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Tue Jan 1 2019 14:55:08

Is eBay Search Sending Buyers Away?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
eBay's "Best Match" search default was bad enough, and worse that search often ignores specific search terms, but eBay is now forcing even more control to limit what a buyer sees. This results in unhappy buyers and a serious disparity between sellers with similar items.  

While the following isn't new, it recently has become more predominant.

When executing a saved or new search, and depending on the number of items the search would normally return, you either get: "We removed some search results to show you the most relevant listings", and/or you are subjected to eBay's "Implicit category navigation", where your original search category changes to whatever eBay decides is best for you, even if it is not the most relevant category. 

Should you even notice this and manually override one limit, or change the sort filter, it will often result in another limit just popping back up again. This can result in a seller's entire list of items not showing, and buyers not seeing the best deals or even what they were actually searching for. Not showing all the results per the entered search terms, and then letting the user decide how to filter and sort, is absurd.

Add to this the eBay Catalog issues and ePIDs (eBay Product IDs) incorrectly linking part numbers to unrelated items, abuse of the Variation option for bait and switch and choice listings, which all further misdirects searches, and some sellers have their sales wiped out, while others hit the jackpot, and totally frustrated buyers go elsewhere.  

How eBay thinks any of this is okay, is beyond me.
Signed,
OUTRAGEOUS
(Long time buyer and TRS seller)



Comments (32) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jan 1 16:16:27 2019

I have multiple eBay selling ID's

I have listed a Mahr Federal Digital Indicator

On 1 ID it's $65 with FREE shipping

On another ID it's $65 with $7 shipping

Both ID's have the same exact wording and category

The unit with $7 shipping sold last night.

The buyer was willing to pay $7 more for the same exact item. . . .

Both items were showing up in search

The only difference is 1 ID has 58 feedback the other has almost 15,000

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Jan 1 17:07:02 2019

I remember when the searches first started saying they'd reduced the number of items returned in the search. But, the last week, every time I have seen it say they'd reduced the number of items, I'd click on the link to show them and they showed me exactly the same number?

Either they are refusing to let you see the entire results or they already are, but just technically messed up as usual.

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by: Iwishiwaskidding This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 17:17:11 2019

Its very frusterating.  I get different results on both my buying ids.  And, in all categories, the volume of results has dropped significantly.  Either fewer people are listing or I am not seeing 150+ items that I would normally shop for.  Its severely frusterating as a buyer.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Jan 1 17:26:21 2019

@Iwishiwaskidding

I totally agree with you. At this point, I have a few favorite sellers and I stick with them. I used to hunt new listings and ending soonest, but there is so much crap out there, it takes far too much time to sift, let alone get the search right.

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by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 17:34:19 2019

They have broken some big features on search.  Yesterday I was looking at a specific item and wanted to see the seller's other items.  The item I was planning to buy did not show up in the seller's listings.  At first I thought maybe it sold, but no - it was still available, but I could only bring it up by the item number.  That is scary.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 18:21:38 2019

The real question is does Greedbay have any buyers left willing to waste their time weeding out all the garbage from china.

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by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 20:53:50 2019

I stopped buying on Ebay when they started changing my search terms to what they "think" I wanted to see. In some searches, no matter what I would do it would change my word. Frustrating as all heck.

I am not at all surprised they have done this. Pay to not play, and then pay more to be seen. They are absolutely showing you what they want you to see.  

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 1 22:48:45 2019

Ebay admitted after the 2nd quarter that they were manipulating the search to show buyers higher priced items as they were trying to increase their ASP (Average Sales Price) because in the 2nd quarter the previous year they had some really cheap item that basically went viral and increase their sales dramatically and they were trying to find a way to match the sales.  Ebay no longer cares what the buyer really wants, only what they want them to buy so they can reach the numbers that have been projected.  

More and more buyers are getting fed up with this manipulation and doing what I did well over a year ago.  They are switching where they make their purchases so they can either find what they were really looking for or they can find the Seller they used to buy from who had what they wanted.  I used to spend well over $1000 a month on Ebay and now the only time I buy anything is with the free shipping supply coupon and now that they have converted that Seller to the Managed Payments and no longer accept Paypal I no longer  spend anything over the coupon value as I refuse to give Ebay my CC information, period.  They made that change trying to convince all those that opened stores that there is no problem with their system as well as cutting back on how many free supplies they give out as many sellers absolutely refuse to even use the coupon now.

Ebay is so determined that everything is going to be Wenigs way or the highway that they have completely forgotten the fact that he has no clue how to run a retail or Ecommerce business.  All of his focus is on being Amazon Jr and in doing so all he turning Ebay into is Alibaba Jr because eventually all that will remain are the Chinese sellers that he thinks are Ebays future.  Going to be funny watching the stock price continue to tank as fewer and fewer buyers, other than scammers, make purchases from Ebay and the scammers will leave eventually also because they will be unable to scam the Chinese who dont have to follow the rules that Ebay puts in place for the US sellers.  

Good luck finding a job after this fiasco Wenig.  Only reason you got this one was your buddy Donohoe reaching out otherwise you would still be looking after what you did at your last job.  Even a monkey could have run Ebay better than these 2 jokers have.

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by: plcombs This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 07:43:53 2019

THe results issue goes beyond just searches. We run several affiliate sites in addition to selling through several ID's.

After the changes last year in how results are displayed, we began to see specific links to items on our pages with images, shift to another unrelated product when clicked.  Which forced us to write code to prevent this from happening where we could. We also had to delete over 20 Affiliate pages where this was not possible. We have never bothered to put them back out of fear they'd be overwitten again by the idiots at the company.

We're also seeing reduced numbers of items appearing in results for sellers when searching by their user ID's directly, on some occassions we get no results when we know they have dozens of listings.

It's a mess...Meg WHitman.."where are you?"

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jan 2 10:16:15 2019

Silver Ice King writes: "... the previous year they had some really cheap item that basically went viral...."

How could you forget about fidget spinners? Poor Devin, he didn't realize that it was a fad, and fads have a limited shelf life.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jan 2 11:38:58 2019

@plcombs

"It's a mess...Meg WHitman.."where are you?"

People were screaming for her ouster for requiring Paypal for Payment. . .

Meg Whitman was HATED here on the forums.

eBay has never had a CEO that was liked.

I actually liked Meg, met her at eBay live 1 and supported her run for California Governor!

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 12:24:30 2019

@iheartjacksparrow

How could I forget a fidget spinner?  Heck, I never knew what they were to begin with and still don't, nor do i care to research and find out..lol.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 12:26:50 2019

But also, how could Devin know that a fad has a limited shelf life when he has not retail experience other than ruining Ebay?

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 12:35:55 2019

Wenig apparently never shops regularly at a B&M grocery, so he's clueless that ordinary humans would get frustrated if the bread aisle and dairy section were moved every week.

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by: Iwishiwaskidding This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 12:42:28 2019

I can get fidgit spinners for 50 cents from oriental trading co. In the big mega toy mix packs.  Ebay is no longer the best place to buy stuff like that, other places have it cheaper and faster.  And they have a quality guarantee, ebay just says too bad so sad when your china junk fails.  

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by: Iwishiwaskidding This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 12:59:39 2019

@ebayout that is the best summation of ebay right now.  As an employee in that analogy I hate having my routine disrupted just as much as the customers!

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Wed Jan 2 13:32:13 2019

Wanna see just how broken ebay search is.

In category Smart Watches, search for -

apple watch 2 42mm

then

apple watch series 2 42mm

 

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 13:42:25 2019

Doesn't putting the search description in parentheses give better results?

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jan 2 13:48:03 2019

@NoMoreEbay

I agree

That search is backwards!

You would expect more results with fewer words. . .

Thanks for posting this!

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 2 14:00:03 2019

@NoMoreEbay

even more broken then that, try...........
apple watch serie 2 42mm

they manipulate search so much it's non-functional, they must have the most stupid people in the world working at ebay, they must hire only the most unqualified, it's a miracle they find their desk in the morning.

I think once your finished working at ebay, and you write ebay on your resume you will never find another job again,


when I search ebay for items to buy I normally have to do multiple searches over the coarse of a week or more,

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