eBay.com drops duplicate listings policy

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eBay.com search results would no longer hide duplicate listings from the same seller, a process that’s become known as “de-duping“. Where an individual seller has more than one identical listing for sale, all instances will now show in search; previously, only one would have been displayed. eBay say that sellers are now taking advantage of the boost that recent sales give their listings, by combining identical items into single listings offering multiple items for sale, and that “this has proven to be the right strategy for sellers and a great shopping experience for buyers”.

But this doesn’t feel quite like the whole story to me. If the policy works, and sellers are changing their behaviour as desired because of it, why change the policy? The duplicate listings policy was – at least in part – intended to stop a few huge sellers dominating particular categories: might we assume that eBay are now happy to have one or two or their largest sellers dominant after all?

eBay.com will continue to show a maximum of ten listings per seller per search results page. Sellers should at least spread their listings out over time rather than listing in ‘clumps’ to try to avoid having them hidden under this policy.

14 Responses

  1. Sue, you mention “ten listings per seller per search results page.” results pages of what size? my results pages are 200 items long and i see more than 10 listings from the same seller even after I do a search which has over 6,000 results.

  2. Steve, I don’t know – I can only go by the announcement eBay make (and give em a few days to implement it, and then test).

    If you’re seeing more than 10 on a 200-item page, then one might speculate that the limit would scale up, so you might get 40 identical listings on a 200 item page? I would *imagine*, therefore, it’s ten listings per standard SRP, which I believe is 50 items. More testing needed.

  3. If I had to speculate eBay made the initial policy for the reasons they’ve stated. Now that it seems it is working (or they are using this opportunity to claim it works) they remove the policy because of the unnecessary controversy it causes. Note how they don’t mention anything about the harm they did to antiques and jewellery categories where identical titles for unique items are common.

    Reminds me of how the reason for not marking neutrals as negatives was that their policy was so successful people were now leaving negatives instead.

  4. # 5

    I was complaining to someonw that a regular search I make , has now got over 2400 listings, instead of the 6-700 there used to be before shops items went into the main search (which for us has been a good thing).

    The mate said you can narrow a search by putting the item name, space then a – (no space) & whatever the item name you don’t want in the search.
    example ie; Cars -vauxhall -ford & the search engine will not show searches with these names in them.

    Don’t know if it works, so try it & if it does then tell the buyers.

  5. lets be honest most buyers bung in what their looking for in basic search
    and then browse whats offered
    most dont bugger around with specifics or advanced unless they are traders or professional
    search is quite simply just too complicated

  6. I have to agree with Norf, when I buy online and I buy online alot I go to google and type in what I want, I don’t want to see anything other than what I want to buy and if I have to start fiddling about I get bored and don’t bother.

    “search is quite simply just too complicated” To bloody true.

    Mind you I don’t really give a stuff if I can’t find something I have legs and the world did exist before mobile phones and the tinternet, its the buyers I worry about.

  7. My wife is a great barometer of buyers search habits

    she enters what she wants, if it does not show, she loses interest, grabs her bag and tootles off to the shopping center,
    no chance of her spending any effort in finding anything,
    and to be honest I am looking to buy a net book at the moment and my heads wrecked for choice on the web .
    amazon /ebay/websites,

    I will probably not bother, and just buy one in pc world or some similar high st. store the next time I am passing

  8. eBay have totally stuffed up the CD category. Even forgetting for the moment that the item specific genre search is still broken, the numbers in it are getting silly, you can’t see the wood for the trees as the saying goes.

    Before September changes.


    600,000 – 650,000 after the September changes

    Today I see they’ve now included those from outside the UK as well as the default and the total number is now over 800,000.

    What’s the point in wasting money even listing? Not a lot from where I’m sitting. All it’s done is reinforced my decision to close down the majority of stuff on eBay after Xmas is the right move.

  9. After Christmas will be worse, less buyers and more sellers getting rid of unwanted Christmas gifts.

  10. #13 That would explain why they bought Bill Me Later in the middle of a credit crisis….FOR CASH FFS ๐Ÿ˜†

    So the worlds markets tumble to the ground because of the sub prime market collapse, so eBay by a company that lends money to people who have run out of credit or can’t get any,, genius.



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