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Sellers report faults with eBay UK search

By Dan Wilson April 3, 2014 - 3:29 pm

This afternoon, we’ve received numerous reports of sellers having problems with search on eBay UK. Basically, sellers who would expect to find their products in more prominent positions in search on eBay are discovering their goods further down returned search results.

Oner seller says of the problem: Sales are dramatically down. I noticed when I checked an item that was No.3 on best match yesterday hoping to see it at No.1. Now its not even in the top 200. This is the same for everything we sell! Our concerns are what will happen once it is fixed? Will we regain our position or will our current lack of sales impact us even once resolved?”

At the time of writing, I’ve asked eBay for comment but not received a comment on what the problem is, how long it has been happening or whn it might be fixed.

Are you experiencing similar problems and what is the effect on your sales?

  • 3 years ago

    Thank you for highlighting Dan.

    On a particular keyword for a BIN search we normally have around 50 items in the top 100.

    A product that was at no.1 yesterday is now sitting at around 600.

    I have noticed this several times over the years but normally it fixes itself much quicker. Last time I looked the number one item in the UK showing in Jacuzzi / Spa was a second hand bath from Kent, collection only with no bids and a buyitnow.

    When I pointed this out to someone within Top Seller Support or whatever it’s called these days I got…

    “I know how you wanted and how important it is for you to see your listing on top of other search results.”

    followed by

    “Please know that it is the system who set rankings on search results page and there is no single way to get the best position in search.”

    *Slow clap*

    • Alex
      3 years ago

      Hmmm, don’t know about all that but here’s a hypothetical and irrelevant conversation between a Website Development Department Team Leader and John, his Tech Guy.

      Time: Friday at 4pm:

      Team Leader: Hey John, have you heard the latest? Management say the site is working brilliantly and now making even more money than ever before but they still need to find more ways to increase profits, so Management are now looking at our Website Development Department and wondering why we employ so many people.

      Tech Guy: God, this is really bad news! Our Department employs 200 people and we could actually do the same job with just 10. Because there is so little to do we play Tetris all day just so we can appear busy when anyone looks! This is terrible news. If Management find out they will probably fire most of us. What are we going to do?

      Team Leader: That’s not a problem. I have a simple solution that always works. We screw up the site at about 5.25pm on Friday just before we all go home for the weekend and then by the time we come in on Monday CS will have had loads of angry users calling to complain and getting us to fix the site will be a priority. If we then tell everyone it’s a very serious and hard to fix problem and also describe it in a really complicated and technical gobbledy-goop way Management won’t have a clue what we’re on about, and then after we have dragged “the fix” out for a few days Management will be delighted that THEY had so many people working on it and were able to fix it. This will make Management look good and also justify the existence of our oversized, overpaid, and underworked department. It’s a Win-Win and who knows, we might even get a new coffee machine!

      And hey, don’t worry, it will really only take a few minutes to fix so you’ll still have plenty of time to play Tetris!

      Tech Guy: WOW! You mean we break something that actually works and then pretend to take ages fixing it just so we can keep our jobs, AND we still get to play Tetris? And in addition we might even get a new coffee machine? That’s just brilliant and I wish I’d thought of it! You’re a fantastic Team Leader and I think you deserve a massive pay rise!

      Ohhh, I just thought of something, what happens if Management find out?

      Team Leader (laughing): Don’t worry! We’ve done this many times before and it always works, Management haven’t got a clue!!!

      Sound familiar?

  • JohnR
    3 years ago

    One problem which happened for a very short time last week and again just the other day, was when I was doing searches or going onto a seller’s shop it was showing there was no listings when they actually have 1000’s on ebay and it was only after refreshing the page a few times that it would show the available listings.

  • PayPalUser
    3 years ago

    Yes, we’re having similar problems, however it is not interfering with the time we’re spend building our own website which is coming along nicely.

    As someone else has already said, top sellers hate eBay’s guts, we are one of them and are doing everything we can to get away from using them asap.

  • George
    3 years ago

    Same issues here too. Spoke to ebay customer support and apparently they’ve had quite a few a calls today with regards to this. I was a bit worried it was just me, it’s actually quite a relief to see other people are in the same boat. Hope they fix it soon as sales will fall off the cliff otherwise.

  • mw
    3 years ago

    Noticed at the start of the week that a search result showed 12 US items ahead of ours in the UK search. Got on to ebay chat about it. After being cut off twice I eventually got a p**s poor answer for it, which was the US have probably paid for International visibility and that is why they are listed ahead of ours. Looking again after reading this post on the same search 37 out of 50 are US. Guess I got lied to then…. waiting for the feedback questionnaire now!

  • James
    3 years ago

    Thus is really effecting our business. Had it with eBay. It’s just not worth the effort.

  • 3 years ago

    Second hand bath from Kent, now replaced at top the of serps by a second hand bath from Middlesbrough, collection only.

  • Andrew
    3 years ago

    Nightmare scenario for us which started around 8 pm last night. EBay have confirmed they have found the problem but still no fix to date (19.50)

    • 3 years ago

      Hi Andrew,

      Can you shed any light, what did they say? the last thing we were told was it would be passed to Technical..whatever that means.

    • Andrew
      3 years ago

      Exactly the same really. I was hoping it would be fixed by now but apparently not.

  • Chris
    3 years ago

    I thought this was common knowledge, the search has been dreadful for the past 2 weeks.

    • Tj
      3 years ago

      Same in the us. March 19th our page views dropped from 500 + a day to about 5. Cs has no clue when we called. Sales off 66% in past month. We’re a power seller, anchor store with 2500+ listings

  • Cambridge_Blue
    3 years ago

    Search and best match have been broken for a very long time.
    We suspect sales on eBay have been so bad for so many sellers most have not even noticed.
    Only those of you who are (or were?) still getting decent sales and search visibility/ranking will have noticed any change!
    For many other sellers eBay is almost dying on its feet and for no obvious reason in many categories.
    Good luck to you and hope you get your search ranking back soonest.

  • 3 years ago

    I’m seeing US and China listings in search ahead of UK listings, I also get the error, something like ‘this seller does not exist’ randomly when trying to view listings.

    I also read on the eBay forums that eBay are playing a recorded message when you ring up saying there are major technical difficulties.

    I’ve hardly sold a thing all day.

  • janet
    3 years ago

    Same for me, im top rated business seller with 100% feedback, Brand new item, free post e.t.c…top item in best match search for what i sell is a used item offered by private seller with 98.5% feedback and asking £7.50 for shipping!!!!….Can someone explain?….Whats the point of TR e.t.c, it seems to count for nothing,

    Also only one sale today which is unheard of for us!

    Also now having real problems accessing messages, keep getting “page not responding”, been like this for about 2 hours now..anyone else having this issue?

    Ebay need to explain whats going on and get it sorted a.s.a.p

  • 3 years ago

    My sales bombed for no reason last week. Was doing 10 a day now 2 or 3 a day…

  • Wayne
    3 years ago

    Its been the complete opposite for me, I have sold 37 items in the last 24 hours, and 54 in the last 7 days, so 37 for today and 17 for the previous 6 days. it normally takes me about 2 weeks to sell the amount I sold today.

    It could also be that this is now a factor – http://news.parcel2go.com/article/ebay-sellers-advised-how-to-meet-new-gold-standard-10191

    Regards

    Wayne

  • Andrew
    3 years ago

    Things are beginning to return to normal. Thank god.

  • Rich
    3 years ago

    Both me and my wife have noticed the same problem, but this has been going on for some time. We both have our own computer running the same OS and Browser. When she search the same keyword as me, she gets a different result then I do. This seems strange. I also checked this on my mobile phone, again the result is different. This I think explains why sales are good, then they just stop.

    We find it amazing that after selling on eBay for 8 years, and only selling on Amazon for 2 months. We are finding we are getting more Amazon sales than eBay sales.

    eBay seems to have many bugs at the moment. Lets hope they get it fixed.

  • Andrew
    3 years ago

    It is now fixed

  • admiralhardinge
    3 years ago

    Agree with others who have said it has been dreadful for several weeks, although strangely my sales have improved in the last 7 days.

    Frankly my assumptuion is that Cassini doesn’t work and is worse than the poor search ranking ebay had before. Right now it seems irrelevant to offer the best price, Top Rated status, Premium Service, free p&p, 1 day despatch, good pics, because whatever ebay say I am regularly outranked by items offering a far worse deal. The only people these kind of results make sense to seem to be those sitting in ebay offices.

    Amazon’s results if there are 10 sellers for an item simply list in overall cost order, and you can look at reviews to see if you want to buy from them. It is a far superior and simpler system.

  • 3 years ago

    Good news that it’s fixed.

    However, I look forward to the day when I advise somebody at eBay that something is broken based on 10+ years on the platform and they actually listen, rather than dismiss you like a cretin with a poorly worded, poorly scripted load of *ollocks.

  • Chris
    3 years ago

    Our sales have certainly picked up from the start of April.
    Finally people are seeing our listings again..

    • Pete AM
      3 years ago

      No increase in our sales yet, maybe we have to complain here before they do maybe?. Earlier today I did a search for Norton and got a pick up only from US above UK sellers, had me in stitches, except it really isn’t funny.

  • 3 years ago

    eBay have given this comment on Friday re the reported fault:

    “We noticed a bug yesterday which affected search for a short period. This was identified straight away and has since been fixed.”

  • JD
    3 years ago

    Yes…sales dipped. This isn’t the first time this has happened in the last 20 days. My favourite sellers who regularly list items on eBay showed up with nothing.

    • JD
      3 years ago

      Imposter.

  • Lynne
    3 years ago

    My sales have dropped dramatically over the past week when I put in search for my items the first pages are all Chinese sellers . Also as a buyer I am finding the search bringing up silly items with no relation to the product I want.

  • mw
    3 years ago

    Are we the only ones who cannot search in their own ebay catalogue for words that are not included in the title? We place a stock code in the item description to make searching and matching easy. This is not being brought up when we do a search of our items in our ebay shop.

  • Jon Limbert
    3 years ago

    I am surprised at these eBay search results. The new search system clearly does not understand that the word and = & which is totally unforgivable! Blatant proof their new search system is very flaky.

    Could it be ta problem with the html version which is &amp

    Rice and Beans Orchestra 4 results
    Rice & Beans Orchestra 15 results

    Sammy Davis Jr & Dean Martin 59 results
    Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin 4 results

    black and decker drill 517 results
    black & decker drill 2980 results

  • kittykat
    3 years ago

    The search is still a mess. I’m UK based TRS and I’ve usually got around 7-8 items on front page for a particular search, and 3 of them are pretty much always near the top.

    This week I’ve seen them all drop dramatically in results, and despite any sales of said items, they stay stuck down there. I might sell 5 in a day and gain 2 watchers, but the top spot is reserved for a horrible Chinese knock off with no sales history, and a US import with 2 week delivery time that includes those lovely surprise customs duties.

    In fact, about 85% of front page on this search is now China or USA. It used to be mostly listings within the country.

    I also noticed sellers with poor feedback and new accounts are also getting top priority now. Some of these top listings are coming from very questionable sellers.

    My sales are down, and sadly the international sellers and the scammy competitors are getting all the top spots. My fair and square UK competitors are also buried deep in the mess.

  • Gemma
    3 years ago

    I don’t think the search issue is fixed. Apparently £16.99 + £0.99 is more than £17.99 when sorted by Price+P&P lowest first…

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