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Mon Jan 27 2014 14:42:58

Strange Search Results on eBay

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I noticed something weird about eBay's search today. I was looking to purchase 6 rolls of clear packaging tape, 2" wide with 110 yards per roll. When I typed TAPE 110 2 6 in the search bar, I got a measly 16 results. When I changed the order and typed 6 TAPE 110 2 or 6 2 110 TAPE in the search bar, I got 447 results.

Does anyone have any ideas why?
M.




Comments (27) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

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

Mon Jan 27 15:09:34 2014

Maybe Hugh Williams spent too much time with his family before ebay terminated him.

The current search engines and algorithms have failed nearly everyone including ebay.

The Ho should be making plans to spend time with his family in their lovely new secluded multi million home on San Francisco Bay, and Devil Wenig should be given the guest room.

Show every C level Ho manager the door NOW.

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: Mr Mog This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 15:38:13 2014

Ebay will no longer yet you just search for stuff you want. You can only search for stuff they think you want even when you don't. Welcome to the new improved ebay search. We are TELLING you that you want widget X even though that's not what you searched for. We know what you want, you don't. Ebay logic for 2014

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

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

Mon Jan 27 15:50:27 2014

For “TAPE 110 2 6” I get 16 hits; for “6 TAPE 110 2” I get 366 hits; for “6 2 110 TAPE” I get 364 hits …

The cause of the limited finds for the first search string is the “110 2” combination which is being taken literally (with the word space) and finding the “(Fits: 110 2006)” in those only 16 found listings …

I would have thought that one of the basics of search strings is that, unless such a search string is within quotes, any word spaces would be ignored; but this is eBay, and this is simply one more example of eBay’s clunky programming …

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Jan 27 16:24:46 2014

Contact the eBay search people.

They'll get right back to you on it as soon as they figure out Cassini themselves.

Cassini is the eBay equivalent of a Rooseveltian PWA project.

Cassini was begun as a make work project for propeller heads and assorted San Hose-A microcephalics.

It was never designed to actually function.

Sorta like Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose. Engineered and constructed to deliver bragging rights only.

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

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

Mon Jan 27 17:09:41 2014

"We talk and listen to customers, but for this kind of innovation, customers don't always know what they want." - John Donahoe (26 Sep 2007) ...
[So, there it is, Johnny Ho knows better than you what you want ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg]

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Jan 27 17:35:48 2014

I've found that the 'search' is also sensitive to a following blank. Searching for ''my toy'' versus ''my toy '' (no quotes used) will return two different sets of results.

It depends on how the search field is defined, as whether trailing blanks are allowed.

The other head scratcher is if you reverse words you get a different result too.

Who writes their code anyway? If Wall Street programmers did this type of work we'd be in the poorhouse by now.

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jan 27 21:34:46 2014

Let's look at this from a different angle.

Experienced eBay users have learned that they have to fiddle, cajole and coax eBay's infamous Can't See Me Search Engine in order to stand a chance at finding what they are looking for.

The bigger problem here is the fact that new eBay users will enter search terms and assume that what they see is all that is available to them.

When results come back limited as and choices are few as the OP experienced above, new users will not fiddle with search terms because they believe eBay is showing them all that is available.

This illustrates why eBay is unable to grow sales at a rate consistent with e-commerce growth.

This explains why eBay lags behind Amazon.

As obvious as these facts are, eBay management is unable to wrap their heads around the concept - which explains why John Donahoe's 3 year turn around plan is still not finished and still not showing results after nearly seven years.

eBay has been revising search since John Donahoe joined eBay and the results are underwhelming at best.

Big data built into Can't See Me is failing miserably and marketplace sales are floundering at best so let's scrap that too.

Here is an idea for John Donahoe to ponder during his next 'thinking day'...

Bring back the old search algorithms - they worked just fine for everyone and eBay was growing almost uncontrollably.

Now, don't tell everyone they are the old search algorithms but instead, name them something new like Orion, Jupiter or whatever... With the change restore time ending soonest to be the default search method.

Buyers will now have search results that offer them tons of choices, and with time ending soonest as the default results display, eBay will return to the days when impulse buying helped sales skyrocket.

The results of this change could hardly be worse than the fetid mess eBay's search results are today.



Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 23:29:59 2014

Se if eBay didnt want to hurt the small seller, they'de just outsource he search to google (like alot of other manufactorers do)(why reinvent the wheel - google search works?)

BUT .... eBay is more interested in manipulating the search (eBay 2 yrs ago @ CES in Vegas as reported in TWICE - where they openly said hey were going to manipulate search to their prefered partners). Why go straight when you can comission a crime? (charge people for something you dont deliver, tell people that search is honest when its not ect).

rule #1 - 99.9% of everything eBay does boaders on illegality, criminality and is fraught with fraud and deception.... THATS wy your search didnt work.

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 27 23:54:43 2014

somebody just ordered my 6 week delivery item & wants it by Tues!  Obviously she searched on "Immediate shipping"!
Another lost sale!  Sigh

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: Mimi This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 28 00:03:26 2014

I'm still upset at the loss of the wild card asterisk - every day I think about selling again since I have SO much stuff that is actually selling well on ebay, but I don't know if I can handle all the BS. They keep throwing things against the wall hoping it will stick. I've worked for companies like that and the end result is not pretty.  

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 28 00:08:57 2014

It's ebay ...............

Totally screwed up and getting worse if that's possible.

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 28 00:38:27 2014

To the OP---

Try typing your search into GOOGLE.  

Things that are ON ebay will show up THERE----

When they don't show up ON ebay

Because--ebay can't be BOTHERED to actually SELL you something on their SALES site

Many things show up on Google that are actually listed ON ebay but even if you search ON ebay they will NOT show up.  

Have to wonder why Google just doesn't open it's OWN auction and sales site.

Cause they already KNOW what we want.  

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 28 01:44:07 2014

I have to now resort to searching google or bing to find more search results for what I am looking for on eBay because I can never find enough listings of what I'm looking for when I use eBays search. Sometimes my google or bing search takes me to eBay for that item which seems to be the best way to search for me now; I get more eBay links through google and bing than I do on eBay! So funny how eBay's search is completely broken. I searched for twine the other day and got all kinds of Chinese charms!&$#@#!? I got so frustrated I had to go back to the google and bing search engines again! Sounds like google search will be affected also soon because not every business will be able to afford to pay google for their search visibility. Guess we should all be just using bing!

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

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

Tue Jan 28 02:13:09 2014

If I do not feel a site is open and transparent - I do not shop there. eBay is one of those sites.

The search engine is obtuse, lacks transparency, and you never feel like you got "all" but only "some" of what is available.

They lost me as a customer - along with a huge chunk of the rest of the population.

Given the issues - why do people even both to shop there anymore?

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 28 02:25:29 2014

I agree why shop there due to all of the issues. However, I still find myself checking it out because many times I can still get what I need cheaper there than some place else. That's the ONLY reason. I have a business and have to save as much as I can for bulk supplies. I do search other places for what I need too and compare prices. However, I could just pretend eBay no longer exists and I would still survive so I guess with that note I should consider all different sources. Maybe everyone else will start to think this way too and eBay will finally refine itself into something it should be and once was; or was it ever? After all what it is now is the direct result of the foundation it was built on. I guess it never was that great to begin with then, the foundation is just more transparent now in getting by with what they do because they keep getting away with things; one more reason to forget about it. Thanks for getting me thinking!

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

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

Tue Jan 28 05:58:31 2014

Don't worry, as eBay gets closer to the sewage farm, items will get even cheaper for buyers; not too good for the sellers thought ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jan 28 07:29:38 2014

I searched for men's blazers recently.  My results were mostly winter coats, and very few blazers.

Search is broken.  eBay only want to show a buyer what eBay THINK they want, not what the buyer ACTUALLY wants.

Keep relying on algorithms and machine learning eBay.  Buyers will go elsewhere to find what they are actually looking for.

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 28 07:29:59 2014

Google organic search is a garbage scow. Great if you wish to find a local restaurant that has been closed for two years. Or an item that has been sold on Bonanza 18 months ago. Sponsored ads for items you haven't searched for or the advertiser doesn't have. Such wonderful utility.

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 28 08:00:08 2014

Don't we need to know if eBay makes a space between terms an "and" or an "or"? I work on a search platform that uses an exclamation point the way the rest of the world uses an asterisk--and it's a HUGE online site.

Strange Search Results on eBay   Strange Search Results on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Jan 28 08:19:57 2014

I have arm wrestled with eBay's search bar to get it search for what I entered, not something else. On the other hand it started putting a couple of common variables that I use right below the search bar when I do a routine search. I DO use those variables that the machine picked up from my habits.

Same auto-fill problems with Google. This weekend I had more than one instance when searching Google that changed my words to something completely different and took off searching before I could change their suggestion.  It is even worse on their mobile versions.  

Recently, it changed a search to something rather risqué.  Not sure in these ''big brother-over-the-shoulder'' days that I want Google searches I did not order on my ''record''.

I miss the not-too-distant ''old days'' when searches were user friendly on these sites.

Some recent articles I've read are about computer learning where the machines '' learn'' & become smarter. If auto-filling search fields based on one or two letters is any indication of such ''learning'',  humans shouldn't have to worry for awhile.

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