Are eBay Design Changes Hurting Sellers Without Store Subscriptions?

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


UPDATE 1-25-23

Whether this was ultimately a technical issue or intentional design change was never made completely clear, but either way, it appears to have been fixed and the seller specific search for non-store sellers has been restored.

UPDATE 1-19-23

eBay community staff responded to a post about this issue in the Canadian community forum stating it is a technical issue and there is an open support ticket.

Re: Option to search seller’s listings gone on
wrote: As mentioned earlier in this thread there is no longer a way to search a specific item when viewing a sellers listings unless they have a store. If they have a store there is a specific search box that we can use and the results are for that seller only. If there is no store, using the g…

There have been multiple reports of members running into this same issue. There is a sitewide ticket that has been open to have this resolved. If there are any members that are running into this they can reach out to customer support here and have their account added to the ticket. You will just let them know that you are running into ALERT 14287.

It's curious that Devon@eBay has not yet returned to the many posts about this issue in the US community to provide the same message. 🤨

It looks like Devon did update the ongoing technical issues post in the US community, but that is just leading to more confusion because the description of the issue for ALERT 14287 doesn't match this issue at all.

Ongoing technical issues - updated as of 01/19/23
The following are ongoing techincal issues that have been reported and we are still tracking. If you are impacted by one or multiple of these please consider contacting Customer Support here to be added to the open tickets. We have included the reference number for these reports to help your conta…

Member unable to find the item using keyword in search (January 18, 2023)
Reference ID: ALERT14287
Provide Member ID:
Provide Item number:

The issue sellers are asking about appears to be affecting eBay worldwide (reports on US, Canada, UK, and Australia forums) and is specifically about the removal of the seller specific search function for non-store sellers - it has nothing to do with a member being unable to find a specific item using a keyword in a general sitewide eBay search.

After being pushed for additional information, Devon finally admitted his response in the Canada community wasn't even about the issue that 30+ page thread was about and he had just responded with the most recent open tickets he could find. 🤦‍♀️

Re: Where’s my Search Bar?
wrote: I’m confused because the item on the tech board with ALERT 14287 appears to be completely unrelated to the issue at hand. This thread (and at least a dozen others I’ve seen) are about eBay removing the seller-specific search option for non-store accounts. Yet the info posted on the pinne…

I went through all of our reported sitewide tickets and posted the newest ones that have been reported. There has not been any open for the search bar issue and I have opened a ticket on my end for this. I recommend all members that are running into this to reach out to customer support to have a ticket created for their account. The more tickets that are created for this issue, the higher the priority it will become and will have a sitewide ticket I can share with everyone here.

So at this point we're still playing the age old eBay guessing game - is it a glitch or intentional design change?

eBay has been overhauling the Stores design for over a year now, but sellers without store subscriptions are wondering if a recent design change is hurting their sales.

For sellers who pay for a Store subscription, the store page includes a dedicated search function that will allow a buyer to search for items only within that seller's store.

Previously if a seller did not have a store subscription, a buyer could click on their user name from a listing to see all items that seller has listed and if they used the "search for anything" bar while on that seller's view items page, it would automatically filter to show only results for that seller.

That functionality appears to have changed and now using the "search for anything" bar while on a seller's profile page goes to a sitewide search, not a seller specific search.

Sellers in the eBay community expressed frustration with the change, saying it seems like eBay is trying to force them into a store subscription by taking away this functionality.

Say Goodbye to your Search Bar
It has come to my attention that if you do not have a store account, you no longer have a search bar on your Items for Sale page. You’re more than welcome to buy your Search Bar back for the price of a store subscription. Otherwise, kiss your sales goodbye when potential buyers give up scrolling t…

It has come to my attention that if you do not have a store account, you no longer have a search bar on your Items for Sale page. You're more than welcome to buy your Search Bar back for the price of a store subscription. Otherwise, kiss your sales goodbye when potential buyers give up scrolling through all of your listings trying to find something specific. Yes, you now have to BUY a Search Bar for your listings.

This has been confirmed to me by Customer Service, after a prolonged and tortured discussion, so this is NOT a technical issue, so please do not move this post to the technical issues board.

I hate this design decision. I used that search bar to search a non-store seller's listings all the time. I personally hate shopping in eBay stores--apologies to store holders, but it's the design I can't stand. That search bar was a great way to find specific listings offered by a seller.

I hate all of the design changes they've made to the marketing platform like the profile pages, the feedback pages, the store pages. All of it.

I buy very little on this platform anymore, since they ruined the search capabilities. This may be the proverbial last straw for me (not that they'll miss my few purchases anyway).

I do not ever looked thru 100's of listing of a particular seller but I have often used the search function to narrow the search for similar like items or specific items of a seller.

Seems self defeating to take away a feature and make it more difficult for people to search for items they are looking to purchase or sale.

I hope eBay brings it back. It is a necessary useful tool.

I was just coming here to ask what the heck happened.

I can think of no logical explanation for this change to be made. Buyers are not going to go hunt and peck to see if a Seller has anything else they want, which means they are going to spend less.

This is not a win eBay either.

Buyers can still use the advanced search function to do a seller specific search, but it takes multiple extra steps to do it that way and many newer/less frequent buyers may not even be aware of the advanced search function.

What do you think of this eBay design change? Let us know in the comments below!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!