Are eBay Category Changes Impacting Buyer Experience?
eBay sellers are in an uproar over changes to category structure and item specifics that have thrown their listings into disarray this week - but how is it affecting the buyer experience?
What is wrong with eBay?
They have been increasing their fees for years now, yet their services seems to drop year after year!
Their search function just somehow dropped from planet earth. Every time I do a particular item search on eBay, 90% I do not get the results I want, most of the times just some irrelevant results. However, if I search for the exact thing on Goggle, using the exact words, I get more and relevant results.
What is their problem?
Is ebay screwing with categories again? While browsing/shopping, the category links are no longer working and are not displaying items in a category. All I see is advertising crap and nothing looks the way it did two days ago and prior. Nothing like keeping us from buying, brilliant strategy.
On one of my daily "New Listing" emails this morning, ebay showed that there were 139,000 (yes, one hundred thirty-nine thousand) new listings under one of my collectible "searches." (Usually there are no more than maybe 100). So I click on to see the 139,000 new listings and instead of being under my specific collectible category - the way I saved the search - I'm supposed to wade through searches in EVERY category.
I ran into this same issue on about half of my "newly listed items saved search" emails this morning. I tried re-setting a couple of my searches starting from scratch but got nowhere. Now, I realize that ebay drastically changed up the postcard category (to which I say: if it "ain't broke," why "fix it?") but I've not yet been able to figure out how they changed the photographs category.
I guess ebay is "fed up" with me finding and buying close to 100 items per month on their site? (Of course, this will affect how much I sell as well).
I have been a member since 2004 and look for different kind of dolls. Especially Cultures & Ethnicities dolls and dolls made of cloth. I have quick paths for every category, but these two do not work anymore. Why?
It is very frustrating. The various sub-categories are all gone now. I had a saved search for Barbie items that are sold in the Barbie pre-1973 sub-category. Each day I'd browse that category and often find things I didn't even realize I needed or wanted. I know that many other collectors of vintage Barbies do the same thing, but no buyer wants to have to wade through the generic Dolls category to try to see newly listed vintage Barbie items which are now lumped in with not only newer Barbie items, but all other types of dolls of which there are thousands (everything from Raggedy Ann dolls to Revlon Dolls to Bratz dolls and on and on).
As a buyer I simply do not have the time to spend browsing pages and pages of assorted types of dolls just to find the pre-1973 Barbie items. On the positive side, I will be saving money on not buying stuff.
As a buyer in said categories I whole heartedly agree. I haven’t looked yet but I’ve spent endless time and made endless purchases by just browsing the categories looking for rolling stock I like.
I hope when they realize how much sales they lose (and thus money) from this they will revert it. It’ll be another head ache for us sellers when they do but only for the best
I’m a buyer in the HO scale category. And after this change, I’m done with Ebay. They had already ruined the only other category I frequented, baseball cards, by lumping in it with every other type of trading card in existence. I don’t have the time or patience to sift through thousands of items to find a couple of specific items I’m looking for. I’ve been on there since 1999. And 22 years is long enough to call it quits.
It seems that eBay is unaware there may be two broad but different categories of potential buyers using their site - searchers and browsers.
Searching with specific keywords works when you already have a good idea of what you want. If I'm looking to buy a gaming system for example, odds are I've already decided on which one I want and am just trying to find the best price, fastest delivery, highest rated seller, etc. In that case, entering the exact phrase of what you are looking for makes sense and returns mostly relevant results.
However, many hobby and collectibles buyers don't necessarily come to eBay with a specific item in mind to search for. They simply want to browse within their particular category of interest to see if anything new and interesting has been listed for sale.
CEO Jamie Iannone mentioned on the Q2 2021 earnings call that his strategy is focused on high value buyers, wanting to capture "lifelong enthusiasts" and keep them coming back to the platform again and again. It's ironic that eBay leadership seems to be completely unaware of how enthusiast collectors actually prefer to browse and use the site.
How are the category and item specifics updates affecting your experience as a buyer? Let me know in the comments below!