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Ebay Enforcing New Item Specifics In The Stamps Category

 
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Posted 10/16/2019   01:33 am  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add cfrphoto to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Today eBay refused to list a mix because it lacked the following item specifics:

Certification
Grade
Place of Origin

The listing specified Quality as "Used".

The pending changed was posted in the eBay Fall Seller update, but few may have noticed. A PDF file, listing Stamps as a subcategory of Collectibles listed most categories used to sell stamps. I suppose that sellers who use the eBay web site to create listings may have noticed the change. Sellers who use third party applications like SixBit or upload listings with Bulk Insert may be aware until the listing process fails.

What is the problem?

1. eBay fails to communicate site changes to sellers.
2. The built-in eBay definitions are not consistent with generally accepted usage in the stamp marketplace. Some conflict with definitions in the Scott catalog and a few seem downright illiterate.

Finally, what is the ASDA, who seems to have the ear of the Stamps Category Manager, been doing to help sellers?
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Posted 10/16/2019   06:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds as if eBay is copying Hipstamp as far as the information goes. Obviously they have some bugs though.
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Posted 10/16/2019   2:22 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Either that change was just initiated today, or you're seeing some unintended wonkiness. I listed a number of used stamps yesterday evening, and no specifics were required at all.

I'll try to list a few items tonight when I get home and will see if I encounter the same behavior.

What method are you using for listing: 3rd-party application, Seller Hub page, mobile app, other?
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Edited by revenuecollector - 10/16/2019 2:24 pm
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Posted 10/16/2019   2:45 pm  Show Profile Check docgfd's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add docgfd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I got hit with the same nonsense last night, and waited until today to see if it was a wonk.....nope.....same nonsense.
Without an eBay store, I'm now faced with checking 4-boxes on each of over 500 items before they'll relist for BIN, and have three days to do it to take advantage of a free listing special. And...these are friggin' covers in the postal history categories, so it makes "perfect sense" that I'm forced to check off 'used' for each one.
HipStamp looks better every day since sales are picking up there big-time.
Clearly, an eBay techie or three needs a good beating !
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Posted 10/16/2019   3:11 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Edited by revenuecollector - 10/16/2019 3:16 pm
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Posted 10/16/2019   5:36 pm  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I listed items using Sixbit on Sunday night without a problem. Today using the exact same template I see this;




Always something.
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Posted 10/16/2019   6:21 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just got home, went to my selling template, and yup, idiotic mandatory specifics. I just left a nastygram on the eBay message boards, not that it will matter (but it feels great to vent at the morons even if it is shouting into the wind):


Quote:
Within the last 24 hours all sorts of mandatory fields were rolled out across eBay, including in collectibles, where they make ZERO sense!


Certification

Place of Origin

Grade

Quality


All now MANDATORY fields??? In stamps, coins, and other collectibles! ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?

This makes it abundantly clear that the idiots making decisions at the top have never sold anything on the platform in their lives.

Buyers of used, vintage, collectibles, and antiques DO NOT USE ITEM SPECIFICS LIKE THIS! It's fine for all the Chinese widget commodities flooding eBay, but keep your off-the-shelf CRAP out of collectibles!

Maybe I missed the memo, but WHEN exactly was it announced that these mandatory category specifics were being forced on collectibles?

Just another plummet in the demise of eBay.

Good grief. Is there ONE person employed by eBay with a freaking clue???
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Posted 10/16/2019   7:07 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All,
Instead of being frustrated by eBay's evolving business plan why not simply buy their stock? There stock is up +38.65% this year alone (1/1/2019 – today). If folks had purchased $1000 of eBay stock in 2009 (10 years ago), it would worth more than $4460 today (as of close this afternoon). That's a return of more than 350%; this beats the S&P which was up 260% in the same time period.

When you own their stock you would then at least have financial gain when they move forward with operational changes.
Don
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Posted 10/16/2019   7:09 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You're missing the point, Don.
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Edited by revenuecollector - 10/16/2019 7:10 pm
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Posted 10/16/2019   7:14 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I thought the point is that eBay does not care about collectibles like stamps and would just as soon have everyone selling new clothes and electronics. Stamp folks can complain all they want, we are no where near from being on eBay's radar.

My intention was to only offer a suggestion that might help ease the frustration.I assumed that this thread was serving as a cathartic release.
Don
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Posted 10/16/2019   8:02 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I also sent off a nastygram last night. One notice in one update that mentioned collectibles - not stamps - I snot sufficient, especially with no reminders.

I have *thousands* of listings that need to be updated, and the bulk updating tool in eBay does not work for specfics. Things have to be chosen one by one in drop down menus. Worse, the "specifics" make no sense for the postal history category (where not only is virtually nothing certified, nothing is graded and everything is used, plus the "origin" specific is tied to the category listing so there's only one choice - that should be automated).

I know postal history is a bit player, but this was very poorly thought out and implemented by eBay. I am hoping that the third party tool they mention can effectively handle bulk changes and that templates will accept defaults for these specifics, but I am wary. I told eBay that they've now placed my business at risk.
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Posted 10/16/2019   8:33 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What method are you using for listing: 3rd-party application, Seller Hub page, mobile app, other?


Like Ken Relyea I use the SixBit eCommerce Solution for listing, but it is not that simple. The listing was scheduled (free with SixBit) while I was at the Waltham Stamp Club auction. When I returned home, the submission had failed. It was the last of a group of similar listings offering Washington/Franklin mix prepared months ago. Most single stamp listings are prepared in Excel and imported into SixBit with Item Specifics like color, gum condition or grade (centering) consistent with the Scott Catalog. There is no way to keep track of everchanging eBay Item Specific names or predefined values.

The purpose of Item Specifics is presumably to improve marketing by improving search. Predefined eBay values like "Mint regummed" are not consistent with the Scott catalog and the stamp marketplace. How can eBay predefined Item Specific values that conflict with stamp dealer web sites and price lists improve search? Poorly chosen default values for Item Specifics in the left search panel make filters and search ineffective. Item Specifics for United States stamps should be consistent with the Scott Catalog. Failure to be consistent is ineffective marketing.

Testing eBay search and filters:

I searched for "500" in Stamps, narrowed the search to United States, then to 1901-Now: Used and then tried the Quality filter. "Used" returned many results, most not relevant. "Lightly hinged returned one result, a used 499 described as a Scott 500 offered at $109.70. Looking at other filters, the seller labeled the color of the stamp as "deep rose" in the title, "rose red" in Item Specifics, but the eBay filter value displayed "pink". While nothing can be done about seller ignorance, eBay could find ways to make Item Specifics more effective.
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Edited by cfrphoto - 10/16/2019 9:55 pm
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Posted 10/16/2019   8:39 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Update:

Certification, Grade, and Quality can be set to default values in the listing template, which is a good thing, but "Place of Origin" cannot be. It has to manually be set, at least within the seller hub's listing templates.

Also, when you list with a template, it recommends a value for the "Country/Region of Manufacture" field, based upon the geographical subcategory you select.... fine and dandy... but...

How exactly does "Country/Region of Manufacture" differ from "Place of Origin" and why is the latter mandatory, but the former is the one that is auto-suggested by category selection? How would any buyer differentiate between the two fields?

If, for some inane reason, "Place of Origin" refers to where the item is shipping from (it's a stretch), they should be able to pull that from my shipping information.

I wonder if the mandatory Certification and Graded fields are something that ASDA is pushing since they've gotten into bed with eBay... I would argue that less than 10% of the stamps listings are expertized, and less than 1% are graded, since graded stamps isn't a thing outside the U.S.

BAH HUMBUG!
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Posted 10/16/2019   10:00 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Certification, Grade, and Quality can be set to default values in the listing template, which is a good thing,


It would be a good thing if the predefined Quality values were consistent with stamp marketplace usage. They are not consistent. This is ineffective marketing.

Predefined Grade values like F/VF do not match more common usage like F-VF or FVF. Did eBay opt not to use the dash character because of deficiencies in their search engine?

The Certification values are limited to PF, PSE, PSAG, APEX and "Uncertified". What choices are available to sellers with other recognized certificates?

If eBay continues with nonconforming default values, professional stamp dealers may lose page views because their descriptions, consistent with their web site won't match the ones in eBay filters. Does eBay prefer less competent sellers?

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Edited by cfrphoto - 10/16/2019 10:03 pm
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Posted 10/16/2019   10:18 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The Certification values are limited to PF, PSE, PSAG, APEX and "Uncertified". What choices are available to sellers with other recognized certificates?


If it's anything like the coin categories, if an expertizer is not on the " eBay approved" list, they fall under Uncertified... that was the ANA's doing, which is what makes me think that ASDA is behind all of this nonsense.
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Posted 10/17/2019   01:26 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The poor old RPSL has only been certifying stamps since the 1890s ...
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