eBay Grouped listings feature launches in search

It’s been formally announced on eBay.com, and we expect it very shortly on eBay in the UK: grouped listings in search. You can read the eBay.com announcement here.

What’s the deal? As they say: “Beginning October 9th, eBay is launching grouped listings, a new way for buyers to find the items they are searching for faster. Now with one click, buyers can choose to simplify search results and see all identical items grouped together, making their shopping experience smoother. The standard search experience is unchanged.”

And initially it’s launching only on desktop in a few countries, including the UK: “Grouped listings is available initially on desktop for sellers and buyers in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia. Buyers shopping in all categories except Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, and Motors will be able to choose to see the grouped listings results. The grouped listings feature will soon be available on mobile.”

It’s an interesting new feature that reflects a number of ecommerce trends that make a lot of sense, especially from a buyer point of view. It resembles, obviously, a more Amazon way of searching that relies more keenly on a catalogue. But equally if, you have an item in mind that you want to buy, then you don’t want to be searching through loads of search results pages. Grouped listings bring the plethora of options together in a digestible selection.

What perhaps is problematic is the extent to which it means you can stand out from the crowd by honing your listings and optimising titles, descriptions and pictures. It could very much become the case (rather like on Amazon) that price and seller performance become the critical criteria on eBay for search prominence.

We’ll doubtless be writing more about this in the next few days. What do you reckon of this change?

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Again this suits lowest price as normal, and yet another battle to the bottom marketplace. Taking away one of eBay advantages for sellers was the ability to sell an item without being the lowest price. Quality , seller performances, speed of delivery will know longer be taken into account. Will suit the buyers and the big chains, so "WHY use eBay they just made themselves even more irrelevant "when we can use Amazon.... who eBay follow like lost puppy everywhere as normal. Suits eBay, suits buyer, suits eBay megasellers and VAT avoiders.

SAM • 10th October 2017 •

This is the likely cause of 500+ reviews being stripped from my top 40 selling listings costing me £10k in lost sales in September alone. I am finding many sellers (mainly Chinese) copying my product identifiers on totally unrelated products to stop their listings from being cancelled. It appears eBay's structured data team has been working on this and soon my listings will have a buy box where other sellers who have copied my EAN etc for totally unrelated products will appear next to mine. Thanks eBay for being so naive in thinking this would not be abused

Julius Oliveti • 10th October 2017 •

I wonder why we all keep using eBay as they are just running along holding onto Amazons shirt tails. So really its easier to just go straight onto amazon without all the changes being asked for. Our sales on ebay are down 16.4% on last years figures and our slaes on Amazon are up 3% also with the new On Buy website offering free shops for the whole of 2018 and sales beginning to climb steadily on there we shortly will be cutting off the eBay drain on our resources.

mark • 10th October 2017 •

BUY BOX. it is just the same as the rest. So WHY use them at all???. They are already an expensive marketplace to sell on. You might as well ship everything to Amazon and save a LOT of eBay hassles. It is totally to suit the mega sellers. Customers will just leave also once they see the total lack of choice. However it does open up a space in the market for someone new however, eBay are dreaming if they think they can take Amazon on they a imitators not innovators. Sad days when they introduce this.

SAM • 10th October 2017 •

Administering Ebay site for a charity involved in fund raising for historic railway engine and carriage restoration I see that our sales of donated books are likely to take more of a nosedive due to the likes of World Books always coming in cheapest, mainly due to low postage costs. So we may have to move away as well, already having to look at Ebid to clear out some vintage stuff that falls foul of Ebay 'Uniforms' policy in UK despite there being a ready market of well-off collectors rather than the likely criminal fraternity for which Ebay justifies the policy.

eric • 10th October 2017 •

We started on Buuy we have had a few sales. it is a work in progress but you have world Books and we have magpie to deal with, you just cannot complete, eBay is done for all but the supermarkets and huge sellers now.

SAM • 10th October 2017 •

@ Sam, your talking non-sense. We are not a mega seller on Ebay and we are doing just fine. Infact, one of our shops is up by 78% on this time last year. Its frustrating when sellers blame their own failures on the platform.

Alan Paterson • 10th October 2017 •

@ Eric If you are struggling against the likes of World of Books with your donated charity stock, bundling similar books together should be a good option for you. 2nd class small parcel is the same price up to 2kg, so that could be 1, 2 or 3 books sent for that price. Max it out as much as you can and the bundles will look more competitively priced. Just pick books by the same author or same subject. I've done this before with all kinds of media items and it has always worked well for me. As a bundle, this should also exclude your items from ebays grouped listings.

Gav • 12th October 2017 •

Who said we were failing Alan the only platform we are having issues with is eBay. Sorry for having an opinion by the way, maybe one day you may come up against a few frustrating hurdles.

SAM • 10th October 2017 •

@ Sam, sorry I should have bee more specific - I meant failing on Ebay. Many smaller sellers are growing their business on Ebay. They are probably working on their business at this moment rather than writing negatively or defending Ebay on this thread. Your posts do very much give the impression that things are not going well for you...... However, it does not negate the fact that your statement about mega sellers VS small sellers is still nonsense. I do respect others opinions - providing it is based on fact. All my opinions are based on facts and data - not just of my business but on the many people I help on the platform. Your "opinion" is not representative of the bigger picture. If you are looking for an opinion based on facts you may have mine if you want (my opinion). You may even claim it as your own.

alan paterson • 11th October 2017 •

Another change that will have potentially disastrous consequences with little or no consultation with sellers or testing to see what the consequences will be. Before making yet more changes eBay why not at least fix what doesn't work first...? For example, we have now been asked to remove all email addresses and phone numbers from descriptions. Yet there is no eBay tool to change listings in bulk that works properly! Yes, there is the bulk editing tool and yes, you can select multiple listings and use 'search and replace' but it just doesn't work. And after many conversations with customer services about this we have been told that it won't be fixed either! That means, unless you shell out money to a third-party provider, there is no way to change your descriptions, other than one at a time! We have about 6,000 listings so that would take about 100 hours - I can tell you now, I am not going to burn out members of staff doing that! How can that be right? How can eBay not provide a working method of changing more than one listing at a time? How easy would it be to extend file exchange to descriptions? How easy would it be to fix 'search and replace'? I am sure it could be done but instead eBay marches on in its relentless pursuit of copying Amazon, with no little or no regard to the consequences. Why not fix the ridiculous messaging system first so that all messages related to a sale appear in the same thread instead of being split across multiple individual messages? Why not fix it so that, when sending a message within a case, the customer's ID is actually visible without having to go back a screen to see who you are dealing? Why not fix it so that, when cancelling multiple orders from the same customer, you can actually see which ones have been paid for and which ones haven't? These are all things that have been known about for ages but does eBay do anything about them? No, instead they forge ahead making yet more changes and giving us more hoops to jump through without providing the tools to do it!

Adrian Meakin • 11th October 2017 •

these are all things that would make sellers lives easier. ebay have no interest in that, you'll spot that pattern easily if you pay attention to their actions rather than their PR gobbledyspeak. logic dictates that happy, facilitated sellers would get on with the day job of selling, increasing sales of their own volition, thus increasing ebay's bottom line, but ebay's mantra is to be a barrier to sales, and hope that the survivors compensate for the rest. if you still have turbolister, you can use that to search & replace with reasonable effectiveness, i wouldn't recommend using it for much else now it's been mothballed.

james • 11th October 2017 •

We are finding more and more clients moving away from eBay to concentrate on their own website. eBay wont be going anywhere soon but I would fear that it will soon tumble. The more sellers that leave the higher the fees will go and in turn the more sellers leave. More people will start to use Google (if not Amazon) for shopping and a well made website will show up on the result. I cant see a need for eBay any more.

William • 11th October 2017 •

@William , even though I sell on ebay and many other markets, I must admit I never buy anything on the site anymore. Google shopping or Amazon is the go to place, or I will go direct to that website, what I often do it see if a marketplace seller has a website these days. My partner who shops for sport "hates the site" she is all mobile shopping and would never shop on it, she is says it is horrid to use and she just says it is all rubbish. It is all clothes and shoes and never gets what is actually advertised She does not think twice about just signing up on a website and buying direct now. In the last year we have signed up on a fair few new markets, even some this Blog advertises, the fees are better, the support is better, couple of them have been really good. I doubt it will go bust however anytime soon but there will be a gradual decline there is nothing unique about it now. What I liked about it is was a bit unique now it is just following Amazon

SAM • 11th October 2017 •

James, I didn't realise turbo lister was still in service. I will have a look around and see if I can download a copy from somewhere and give it a go. Thanks :)

Adrian • 13th October 2017 •

Group search....hmmm, well, since the introduction sales have dived 50%. Coincidence or time of year.... It doesn't work on variation listings, if you search a product it brings all the irrelevant products through from the variations, the prices it displays are incorrect for the products. It's just a mess. Coupled with the erroneous images showing in search I despair. We were promised eBay wasn't going down the same road as Amazon with a buy box function - this is a buy box function. Buyers on eBay want something different to Amazon - but what we are getting is Amazon in disguise. If I was a buyer, I know where I'd be spending my Money and it's not eBay, this new search complicates, it doesn't enhance. If I want to see all the offers for the same item (I know it doesn't work properly but lets say it did) I'd just go to Amazon. Buyers use eBay because they see the different options from different sellers - that's what makes eBay. If you're not cheapest you have no chance of selling, there is no mention of seller status in the group results, why work hard and put in the cost to be a TRS when it means nothing! Disappointing.

pdicko • 21st October 2017 •