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 May 2 2016 14:50:54

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina, 
I wonder how many people have noticed that when an eBay search is run, you get a set of results, but if you hit the refresh button, often you get a different set of results. 

If you keep hitting the refresh button you will notice a pattern. For example, I run this search

I get either 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 results displayed for this search (all refreshes were run within a few minutes) and often the number of listings eBay says it found doesn't match the number of listings it displays. 

Both buyers and sellers should be very upset about this. A seller's item is not being displayed every time someone searches for it. And a buyer may not see what they are looking for. Does eBay want us to run a search and then hit the refresh 10 or 20 times to make sure we are seeing all of the items? 

I wonder what is causing this? Are they deliberately holding back items as some sellers complain, or is my search going to different server farms with each refresh and it's the luck of the draw whether I'll see all of the items or just some of the items? 

If anyone understands what is going on here I'd love to hear an explanation. I hate the thought that I spend a lot time searching and some of the items I was looking for were there but were not shown to me. 
Thanks,
Dick




Comments (32) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 17:53:07 2016

Just another Ebay glitch...

They will fix it next year...

Maybe

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon May 2 20:49:47 2016

It is not a glitch.  It is how Cassini has always worked since the day it was brought site wide.  This is a problem that Ebay just refuses to find a fix for or they can't figure out how to fix it as it has been reported countless times since April of 2014 [when Cassini was brought site wide].

Heck I've been searching in my own listings and get a zero return for stuff I know are listed.  Sometimes I have to refresh a couple times before it shows up.  It is a very important problem for both buyers and sellers.

I think much of it has to do with their algorithm for the placement of listings in the return.  I think Ebay has made this so complicated that they have created a monster they can't control and/or they don't know how to fix.

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

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

Tue May 3 02:27:57 2016

Don't kid yourselves, the Brands aren't suffering this problem "Cassini" problem; if they were, they would pretty soon tell eBay where to go; no, eBay is giving the Brands all possible exposure in the hope of keeping them happy; all you hoi polloi are way down on the list for getting your ads exposed ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue May 3 06:57:25 2016

I agree with what Philip said. Cassini was designed for the sole purpose of driving traffic to the large enterprise sellers.

I've had so many friends and family members tell me that they "just gave up" trying to search eBay because it never shows them what they are looking for.

eBay management run this company like a track owner rigging a horse race.

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: serioussellers This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 3 13:33:29 2016

Ditto to all of the above.

Sadly for diligent buyers & sellers around the world, search is non-functioning precisely as planned & intended.  In this rigged hunt for a prize (the hard to find OAK vintage collectible, for example), the few prizes out there will remain officially listed (& accruing listing fees, store rents, etc. for the sellers) .... but never (or rarely) to be shown to those who are tenaciously seeking these prizes.

It is not only small/medium sized sellers' items that are not shown.  Do periodic test searches of your own store & you will find that the entire store itself often does not exist (& eBay now has a new red alert telling you that the searched store does not exist, whereas it used to just say that it was not found).

While some of us know that you have to keep re-doing the search (in the amazing, magical & contrived world of eBay), the average person who sees a big announcement in red that a store/seller does not exist .... is just going to abandon their search for your store or listings.

When the Omniture reports were available as excellent documentation for the visibility/invisibility issue, the statistics confirmed total blackouts of listings and even of the stores themselves. We often had months of invisibility followed by a day or two of select items being shown in certain geographic areas (with a cluster of sales to a far distant state or country)-- before a return to a complete blackout (as documented by the Omniture records).  On multiple occasions, eBay staff (above the usual CSR level) researched & confirmed exactly what we were documenting & reporting.

You will also find in test searching/auditing your own store/listings (whether on the mobile or regular app) that your total number of items listed varies.  Not only does the total number vary, but a different selection of items is shown virtually every time you search for the store/listings (either your own or someone else's).  Sometimes the number is a tiny fraction of the actual number of items you currently have listed (but that constantly morphing black hole of invisibility makes items disappear & reappear at the whim of the eBay gremlins).

How sad that an American company is so egregiously complicitous in the engineered demise of so many small/medium sized businesses (in the US & around the world) -- while enabling (& often partnering with) the enormous operations that flood the ecommerce realm with imported junk and fakes.  

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 3 17:04:02 2016


I bet toolguy has no search problems  

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue May 3 23:01:17 2016

@RL15

You're right!

I'm looking for a 4x rivet gun

I'm having no problem finding one on eBay and I bet you come back with the same results I did.

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Wed May 4 00:36:00 2016

Search on eBay is broken period. I have many friends, relatives and casual acquaintances who used to use eBay to find OAK and other collectables for their collections or to find out waht something is worth. All of them have given up and have found niche sights to do their searching. I have friends that used to buy tools and or parts on eBay that do not use it any more.
eBay does not care because every page that is listed is a chance to run the pay per click adds and soak up the money that way. I have friends do a search for a certain part on a desk top a lap top and a mobile device and all 3 searches will come up with something completely different or nothing at all and that is with all 3 putting the specific part number in.
eBay is broken and it has been building up for about 6 years now to a point where the buyers will not even go there but when they do they marvel at how inexpensive the item was and that is because it has inspired a race to the bottom.
I was doing a search for items that toolguy was selling and I could not find anything until he finally gave me a specific item number and low and behold there he was using all of the words in his titles that I used in my search that came up with nothing. That in itself should tell you that eBay is on the road to no where and self destruction.
I have started an experiment this month listing specific items on eBay and then running the same items on other sites to see exactly what is going on and to compare the other sites as fare as views and sales go. I deal only in collectables right now because that is what I am trying to get rid of since our economy is crap and has no hope of getting better any sooner so it is time to dump that stuff and move on.
I will let Ina know at the end of the month what the results are.
I have dealt with statistics most of my life and statistics are the only thing that tells the real story.

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 4 01:49:20 2016

Cassini reminds me of the PG Wodehouse character of Lord Emsworth - send him to the store to buy eggs and he comes back with elephants.

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 4 09:48:33 2016

PLEASE READ: Recently I contacted eBay to ask why I was getting completely differing search results on my own devices. For example - I search antique bookends on my main desktop and get 400 but do same on my phone in same wifi and get almost double. I called a friend and asked him to do same search on an outside wifi (he was at a McDonald's) and he received same as my cell phone. The eBay rep blamed it on Comcast! I'm not kidding - he said Comcast was screwing with my band width. So I asked him why same wifi but other ID gets different search numbers. He said he was forward it to his tech department. So please note - there is no fair honest search going on with eBay, we are all subject to their whim.

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 4 10:09:15 2016

Someday most of you will learn how to use Cassini

Cassini works just fine for me as a seller or as a buyer.

It's really kind of simple to use.

You just put what you're looking for in the box and hit search.

How many 4x rivet guns do you see on ebay?

I bet we all see the same if no refinements are used. . .

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 4 10:44:51 2016

LMAO! I just did a search using Best Match and hit refresh a few different times and every time there was a different listing at the top of the page. How can it be a so-called "Best Match" if it is always different? Can they not make up there minds or something? "This is his "Best Match", no wait... this is it, I take that back..this is the one"! This is why I DO NOT buy on this lame site. I feel as though they are trying to screw me out of the best deal!

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 4 10:48:21 2016

@TOOLguy,
How many 4x rivet guns are they showing you? My search gave me 17 on my PC, but 24 on my mobile!

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 4 10:52:59 2016

@randy

Liar liar pants on fire!

I know I can prove you are a liar!

If you doubt it I'll make a fool of you, if you are right I'll never post on this site again and I'll be the fool.

You want to take this bet?

If you are right we'll have Ina delete my account.

If you are wrong & I am right you'll wear egg on your face here.

Are you up for the challenge?

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 4 10:58:30 2016

How many do you see?

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.
m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.A0.H0.X4x+rivet+gun.TRS1&_nkw=4x+rivet+gun&_sacat=0

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 4 12:34:40 2016

Someday, the federal government DOJ or some other regulatory agency is going to crack down on eBay's practices and their effect on commerce. Then class actions and fines will result. Oh wait--maybe I'm just PRAYING for that.

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed May 4 14:25:22 2016

So Tool, when someone doesn't agree with you or sees different search results than you do they are now liars?

GEESH!

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed May 4 14:32:50 2016

I just took up the rivet gun challenge (not using toolguy's link) and got nine results on my PC and the same nine on my mobile phone (via T-Mobile).

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 4 15:54:54 2016

I got 9 on a tablet located in taiwan.  

The thing is I don't think the problem is with items with few results, the problem is with them hiding items from searches that get many results.

eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results   eBay Search Brings Back Inconsistent Results

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 4 16:02:26 2016

That's right 9, it was 10 yesterday.

He knows I'm right, he pulled numbers out of thin air and expected me to believe it.

If we search for: Red Tennis Shoes we might come up with different results. But not 4x Rivet Gun

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.