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Mon Mar 11 2019 15:09:45

Seller Questions Impact of False UPI on Search Exposure

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
As we all know, eBay is not at all transparent in regards to what factors play a role in deciding search standing (which items come up at the top of search and which at the bottom). 

I recently made a purchase and paid immediately. The seller contacted me to let me know that they ran out of stock, and they issued me a refund. Instead of that transaction saying "refunded" or "cancelled by seller" or something to that effect, it is now labeled "unpaid." 

Since a purchase is supposedly a legally binding commitment to pay for an item, "unpaid" seems like something that at least potentially might count against one's account, and therefore search standing. 

I contacted eBay on Facebook to try to get them to alter this false status. After having to explain the issue multiple times to multiple different people, I was finally told: "...I can say with 100% certainty, that having a transaction show up as unpaid when you were the buyer due to the seller having to refund for being out of stock - will absolutely not impact your selling account in any way." 

This struck me as odd, since I've had quite a few eBay employees tell me over the years that eBay customer service employees are not informed about the factors that contribute to search standing. 

When I voiced this concern, the employee said: "There are a lot of details about the extremely minute settings of the search engine itself that we're not made aware of - but those are specifically about the listings themselves and how the system determines what a user sees when searching."

What a user sees when searching is the EXACT issue I'm concerned about. The employee calls this "minute." 

Well, when I pay $59.95 per month for a store just to list my items, the fact that some or all may be hidden from buyers is not something I consider "minute."

Thank you!
T.



Comments (10) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Mar 11 15:29:01 2019

If you want to give me your eBay ID I'll check and see if any of your listings are "hidden"

My bet is they are not hidden. . . .

The only items eBay has ever hidden of mine are gun parts! Are you selling gun parts?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Mon Mar 11 21:27:20 2019

@T. (OP)
There is 0% chance that the buyer side of your account will affect the selling side search visibility.  There are plenty of actual problems with eBay to worry about.  This is not one of them.  You are making a problem where none exists.

The CS people are saying that there might be minute FACTORS that decide placement of one listing over another - advantages like free shipping, promoted listing, important keywords, price, etc. and probably a hundred other considerations.  Don't worry, you won't be left out.  EVERYONE'S listings are hidden.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Mar 11 23:14:37 2019

@Lightning

"EVERYONE'S listings are hidden."
No, they are not!

Some listings are hidden (maybe)

I know an auction seller who runs 7 day auctions and their listings are never hidden. Almost all of their items get sold. (bidadoo_business)

My fixed price items aren't hidden (except gun items eBay thinks are for assault rifles)

If you sell fairly unique used items they aren't hidden!

I try to play the search game but most posters here on this forum don't want to play. . .

You say eBay hides? Let's seek!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 12 06:13:23 2019

""There are a lot of details about the extremely minute settings of the search engine itself that we're not made aware of - but those are specifically about the listings themselves and how the system determines what a user sees when searching."

Gibberish.  Making it up as she writes.

How the system determines what a user sees when searching?   All predetermined by eBay.  eBay's golden children--the large enterprise sellers with whom they have made deals.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 12 12:42:44 2019

@toolguy - Bidadoo makes eBay millions, so those listings are certainly not going to be hidden. But a small seller with a few dollars of FVFs a month is going to be hidden. That's eBay Business Practices 101.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Tue Mar 12 16:59:34 2019

@Toolguy
Many of us have experienced such long lulls in sales, that the only explanation is that our listings aren't visible at various times.  Not to say that a specific search won't find them, but mostly due to the algorithm of "Best Match", which is the default presentation to buyers.  So when they search for an item I have, my listing may be there, but buried toward the end, even if the lowest price.  If I have had a recent "dose" of good sales, chances are I will now be throttled to a lower level, giving other sellers a dose.  Like rationing.  It's the only logical conclusion.  

I have similar stuff for sale on a consistent basis.  One week sales are brisk, the next, almost dead, no change in what I am presenting.  Comparing to years back, it was much more level, and it should be if things are not manipulated.  I had a good week last week, especially on the weekend.  Now I am betting that this week will be abysmal, and so far not a single sale.  I know it's only Tuesday, but it's almost predictable.

If I am the low price, and someone specifically searches by low price, most likely I will be at the top.  But "Best Match" uses a different formula, a mystery formula, that only eBay knows.  And I have even had my listings not show when the low price, or not show AT ALL in a category search.  Sometimes it was because I didn't use the catalog (and didn't figure out right away that it was affecting me).  

Once in a while a search for the EXACT TITLE wouldn't bring it up.  Also noted instances where it wouldn't show up with the proper keywords, and saw that those displayed matched but did not have the manufacturer in the title.  I took that out, and I now I was visible.  Having something EXTRA in the title should not eliminate it from a search matching all other words.  And there are likely other reason I have yet to deduce.  It's not rocket science, but between the search not working correctly and eBay manipulating the priority of the presentation of my items, I call that "hiding".

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by: geministuff28 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 07:18:12 2019

Slightly ''off'' topic.. something I noticed..

I received a listing special for 100 free listings for auction only. Since I had 100's of BIN listings (spread over 4 selling IDs) that were ending in less then a week, I decided to take advantage of this listing special & send all my ending soon BIN to auction for a 10 day run..

Also wanted to get ahead of the coming GTC fiasco...

By time all those hundreds of listings I sent to auction ended, not a single sale, not one...
Well of course no sales when 95% had ''0'' hits & the other 5% got 1 or 2 hits.. So I concluded that everything I had listed was obviously either hidden or buried in the abyss...

I woke up this morning to a message from Ebay with another listing special offer...

200 free ''auction style or fixed price'' listings starting today & ending on the 18th...

I'll pass on the ''auction style'' which I don't understand why Ebay runs these auction style specials when it's so apparent that they never have any intentions on showing your listings or burying them so deep, nobody will ever see them.

Auctions have literally become a waste of time on Ebay.
So why is Ebay continuing this selling format?
If they are so hell bent on becoming ''AMAZON'' ish, why continue to lore sellers to list in the auction style format, only to hide & bury...

It would be a perfect solution if Ebay split into 2 separate sites. Mass produced cheap new commodities & used, vintage & authentic OOAK hand crafted items, etc.

But we all know that is but a pipe dream..  

I'd love to take advantage of this new listing special & do BIN, but.... when does this GTC rule actually start and if I was to list today at BIN for 30 days, will Ebay go into my listings & change everything to GTC???

Would/Could Ebay do this?

I would also be concerned of being hidden or buried because of having BIN for 30 days & not having everything as GTC...

Forget auctions... IMO this will be a total waste of half a day of work...

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

Thu Mar 14 08:06:04 2019

The search system is the Hugest PROBLEM eBay has. Title, description and Category are all searched to return searches. That is a catastrophic disaster. For common name products , your return is 20,000. Who the heck has time for that! Also over 60% is not what your looking for. This makes the buyer think eBay does NOT know what their doing. Lets try and SAVE eBay from itself inflicted logic. Title is the Only thing a search system should use?  Those web site that use title only have a MUCH higher accuracy rating. eBays search system has been given a grade of F- by rating agencies for accuracy! It's the major reason you do NOT have sales!  

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This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Thu Mar 14 17:47:35 2019

Does eBay apply real intelligence? I don't see the benefit of using AI to learn from corrupted searches. In the Stamps category buyers may search by the Scott catalog number, or some other catalog if a foreign buyer. Unfortunately, eBay confuses catalog numbers with prices or even user inventory ID numbers buried in the title. Frustrated buyers often resort to category browsing or they give up totally and search in category filtered by country and by price, or ending soonest, and possibly filtered by catalog number. A search for a United States type 1a Scott 500 could return mostly false positives. For various reasons, I set search default to be highest price + shipping. The search from Scott 500 returned 0 hits in the first 200 results returned. Most hits were from prices like $7,500. I tried ''best match'' and got 24 hits in the first 200 results, plus 4 hits on stamps misidentified as Scott 500. I don't see enough correlation between the search and valid results for anyone or any AI system to be able to validate a search algorithm. I hope AI is not being used to fish for correlations. I would guess that garbage in garbage out (GIGO) still applies.

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This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Thu Mar 14 18:52:32 2019

The post above was pasted into the wrong discussion. It belongs with the AI topic where posting is not working.



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