Using Product Identifiers on eBay to boost visibility and sales
For the last couple of years, eBay has required its sellers to use Product Identifiers on their listings. These are key pieces of information that allow customers to clearly identify specific items, right down to the exact make and model.
The aim of this is to increase the accuracy of listings and make it easier for potential buyers to find the precise products they are looking for. However, it can also boost the visibility of a seller’s listings, both within eBay and across the wider web, including through search engines such as Google.
Getting this aspect of your listings right is really important, which is why we have put together this short guide telling you everything you need to know about using Product Identifiers on eBay.
“Brand is the most straightforward and will usually be obvious from the item itself in most cases”
What are eBay Product Identifiers?
There are three main types of Product Identifiers you need to include with your listings:
- Manufacturer Part Number (MPN)
- Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN)
Brand is the most straightforward and will usually be obvious from the item itself in most cases.
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) will normally be listed on the product’s packaging. If this is not the case, you could try looking up the item on other eBay listings or through other sites such as Amazon, or you could even contact the manufacturer directly.
Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN) cover a range of options depending on the exact type of product. These include Universal Product Codes (UPC), European Article Numbers (EAN) and International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN).
Make sure you know which of these is relevant to your listings and select the correct code or number for your exact version of the item. As with MPNs, GTINs will normally be included on the item, but if not, searching other listings or contacting the producer may be necessary.
It is important to make sure you get the exact correct Product Identifiers for your items, otherwise you could harm your products’ visibility or cause confusion for customers leading to negative feedback.
Choosing the Product Identifiers for your eBay listings
Product Identifiers are not required for every category on eBay and not every category requires you to use the same identifiers. Fortunately, eBay provide a comprehensive list of the categories where you must include Product Identifiers and which ones you need to use in each of those categories.
If your category or categories are not included in the list, it is still worth using any Product Identifiers you have for your products, especially the brand. This will help to maximise the visibility of your listings and should help future-proof them against the possibility of eBay extending their requirements for Product Identifiers to include your categories at a later date.
Benefits of using eBay Product Identifiers
Product Identifiers don’t just make your listings easier to find, they also offer a number of other benefits that can make your life easier while improving your listings.
Better search positioning
Using the correct product identifiers will tend to give you better placement in Best Match as well as allowing your items to rank better both in eBay’s internal searches and external searches on Google, Bing and other search engines.
Faster listing creation
When you select a product identifier when setting up listings, eBay will automatically fill out key product data for you, making it much faster to create new listings and ensuring the information included is accurate.
Showing product reviews
Telling eBay precisely what item you are listing means it will be able to show customer reviews for that exact item alongside your listing. This can increase customer trust and boost sales.
Get help with pricing
eBay will be able to provide highly accurate guidance over your pricing by comparing your items to those with matching Product Identifiers. This can make your listings more competitive and allow you to get alerts when your products are listed at below the trending price for those items, allowing you to potentially raise your prices and boost your profits.
Inclusion in deals and promotions
Using the right Product Identifiers means eBay can automatically include your listings in relevant deals and promotions which can further boost the visibility and sales of your listings.
“failing to provide the correct identifier where relevant can significantly hurt your listings”
How to tell when Product Identifiers do not apply
When filling in Product Identifiers, you have the option to select “Does Not Apply”. This may be necessary for some types of items, but should only be used with caution as failing to provide the correct identifier where relevant can significantly hurt your listings.
In general, if your items are new and are in one of eBay’s specified categories you should be using Product Identifiers in most cases. If your items are vintage, used or refurbished, you should still use Product Identifiers wherever possible, but if they are genuinely not available for your items it should not affect their performance relative to your competitors.
Keep your listings up-to-date with ListSmart
Make sure your listings are always following eBay best practice and keeping up with your competitors using ListSmart.
ListSmart uses cutting-edge machine learning technology to analyse your listings and compare them to those of top sellers in your category. It then shows you exactly how to change your listings to make them more like those of the top sellers, so you can match and even overtake the competition.
Sign up now to see just how big a difference ListSmart can make to your eBay listings.
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Updated: 9th February 2017
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