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Mon Nov 17 2014 18:53:09

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Can eBay search really be this broken?

Today I searched for "Turner Print" in Sold listings. You know those old 50s prints that look like wallpaper, of flamingoes and cockatiels - sometimes they have a mirrored frame.

There were a lot of 750 listings so I searched for Turner print -Michael. (By adding a minus sign you eliminate all the results with the word "Michael" in them)

Then there were 51, but a lot of "Steigerwald" Turner prints too. So then I searched for "turner print -michael -Steigerwald" and there were exactly 188 I could not believe my eyes so I did it the search both ways 5 times and the results were the same.

I thought it might just be a glitch in sold listings. So I tried active. 4613 results showed for "Turner Print" 152 listings came up for Turner Print -Michael. And Turner Print -Michael -Steigerwald turned up 2955 !!

In other words it was the reverse of what the numbers should have been. Minus "-Michael" should have reduced the numbers slightly and "-Michael -Steigerwald " should have reduced the numbers EVEN MORE. Instead by eliminating the word "Steigerwald", hundreds of hitherto hidden listings showed up.

So where were all those listings over 2800 of them in the Turner -Michael search that suddenly appeared when I also eliminated all the "Steigerwalds"?

I did the search 4 times over thinking I had misspelled something but it was the same each time.

I knew the Cassini search was broken but this broken is absurd.
Best regards,
AKA




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 17 23:49:23 2014

I had a wonky search a few weeks back. From the home page I entered a particular item, and the search returned 48 listings with the Best Match default. I then selected "Highest First" and it returned eight listings! 40 listings had completely disappeared! I tried the same search in Firefox, Chrome and IE, with the exact same results in each browser. A real example of Can't-See-Me.  

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 00:24:29 2014

There's other issues with the new search as well. Just go to any category and look at the number of entries indicated. The just reload the page in your browser a few times and note the number of entries on each reload. You'll see the number change, going up and down by hundreds of entries, sometimes repeating the same number every once in awhile. I know things are being sold and added all the time but this doesn't appear to be the case as the numbers appear to repeat randomly.

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

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

Tue Nov 18 00:26:10 2014

I have had many similar problems with saved searches. For example I might get an email that says 48 matches have been found for a Saved Search, and 12 are pictured. When I select 'View All Results', it finds none, or if the saved search is for a particular seller, it might tell me seller is not a registered user. Yet I can click on the thumbnails in the Saved Search email and see each listing!

I figured it had to do with eBay's decision that certain users didn't deserve to be included in search results after they had reach a certain monthly sales limit.

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Nov 18 00:31:04 2014

Search on eBay is a crap shoot lately - just in time for the holidays, of course.

I have browser saved searches with multiple item exclusions and then, for good measure, multiple seller ID's excluded too.

I have noticed in the last week or so that there are days that these saved searches do not work and return 0 results, and then later in the day, the same browser saved search works perfectly as it had for years.

When the search does not work, I find that, if I remove the excluded sellers (by closing out the box), suddenly the search string finds plenty of listings which moments before returned "0".

There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when where and how these saved searches work or do not work. On any given day, they work, then they don't, then hours later they do again.

All of this leads me to conclude that eBay's servers are SNAFU'D and the reality my be that some servers are functioning differently than others.

Did I bother contacting eBay about the issue?  Hello No - who wants to wait an hour or more to talk to a customer service rep who may or may not comprehend the problem, and in any case, will do little that will make a difference.

If eBay does not know their servers appear to be functioning differently from one to another that is their problem to figure out.  Perhaps, if they treated their sellers as valued customers and actually listened to what we have to say, I might wait through the outrageously long wait times.

However, since the company and their customer service teams treats their fee paying sellers like something smelly that they need to scrape off their shoes, they can figure it out for themselves....or maybe not.

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: kazaly This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 01:44:29 2014

@Don Wagner, you have it right but, I think, less sinister than the actuality.

I've been monitoring a particular sellers account as a favor and have observed a very strange and unnatural pattern.

Sales appear to approach a predetermined statistical mean on a daily basis.

If sales goes above this figure then further sales cease until the mean is approached.

If a very large sale is made the subsequent sales are extremely slow until the mean is reached.

If sales are lower than the mean sales are ongoing until the mean is reached or exceeded.

Also, a sale is nearly always recorded before the days sales fall to $0.00

This is extremely unnatural in a normal retail environment (either online or B&M).

If I was asked to write a database function to achieve this it would be easily done as a conditional reference to both category turnover and elapsed time.

I believe eBay are manipulating search to achieve this end and keep sellers chasing the carrot.

It also bespeaks a soft marketplace that does not have enough sales to go round if search is left unfettered.

By engaging in this practice eBay are able to maximise their monthly fees from store subscribing sellers.

Just my 2 cents but I would suggest any other eBay store based sellers keep this in mind when analysing their transaction rates.

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

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

Tue Nov 18 02:49:01 2014

I remember when my brother was searching for tires and there were no size 16 tires available on Ebay. When I complained on the Power Seller board that he had to go to Google and then back to Ebay, I was asked what word did he use? Answer: Tires 16. This was like 4 years ago and today it is much worse as every category is affected or infected, I am not sure which word actually describes the new type of manipulative search engines that are being touted as the best in the business by those who run them and the worst piece of #### by those who use them    

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Tue Nov 18 03:29:37 2014

That's interesting about the statistical mean. It certainly seems to be anecdotally true but this sort of proves it.  Those results should be published somewhere so Ebay at least knows were ''on'' to them.
Hopefully some day a class action suit will be allowed and at least some Ebay sellers will  recover some of their losses.  

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Tue Nov 18 03:35:55 2014

Today ''tires 16'' would probably show you lots of ladies cosmetics and children's ballerina costumes!  

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 07:56:43 2014

That is the main reason I stopped ebay.  Spend time, money listing.  They hide them. No sales.  
So why bother.

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: Runs.With.Scissors This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 09:53:21 2014

  Maybe the ebay IT department  tests programs using their live data files (?).
During the past week, my ''Your eBay item sold!'' emails had eliminated the buyer's email address (again) for several days.  Now, it's back again.

  Perhaps they are continually messing with the ''can't-see-me'' search, in a live environment.

  I've been seeing occasional strange search results as is reported here by others. (For at least the past year.)

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 18 09:59:09 2014

kazaly, this is why one can't grow one's business on eBay.

It's just crazy.

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: Filadelfos This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 11:19:10 2014

@Kazaly,

Do you have data to back this theory?

If this is true, it is ABSOLUTELY an issue of Malfeasance that could be brought against eBay & easily won...

-Bill

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: Filadelfos This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 11:21:58 2014

@shabbychick,

The eBay TOS/UA we sign does NOT protect them from the law.  If they are blatantly breaking the law (Malfeasance, market manipulation, unfair trade policies, Not rendering services paid for, etc. etc.) then members have every right to bring suit against them, regardless of what their UA/TOS stipulate....

-Bill
 

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Nov 18 14:24:54 2014

Agree Bill. Just because a corporation puts it in their TOS/UA does not make it biding. All of this could be challenged in a court of law especially showing illegalities.  

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 14:24:55 2014

I can say that I firmly believe that MY items have been BLOCKED from view---last week these might have been UNBLOCKED for a short while as all of a sudden I had 6 SALES in a matter of minutes.  Not all to one part of the country either.  Texas.  Vermont. Indiana, Kansas.

And then--nothing.  

So--I have to say--it's NOT that MY items are not desired--the people that ARE looking to BUY are being BLOCKED from ever SEEING them.

Unfreakin' believeable

And today---my items show NO views OR watchers and my customers for the above mentioned items are now ZERO Feedback --even tho a day ago one had 600 FB!!!!

Why is there no alternative????

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 18:54:00 2014

I have done searches copying my own item titles. I get a nice listing but my item isn't included in the search. AND I EVEN USED MY OWN TITLES.  

Give me a flashlight, I am lost.

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Wed Nov 19 00:10:54 2014

This Turner print was mine and this morning I checked on the numbers again and my son viewed the results with fresh eyes.  He noticed that after the second search ''Turner Print -Michael'' , the search jumped to a category ''collectible comics'' which is why it dropped to only 153 items. But then when I searched for ''Turner -michael -Steigerwald''
the search parameter returned once again ON ITS OWN to all categories again bringing the number back up to almost 3000.  

So the search engine just randomly changed my category for me although I had no interest in searching in the comics category and here were thousands of other listings for ''Turner -michael''.  But Ebay just arbitrarily decided to only show me comics at that point. I didn't even notice that little change at first.  

From now on I will always watch for unrequested category changes when searching for an item.  

Curiouser and curiouser!    

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 19 15:36:24 2014

ebay search has been broken for a long time. for many years on the eb boards there were some of us stating that our items weren't being shown, many chalked it up to slow sales, or we just didn't have desirable items or overpriced.  I've been selling since 98 and you can track the start of this to when ebay changed the listing numbers assigned, it used to be by category, which made sense, all toys would start with 565 (for example) women's clothing 323 and so on, then they changed the listing numbers to seller specific. Many of us have 2 starting sets of numbers no matter what category we list in.  When this change took place, cs said they were randomly assigned by our servers....well no, we have 4 accounts at home and none have the same numbers.
By doing this, they can control the individual selle's items
Another way to measure this is by the questions, I've always had questions on my items,  no questions = no sales. All of a sudden I get a bunch of questions and my sales go up.
I can see the buyers frustration in search also, as I search for pricing of certain items and the results are so irrelevant sometimes you want to give up.

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Wed Nov 19 22:35:38 2014

OMG all my listings start with the same 2 numbers. And in all different categories. I always thought the numbers were in numerical order with the total number of listings at Ebay. So you are saying that this is how they track MY listings and decide if I am worthy to have my listings shown?

eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken   eBay Search Exclude Function Appears to Be Broken

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Nov 19 23:37:07 2014

My listings either start with a 14 or a 3 regardless of the category. I believe these are on servers with either consistent blackouts, intentional manipulations or just shut down altogether to save ebay their pretend ''go green for the environment'' money. My items are rare, one-of-a-kind collectibles and antiques but have been either hidden or rarely shown to potential buyers. I have been a seller for over 12 years but find ebay not to be worth my time. What is the point in doing all the work to only have your items sit with me being the only viewer? I have gone from talking sickening ''please shut up'' praises about ebay to a deep intense hate. Ebay is not only broken but beyond repair. You can't fix a corrupt corporation.

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