Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue June 19 2012 23:13:58

eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

By: Ina Steiner

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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!




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY
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Tue Jun 19 23:23:19 2012

ebay continues their "if it ain't broke, we're gonna  break it" campaign. If I had a nickel for every stupid decision they made, I wouldn't have to sell on ebay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Jun 19 23:31:48 2012


As if eBay is not having enough problems attracting new buyers, the plan to change search results display appears to be one that is sure to alienate existing buyers.

This change when added to a search engine that is totally dysfunctional guarantees sales will dive even lower.

Sellers should expect an announcement soon regarding the next fee increase which will be necessary to disguise the decline in sales which will accompany this latest unannounced change.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: whbjr This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jun 20 00:17:25 2012

''... you can find the completed and sold options (yes, it seems they differentiate between the two now!)''

There's a clear difference, and their new choice is less helpful. ''Completed'' includes the auctions which received no bids, which is a nice gauge for setting the price of a similar item. If they only show successful auctions, that bit of information is lost.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: kimthroc This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 00:23:41 2012

I do not know what Ebay is doing.  This is ridiculous.  This new search page shows you nothing.  My time is too valuable to spend it trying to figure out how to find what I need.  Still haven't found where the completed listings are.  No colors, sizes, width...nothing.  If they are going to change something as a Beta test, why don't they let us know in advance.  Just don't get it.  Why not leave it alone???

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: xcergy This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jun 20 01:27:06 2012

The Beta page has a link: 'Tell us what your think.' I did, many times, but this is the one I am now posting. A legit eBay RANT if you ask me:

I don't mind being a guinea pig for a new format, but you have work to do with communication.
1: TELL us it is a beta page and offer a link to opt out and/or opportunity to come back and play in the sandbox.
2: INFORM your CS ]customer service] associates (or at least the supervisors) what is going on. Better yet, let the supervisors see the beta pages before we do. CS can't do their job unless they KNOW what's going on. I called CS today, and they (and the supervisor) were clueless of this 'upgrade'.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: chargeback101 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 01:31:58 2012

Bad things are happening here:


1) feeBay now looks like a smartphone app.


2) feeBay is killing the item description and selling 'pictures' instead of detailed descriptions.


3) The 1000% increase in buyer remorse returns will go even higher now that descriptions are truncated.


4) Chinese sellers will find it easier to flood feeBay with dumped goods because now they won't need to write descriptions.

All the kool aid drinking feeBay cheerleaders are in for a scary ride into feeBay hell.

I'm so grateful to have committed to an exit strategy to get away from this unending torturous insanity.

RUN as fast as you can from this 'venue'. The dream is over.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Jun 20 01:45:16 2012

When will the ignorant ostriches that run ebay understand that half their management team needs to be terminated immediately?

Far too many managers at various levels within this hidebound company justify their jobs by making constant changes under the phony umbrella of "improvement."

True improvements increase sales. How many so called "improvements" has ebay made in recent years that resulted in increased sales?

None for most of us. Zip. Nada. Nil. Zilch.

Ebay is rapidly becoming an also ran in the ecommerce world, and it's bonehead stuff like this that's mostly responsible.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

This user has validated their user name. by: TrentDep

Wed Jun 20 06:08:11 2012

This is the best they could come up with?...

A week ago I wasn't sure how sales could possibly crash any further - now we know...

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: innerpuppie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 09:28:47 2012

I've seen it and I don't like it. I've sold on eBay since 1998. I'm not a newbie but if I have to focus and have a 'learning curve' just imagine what a customer (possibly new to eBay or in a hurry) has to go through to find something. eBay just made it more difficult, not easier, for 'their customers' (a while back they ceased being ours) to find what they want on their site. Must be that someone at eBay needed a little job justification so he and his buddies came of with the mess that eBay calls 'search'. It's search all right - you have to search to find anything at all that's relevant.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 09:45:18 2012

This is crazy. I needed some ink for my printer and couldn't even find my old suppliers. I hate to think of what is going on with our store. I hope I am one of the lucky four. I feel bad for the buyers that are looking for choice.

Where do they come up with these idea's Most buyers would like to see the best price shipped to their door. Take that away and who needs ebay to when shopping for the best deal.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: trickstunt This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 09:57:52 2012

Whatever it is, you can find it somewhere else cheaper and with less hassle. Use a regular search engine before you ever consider ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
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Wed Jun 20 09:59:04 2012

"Oh, eBay? No, I can never find anything there anymore"

This is the _number one_ reason I have heard in my conversations about eBay with others.  Sellers, buyers, browsers, newbies, oldies.  And it's not for lack of items, it's the stupid search that does not work like ANY other search (google, azon, bing, et al) and - as a result - requires a learning curve that people are not willing to devote time and energy to.

I've said it before - eBay is Its own worst enemy.

 

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 11:22:21 2012

Dontcha just wanna lock these over fed MBAs in a room and tell 'em they can't come out unless they use SEARCH and FIND and COMPLETE transactions to get the "stuff" to get them off the Island?  

And add a harsh penalty for failure---like--I dunno---they then have to become a SELLER for a month.  And achieve 100% ratings--no matter what--and 5 DSR no matter what.  Even if the system crashes there is a hurricane and an earthquake and ebay decides to do away with any form of useable programming.  Even so!  100%---or ELSE!

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 12:16:36 2012

Ming cracks me up--he's so reserved ;) One thing you can bet on, the developers at eBay make up the user requirements as they go, iteration after iteration. It doesn't seem like they do proper testing, but you can't draft productive test scripts when you come up with requirements on the fly.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 13:58:47 2012

It is time for me to leave simply because I cannot stand anymore. Ebay is just too screwed up, they have chased away sellers and buyers. They are copying amazon but they do not have the infrastructure or customer service to back it up. The buyers are using smart phones and they cannot see all the information in the listings, I know because they are telling me that. It is ebay's fault and of course sellers are taking the beating. The search is already screwed up, I did not think it could get any worse but this is just a complete and total failure. Ebay is way too wrapped in the stock market to really care. The main problem with ebay is they get their final value fees first and EBAY DOES NOT CARE WHAT HAPPENS TO SELLERS AFTER THAT!! I have been on ebay since 1998 it is going to come to a end because the stress that is involved with selling on ebay right now is unbearable. I keep asking myself what in the heck is wrong with the management at ebay, they keep making policies that do not work for all of the sellers that they are collecting fees from and they say oh well those sellers are just "noise". Then they have the nerve to punish honest sellers based on a moronic TRS system that is completely unfair to a lot of the businesses on ebay, it is completely wrong and it needs to be fixed but it is not going to be fixed because ebay has a CEO that cannot admit he is wrong and he is a bully. We can take into considersation the huge number of sellers who have left ebay and taking those sales elsewhere to the tune of 100's of millions of dollars that ebay has lost those final value fees and sit back and just wonder what the investors know about that, obvously the wool has been pulled over a lot of investors eyes because they definitely are not getting the whole picture. All sellers who leave ebay should contact a attorney and file a lawsuit. Ebay's behavior is absurd and totally off the wall. None, and I mean none of the other businesses that I interact with, and there are a lot of them, do the things ebay does, they are honest, ebay is a web of deceit and deception and it is past time that the justice department should have locked up the executives at ebay. They are criminals without a doubt. Why are they getting away with this, sellers are paying fees to these idiots and  they punish honest sellers, who does this?? No customer service, horrible policies, a terrible search and technical glitches that are completely out of control. I hope they crash and burn completely  

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jun 20 14:12:25 2012

Wow.  I am speechless.   As a buyer I HATE this and will not waste my time shopping on eBay.

I agree with Ming.  This company needs a complete management overhaul.  It is like they want to fail.  Nothing tat they implement makes anything any better, it only makes it worse.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: ejholden This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 15:28:56 2012

Logged in yesterday to look for some parts.
Gave up in frustration very quickly.
Thankfully, everything seems back to normal today & I located the parts easily.
Hopefully, eBay programmers are no longer influenced by the effects of the recent solar flares .......

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: eBelly This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 20 17:43:25 2012

ebay refugee camp writes:

"I keep asking myself what in the heck is wrong with the management at ebay, they keep making policies that do not work for all of the sellers that they are collecting fees from and they say oh well those sellers are just "noise"."

....haven't you figured it out yet? feeBay is intentionally crushing the sellers by design. The system is not designed for YOUR success, but rather to eat you alive so your prices bleed, and you pay lots of fees. This is like feeBay seller foreclosure, with fire sale distress prices! Sellers must be sacrificed at the feeBay alter, so whatever creative torture can destroy the sellers is the business plan. Sellers are now like losing gamblers with memories of the good ol' days, just trying desperately to get that 'win' again. 'Selling' on feeBay now is simply addictive behavior if you're not profiting anymore, just as a washed up gambler sits down again and again at the casino to lose more and more until they are financially destroyed.

Are you the type of person who keeps pumping quarters in that stuffed animal claw-grab machine at the pizza parlor that ..a l m o s t.. picks up the teddy bear, but drops it every time just at the last second? If so, your addiction to ..a l m o s t.. winning the prize is overcoming all rational thought.

The feeBay system is designed to make you fail. Don't you get it?

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jun 20 20:40:05 2012

eBelly says: ....haven't you figured it out yet? feeBay is intentionally crushing the sellers by design.

I have to agree with this.  They have done everything in their power to make small sellers leave and it hasn't worked. I feel that this is yet another scheme devised by eBay to accomplish that. I feel that Donahoe has had it in for small sellers since the day he took over.  The shameful thing is that he will still take our money but not give us the visibility that we deserve as paying customers.  They are essentially stealing from us.
   Donahoe is about the best example that I can think of of the 1% in this country who could care less about the real working people in this country who are simply trying to make a living and get ahead.  In my opinion people like him clearly can't relate to the rest of us who struggle to get ahead.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism   eBay Tests New Search Interface, Receives Harsh Criticism

by: Cyclestripper This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jun 20 22:35:03 2012

Is there no way out of this "test"? I can't find a way to get back to the old search. Interestingly, my shop computer doesn't show "new search"; just my home computer so it's not based on my user ID. I want this thing GONE. How?

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