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Mon Apr 11 2016 19:34:42

eBay Makes Changes to Search

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay made two changes to its search engine, and remembered to tell users on Monday. Some sellers had already noticed one of the changes and thought it might be a glitch, with sellers unable to find a workaround.

The first change allows buyers to search by Product Identifiers such as UPC codes.

"Starting today, buyers can search for any item on eBay.com simply by entering its GTIN, UPC, EAN, ISBN or MPN directly into the search bar," it explained in an announcement. "Listings that contain the required identifiers will receive better search visibility, so if any of your existing listings are missing these identifiers, be sure to update them as soon as you can."

eBay explained that when a buyer uses a product identifier to search for an item, the results will include all the listings matching that item.

The second change makes it harder to find inactive items, whether or not they ended with a sale:

"Now, when you search for an item by its unique eBay item number, only active items that match will show up in the results."

Sellers noticed the missing functionality as early as Friday - and they were not pleased. "WHY would they take away a useful function," one seller exclaimed. "I'm having the same problem, however I have seen nothing to suggest that this is some new feature. It is quite likely it is a glitch."

Days after it made the change, eBay explained how users could find completed items by their item number, detailing several workarounds.

Take a look at the news and let us know what you think. Do you use UPC codes or ISBNs to search eBay? And do you miss the ability to search both active and completed listings with one search?




Comments (41) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 19:44:59 2016

Easier to type in the word in search than to try and type in all those numbers. Besides unless you have the item right next to you you have no idea what the number is.

What happens when the manufacturer changes the number. Which happens all to often anymore.

Just another useless tinkering with a problem that SOLVES NOTHING.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Apr 11 21:21:01 2016

OK...so I need a widget that I do not currently own - so what makes assume that I have the  GTIN, UPC, EAN, ISBN or MPN code?

I can think of lots of categories where this search functionality is not applicable... Antiques, coins, stamps are just a few.

eBay would have been better served fixing their broken search engine so that it produces accurate - relevant results based solely upon keyword search entries, you know, the way eBay's search engine worked back in the day when eBay's sales were exploding.

It is no coincidence that since eBay's out of touch executives began ordering "improvements" be made to eBay's search that sales have declined with each "improvement".

To the common user,  GTIN, UPC, EAN, ISBN or MPN search functionality is about as useful as teats on a bull and like so many other search "improvements" eBay has made, this too will prove to do nothing to increase sales.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: maya This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 21:27:10 2016

It's a giant pain in the neck, entering all these UPC codes. I'm doing them slowly but surely. They explained to me on the phone a few months ago. That people use their smart phones in stores. To compare prices.
I do this myself to see if an item is worth listing. You just scan the barcode on any item in the store and there are apps that pull up the product on several venues. This is why they want the UPC codes. Nobody in the entire world is typing in 12 or 13 numbers searching for an item. Dumbest thing I ever heard of.  

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 21:45:18 2016

I've tried a bunch of UPC codes and the results are typical eBay fail.

What comes up are expired listings! "We are sorry but listing xxxxxxxxxxxx has expired or is over 90 days old and is no longer in our records".

The answer of course is that eBays UPC data base is incomplete ! Typical eBay.  

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 11 23:13:17 2016

Idiots every single one of them

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Tue Apr 12 00:32:31 2016

I have never once used a UPC code as a search tool. Some of my merchandise has UPC codes, but when they are entered in the listing eBay rejects them (which often happens with my Italian made items). Sorry to hear sellers are being penalized.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 01:40:03 2016

Ebay search has been badly broken for a long time, I don't see that changing. Clearly they are either in over their heads, or they just don't see a problem.  

In any case, you can search for things by the exact name in the item title and not find it now, which completely explains why things do not sell anymore.

Or you find 3000 unrelated items, like maybe you are searching for this, but that might be OK too.

No, it won't!  

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 01:45:13 2016

Hows about items that don't HAVE UPC etc numbers?  Like--used items.  Old items.  Old books.  One of a kind items?  Even some items that are "New with tag/box"  might not have the codes with them--some people cut that info off or you might have an item with the merch tag but NOT the one that carries the UPC code.  

Are we AGAIN going to be punished for this?  

Once or twice I HAVE tried using these numbers TO search--and found--Nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  Zip.  

Ebay cannot seem to get it thru their concrete filled skull(s)  that this is NOT A VIABLE SEARCH for most items;  NOT the way actual HUMANS search for stuff they WANT;  and will of course once again--FAIL to generate SALES.  For which the SELLERS will of course be BLAMED and PUNISHED.  

Why oh why is there no alternative to FleeBay?  

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Apr 12 02:17:40 2016

Taking a wild guess here but wonder when searching if eBay is mixing the UPCs with item listing numbers. This could explain what Pace stated ''We are sorry but listing xxxxxxxxxxxx has expired or is over 90 days old and is no longer in our records''. This wouldn't surprise me a bit with eBay's on crack IT team and dinosaur infrastructure.

This should only be for brand new items and is ONLY useful if a customer has a scanning app on their mobile phone or a scanning device. Instead of focusing on the vast majority of users and key improvements to the site, ebay focuses on stupid mindless changes for their quarterly suckups to Wall St.

 

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Apr 12 02:35:32 2016

To no longer allow a closed listing to be searched by the listing number is a big annoyance to me.  Because of this senseless change it just creates more work for me and many other sellers I'm sure.  Maybe not for the same reasons, but it chews up my time when I could be doing better things, like listing new products, customer service or something else anyway.  

Once upon a time we could call up a listing and from that listing do pretty much whatever we needed to do.  If it was an active listing, we could even close it directly in the listing if we wanted to.  They took that away years ago because they thought it was better that we had to do that in several clicks instead of a couple.  Now this.

Shipping, relists, sell similars and many other normal functions will take more time because Ebay in their wisdom doesn't see the value in how much time a seller spends just to manage their listings.  Yet another change for changes sake.  No benefit, just a change to create more work for sellers and to make sure we know that Ebay does not value our time.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Apr 12 02:42:31 2016

Here is another reason sales are low. Since eBay's main focus is on mobile, any seller with calculated shipping displays ''ask seller'' and of course no information on how to get in touch with that seller. Sellers will have to either have free shipping or a set fixed rate. This wasn't in Ina's article today on mobile visiblity but hope more can be found out about this.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 12 08:35:23 2016

First of all, since many small sellers' listings are already invisible who will even notice.  You know it is bad when they place verbiage in the user agreement stating that your listings may "not always been seen".

Secondly, what people used to LOVE about eBay were all of the unique items, and most did not have identifiers (antiques, rare books, collectibles, etc.)

JD came in and replaced the magic of eBay with commodities.  Mini Me seems to be following in his footsteps even though he states he is "reconnecting" with small sellers. (I've yet to see any example of this.)

What a shame that several men "knew better", and truly changed what once was a dynamic ecosystem of sellers and buyers and turned it into another Walmart.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: JeffP This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 08:58:44 2016

Wow, You mean the 6 or 7 views I now get on the items I list will be reduced to 1 or 2? I listed about 10 things last week and never broke double digits in views on any of them. Never sold a single thing, big surprise. It's been like this for 2 years. I'm not sure why I even bother.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 09:17:24 2016

This is a much, much better way to search on eBay... IF it functions properly and ONLY shows the items associated with that one number.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 09:50:44 2016

You have to know the number in order to search like this. The vast majority of people looking for something would not know the identifier numbers. I guess it would be a viable search, if you were in a department store and looking directly at the tags on merchandise, and wanting to compare. So apparently this is to directly compete with brick and mortar stores.

Others doing an ordinary search for an item, will use descriptive search words. And that would be a vast majority of people.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 12 10:02:42 2016

"Do you use UPC codes or ISBNs to search eBay?"

NO

"And do you miss the ability to search both active and completed listings with one search?"

YES

I couldn't find my own completed listing with the item number, I went to Google to find my eBay item.

HOW PATHETIC

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 12 10:06:37 2016

I have a autograph trading card of Meg Whitman.

Does anyone have a UPC or ISBN number for that card?

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 12 10:24:17 2016

who wants to type in all those numbers ?    Stupid idea.

They are determined to see ebay go out of business.

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 12 10:27:46 2016

I have a bottle of Walmart water.

UPC number 078742040370

I put this into eBay's search and it returned 24 items

NONE of them were Walmart water!

eBay Makes Changes to Search   eBay Makes Changes to Search

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Tue Apr 12 10:54:41 2016

Dont really care about the UPC search, but the inability to pull up completed listings?? What were these dopes thinking?? More useless Ebay garbage. But that's OK, every time they pull something like this, I usually decide to spend the afternoon working on the WEBSITE...:)

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