Why eBay will keep losing its business – product search is not relevant

2 Mins read

I wanted to buy a Sony battery charger for rechargable AA batteries. I went to a few of online purchase websites and did search for keyword “Sony battery charger”. At the results were shown for the kind of chargers I was looking for and it did show one charger, which I really liked (Sony Power Battery Charger – with 4 AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries).

I did the same search on eBay and it found 14,500+ products but everything on first page was of no relevance to me. In results, the first product is sony camera batter charger (New Battery & Charger For Sony Camera NP-BG1 NPBG1). What the hell!! God knows where did that come from? eBay is into online shopping business and they can’t afford to have such rubbish search results.

I am not here to promote eBay business but I know eBay has got so many deals for every product and some people who know how to search it on eBay really enjoy shopping there. I guess eBay is using Lucene or similar search engine for product search. I am sure that eBay is losing its business due to the poor search relevance. I am a search engine programmer and had tough time doing query for what I am looking for. How does eBay expect non-geeks to search stuff on their site?

I find Craiglist search returning more relevant results then eBay does. No doubt that people would stop going to a website where they can’t find things they are looking for.

May be getting a relevant result from millions of product data can be difficult, but thats why search engines are invented isn’t it? The economy is tough and still eBay is thriving. First quarter results of comapny were good and now may be if John Donahoe want’s to be a successful CEO he would try to address this simple problem (of searching products) before getting into more complex issues.

By the way when I used Google site search for ebay it didn’t give satisfactory results either. try “ Sony battery charger” on google.

I tried a few other products search on eBay and compared with other online shopping portals and the results were no different. Where as Google’s shopping results show absolutely relevant results as if they were reading my mind.

If you are a seller on eBay I am sure this must be very frustrating to see your relevant products not being listed in the search results. Please share your recent experience with eBay in comments section. What do you think should be done to improve the eBay search engines? What other options do sellers have for selling the same products?

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