eBay UK's new search loses SIF results?

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Last week, eBay UK made rather a cryptic announcement about how shops’ listings will appear in search. Some of us were hopeful that Best Match might even mean that SIF listings could return to search results, but it seems our optimism was misplaced.

can't search on BIN and SIF together
click picture to embiggen

The first problem I discovered is that it’s not actually possible to search BIN and SIF listings at the same time. If I want to buy something now, I don’t actually care what sort of listing it comes from, I just want to get it and pay for it, but eBay’s search filter is now forcing me to choose between BIN or SIF: if you choose one, the other is greyed out. The old system which gave those in the know the option to add SIFs into their BIN searches was bad enough: if a buyer specifies ‘buy it now’, SIF listings should be included by default. But telling buyers they need to choose between the two formats is just nonsensical; the average buyer has no idea what the difference is, and neither should they have to figure it out. This is exceedingly user-unfriendly.

Then I had an email from TameBay reader Miss Tequila, who’s been seeing some even odder search results. She told me she’d been looking for “raw 7 cashmere”, one of her favourite searches. On the left is the old search; on the right, the new:

The old search shows 25 items including SIF; the new, just one. As Miss T. says, “looks like they want shops gone”.

eBay’s original announcement suggests there is more than one new layout being tested, so Miss T’s version may not be what everyone’s seeing. If you’re one of those seeing the new search results, please let us know what you think: the more specific detail you can give us, the better ๐Ÿ˜‰

Updated to add

I heard from eBay regarding Miss T’s search results; they point out that the old version searches worldwide, and the new one doesn’t, and that this is the reason for the discrepancy. It’s nice to have it explained, though I do wonder, if Miss T and me both missed it, how difficult this is going to be for buyers to get right too.

22 Responses

  1. This really is a pain….

    I rest stock in the shop and then bring it back into auction, but if it is going to be completely invisible what is the point? I have shop links all over the place, but I shall have to rethink my marketing as well.

  2. I think I’ve sussed a way to do it – you can select “Search including Title and item description and/or Shop inventory” seperately.

    If you select search including Shop inventory you get auction, BIN and SIF.

    As soon as you go into the pop up box you can then only select BIN as SIF is already included and you can’t select Auction with SIF.

    It’s mighty confusing trying to select the options you want but I think they are:

    Normal search – Auction and BIN

    Include SIF – Auction, BIN and SIF

    Include SIF plus BIN in buying options – BIN and SIF (can not select to include Auction)

    SIF (Selected from the more choices buying formats, not the include SIF) – SIF only

    Wonder how many hours of meetings it took to decide these options – putting an “Include SIF” and a “SIF only” in the buying format section would have been so much easier to figure out!

  3. I cannot see Ebay reducing the visible nature of shop items,

    if anything they seem to want them to be more visible as they realise auction results are dire for many

  4. One of the quirks of BestMatch is a search fridge lock !

    If you wanted a lock for your fridge, you may well buy a ร‚ยฃ35,000 Winnebago motorhome instead ๐Ÿ˜›

    (its because BM picks up fridge in Item Specifics)

  5. You know the more I think about this the more I think buyers won’t see the include SIF button and won’t be able to work out how to search SIF and BIN but exclude auctions ๐Ÿ™

  6. No buyer is going to do #2 – they’re not going to bother to figure out the site, they’re just going to do what I did and assume it’s impossible. eBay need to fix this like yesterday.

  7. Hello again Miss T here!

    Ok just ran a search for ‘Cashmere Robe’, another fave

    VERY odd results once more on both the old and new searches

    Scrolling down it shows 6 Items from International Sellers but when you click on that ‘6’ it magically becomes 8!

    Then, scrolling down, if you click “Item found in eBay Shops” it gives a pop up box that has no real relevance!!

    You HAVE to actually click the “1” (in this case) and suddenly you get 65 Items found Internationally in eBay Shops

    WHY are they making “Items found in eBay Shops” clickable?
    Buyers will think that’s it and go no further :0(

    Sue I have screenshots once again if you would like them

  8. it matters little anyway , with buyers deserting the site in their 1000s and products vanishing from ebay and moving elsewhere the point really is , does it matter what comes up in a search ,,,,, if no one is searching for anything !?

    I am of the opinion that someone has played a very nasty trick on ebay , they have sent them a business bible and the chapter headed “100 things NOT to do to succeed in hosting a retail venue ” has had the word “NOT” tippexed out

    It was stated a year or two back that “ebay’s business goal is to drive all sellers off the site , and only have buyers remaning”.
    well looks like they are doing fairly well , focussing on buyers is the way forward for sure , no sellers at all , just buyers searching and just getting “sorry your search found nothing , we understand your frustration , please try again ”

  9. the new search drives me crackers.
    i sell a device made by Repeatit for ร‚ยฃ144.00

    good seller on website.

    ebay just spellchecks and returns searches for repeater and never shows the product..grrr

    surely i am not the only one to search by manufacturer

  10. I just tried that search for “repeatit” (no idea what it is but I tried anyway) and got 0 results, do you mean repeater, then below that 1 item found in ebay shops.

    Then I tried one of the CDs I have listed, 17 auctions/bins shown first, in order of those finishing first, below that the shops items, in price order cheapest first. Which is something we all complained about in the past grrrrr.

    I don’t think it’s good news ๐Ÿ™

  11. #9 Thanks for the reminder Richard lol

    New Search – Repeatit
    search 0 results, 1 item found in eBay Shops

    Old Search – Repeatit – did you mean repeater?(694)
    search 0 results, 1 item found in eBay Shops

  12. yep, just tried it again and now its picking up the shop listing.

    why’s it keep changing, i have firefox set to delete all cookies on closing so i get very random results with ebay at the mo.

  13. My shop listings have vanished in the last few days, despite being quite a niche product. Sales and page views have plummeted, although I’m seeing a higher percentage of traffic from outside eBay – Google, Yahoo etc. I’ll be listing some items in core BIN over the next few days with links back to the shop listings. Clever ploy to get me to spend more money… ๐Ÿ™„

    I still do not see how making the search more complex is any way to “improve the buyer experience”, and I am still reading dozens of threads across the ‘net from people complaining about the new search – and not just on eBay-focused sites either.

  14. If anyone here is struggling with eBay’s new search layout there is an online petition asking eBay to keep the old search as an option. Please sign it if you agree with this as the more members sign it the more chance eBay will listen.

    Sign The Petition Against The New Search Layout


  15. I don’t think that eBay will keep the old search as an option – it’ll be 100% the new one. A much better option would be to voice tweaks that would improve the new one as it’s more likely to be listened to.

    Some battles aren’t worth fighting because you won’t win. Other skimishes like tweaks have a fair chance of success ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. I am just cannon fodder I go over the top without question ๐Ÿ˜†

    I will use what ever ebay offer or work round it ,or adapt and just get on with my life

  17. Has anyone heard, can confirm or can anyone read Italian as I have just read on the Business Board that eBay Italy has introduced “No more SIF, instead fixed price items can sell for 30 days for shop owners”??

  18. Thanks Sue, that makes sense if they are messing about with Visibility on UK now

    I guess we have to just wait and see

    Have to say though eBay sure pick their timings! This couldn’t be a worse year to mess about with livelyhoods.

  19. The new search is hated by thousands as their own discussion board proves but Ebay ARE getting twitchy and using their Usage Policy to delete adverse posts. Haven’t they heard the Net is bigger than them!!!!

  20. I’m a usa user and I’ve been BUYING from ebay for years, around ten times each year for smaller things like yarn, kitchen items, and other random stuff.

    I’ve never heard the abbreviations you use here. I have zero idea what SIF means. I suppose BIN is buy it now. What is sif, pweaz?

    I don’t like the new search. Yesterday the search was the OLD kind, today (7-26-08) it has switched. As far as coding goes, it seems to still be in “beta” mode judging by the format. I hope.

    I almost closed the page before seeing the listed items, since they were way down at the bottom after several frames of stuff I don’t need or want to read. Appears like an amateur html student’s work. Howz about they put a message at the top of each new search page telling you how far along they are in their changeover, and how to use the current brand.

    I happened to notice that there was a huge amount of space on the vertical scroll bar, right side of the screen, so realized there was *more* below, hence discovered the items. Most of the items have no visible picture. That was when I decided to give up. The thumbnails – are they GONE gone or just temp gone?? I’ve no use for ebay without thumbnails. They give us visual folks a lot of info.

    Personally, I would like the option to continue using the old search format/parameters. I don’t know whether I was missing something important- but I don’t think so–and perhaps I don’t care!…as it worked fine for me how it was. Didn’t it????
    I go months without using ebay – then use it for a couple of weeks. As such, I certainly would not like to have to figure it out anew each time, so hope whatever they decide to do, it’s easy and I like it as much as the old way and, most importantly – they KEEP it for a long time.
    Dude! The idea is SHOPPING. …to shop and bid, not to learn new systems each time you use the service. For that-I’ll go to my paid job.

    Are they making these changes because of complaints from sellers? From buyers? Is it a big secret why they’re making this search change?

    *THEY* certainly should have emailed all levels of users a survey.
    I would have completed a survey from ebay but never received one – either at my registered email nor in my ebay inbox.
    Most companies give the user the option to use a beta – or NOT.

  21. SIF stands for Shop (or Store in the US) Inventory format – it’s a 30 day or longer fixed price listing format. You’re correct BIN is Buy It Now format ๐Ÿ™‚


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