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Is there something wrong with eBay UK search today?

By Dan Wilson March 5, 2014 - 5:49 pm

We’ve received several emails today at Tamebay about eBay search. All the emails describe slightly different problems but a sudden flurry of incoming mail on the same topic is usually evidence that something is awry.

The most notable problem reported was that the filter on search that gives UK based items prominence isn’t working, meaning that items from overseas were getting an equal chance of eyeballs on eBay.co.uk. Now, I’ve not been able to replicate that

Search is vital to sellers: it’s how you’re found. So if something is wrong it’s big news.

Have you noticed anything odd with Search these past few days?

  • james
    3 years ago

    eBay seem to have introduced collections to the home page today (for me at least), it seems every time they introduce a new feature it knocks onto adversely affect something else, so my money is on that as the culprit. i’ll also place a side bet on eBay denying all knowledge of anything whatsoever, if its still going on tomorrow they will stop denying and acknowledge awareness, and by friday “an engineer” will have been looking into it since before the problem even existed.

  • JD
    3 years ago

    Hi Dan,

    My money is on enabling ‘collections’ as well.

    Collections originated on .com and so the majority of currently live items involve .com items.

    For these to show eBay will have had to overide site search filters.

    If you want to check this further here is a link to ‘trending collections’.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/cln

    If you start there, browse a couple of collections and then re-check your filters you may see this in action.

    Whatever the cause of the issue it is totally disruptive

  • 3 years ago

    We’ve had a horrendously slow week; particularly today…….only 2 sales from UK buyers which is VERY unusual. I too think that every time eBay tweaks something they worsen the chances of us having sales. I have been complaining for MONTHS that many of my customers say THE SHOPPING BASKET DOES NOT WORK……reported it more times than I care to say………………nothing is fixed, eBay gets more and more broken. If this continues, even after building up a business on eBay for 13+ years I might have to rethink the rest of my working life! eBay I am certain thinks we will put up with all their trivial nonsense BUT one day we’ll all of had more than we can take!

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      “eBay I am certain thinks we will put up with all their trivial nonsense BUT one day we’ll all of had more than we can take!”

      funnily enough we were just thinking the same after 15years,
      ebay seem to be going further and further over to the dark side these days

    • Charlie
      3 years ago

      Well snap, we have not had one sale from the UK since early hours of Monday. This is most unusual for the time of year.

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      Put simply it won’t be a matter of choice for many of us much longer. Ebay are clearly literally bankrupting our businesses or at best making them so unreliable as an income stream week to week that they are simply unviable. Not because of anything we are doing because that would suggest we have control to make everything work again.

  • Jimbob
    3 years ago

    Follow these simple rules to get to the top of ebay search –

    1) Be a Chinese seller with lots of pictures of UK flags and other misleading info in your listing.

    2) Totally ignore any recommendations re: Ebay picture standards.

    3) Do not pay any taxes or register for VAT even when turning over 100,000’s

    • Leigh
      3 years ago

      So funny but probably so right

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      Don’t forget USA garden shed sellers clearly avoiding uk import duties and taxes by sending items as “gifts” undeclared. HMRC need to compel ebay to display duties and taxes on .co.uk site for non-uk sellers. Whilst the buyers responsibility, they should be disclosed using the product category listed in to apply the UK tariff applicable as a “guide”. Guarantee that would knowck this nonsense on the head and boost UK sellers sales a LOT. But then expecting our own government to protect its resident businesses appears to be an alien concept, whilst they batter us for VAT, Corp Tax and fine us for late returns etc quick enough?

  • elvis
    3 years ago

    Is there something wrong with eBay UK search today?

    Was ebay search ever right?

    • elvis
      3 years ago

      We’re the opposite, the past 24 hours we have had zero international sales. This is the first time this has happened in our time trading on ebay since 2006

  • 3 years ago

    same goes for me, ebay sales have been awful. time to think if all the messing around for ebay is actually worth it, as always ebay ,,the company that fails to listen,,unless your a buyer.

  • Rich
    3 years ago

    Our eBay sales have been more than slow since last week. We have been selling on eBay for 3 years, and now on Amazon for only 3 weeks. Sales on eBay have gone from 20 – 30 a day to 1 or 2 a day, Amazon sales have been 4 time this amount. Just seems when I search for our products on eBay ( Ladies Clothing ) I get clocks, and all other stuff, and the Hong Kong seller are always at the top of any search.

    We also noticed that using 2 computer running the same OS and Browser, We are seeing not just different items in search, but different looking item listing pages. On my computer it looks like the US eBay listing page, on my partner computer it shows the normal looking UK eBay page. On my computer it shows “Save sellers to favorites, on my partner computer it shows “Follow this seller” Really odd.

  • JD
    3 years ago

    Location filters are having an effect this morning. But I think that eBay are currently fiddling with the filters. I will check the same searches again later.

    A large search gave the following results:

    on eBay UK: 650,451
    UK only: 643,867
    EU: 2,787,427
    WW: 1,901,598

    Something is clearly botched if there are more items from EU than are listed WW! From historical data, I would have expected ‘on eBay UK’ to be around 1,250,000.

    • JD
      3 years ago

      There is a system dynamic at work. The more that I repeat the search, the lower the numbers in each location search become.

      Is this having an effect on sales? You bet. Sales have now reached eBid proportions!

  • Tony
    3 years ago

    There’s something wrong with using ‘worldwide’ that’s for sure – I search for something and select worldwide and get around 10 results, switch back to UK only and get 244 results

  • Chris L
    3 years ago

    The last few days have been very slow for me too both on UK Sales but also on Global Sales which is generally my biggest selling area.
    February was a great month, close to revenues from December but I can also confirm that March is extremely slow

  • Leigh
    3 years ago

    Things have progressively worsened over the last 12 months, I have a quarter of the page views I had before, less bids and poorer end prices. Now that can’t be right and it all stems from the new Cassini search being installed.

  • Chris
    3 years ago

    For us, the mid to end of February was extremely poor.
    Though, it did pick up when people had been paid.
    This month does seem slow.

    eBay do seem to be messing around with changes and what not at the minute.

  • Paul
    3 years ago

    Yes, noticed it yesterday. Items in US appearing top of search results even when ‘UK only’ turned on. Seems fixed now.

  • Teresa
    3 years ago

    Had loads of worldwide sales but not many Uk ones!

  • Alex
    3 years ago

    YES, there is an issue and this type of problem is becoming more frequent.

    I did a search yesterday and selected the “Items located in UK only” filter but still got 100’s of results from China.

    Last week for two consecutive days I received ZERO search result emails. This has happened several times before. I notice technical issues with the site pretty much every week (mostly they are very minor but still something is not functioning correctly) and these issues are always following some type of change which is nearly always valueless. Eventually it gets fixed but I am not an eBay Beta tester and I resent being used as one. I expect the site to work correctly and given the amount of fees I pay eBay (eBay have increased my charges by over 20% in this past year) I believe I have a right to expect a high standard of service.

    Maybe if the eBay web team stopped fixing/playing with things that don’t need changing we would see a site that functions with greater consistency and reliability.

    I’m sure eBay would call these so called changes “improvements” but that’s not how it looks as a user. My guess is that the web development team do these continuously random and mostly pointless changes to the site (nearly every change initially causes some type of a problem) to justify the employment of their probably overstaffed (and possibly overpaid) web development team.

    Let’s face it, if they stopped messing with the site it would work better. This however would mean a load of people sitting around doing nothing which would then raise the obvious question of why shell out so much salary on a load of people doing nothing, which would doubtless lead to a few people loosing their jobs. IMO this would actually be a good thing! Instead we have a team of people creating work to justify their employment. If they did a good job I would not care but they don’t. I actually doubt senior management have any clue about this – they probably don’t know anything about web development so when it comes to anything technical management are probably totally out of their depth.

    As the old saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    • Gary
      3 years ago

      Isn’t that what I keep saying! We are paying fees for staff that ebay do not need. ebay are in an empire building situation staff wise. They are operating at a staff efficiency rate of about 50% with many staff recycling work to make them and their departments look busy. I have seen all this corporate empire building nonsense before first hand and know what goes on! Leaner is meaner in my book and Mr Icahn may be better off questioning staff numbers and what staff actually do rather than attempting to split the company in two. There are plenty of government bodies in the same boat of course and there is an attitude of it is taxpayers money so who cares? Trouble is ebay adopt the same attitude with its fee revenue.

      Ebay profits are not rising but staff numbers are. That says it all really!

      I say cut ebay fees by 25% and cut staff by 50%. Then see how the ebay profits and stock price rise!

  • Jon
    3 years ago

    I’m looking for a “torque wrench” on eBay, there are 7500+ listed but if I refine the search to ‘ending soonest’ there are 0! they have DEFINITELY mucked up the search function somehow.

  • 3 years ago

    The client I am with today has had an unusual spike in sales. Wednesday/Thursdays are normally low days but are being very good this week. Swings and roundabouts :)

  • cackonmyleg
    3 years ago

    Ditto. Averaging £700 a day until yesterday. ONE sale yesterday. Nothing so far today either and now 1:15pm.

    Did a search check on ebay france and italy and found my items not showing up, then showing up, then not. I also found USA items showing up in the “UK only” filter.

    As for “collections” what marketing clown convinced ebay anyone gives a toss for such pretentious nonsense. Particularly to effectively take over the entire site layout!

    As said by numerous well informed members above, we don’t pay ebay fees to be beta test guinea pigs. We pay for exposure, promotion and access to a customer base.

    If a landlord bricked up our front door and window we would rightly sue. Ebay for some reason thinks their site is one big playground, rather than the lifeblood of thousands of businesses.

    Wanna play with your site? Buyout ebid or someone and do it, don’t take my money and stick it back up our backsides because honestly, we really really resent it.

  • JD
    3 years ago

    Liz, I am very pleased for your client.

    I have just repeated the search that I carried out earlier today.

    07.50
    on eBay UK: 650,451
    UK only: 643,867
    EU: 2,787,427
    WW: 1,901,598

    13.25
    on eBay UK: 23,410
    UK only: 693,238
    EU: 3,033,339
    WW: 3,358,077

    Remember ‘on eBay UK’ is the default UK search!
    Quite definitely all screwed up.

    Dan, what does eBay say?

  • PayPalUser
    3 years ago

    Sales Yesterday + 45
    Sales today = Big Fat ZERO

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      I can confirm exactly the same across BOTH our ebay accounts as at 16:10hrs. Nothing, not a sausage, not even a tiny accessory/part sale. Should be doing 10-20 items per day across both accounts. Something is up, bigtime but this is not funny, not clever and totally unacceptable. Ill tell the bank i cant pay my loan tomorrow because ebay just introduced “collections” by reggie yates and alex james and that lady from dragons den and screwed their sellers for the privilege of a students vanity project.

    • PayPalUser
      3 years ago

      I am happy that I made the decision a while back to concentrate my efforts on building a website. This is very time consuming and the site is still in the construction stage at the moment, but eBay’s constant dicking around convinces me that my time spent on my own site is going to be worth it long term.

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      You hit the nail on the head! 1) build your own site (NOT magento as that is now under ebay tampering hence the copying of magento CSS blocks into ebay ‘collections’) 2) spend your ebay fees on google adwords instead. Imagine the hours you have spent deciphering ebays constant changes, disputes, feedback or doubting your own business decisions for reasons outside of your control, and then imagine having poured that same energy/time/money into developing your own site/customers.

      Ebay WAS great as relatively easy once up and running. Now it is one massive headache with one crisis after another and has become so labour/stress intensive it is no longer the “startup” marketplace that so many of us here used to get going all those years ago.

      It’s like an abusive relationship, it started with mutual affection and then one side started abusing the trust and the paranoia of fear of losing the partner led to control, domination and threatening behaviour. they dont want you to see your friends or family or go out with other people (amazon, google) as you would then realise what a git they are and how life COULD be without them.

      Well we here are beaten black and blue today, AGAIN. Do we hide our faces and stay in this abusive relationship, or get out?

      Your choice but this partner is getting more abusive and less repentant with every incident

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      .
      Hear, hear….

    • Gary
      3 years ago

      With Shopfactory you can have a sales website up and running in under a day and be on page 1 of google search in under a week. Depends on what you sell of course and Shopfactory is not cheap but it works (for me) and creates an identity. More than cover its cost with what would be my ebay fees several times over each year so entirely happy. And it adds cred to the ebay biz which adds value to auction and BIN sales. I can generally obtain up to 25% more than “amateur” sellers which also makes stock buying that little bit easier as margins are not so tight. I am amazed when I meet up with like minded people face to face who I don’t know who during a random conversation suddenly cotton on who I am and then proclaim “so you are ******************* your website is one of the best around!” Forever known then as Mr *****************

      You are not perceived as a fly by night if you have your own website!

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      just call us batman we do so much night flying lol

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      .
      EKM works for us.

      http://www.ekmpowershop.com/

    • Andrew G
      3 years ago

      Gary – what made you choose Shopfactory?

      After 7 years on ebay i feel they are taking the mick and we need to look at selling under our own steam. we are turning over about £15k per month and do sell all over the world.

      I have started to look at shops and there is so many and so many views . thanks for any info from any one who can advise

  • 3 years ago

    eBay have been in touch to say two things:

    – There was a search bug, but it has been fixed. (They haven’t advised when)

    – That bug was nothing to do with the roll out of Collections.

    Dan

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      Did they get Reggie Yates to do it? lol

    • JD
      3 years ago

      Thanks Dan.

      My checks for the same searches that I did earlier have now given results that are stable at a more rational level over the last hour.

      13.25
      on eBay UK: 23,410
      UK only: 693,238
      EU: 3,033,339
      WW: 3,358,077

      17.30
      on eBay UK: 1,698,046 (still rather more than the 1,250,000 that would have been the norm 6 months ago)
      UK only: 536,810
      EU: 2,657,781
      WW: 4,331,543

      I will check again in 24 hours.

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      Good work JD ill keep checking back on your reports.

      A lot of ebayers have commented that you get variations depending on which windows platform (7, xp etc) and even browser you use. I’m guessing it’s a similar case to when cassini first roled out in early 2013 when they ran two parallel sites for several weeks to live test.

      I just hope to god this doesnt go like the original buy it now/shopping basket launch/delayn a few years back, or turbo lister going down for 5 weeks last year with silence from ebay in response to enquiries.

      That was absolute hell and will finish many of us this time I fear.

    • JD
      3 years ago

      Have checked again, numbers are about as stable as would be considered ‘normal’ for eBay.

      6/3/14 – 17.30
      on eBay UK: 1,698,046
      UK only: 536,810
      EU: 2,657,781
      WW: 4,331,543

      8/3/14 – 10.00
      on eBay UK: 1,681,029
      UK only: 545,485
      EU: 2,655,898
      WW: 4,291,672

      I think that we can say that the phase/issue is over for the time being.

  • Andrew G
    3 years ago

    Gary – what made you choose Shopfactory?

    After 7 years on ebay i feel they are taking the mick and we need to look at selling under our own steam. we are turning over about £15k per month and do sell all over the world.

    I have started to look at shops and there is so many and so many views . thanks for any info from any one who can advise

    • Gary
      3 years ago

      I choose Shopfactory because you can work on your PC with the software and then upload to the server. I sell unique items so a lot of image work required and constant website updates. I previously had a server based shop offered by a host but found that is was slow to make changes and got frustrated with the time lost while I waited for the server to refresh. Shopfactory made far better use of my time as no waiting for server refreshing when making modifications. Do the mods on the PC and then bang! Upload to server. Stock control works great and it has its own sales manager software to. Also gives the flexibility to bring your own design thoughts to the website and build in your own pages and html and embed videos and more. Also good if you sell downloads, offer coupons, and general back office automation but these feature do come at an extra monthly cost of about £17.

      Also like the fact that it is google friendly with auto generated sitemaps. List something and within 48 hours on google homepage of search. So good SEO. No need to pay for it!

  • cackonmyleg
    3 years ago

    Bingo, like a plug being released have sold £700 since 7pm across 14 items last night having done zero for 2 whole days.

    But thats 2 days (weds, thurs) sales lost that will never get back. To add onto the growing list of technical issues (accidental and deliberate) they have caused in the past 12 months.

    Once again demonstrating ebay is as an informed business choice as putting your business money on black at the casino where the wheel is also rigged.

    I give up……….

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      .
      Found Amazon quite this week too…….

  • 3 years ago

    I know that my volumes are a lot smaller than most of the others who post on tamebay. But I have had my best week ever this week. Mind you it has been helped by a New Book being published on Monday and I had it listed and it seems that everybody else missed it. So I picked up a lot of sales that normally I would not have had. Yet even taking that out of the calculation I had a good week.

    I can only guess that its the old swings and roundabouts and just for a change they were moving in my favour. Probably this coming week will be a disaster for me.

  • cackonmyleg
    3 years ago

    Well my listings today are showing “fast and free” badge despite being 2 day dispatch and 48hr courier.

    Other listings on ebay france and italy are not showing at all with a competitors identical item getting top billing there. Any single variation of words in the title has the item visible and then invisible in searches despite the first 2 words remaining constant.

    Once again we are paying for listings and not receiving the representation to the marketplace charged for.

    Once again, no sales.

    We are now verging on a perfect storm as a business with bills falling overdue as a result of a March collapse.

    We are maybe a few weeks away from closing our doors for good after almost a decade due to continual technical glitches, deliberate throttling and unauthorised clandestine manipulation of our listings by incompetent clowns.

    Mr Icahn, please put these incompetent ignorant muppets out of a job before they put my employees out of theirs through no fault of their own or ours.

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    Just checked at 12:49am Saturday and agree with all of this. Fast and Free showing on listings for delivery on Thursday. Search on overseas ebay is random and not meaningful with unusual priorities given that are not helpful for buyers. Buyers will open cases and defects will result on the back of ebay’s deliberate acts of sabotage.

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