eBay's ongoing testing for a new View Item page design may be causing problems with how photos are displayed in variation listings.
A seller in the eBay community posted about the issue, which only appears to be currently impacting listings with more than 20 variations when seen in the "two-column" page view that is being tested.
The two-column view item page test has an issue with displaying the correct photo when using the drop-down list to make a selection.
The first 24 selections, or so, in the drop-down list show the correct photos. Once I get to about the 25th selection in the drop-down list the photo displayed is the 2nd photo from the previous available selection in the drop-down list.
Screenshot 1 shows the two-column page test with the photo issue
Screenshot 2 shows the same listing with the current view item page
Another seller was able to confirm the issue was happening only in the 2 column test layout, but not in the 3 column standard layout.
It happens when you try to select Mtn Dew which instead of showing you the first image for Mtn Dew shows you the last image for the previous variation Energy Drink #6c Pink and the variation selection won't stick with Mtn Dew, it instead goes to Energy Drink #6c Pink
Mtn Dew is the 21st variation in the listing and the 41st variation photo in the listing.
It happens when you try to select Energy Drink #5 Silver/Orange which instead of showing you the first image for that variation it shows you the last image for the previous variation Energy Drink #4 Peach/Silver. Just like the other item, the variation selection won't stick with Energy Drink #5.
Energy Drink #5 is the 19th variation in the listing and the 37th variation photo in the listing.
...it's only happening on the 2 column layout, not the 3 column layout.
I rely on variation listings so it's important to me that buyers aren't seeing obstacles when trying to make a purchase.
Another seller believes this issue may be related to changes that were made last year to increase the available photo count to 24 and may just be a simply math problem that eBay needs to solve.
Since we had this problem before, and it was a "modulo" problem, I'm not surprised that it has appeared again. Because you see it at 24, and at 24-1, I would assume it may be related to eBay's 24 photos per listing and that we are dealing with a simple math problem.
While it's not the same issue, the problem here seems similar to another recent multi-variation glitch that caused the variation menu to rapidly autoscroll, preventing buyers from selecting their desired option.
The big problem is because this is only happening in the 2 column page design that is being tested, many sellers may have no idea that some buyers are being shown incorrect photos for their variations.
eBay started this testing back in March and has so far declined to put a timeline on when they expect to finalize the design.
So for the last 6 months different users have been shown different variations of the test design at different times, sometimes resulting in vastly different experiences that may impacted sales or glitches like this that are only visible to those in the test.
Unfortunately, it also means that sellers may be unable to check for themselves to see if they are impacted by this problem, since they may not have access to the 2 column View Item page at this time and the problem does not appear to affect the standard 3 column view.
eBay staff have responded to that thread and have passed the examples on to the appropriate team for review.
Stay tuned for updates and let us know in the comments below if you've seen any strange problems or lower sales on your multi-variation eBay listings!