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Thu Oct 1 2015 15:54:39

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Everything moves toward chaos. You can't unscramble an egg. There is a scientific theory that in the end things will basically burn out and go cold and dark. Not even a black hole will survive in it.

That was eBay. It would be easier to talk about the universe with more certainty. I have an eBay store. It has categories. Those categories have keywords. eBay adds the exact same keywords to every single category. It's like a lump of random words that eBay pulled and stuck to everything with no relevance to the category.

It says in the keyword builder not to use the same words more than a few times and yet eBay takes any chance of being found by search engines and sends it into the Iron Sky on the dark side of the moon. (where the Hoe is now torturing PayPal).

eBay has put the same keyword lump in categories I have no listings in. How long has this been going on? More than 5 months that I know of. Is this just pure laziness on their part? Does any eBay employee manage eBay Stores? Do any programmers write the code? Was the store concept in programmed in Commodore Basic back in 1985?

My Manage Your Store page has links that are completely dead, links that go to totally unrelated pages somewhere in eBay, and links that go in complete circles. This eBay Quantum Theory. Is it a particle or is it a wave? It doesn't work while you observe it. It doesn't work at all. This makes it nearly impossible to get any useful help.

Everything about eBay Stores is so antiquated, frustrating, and impossible to use, why bother? The only thing I find useful are the categories for the sake of my customers who may hopefully find what they are after, but those same categories will sink you. They will make sure search engines never find you in the first place if you don't get in there and delete the sticky lump and add your own. I spent three hours last night trying to fix this. Now I wonder when eBay will undo 3 hours worth of work...

Would I be better off deleting the categories I'm not currently using? I have no clue but I did it anyway. It's many fewer lumps to concern myself with, I guess.

When I tried to delete some of my categories and move my items into different ones as the prompts tell me I need to do, it worked a few times but mostly took those items completely out of any category at all. A few times it put them in categories I didn't request. What a mess!!! 

When I tried to delete another category right away I got a pop up (sounding like a New Yorker) that said something like, "Hey, can't you see were workin heah?" No deleting more categories for you!!!

And BTW, I get so many free listing offers thrown at me I can't figure out which one I'm using, so it's not the cheaper listings in a Store that make it worth the $15.95 store fee. For the moment, anyway.

Every time you look, the Ecommerce EKG is lit up with people who can't get a store function to work as promised. Thanks eBay.

I so love my nice neat easy to use Etsy Shop with no BS on the item page, just more of the things I sell. The listing is so easy and fast. Too bad they don't get more traffic but it's a free shop and I do get sales. I don't pay $15.95 a month to get launched into space and never get off the launch pad, at all.

In summary, eBay just wants you to pay for things you didn't get. Wow, did I just say that? I crack myself up. Maybe we should put a hold on their PayPal account? Maybe they should just fix it dammit!!! It would be a good business practice, eh? They should take a lesson from Amazon and use some sound business practices that are mutually beneficial. What a concept!

I know I will get the litany of leave eBay, Ecrater Ecrater Ecrater, and mr tool "it works fine for me", but I still sell more items on eBay than 3 other places and Amazon is too expensive and tedious to write new product listings on 350 items so other people can compete with me on the prices and have better photos than they would have added themselves. I can make more sense of the cosmos than eBay SMH

The definition of insanity; Do the same dumb thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Donna




Comments (30) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Oct 1 17:46:12 2015

@Donna - eCrater, eCrater, eCrater... wait, what?

I don't understand most of what you wrote, but it made for incredibly fun reading. Anyone mentioning Commodore Basic is an awesome person in my estimation. (I still have my Commodore PET around here someplace, along with my Trash-80.)

Hopefully Wenig will heed the millions of disdainful words typed by small sellers on this site and fix the mess that eBay has become. But I'm not holding my breath.  

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Oct 1 20:49:55 2015

There is an echo on this thread.

eCrater, eCrater, eCrater  (where you truly are the king or queen of your castle)

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: serioussellers This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 1 23:07:22 2015

Donna,

You are correct that ''chaos'' & ''insanity'' seem to be defining terms.

The implosion continues.  

Our frequent test searches (both for our own items & other items) yield increasingly bizarre & minimal results. Not only do the listings of MANY sellers remain hidden in the black hole of invisibility & manipulation, but there seems to have been a definite switch (in recent months) to just showing a MUCH smaller (than ever before) sampling of search results. In many of our tests where there should have been at least a dozen or dozens of results, only 3 to 5 results were shown -- & several of them had absolutely nothing to do with the search request.

We have recently noticed that the search results often include only the cheaper copies of something (& exclude the genuine/vintage/antique item -- even in cases where the genuine item does not cost much more than the ''fake'').  In some test searches, for example, just the Chinese copy of a vintage toy .... or a new reproductive print of an original vintage photo .... were shown in the search results -- even though we know there are long term eBay sellers with the genuine items listed (but eBay banished them to the black hole of invisibility).

The genuine/original items listed by sellers are often now being totally excluded from search results.  As some have posted in recent months, even searches done within a store (where a specific item is actually known to be listed) routinely show ''zero'' results.  But why should anyone expect much from a venue which often shows searchers that longterm sellers' shops either do not exist or exist with zero items for sale .... when those shops actually have hundreds or thousands of items listed?

The main purpose of an eBay search results page (for Ebay) now seems to be to direct the shopper to big retail sites (Nordstrom, Walmart, Kohls, etc.) through the links/ads that fill the page.  The token few search results at the top of the page are often the special rewards granted to the Chinese sellers in ''partnerships'' with eBay (even if those sellers maintain virtually criminal negative feedback records).

It is as though eBay thinks it is enough to show a token few search results (that don't even all pertain to the requested search) to fulfill some minimal requirement that enables them to say they are running a sales venue.  For example, maybe 60 sellers have the exact type of vintage Christmas tree garland a shopper is seeking, but for some insane reason eBay only shows that there are 3 vintage garlands available (which all happen to be cheap Chinese copies of the originals, although they are listed as ''vintage'').

Obviously, smart shoppers are only going to put up with a certain quantity of chaos & insanity until they, like many others before them, no longer even waste time going to what was once the ''go to'' source (which is now the dead and gone source).

''Fundamentally Flawed'' (part of the title given to the OP's letter) is sadly, eBay's motto.

As many have posted for quite some time, fees are being charged to sellers for phantom services.  Millions of smaller sellers (with a few curious exceptions) are paying a fortune in fees to make believe that they are listing on eBay, to make believe that their items are visible on the site, and to make believe that they are running a business.

As you said, ''eBay just wants you to pay for things you didn't get''.

Perhaps one day the making believe can stop when a team of smart executives/managers/administrators is assembled that can truly listen to and incorporate the suggestions & advice offered on EcommerceBytes (& on other forums) by MANY experienced veteran sellers/experts with years of actual experience in the retail & ecommerce trenches.  Many of the wise sages on EcommerceBytes are probably correct when they say that it is too late to be talking about what should happen ''one day'' -- & that actions & deeds show that there will certainly never be an epiphany ''one day''.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 01:08:24 2015

I've been a heavy user of eBay, as buyer and seller, since nearly the beginning. Way back then there was not much of interest on eBay for the serious collector of vintage collectibles and antiques. I looked at eBay every week for nearly a year before I found something that I wanted to buy. And it continued like that for many years, except that with all of the new sellers came the occasional gem. You would have to wade through hundreds of listings to find something good in among all of the refrigerator magnets and other dross. But that was OK because there were enough great items to make it worth the time. Then along came JD and all of the free listings. The nearly unlimited free listings ruined the site because a seller could relist a piece of junk that nobody wanted an unlimited number of times and it cost them nothing. A seller could also price a very desirable item with an unrealistically high price and just keep relisting it week after week, year after year. It cost the seller nothing but it cost eBay many of the serious collectors who couldn't stand seeing the same stale items in their searches. EBay has always had too much garbage on its site, but the free listings only turned that hassle into an absolute nightmare. EBay likes to talk about the buying experience, it's the searching experience they need to worry about. Searching through all of the relists for something new to the site is now such an awful experience that most of the buyers who were very active 10 years ago have quit searching eBay. Add to that the fact that so many of the sellers of great antique & vintage collectibles have quit eBay over fees & feedback & an uneven playing field, and you end up with the eBay of today, a shadow of its former self. I so miss the eBay of 10 years ago, before the masses of relisted auctions. The only hope for eBay, as I see it, is to give buyers an option to filter out relisted auctions from search. That would bring back a lot of the serious buyers who have quit searching eBay. EBay could segregate the search results for relisted items. EBay segregates the domestic from the international listings in search results. They could also put all of the relisted items below the ''listed for the first time'' items, separated by a line as they do now with international. That would bring some sanity back to the antiques and vintage collectibles categories. If the buyers of quality antiques and vintage collectibles come back (I'm only running maybe 10% of my bookmarked searches because of the relists), some of the quality sellers will also come back. But eBay has done so much damage to the sellers and the searching experience that I don't see those glory days ever returning. EBay needs to return to its roots. The used and vintage markets dwarf the new merchandise market. Think about it, used and vintage is EVERYTHING THAT WAS EVER MADE!

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Oct 2 07:03:25 2015

Serioussellers I really hope that both Wall Street analysts and Wenig read your post.  How is it not fraud that we sellers pay for stores but this is what we get?

Thank you for what you have written.  All of us know that we are getting bamboozled by eBay which is why most of us have ramped up elsewhere. I honestly don't know why swarms of attorneys aren't all over them.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Oct 2 07:11:00 2015

alaska, people are HAVING to relist because no one sees their items. What other choice do they have except to list on other venues? In the old days it was not unusual to have 7-25 watchers on 95% of one's items, and back them items sold because they could actually be seen.  Items did not linger in a black hole of invisibility.  

Don't blame those who are relisting. They have no choice but to relist.  Blame eBay. That is who hides sellers' listings.   How is it that a reasonably priced pair of authentic Gucci pants, or a rare Hamilton watch, or a 1950s Flygsfors dish don't sell or even have watchers?  It's because they can't be seen. They don't show up in search due to eBay's manipulation of search.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Oct 2 09:49:42 2015

I had my first sale on eCrater last week.  Looks like the only fee was from Stripe?  This was the first sale in awhile that actually felt fair (lately, it's like I do all of the work and the venue gets all of the money).  Hopefully it picks up from here.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Oct 2 10:43:33 2015

eBay does NOT hide listings of unique or rare items.

It's the "blue blouses" they hide when 15,000 of them are listed!

My rivet guns show up in every single search no matter who or where it comes from!

It's there 100% of the time it's listed. . .

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Oct 2 11:03:53 2015

@alaska - Rexford is absolutely correct. There would be a minimal need for relists if eBay would cease the rolling blackouts and other search manipulation. I used to sell close to everything I'd list for auction until 2007 when the rolling blackouts kicked in for my items, and then my sales plummeted to close to zero. But I would never immediately relist unsold items; I'd always wait at least six months before I would try listing again as I figured there would be a new crop of buyers on the site by then. I feel sorry for the sellers who need to list the same item for years, hoping for someone new to see the listing.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Oct 2 11:10:00 2015

@iheartjacksparrow

I had to relist this item several times, if I had waited 6 months to relist it I would've lost the customer.

My item was listed when this customer needed the item, last month he did not need the item.

Leeson Direct Current Permanent Magnet Motor 1 HP 24 Volt 3000 RPM ~ C4D34DB3D

As one of my dear departed friends would say:

Hope this Helps

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Oct 2 13:04:44 2015

Congrats RKTOYS. eCrater sales are so sweet and stress free from listing to the final sale. The added bonus is that I haven't had a single complaint from a customer and I don't have potential customers emailing me day in and day out asking me for a better price and free shipping.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 13:44:31 2015

Remember, if Toolguy doesn't see the problem, the problem doesn't exist.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 16:12:17 2015

eBay is FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED!

You are right though - if you can remember back 20 years to the websites America Online would let you build, well, there you have it - the eBay Store Code  

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Oct 2 16:49:04 2015

@toolguy - Yeah, your customer needed it after you dropped the price by $25.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 19:16:55 2015

Given the Hiss Poor sell-thru on eBay I wouldn't cough up a single dime in added services including their "store."

But, if you're basically saying that they have No Clue what they're doing in your particular segment of "ecommerce," well, no one is surprised. They can't even get the simple stuff right.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 2 22:15:16 2015



The idiots at eBay are far too busy destroying themselves with more important things, they have already marked ''Destroy SEO'' off their to do list,

Flawed? no, project accomplished,  

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

This user has validated their user name. by: askalice59

Fri Oct 2 22:17:00 2015

There is only so much retail spending to go around. Used items do not come in to the USA in shipping containers from China. So as the Chinese economy slows they have manipulated eBay, perhaps they outright own it, and everything is geared to forcing Americans to spend their retail dollars on Chinese junk. That is not so hard to understand, yet people seemed baffled by the obvious. The Chinese have a consumption economy but they also have invested heavily in making sure we Americans support it. We should all look more closely at the board members of our favorite companies.

Wouldn't it be fun to have an auction site that only sold used items, whether they were made in the US or not, but nothing new at all, ever. It could be any second hand item, cars, clothes, vintage antiques, whatever. Just no new sales items. See how long it would take the foreign interests to sabotage that.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 3 09:57:24 2015

@Rexford

Yes, anyone with a lick of sense definitely "ramped up" on other sites when the sell-thru on this dying "ecommerce platform" cratered under The Hoe. You sell on feeBay as a LAST resort, after you've tried free sites like C/L. The List puts cash in your wallet, not hassles in your life.

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 3 10:39:33 2015

Ebay is finding they have no choice but to remove the policies that hinder sales and drive away honest merchants.
Instead of punishing honest sellers go back to a straight feedback and review system.
Bad buyers should be reviewed the resources bad buyers waste cost ebay and honest sellers a bundle

eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO   eBay Stores Fundamentally Flawed for SEO

by: wellspring This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 3 20:43:36 2015

@alaska

Although I understand that you are frustrated with relisted items but I never read here that other sellers (not sure if you sell) feel the same way. My guess is the majority of sellers realize that if we were unable to relist our items then we might as well close up our stores, donate all our goods and call it quits.

My personal experience has proven that relisted items do sell - eventually. As a seller, I'm not so much concerned with how much I spent on relisting an item. I look at the big picture of how much sold in the past year versus how much I spent in fees.

I have items that I've relisted numerous times and eventually the right buyer came along. As many have said, if ebay would stop hiding my listings and controlling the search, perhaps my items wouldn't have to be relisted.

If sellers are prevented from relisting, perhaps buyers should be prevented from watching an item or saving as a favorite. Many people NEVER purchase the item they watch so why not remove that feature too?

I personally think a ''best offer'' option would be helpful as search filter.  

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