In March 2012, merchants started noticing issues with some (or even many, in a number of cases) SL Marketplace listings. Key issues included:
- Listings on Marketplace stores do not match the actual items
- Incorrect merchant attribution (products from Merchant X listed as belonging to Merchant Y, despite appearing in Merchant X’s store)
- Products from one merchant appearing in stores belonging to other merchants
- Items incorrectly priced
- Incorrect ratings assigned to products (G-rated items appearing as Adult, etc.).
A JIRA –WEB-4587 – was raised on the matter, and extensive forum thread also reported the matter, and merchants were assured the matter was being looked into as a “top priority”, and in May 2012, an updated was issued by the Commerce Team noting that:
(WEB-4587) Listings show up with images from other Merchants listings:Current status: we have identified the problem and are working on testing the fix.
The fix apparently didn’t work, as the issue was subsequently reported as one the Commerce Team would address “after the next Marketplace update“. This only problem here being that subsequent updates failed to address the majority of JIRA relating to Marketplace issues, including WEB-4587 – and then stopped altogether – something with prompted me to comment on the continuing erosion of merchant trust.
On April 24th 2013, just over a year since it was first reported, the Commerce Team published an update on the listings issues and WEB-4587, which reads:
For those of you who have had an incorrect image appearing on your listings–or have seen your image on someone else’s listings, we have come up with a supported process to get these listings cleaned up.
Someone Else’s Image on My Listing
If you are seeing someone else’s image on your listing, you should be receiving an email with a link for you to go remove those images from your listings. These images will be returned to the listing we have identified as correct. Any listings not reviewed by May 15, 2013 will be unlisted until the Merchant has a chance to remove the image manually and reactivate the listing. We will provide a summarized list of these and notify all Merchants whose listings have been deactivated.
My Image on Someone Else’s Listing
If your image is appearing on another Merchant’s listing, the following will happen:
- The Merchant will be notified to review their listing and confirm that the image does not belong with their listing.
- The image will be returned to your listing. At this point, you will be able to review your updated listing here (link). This may occur after the review period for step 1 has already completed.
If the listing your image is appearing on is not reviewed in step 1, the listing will be unlisted to prevent your image from appearing on the incorrect listing.
We appreciate your help in getting this cleaned up.
So the good news is, there is actually movement on the matter. Admittedly, in reading the forum post, I cannot help but conjure a mental image of some poor sod (or three) at the Lab having been tasked with spending the last 12 months digging through the Marketplace and manually checking images against project descriptions / links – but movement is movement, and is, on the whole, to be welcomed.
There are some issues being reported with the process, however, as noted in the thread following the announcement. Some of these issues appear to be related to items which, in lieu of any communications from the Commerce Team, merchants opted to previously manually remove from their listings, and other appear to indicate that not all incorrect listing items have actually been captured by whatever process was used at the Lab. Others are reporting mixed outcomes simply as a result of following the given instructions.
It’s not clear how widespread issues are in following the instructions; certainly the problems being noted appear limited going on the amount of feedback on the thread. Not that this is any comfort to those affected, but it perhaps indicates that for most people who were blighted by the issue, things are now being put right.