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Sun Nov 18 2007 14:00:32

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

By: Ina Steiner

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Searching eBay these days is confusing. My first complaint is that sometimes I see the message, "You're currently testing eBay's new search experience" (with no obvious way to go back to Classic search), and other times I see, "eBay is creating a new search experience. Try it in our playground." It may be that for certain categories, users (or a subset of users) can't revert back to Classic search.

A reader told me that eBay left out "Free Shipping" from the Buyer Options when performing certain searches. "Try finding a Wii starting with the categories. Click on Video Games, then systems. Now look on the left column and you see the new search choices. Click on Buying Options and it comes up with the new box of selections. Everything is in there except for Free Shipping. I think eBay forgot to put that in there. Their two search programs are inconsistent." I tried it, and it's true - they display "Get it fast" under Shipping Options, but not Free Shipping.

If you haven't seen the new design, check it out - click on Buyer Options, and you'll see a new box pop up. I clicked on "Seller" under More Options, and was surprised to see eBay allows shoppers to narrow search results to show only items from sellers who have eBay Stores. However, I'm not sure how many shoppers will notice this option.

BTW, if anyone has figured out how to get back to Classic search if you're automatically put into the "new search" mode, let me know. Previously signing in would take me out of New search, but today I'm simply stuck there, signed in or not.

When I come across things like this, it makes me think of a few things's Jeff Bezos said recently in an interview in Harvard Business Review: "We make it really, really easy to buy things."

He also said, "Whenever we're facing one of those too-hard problems, where we get into an infinite loop and can't decide what to do, we try to convert it into a straightforward problem by saying, "Well, what's better for the consumer?""

I don't agree with all of Amazon's seller policies and methods, but I admire their laser-like focus on the consumer. And I've always admired their long-term approach to running their business despite criticism from Wall Street, who might question investments in customer service and the like.

If you have not tried out eBay's New search and given them your feedback, do it now. Soon, it will be too late, and they will be scrambling to fix the problems they hadn't caught themselves.

Comments (11) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: Sherry

Sun Nov 18 20:41:52 2007

If you want to see more posts about ebay Item Specifics and how messed up it is, go to the ebay community discussion groups and go to the catagory of Pottery & Glass. There you will see some of the problems that sellers and buyers are having with this.

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: Glenda

Mon Nov 19 00:53:08 2007

At the bottom of each search results page, it says:  You are currently testing eBay's new search experience. If you prefer, you can OPT OUT of the test.

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: Boston ebay seller

Mon Nov 19 11:01:01 2007

On my old computer, the new search takes forever to render the dialog boxes to narrow or change the search.  Ridiculous.

As a seller, it's much more difficult to search for what I want.  Let me use the search terms I want, don't force me to be what you BELIEVE me to be/want.  Don't alienate existing customers to attract newer, DUMBER, customers.

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: Try and find me

Tue Nov 20 04:25:25 2007

In the new search there are alot of items that are not showing up and includes substitution listings not based on the search term. Now we can still compare it against the main old search. I am seeing a difference of up to 200 listings that are now shown in that new search. Once old search is gone no one will ever know products are only being seen if ebay decides you are deserving enough to see it. Buyers and sellers need to fight this now outside of the ebay site before it gets any further

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: Chris

Tue Nov 20 09:29:47 2007

When I tried the new search a month or so ago it slowed my computer down to a crawl. If I did a control, Alt, delete to see what was running on my computer it would show my browser running at 90-100%. It did this on my work computer and my laptop at home. Plus I hated the new search - there were times were I could not even find my own items. I email ebay to advise on what was it was doing to my computer but you never know if they listen to what we say.

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: Boston ebay seller

Tue Nov 20 10:36:41 2007

Yes, Chris, read the 880 posts in the forum thread, ''LISTED ITEMS NOT SHOWING UP!!!!''

1851 posts in ''Not receiving eBay emails?''>

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: David, NH

Wed Nov 21 08:15:03 2007

As of 3pm EST yesterday (Nov. 19th), eBay IMPOSED this idiotic new search page as the MANDATORY (i.e., no option to use the classic version) search interface.
This, despite thousands of complaints from experienced eBayers who used the new 'Finding 2.0' on eBay's 'Playground' (testing mode), and saw it for what it is: a dumbed-down search page to increase eBay's profits, to the detriment of the users who made eBay tens of BILLIONS of dollars using the search page they are now killing off.
For users who make a lot of searches, it is a slap in the face: it takes at least three times as long to narrow a search. As someone who has spent $300,000 on eBay just in the past few years, I PRAY for the day that a viable competitor to the eBay/Paypal monopoly is launched. Ebay is now a company of unbridled arrogance and greed, making things difficult for the loyal customers who've made eBay into what it is.

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: David, NH

Wed Nov 21 08:27:34 2007

P.S. The best eBay forum on this issue is: Home > Community > Discussion Boards > Search > Discussion. But skip the eBay employee's intro and go to the latest posts.

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: David, NH

Wed Nov 21 08:32:30 2007

Oops. The name of the thread is 'Feedback on Finding 2.0 (New Search and Browse)'.

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: Bob The eBayer

Thu Nov 29 12:49:21 2007

EBAY must read Ina's blog.  A day or so after this blog ran, eBay added "Free Shipping" to their new Search.

Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search   Idiosyncrasies in eBay Search

by: Bob The eBayer

Thu Nov 29 12:52:53 2007

I sent eBay the following comment on their new search:  as a buyer, I want to get an idea of who a seller is, and as a seller, I want to get an idea of how successful a seller has been with their current strategy and how I should react to it.  To do this, I search for a particular item, find one that I want to look into further, click on it to bring up it's auction page, then click on the seller's other items list, then click on the "completed" option in the left column to see their completed auctions for the past two weeks.  With the new search, there is no left column of choices anymore.  It just brings up the seller's items and that's it.  I use this "completed" options feature of a given seller on a daily basis.  Looking at completed auctions is one of my most important tools as a seller and a buyer.

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