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Fri Oct 3 2008 20:50:39

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

By: Ina Steiner

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Someone wrote me that they discovered a glitch that occurs with the new search experience. Here's what I found. I type in "COBRA FA-NICD 4.8v" to eBay's search bar, and it brings me back no items with Cobra in the title, but brings back items from all kinds of diverse categories - with the common denominator being they all have the number "4" in the title! Look at these two results for example (nothing to do with Cobra):

FRONTLINE PLUS + 4 dog puppy KIT 0 - 22 lbs 6 month USA

20 PINK 3 X 4 Glossy Satin Wedding Favors Bags Pouches

I tried a few more searches. When I type in "COBRA FA-NICD 4.8" (leaving off the v at the end), same thing.

But when I type in "COBRA FA-NICD 4." (leaving off the 8 and the v at the end), it brings back Cobra items!

Yet when I search for "CANON A590 8.0 MP," it comes back with Canon items in the results (as you would expect in normal search conditions).

Can anyone figure out what is going on here? And if you have numbers in your titles, you might want to check them.

And, oh yeah, what had this person even more perplexed was the fact that the Shopping.com ads at the bottom WERE correct. Shoppers searching for Cobra batteries using that specific model in their search term would not find eBay listings, but would find Shopping.com items.




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: beyondthetreeline

Fri Oct 3 22:27:28 2008

Take it up with Jeff King. Don't ask us users. We have no idea what the h*ll is going on anymore ...

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: so stupid

Sat Oct 4 06:27:19 2008

I'm amazed that you are so amazed. Ina are you so out of touch that you don't know what is going on. Sounds like you are a ebay cheerleader in a costume.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Sell on eCrater!

Sat Oct 4 09:04:58 2008

eBay's new ''best match'' is not designed to help you find items. It is designed to yield the most money for eBay at your expense.

The new search engine keeps a record of what you type (keyword logging) and thus places the appropriate ads on your listing based on these searches.

Sellers are simply ''bait'' for their ''Pay-Per-Click'' advertising.

And this new ''glitch'' is more stranger than the last!

This will be the demise and destruction of this over bloated and greedy company. They can't see it. Their judgment has been clouded by dollar signs swirling in their eyes.

The plummeting stocks are only the beginning. Laying off 10-15% of their work force, the Skype blunder, and now their trying to pawn off StumbleUpon.

Does this sound like a company that is NOT going under?

I've taken all of my funds out of eBay owned PayPal. Since they are not a ''bank'' they don't have to follow the same regulations as a FDIC insured financial institution.

I just don't want to be holding the check that bounces when they remind me that it was my responsibility to read the contract that is continually being modified for their benefit.

The end result is eBay is trying to be a search engine, with all the ads and garbage they throw at you to get you to ''click here''.

Either way you cut it, sellers will lose there wallets in this endeavor. eBay gets paid regardless if the sale comes from within the palace walls, or outside the palace walls.

Speaking of keyword logging and recording of personal texting messages... isn't eBay's Skype and China in a bit of hot water for doing something similar recently?

So much for that untarnished reputation.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: rj

Sat Oct 4 10:46:08 2008

When I think back over the years, it's become quite clear to me that the value of eBay to both buyers and sellers has diminished.   EBay is attempting to morph into something far different than what made it a successful company.  

As more and more sellers move away from eBay, buyers will follow.  EBay is no longer a FUN place to go to.    Not a single person that I have talked to in the last few months, has anything good to say about eBay.  Nothing.  

The searches on eBay are severely infected with bugs.   This particular bug is probably triggered by the non-alpha/numeric characters in the title.   Like a quote, or a period, or a dash.  

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Keith

Sat Oct 4 10:49:59 2008

@ so stupid... Enough said (you are stupid)

Ina tells it like it is and I feel does a very good job at it.  

I think we all know eBay is a disaster area!  It's nice to see something specific rather than all the cloak and dagger they are so good at.

It's broke... They are not going to fix it... Build a website of your own... List your stuff on one of the other up and coming sites...  You can search for them OR click on Ina's ''AUCTION SITE FEES'' link and take a look.  

IT IS TIME TO MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Patricia

Sat Oct 4 13:43:29 2008

....and they're going to continue to take a big hit with this flawed Best Match search?  What a joke.  They deserve to sink like the Titanic they are!

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Patrick Alexander

Sat Oct 4 16:10:06 2008

''They deserve to sink like the Titanic they are!''

Donahue is the captain, Griff is leading the band. Best match is the iceberg.

I quit singing along & got off in January. I pity the rest of you that are still on board.

But at least if you read forums like this, you have a clue.

The passengers down in steerage are in for quite a shock....

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: eBuyer Feedback

Sat Oct 4 16:32:13 2008

As a computer scientist I'd have to say the difference between those two searches is one has a "-" in it and the other doesn't.  You are doing a negative search in one and not in the other.  eBay may have an issue with negative searches.

I just did the following search to back up this idea:
COBRA A-B FANICD 4.8v - same as you got
COBRA AB FANICD 4.8v - no results
COBRA AB F-ANICD 4.8v - same as you got

I know in the past if you did a search with OR parameters "( term1, term2 )" it would behave different depending on if that was before or after other positive search terms.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: eBuyer Feedback

Sat Oct 4 16:44:11 2008

"COBRA FA-NICD 4.8v" - works fine with quotes.

Rule of thumb for new eBay search experience:

Don't use hyphens in your title.  You've been warned.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Sell on eCrater!

Sat Oct 4 19:08:46 2008

Rule of thumb for new eBay search experience:
Don't use hyphens in your title.

Well that's great that you and the people reading this blog know this, but what about the other 148 million users that do not?

This is will cost sellers dearly now and in the long run. Nearly all model numbers have hyphens or some other character in the mix. People looking to replace a worn out battery (or anything else for that matter) will simply type in what's on the back of the old one.

Poor accessory dealers and sellers, they must be getting hit the hardest along with everyone else that sells on eBay.

I'm glad the hyphens work here! Maybe they can show eBay how to do it?

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: eBuyer Feedback

Sat Oct 4 22:51:53 2008

For years envelope dealers had to deal with the # sign on eBay search.  Most of my items fit in a #4 envelope and trying to find those on eBay used to be a real pain.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Nancy

Sun Oct 5 00:27:19 2008

to ebuyer feedback

COORECT.

all searches on eBay can be modified by putting a - sign.
For instance if you're looking for kitchenaid mixer.

You get lots KRAP like mixer cover, mixer bowl, if you want to eliminate it, you say Kitchenaid mixer -cover -bowl

Someone figured it out right away!

Kudos.

To all the others, YES they are broken, I say WE USE THEM for income while we build the other sites, until they get to the traffic level eBay had.
My favorite is eCrater, but if you like auctions, you may have to wait a while, I am WORKING on him.

If everyone else will WORK ON HIM, we can have (for now) a free site that lists on Google.


What is wrong with free?

I am ready to OFFER him a script. And PAY FOR IT.

I would start my own site, but it expensive, and I KNOW what the problems are, I'm WAY too old to go through that stuff.

Maybe if I hit PCH.

Thank you eBuyer Feedback.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Sell on eCrater!

Sun Oct 5 10:24:48 2008

Yes, kudos to eBuyer Feedback for finding out how to correct the eBay flaw in their search engine. As you have stated, you are a computer scientist.

It's a shame you have to be a computer scientist to figure out how to navigate eBay! Unfortunately, not everyone falls into this category.

So much for the new ''better buyer experience''.

Now you need a degree to shop on eBay! LOL!!

I've checked these dashes (-) myself, and if you're able to opt-out of the new ''page view'', and go back to the old one, the search with the dashes (-) works!

The problem IS and ALWAYS has been, eBay rolls out these ''tests'' at the sellers expense. How many people have lost money and don't even know that there listings are unsearchable? They have paid for a service and they're NOT getting it!

There should be laws against this type of practice, and there probably is. When you pay for an advertisement in the newspaper, and it doesn't get printed, you get your money back!

eBay seems to fly under the radar and are exempt from the standard way of conducting business (must be something in the 500 page contract we all sign before becoming members).

When I buy a pair of shoes, I expect a pair of shoes to be inside the box. If they're not, I go back  to get a refund for not getting what I paid for. I don't expect the salesman to tell me, ''Oh, I'm sorry, we understand you frustration, but we only advertise that we sell shoes, we never actually put shoes in the boxes''.

Meanwhile, eBay walks away richer and the seller walks away poorer.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Gail

Sun Oct 5 14:44:42 2008

@eBuyer Feedback ~ I've always used a Boolean string to narrow down my search. Are you saying that the Boolean operators no longer work properly? The minus sign should be preceeded by a space to act as a minus. Your explanation indicates that this is no longer the case. So, eBay returns incorrect results, but the string is still interpreted correctly for returning external ads?

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Dan

Sun Oct 5 17:11:44 2008

Best Match is a mess,isn't it.

In my category it seems sellers from China with 99.2 feedback, so-so DSRs (4.4-4.7) who are selling trademark violating items are getting better placement.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Sell on eCrater!

Sun Oct 5 17:57:10 2008

So, eBay returns incorrect results, but the string is still interpreted correctly for returning external ads?

Excellent observation and post Gail!

I do a little work with PPC's and for a website with the amount of traffic eBay has, (albeit dwindling), and by using the sellers paid listings as bait to lure buyers into clicking external ads, can be extremely profitable. Sometimes in excess of .25 - $10.00 per click in some instances!

And many potential buyers do comparison shopping - clicking on ads and then returning, and then clicking on more and returning again, over and over and over again unitl they've found a price they can live with.

WOW! Can you say ''bring me a rake''?

No wonder eBay lowered the listing fees! Potential buyers being lured by the sellers paid ads (that rarely get seen), only to be hooked by external PPC's? ***gasp!*** and then return for the purchase.

Final Value Fees AND Pay-Per-Click checks! What a deal! It's a win-win for eBay and a lose-lose for sellers.

There's something much more to this ''best match'' carp than meets the eye.

What a sinister and greedy company indeed!

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: Ken

Sun Oct 5 23:43:52 2008

I just noticed another search glitch that affects several/all of the various search modes, rather than just Best Match.

Traditionally you could do a search such as: (keyword1,keyword2) keyword 3

That would bring back all results with Keyword 3 AND keyword 1 OR 2. Now however, at least in some cases, it won't find ANY CORE listings using that search [even though their are several], but it will find SOME of the Store only listings???

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: RicRoe

Mon Oct 6 09:32:56 2008

If Best Match is keeping a record of the search terms/keywords used, maybe people can use it as another method to get the message across.

try searching for: "Mr Donahoe, Best Match Does Not Return Relevant Results".

Perhaps one of the remaining employees will see to it the message gets across to those that count, maybe it will just give them a giggle or two.

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: worst match seller@ebay doesn't work

Mon Oct 6 09:37:35 2008

Out of the mouth of a potential buyer:

Dear xxxx, I missed the bidding on xxxxx. I'm wondering if by any chance you have another one you plan to auction off in that same size? I'm so mad at myself for missing it! This new "Best Match" way of organizing items has created difficulties for me. Please let me know if you have any in the right size to auction. Thank you so much, YYYY

I sell only store/BIN items so it really was too bad that this person missed being able to buy something! At this point my sales are down close to 75%! They aren't the only ones having problems with 'worst match'

Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!   Strangest eBay Search Glitch - Evah!

by: GAIL

Mon Oct 6 09:43:58 2008

YES they are broken, I say WE USE THEM for income while we build the other sites--That is the only reason I'm still "selling" on ebay is for what little income I can bring in while moving a massive quantity of listings over to ecrater.

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