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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2267 - April 16, 2010 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 4

eBay Anomaly Part of Stores In Core Testing

By Ina Steiner
April 16, 2010

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After eBay moved Store listings into core on March 30, some sellers reported that the Store inventory listings were not always integrated with core listings. AuctionBytes confirmed that Store listings were intermittently appearing underneath search results as they had displayed prior to the elimination of Store inventory format (read more in this AuctionBytes Blog post).

An eBay spokesperson provided us with a statement when we asked about the unexpected search results:

"eBay periodically conducts tests prior to and following any major changes to our site. A recent test focuses on improvements to search resulting from changes made on March 30, 2010. This test, which affects a very small percentage of buyer traffic, is designed to ensure that changes to search are benefiting the eBay community."

Some sellers have complained that their sales nose-dived after eBay rolled out changes on the 30th. One seller said his sales were a tiny fraction of what they had been in March, but said when he ended his Store listings and relisted them, his sales began increasing immediately, and had recovered completely within 24 hour of relisting them. He theorized that eBay was converting Store listings as they came up for renewal rather than doing it all at once on March 30. Last fall, eBay blamed a search outage on a surge in listings (link to article).

Update 4/16/10: eBay said in response to our follow-up questions that all items are now in core. "The test is to monitor the results of the new search experience where all formats appear together compared to the experience before March 30. The only note is that in a very small percentage of visitors will not see SIF items in core as part of this test."

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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