Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Search Mess on eBay

In the last week, my searches have become increasingly cluttered on eBay. The results have changed to a greater degree just this weekend. I always use Nancy Drew as the example, because it is the worst one of the searches that I run.

For the last couple of years, eBay has been playing all these games with search exposure. For a time, eBay was making people pay for international search exposure. That program has clearly ended, because the international results are now further cluttering up our results. In some ways, this is not bad, but it is also not good. Scratch that... it is awful.

My Nancy Drew results have increased by around 1,000 items since just yesterday. I am noticing a huge number of international items now mixed in, and the results are all fixed-price. These are not the type of items I want to be seeing. I don't want to see dozens of Armada softcover Nancy Drew books offered at $5.23 each. Consider what the cost is with the high international postage factored in. Ugh!

I am now going to use a search that is easy to navigate to show what part of the problem is with eBay. As far as I am concerned, the eBay user "Buy" is the root of all evil for the media category on eBay. has one of the anchor stores and while I am sure that Buy pays eBay a hefty amount for the exposure, I am equally sure that Buy pays eBay next to nothing per listing. Buy currently has one million listings on eBay. Yes, one million... 1,000,000!

Here are the results for a search for books by Edith Lavell.

The search contains exactly 14 results, and seven of them are offered by Buy. I highlighted the ones offered by Buy. Exactly why is it necessary for Buy to offer seven copies of the exact same book at a bunch of different prices? Buy is doing this with everything. It is ruining eBay! It is condoned by eBay! It is infuriating!

It is going to be a nightmare by March when people begin listing their free 100 $0.99 auctions and when all of the store items are also mixed into this great big mess. Around a year ago, the CEO stated that we would not recognize eBay in one year. He was right. This is the end of eBay as we knew it. R.I.P. eBay.

1 comment:

stratomiker said...

If you remember, several years ago eBay was offering huge $$$ loans to qualified people to become 'big time' dealers. Not only would you get the loans, but you'd get the opportunity to buy all kinds of product to sell on eBay at discounted prices. It was a huge venture in creating these monster dealers we now see. I even got telephone calls from eBay about this program, wanting to sign me up.

Well, I didn't want to borrow $50,000 to $100,000 from eBay nor have the chance to sell tubes of toothpaste or diabetic socks at a great profit. I sell BOOKS! So, of course, I kept saying No Thank You.

Apparently a bunch of people signed on and now they owe their bodies and souls to eBay. They borrowed $$$$, they buy product, they probably even have to get eBay's permission to use the bathroom.

I think eBay has pushed for this so that they can have this huge control and be the money lender, product source, and fee collector to all these monster dealers who will probably eventually end up living under bridges somewhere.