Antiques in Perspective

eBay Changes

There has been much discussion on various Social Media platforms about the “crazy” new Category changes that eBay introduced in mid-October 2021 – if you are an eBay seller of anything that could be classified as used / datelined – collectable or antique – then it is likely these changes have been an utter nightmare – especially if, as a professional seller, you have hundreds of items already listed on the selling platform. If you are a buyer then you will almost certainly have had some really unlikely eBay search results emailed to you. In several instances some of the emails that I received promised me that over 10,000 new items had been added to my searched for items, overnight – only to find – on clicking the links – that eBay was unable to find ANY of items it had promised.

From what I can see – some of the changes may, in the long run, improve the ability of some buyers to find the items that they most want to find, as the searches seem to rely far more heavily on keywords (tags) and descriptions than before… because, let’s face it, that is all eBay has pretty much left us with. However, that assumes that what buyers most want to find is correctly identified and listed and that, in turn, relies on all sellers knowing exactly what they are selling. This may work well with a dishwasher – where the make is known, the model number accessible and the condition (new / used or working / or for parts) may be clear. But, eBay is full of sellers who only know that they are selling a pretty plate/vase/ornament that they found in Granny’s attic and they think is old and eBay now demands that they are specific – that they give all the item’s details which many will simply guess at, rather than leave blank… So, what is clearly meant to be an aid for sellers, may end up with far more unsold items than ever before. This is predictable as a plate which says Georgian on the back (e.g. a pattern or range name) will be added to the “Georgian” category and items that say nothing will just go into the huge mix of new and old items in the parent Pottery and Glass category, so finding it, as a buyer, may be problematic and the irritation of buyers actually looking for items made in the reigns of any of the Georges will rise exponentially, as they will have to plough through acres of modern decorative items and will have to spend far more time searching than is sensible.

In my opinion, the changes to existing listings have been quite bizarre. For example, all the pottery listed, at the beginning of October, in the French category has now been moved to Plates – regardless of what it is or whether it is brand new or not. Ditto all Country specific listings – yep – they are all in plates, apparently…

There is so much more I could moan about, but there is little point. It is extremely unlikely that eBay will change – however, if you are a UK seller or buyer and would like to express your angst over the changes – then please write snail mail to:-

Mr Murray Lambell, eBay, Hotham House, 1 Heron Square, Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, UK, TW9 1EJ

If you are based in the USA – please use this Corporate address (rather than the Customer Service address):

Jamie Iannone, President/CEO, eBay Inc, 2065 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125 United States

One of the suggestions that we would recommend everyone requests is that a new category for Antique Pottery and Glass is added – not least as that will separate old from new.

So What has Changed?

Meanwhile you might want to be forewarned where you are now looking to buy or sell on your next visit to eBay – should you ever want to buy or sell there again (and with the ease of buying online from local auction houses using sites like www.the-saleroom.com , some won’t) here are the main changes from the US and UK ebay sites – (the largest files are around 7-9Mb)

UK October 2021 eBay Category Changes – 201 pages (2250 changes)

You can download the full UK eBay category changes list as a .csv file (will open with Excel etc) from the following link

The FULL list of Categories on the UK eBay site from October 2021

(463 pages of categories and sub-categories)

You can download the full UK category list as a .csv file (will open with Excel etc) from the following link

US October 2021 eBay Category Changes – 282 pages (2857 changes)

You can download the full US eBay category changes list as a .csv file (will open with Excel etc) from the following link

The FULL list of Categories on the US eBay site from October 2021

(598 pages of categories and sub-categories)

You can download the full UK category list as a .csv file (for use on Excel etc) from the following link

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