eBay community staff have confirmed there is now an open technical ticket about this issue.
However, it's still not entirely clear if the technical issue is that this message exists at all or just that it is being displayed incorrectly on listings that have not had a change in the title.
Hey @valueaddedresource! It looks like there is now an open ticket for the issue of 'show original title' opened on our end. If there are any members that are experiencing this they can reach out to customer support here and let them know that they are running into ALRET14069. We also have this added to our tech board here as well.
'show original title' option is appearing next to the item title (August 23,2022)
Reference ID: ALERT14069
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eBay sellers are once again asking the question is it a glitch or unannounced test/update - this time with some newly listed items suddenly showing a hyphen at the end of the title in search and on the item page, along with a message that says "show original title".
When you hover over "show original title", it pops up "original text" but in every instance I've seen so far at least, the original text and the current title appear to be identical.
eBay community members are confused about this new feature too.
I ended a listing and then created a new listing via sell similar. On the new listing page the listing title is followed with "-show original title". When mouse hovering over it it displays "Original text, the exact same title". I then edited the listing title and "-show original title" is still there it displays "Original text, the updated title".
I've never seen this before. Does anyone know its purpose?
I just noticed this "new feature" on my listings. Hovering or clicking on "-show original title" shows my items title without any changes.
Seems like a total waste of space and a distraction for buyers.
It would cause me to waste time looking and trying to discover what is being left out of the title. When is eBay going to make changes based on what sellers want? We just have to accept eBay knows what is best for us, even when we have no idea what is going on.
It appears the feature may not being working quite right as several users have pointed out that it sometimes shows when it doesn't appear there has been any change to the title at all and others report the the original title and revised title are swapped and not appearing in the correct place.
I revised a title an hour or two after listing an item last night. Today, search results show the revised title; however the item page still shows the original title. More strange, when I hover over "Show Original Title," it shows me my revised title.
Sellers are also discussing the issue over in the Flipping sub-reddit.
I am in the "testing the new feature" guinea pig bucket as well on this.
If the title is updated it shows the original title. (Which I think is the intent)
I have seen some where the title was not updated showing it but not on all listings. Sell similar sometimes shows it sometimes not.
I can see this being bad for a seller where someone uses an old listing and updates stuff to keep watchers and sales history.
I can see it being good for a buyer because if someone has model xyz and it is really abc and you add the item to your watchlist and the seller has changed it, it is not immediately noticed and can cause issues.
I have also seen where people list things with a more desirable model number and then change something like the model number in the title after they get a few watchers.
As that seller pointed out, some sellers will simply change the details on an active listing once that item sells out rather than create a new listing.
While that can be ok in situations where you have another similar item and are just modifying the listing slightly (for example maybe another of the same item, but in a different condition or color), it can cause real issues when sellers use this method to change the listing to a completely different item.
Sales history, reviews, and outside ad links for example all reference item numbers and if the item in that listing changes significantly over time it could be possible those reviews and ad links will no longer match what buyers actually see when they navigate to the listing.
It can be a confusing experience for buyers to be shown reviews or links for one product only to find something complete different on the actual listing.
So maybe this is eBay's way of trying to discourage that practice or at least signal to buyers that the title of the listing has been changed over time?
eBay may have financial incentive to discourage the practice of reusing listings for different items as well. If sellers start new listings instead of piggybacking off existing ones, that could mean more listing fees or upgrading to a higher (more expensive) store subscription.
It seems clunky and confusing to me that eBay would show this message in situations where the title has not actually changed, but it wouldn't be the first time that eBay did something clunky or confusing or a test may have had unintended consequences. 😉
eBay seller Less Than Three Records also brings up a great point - what about titles where adding a hyphen at the end could change the meaning or cause confusion for buyers?
For now I don't believe eBay is actually making changes to titles without permission, it looks like this is just a way to bring attention to changes made by sellers, but it's hard to say for sure since eBay has not announced anything or released any information about this test.
I'll update as more info becomes available - in the meantime, if you're seeing "show original title" on your listings, let us know in the comments below!