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Monday, 27 September 2010

eBay's New Duplicate Listing Rule


Just when you thought there were no more hoops to jump through in 2010, there are. As of 26 October 2010, eBay is going to judge your listings to try to figure out which are duplicates. They will remove dupes, credit you, but possibly flag your account if they think you are whipping up trouble. So you need to pay attention to this.

What can you do?

I have not spoken to anybody about this policy, so I do not know the finer details, but here are some of my suggestions:

  • Make sure your titles reflect what this item is.
  • Use item specifics and custom item specifics to get all RELEVANT keywords into an item. You don't have to pack your title with words anymore. eBay searches will check item specifics. But do not keyword spam!
  • Use multi-sku variations wherever possible.
  • When items are different, name your item images something different. I have no data on this, but I'd guess that one way eBay would try to determine if the item is the same would be by checking the names of your images.

Remember that this does NOT apply to auctions, nor would it apply to similar items that are in different conditions. So if you have one cookie jar that's new and the same one that's used and a bit scratched up, eBay will determine that they are not the same thing.

This is really more for the sellers we ALL know who for years have just flooded eBay with the same listing over and over. I have been telling sellers for a long time to NOT do that... you don't have to. The best strategy is to have one fixed price, multiple quantity item, and work on making that perform really well in Best Match.

Remember that eBay is also watching how many times your item is seen in search results compared to how many times someone buys it. That means you need your listing to do the best job possible in making the sale. If you need any help from us, or want a template designed, let us know at www.aswas.com.

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What worries me (and, again, got to see how it works in practice before I truly freak out) is when you have two collectible items. Both are listed as used. Descriptions and photos are different but similar (after all, they are the same item, just in two different conditions). Say one has a crack on the bottom, the other on the top.

While I would love to believe eBay will realize the case here, since their own FAQ implies your need to trick the system to get it to accept listings like this, I'm not overly psyched. The fact that its an automated system and not a human looking also worries me.

But, again, I have to see it in action first.

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