eBay.com tell buyers what to search for

No primary category set

to their New Search Experience following member feedback on recent trials. Preferences have been made ‘sticky’, i.e. what you pick stays picked, and more options have been added to the advanced search. As of next week, more members are going to start seeing the new version of search, and those who aren’t included in the trial can still test things out .

From what I’m hearing, the new search system has not so far won many friends. Even some pretty experienced users have had trouble figuring out just how it works. But if there was suspicion of Best Match and Finding 2.0, this is going to be ten times worse:

search suggestions

We have also added an Auto Complete feature, which provides search suggestions in real time right from the search box!

Of course, if yours is one of the keywords that pops up on the first letter, this will be superb for you – but if your words never show at all, then you’d better hope that eBay haven’t distracted your buyers before they’ve finished typing. Buyers really should be trusted at the very beginning of the search process to know what they’re looking for, and left to get on with finding it: this horrible new feature should go.

14 Responses

  1. You don’t think eBay might be using……

    outside consultants….. (shock horror)

    They like to make things nice and complicated so that they have to be called back in to sort out the resulting mess.

  2. I already scream at the computer when it automatically changes my search term when nothing shows up – it is so irritating.

    I know what I am looking for and do not need any suggestions, thank you.

  3. It’s very similar to the google search on the google toolbar, in fact a ‘g’ in that provides some of the same suggestions ๐Ÿ˜•

  4. A couple of weeks ago I was looking for an Eldis caravan.

    There were none available so I was offered a selection of Elvis CDs.

    That’s eBay!

  5. I’ve now bought close on a million CDs. All I have to do now is work out how to build a caravan out of them.

    Good idea for a competition, Sue. That one is my entry. I won’t have any more because I’ve given up searching on eBay now.

  6. too many wanna be alan sugar apprentice types, buggering around with ebays fixtures and fittings these days

  7. I can’t wait to see the caravan once it’s complete ๐Ÿ˜€
    Have to say what really peeves me is when search terms are replaced even though if you add in SIF and search title and description you’ll still find what you’re looking for. eBay have NEVER automatically expanded null search results to include description search and IMO that’s a big failing.

  8. I must have trialled this a few months ago and it was one of the worst search experiences I have ever had.

    It kept forcing me into another word, that I was not interested in.

    They could make search better by allowing shop items from .com show up on .co.uk if nothing else appeared and visa versa.

    Not that would be a good amendment to the search system.

    Currently, if it is not on Ebay UK, the next port of call is google, where lo and behold, you may well find the item you were looking for in a shop….

    ….on Ebay.com….

    ….That did not appear in Ebays search for what reason?

    If something is on Ebay in another country hidden in a shop on the standard search, is it not more profitable for Ebay to point the buyer there and receive the FVF than to an off site link, or even worse to send them to google because Ebay “has not got it”, when in fact, “yes they do, it is just hidden”…?
    Mark

  9. Hmmm I might know where this comes from. Actually I DO: ebay is developing and deploying several features that acknowledge differences in user mental states. theory states some users are hunters (they know exactly what they are looking for), others are explorers (they don’t have a clue) and others are lurkers (they know what they want but not specifically ie. a digital camera). What i believe is amiss here is ebay seems to stick with low level features, ones that are aimed towards newbies, and seem not to develop or deploy features aimed for the more evolved ones…

  10. The problem with anything ebay does is that they are so incompetent at software. So, they are making preferences ‘sticky’, are they? Gee, the absolute necessity of making preferences sticky was laid down by the architects of the Mac interface in the early 1980s and, together with ‘forgiveness’ (another interface concept Ebay has never learned) are basic computer interface principles of design.

    Yet somehow, eBay forgot to include stickiness in the ‘Playground’ they chose to test by kidnapping unwilling test subjects (in case you are wondering, involuntary & irreversible mode changes do NOT count as ‘forgiving’ in interface design).

    They should have outsourced Finding 2.0 to Google. Then we would see actual improvements.

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