eBay Listing Titles Lost In Translation

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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eBay UK sellers are perplexed by a mix up in listing titles when their items are shown on the eBay Germany site.

How Have Ebay Turned An Audio Book Into A Smartwatch?
I’ve just had a message from a buyer in Germany asking why one of my listings has a title that doesn’t match the picture. On looking at the listing (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/304678376934) this is what I see: All ok. Everything matches. So I’ve investigated further and looked at the same listing o…

I've just had a message from a buyer in Germany asking why one of my listings has a title that doesn't match the picture. On looking at the listing (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/304678376934) this is what I see:

english

All ok. Everything matches.

So I've investigated further and looked at the same listing on ebay Germany (https://www.ebay.de/itm/304678376934) and this is what I see:

german

No wonder the buyer's confused! That is not my title and bears no resemblance to any part of my title. It's not even some ridiculous attempt to translate my title into German as what it says is in English. My listing is in the correct category, all of the details and item specifics that I'm advised to fill in pertain to my item, not some android smartwatch.

I'm guessing this issue is caused by item specifics and ebay's flawed system picking up some word or string of characters that it thinks make it a smartwatch. But it doesn't do it on the UK site and even on German ebay it hasn't attached some crazy ebay catalogue entry to my listing. So how and why have ebay managed to completely remove the title and replace it with nonsense?

It's not even due to the ISBN matching an EAN for a smartwatch as I have to list all my audio books with the ISBN set to "Does not apply" (even though virtually all of them have a valid ISBN) because ebay's catalogue is terminally broken. So the ISBN isn't even mentioned on the listing.

The seller then provided a list of other listings of theirs where they were seeing the same issue and also found it was affecting other sellers' listings as well - giving some comical but still quite concerning examples.

On checking further, this issue is affecting random listings across all categories and on our other id there are loads more affected listings so it seems to be a site-wide problem.

This is an amusing one. "The Albion Band Songs From The Shows 2-CD NEW SEALED 1997 Folk Ashley Hutchings" https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/374328926274 becomes "Leggings Camila Lilybod camuflado verde invierno talla XS" https://www.ebay.de/itm/374328926274 which seems to be Spanish and translates as "Camila Lilybod leggings winter green camouflage size XS".

Have a look at your "Lenovo Ideapad 530s-14ISK Motherboard INTEL i5-8250u 5B20R11832" https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/134296800843. It's become "2 türer 4 schublade" https://www.ebay.de/itm/134296800843 which is German for "2 door 4 drawer"!

Other sellers were concerned that this mix up could be negatively impacting international sales.

Could explain why international sales are down this month. Will check our various international items later today.

That's going to be a big problem for eBay. When people finally stop laughing at their ineptitude. The last few months have already put me in laughter overload.

When the laughing stops....................

Hahahaha spectacular. Shame really, Germany is a very important market for me and I really like dealing with customers from there as well. I even filled all the repackaging recycling stuff recently.

eBay community staff responded, saying they've reported the issue to the technical department and will check back with updates.

Re: How Have Ebay Turned An Audio Book Into A Smartwatch?
Morning Ive been looking into this one, Tech are aware of it and it seems to be limited to the DE site. Ive added all the below examples to the Tech Ticked and Ill post an update as soon as I have any more information. Thanks, Dave

Ive been looking into this one, Tech are aware of it and it seems to be limited to the DE site. Ive added all the below examples to the Tech Ticked and Ill post an update as soon as I have any more information.

Thanks,

Dave

This is a particularly odd situation because it doesn't appear to be simply a case of a word here and there being mis-translated - it's literally changing the title to reflect a completely different and unrelated item.

That would suggest it isn't a translation issue, but a data issue.

On the US site, I've also seen an increase in recent reports from users saying they are suddenly receiving bid notifications for items they never looked at or bid on, as well as random items in their shopping carts that do not belong to them.

eBay Users See Bid Notifications & Items In Cart That Don’t Belong
eBay users report receiving bid notifications & seeing items in cart that don’t belong to their accounts!

Is eBay having some kind of global database crossed wires meltdown that is causing a mix up in listing and account information?

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!