eBay Listings Disappearing - Is It A Leap Day Glitch?

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


A familiar glitch is making the rounds through the eBay discussion forums and social media as sellers say listings that should be renewing today are instead going missing, not to be found in either active or ended listings sections of Seller Hub.

Affected sellers report the issue is an almost annual occurrence as eBay has just never quite figured out how to cope with the fact that February has less days than other months, plus leap day when applicable.

Listings disappearing from Seller Hub
This morning I had 850 items listings and now a few minutes later I only have 832 items listed. Every time I refresh the page it goes down by one listing. Where did my listings go??

This morning I had 850 items listings and now a few minutes later I only have 832 items listed. Every time I refresh the page it goes down by one listing. Where did my listings go??

Longtime community member Wastingtime101 provided some helpful advice to wait 24 hours as eBay may be experiencing delays in relisting.

If these listings are renewing today, we've seen many times in the past where they disappear, sometimes for hours, until they reindex and reappear. Every time I've seen it in the past it's been on the first day of the month.

With today being Leap Day, I would not be surprised if it's causing the issue.

I say wait it out for 24 hours and listings should reappear.

Doubt new listings would be affected but you can put one or two up as a test.

If the issue is related to Leap Day, it would not be the only one - many sellers are still trying to figure out why their end dates for recent listings are also mysteriously missing a day.

eBay Listing End Date Glitch Knocks One Day Off Good Til Canceled Timeframe
eBay sellers are observing an odd glitch impacting listing end dates, losing a day off the Good Til Canceled timeframe starting on February 10th.

These types of renewal/relisting delays are not uncommon and not exclusive to Leap Day, though the need to program around the extra day could certainly be an additional factor.

Is eBay Experiencing Delays In Relisting Items?
Sellers report delays in relisting & listing template loading errors. Is eBay experiencing latency issues from the new listing experience?

In the past, eBay has simply chalked these issues up to "latency" and said it is normal for listings to take 24-48 hours to reindex, and they've given the same answer for other issues as well like, delays in posting listings to social media using the Social Sharing tool.

Many sellers have believed that's just a catch all for anytime eBay's servers get bogged down and struggle to keep up, but what if the delays are sometimes actually intentional?

In some instances, eBay may be simply load-balancing, preferencing fast load time and responsiveness on the buying side of the site at times to the possible detriment to the selling side, especially during heavy traffic or peak load events.

The importance of optimizing for the consumer-buyer experience was laid out in a corporate blog post when they launched a company-wide Speed initiative in 2019, focused on improving performance across experiences on desktop, mobile, and apps and specifically targeting home page, search and item page performance - all importantly geared toward the buyer-facing side of the user experience.

The post explicitly calls out making cuts in certain areas to balance their "need for speed" as well as creating a committee to monitor and oversee application of the "speed budget."

Speed By A Thousand Cuts
In 2019, eBay prioritized a company-wide initiative, aptly called “Speed,” focused on improving the performance of critical eBay flows across all platforms — iOS, Android, and Web. This article explains the journey and outcomes.

Death by a thousand cuts is a popular figure of speech that refers to a failure that occurs as a result of many small problems. It has a negative connotation to it and is referenced on many occasions when things go wrong, and there is no one primary reason to blame.

We have a similar story at eBay, but this time on a positive note. In 2019, we started working on an initiative called “Speed” to improve the performance of end-user experiences across major consumer channels — iOS, Android, and Web.

Fast forward today, we have made significant improvements to our speed numbers, both globally and across all platforms, but there was no one major contributing factor. It was a culmination of many small enhancements (or “cuts” as we call it) that moved the needle.

It's certainly understandable why eBay would favor the performance of the buyer experience in the constantly changing calculations for how to prioritize resources, but if that is the case they should be more upfront and transparent with sellers about it rather than hiding behind vague 24-48 hour windows when performance slows down.

Whether this current issue is due to intentional load-balancing, lack of planning for the entirely foreseeable fact that February has a different amount of days or bogged down server latency, unfortunately sellers will likely just have to wait it out and hope those magically disappearing listings will just as magically reappear.

Are your listings that are up for renewal today disappearing from seller hub? Let us know in the comments below!

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