Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon May 23 2016 14:08:23

Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay buyers are reporting problems with their Saved Searches and Saved Search emails. On the Ecommerce EKG board, a reader explained that they have not been receiving Saved Search and Saved Seller emails for several months. 

While this is a chronic problem that goes back to 2013, eBay seems to have made a change at the beginning of the year that led to additional complaints from buyers on the eBay discussion boards - we found several discussions of this problem in early 2016.

As for Sunday's report on Ecommerce EKG, the reader explained:

"Have NOT received most "saved search" (and ALL "saved seller") emails for several months now. The site states that I am receiving the emails, but I am NOT receiving 95% of them (100% of saved sellers) even though there ARE new items posted in most of these search results every single day. I don't have time to manually search all the time. As a result, my buying has GONE DOWN 95%.  I would be buying if eBay were sending the emails as they claim they are. Going on for months now."

Another buyer wrote of a similar problem on Sunday on a thread on the eBay boards titled, "Some of my best book searches are broken now." The seller, who buys and sells hundreds of books on eBay a year, wrote on Sunday, "Creating useful searches are a powerful tool for me to find the books I want. Now at least 3 of my best searches are broken for antiquarian books."

In this case, the problem appears to stem from a change in Item Specifics. The buyer explained, "There used to be a printing year field that let you search on a range of printing years (e.g., 1800-1849). That field is gone now."

That will lead to hundreds of fewer purchases and bids a year on items, the seller explained, "because I can't find them anymore!"
 
Note that eBay changed its terminology in 2013 to "Searches You Follow" and "Sellers You Follow," though this has proven confusing and annoying to many people who still use the term "saved" instead of "follow." 

The reader who posted the EKG report also reached out to us via email and said the concepts of "feed," "following," "saved searches / sellers" was "extremely confused." He wrote, "I've been around the block more than a few times and if the differences in all of this - adding the fact that some aspects don't function - is confusing to me, it must be absolutely incomprehensible to many users."

Last year in response to a buyer who was experiencing problems with Saved Searches (Searches that You Follow), an eBay user explained another complexity:

"Your problem may be due to the way eBay stores and used your saved/followed searches. They are stored for you at the function off your My eBay page, and they are also stored on the landing page, where they are used to populate the feed. Removing a search from the area under My eBay will not necessarily remove them from the landing page area, and they will still be counted toward your total."

Getting shoppers to sign up to receive marketing emails that can induce them to bid and buy is a huge advantage that eBay holds over other marketplaces and retailers. It doesn't require an ad budget or SEO - all eBay has to do is make sure the functionality works!




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 23 17:06:50 2016

Sigh ... doesnt anyone ever learn?

Searches, saves, views, listings - NONE of them are BROKEN.

eBay shows you what IT thinks you want to see. Cassini was the WORST thing to ever befall eBay, worse the having JD as CEO, worse then Jordan Dumba$$, worse the opening call centers in the Philipeans ... the stupidities just keep on a commin'!

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 23 19:58:23 2016

I've not had a problem getting the emails (Saved Searches), and get 30-40 of them a day.  I would probably need only fingers to count how many days they've been absent in the last year or so.

Now, the CONTENT of what they're showing me in those Searches is quite a different story...

Ever since they got rid of wild-cards, most of my searches have been only about 30% as effective at getting to what I really want, not what eBay wants.

That's probably the real reason their lack of wild-cards is about the only Search on the planet to not use wild-cards.  Without being able to drill down further to weed out the ''chaff'' from our searches, we're going to see more of the crap that they're promoting.

I can think of one case in particular where I cannot improve the search to get rid of just ONE Seller's items (on Motors searches, unlike .com searches, we don't have the ability to selectively delete specific Sellers).  The item in question, he either has multiples of them (I've checked his completed and none of them has sold in the last several months), or he's just diddled the titles, but he's got anywhere from 5 - 15 auctions running at a time for the exact same item (despite eBay's rules and my reporting him).  While the item does have multiple fitments, he's broken each separate fitment out to a different auction, instead of listing all the fitments in one auction.  Since his sales don't seem to show this method has worked, he's wasting his money listing and my time wading past him.

Just another ''improvement'' from eBay...

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

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

Mon May 23 20:26:32 2016

I've had the same problem with some "saved sellers" emails for a long time, maybe a year or so; I initially assumed that the emails I was no longer getting were for sellers that had moved off eBay; then, one day, I looked at a few more directly and some of them where still selling (not all; some had no listings) ...

Once again, eBay demonstrates that you can rely on them to "fix" anything that is not already broken—LOL

And I notice that of recent times I can no longer put a current eBay item number into the eBay search field and get other than a zero result ...

Frankly, I no longer try to work around eBay's clunky site; if what I am looking for does not appear first time, I look elsewhere ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

Really, what's the point of persisting with trying to patronise these clowns?

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 23 20:39:42 2016

I rarely go past first search. Gives me what I do not want to see. It also depends on what time it is.
Theres a purge , by way of starvation. Unless your in a unique item , the same ole comes up. Its been going on for awhile now . My laptop can handle more than what is given. Vaio 64 bit kicks on other sites. Slow mo , & limited on deadbay.

Definitely intentional , by a-- clowns. I erased my searches months ago , when they became useless.  

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

by: marcello This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 23 22:34:38 2016

Every task on Ebay is an ordeal. The slowness of the site is enough in itself to put off buyers. I gave up on saved search emails quite awhile ago as it had become completely useless. Now they are blocking snipes??? As a buyer, I feel my every step is being thwarted by some technical BS over there. Ebay has become not worth the time and effort.

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon May 23 22:36:50 2016

Despise the term ''Sellers You Follow''. Gives me the creeps, like stalking.

Same goes for ''Searches You Follow'' but in an annoying way. It's more keeping tabs on you and data collecting where they literally hound you to death with the same searches over and over again.

Etsy started doing this when a year or two ago I was looking to purchase earring cuffs as a gift. Every email from Etsy now begins showing me several of these same cuffs probably from their preferred sellers. As soon as I see these earring cuffs the email gets deleted. Etsy's emails use to be interesting but now unsubscribing.

Sellers trying to research items to sell on eBay, especially hard to find items, are repeatedly shown ''similar'' items or one that did sell, at every turn. I have always wondered if my researched items up for sale were being disparaged somehow and not selling due to my researching and eBay's data collecting.

Have you ever searched eBay, Google and other websites and finally settle and buy it and then soon after are shown what you were looking for in the first place and at a better price? It's frustrating and just one more reason I don't shop as much online.

I do not want to follow and I do not want to be followed. It looks like the word ''save'' is no longer popular because now big data, the Cloud, Drive are ''saving'' it for you. How can you not feel followed?

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 24 01:18:02 2016

My pet peeve is that if you buy something expensive and a particular item that you would not want a duplicate because who needs two of the exact same jewelry pieces or purses or shoes?  After you buy an item and this has gone on for 2 or 3 years, eBay continues to send emails showing you more items of the item that you already bought  I guess they assume that you consume durable goods? Or prhaps they assume that you will  resell items that with fees and all else and the hassle factor with online selling that it would be profitable at all.

Worse though is when you search for something to buy that is unique or classic OR you are looking for a particular hard to find QUALITY items & eBay assumes they are the same as the Made in China replicas at a bargain basement price! everyone I talk to is so annoyed with this they just give up They could go to Walmart or a flea market and buy for less  What eBay thinks you like is not usually relevant to what you bought at all. If you like quality items that are more in stores why would you buy cheap imported items that you have no idea what the quality control method or standards are for that item? You could have it tested but who has the time or inclination to do that? eBay makes many incorrect assumptions. Noticed also that Jet.com has the same criteria for fine jewelry that eBay now uses. Stones can be real with with clad metals or base metals or metals can have a drop of silver or gold and fake stones or crystal and are considered fine This crowds the listings so you just hang it up and maybe go to a real auction.  

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

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

Tue May 24 03:22:41 2016

Yeah, I forgot to mention, newly listed items turn up, not simply once for the day they are newly listed but for multiple days thereafter. Why is this so? Have they not got enough new listings to generate the emails? Probably not ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 24 05:41:02 2016

@philip

I see the same thing in my emails, I figure that like you suggested it is a lack of new listings

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

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

Tue May 24 06:06:28 2016

Then there is that other irritation whereby when you look at any particular eBay item, ads for that item then literally follow you everywhere. What are these cretins trying to do? Drive people away?

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Tue May 24 09:35:51 2016

This irritating intuitive shopping/search crap is everywhere.  I went to an auto site to compare models in August of last year...it set off an avalanche of Auto dealers sending emails, robo phone calls and snail mail.  I bought the vehicle in August at one of the dealers in town who had NOT harassed me...the others are still 'after' me.  They know so much about me looking, but don't know I bought it?!?  Weird.

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Tue May 24 09:49:42 2016

As for the saved search emails...yes, mine have almost all disappeared.  They did send me an email about a year ago letting me know that since I wasn't buying anything as a result of one of the searches that they would be ending the associated email. Shrug. So I guess they did that to all of them.  Dumba$$es.

Out of sight, out of mind in my world.  

Even though the results were dismal and full of Chinese garbage, they did serve to remind me to go and search for those things in different ways now & then.  I think the last time I was on eBay was right after the Spring Seller Update release and before that....? Cannot remember.

The only thing I get from eBay now are reminders that my Sales Report is available...closed the Store down Dec 2015 and have listed nothing since...yet I get a report every month. SMH.  Keystone cops.

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue May 24 10:08:11 2016

@ Philip

I have no problem seeing listings when using just an item number.

Active listing or not. . .Are you sure you know what you're doing?

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

by: IFindBugs This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 24 10:20:51 2016

I am the original poster of the EKG item on this subject.

TO ''pace306'': I think you misunderstood what this is about. This is about ebay sending EMAILS of ''Searches you follow'' that are *SELLERS* (i.e. a search for a particular seller, not searches for stuff).  I DO receive emails for searches of ''stuff''.

TO ''dan parts'': I think you have a different misunderstanding of what I was saying.  I am not talking about running a search.  I am talking about receiving emails from ebay resulting from a saved search.  I do get emails resulting from saved searches for ''stuff''; I DON'T get any emails (since January 12 2015, yes 2015 with a five, I have just determined) specifically when the search is for a SELLER (i.e. the new items added by a seller since yesterday).  As an example, for a seller who has been virtually constantly active for the last couple of years (and before) and has been adding items every day, ''My eBay'' explicity says ''Receiving emails (Last sent Jan-12-15)'' -- I can provide a screen shot if you want.  So, I am not talking about running a search, I am talking about receiving emails of newly posted items.  However, to your point, the emails that I do receive (for new postings of ''stuff'', not sellers) are 100% on target.  Furthermore, when I run a manual ''stuff'' search, it is 99% on target.  The difference, for me, is probably that I am running ''stuff'' searches WITHIN particular categories and 99% of the time, there are plenty of items that match within that category, thus they don't have to wander into other possible results.

I hope this helps.

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue May 24 11:54:12 2016

@toolguy - I can always tell when you've been munching your pot brownies because you type really condescending stuff. I have no doubt that Philip Cohen knows more about eBay than you do.

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue May 24 14:14:23 2016

@iheartjacksparrow

Philip may indeed know more about ebay then I do, but he's not always right. Example: Searching by item number.

It's works for me, why not for him?
Does it work for you? Can you find items on ebay by their item number?

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue May 24 16:55:17 2016

@toolguy - How on earth would I be able to search by item number unless I knew the item number to begin with? And how would I know that unless I did a search for the kind of item that said number was related to?  

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue May 24 18:21:31 2016

I thought I read here that eBay was removing search-by-item-number for ended listings.  They'll still show up in the general ended items search.  Probably.

Also I haven't received a saved search e-mail for years.  I figure it's just another one of those real issues that will stay unfixed while they plod along sabotaging the rest of the site.

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue May 24 22:28:11 2016

@iheartjacksparrow

Let's say you and I are good friends. I found a gold widget for $5 and I know you love them!

I text you and say, have you seen eBay item xxxxxxxxxx. I think you would like it! Check it out.

That's how you get an item number for something you didn't search for.!

Perminate Link for Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails   Buyers Have Problems with eBay Saved Search Emails

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Wed May 25 01:30:17 2016

There's a number of good reasons why a search by one eBay Member doesn't match a search done by another. Maybe they're using different browsers, or different security limits on their firewall, or their ISP has throttled usage. It's an established tech fact that a search from one district or region is not mirrored hundreds of miles away by another user's search.

I can also say that today I searched for an item on eBay using a UPC copied from eBay's catalog. The search result was "0" which makes no sense at all. I searched the web using that same UPC and found NO hits on eBay but found plenty of hits at Wal-Mart, Amazon, and 2 dozen other resellers. Meanwhile, back on the eBay page where I'd copied the UPC from their were 6 more active listings for the same thing at the bottom of the page. When I checked those links each one had that same UPC showing in its listing. WTF.

I understand that the changes at eBay are a "work in progress" but WHERE'S THE PROGRESS?? Seems more like "Change Without Progress" I'm not personally interested in spending time and energy figuring out why eBay is dodgy. What eBay had a few years ago worked just fine in terms of Buyers and Sellers connecting and exchanging goods for money. What eBay is doing now is sticking its fork in the electrical receptacles and wondering why its Members are annoyed at the power outages.

It's loony tunes to believe that moving listing photos from  vertical columns to horizontal columns is an improvement. Yes, it's different, but so too would a contrasting colored font or skin be different. There's no money being made screwing around with furniture arrangement when the cafe door is locked and hungry customers can't get in.

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