Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun May 31 2015 21:48:05

US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

By: Ina Steiner

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An online marketplace or retail website is only as good as its search - how else can shoppers find what they're looking for? But this morning, an EcommerceBytes reader discovered a big problem with eBay's search engine.

The reader explained that when she searched eBay.com for jumpsuits, "no matter which category for women's clothing I looked at, they were all the same."

Sure enough we tried the same search on eBay.com and found the same results. We also uncovered another search term that was "infected" with this strange phenomenon.

"Does this look like eBay to you," the seller asked. "Also quite a few of the items were duplicated several times and that was just on page one." She said it reminded her of a Victoria Secrets type of website and was turned off.

We noticed one thing similar with almost all of the listings that dominated the first page of results: the items were all located in China. We also experienced the same type of odd search results for the same "jumpsuit" search on eBay Canada.

It's unclear why eBay gave these sellers a boost in its Best Match search algorithm - their feedback was less than stellar, and their delivery times were much longer than those of listings from U.S. sellers (which we were able to find by sorting by "time ending soonest" instead of "best match").

It seems unlikely this search oddity is intentional on eBay's part. Has its Cassini search engine has gone haywire? Is there a way to game the eBay search engine that some sellers have discovered?

Look for more details in Monday's Newsflash (now available), and let us know if you've seen anything similar and can account for US sellers being shut out of certain searches on eBay.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 31 22:40:37 2015

I noticed today that my auctions I listed about 35 hours ago were not showing up in search. Now, finally, after 40 hours I can find them in search. AuctionStealer is also reporting issues with eBay: "Starting on Sunday @ 12:25 PM CT eBay's Login Servers appear to be returning "Page Not Responding" errors. While our system has been able to mitigate the issue, some bids are being missed. We are monitoring the situation and will let you know as soon as this problem clears up. UPDATE 05-31-2015 15:06 CT: As of this update, this issue is still occurring! Please understand that this issue is on eBay's end and once they correct their server issues, all bidding will go back to normal. We have confirmed that eBay is having issues from all locations by manually replicating the problem."

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 31 23:16:48 2015

This has been going on for years, this is the reality of JD's ebay,

I cannot describe in non swear words how screwed the search is, and the shear amount of search manipulation.


There is an easy way to ''game'' the system,,,,
1- Move to china, setup a factory, 2- Have every employee, setup an ebay seller account,
3- Flood ebay with 10's of millions of identical items,




 



   

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun May 31 23:24:13 2015


''Has its Cassini search engine has gone haywire?'' gets a nomination for understatement question of the year. Has it ever NOT been?


I also got a  ''Page Not Responding'' error at some point this afternoon on one account. I finally was able to pull up the opening page and log on - while at the same time another account was open in a different browser and did not have this occur.  


I just tried a search for ''linen dress'' - there were several Hong Kong sellers ''above the fold'' with a sprinkle of American Sellers. Seems more than what should be normal - But then when I do a search I almost always filter to ''North America'' before searching. Doesn't get them all, but it gets a lot.  


As far as ''sexy'' in all the descriptions - THAT has been going on for years. I've always assumed that based on the U.S. celebrities they see prancing around in the media - Asian marketers & sellers just wrongly assume and generalize that that is what ALL Americans are like and want.

But I could be wrong, maybe ''Sexy'' this and ''Sexy'' that is what some Asian demographics respond to in marketing and their marketers assume everyone else does too.  

Either way, it seems to be a stereotype that is being played to.


One positive aspect - the word gives us a way to get rid of some of this crap - simply  filter OUT the word ''Sexy'' in eBay's advanced search.  

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: LJM This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 31 23:29:23 2015

It's probably another test.

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

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

Mon Jun 1 00:21:25 2015

Quite intentional on ebafia's part.

If and when nit can be proven the search engine has been manipulated by a group of sellers, what they've done is illegal. If ebafia won't fix it, then they're aiding and abetting more criminal fraud.

Ebafia knows they're not going to significantly grow the American marketplace due to their ongoing abusive treatment of members.

So ebafia is catering to Asian sellers where they see the potential for enormous growth.

One way or another, this is another chapter in the story of how so many American corporations and financial institutions have screwed over Americans in so many ways all of which have contributed to the decline in our economy and individual well being.

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: random This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 01:08:56 2015

Just did a quick search on "jumpsuit" and looked at a couple of the listing's HTML and noticed a similarity right away- javascript linking to a tracking site operated in China (datacaciques).  It can't be a coincidence that all these Chinese sellers are getting priority so it has to be something in the listings or ebay doing this on purpose.

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 01:15:17 2015

Iphone mobile app does not allow us to choose North America. Choice is to search either up to 500 miles or worldwide. Most advance search options are missing.  I clicked on one jumpsuit search result which exclaimed that if I spent $35 I could get a free G string. Page was filled with thousands of icons that said "badydoll" with thousands of one identical lascivious pic of two scantily clad young women. Many other items were listed for sale on the jumpsut page, which is against eBay policy.  

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: Cindy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 01:16:19 2015

Do you notice when you search for jumpsuits it changes your category to jumpsuits & rompers without you telling it to.  Many of these folks are also using DataCaciques and the beginning of their description is filled with other items they are selling, including jumpsuits.  I'd say it's partly eBay and partly keyword spamming in the first part of the description.

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: Just A Old Seller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 01:21:24 2015

Looking at jumpsuits and it shows 179,240 listings but you hit US Only and 21,564 are listed. A lot of buyers don't how to find American sold only listings, how can you possible beat a system set up like this.

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 01:25:06 2015

i doubt that anything in ebay's search engine happens by "accident"

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: Cindy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 01:29:42 2015

I just searched for several items, checkers...it changes the category to checkers...fish filters changes to filters....so if you don't have an item in the right category you are not going to be found...listing in 2 categories appears to be futile.

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 03:03:34 2015

Hmmmmm---this could be total co-incidence but--"Caciques"  is a lingerie seller in the US---affiliated with Lane Bryant perhaps?  Too late for my feeble brain but--wonder of this could be something to do with them?  It's an odd word and one you would remember.  

One way I have used to filter with out going to ADVANCED (which I suspect  just messes things up MORE)  is to filter by DISTANCE-NEAREST FIRST--for me on the East Coast I can pretty much get all of the US and even Europe BEFORE getting any sellers who are actually listed AS being in China--however--there are a number of "USA Based"  sellers who are NOT IN THE USA ---another theft. Another easy to fix problem that ebay REFUSES to do anything about if they are not actually encouraging this.  

Using that filter does change the dynamics a lot tho.  

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: dreamweaver149 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 04:07:36 2015

Hi from UK.
I replicated the search parameters tried your side and get identical results this end too....titles including "UK celebrity" etc....

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Jun 1 05:09:35 2015

My guess ebay is intentionally doing this to favor China in searches. Expect the flooding to increase the closer ebay gets to the split. After the ebay/paypal split the ebay marketplace will be sold to the Chinese. Just my prediction and taking bets.  

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 06:29:58 2015

Just another test for Ebay to be sold to Alibaba.....Then watch the funny begin.

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 1 07:09:41 2015

This company and the management that run this company are beyond contempt.

And Ina, will no one at this horrid company comment on this?

Why is this news not on the front page of every major US newspaper?  And not that I give a rat's back end about the big retailers in the USA who are on eBay, but why aren't they raising he** about this?

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 07:58:57 2015


Newsflash :

Ebay favors Chinese Junk Dumpers
over American sellers who have better quality Merchandise and better service

Also:

The sky is blue , Grass is green , and Management can't see past their bonus package

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 08:03:36 2015

And they aren't even jumpsuits; they're rompers. And baggy ones certainly are not bodycon and a 1" inseam does not make 'em trousers either.

Someone should tell 'em to call 'em onesies. Gerber, were are you? LOL

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 1 08:31:17 2015

''Just another test for Ebay to be sold to Alibaba.''

This is what I am worried about too.
Ebay is trying to pump up sales from China sellers in order to make it more attractive to Alibaba.

JD can then sell and make ten of millions of dollars off the sale.

Perminate Link for US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results   US Sellers Shut Out of eBay.com Search Results

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Jun 1 08:31:42 2015

Chinese goods are like sand....they get into everything.
When sand gets into the gear mesh (a great functioning American economy), it eventually destroys it.
Only a dismantling, thorough clean out, and reassembley with an added SAND TRAP / SAND GUARD can repair it.
Remove China Made products completely from America's economic landscape for the renewal of American success.

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