Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Aug 28 2016 08:28:17

eBay Search Is Broken

By: Ina Steiner

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A reader emailed this morning to report problems with eBay's search, and sure enough, there have been reports of problems since Friday about unrelated listings coming back in search results.

"Is it just me, or has eBay search gotten worse," the seller wrote. "Custom searches that worked last week are suddenly turning up mostly unrelated junk."

Some users who reported the problem on the eBay boards said the problem is due to the fact that eBay's search engine is searching not only listing Titles, but the Descriptions as well.

It's unclear if it's an intermittent problem affecting only some users (or servers) - one would expect to see many more threads about the problem if it was a more widespread problem.

But for those buyers and sellers who are experiencing the problem, it makes it very difficult to find what they are looking for - for example, one user wrote:

"For some reason when I search eBay it searches within listing. For example I type in "japan" I get stuff that does not have japan in title but it searches the description and spits it out. I dont care if some joe shmoe has a policy for their item about shipping to japan, I want it to search title listings like it did 2 days ago."

On another thread, a user explained:

"For me search has been a hot mess since Friday. It is searching title AND description no matter what you do to avoid it. If the words appear anywhere in the description then it shows you that listing.
 
A search for Quarter Horse Journal brought up a pencil drawing of a pug dog simply because the seller mentioned one of their drawings had been in Quarter Horse Journal."

The user said eBay was aware of the problem.

We'll keep researching this issue, let us know what you're seeing and if you've found a workaround.

Comments (50) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Aug 29 14:24:15 2016

@ HarmonyGroveAntiques

What's you ebay ID?

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Aug 29 15:05:27 2016

Toolguy says "When I tried a search I could see what others were talking about."

Yes, seeing what others are talking about always seems to be a challenge for you.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

by: Henry This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 29 16:05:31 2016

How can something that has never worked be broken? As Jim Rohn would say, "It's a mystery."

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 29 16:48:46 2016

Explains why me sales took a crap. Thank you ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Aug 29 17:19:22 2016

@ToledoMaude

''ASCII/Latin1'' is the character set that we're used to in the English-speaking world (A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and punctuation).  They used 8 bits, so they only have 256 characters.  When computers went international, they needed more space, and eventually ended up with Unicode (16 bits, 65536 characters).  For compatibility,  the first block just copies ASCII and then afterward comes stuff like Japanese symbols, emoticons, upside down question marks, backwards Rs, etc.

Long story short, 99% of searches in the US are using the same character set so ''Mattel Batman Wave 2'' should always find listings with ''Mattel Batman Wave 2'' somewhere.  It's a straight comparison and should never fail except unless they're manipulating the results.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 29 17:24:34 2016

just another day at ebay. Site is broken.  

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

by: HarmonyGroveAntiques This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 29 21:52:17 2016

Tool,

It is HarmonyGroveAntiques on Ebay

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Tue Aug 30 01:02:15 2016

RK:

Yes when you put a phrase into search that is what should come up and only that. One of the problems is that a few people do not know how to use a search but most people do.
eBay wanted to make a search engine that those few people that are stupid can use. What they did was create a monster that is now blowing up in their face. The "elites" think that most people are stupid and only they know how to do something.
When you put is a specific phrase like "Mattel Batman Wave 2" it should only return that since you have it in quotation marks. It is simple but most IT idiots do not understand the meaning of KISS.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 30 07:30:00 2016

You don't understand. Can'tSeeMe knows better than you what you want. Nothing's broken.

Perminate Link for eBay Search Is Broken   eBay Search Is Broken

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 30 07:33:43 2016

@David S

I've been telling sellers for YEARS not to use Low Ball starting bids, otherwise you get burned Big Time. Most auction listings now close with a single bid, at BEST! You'd better make sure that bid is one you can live with.

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