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 Amazon.com'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.