< Back to all Documentation


Extension for Magento v1.x

Best Practice

M2E Pro for Magento v2.x has already been available. The detailed documentation for each version you can find here.

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Overview

In summer 2015, eBay announced some changes according to which sellers are required to include Product Identifiers such as Item’s Brand, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), and Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) — Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EAN) and International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) for Simple Products in certain eBay Categories.

For more information, please, refer to eBay's 2015 SPRING SELLER UPDATE article.

Later, another announcement was made which stated that starting from the 25th of September, 2015, the Product Identifiers would become required both for Simple and Multi-Variational Products. However, the requirements deadline was extended to the 30th of January.

Now, it is officially required to provide Product Identifiers for Simple and Variational Products in certain eBay Categories.

Why does eBay require product identifiers to be included for some items?

Search engines, such as the one on eBay and other external sites like Bing and Google, use thousands of algorithms to help identify and display relevant product matches during online search sessions. Product Identifiers help those search engines capture eBay sellers' merchandise and display it in relevant searches. Product Identifiers also serve to grow the eBay catalog—which will facilitate a faster and better buyer-item matching on eBay. Over time, as the number of sellers who use product identifiers for their listings increases, the eBay catalog will grow, letting more shoppers find the appropriate offers much more easily.

What are the benefits of including product identifiers in my listings?

Product Identifiers help buyers find your item more easily, both on eBay and in search engines, even when the buyer does not specifically use them during their search. Listings that include an item’s Brand, MPN, and GTIN are given greater visibility in eBay search results and navigation, and also benefit from:

    • Priority placement in eBay deals, bargains, and other promotions.
    • More robust Listing information and Item Specifics, which are included automatically when your Item is matched to a product in the eBay catalog.
    • More accurate pricing guidance to help make your Listings more competitive.

Please, consult the eBay Seller Central article to learn more about it.

How to configure it in M2E Pro?

M2E Pro Team always try to make improvements and develop the functionality which will comply with the recent changes made on Channels. After eBay notified the community about their plans to implement the Product Identifiers requirements, the changes were made in M2E Pro accordingly. The ability to communicate the UPC/EAN and other Identifiers to eBay through M2E Pro was introduced back in summer 2015.

Now, you can easily provide the needed identifier values for both Multi-Variational and Simple Products on eBay via M2E Pro.

What aspects should I pay attention to?

  • to Category;
  • to Item Specifics;
  • eBay Catalog Identifiers

eBay divide their Categories into 3 different groups depending on the Product Identifiers requirements - required, not applicable and optional.

If the Category you selected for your item requires the particular Identifier to be specified, you will see a notification message while configuring the Item Specifics in M2E Pro.

In case, the Product Identifiers are provided for the Category which does not allow using them, their values will be automatically removed to prevent the errors returned from eBay. You will be able to see the messages in Logs records which will inform you about it.

For the optional Category, it is up to you whether to include GTINs and other Identifiers in your listings or not.

Please note, to ensure that the eBay Category data is updated in your M2E Pro, you should resynchronize it by pressing an Update All Now button in Sell on eBay > Configuration > eBay Sites section.

In case, you face any difficulties, do not hesitate to contact our support team via email support@m2epro.com. We are always happy to help you.

Such Product Identifiers as Brand and Manufacturer Part Number are required to be specified as an Item Specific in some eBay Categories.

You can select an option from the eBay Recommended values, choose a Magento Attribute which contains the appropriate value or specify a Custom value. You can also use Unbranded/Generic for Brand and Does Not Apply options predefined by eBay for the Items which do not require this data.

Please, check the documentation regarding the Item Specifics settings to learn more.

The majority of Product Identifiers can be provided in the Description Policy settings in the eBay Catalog Identifiers block.

You can select a Magento Attribute which contains the correct value or use Unbranded/Generic option for Brand, Does Not Apply option for UPC/EAN/ISBN predefined by eBay in case your Items do not require the values.

Please note, UPC, EAN and ISBN values can be configured only in the Description Policy settings as they are not available as Item Specifics.

ePID (Product Reference ID) can be provided only for Simple Products. The rest of the Product Identifiers can be provided both for individual Simple Products and Multi-Variational Products (for each separate variation).

Information

The Brand and MPN values should be provided twice - in the Description Policy configurations and as an Item Specific.

The values provided in the Description Policy are used for the eBay Catalog search. Hence, the ability to Use Description and Images from eBay Catalog become available after you provide the values for Brand and MPN in the Description Policy.

Brand and MPN values must be specified in the Item Specifics section to characterize a particular Item on eBay.

You can learn more about the Description Policy settings in the documentation related to it.

How does it work for Simple and Variational Products?

For Simple Products, everything works as usual. You provide the Product Identifiers values in the Description Policy and Item Specifics configurations, after which the values are sent to eBay when the Products are updated/listed on Channel.

The Brand and MPN values are required to be provided both in Item Specifics and Description Policy.

However, the ePID can be provided only for Simple Product.

But what is the mechanism for Multi-Variational Products?

The main distinction of providing Product Identifiers for Multi-Variational Products is the requirement to provide separate values for each Variation.

The Multi-Variational Products can be logically divided into 2 groups:

  • Configurable and Grouped Products

The concept of these Magento Product types is the most suitable for eBay structure of Variational Products as each Variation has a particular Identifier (UPC/EAN/ISBN, etc). You should just provide the settings in Description Policy and Item Specifics to allow M2E Pro to retrieve the values provided in the Child Products and send them to eBay.

  • Simple Product with Custom Options and Bundle Product

The Variations of the Simple with Custom Options product do not contain their individual Identifiers (UPC/EAN/ISBN, etc.), as they are not separate Simple Products. So, it is unclear for the system which data should be taken for Variations. If it's taken from the Parent Product, it will be one Identifier for all of the Variations, which is not correct.

On the other hand, each Variation of Bundle Product is a combination of several Simple products, where each of the Simples contains its own Identifier. So, one Variation of the Bundle Product has several Identifiers. Again, it is unclear which one should be sent to eBay and which should be ignored.

To solve this issue, you can use a Manage Variations pop-up which enables you to provide the Identifiers for each Variation separately.

Please note, the Manage Variations option is available for all Multi-Variational Products. In case, you specified eBay Catalog Identifiers for Configurable and Grouped Products via Manage Variations pop-up for separate Variations, the values for other Variations will be taken from there too and Description Policy settings will be ignored.

Please, be attentive while providing Product Identifiers for Multi-Variational Items and avoid mixing of values. So, if you provide the MPN for Yellow Variation of your Item, but for Green Variation this value is not provided, eBay can return you a notification about incorrect settings. Thus, you should use the MPN Product Identifier for all the Variations of the particular Product.

Moreover, in case the MPN value has the same value in the Description Policy and Item Specifics configuration, M2E Pro will not send the value provided in the Item Specifics to prevent duplication of values on eBay. So, only the value from the Description Policy will be sent to eBay.

Note, if MPN value is set for the Item and already available on eBay, it cannot be changed during the Revise action. In this case, eBay system will return you an error.Revise action. In this case, eBay system will return you an error.

Is there any way to prevent possible issues with the Products Identifiers?

Now, before the eBay restrictions came into effect, you can see a warning messages informing you about the missing Identifiers in the Logs.

Later, the warning can be converted to an error message which will block your Item from being updated/listed.

Please, provide the required modifications before the error arises.

Attention

Also, the issue can arise in case, the requirements for Product Identifiers are applied for eBay Category, where the Product is placed, while the Item was Stopped/Finished/Sold on eBay. During the automatic Relist of this Item, only the quantity data will be sent and the error about missing Product Identifiers can arise.

The best solution for such Items - is to run the Revise action Manually. It will allow sending all the Product data to eBay including the Identifier value. Thus, the issue will be solved.

As an alternative, you can temporary enable the Synchronize Data option in the Relist Rules of the Synchronization Policy.

Please, be very attentive with enabling of the Synchronize Data option as it can have a significant negative impact on the Synchronization running and increase the time-consuming of the products updating process. 

You can temporary enable it and immediately disable after the Items are relisted on eBay.