|Tue June 19 2012 23:13:58|
eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism
By: Ina Steiner
eBay began testing a new search interface late last week, and sellers had plenty to say about it in emails and on the eBay discussion boards. Wrote one EcommerceBytes reader, "It's a learning curve. It's hard to put on my "newbie buying hat" on, but those who are used to the old pages will not like the new one."
The one feature he liked was a bigger gallery.
But, like a number of sellers, he said he did not like that it took extra clicks to locate the completed listings checkbox, and he said he missed the extra box at the top of the page to start a new search. And, he said, "I could not start a new search without backing up pages to the base "all category" level.
"A programmer with extra time on their hands added a java arrow box on the right side. Click it and the page scrolls to home position .... like peeps don't know how to use the scroll wheel or the right side scroll bar," he wrote. "Your search KW (keyword) have added text (in light grey) for the current category. i.e.: Nikon D40 "in digital cameras". It's hard to add more search KW (keywords) with eBay added text in the way."
A couple of sellers commented that the "price+shipping: lowest first" option that allowed buyers to view items by price instead of Best Match was missing from the new search interface, others said "search title and description" was missing.
Several sellers noted they could only see four listings on a page at a time, making scrolling through search results laborious and fearing it would lead to fewer sales. "I want more than 4 items on a page, why is the font so BIG," wrote one seller. "Why all black, most of us are used to hyperlinks being blue. Someone said it looks like Craig's List, Yes! Very dull look to it, and I swear it seems sloooowwwerrr."
Another poster who said he both bought and sold on eBay said he had spent over $200 on the "big River site" (Amazon) over the weekend "because I was so frustrated and pissed."
Another commented, "Once again, the search form field has been moved. Once again, all my saved in form searches are gone. That means half the stuf (sic) I search for can no longer be searched for."
Another seller writing on this eBay discussion board said he figured out a faster way to access completed listings: "If you're in the "new" search, you can find the completed and sold options (yes, it seems they differentiate between the two now!) using the drop-down arrow next to the "X listings for sale" that appears under the search box when the page shows your search returns." He posted the following graphic to show the feature visually.
Not all users can see the new search interface, and some sellers said they saw it intermittently or when changing browsers or computers.
"The ONLY good thing I see is that they've collapsed the several search refinements, or item specifics, on the left side, that I never used anyway," wrote one seller, but unlike most commentors, he found it was easier to see completed items, writing, "Oh, and it's nice to see completed items and sold items a little more prominent."
If you've seen the new search experience which rolled out on a limited basis beginning on or around June 15th, let us know what you think of it!