What To Do When eBay Loses Pictures From 1000 Listings?

Liz Morton ~ Founder
Liz Morton ~ Founder


eBay seller John Norman of MaxOptical took to yesterday's weekly chat to try to get some assistance with an ongoing technical issue that resulted in photos disappearing from close to 1,000 listings.

Re: Community Chat, March 16 @ 1:00 pm PT - General Topics
Hello eBay, It has now been 12 weeks and I am still missing the photos from close to 1000 of my 4000 listings. I have been told by the support team it is being worked on and it is an official eBay bug. Now 12 weeks later I am starting to feel I will never get my photos back.. Can you give me a…

Hello eBay,

It has now been 12 weeks and I am still missing the photos from close to 1000 of my 4000 listings. I have been told by the support team it is being worked on and it is an official eBay bug. Now 12 weeks later I am starting to feel I will never get my photos back.. Can you give me any direction to help get this corrected?

Thank you,

John Norman

eBay Seller Maxoptical

Tyler@eBay replied:

Hi @maxoptical - I'm sorry, but I don't have an update to provide you. I know that, historically, if photos drop from a listing it can be difficult to restore them (usually bordering on irrecoverable). If your listings have been without any photos for the last 3 months I wonder if it may be worth looking at retaking/reuploading them.

As to a proper course of action - continuing to work with CS is your best route as they can review the listings involved, your account history and work with the tech team on your behalf.

"I wonder if it may be worth looking at retaking/reuploading them?" Really?! That's the best they can do?

I understand the suggestion here, but obviously any seller in this situation would have likely already considered that option - and considered the massive amount of effort & cost involved for their business which they shouldn't have to incur due to eBay's technical problems.

John wrote back (for clarity, he typically has 4 photos per listing, with 1000 listings affected = 4,000 photos):


I am missing over 4000 photos, do you understand the cost involved in recreating 4000 photos and then relisting them? I can't sort my listings on "Missing Photos" so I have to go through each listing one by one to find them. Then eBay replaced my missing photos with a grey polaroid icon that I have to delete from every listing before uploading the newly recreated photos. This is thousands of dollars in expenses due to eBay losing my photos.

Also still waiting for 7 weeks now to get all of the false defects removed from my account.

I am very frustrated.

John Norman

Tyler responded, stating once again that John would need to contact customer service because he is unable to provide support in the community.

Hi @maxoptical - I can only imagine the time, expense and resources that would be for you. I know that this is neither a simple nor a quick process, but I just wanted to prepare you in the event that is the end result.

Again, I'm not able to provide you account specific customer support, so defect removals are not something I can assist you with. Working with CS on this is the best way forward.

Tyler might want to check in with Director of Community Rebecca Michals on that one - she explicitly stated multiple times in the Spring Seller Check In that the community (and specifically the Wednesday weekly chat) is a great place to connect with customer support.

I want to end by reaffirming that our community is a great place to connect with other sellers, to connect with customer support people from eBay every Wednesday at the Wednesday chat.

You also can talk with experienced sellers who volunteer and help in our community specifically to answer questions by other sellers. It's a really great place to get this kind of back and forth advice and guidance from each other and again from eBay experts who drop into the community and we do have customer support folks there as well.

Is the person whose job description includes "own(ing) the overall engagement strategy for the SMB North America Seller social media, engagement events, and community" and "lead(ing) team of social media managers, event producers, community managers" completely unaware that the community managers & reps under her purview are not considered an official support channel and not empowered to actually provide support?

Or are the community reps just making things up as they go along? The left hand apparently doesn't seem to know what the right hand is doing and of course, sellers end up caught in the middle.

If eBay is not able to correct the technical issue and restore the images for this seller, at a bare minimum they should be offering some kind of compensation in the form of an account credit or waived store fees equal to a fair hourly wage for whatever time it takes to recreate these images and restore the listings.

Such consideration would not be without precedent - in 2018 there were massive technical issues (one result of which was the loss of images when GTC listings renewed).  Then VP Seller Marketplace, Bob Kupbens, was forced to make a public apology for the glitches and sellers received a follow up email offering insertion fee credits.

We’re Sorry for Recent Technical Issues That May Have Impacted You
During the past few weeks, a number of technical issues have impacted the selling experience on eBay for some sellers. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience these issues may have caused. We have resolved the most critical issues and are working diligently to solve all of them as soon as possi…

We made a technical error during a recent update that caused many sellers to lose images associated with their Good Til Cancelled listings. We cannot, unfortunately, retrieve many of the lost images. If re-uploading images is feasible for you, we encourage you to do so.

We know this has been extremely frustrating.

Sellers make up the backbone of eBay, and we're committed to helping your business grow. To set you up for future success, we're crediting you back for insertion fees on the impacted listings and providing you with 200 zero insertion fees to use until July 28, 2018.

Again, we're very sorry for this technical error. Thank you for your patience as we actively work to improve our processes.
The eBay Seller Team

Tech IssueseBay