Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Nov 11 2012 20:29:21

eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

By: Ina Steiner

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An eBay seller reported a glitch on the EcommerceBytes EKG announcement board impacting multi-variation listings:  "My listing with variations aren't appearing correctly. With variation listing, the first photo that you attach is the main photo and should be the one showing in search. The remaining photos should show when a potential customer selects a certain variation ie, color, size."


Sellers are also talking about this issue on the eBay discussion forums: "I contacted Ebay to ask why my composite photos used the gallery had been replaced by a single photo of one variation, and the response was something like: "we're moving away from variation pictures as they are not favoured by buyers".  I was speechless, if buyers don't like the photo which appears in the search, they probably won't even notice there are others to choose from."

eBay had announced in July that it would begin displaying an individual item from a multi-variation listing when a buyer was searching for a particular color:

"Starting in August, when buyers specify a color in their search query, they will see the item picture that corresponds to that color. For example, a search for "Men's White Shirt" will display pictures of white shirts. Buyers will also see color tiles on both the Gallery and Listing Views that indicate what colors are available in the listing. And when variations differ in price, the buyers will see the price range."

It appears the problem that sellers began reporting this month is this feature gone haywire, perhaps when eBay recently rolled out the Multi Variation Merger feature in the Fashion category that lets sellers create new multi-variation listings based on their current individual listings.

Indicate on Ecommerce EKG whether or not you're having a problem with multi-variation listings in search results, and leave a comment below.




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Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Sun Nov 11 23:25:11 2012

"we're moving away from variation pictures as they are not favoured by buyers".

See, it's what buyers want ... And even if that was not the case, we know best ... (It could not possibly be a glitch ...)

But how would eBay know? And, how can you tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is lying? Their lips are moving ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Nov 12 00:00:18 2012

With management that never searches, buys or sells on eBay how do they presume to know what buyers want?

Surveys run by eBay are offered to a select few, thus the opinions gleaned from such surveys are invalid as far as a majority of users goes.

Of course with eBay, the more likely scenario is that out of touch management has made yet another destructive innovation decision and is simply lying about what they claim buyers want in order to fit their needs and wants.

Since pictures with variations likely utilize more pixels, and thus utilize more server resources, eBay is probably making this decision in order to conserve resources.

This is the same rationale as removing wild cards from search. Using a wild card forces search use more server resources so the wild card had to go.

eBay will lie through their teeth in order to justify changes they impose which do not benefit sales or sellers simply because they expect to be able to reduce the amount of server capacity the site requires.

This likely explains not just the constant sales constricting changes imposed, but also goes a long way to explain why eBay seems to experience new and recurring glitches on a daily basis.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: springer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 04:04:42 2012

The pre-selection of one option is a real problem for me. E.g. I sell a garment in 3 sizes S, M, L in 3 designs (floral, dots, plain). Buyer searches for garment without specs, he will be shown a floral in size M because that's what is most popular. If they want plain in size L they won't be able to buy if I've run out of plain in size M because plain will be greyed out and buyer will think I'm out of stock altogether. Also quantity will show 1, and as what I sell is often very rare, buyer will probably leave ebay altogether.
Sales are down 50%, on my website they are going well....

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: 10phizz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 06:53:04 2012

So eBay have done a survey?
I worked for the BBC for 5 years doing market research: when the department closed this was farmed out to another company. I resigned as it soon became apparent that you can get any result you desire by the way the questions are worded.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: edwatt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 08:08:44 2012

We sell clothing in different colors. Our main picture shows a small shot of the item in all colors available, 4,6 maybe 8.  Then when the customer clicks on the listing, each color we have has many views of that color to look at.
I just noticed this weekend that our main photo is not showing in search.  The color that sold most recently appears to be showing.
Thus the searcher may think this is the only color we have available and keep looking elsewhere.
This is not what I signed up for.  How dare ebay arbitrarily choose one color to display out of 4 to 8 available.
This action and this forum has finally converted me.  I will be looking to exit ebay next year after 10 years of growing sales.
Suggestions for web site providers would be greatly appreciated.  Big Commerce and Volusion sound great but when you read the reviews there are a lot of horror stories about them.
I, being technically challenged, need a customer friendly site that can do some hand holding in the beginning.
I have done some shopping, but would like to hear comments from others who have taken this journey before me.
Thank you.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 12 08:16:54 2012

"we're moving away from variation pictures as they are not favoured by buyers"

This is about the biggest BS statement I have heard them utter thus far.   What buyer WOULDN'T want to see a photo of what they are actually ordering?

If you never thought that they lie before, if this doesn't convince you, nothing will.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 09:42:02 2012

Looking for the right words. Not 'amazed' or particularly 'surprised' that eBay is making changes that affect sellers at precisely the time we should ALL be focusing on delivering a superior holiday buying experience.

I am appalled that eBay is making buyer side changes at this point in the high season.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 10:30:11 2012

@ EdWatt. i started working on my own site about a month ago. did lots of online research for providers. shopify is out---their servers go down. volusion not good either. (i think there are always going to be horror stores, just depends on how high the percentage.....) ended up with Bigcommerce.com. so far so good. got a customer service rep who is extremely helpful and if he can't help, he connects me to the tech people that can. i think right now it's a good choice until i can get stuff listed and uploaded to searches. eventually i will go to my own hosted web site when i have the money to pay someone to design/maintain. i think BC is a good place to get a quick transition/start. hope that helps.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 10:30:49 2012

sorry--i meant horror STORIES.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 11:10:43 2012

Yes I have, yet when I called they told me it was just a glitch. In my cases I noticed when I did a search for the items without specifying a color. The picture that showed was the one that I had the most in stock. However, the little color variation squares (which do not indicate what they are for) did not indicate all the variations available but only what appeared to be the 3 most popular. I wouldn't mind if the photo related to a specified color showed up in search but when they are searching for just the item without specifying a color I think they should see the main photo, else they will think that color is the only one available. Typically eBay changing things up during the critical holiday shopping period.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 11:19:13 2012

@EdWatt. We'ver used Yahoo Merchant Solutions for the last 8 years. I've been nothing but happy. It's very user friendly. The techs go over and beyond, they even worked with me when I was trying to integrate my site with Facebook. Most companies would have told you to call Facebook instead of help you themselves. I've never experienced a glitch, never had any downtime and they have never raised their rates yet they are constantly adding new features that unlike some places we know actually work and are meant to improve the buyer experience and increase sales.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 12 11:32:20 2012

@edwatt - Read the comment from "permacrisis" here:

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/letters/blog.pl?/comments
/2012/11/1351912092.html#comments

 

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by: spinner This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 13:08:48 2012

Its another dollars and cents thing.  If we are unhappy with variations then we will go back to separate listings and they will get more listing fees. Just wait and see.  It took them awhile but they finally realize how much revenue they have lost

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: edwatt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 17:21:10 2012

@Terry in Texas.  I will look into BC again.  I had read their CS was terrible but based on your comments its worth another look.
@Cloud.  I am not familiar with Yahoo Merchant Solutions, never heard of them.  Thanks for the lead i will check them out.
@ihearjacksparrow.  Thanks for the link.  We had no power last week so I didn't get to see it until today.  Good advice, but what a depressing article in general
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.
TU

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 21:24:43 2012

Gee JD, so nice of you to roll out these CONSTANT CHANGES (and glitchs) right here before the holidays.
You and Joanna Hoff are both LIARS. Ina, please CALL EBAY ON THIS- "new rollouts no more than 203 times per year, with much advance notice to our sellers".
Is this what they meant by their promises????????
Mass Howler
Mass Howler

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 12 21:25:56 2012

This is GUARANTRED to be the most GLITCH-FILLED and TROUBLESOME Christmas ever.
I am so glad it is my last Christmas on ebain!
Mass Howler  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Nov 12 23:47:43 2012

have been using Big Commerce for about 3 years with no problems at all......their CS is vastly improved.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results   eBay Sellers Spy Problem with Multi Variation Search Results

by: Ocee This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Nov 15 23:34:52 2012

I concur with previous comments. There are TWO serious site wide problems with listings that have item variations:

1. Gallery pictures are not being displayed in search results. Another picture from the listing is displayed.

2. When opening a listing from search results, the item variation drop-down fields are NOT defaulting to ''Select''.  Instead, the drop-downs are displaying a selection. For example - Color: Red; Size: Medium. (No variations such as color or size were included in my searches)

I called on Monday 11/12 and reported the problem. Nothing has changed. This is an ongoing problem since the week of November  5.

How do you get eBay's attention on issues like this? Ho-hum. They'll get around to after the busy holiday season. Unfortunately it is costing sellers lost sales and income.

I've frequently wondered why eBay does not post announcements about technical issues and provide some guidance about resolution and estimated time frame.  As things stand today, eBay gets one star for communication on technical problems. But it doesn't have to be this way.



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