eBay Quietly Solicits "Ghost Listing" Reports; Sellers Feel Ghosted By Lack Of Support & Communication

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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eBay says they are working to actively address a long-standing technical issue often referred to by sellers as "ghost listings" with a new way to report when an item that has been previously sold reappears for sale without the seller's intent, seemingly relisted by eBay. 

The information was shared in the eBay community forum by one of the volunteer member "mentors", who assured other members that the directions for reporting this problem listings came directly from eBay.

How to report GHOST LISTINGS
I am just sharing some information that I learned from eBay. They now have a way to report GHOST LISTINGS. As an active community member I know this has been a problem for a LONG time. It’s been hard to track down without a consistent reporting method and because the occurrences are random.…

...The following is directly from eBay>

A ghost listing occurs when an item that has been sold reappears for sale without the seller's intent to relist, seemingly relisted by eBay.

When faced with a ghost listing, sellers are put in a difficult position. They must either cancel the transaction due to the item being out of stock, which unfortunately results in an “out of stock” listing defect on their account, or they must find an alternative solution, such as sourcing the item elsewhere to fulfill the order for the buyer.

We are actively working to address and prevent these occurrences, and your detailed reports are invaluable to our efforts.

To ensure we can address and resolve ghost listings efficiently, we request your cooperation in providing specific details when you encounter these issues. Here’s how you can help:

  • Note down the Item ID of the ghost listing.
  • If available, also record the Item ID of the original listing.
  • Utilize the feedback form located within the “Advanced Listing Tool” (pictured below), and include the following information:
  • Both Item IDs as mentioned earlier.
  • Include the phrase “ghost listing” in your feedback to help us identify the issue.
  • Provide as much detail as possible about the listing to aid in our investigation.

GHOST LISTING.JPG

While it's great to hear that eBay is actively working on this issue, it's disappointing and frustrating that this communication is being shared through volunteer seller mentors rather than any official channels or eBay employed community personnel.

Sellers have been plagued by "ghost listings" for years and have often felt gaslit or dismissed by eBay support staff who have denied the existence of the issue and/or blamed sellers, saying they must have made an error or taken action that caused items to be relisted themselves rather than acknowledging there could be a technical problem on eBay's side.

Funneling this communication for how to report the problem through volunteer community members rather than official channels or spokespeople/employees allows eBay to continue to distance themselves from any acknowledgement or accountability for the problem - not to mention leaves the issue up for lingering doubts or interpretations about the root cause of the issue and where responsibility should lie for the "difficult position" sellers are put in and account damage or extra costs that can result from receiving defects on an account or having to scramble to find alternate fulfillment options.

Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long line of examples of how eBay has been slowly (and many would say intentionally) replacing direct communication and interaction with eBay personel with volunteer mentors and paid sponsored third party content creators or simply leaving sellers to fend for themselves, groping around in the dark to try to find solutions to problems or learn about critical updates and new features.

Communication Breakdown: eBay Sellers In The Dark About Updates & Community Events
eBay sellers frustrated with lack of communication as they are left in the dark about critical business impacting updates & community events.

As one seller in that community thread about reporting ghost listings aptly put it (while tagging all of the official eBay community employee accounts):

We need an official eBay response to this.

If this information is from eBay employees, then it really should have been posted by an eBay employee.

Getting an eBay mentor to post information like this for you, without any attribution, link or reference to eBay, looks really shady on eBay's part. Very manipulative.

Isn't eBay willing to stand behind this acknowledgement of the ghost listing issue?

I couldn't have said it better myself - if eBay expects sellers to take any of their platitudes about seller engagement and wanting to be the "seller platform of choice" seriously, it's long past time for them to put their money where their mouth is and well, actually engage with sellers on these types of serious business impacting issues.

eBaySeller UpdatesTech Issues

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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!


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