In the last few months there have been more and more sellers complaining that their listings are not showing up on eBay, even in the dying hours of a full seven day auction. The auctions always appear in their “My eBay” demonstrating that the items were actually on the site. Sellers are complaining that their items are receiving no bids, and can not be found in category search results although searching by the item number would find their auction.
This was raised at the recent eBay Town Hall by sellers Sam and Debbie who called in. At the Town Hall Griff requested affected sellers to email him and he would investigate some specific item numbers. This is a difficult one to track down after the event, you need to search the item while it’s still live in order to diagnose the issue correctly.
There has been much speculation as to the root cause of the issue, including questioning are the new longer item numbers are to blame? eBay blogger firemeg comes close to the solution when mentioning “eBay has been telling sellers for months that listings (especially for high ticket items) will be subject to security checks prior to being indexed (ie. prior to showing in searches)“. The suggestion that security checks are delaying items appearing in search for the full duration of the auction is not the problem, but we are indebted to firemeg for the following YouTube broadcast which reveals the answers.
It turns out that in this case (and we suspect in many others) it’s a very simple explanation, the “high ticket items” comment holds the clue. In categories with high ticket items a high proportion of sellers pay for the Featured Plus listing enhancement. When search and browse results are sorted by “ending soonest” the items at the top of the first page will be Featured Plus listings. This feature costs sellers between Â£3.95 and Â£29.95 extra on eBay.co.uk (US$19.95 on eBay.com).
Featured plus listings always appear at the top of the page they would naturally fall upon in search results with one important exception – in categories where many sellers select the featured plus option, items about to end can flood the category and take up several pages of search results. In fact in some categories the first non-featured plus listings can be many pages back in search results.
In the category in the YouTube broadcast above (Jewelry & Watches > Rings > Diamond Engagement/Anniversary > Diamond Solitaire Rings) Featured Plus listings currently occupy the first eleven pages of search results and the first non featured plus listing is halfway down page twelve, hardly surprising sellers think their item is not indexed by eBay!
There are two solutions. Firstly to pay to have featured plus on your item, and secondly scroll through the pages to the end of the featured plus items to find the listings without that listing enhancement and you’ll find your auction.
If your listing never shows on the first page of search results in the last minutes of your auctions there is nothing amiss. It’s just the way that eBay is designed to work!
Finally eBay provide a little known utility so that you can locate exactly where your item is located on the site 🙂