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Wed Jan 9 2019 13:54:54

Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids and Fewer Sales

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina, 
I have seen a trend lately, specifically in the sports card categories, of auctions not only getting much lower than bids than normal or fixed priced items (examples include cards or sets that are in a $30-$50 range on a daily basis with multiple sales at fixed or even some auctions, to other auctions going under $10 or even getting 1 bid at 99 cents while some fixed priced just sit, the same days). 

The sports card category receives heavy action in terms of volume being listed and selling, especially on new product.

I have been running searches for items, and often eBay will show 0 for sale, yet 5 minutes later it shows 4-5 for sale. This is happening with my own items that have been listed a day or two. 

Sometimes I can't find them, or other times, my item will show up below the blue line that sometimes reads "Results matching fewer words" or "Similar items" or even "Items from International sellers" which I am not.

Anyhow I attached a screen shot from 7:40am eastern 11/5/2018 of just some of what I am seeing.

This screenshot is of completed items, and as you can see, it shows 0 results, yet shows the exact item I am searching twice under "Results matching fewer words". Yet if I change the search from "2018 topps update 150 miles" to "2018 topps update miles 150", they show up correctly. 

However when I run the search for current items, eBay says ZERO results found. Yet, there are currently THREE listings on eBay for this item, and all 3 listing titles use the exact five words in my search. 

Sure, there are various ways to find the items I am looking for, but my point is that eBay users don't always type words in a certain order, nor have they been trained by eBay on how to run various searches. It should not be this way; it certainly didn't use to. 

If I search keywords, the items should populate...all of them!

The app is also a big mess when it comes to search, but that's another issue.
Thank you,
B.

Comments (23) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Wed Jan 9 14:38:13 2019

ebay's search has been broken for 11 years and has only gotten worse with this catalog disaster.  It favors large sellers and the Chinese leaving small sellers in the gutter.

Find another place to sell. ebay is not your friend or your partner.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jan 9 15:14:55 2019

eBay's search works great for me!

Never had a problem finding what I want to buy.

The above search would yield better results if it was proper:

@NoMoreEbay

I don't buy or sell chinese stuff so the chinese have very little affect on my eBay. . . .

Miles 2018 Topps Update 150, 24 results.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 9 16:11:50 2019

Please stop defaming the worlds GREATEST tech company????????

Dumb lawyers + el cheapo IT = crappy search

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: UB This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 9 16:54:41 2019

Our sales have dropped off in the last month because all of our listing shave been "buried" to the end of the search results. I have called Ebay several times over this explaining the drop in traffic and impressions as well as the sales data. They assigned a ticket # ten days ago when I called where the software enginneers etc would look into to it. It doesnt matter if I relist them they still show up at the end and so on. Today, I called again on the status and the woman asked for my ref # which I gave her and she says so this is in regards to a promoted listings issue. I completely lost it and went off on her for a minute telling her what the problem is and requested a to talk to a supervisor. Supervisor came on and explained it to him. I instructed him to look at traffic, impressions and sales date which shows the drop. He took the item number of what was my top seller and did some research. After a minute, he says ok I see there is a problem. I am going to do a hard reset of your account as you have a good amount of listings. I will also send this to the engineers to have them look into it and he gave me a reference number. He said wait a week or so and see if my listings show back up in the listings like they were prior and if sales improve. I told him I want to talk to him again if this doesnt fix the issue since he is involved, he said when I call back to give the rep the reference number and ask that they email him which he will call me when he receives the email. He has been the best so far I have dealt with and I just had a sale. Hopefully, things will can get corrected as sales are down over 70% compared to SPLY.  

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster
Web Site

Wed Jan 9 17:47:32 2019

UB Said, ''After a minute, he says ok I see there is a problem. I am going to do a hard reset of your account...''

Fascinating. So the eBay rep was apparently able to identify something wrong' with your account? Did he describe what was 'wrong'?

Also, what is a 'hard reset' of an account, exactly? Is that supposed to clear all your listings' search history and placement back to neutral/baseline as though they were fresh, newly listed?

Half the time I suspect these reps just make crap up just to appease upset customers and get them off the phone.

I also suspect eBay is struggling to tweak Cassini's heuristics to accommodate cataloged items.

There is no doubt in my mind many of the recent search glitches are a result of eBay ghosting listings to provide better conversion for Wenig's favorite cash-cow - PROMOTED LISTINGS.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Wed Jan 9 18:14:50 2019

Go to the search bar and type the following two searches and learn just how stupid this company is.

apple watch 2 42mm

apple watch series 2 42mm

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: UB This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 9 20:22:41 2019

@Fidomaster He saw the drop in impressions on my best item as they are down over 80%. This item has been number 1 or 2 out of 3000 listings for the last 2.5 years until about a month ago when it and the rest of my listings were buried to the end of searches. He said he was doing a hard refresh of all my listings to "help traffic and placement." Time will tell if my sales will get back to normal levels if they do not I will be calling over and over.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Wed Jan 9 21:13:41 2019

Apparently the new catalogue thing is taking hold, too.  I posted a bunch of listing the usual way I have in the past, in collectibles, without going through the error-ridden catalogue.  NONE of them showed up in the searches, no matter how I typed in the keywords.  Even searching by the exact title, it didn't show up.  

I tried killing off one of the listings and started over in Auctiva using Find Product in the catalogue.  Listed it and it showed right up.  Killed off the others I had made and relaunched through the catalogue.  All came up in search, right near the top.  

Luckily I was checking out their placement, or I would have just presumed they would show up like they used to.  Don't really know how long that was hindering my listings.  Maybe depended on the category.  If your listings are invisible, you might want to try that catalogue approach, as distasteful as it is.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: RavenNightMyst

Thu Jan 10 09:31:17 2019

It doesn't help sales when at least 50% of all search results from seller's listings come back with zero results in ''See other items'', and zero results shown in all categories in ''Visit Store'', yet when you scroll down in the listing, under ''People who viewed this item also viewed'', you see several listings by the same seller. Clearly, many listings are hidden. One seller told me she had over 100 listings, and could see them all. Unfortunately, her buyers cannot. Again today, more than two months after purchasing items from her, and 13 other sellers I have purchased from, I get the same results, Zero listings across the board. I've reported this to sellers and eBay for at least two years, but nothing changes.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: JusTrains
Web Site

Thu Jan 10 09:41:42 2019

@NoMoreeBay

Ok, I know what you're trying to say but honestly, that's not a fair example. Yes, it shows two differing search streams but that would be expected without further qualifiers such as 'Series' so that doesn't mean it's "stupid". eBay is stupid for so many OTHER reasons, but on this one, I can't agree with you.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: eastwestphoto This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Jan 10 09:51:56 2019

The eBay search system, is obsolete. It was complicated by the Clarissa program asking a search system to search titles, descriptions, categories, opens up the system to too many mistakes. Unfortunately sellers don't do their homework very well they don't list correctly. Having an automated system with a i just picks up those mistakes and then returns them as searches. As a result for 4,000 searches come back at you I may be 100 are exactly what you're looking for. This is the big problem with eBay. And directly responsible for no sales to Sellers and no profit to eBay and I don't know why eBay hasn't figured this out

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: JusTrains
Web Site

Thu Jan 10 09:56:02 2019

I have notice a couple of things of trying to find very specific items.

FIRST, I have sometimes had to go to other eBay country sites to find items not showing up on .com. Sometimes, when I do find something, I check the seller's other items... and come up with ZERO, which is nonsense cuz I KNOW he has at least ONE item - the one I'm looking at! So, I'm getting blocked to viewing his items and/or his page.

SECOND, is that the bidding on certain items can be noticeably absent on occassion for same type items. Last week, I finally won a OnePlus6 cellphone from seller hansmk206 for $380 plus $12 shipping. Normally, these are at LEAST $500+ ...however, by the way, he sent me an invoice promptly for the item but upped the shipping to $23. I sent numerous messages asking to correct the invoice pr explain and rec'd no response. When I started a unable to contact seller resolution, he quickly replied that ...well, yadda-yadda-yadda he resold the phone at a higher price! I AM STILL FURIOUS... and eBay won't do anything except under buyer protection refund my money - which seller still has. I told them NO - I want the phone or I want the seller hung! Or his contact info so I can go after him in small claims... but eBay supervisor cited privacy concerns to no comply. Mind you, if I had failed to pay foir the item I would get a strike against me... but the fraudulant U.S. seller is protected here.

So that's the fallout from a tranaction that came out of a low search result! Plus what ever else you can take away from crappy sellers and crappy eBay help!!!

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: toyman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 10 10:00:06 2019

Ebay will ALWAYS show your listings, when YOU search for the item, because it recognizes your computer IP address.
For a TRUE read, go to your local library and log in to eBay as a Guest and see the real life results of what they are actually showing and if your items are buried or not.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: SoniaD This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 10 10:34:32 2019

I've reduced my selling on eBay to zero so can't speak from that standpoint, but just yesterday I ran a search for something I'm occasionally looking for.  ''US only'' was the only filter I added.   I got 467 results.  Looking at the first 40, about half were made of melamine and I wanted the ceramic version, so I reran the search as before but adding '' -melamine''.  And got 876 results!  

Yes, something is SERIOUSLY off with eBay search.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Thu Jan 10 11:21:54 2019

@JusTrains

'apple watch 2 42mm' should return every listing with these four words and any additional words in the title. Not exclude listings with these four words that also have the word 'series' in them.

To say otherwise defies common search logic. I'm curious to know what it is you don't agree with?

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 10 11:24:46 2019

Whatever it was they did - so far it's been a Crappy New  Year! 3 sales this month????? This is normally a good time of the year for sales.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: ChristyM This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 10 11:48:57 2019

@FidoMaster

I am sure eBay just told the seller that to get them off the phone.
There is no such thing as a "hard reset"  what the CSR is referring to is really a "bulk edit".  This is where you go to your active listings, check all, edit all selected, "change nothing" and then submit.  This is just a tactic to get sellers off the phone. It does not do anything at all!  

I do this once every three months, does it help NO! eBay wants us to believe it does because they can't seem to get their own site to work properly. We need an eBay platform reset switch that will undo all the changes eBay has made since 2015 when all the craziness started, and sales started declining.  Pretty bad that sales in 2015 was at $100,000.00 and as of 2018 it is $42,000.00.  

(To hear eBay talk everything is industry standard with the changes being made I call BS!!!!) Show me proof, that a big box store will allow you to by X wear it for 30-60 days decide they don't want it. Contact the big box store and say I'd like to return this, the big box store send buyer a free label to return this at the big box store cost and the buyer gets a FULL refund.  It does not happen that way and we all know it!  

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster
Web Site

Thu Jan 10 11:51:23 2019

Sponsored listings are indeed ''promoted listings''; for their infinite wisdom eBay decided to name them differently depending on the public-facing (sponsored) site vs. seller tools (promoted).

As smart as renaming ''markdown manager'' to ''Sale Event + Markdown'' and ''TRS+/Top Rated Seller Plus'' listings to ''TRP'' listings - changes that only serve to unnecessarily confuse and obfuscate while most users still use the ''old'' names...
~~~~~~~

Agree that eBay significantly manipulates search results and listing display when viewing your own items while signed-in.

Just use a Chrome 'incognito' or FireFox 'private window' session (and if you still use Internet Explorer...bless your heart) with the following simple eBay URL syntax:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/[ITEM NUMBER]

This will show you the ''People who viewed this item also viewed'' banner at the *top* of the listing, and depending on your settings, category, and competition, often between 12 and sometimes 30+ competitor listings in various other cross-promotions in the various boxes at the bottom of your listing.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 10 11:53:30 2019

@Sonia

I've seen that same craziness with searches for "star wars figure" 120k results, and "star wars action figure" 240k results.  One would think that adding words to the search would give fewer results, not more.

Perminate Link for Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an   Seller: eBay Search Problem Leads to Lower Bids an

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Thu Jan 10 11:57:46 2019

Fewer search keywords should bring up MORE, not fewer listings, but his has been going on for such a long time, eBay has to be aware of it and deliberately choose to leave it that way. I used to do a lot of buying on eBay but not any more because I can't find anything. My only success is looking at my Saved Seller listings - really no luck at all finding listings using search keywords.  

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