Casual Shirts was an eBay recommended style which is no longer.
    Men’s Clothing Shore – Lounge // Chinos & Khakis was an eBay recommended style which is no longer.
    Mens Hoodies & Sweatshirts – Sweatshirt // Hoodie was an eBay recommended style which is no longer.

    The list goes on for almost all my categories. They also seem to be swapping the “Type” and “Style” around on a couple of categories.

    Also – many of my listings used the term “multi” instead of multicoloured – previously this was picked up by the filters. This is no longer working and the colour is no getting picked up.

  5. A Week ago 15 th of November, should be October
    we hope that it is history by 15. Nov

  6. This issue isn’t restricted to clothes…

    I sell furniture and am getting the following error message “Size is not allowed as a variation specific” when I’m trying to revise bed listings.

    eBay are aware but don’t know if or when a fix will be in place.

    It’s in a proper mess at eBay!

  7. The problem is not limited to Item Specifics. eBay are filtering out items in keywords searches, even if the words used in the keyword searches are in your Title.

    (An example) Trail of Cthulhu Bookhounds of London will not return any results if you just searched Bookhounds of London. Don’t try it, its been fixed.

    It does not seem to be universal and Dublin told me only the first few words were relevant in your title. Dublin also told me not to search for my own items!

  8. Day 13 with no resolution yet. A lot of the categories are still in an absolute mess – Searching sizing on Jeans is difficult – So many options for waist size and no filter for length or “inseam”. A lot of the filters in the clothing categories have very high numbers of “not specified” item specifics due to changes.


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