Title & Description search will be broken all week

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eBay have acknowledged a problem with search, where a title-and-description search is not showing up items which should be visible, though the same listings *do* show in a title-only search. The problem was first reported on seller forums both in the UK and the US earlier in the week: customer support had told several sellers that there was no known problem, but the eBay.com Announcements Board has now said:

Title and Description Search is not displaying all items correctly. Please be assured that we are working aggressively to resolve the issue, and expect it to be fixed by the end of next week. We know how frustrating this is, and sincerely apologize that the fix will take so long, but the reindexing necessary to complete the fix literally takes several days to run.

If you are a seller and your item is not displaying in a Title and Description Search, please don’t hesitate to contact Customer Support, and they will be happy to refund your fees upon validation that your item is impacted by this bug.

If you are a buyer, these items are always available by using Title-only Search (simply uncheck the Include title and description box when running a search). Additionally, if you have Favorite Searches set up, you may want to temporarily modify them to search by Title only.

I would respectfully suggest to eBay Support that they have no idea how frustrating this is; their income, after all, isn’t relying on this function working correctly. Moreover, not everyone reads the AB board – particularly buyers for whom it normally holds little of interest – so they will have no idea why their searches are suddenly not working.

There’s been no corresponding announcement for UK sellers yet, but with an official post to point to now, sellers with missing listings should probably contact customer support with details of the affected items.

Updated to add: also on eBay France.

35 Responses

  1. “If you are a seller and your item is not displaying in a Title and Description Search, please don’t hesitate to contact Customer Support”

    Like I have time to check all my listings, another bank run on my hard earned and promptly paid fees…!

    “How can I help?”
    “Some of my items are not displaying in Title & description search”
    “Have you cleared your cache & cookies?”
    “No, it’s a known fault”
    “Is it? have you been contacted by our support dept. to explain our new Fee structure?”
    “Thank you for calling eBay”

  2. A 30 day item cost me 5p hidden for a week and I’ve 300 odd items listed… that’ll be about £3.75 in wasted fees….

    Don’t bother about the refund eBay, I’ll settle for a site that works!

  3. Did eBay bother to put up a message regarding this when a buyer actually does a search? Like, “We are currently experiencing difficulties, please consider searching with description turned off.”

  4. #2,#3 I have 9 Feautured First running at the moment for 30 days multiply that by £158 a pop, I am also running auctions with buyitnows on 3,5,7,10…not everything costs 5p Chris,,

    I am running a business not a bloody charity and I am getting sick and fecking fed up of eBay bs and spin and software that doesn’t bloody work properly, I don’t want to pay £20k a year to bloody beta test every carp piece of software eBay come up with.

    Totally donkeyed off with eBay this week already.

  5. “If you are a seller and your item is not displaying in a Title and Description Search, please don’t hesitate to contact Customer Support, and they will be happy to refund your fees upon validation that your item is impacted by this bug.”

    ermmmm how on earth do I know what searches my potential customers will make, that would include a variety of terms from my description???

  6. Are eBay not responsible for the losses sellers make due to a service they (eBay) are unable to supply?

    Unless it is through gross negligence I don’t think so. I doubt this would qualify.

    I once asked them to end and refund my featured plus listings because they froze my PayPal account (excessive sales) preventing those listings from being able to sell. They flat out refused and said I needed to work out my problems instead. Then they pretended they couldn’t hear me on the phone and hung up.

  7. Hi there chris, ive discovered that once items are scheduled and you try to edit them, its is not possible to change the format, why is this? its causing an inconvenience. Am i doing something wrong.

  8. #5 5p for 30 days = 1.25p/week. 300×1.25p = £3.75

    #3 #6 Me too – I just want visibility and sales. I’ll pay any reasonable fees to get sales, but if items are hidden it’s a waste of time.

    #13 Recommend using Turbolister to create listings and relist unsold items. With TL you can edit and revise and edit anything including changing format, duration and quantity right up until the moment you upload them to eBay.

  9. #11 They’re not liable for anything bar the fees you paid.

    The Outage Policy covers what would happen in the event of a broken title search (not applicable in this case as title search still works) or site failure. The User Agreement limits their liability, specifically excluding any liability for lost profits, revenue or business.

  10. #10 Am not that happy either cos I haven’t a clue – so many of my products are “compatible with” e.g. a laptop power supply might fit 50 or more different models of laptop. Without title and description searches they’ll never show up if someone looks for a power supply for a specific laptop model 🙁

  11. #14

    What about a weeks shop subscription Chris?

    That is part of the listing, cost, as it is a fee to get discounted rates…


  12. #19 Because they know how big their database of listings is and how long it takes that database to reindex every single listing description from scratch and propagate across their servers I guess

  13. I mis-red this the first time around re. “broke all week” actually it’s worse, it might be fixed by the end of “Next week” so potentially 9 days…

    “but the reindexing necessary to complete the fix literally takes several days to run.”

    Several = 9 ?

  14. At the time of posting this message not a single category was available to click and browse, never mind bloody search.
    ebay. co . uk

  15. did a search for ‘gear knob’ an hour ago on standard search.
    ZERO RESULTS returned. what a mess.

    I would be fuming if this was a normal company but at the moment I am just greatful the lord of the manor hasn’t decided to put me in a dungeon because he is having an off-day. Thank you Lord Donahoe, all I pray for every morn is that I will be able to slave away each day to scrape some pennies together, to gather all the taxes you demand of me, with the hope that enough will be left over for me to have some bread and water on my table at the end of the day.

    Let it be known;

  16. “we are working aggressively to resolve the issue”

    Aggression, hostility and other negative emotions have no place in a software development or problem solving environment. I’m not even clear on how assertiveness would be appropriate.

    I would have been more encouraged to hear that eBay were working tirelessly, with commitment, skill and perhaps some intelligence.

  17. #31 Hi Mean-Machines

    The advantage for me is I trust Protx and I am more relaxed with high value transactions in the event of a dispute(not had one) I know protx would accept proof of delivery from the UK’s largest pallet delivery company, Paypal will not acknowledge they exist, Protx also have what I believe to be good fraud indicators in place and it is also a good value service.

    The advantage for the buyer is you don’t have to sign up for anything which would be an issue with impulse buyers, having to sign up for paypal, check emails, confirm email then go back to the site to purchase is to long winded for most, I understand Paypal offer a Protx tyope service but I have never used it so can’t comment.

    However I do offer Paypal & Google at the checkout, I have never had a google transaction and only 2 Paypal transactions but I feel it is sensible to give buyers choice so those payment options will stay for the time being.

    I don’t think google will ever take off in a big way, to me google is something that tech savy buyers use but the majority of the public will ignore it.

    When I buy high value online I use Paypal because I then have all the power.

  18. # 24
    Oh my god, even ebay are jumping ship !!!!!……………………..

    I can feel a holiday in the Canarys coming on sooner than later.

  19. So we had 1000 listings live and 900 showing…and our account managers said yes we had to go through them all to get a refund of our listing fees and give him the auctions numbers.

    I pointed out that would be writing down around 20,000 digits…


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