Today, selling on eBay is more complicated than it was in the early days of the marketplace. Whilst there are more steps for the seller to complete than ever, it has never been easier for the buyer, and that is one of the many reasons why this website service remains extremely popular all over the world.

As of June 29th, eBay now requires product identifiers to list products to some of the most popular categories.

What Are Product Identifiers?

Product identifiers are unique Ids which are assigned to particular products – for example, the ID for a book would be an ISBN whereas for motor parts it is known as a manufacturer part number (MPN). Most products will have a GTIN assigned to them, which is a Global Trade Item Number.

Not only will this product identifier be unique to a specific product, but it will also be unique to a particular edition of a product. A special edition of a DVD, for example, would have a different identification to the standard version.

Why Are These Important?

Simply, PIs are important because they can help customers to find the items they're looking for much more simply. For the sellers, the inclusion of the PIs will not only increase their visibility in the eBay system itself, but will also offer SEO benefits to Google rankings as well.

eBay has widely announced their dedication to improving the efficiency of the online auction site, and improve the online experience for all users. That's why the newest listings of branded items in new condition are required to include them.

Aside from the search benefits, you will also receive increased visibility in eBay deals and relevant promotions. You will also be able to enjoy better pricing guidance from eBay themselves.

Which Listing Categories Are Affected?

Whilst product identifiers are now required for many categories, there are some which are exempt. The categories which will require a product identifier for new, or manufacturer-refurbished, products are:

  • Baby
  • Books
  • Business & Industrial
  • Cameras & Photo
  • Computers/Tablets & Networking
  • Shoes
  • Consumer Electronics
  • DVDs & Movies
  • eBay Motors
  • Health & Beauty
  • Home & Garden
  • Music, Musical Instruments & Gear
  • Pet Supplies
  • Sporting Goods
  • Toys & Hobbies
  • Video Games & Consoles

Maximise Your Item Views, With Personal Identifiers!

In order to make the most of your items online, you need to ensure that you can appeal to your potential buyers. By following these great tips, you can attract buyers to view your items and increase the likelihood of their conversion:

  • When you list branded items in new condition, be sure to include your product's unique identification number, whether that is an ISBN, GTIN, MPN or UPC (Universal Product Code);
  • Use eBay's bulk listing and editing tool to update your existing listings with the newly required identifiers – this can really help to improve your product's visibility in search engines;
  • To ensure that your listing is as accurate as possible, and to help you save time, remember to match your item with a product from eBay's back catalogue. If you list your products in this manner, the unique PIs will automatically be assigned to your items;
  • Remember to check out eBay's best practices for maximising your position in the Best Match search results. Creating collections can be another great way to attract customers to your products; you can learn how to create the best collections here;

eBay's Product Identifier's FAQ

  • Do I Need To Include Multi-SKU Listings? - As of early 2016, you are required to include PIs for multi-SKU items, with variations in the relevant categories to complete listing in all listing flows.
  • Do I Need To Add PIs To Used, Collectible, Vintage And Handmade Items? – No! Although it is recommended that you use PIs whenever possible in order to maintain high-quality search optimisation and visibility, they are not required for listings of second-hand or one-of-a-kind items. If you make and sell your own jewellery, for example, that will not require an item identifier.
  • How Can I Find My Product's MPN Or GTIN? – Most manufacturers will tend to list their MPN or GTIN directly onto a product's packaging – many products will feature it on the product itself. If you choose to match your item within the eBay listings catalogue, the unique identifiers will be automatically included.
  • What If My Identifier Gets Rejected? – A PI will only ever be rejected if it is:

    • An invalid product identifier;
    • Already associated to a different product;

If you're having trouble with a UPC or a PI of any kind, you can easily validate them online, simply by searching for a UPC validator. If you are entering a confirmed, valid UPC, and it isn't conflicting with an existing product already in the eBay catalogue, get in touch with the eBay Customer Service team to sort it out.

Selling On eBay, With eCommerce Professionals

It is extremely important that you present a professional appearance to your customers, particularly on such a major online retail marketplace as eBay. Here at eStore Design, we can help you to create fantastic eBay store designs and ensure that you follow the very best in eBay listing techniques to achieve an extremely high return.

For more information on the very best in modern eBay store development, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our professional team today on 0845 050 3500. Alternatively, you can email any concerns or questions that you might have to, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!

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