Stamp Community Family of Web Sites
Thousands of stamps, consistently graded, competitively priced and hundreds of in-depth blog posts to read
Stamp Community Forum
 
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some stamps?
Our stamp forum is completely free! Register Now!

Ebay Enforcing New Item Specifics In The Stamps Category

 
Previous Page | Next Page    
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 3
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
1136 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   08:05 am  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
These Item specifics simply don't work for me. I sell collections on pages and almost all are a mixture of used & unused and this isn't a choice and there are many other problem. I called eBay and explained this to the rep and he understood and said he would pass this information on to the proper people and he invited me to submit suggestions.




I would like to take advantage of this opportunity and submit changes that would work for all of us that sell stamps on eBay. We may be wasting our time but at least it's a chance.

Here are the item specifics that are currently required;








My first thoughts are the Certification and Graded categories should be removed from the required area. I am pretty sure certified stamps make up way less than 1% of Stamp sales and then Graded reduces that even more. It makes no sense to exclude 99+% of the items in the first 2 required specifics. My first required box would be format ie. single, set, postal history, collection/pages, collection/album, mixtures, supplies, publications or something similar.

If a few others that sell on eBay regularly could help me I think we could give them a workable solution in a short timeframe. Any volunteers?
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
543 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   10:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You have the choice of "uncertified"




My guess is that the intention is to allow people to search for only certified stamps.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Moderator
Learn More...
7312 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   10:54 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As alub mentions, this is all about making the search more idiot proof. Speaking from a database developer perspective, users and free form fields like 'Description' suck. There is zero data entry consistency and this in turn means that users cannot find what they are looking for. This applies not just for 'puffery' but also things like spelling mistakes.

So requiring users to select defined terms from drop downs is far more efficient and results in much better search accuracy and capabilities.

Also note that you can select 'Ungraded' as shown here


And when you select a category like 'Collections, Lots' it automatically removes 'Condition' from the selections as shown here.


I do agree with Clark about definitions of the grades. Without this, even drop down terms are not idiot proof. You can lead a horse to water...
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
4631 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   11:15 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This still doesn't answer the question of how exactly "COuntry/Region of Manufacture" somehow differs from "Place of Origin" and why one is required, yet the other one is recommended based upon your subcategory selection.

Also, see discussion on the eBay board about the category specifics in clothing, where the list of selections to choose from is literally many hundreds of items long, because there's no industry standard being used.

This is a case where making it easier for the application developers makes it hell for the sellers and customers... the wrong way to be approaching the issue.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by revenuecollector - 10/17/2019 11:16 am
Moderator
Learn More...
7312 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   11:21 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do not think it is about making it easier for developers, it is about making it easier for searchers.

The perspective here is for buyers to be able to find what they are looking for, I would assume that sellers would want buyers to find their listings without having 157,889 listings returned when they search. (Which is exactly what you get when trying to do an indexed search on free form text fields.)
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
4631 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   11:34 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Tail wagging the dog. Buyers don't use the pre-filled items specifics when shopping collectibles both because most sellers don't use them, but also becuase they aren't accurate, or many sellers just pick the first thing rather than the correct thing.

Half of my activity on eBay is as a buyer, and I *NEVER* use item specifics when hunting collectibles, as I've learned you will omit listings that way. The only way to search is using keywords.

We're not shopping for Size 11 Men's Nike's in Purple here.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Moderator
Learn More...
7312 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   11:38 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Searchers will not have to select anything, the search engine priorities will add more weight to the selection categories behind the scenes.

here is how I think this works...
From high up in eBay corporate the directive and vision comes down; 'require more emphasis on the section categories so we can improve the search hit rates'. This directive does not then go to some clueless coder working for $15-20k a year in a 3rd world country. It filters down through management layers eventually to the group of folks working in the collectibles categories. eBay US probably has about 35-50 people involved with the collectibles categories. I doubt any of them are stamp collectors and agree that they are probably replying upon interfacing with a handful of non-eBay people or organizations.

Who are these people and/or organizations? How does one get involved in this stuff and gain influence? The biggest issue here, as I see it, it the lack of transparency with this aspect of eBay. I am willing to bet that eBay requires the philatelic influencers to remain under the radar. (They certainly did this back when they had philatelic people overseeing the stamp listings.)
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1263 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   11:54 am  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I do not think it is about making it easier for developers, it is about making it easier for searchers.


How many potential buyers will trust eBay's search filters? Dealers are not going to change their descriptions to match eBay. How will potential buyers react when they can't find listings from their favorite sellers?

Don, please keep in mind that eBay category managers will not respond with changes unless they believe that eBay search is hurting their marketing. In my opinion, most search filters in the Stamps Category will be ignored by potential buyers.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Moderator
Learn More...
7312 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   11:58 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Clark,
I would assume that most sellers would want to make it easier for buyers to find their listings.

In my opinion eBay management is currently fixated upon being like Amazon. When you search on Amazon you do not get thousands and thousands of items returned. Or imagine walking into a brick and mortar the size of eBay or Amazon; the warehouse would extend for miles and miles, you literally would need a car just to see it all.

The primary objective both eBay and Amazon is to support the searcher (buyer), to make the connection between the buyer and the item they are seeking. This should be the same objective for most sellers (unless they are selling an items in which thousands of other sellers are offering the identical item).
Don

Edit: Frankly eBay (and Amazon) would rather that every item for sale has a UPC number. Yes, they would also rather that everyone was selling Size 11 Men's Nike's in Purple type items.

eBay's vision and objectives are to first support new, consumer items. They are willing to torture categories like ours and if it means philatelic listings go away they probably do not care. But I am quite sure that this selection stuff is not falling to some low level code jockey to decide. Coders are no longer decision makers, they are simply sweat shop implementers.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1263 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   2:40 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,

I agree that eBay search policy comes from the top. But the organization has middle managers who could be potential advocates for improving Stamps category search. But, keep in mind that the managers are primarily marketing oriented, interested in growing sales and revenue in their categories. If the eBay dealer community can make a compelling case that eBay marketing is ineffective, perhaps change is possible.

I understand that the ASDA has scheduled an eBay town hall for dealers at the NOJEX show in November in New Jersey. I hope that attendees will say that inappropriate Item Specifics impair visibility in search and may reduce eBay's credibility. This may be an uphill battle because ASDA remains oriented to shows.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by cfrphoto - 10/17/2019 2:41 pm
Valued Member
United Kingdom
33 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   3:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add usinbritain to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Clark, just received an email from ASDA & eBay Manager with a possible work-around for the item specifics issue:

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Annou...324812#M4416

Steve Taylor https://stephentaylor.co.uk
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1263 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   4:03 pm  Show Profile Check cfrphoto's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add cfrphoto to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Steve,

Thank you for the link. I checked it out last night but unfortunately, the product does not support the Stamps category. This is not surprising, because eBay failed to use the Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps & Covers. The catalog provides a clear taxonomy for Grade and gum condition attributes and an implicit taxonomy of design, color, perforations, paper and gum properties. It also assigns catalog numbers to major and minor varieties. Item Specifics values from eBay are not consistent with Scott and lack any notion of "catalog number". Because Optiseller also "supports" UK and Canada, adding Stamps Item Specifics for each country would be a major chore.

How many sellers skip Item Specifics as too time consuming? My software populates Item Specifics in listings for buyers to view. But I cannot determine if listing visibility improves. Potential buyers in the Stamps category seem to search on key words or catalog number. Some check new or ending soon listings. Does anyone trust eBay search filters?
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
4631 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   7:25 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can't speak for anyone else, but as a stamp buyer, I never use item specifics. Ever.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Moderator
Learn More...
7312 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   8:00 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dan,
The listing add item specifics are not simply used by eBay when a buyer clicks on them; they are used by eBay and in others ways too. For example, they are being used in the eBay's internal Cassini 'virtual catalog'...

Quote:
I've been to a number of meetings where eBay staff has discussed the increasing importance of item specifics. Here are some take-aways:

eBay is tending to become more inventory-centric that means it wants to identify items by standard quantifiable inventory terms that are easier to catalog, rather than relying on a single title or wordy item descriptions.

1) New items should use UPC codes in order to correctly autofill the item specifics. That is why UPCs are now mandatory.

2) eBay is developing its own "catalog" of items and encourages sellers to list against the catalog whenever possible. A catalog item is defined by either UPC or item specifics.

3) When a seller has an older product, eBay encourages sellers to use as many item specifics as necessary to describe the product. When another similar product is listed with similar item specifics, a virtual catalog item will be created based on those item specifics.

4) As more unknown items add more item specifics, similar items become "known" by those item specifics, and a virtual catalog item can be created or can be cut away from less similar items.

5) When a google keyword search queries eBay, eBay will match those keywords against its own catalog of real or virtual items (matching against item specifics) and will return those search results that match item specifics. This is particularly important exposure for items that have no persistence, like auctions or short term BINs.

6) Item Specifics that become well defined in a particular product group will tend to appear in the left column of search for fine-tuning the search.

In short, Item Specifics are extremely important if you do not have a UPC or if the UPC covers multiple attributes of a single item (like different versions).


All,
eBay, like other search resources, closely hides how they rank and return searches. But keep in mind that eBay prefers sellers who 'tend' their stores. For example, I have read that eBay rewards sellers who make individual listings over listings which are batched.

But the one thing that is no doubt true, it is eBay's game and they hold all the cards. Whether or not you agree with them, it is best to 'think like eBay' and play the game they want it played if you want your listings to be ranked well.

Previously, it has been known that eBay search rewarded listings that are linked on other places online. This makes sense, any additional traffic that comes their way is viewed as a benefit for them.

But this may be a double edged sword. Ask yourself, again thinking like eBay, if you would reward or penalize a seller who replicates their listings on a competing online venue (like HipStamp etc.).
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
578 Posts
Posted 10/17/2019   9:54 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Optiseller is only a marginal improvement over eBay's internal system (other than that Optiseller will go out and find active listings that need to have specifics added). And it only gets current listings, not expired listings (which need to be manually modified with specifics before you can relist).

What I really want is something that will effectively bulk change my listings to default settings in these damnable specifics. I sell covers - they're all used (duh), and with rare exception they're not certified, and grading is too subjective.

I'll be spending dozens and dozens of hours that I don't have making these changes on existing listings - or I'll just take the business away from eBay and do something else with it.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Go to Top of Page
Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Stamp Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2019 Stamp Community Family - All rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Stamp Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Privacy Policy / Terms of Use    Advertise Here
Stamp Community Forum © 2007 - 2019 Stamp Community Forums
It took 0.45 seconds to lick this stamp. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05