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"Temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect prices" issues

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So we're running into a couple huge issues today with the new pricing enforcement and our data feed.  Mind you, we've never had issues before and we've been on Merchant Center and PLAs for the last two years.  We were an early adopter of the Shopping PLA and it has gone very well. 


I got off the phone with Google and they're looking into this first issue but I want to get it out there so hopefully someone in development sees this and acts accordingly.


1.) Basically any item with a number in the product description of your website's URL (example: Gregory Savant 58) is being picked up as a price, and Google is disapproving that product because it's different than the price.  This is insane.  We have very specific products that must have a number in their item description for good SEO practices (Google's own standards!) and it's what the item is called by the manufacturer.  The 58 in the example is indicative the backpack's capacity in liters, and it is something very specific that you must have in the product name.

The Googler I spoke with is going to escalate that issue, as it seems to be an actual error, and it definitely needs to get addressed before big multi-billion dollar companies see that their skis, backpacks, and anything else with a number in the product is getting disapproved because of a major oversight like this.


2.) We need to know how to handle closeout products or sale products.  As far as we can tell, any product we have listed on our site where we display the price it "was" before the markdown, and the price it is after the markdown ("sale"), is being tagged as an inconsistent price and disapproved.  This is really no different than most other big retailers, and it seems like the crawler is just taking the first price it sees on the product page, and not the lowest price it sees on our product page.


This is a huge issue for us because we do massive amounts of closeouts, and customers love closeout deals.  We must be able to have a way to display the original or full price of the item next to the sale or closeout price of the item.


3.) On closeout items that have different prices because of variable characteristics, but they are still the same style of product, they're being disapproved because they're saying there are four prices for the same product.  For example, a sunglasses frame with more expensive or less expensive lens options.  One lens option says "Was: $90 NOW: $49.95".  The more expensive lens option says "Was: $110 NOW: $59.95".  Sleeping bags in different lengths are also coming up.  One length of the same sleeping bag is one price and the other is another price.  This is standard practice among the very biggest all the way down to the smallest of the online outdoor retailers.

These are MASSIVE issues that need to be addressed ASAP.  We're on the cusp of the peak of retail season and this has the potential to make or break businesses.  Every other retailer needs to see this and call Google to task on this.  We all have no qualms with the policy, and the policy is long overdue because of dishonest pricing abuse.  However, this is punishing honest businesses that really have something special to offer with our pricing and selection.  Simply telling us to rewrite our websites isn't acceptable.

Please advise. 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: "Temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect prices" is

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

stricter policy enforcement was slated to begin around the october time frame.

the price in a title issue will likely
need to be resolved directly by google.

generally, only one single item with a price is recommended on a landing-page.

however, if there is more than one single price on the link landing-page
then, google requires that the submitted price be the most prominent.

there are additional strict rules for how sale_price
items must be submitted and displayed on a website.

for example, it must be straightforward to
find the sale price on the link landing-page --
and the sale price must be the most prominent.

google is the final arbiter of prominent, straightforward, and all policies.


in addition, variant items must be submitted per the variant rules;
for example, each variant item in a variant group must be submitted
with identical item_group_id values and at least one valid variant
attribute that has a unique value across all items in the group --

otherwise, such items simply cannot be submitted; the sale_price,

price, and all landing-page policies apply to all variants submitted.


any violation of the price, sale_price, or variant policies
can result in disapproval or suspension, at any time.

Re: "Temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect prices" is

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Yeah, the variant products shouldn't be an issue because we have a very sophisticated and standardized Google base feed that has all variants listed with their parent style numbers. The variations are very clearly listed on the landing pages, as size and color are called out.

Our site is very straightforward, and pretty standard when compared to our peers and even among the large businesses in outdoor retail. Google is going to have to figure out a way to crawl variant prices better, or reconsider what is "straightforward". This is insanity. We are a legitimate business, highly regarded in our field, and we have a very successful brick and mortar shop. We have never had any customer complaints about confusing or misleading pricing.

The issues I'm presenting represent a large slice of outdoor retailers, and I am sure they're going to be getting some very angry calls from IT departments at multi-billion dollar companies soon enough. There's not a clear standard they're suggesting that will actually work for our section of retail, and they should have figured that out first.

This whole mess is further complicated by the fact that we are two weeks from launching a brand new site with a new development company. We cannot make any development requests from our current development company, and even a change request at this stage with our current development company is going to be costly.

Re: "Temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect prices" is

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

generally, how variants are submitted and displayed
also have specific category requirements depending
on the type of physical item.

"Was: $110 NOW: $59.95"
does not seem to indicate a more prominent price --
of course, google is the final arbiter of all such issues.

importantly, only google can look directly into a feed or account --
forum members can mainly offer suggestions based on the
iinformation that is posted here within the public forum.

potential policy violations by others may be reported to google.