EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Mon Oct 20 2014 12:37:50

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Search Results

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
eBay indicates that being a TRS will get you more Exposure in the Top 10%! I have been a TRS for many many months. I jumped through every hoop, made changes to my listings, tried everything possible. Spent countless hours doing this. My sales continue to spiral down hill!

When that happens, I always check my items on eBay! I always find that my items are not receiving any exposure! Some days they do receive exposure (usually after outages). This I believe is due to eBay losing control of the reigns it utilizes.

This is what I mean: I have 25 items listed within a Name Brand Polo Shirt. When I go to eBay and search, a total of 3772 of that item comes up.

None of my 25 show up in the top 10%. 3 Show up in the top 30%. The crazy part is that out of 19 pages of 200 items, 12 of my items end up on the last 3 pages! What the Heck?? Dead last! We know they usually never get seen on Mobile apps!  This is why my sales are falling! No Exposure! CS doesn't have any answers as usual!

I feel as if I work hard to jump through eBay's many ridiculous hoops, for what?? Dead Last?

I want answers! I pay eBay more every month than my mortgage! I deserve to know why. When does anyone start to hold eBay accountable for the deceit and empty promises?  

I have been studying this since Cassini, and find this to be the pattern. When I get exposure my sales are great. Unfortunately, my exposure is very occasional.

Is Cassini not working properly or is it eBay controlling it? When I do have a great sales day, most of my sales come from a few states. Coincidence? I doubt it! I believe in Miracles but not repeated coincidence.

Signed,
Deceived and Weary




Comments (32) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 20 14:18:11 2014

Brother, it is all a scam now.
Massachusetts Howler

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 20 14:20:00 2014

Ebay has picked up our buyers bad ways instead of picking up their sellers good ways.
Massachusetts Howler

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Oct 20 14:43:23 2014

@Deceived and Weary - You must know that eBay's TOS state they don't have to show your listings, no matter what you pay. Plus it sounds like you are experiencing the well-known "rolling blackouts." Do yourself a favor and use the money you give eBay each month for minimal exposure and few sales and invest in your own web site and advertising for same.  

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 20 16:02:25 2014

@deceived and weary
this is nothing new, when "rolling blackouts" were being discussed on the boards many years ago, there were many skeptical people.  Well I think now there has been a 100% conversion rate.
Just search for a particular item in 2 different browsers with 2 different ids, you will get different results. Hard to even search completeds and determine a competitive price.
I've had relatives tell me "you only have 4 items for sale?" and that
is when they go directly to my store.....I have almost 800 items...

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: Cyclestripper This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 20 17:55:06 2014

The whole point of Cassini was to manipulate search results. The question many of us have always asked is WHY?.

IMHO, it is done to conserve resources under the guise of improving the buyer experience. Something that sells slowly for a period of time gets demoted to the point of completely disappearing from search results.

It may also have something to do with ebay failing to meet targets set in contracts with platinum sellers.

Or it may just be the usual errors that constantly show up in ebay program design.

I don't know but I do pricing searches almost every day and either nobody is selling what I am trying to find a price on or search is hiding things. What I typically sell is fairly slow moving but should not be uncommon. To find only two listings for something I am trying to list (motorcycle parts) is inconceivable.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 20 18:56:59 2014

eBay has admitted these things (spot on iheartjack) to me many times - under the guise of "its not fair to other smaller sellers if the same top 10-20 people get all the sales, so we try to be fair"

Of course thats %100 BS since you arent getting what you pay for - exposure.

ebay covers themselves with their TOS and virtually dares anyone to contest it in court (its called a shrink wrap license).

So far no one has challenged them on this and other illegal policies - but thats because JD knows the Big O in DC and JD and co give lots of money to lots of politicians.

Selling on ebay used to be like being blind, while carrying a 100 pound weight in a minefield - you are lucky if you make a sale - ie dont get blown up.

But since JD came on board - its like a crooked poker game played in the grimy basement in Chinatwn - run by the triads. Even if you do win, you will get jumped in the alley going home.

THAT is the ebay experience .. unlesss you are a beloved or a platinum seller - in which case you can have 1100 negatives (seller DATAVIS) and nothing will happen to you.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 20 20:04:55 2014

I spoke to cs this weekend, about their new resolution center and fvf request for mutual.
Anyways, I thought I would ask about returns, the new policy that things can be returned in "any condition" he said they had asked a few of the big sellers if they were ok with this and they said yes.  I also said, you must realize that this "new" ebay is not working, you can see by the drop in the stock price, I said someone at Bloomberg said it was one of the worse managed companies. His answer was "yes, that's why we're making changes, and being tougher on the sellers, we want them to be a business" (?)  
It's Twilight Zone territory now when you call cs.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

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

Mon Oct 20 23:35:41 2014

They always blame the sellers never their own incompetance - rolling blackouts are the norm' here in Oz and a system error if you make sales which they swiftly correct with another blackout.

They have the nerve to decide sellers need to behave like a business - talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

I know of no other business that treats it's paying customers so poorly.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 20 23:38:50 2014

I have had a HUGE drop in sales for over a year as a top rated seller successfully selling all unique handmade goods since 2008. I am sure my status will drop soon because of the lack of exposure which controls my status; because w/out sales I will eventually not qualify. This way eBay gets out of having to keep paying the 20% power seller discount. I already noticed a few days ago that I went from 20% discount on shipping labels to now 18%. So far my listing discounts are still 20%. I have not changed anything I have been doing other than comply with their ridiculous rules; which contradict allowing me to be my own business. I have not seen eBay as a good place to sell on for quite a few years now since it has continued to get worse. I now just look at it as a dangerous place to sell especially after reading that eBay chooses not to remove security risks in their UK shops, so then why would they here. How much I choose to put up with is the question, and at what cost? To the point my identity is stolen because they say the risk is too low? They need more than new management; they need a complete over haul and a new name. eBay no longer supports the small seller; that's why it is so expensive for us, so why stay.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 20 23:42:53 2014

The CSR's at this point are flying blind I believe.  I am not sure they even have the old scripts ebay used to have on-screen.
.

Now it sounds like they are groping around looking on the screens and coming up with-nothing.  So--they make this crap up.  They parrot back EVERYTHING you say---it's like being back in my second grade French class.  

Only we had better comprehension.

I feel sorry for them in a way but---

I had to call a DIFFERENT companies Help Desk and the clerk for some reason felt he had to confidentialy explain to me that I was NOT getting the ACTUAL COMPANY on the phone--in case I thought I was chatting with the CEO I guess--but I was speaking to a CALL CENTER.  In Texas.  At least it was in--Texas.

So I suspect that CSR is not a job most would aspire too.

Sheesh.

This IS the future--and I am scared.  

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

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

Tue Oct 21 00:41:03 2014

Donahoe has stated he wants to see zero growth and will manipulate market to see that it happens. What???

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: WhatWas This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 00:42:06 2014

Yep, exactly my experience to a T!
''eBay indicates that being a TRS will get you more Exposure in the Top 10%! I have been a TRS for many many months. I jumped through every hoop, made changes to my listings, tried everything possible. Spent countless hours doing this. My sales continue to spiral down hill!''

We used to sell through 40-60% every week w/ auctions starting at $24.99! $10-$15K per month. Now crickets or should I say peanuts!

Statistically, it's impossible to sell 5-10 BIN items in 2 days into just a couple of states and nothing for two weeks then another group of sales to a different geographic area/states. Rinse and repeat every other week or so. Same ratio with questions too.  

I think they are so screwed up they can't control all of the disparate aspects of their platform - geo targeting, Cassini, server load balancing, and who knows what.

Imagine a large multi departmental meeting with eBay rank and file staff arguing ''What is the Best Match algorithm for too many Polo Shirts in Wisconsin or not enough motorcycle carburetors in AZ - then the server balancing team chimes in - not our problem you send us the content/items and we evenly distribute all categories everywhere, perfectly. And so goes the meeting for an hour or so with nothing getting fixed. Then, off to the Chinese Buffet for lunch they go, with no accountability. And the Ho, MIA = staff ''who cares, its just a house of cards!''

eBay is a huge mismanaged cluster, and the Ho knows it and is planning his exit $trategie$. Everything in his world is just wonderphukingful, to the tune of countless million$, thank you very much.

Money talks, the guy with the gold wins, golden handcuffs, golden parachutists.
Rank and file sellers...forgetaboutit no golden anything.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 01:57:21 2014

Mismanaged is right. When you tamper with a search engine it's *very* difficult to get real answers.

That's what they have done, made a search engine that is designed to show the items of the ''preferred'' sellers, to the detriment of the rest of us. So your sales are down, my sales are down, and everyone else's sales are down.

I am pretty sure *no one* is particularly happy with sales on ebay today.  Not the mega sellers, not the platinum triple-A national accounts, nobody likes what ebay is producing now.

It's a shame really, because ebay used to be the only place you could find some types of items. It was the ebay advantage. You can't find that thing anywhere else.  

Now it's a place where you can't find anything worthwhile at all.

And that affects everyone.

I would not want to be a stockholder. Or a seller dependent on ebay, it's just not there anymore.  

And as some of you might remember, I have sold two million dollars on ebay.  It took a long time to do it, but I did it.  If I had to sell another two million dollars, I think it would take me 15 or 20 years.  

I really don't have the time. It's dead. No one can fix it.  

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: Small Guy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 10:42:03 2014

Speaking of ''Ebay search''.  I typed in ''Old Jenny Lind Concert ticket''.  Among the items that came up were a wooden trunk, Frank Zappa ticket stub, and a picture of a live melon on a vine.

Ina, maybe you ought to have a contest for the funniest things that show up on Ebay search.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: VeryGoodVintage This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 10:53:11 2014

Have you checked your ''Selling Reminders'' on your ''Selling'' Page lately? Over the past several weeks, I've been receiving a ''reminder'' that all of my items need to be updated to receive Top Rated Seller Plus status. When I click on it the information says that I need to update my return policy, (not the one that goes into effect 11/1, the normal 14 day one)even though the ebay dictated return policy IS in the listing. I called ebay customer svc. about it 2 weeks ago and was told that it is a problem that the tech dept. is working on. I said to the woman that if the system is saying I don't have it listed and the ''system'' uses this to get me a better place in search, etc then its a lose- lose for me. She had no comment. Here it is 2 weeks later, getting same ''reminder''. I guess ''tech'' has bigger fish to fry although it doesn't seem like they are ''frying'' anything!

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 10:57:35 2014

everyday things get worse. Today I woke up to a yellow flag on my "uploaded/tracking within 1 day" Now, I ALWAYS ship within 24 hours, including Sat. I take my packages to the Post Office personally, stand in line, and get them scanned in and I have a receipt. Never had a complaint from a buyer, and haven't had a "where's my package in over 2 years"I don't know what's going on, but frankly now, I don't care! Since I'm not going to 90 day returns, it won't matter, I'm probably going to "no returns"  Not jumping through more hoops.
Who knows......sales might improve!

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: Sorbet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 12:04:12 2014

Surely there will be a long-overdue investigation and the search manipulations will be found out.  This is big time fraud and probably why there is an even quicker exodus of eBay execs and BoD members than sellers.  Even if they think their shrink wrap User Agreement protects them, they have manipulated and controlled auction results which is illegal.

I feel that the manipulation of listings in each format is multi-layered - for example, your listings can be hidden or spread thinly due to number of like items as others here have described, but  sellers can also be targeted by defects (didn't eBay admit this as the rationale for implementing this horrid scheme - so that buyer experience would not be negatively affected by "defective" sellers?), whether they opt in to eBay programs, whether they are selling or not (damned if you do, damned if you don't), and on and on in layers dropping you further down in the search or hiding you altogether. Cassini can root out all the info that eBay perceives as negative - which for their purposes can mean  innocuous things as "competing with diamond sellers", "received message from buyer", "won't accept 1/4-yr. returns".

The hidden listings aka rolling blackouts are analogous to selling limits.  Neither makes sense when we don't know their true purpose.  The execs have either been entirely up to no good, possibly plotting destruction of the company, at least as we know it, or their idea of growing, or simply sustaining, a business was incompetent on a scale that is almost impossible to comprehend.  With the BoD and Wall Street giving JD nods while he drones on in his Valley boy meaningless-big-words-cliche-phrases  speak.

I don't know if Amy Winehouse coined the phrase "f%ckery", but that's what describes the executive decisions that are ruining the company, whether intentionally malfeasant or not.

Hopefully, investigations will reveal the contracts eBay has with retailers and favored sellers, and Chinese manufacturers.  As far as the latter goes, I've read that eBay is sponsoring them in the US by allowing them to ship from eBay-owned locations.  eBay is a dirty company and a prominent member of ALEC.  Let us hope that they will not be able to hide their misdeeds behind that laughably outrageous User Agreement or  political ties forever.  

I think they're quite worried about some major lawsuits - a judge already has allowed a case claiming the eBay unfairly sides with buyers to proceed, which I think surprised eBay's legal team.  I've even read opinions that fear of huge legal losses is at least part of the reason for the Paypal spin-off.

My prediction is that before the Fed gets them, the SEC which is being criticized for its part in propping up this desperado company by failing to recognize those very things that it's supposed to recognize, will finally  begin a self-serving investigation.  At least that would be a start toward some clarity, as well as justice, that all of us using eBay have been calling for for years.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: kilogirl78 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 12:12:07 2014

I  noticed a few weeks ago when I sorted by price, my listings should have been in the top 3 but were at the very bottom on the last page. I screen shot it over to our account rep at eBay but of course eBay was aware of the glitch but unable to duplicate it.  I canceled the listings and re-listed and they went to where they belonged.  Best match is if-y, but sort by price... $7 items go ahead of the $2700 items...

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 15:46:14 2014

@sorbet
I agree with you, one of these days, the s**t is going to hit the fan, I think it's close, and that's why the exodus of the execs.
We all pay fees, "rent" to have our items shown, that's why we're here, and if they don't show them, it's equivalent to renting a space at the mall, and your store being boarded up.
My husband sells some collectibles, that really at the most there are a few hundred at the most at one time on ebay, yet, sometimes he will look for his items and they're nowhere to be seen.  It's absurd.
I think maybe ebay's legal team is as incompetent as the people who hired them, that's why they always said YES to JD even when he was instituting illegal policies.
It will catch up to them.

Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se   Seller Asks about Inconsistent Exposure in eBay Se

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 21 15:51:33 2014

Sorbet:
Your post is exactly what I believe (Multi-layered), very well said and spot-on.
MH

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.