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Mon Jan 26 2009 06:41:13

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

By: Ina Steiner

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Search expert Steve Taylor created TIMEblaster to help him search and browse eBay more efficiently and enjoyably. He launched TIMEblaster in 2001 and was an early participant in the eBay Developer's program and was in talks with eBay about licensing TIMEblaster technology in the early part of the decade.

In this AuctionBytes interview, part of our retrospective series, Steve shares his thoughts on how eBay search has changed over the years and about some of the things that make "finding" on eBay challenging.




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TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: ebay = penny stock

Mon Jan 26 08:50:52 2009

My three year old could design a search program better than donna holes overpaid programers.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: Pike

Mon Jan 26 09:10:50 2009

Do you mean some people are still using eBay?
And if so, Why?
www.bonanzle.com is where all the neat "IT" stuff moved to.
BONANZLE, say it wih me folks! BONANZLE!

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: eBay is scum

Mon Jan 26 10:10:15 2009

and also iOffer.com. but ebay? are they still in business?

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: l cole

Mon Jan 26 10:37:35 2009

 TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology
by: l cole

"As I previously pointed out, using number of bids to rank search results for auction items would serve as a pretty good proxy for Google's successful relevancy ranking which uses counts of other web pages that refer to a specific web page in order to prioritize search results. eBay has not implemented this capability (which would be fairly easy to implement within their current software structure) because some sellers would object rather strenuously ("Why should my identical item appear at the bottom of the list simply because it hasn't attracted bids when I paid the same listing fee?")


This is how programmers think. The goal isn't to make sellers or bidders happy. The important thing is to have a search engine that satisfies itself and it's creator. His easy to implement suggestion would reduce the number of sellers dramatically and raise end of auction prices. Buyers would leave in droves. Some programmers are in love with their ideas regardless the results.
Best match already uses this bad idea in 30 day fixed price auctions.

                 

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: Jennifer & Jack

Mon Jan 26 11:08:56 2009

@Pike:

''Do you mean some people are still using eBay? And if so, Why?''

Why? Because Bonanzle is fixed price, I don't sell fixed price, I sell auction format. Why? Because the other sites I've tried have no traffic for what I sell, and my sales on them amount to zero. Why? because I still need to pay my bills, and things do sell, although poorly, on eBay. Like it or not, the traffic for some things is still at eBay. I wish it wasn't that way, I'd like to move, pay less fees, but at this point in time can't. That's the reality. That's WHY.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Jan 26 11:12:33 2009

The same guy who programs the Best Search does the DSR computations as well.

He has a video:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1086995

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: Fancy That

Mon Jan 26 11:14:06 2009

As a "former" Buyer on Ebay.. I'm thrilled i came across this article and can submit MY 'COMMENT'.
Prior to 2007- Ebay was a wonderful place to "SEARCH" and find just about anything,anywhere,at any hour of the day, -and was extremely 'USER FRIENDLY'.
  So many wonderful friendships were born on Ebay- with merchants, other collectors and Ebay Employees (who are now no longer with ebay).
 
       But Ebay's Corporate Leader's "Greed" started to shake the very foundation that it was built on. Contradictory statements from Ebay -about such changes... ie: Making buyers safer,new technology makes things easier & better,(and other statements one would expect from an Snake Oil Salesman)- repulsed enough people.. who have had no choice but to leave ebay.. sellers and buyers alike.

  Eventually Ebay users were closing their accounts and leaving ebay by the Masses.

Such negative changes.. have even chased away Charitable auctions by movie stars, actors and other well known people or agencies.

   Ebay is now -nothing more.. than just another Common internet mall.

I did follow many of my favorite sellers to sites they had moved to .... or recommended.. but I wasn't comfortable with any of the other sites.  
  Mr. Taylor's opinion is fine for "stamp collectors"... but not all of us are stamp collectors. Prior to 2007 , Ebay's "Search" couldn't have been any better. It suited the needs of all.
 Why would Ebay try to "improve" on their "SEARCH" -when -by 2007- it already had been close to perfect?

Surely they must see and know .. from previous years.. What worked best and how it worked.

 There's just so much tweaking that can be done to improve... when one must know when to stop. Hundreds of my favorite sellers also complained of the ridiculous hikes in fees..forcing sellers to sell elsewhere.

  Now that ebay has LITERALLY ..priced themselves off the internet chart.. and advanced their technological "Search" so that only the rich and famous can shop there.. how can they possibly think they will stay afloat .. and for how long?

  Ebay Inc. has lost a great majority of their buyers and sellers, fired or laid off a majority of their employees-and yet they continue to waste time and money on nonsensical things that only bring them that much closer to the Total Demise of Ebay.

  Even in these economically weak times we live in... Ebay should have been ... could have been ... the light at the end of the tunnel for so many many people.. organizations.. charities.. families.. etc..

  Instead.. The Corporate Buffoons at Ebay chose to continue to dance with devil..
  Ebay's many changes , and advancements in technology over these past 2 years...as well as Mr. Taylor's technology is Far too "TAILORED"

Ebay will eventually join the list of sites that ONCE WERE...... and will be referenced to .... in the past tence..
 It's pretty close to it now..

     As for myself.. i am right back where i started - before i shopped on Ebay.

   I've been no stranger to  shopping at Flea markets, Bazaars, Garage Sales, Estate auctions,Swap meets, Thrift stores ..and the likes..and that's where you'd have found me these past 2 years..  

           My various "Collections" are taking longer to build...but even i know..
 "GREED" at Ebay has unravened the bind that held them together..
The Corporate decision makers at Ebay have bitten that hand that fed them.. and now it's GANGRENED...
 
Ebay once stood as an example as WHAT COULD BE....and made it reality for many....
but that works both ways...
LOVE BUILT EBAY.. GREED WILL BRING IT DOWN...
   

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: steve

Mon Jan 26 15:07:15 2009

Our sales say it all........they have tanked. They tanked the minute all this best match nonsense was implemented.  When I think of what we used to make until Donahole and his goons came into power.

It ain't working Donuthole, but you are just to freaking arrogant to admit it. Doesn't eBay's stock price give you just a little bit of a clue?

Ebay was a community, but because of your insecurity you could not see yourself running the world's largest flea market.  No you were above it, so you had to change it to what YOU wanted it to be, not what the people who built it (duh, the sellers) wanted it to be.

Hope your golden parashoot has a hole in it.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: steve

Mon Jan 26 15:09:10 2009

.....and that's parachute...yes I can spell.  I'm angry, but I can spell.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Mon Jan 26 17:30:20 2009

You know, in all the years I've been a user on ebay, I've never heard of, or experienced problems with it's search. In fact, search was at it's very best right around the time that the stock price was at it's highest in 2007 ~ October or so..I know that I could have sat for hours searching and learning about every collectible and seller I could find! What an amazing site in those days! Now...the site is just as bad as a Computer Science 101 student's 2 day project.The developers at ebay must be the bottom of the barrel, because the cheapskate CEO's and Board of Directors are too tight to pay anyone halfway decent to keep it going and improve it.

They all walk away with millions while they pay flunkies to run the site. Idiots. Where is Pierre while all this is happening? Doesn't he still own a large percentage of the company? Does he even CARE??

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: kw

Mon Jan 26 18:30:44 2009

I agree with everyone who says search was at its best prior to 2007.  I used to spend thousands on ebay and enjoyed searching for additions to my collection.  I haven't bought a single item on ebay in nearly 2 years.
I'm also a long time seller who fortunately does not depend on ebay to make a living.  My gross sales in 2008 were only about $15,000 ... the worst year yet.  A typical year for me would be $40,000 but those days are gone.  The search function is so bad I've had buyers contact me about an item they'd seen but can't find again.  Or they searched using a term that is in the title of my listing, but my listing doesn't show up.  Even with raised status my items are often buried several screens behind other sellers with lower DSRs and feedback that is so bad it would make me blush.  I can't think of another website that is as difficult to use as ebay ... and it used to be so simple.  Sigh ..

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: Jim

Mon Jan 26 23:35:05 2009

Reality check:

Alexa.com traffic rankings for Jan.26th, 2009:
eBay - 18
Amazon - 28
Craigslist - 47
iOffer - 2,686
Bonanzle - 44,368
(your pick here) - way worse than eBay

Translation:

Sorry guys, but just because you are grumpy doesn't mean the customers are leaving eBay.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: wrong jim

Tue Jan 27 05:30:25 2009

Thousands leave sleezebay everyday. but you don't please,  we don't want you on real selling/buying sites. Brainwashed ebayers can just stay there.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: Henrietta

Tue Jan 27 10:19:46 2009

@Jim

Traffic does not equal sales.

I visit eBay several times a day trying to check prices, both asking price and received price, each visit is counted.

Traffic like mine is non-productive. It does not convert to sales.

I visit Amazon for books, music and DVDs every visit results in a sale. I know what I want, I find it, I buy. I don't have to search for a week to find something only to discover the seller is loading the shipping, yes that still happens.

I did not tolerate loaded shipping when I was shopping from mail order catalogs, and I do not buy from sellers who expect fair market price with loaded shipping on the internet now.

I run a business from my geographic location and am very much aware of shipping costs, I pay shipping both ways, when I buy my stock and when I sell it. If I don't pay attention to shipping costs I don't make a profit. If I make a loss I am out of business.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: madtony

Tue Jan 27 11:22:45 2009

I still say all you who say ebay brainwashed and such terms are just mad that you can't turn major profit for your trash... i've said it many times, it's the sellers faults for ebay's decline.. there's still plenty of buyers, but they aren't spending high on each item like before cause they were allready ripped off by you, so they are apprehensive about piling a good ammount of bid out there... cause they have to trust you, the seller, to deliver what you promised, and alot of times it isn't, and most of you are in seller denial, you may think your product is quality, but most of the time yer selling items in genre's of interest you have no clue about, cause you got it from a dumpster or garage sale... misrepresentation , then act appauled when yer called on it... shame on you all...
granted the search now is fubar'ed, but i can see why they implimented it, even if they got it wrong, was to raise the exposure of good performers, if it worked right it would have been a good idea... but you bottom barrel flea marketters would have suffered correctly for it, unfortunately it lowers exposure on good sellers for some reason, bad coders, never know..

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: 330346

Tue Jan 27 11:28:11 2009

@Henrietta

I agree....
another problem I have experienced from sellers overcharging high shipping is that say you buy something for 9.99 and you pay 39.99 shipping.

If the actual shipping is 9.99 and the price of the item is 39.99 guess what happens if its defective and you want to return? The seller keeps 39.99 and refunds you 9.99

                         

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: unknown

Tue Jan 27 15:14:05 2009

330346, since the shipping cost is in the listing and you're the one buying it and you supposedly read the listing and  you agree to the shipping cost BEFORE you buy it, why are you blaming the seller when you do something silly?

If you don't like the price, DON'T BUY IT.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Tue Jan 27 22:54:49 2009

All I see on ebay these days is the high priced outsourced Chinese imports and electronics on ebay. Most of the good collectibles are gone. There is very little in the way of vintage clothing, jewelry, handbags, and accessories any more. Most of those sellers left. What's left are the few who have "live" store venues and charge too much for their items AND the shipping, so nothing sells.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: Kimbesa

Wed Jan 28 00:26:43 2009

Thanks for this! While I don't like all the fiddling with search, this helps me understand what's been going on, and why my sales have been on a senseless roller coaster since September.

TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology   TIMEblaster's Steve Taylor Talks about eBay Search Technology

by: Lisa Corcoran

Mon Mar 22 21:54:19 2010

Dear Steve,

I am a Timeblaster customer.  Can you explain why the website domain has expired and my software no longer works properly?  I can't even get an e-mail through.  What's up, after you've all been in business for years?  I just paid for a year's license in September.  If you're still receiving notifications about comments here, please respond.  You should have my customer info on file.



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