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

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 buy.com 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 "site:ebay.com 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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Post a Comment Default Comments

  1. ha ha ..this is funny...I had never found anything what I wanted on eBay...could be a serious loss for such e-business..huh..

  2. may be someday eBay will be crashed if they don't pay attention to some little simple problems like their search engine.

  3. Actually eBay doesn't have anything other then its website on which it earns. So I wouldnt be surprised to see them going bankrupt in this economy if they don't fix such issues.

    I just luv craigslist ... its so simple with no headache ... anybody can use it....

    And you know what ... I hate the new search result layout of eBay ....its even uglier then before... they need to hire a web designer too...lol

  4. I finished with eBay 2 years ago. Soon after they merged with PayPal. Imagine selling and item for 10.00. However whipping the iten costs 14.00. Both feeBay and PayPal take a percentage chunk off the shipping as well as the item.

    Hey they can do that all they want to the poor suckers that allow it.

  5. eBay needs to get there heads on strait with that they do NOT care for ANYONE, Not even there employees..

    I'm an eBay seller, NOT of choice but for working for a company that uses it for such small business sales.

    Had a customer in which buy something and send it back because they found a better deal somewhere else, We state all over the auction a 15% Restocking FEE per to cover all the shipping costs and fee's associated to such a transaction. The Buyer disagreed with that and has caused eBay to suspend our account because of suspicion of that we may leave inappropriate feedback as we could ONLY leave positive!!!

    eBay Buyer gets ALL there money back along with suspending our account..hmmm

    eBay needs to shape up there act!

    Bite the hand that feeds you, not a good move..

  6. You are right, eBay lately has been going very strong about the feedback from customers. This could possibly improve customer experience but sellers may have a hard time.

    eBay needs to really strike a balance between the two, otherwise they may loose good sellers.

  7. As A seller I feel ebay has restricted my item listed through their search engines. It come about the time of these top rated sellers..My sales have stopped, I have went from selling Well over 5,000 magazines and more to nothing for three days. They have cost me money and not made me any money, I know there is no sense if fighting them so I closed out my ebay bank, I can hardly wait for the minimum wagwers try to call and collect from me :) screw ebay and its crap, Its gone down hill for all the sellers since pig shit griff has joined ebay...

  8. I have been seeing more and more disappointed sellers on ebay these days. eBay needs to fix this ASAP otherwise its going to hit really hard.

  9. ebay has lost site of who it's customers are. They think that the sellers are their employee's and that they can dicatate everything about the way they sell. Buyers are not ebay customers, sellers are. Buyers dont pay ebay a dime. sellers are the only ones who pay ebay money. Biting the hand that feeds you causes a dog to be put down. They have become very foolish.

  10. hey you blog is too good
    thanks for sharing such information with us:)

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this information, which explains my frustration with eBay. I wrote an email to eBay Customer Service few days ago to complain about their poor searching engine function which prevented the visibility of my listings. The eBay customer service wrote me back with the following statement:
    'We can only make sure, that your item will be found, if you search for the complete title of the item. '.

  12. bullet in your head!


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