Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Aug 11 2015 00:53:27

eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay's Director of Global Cross-Border Trade and Geographic Expansion updated a patent dealing with geographic search algorithms. According to Media Post, the ranking algorithm makes it easier to identify cross-border transactions and rank them based on language and region.

Media Post notes, "If a buyer in Mexico searches for an item available from both Spanish and German sellers, a ranking algorithm returns the item from the Spanish seller first or assigns a relevance weight to the language favoring items in which buyers and sellers speak the same language. The algorithm will take into consideration the IP address or a shipping address when the buyer signs in."

The full patent is available here

The article says eBay needs a globalized local method to trade products, allowing the algorithms to rank products according to region and language, and says it makes sense given that eBay urges U.S. sellers to engage in cross border trade.

But some would ask, why not let the shopper decide if they wish to narrow down search results by geography or a seller's language. 

Thoughts?




Comments (36) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 01:30:32 2015

This is no surprise, ebays vision since the ho was to tell buyers what they should be buying not what they want to buy.

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: Mog This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 03:17:17 2015

The reason myself (and probably thousands of others) don't bother buying on feebay anymore.
Too complicated.
If I'm looking for a specific widget I DON'T want some numpty programmer telling me that's not what I want, I really want this nonwidget. That's enough to make me go elsewhere instantly.
If they brought back a straightforward search whereby only the items in the search string you asked for were returned, for your country only, at a time ending soonest then I'll maybe go back to using them. All the fancy non-options can be put on the side bar for those with time to waste go looking at.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

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

Tue Aug 11 03:27:18 2015

Gee, now that the cretinous Johnny Ho has moved on, with all of eBay's cash reserves, one would have thought that such crystal ball algorithms would have also gone with him ... not so, apparently ...

No doubt, this is simply another demonstration of eBay's manipulation of search to suit what they perceive to be in the best short term interests of the senior executive ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 05:28:40 2015

I guess the patent is FAIL, since I was "searching" for a better eBay, I was searching for a venue that didn't try to steal from me, and I was also searching for an ecommerce partner.

I guess none of those are to be found on eBay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Aug 11 07:00:27 2015

I'm simply quite amazed that they continue with this nonsense. It's like they are trying to patent a crystal ball. They can't even get simple search right, and they move into territory that they know nothing about. Believe me, if they can't get simple search right they will NEVER get machine learning right.

Buyers AND sellers continue to tell them how broken search is, and they want to continue to play the guessing game.

I do not and never would want an algorithm showing me what "it" thinks I want to see.

Do algorithms have common sense?  Like eBay, the answer is no.

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Aug 11 07:02:48 2015

....oh, and a word to the wise---don't DARE put in any word associated with China or Asia when searching.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 07:51:26 2015

If you really think about it, most customers shop online, because they cannot find what they're looking for locally, if a search just pulls up items, that are easily obtained down the road, why would you buy it online ?

Not sure how his could possibly bring in more sales? I just don't see it.

In fact, I believe this type of search is a business killer,

ebay needs as much business killing idea's as possible, they should have been long gone by now, maybe this one will help them get a little closer to their ultimate goal of bankruptcy faster.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 08:51:26 2015

Charging a FVF on shipping is a form of THEFT from the paying customer, the seller. It's an added cost of doing biz on the pathetic "ecommerce platform" which I call the Two-Headed Monster -eBay and the thieving payment service variously called PreyPal or as I prefer to call it, PayPig.  Although for [shady] accounting practices these are now claimed to be "separate" co's, in practice they're still joined at the hip by their "joint operating agreement" which sounds a lot like formalized collusion or Restraint of Trade. PayPig is "guaranteed" the Lion's Share - sorry, Cecil! - of eBay's payment rake-offs. Q: What will Devil Wingnut & Co. do if PayPig doesn't get 80% of that? Answer: RAISE FEES - AGAIN!

As a result of these anti-seller policies I am forced, by simple math, to charge a buyer $14 for shipping a Priority Mail medium parcel, which costs me $12 and change. When shipping UPS the WEIGHT estimate has to be boosted 30% to ensure that I recoup full costs, including "rural surchages" which eBay's pathetic [sorry to use that adjective a 2nd time] 'shipping calculator' FAILS to calculate, even though it KNOWS the buyer's Zip.  The 'calculator' is an old tool and their "crack IT team" in the 3rd World Hell Hole still can't get that right. They're too busy bunging up other stuff.

Bottom line is that the THM will pork sellers any which way it can in the pursuit of illicit profits that obscenely enrich chuckleheads like The Hoe and his confidant and partner in crime, Devil Wingnut.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 08:55:50 2015

Just a note about prior post: this was meant as a comment on Ina's hoome page item today about The River & the Two-Headed Monster profiting from shipping costs. The link is sending comments to this thread in error.

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 09:28:08 2015

The issue of making money from FVFs is really tied into Ina's OTHER article on that upcomming webinar.

I (amongst others) sent Ina in info on it. I wouldnt register for it unless there was either a JD or DW dunk tank (real or virtual).

Of course its being run by 2 dumb @$$'$ from eBay MONETIZING dept. They claim these people are there to help sellers in some way - BS. They are ONLY there to put more money in eBays pocket, PERIOD.

I've said it here many times, as has RIC, MING, REXFORD, ANNIE, PHILIP and tons of others - eBay LONG AGO stopped being an ecommerce site.

eBay LOOKS like one, and mimics one - but its fundamental design was changed from being SALES oriented to an Advertising one.

As long as the State of California in all its corruption, cares more about other things - they have no time nor interest in investigating eBay.

eBay, after each micro step of intruding on a sellers turf feels emboldened. They take the mext step then the next step, each time chipping away more and more of a sellers rights.

eBay doesnt care about making sales - how many of us here really DONT make sales (like we used to)? Sure a large portion is the Obama economy - but its not ALL his fault. How can you make sales if your listings are HIDDEN?

eBay is transitioning itself step by step to not rely as much on FVFs, but on advertising, money from theft, side deals, back room deals, VERO abuse (VERO takes money to remove listings) and other NON FVF sources.

eBay can live with smaller sales - and they do. Wenigs done nothing in his time here, nor does he plan to.

eBay sales continually drop and not a word is said. Its all "business as usual" on eBay.com.

WHY? HOW? Because it doesnt matter how many sales they make - the money they pocket DOESNT COME FROM FVFs like it used to. It did with Pierre and Meg - thats why they pushed sales and made it easy for sellers to prosper.

So you leave? So I leave? SO we all leave? So what? What will happen if ALL of us who post here leave eBay? NOTHING.

The amounts of money we generate pale in comparison to the side deals eBay makes (like the ones they made with Monster and Skullcandy (not to mention others).

THAT is why eBay doesnt care if a buyer steals from you - there are no repercussions if a seller leaves because of it. There are NEVER repercussions to eBay because they are so large and because they donate LOTS of money to BOTH political parties.

eBay is out to ONLY help itself. The best thing any seller can do is sell on other platforms and on social media - heck even flea markets. Every penny you take away from eBay is a blessing and much deserved.

eBay is for eBay, not for sellers - dont believe what any of eBays 32,000 employees tell you.

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 09:28:25 2015

Roses so red Violets so blue fleabay knows what you want better than you..............

messed up so badly you cant find what you are looking for all I can see is jewelry because I use to sell it there

Example "new old stock" use to bring up all kinds of items that were vintage-antique still in new condition some with boxes I use to troll thru thousands of listings and buy things I liked now when I search that title all I get is jewelry related items I have enough jewelry do not need more no car parts I have to type in their catalog so many words then it narrows down the search to things specific to the search only key words no longer are functional

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: corpuschristi1956 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 09:47:45 2015

Once upon a time, eBay acted as though the buyer was privileged to be exposed to its sellers which put them above everyone else, now they act desperate by grasping at every hair-brain gimmick, seeking the same buyers that everyone else is seeking.

Then eBay had another idea; they decided to pretend that the buyer could do no wrong to their sellers so the buyers could have a great experience putting the screws to eBay's ungrateful merchants.

Then, they invited the suppliers (by which their sellers obtained their goods)to sell on eBay, ridding themselves of those fees that went along with retail and now they are facing the much smaller fees that come with wholesale prices brought in by China, India, etc. They said, ''we can solve this issue by charging shipping fees and forcing those nasty old sellers to pay for those fees.

Then, the eBay marketing division said to themselves, ''let's only promote companies that are already selling on Amazon and get rid of those nasty old small and medium size whining merchants that are selling goods that are used or different''. Now, we have Target, Overstock, Toys-R-Us and the list goes on! What a great idea! Maybe they will do so well that they will fold their very own websites and stop selling on other venues! What a plan!

And there you have it, today's eBay! No way to figure out where they messed up, no small or medium size sellers whining by telling them how to make it better, all of the same products and companies that are selling everywhere else are now on eBay too.

Devin, really? It can't be that hard to understand.

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 09:54:31 2015

The idiocy continues.

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 09:56:46 2015

Brilliant! This should enhance eBay's ability to morph cutting-edge synergies, benchmark mission-critical technologies, and envisioneer collaborative infomediaries, and soooo much more...

www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Aug 11 10:00:22 2015

New blog post is up now on the shipping issues - sorry for the delay.

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: Cindy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 10:02:25 2015

Sounds a bit discriminatory to me.  What next.. gender? religion? race? Why not let the buyers decide what the buyer wants instead of eBay tell them what they want. They just can't leave search alone and think it's so great that they have to patent it, trust me eBay, no one wants your algorithm.  

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Aug 11 10:08:26 2015

eBay wonders why sellers are abandoning the marketplace - their past hypocrisy and dishonesty ranks among the primary reasons.

For years, eBay preached the miracle of "free shipping" to sellers - knowing that when sellers jumped through that hoop it would increase eBay's bottom line.

When eBay found that they had exhausted the number of sellers willing to tow the line, eBay simply changed policy and started charging fees on shipping costs when those costs were not included in the selling price.

Compounding the issue, eBay imposed an extremely liberal return policy knowing they would be able to generate more profits at sellers expense when buyers return merchandise through eBay.

Adding insult to injury, as eBay found the need to generate even more revenue, the company has imposed yet another process whereby buyers are encouraged to start a return case even before they have received their order.

eBay's mindset that sellers have bottomless pockets which the company chooses to reach into at every opportunity is a major affront to their see paying sellers.

Sellers have grown weary of having the company reach into their pockets and tickle their ankles when all the while, excessive compensation packages are lavished upon those who do the tickling.

If they haven't already, I can imagine the day when eBay will award higher placement to those sellers who process their shipping labels through eBay and penalize sellers with lower search placement who might use third party postage providers.

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Aug 11 10:23:01 2015

I sell & ship in the USA only!

NO EXCEPTIONS

I even have to sign an agreement NOT to sell or ship my items out of the USA when I buy them.

90% of my items are US Military Surplus and can't be sold or shipped out of the USA

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: dibooks This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 12:44:43 2015

@Toolguy......and the point you are trying to make is?

Perminate Link for eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want   eBay Patent Tries to Guess What Searchers Want

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 13:04:00 2015

I just discovered ANOTHER set of items where NOTHING has sold since early JULY--now;  this is a small sampling as I can't run thru ALL categories on ebay but--finding TWO unrelated items on ebay that WERE selling--and selling WELL---and where ALL of the listed items SOLD==and then  suddenly STOPPED selling in the early days of JULY---well--something is not kosher here!  

Are we not SEEING all of the COMPLETED listings?  Are we not SEEING all of the actual LISTED items?  

I know that on both of these I have an item listed IN THOSE CATEGORIES--and my item's have not SOLD (altho Views seem very high!)  priced right---before that JULY "cut off"  these WOULD have sold according to what I see DID sell.

I am not a conspiracy person but--ya gotta wonder----

And on my recenlty Re-list / Edits I see that I am CONSISTENTLY being switched from WILL SELL INTERNATIONALLY to DOES NOT SELL INTERNATIONALLY--and I have to go RE-DO this on my listings by hand!  What a freakin' time and energy waste!

Of course--ebay must "think" I have nothing BETTER to do--after all I am NOT out sourcing new items and I am NOT out spending my non-exisitant ebay earnings!  

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