|Tue Mar 13 2012 15:27:33|
Sellers Worry About Impact of eBay Search Bugs on Sales
By: Ina Steiner
You know you've encountered a serious buyer when they've created sophisticated search queries and saved them on eBay, and it's not just collectors on the look-out for items to add to their portfolio. That's why technical issues impacting the eBay Saved Searches feature is a serious problem, one that sellers fear are having a negative impact on sales.
Users report they've been experiencing problems with their saved searches on eBay since mid-February, and the problems came back with a fury in early March.
On March 8, an EcommerceBytes reader wrote, "Just to let you know that eBay has now completely stopped me from searching some categories the way I want to. I literally can't use the search that I have used for the past almost 10 years. Anything with an * (asterisk) is out, anything with ( ) is out. Basically its worst match or nothing. I went from (finding) over 12,000 items to just over 6000. So, I can now see half of what is listed in the category."
Users can set preferences to receive email notifications for saved searches. Three days later, the same reader wrote that the email notification containing new items that matched her saved search was also broken:
According to the email notification, eBay had found 18143 newly-listed items that match her saved search and stated, "Just click "Show items" to see these matching items. We hope this helps you find exactly what you want." However, clicking on the "Show Items" button in the email took her to a page with zero results with the message, "0 results found for (Search Terms)."
A second reader wrote last week to say, "eBay is having it's second massive search problem" and pointing to several discussion board posts, including this one in which users report similar issues going back to mid-February. Wrote one poster on the thread, "I've had all kinds of problems searching with my long established bookmarked searches. Getting zero results where there should have been a few thousand. Getting 25 thousand hits when there should have been just a few or none."
Another poster wrote that they were bidding less as a result of search glitches. "Day six of the broken search problems. Including the previous week of search being broken, we're now at almost two weeks of my bookmarked searches no longer working. My bidding is way down because I can't run my bookmarked searches. This can't help eBay's first quarter results. In my 15 years on eBay I've never seen anything like this!"
Today, another reader contacted EcommerceBytes to say eBay's "advanced search" for eBay Stores has been broken for a few weeks. "I've brought it to eBay's attention several times but it still remains broken. It definitely affects my sales so I'm sure it does hurt others, too."
The search feature she referred to is explained under "Searching for items in eBay Stores" on the eBay help pages. She explained that the search always reverts back to the "store name" instead of "stores with matching items."
"The first couple of times I phoned eBay I was told to just search a different way," she said. "I replied that I pay good money for a store and the search feature should be working. The gentleman asked me three or four times, "I take it you want to close your store." To which I replied, "No, I want the search feature to work properly." Quite frustrating!"
eBay has been trying to improve its search functionality for years, and it will launch a massive overhaul to search called Project Cassini this year. (Sellers believe eBay began testing Cassini in September.) But the care and feeding of existing search functionality is as important as making large-scale improvements to search.
Feel free to weigh in on your experience with eBay search features.