Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Jan 5 2017 13:24:00

Did eBay Changes to Search Benefit You?

By: Ina Steiner

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In a new blog post, eBay describes the benefits one of its sellers said she has seen from the changes eBay rolled out in 2016 - here are just two that the seller describes.

- New release search. "Any time a company puts out new items eBay highlights them."

It would be interesting to know what this refers to, exactly.

- Less friction in the search process. "The AI technology eBay rolled out ends up as less clicks or less "buying friction" for the shopper. If a buyer normally buys $5 paint brushes, for example, the AI is not going to show them $150 brushes. It shows you the one you're more likely to purchase and doesn't waste your time."

This can be convenient, but it can also hamper someone who really would like to see items they hadn't purchased before - perhaps they are shopping for a friend, or for a different project.

Let us know what you think of eBay changes in 2016, specifically the ones mentioned in the eBay blog post. And what changes would you like to see in 2017?




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Perminate Link for Did eBay Changes to Search Benefit You?   Did eBay Changes to Search Benefit You?

by: pennyemporium This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 13:36:22 2017

''It shows you the one you're more likely to purchase and doesn't waste your time''

actually, by NOT showing me items i am searching for, that is exactly a waste of time!  if i have to think up ways to get around new eBay roadblocks in search, that is a waste of my time.  

it would be a time savings if eBay would simply show me ALL the red paintbrushes and then let ME decide which ones i wished to purchase!

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

Thu Jan 5 13:57:02 2017

Confused and muddled thinking dominates in San Jose.

First they tell us buy and list cheap Chinese commodities yet refuse to apply the no identical listing policy to Chinese sellers which creates massive amounts of "buyer friction" and takes up  lot of server space.

Then they tell to list more expensive items which most buyers will never see because they don't buy "more expensive" items.

Is this new search algorithm telepathic?

Ebafia, stop playing deus ex machina and get back into the business of being "only a venue!"

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 14:08:37 2017


oh yea, much better search. hide the items that the buyer wants. real good job devil.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Jan 5 14:51:22 2017

I predict eBay will create more glitches and devise more idiotic disruptive innovations in the future. This is eBay's ''new'' version of the cookie cutter method of placing users in a one size fits all box.

Expanding, increasing, opening up, would be my definition of innovating and the proper use of AI. To me, limiting what one sees is close minded and would actually result in decreasing business overall. It really comes back to eBay showing/controlling what eBay wants buyers to see and what sellers they prefer to get sales.

All of this razzle dazzle makes eBay look good but it is all show. Appearance without substance for buyers and sellers.  

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by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 16:23:01 2017

Ebay has turned into one big Silicon Valley experimental ''laboratory'' used to test all these bizarre theories and algorithms...at our (sellers) expense.  I can't wait until someone creates AI that eliminates half of ebay corporate jobs...why don't they focus on that to boost the bottom line.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 18:09:57 2017

Nope hasn't affected us at all as we no longer shop on Ebay. Its a waste of my time to even think of it.

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by: strife This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 19:05:44 2017

After reading that article I can honestly say that either this person being interviewed is a tad on the daft side or this was simply a puff piece of propaganda that ebay is trying to sell as the truth.

Either way it was utter nonsense.

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 19:39:05 2017

Sounds like CantSeeMe on steroids! I don't think they've changed the basic algorithm at all; they're just trying to baffle you with BS.

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 20:28:16 2017

"If a buyer normally buys $5 paint brushes, for example, the AI is not going to show them $150 brushes."

This is pure stupidity. And if that is the case the a buyer can always search by price. DUH!  

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 21:55:47 2017

You'll have to pardon me, but WHAT CHANGES have occurred?

Things on the east cost (where things are the opposite of San Jose) are the same this year as last. And, changes are imaginary (if they exist at all.

Seems to me that it's all consumption for Wall Street, where eBay is trying (in vain) to get their stock above $30 a share.

Smart money STILL says Amazon is a better place ......

. In its most recent quarter, revenue increased 8% on a currency-neutral basis, and the company projects an increase of just 6-7% for the full year. By contrast, e-commerce sales in the US have been growing by about 15% consistently for the last few years, meaning eBay has been losing market share.  (No kidding - just ask any eBay seller!).

"Discussing the company's turnaround efforts, CEO Devin Wenig said, "We don't want to be like Amazon," a surprising comment from a company often thought of as second fiddle in e-commerce. Elaborating, he said that he'd rather the company sell a million unique items from its individual sellers than a million commodity items like Amazon does. While that strategy makes sense, the company has yet to prove it can be a source of sustainable growth.".  (Funny that's not what he just said!)(does he even remember saying just the opposite a few days ago?)

"eBay, on the other hand, shows little sign of emerging from its recent funk, and the company's core marketplace should continue to lose relevance as Amazon and other competitors make fervent strides forward.

Amazon is the better buy here."

'NUFF SAID!

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu Jan 5 23:04:05 2017

Smart shoppers do not buy with ''Best Match''- they use the eBay search tools (highest / lowest price, end date first, etc.).

Problem is that most shoppers do not take the time to research, just like those on Amazon who purchase the first Buy Box item they see.

Artificial intelligence is just that- it is used in an attempt to cram something down someone's throat which, most times, is not the best option.

If eBay can put an end to the hidden listings and rolling blackouts, this would benefit everyone by ensuring any listing could be always found in search. More than ''AI''.

Are they afraid a seller would rid themselves of inventory too quickly and the site would have ''empty shelves''??

Amazon is not perfect either, but as the news release today states (as reported by ECB), the number of sellers grossing a six-figure income has increased 30 PERCENT in the past year.

The site which shows all buying options to their customers, and does not hide their sellers merchandise continues to gain more market share than the Cassini search engine driven one.

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by: flybuy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 5 23:54:20 2017

Ebay sends emails all the time.  ''We saw you looked at this so we thought you might like that.''
This is getting tiresome.
Ebay's AI has no way of knowing if I am looking to buy or doing research for setting prices on things I want to sell.  

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by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 6 00:04:52 2017

Absolutely not. Sales have halved.
Ebay seems intent on committing suicide.

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by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Jan 6 00:39:50 2017

I am already making my back up plans.  Every time I search for something on eBay I see tons of Chinese sellers first.  Luckily I sell resale clothing so I don't have to compete with China.  My sales are next to nothing no matter what I try.  I think eBay is on it's death bed

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by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 6 00:56:46 2017

Not only search is useless, now you can't even just browse a category without getting uninteresting things that have been listed for months shoved in your face when you just want to see the latest items added to that category. Now you have to scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Show All button in order to see anything of interest. They just keep adding roadblocks that make the site less and less useful.  

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by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 6 01:36:52 2017

I hate the way they send emails that say "We found this just for you! Great deal, better hurry won't last." delete it's NEVER SOMETHING that i have purchased or desire to purchase I ve got some old things that are selling because suddenly we are in the 70s again!  They are one of a kind though...

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by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 6 01:45:28 2017

Made no difference for me. If anything, I am down another 34% according to Ebay's own logistics. Ebay, like Google, Microsoft and all the others SEO minded blanks blanks have decided to run on their own perception of what people want. If the economy is actually being run by so many mindless airhead sheep, I think we will see another economic crunch when it comes shearing time which is probably on a few years off.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri Jan 6 02:23:48 2017

Here is an example of eBay's AI. An email eBay sent me:

Almost gone.
Don't lose out,(name)
4 people watched this item in the last week and stock is limited.

This was MY item which happened to be one-of-a-kind and almost 50 years old. I didn't have 4 people watching this and it didn't sell when eBay sent the email last month. I relisted it and it just sold this week to a buyer in, of course, CA.

By the way, I had to retake all my photos of this item last month since all my previous photos became corrupted. I also re-wrote the entire listing.  

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by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 6 03:11:06 2017

Nope. My sales dropped 34% at the end of August. They have rebounded a bit to settle at about a 25% overall decline. However that is likely because I have boosted listings. Beginning August 21st, I noticed that traffic from outside of Ebay has dropped from about 20% of all views to less than 2% literally overnight. So my thinking is 1/3 of my sales came from outside of Ebay. They changed something and that piece of business is gone. The article alludes to changes at the end of summer. Sounds like those changes are the reason for the sharp decline. People aren't seeing items like they did before. I don't see any hint of my sales returning to their prior level unless I double my listings. But honestly I don't want to bother. I have pulled things back up after the Cassini roll out, the Google mess, and the security breach; now this. More work to complete listings with product identifiers, 100% feedback, 5 star ratings, 100% on time shipping, free shipping and one day handling time. It's not worth it anymore.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Jan 6 03:28:06 2017

They are way over thinking the searches.  They want to decide what we want to see and I want to decide what I want to see.  I have no need or desire for Ebay or any other site to tell me what I want.  

A more natural search is what I want.  It would be nice if Ebay would return that to us.  And what they could do to make our lives better when trying to search for stuff is give us more ways we can filter the search.

But it is MY decision on the filters, NOT Ebay's.

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