Why eBay’s Item Specifics don’t work for me

Item specifics simply aren’t working for me as a buyer on eBay. There I said it! The biggest source of my frustrations with buying on eBay (and I know for sellers as well) are summed up in that one sentence.

eBay Suit Search

The last couple of days I’ve been looking for a new suit. I’ve got to go to a wedding in a couple of months and I know my size – ideally a 42″ or 44″ chest, 36″ waist and 34″ inside leg. It should be simple you’d think?

eBay Suit Item SpecificsWhen I search eBay the Item Specifics I’m offered are as shown here. I’m not too worried about brand or colour, I just want a suit (any suit!) in my size so the first specific I go for is the chest. 44″ sounds about right.

This is where the problems start – eBay offer a “Trouser Size” Item specific. Even as a seasoned eBay user this confuses me – is it the waist size or is it the inside leg measurement? Eventually I figured out that no one has a 38″ inside leg so it must be waist. 36″ it is then.

Finding the inside leg Item Specific is tricky. If you click “View All” you’d expect to see it but it’s not there. It only appears by clicking “View All” AFTER you’ve filled in the waist size (or Trouser Size as eBay call it). I don’t know about other people, but I’m not interested in browsing beautiful suits that don’t fit me – I want eBay to make it easy to show me just the clothes in my size.

Even when you find the size options, eBay only offer two inch increments – many suits have a 33″ inside leg but eBay only display 32″ or 34″ which means all 33″ leg suits are invisible. There’s also a Length item specific – Short, Regular or Long but selecting that only found one suit (a Tuxedo) in my size.

There is also another bizarre quirk of eBay. Three measurements for a suit are specified in three different ways – Chest is “44”, Trouser size (waist) is “36 in.” and Inside Leg is “44L” (that L isn’t for long, it stand for Leg). As all the measurements are in inches surely it’s time for eBay to standardise how they display measurements.

Moving on, it’s a wedding so I’m only interested in a new suit. Clicking “New with tags” gives me just nine suits to choose from. One’s a £99.99 Tuxedo. The remaining suits range from £220 to £260, seven from one seller and the last suit from a third seller.

I did eventually find a suit on eBay. All my time trying to narrow my search with Item Specifics was wasted though. The seller specified Chest Size: 36″ to 46″ and Trouser Size: 30″ to 44″. By specifying a range of sizes and then using a multi variation listing to detail the exact sizes it was nigh on impossible to find.

I don’t blame sellers for not getting the item specifics correct. They’re just far too difficult and confusing to complete, especially on clothing. I know eBay put hundreds of man hours of work in trying to tweak them but it’s just not good enough. For what it’s worth it’s even worse on Amazon where I couldn’t find a single suit in anything approximating my size.

If anyone’s interesting, here’s the suit I’ll be wearing to the wedding. I didn’t find it by using Item Specifics by but constantly entering different search terms until I found a suit that fitted me. In truth I did so many searches I can’t even remember the one that worked. Please eBay, make it easier to buy a suit next time I need one.
eBay Suit