eBay Item Description summaries appear in search results

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eBay appear to be testing the display of eBay Item Description summaries within search results. Andrew from Stampdesign4u spotted the change in search results early this morning but not everyone is seeing the new page layout.

What’s interesting here is that if you look at the listing in question the short segment which eBay are displaying isn’t quite the same as the description itself. The eBay Item Description summary has jumbled up the original bullet point description so it would appear that some logic is attempting to pull out the salient points and compress them into the space available.

Is it the Mobile eBay Item Description summaries?

It’s possible that this is pulling from the new Mobile Item Descriptions. If that’s the case it’s more imperative than ever that you add them to your listings if you’ve not already done so as that would give you full control of the text that appears. As a minimum make sure that the important item features are detailed at the top of your eBay descriptions.

Overall I like the eBay Item Description summaries in search results and hope it becomes a permanent feature of the site. It gives a little more insight into the product direct from the search results page without having to open the listing.

What text do you have in your description?

If you weren’t already convinced that your eBay item descriptions should contain product descriptions and nothing else, look at the middle listing in the image. It starts off with the text “THIS BUY IT NOW IS FOR…” That’s totally wasted text that doesn’t assist the buyer in the slightest. Why waste characters with text that doesn’t refer to the product and help buyers make a buying decision?

Do you like seeing a description summary in search results?

I’m struggling to see any downside and can see how it could make the buying journey quicker. Would you like to see this as a permanent eBay change across the site? Do you like it as a buyer and will it impact how you list?

Doubtless eBay will be monitoring results of the change and it will be buyer behaviour that determines if it’s rolled out after they complete testing.

10 Responses

  1. I’ve been seeing this for a few months. Assumed it had been rolled out. It’s why we stopped paying for subtitles.

  2. Chris, I have emailed and tweeted you in relation to a much bigger issue which maybe a by-product of this.

    Many listings are losing reviews. I have 35 if my best selling listings lost nearly 1000 reviews. Ebays structured data team are working on it but it’s spreading.

    Take a look down most categories and in search only a few items have reviews, yet go into their listings and more are in there. Some have lost all reviews in search and on the listing.

    It cost me £10k in sales in September.

  3. Oh goody. Another “improvement”

    It certainly looks like the mobile item description, so perhaps it is the same bot-tard pulling the information out and summarising it.

    Unfortunately, rather than just taking the first few sentences (which you’d assume are the most important and relevant because the seller put them in first) and repeating them in the correct order, the item description summariser seems to greedily swallow the lot, then vomit back up random sentences from anywhere within the text in item description.

    If they’d just keep it simple, we wouldn’t have to jump through hoops again and again and again. But, they don’t, so once again, we’ll probably have to edit listings, this time for their bot-tard to regurgiate in a less random looking manner that might actually be useful to convert sales.

  4. You like it? Would you like it as much if it was your listing and ebay took a jumble of unrelated words and shoved them on best match page?

    And no, it is not the same shortened version used on mobile app and sellers have no choice as to what garbage ebay choose to show. It won’t be long before they are writing our descriptions for us – they may as well cut out the middle man, because that is how they view us.

  5. I quite like it. We’ve already defined our mobile descriptions using the correct tags in the HTML so I don’t forsee any issues. I think it looks pretty good and fills up a bit of the white space

  6. Now what would be good is if you could add two descriptions to your listings… a short bullet point one and a longer more detailed one.
    Some of our items need a detailed introduction, this can be lengthy. For a bot to try and pull what it thinks is important from it is just asking for trouble… You will get the usual lot that dont bother to read anymore after seeing 2 words they like the sound of. Then complaining that it wasnt what they expected when they recieved it.
    Many off the shelf website designed enable you to do this, so why cant ebay? Is it really that hard?!

  7. Paul
    Can you please elaborate on your answer…”the functionality is there”..where?

  8. All of my mobile item descriptions have disappeared lately. They all used to show fine. With or without the correct tags they now show nothing!


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