Tyler@ebay has confirmed eBay will be protecting sellers who were affected by this technical issue.
We’ve identified a technical bug that may have caused listings to show incorrect item details to buyers at the time of purchase. This bug has since been fixed and we are working with our customers to resolve outstanding issues. We are protecting all sellers with catalog issues by crediting return shipping costs and removing any associated defects and negative feedback. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and appreciate your business.
The teams involved told me that members who receive a return due to this should also be receiving an email when protections and credits are applied. They seem very confident that there should be no need for proactive content to CS to get these protections.
Tyler@ebay has confirmed this was caused by a tech issue on the site and a fix has been rolled out.
The team I was working with on the Books category confirmed a fix rolled out overnight.
It seems, anecdotally, that that has also corrected the other categories we were seeing. Are you able to confirm for the categories you list in?
Still no word on any protections or assistance for affected sellers who may receive negative feedback or not as described returns due to this issue.
As more sellers add on to the list of categories being affected by this issue, eBay community staff are still waiting for answers but have confirmed at least for the books category that it is being treated as a "technical issue" and is not an intended change.
The team says this is not an intended change and are working on correcting it - no time frame for that but given the quick attention that this is getting I am hopeful it is quickly.
I don't have confirmation about any other categories that have been impacted (though it wouldn't surprise me if these are all related). If I hear anything back on them I will let you know!
Also no word on how exactly eBay plans to protect sellers who may receive negative feedback and item not received claims due to the incorrect information eBay has forced onto their listing pages with no ability to opt out.
Sellers are expressing concerns over what appears to be a recent change in eBay product catalog data being forced onto their listing pages. In the past, sellers have been able to opt out of using eBay's product catalog information, but that may no longer be the case.
This is particularly troubling because the eBay catalog is notorious for having bad/incorrect data - it's a problem that has been going on for years, which is why many sellers preferred to opt out.
It's also troubling because the seller will be held responsible for any Item Not As Described cases that are caused by this issue, even though they have no control over the information being added to their listing pages.
I don't get what is wrong with the people at eBay. Either they don't put any thought into what they do, or their devs are just plain clueless. Their latest malicious behaviors are putting incorrect Item Specifics (IS) in listings. I find it fascinating on how it says "Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing." then the system adds the "About this product" portion that I can't remove or edit. I have found multiple listings of my own, and of items I am buying with completely wrong IS in the forced "About this product" section.
Granted the general sentiment is people don't read listings. Especially when it comes to the mobile app since eBay goes out of their way to hide the descriptions. I find it quite ridiculous that us sellers are gonna take the financial hit when these forced IS bite us in the rear.
Also before eBay staff tells me how to report this stuff I have one thing to say. No, I am not your slave, and I am not getting paid to maintain your site. Your US based company may be fine with exploiting cheap overseas labor, but I'm not going to be exploited too. If you can't run your own site then sell it to someone who can!
All of a sudden the "about this product" box has been randomly inserted into about a quarter of my listings with no way to remove this or even alter the incorrect information. By far the worst thing about this that could really screw me over is that in the "Features" category it has decided to fill in "Unopened Box" for me. All of my items are used and clearly marked as used but this "ebay sabotage" at the very least will cause confusion to a buyer but there is a distinct possibility that someone will see "unopened box" and not see the correct information, buy the item, and then be disappointed once they see the item isn't new and unopened. We all know that if this happens ebay will take no fault in the matter.
This might be the most incompetent thing I've seen from ebay developers. At best this floods a buyer with information they care nothing about and clutters the site, at worst buyers are unhappy and sellers will take the blame. I wonder how many people it took to implement this and how long they worked on it. Whoever was the manager that oversaw this idiocy should give themselves a big pat on the back for convincing some hapless upper manager that this was a beneficial feature thus guaranteeing themselves and their underlings continued employment as they implement their sabotage.
Book sellers, if you opted your listing out of the book catalog, check that the catalog hasn't forced itself on.
All my book listings were opted out of the catalog. Today the catalog has forced itself on to all my book listings. When I create a new book listing and enter the UPC (ISBN-13), the option to opt out of the catalog (advanced listing form) no longer displays.
I've reported this issue to Customer Service, ticket #1-409663275318.
Please call CS if this is also happening to your listings that were opted out of the catalog.
Generally, whenever I review eBay's book catalog to see if it's become usable, about 9 out of 10 entries are incorrect. Some are minor errors but many other errors will cause buyer problems! For example, when the catalog forces a hardcover format onto a listing for a paperback, of course we'll have unhappy buyers and returns.
Yes, I just noticed the same problem today on one of my "sell similar" items -- eBay had automatically entered an ISBN number, even though my previous listing had been listed with "Does Not Apply" in the ISBN box -- and the book details of the ISBN number which eBay had automatically entered was INCORRECT (wrong publisher), and thus useless to my listing.
Since eBay always states that any details regarding the books are the responsibility of the seller, why would eBay automatically force ISBN numbers upon book listings, even after sellers have entered "DOES NOT APPLY" in the ISBN box? How many NAD cases will eBay booksellers face, before eBay corrects this problem?
Yet again another eBay holiday SNAFU!!!
This so called catalog ebay is forcing upon us is a horrible idea! An example of this is the toy hot wheels. Hot wheels will use the same UPC on several cars, There can be a red car, blue car, yellow car, ect.... You list a blue car and ebay will put a yellow car in the about section. It is rare the "About this product" section will be correct and it makes a mess of our listings. We already have "item specifics" and now they added the about section with wrong information. This can set us up for "item not as described" cases.
I searched for an op out setting but do not see any such thing. This really sucks!!!
It looks like listings which omit the ISBNs appear normal at first, only to have the info added after the listing goes live. You know, in a similar fashion as the unwanted 'best offer' feature is added when specifically NOT selected by the seller, or subsequently revised/removed and shows back up.
In general, sellers that use the identifiers in the IS fields faces the option of leaving them out (if it is even allowed) and perhaps being lowered in Search, or using them and having inaccurate information supplied that cannot be corrected.
I'm unclear about how the listing could get connected with the catalog information without some kind of identifier number, unless they are just using a title.......which as said....ignores various editions, et al.
Frankly, I thought those catalog pages were dead and gone........they were wrong to begin with and most of them were badly wrong....... Harry Temkin admitted it and that's the reason IS became the new "end all, be all" rather than the catalog after Wenig left. Now Harry's gone, so don't know if someone is trying to resurrect the catalog or not.
"About This Product" recently appeared in the auto parts categories and it's a mess there as well. Many auto parts have a "casting number" or "ident" which is the actual number stamped on the part. Often this is NOT the manufacturer part number, and there can be many variations of a part that have the same ident, but different MPNs (which are often not printed on the part). It looks like eBay has just ingested all the stuff that sellers have typed into the part number fields over the years, and decided they are all MPNs.
I always do my research and add correct MPNs to my listings. I typically used the "Other part number" field for idents, but that field is no longer available for new listings as of a few weeks ago. So that gives me the choice of either leaving out the idents (which buyers often use as search keywords) or wrongly placing them in the MPN/OEM PN/Superseded PN fields, which now causes erroneous product catalog entries to become associated with my listings.
If eBay wants to do something with a part number catalog, they need to get the actual manufacturer part numbers into their database and not rely on numbers entered by sellers who don't know the difference between an ident and an MPN. Trying to take the easy way out just created a misleading mess for everyone.
I have just noticed today, that all my listings have this section, "about this product". Used to be a checkbox that you include catalog info, which I never do, because there is almost always some detail that is wrong. Now I have laptop listings saying a laptop has HDMI when it has Display Port, saying it has 1TB SSD when it has a 512GB SSD, saying a 20+ year old Oki printer has WiFi. Did I miss something in a seller update? All of this info is non-editable. I spend hours and hours making sure my listing are correct and have correct item specifics. This is of course going to cause returns. I've called ebay support on this, just wondering if anyone else has noticed this, and what the cause might be.
The issue seems to be that eBay is no longer just using UPC or ISBN to match items to catalog info, they are now using other item specifics too which may be incorrect due to the mess eBay created with item specific and category changes in the Spring and Fall updates.
Some seller said they had added disclaimers to their listings, hoping buyers will take the time to scroll past all the automatically added product information and read their actual descriptions.
I added "Please note that the "About this product" section is for the item in general and NOT for the item listed. ebay puts this information there not the sellers." to the about section of my ebay store. I think I can do a bulk edit for all my items to add that text to each listing but am afraid to do it thinking something bad will happen and hose all my listings.
Had to revise listings, used this statement in the description box. Just another attack on small sellers.
Please note that ebay may be adding "About this product" to the listing that may or may not be accurate!
One seller asked for clarification if this was an intended change or a possible glitch.
That's unclear at the moment. I'm sending it on for more review, but we probably won't hear back on this until early to mid next week.
I'll update this articles once we have a more definite answer. In the mean time, let me know in the comments below if eBay has forced incorrect catalog data on your listing pages!