As we all know from time to time eBay will release Category and Item Specific changes and updates on their platform.
Now whilst these can seem disruptive to you running your business online, the intentions behind them are for your benefit. eBay want you to succeed and as such want to encourage you to sell internationally or use CBT (Cross Border Trade) as it has been named.
As always eBay have done their best to warn us ahead of time to ensure that we can get everything in place that we need to before the changes come into place.
If you sell on either the France, Italian and Spain eBay sites, these sites are going to be having massive changes made to their category structures.
So with that said, lets take a look at what changes we can expect on June 16th.
The Good News
UK and Ireland
If you sell on the UK, the USA or Australian eBay sites then you will be pleased to hear that the changes being made are really small, and won’t affect most of you.
The UK and IE have done the best out of this as the only change that we are seeing is the “Jacuzzi / Spa” category is being renamed to “Whirlpool / Spa Baths” The words Happy and Days spring to mind! :)
In the USA you are seeing mainly some new Categories being created and a few categories being moved around. But again there are only 16 changes being made so the likelihood of these affecting you are slim to none.
You can view all of the changes here: [Needs file made viewable in readable manner]
In Australia the good news continues as you only have 17 changes being made to all of your categories and just like the USA most of these are new categories being added. To look at the changes being made to the eBay.au category structure take a look at this file here: [Needs file made readable]
Germany has managed to escape pretty much unscathed too with just two new categories being added which are “Reparatur & Wartung” and “Reifen- & Räderwechsel” and a very slight renaming of “Sprache & Litteratur” to “Sprache & Literatur” Not sure if that was an original typo from eBay but so long that extra T in literatur :)
The Main Changes
Now the major changes are across the France, Italian and Spain eBay sites as mentioned earlier.
There are some major changes being made to these marketplaces and there are too many for us to list in this blog.
So instead what we have done is provided the links to the three sites which have the major changes, so if you sell on these marketplaces you can find out the extent of the category changes below.
Why do eBay Change Categories and Item Specifics?
You may be wondering why eBay go to so much trouble to change their category structure and Item Specifics when they have so many sellers that are using them already.
The answer is simple to uniform the eBay marketplaces.
When the many different eBay sites started appearing following the success of the .com site they were managed independently from wherever they were based. So .co.uk, .de, .fr, .es, .it, .au etc were all there own entity and as such so were there category structures.
With the recent upwards trend of cross border trade over the past few years this has meant that some sellers have had increasing difficulty matching their products across the marketplaces as the structures were not uniform.
Over the past couple of years the UK, German, Australian have seen some major category and Item Specifics changes to be brought more in line with the USA category structure, which is why this time we aren’t seeing huge changes made there, for these marketplaces the hardest job has already been done.
Instead it is now time for Spain, Italy and France to get the major category changes and to join a more shared category structure.
Now if you sell on these marketplaces already then you might see this as a massive headache, and chances are there is going to be a bit of work needed to get your listings using the right categories.
However we see this as a great thing.
By getting a little bit of hardship out of the way now, it will make CBT and listing on eBay international sites that much easier and hopefully make the translation piece easier too.
As we mentioned earlier category changes are unavoidable when selling on the marketplaces and although they may be annoying if you have to update your listings, we genuinely do believe they are for the greater good in bringing cross border trade to more business.
We want to hear your thoughts. Will these changes make a big impact for your business? Have we missed something that should be in this post? Then please let us know in the comments below
Dave ( & Matt)