eBay Not Showing Seller IDs In Search Results - Another Glitch Or Test?

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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UPDATE 6-27-24

We finally have an answer, though it's not what many sellers will want to hear and the lack of clarity even from eBay staff only raises more concerns.

After initially providing an answer saying this was a technical issue (complete with ticket number to reference when contacting support) community rep Devon was forced to make a correction when he was informed by the product team that in fact there is a test currently running that is intentionally removing seller IDs from search results.

Re: eBay search results are now displaying the generic word ‘Seller’ instead of the specific Seller
wrote: I’m seeing the same thing in both FireFox and Chrome (tested both logged in to 2 different accounts and in incognito mode). Every single result I saw also had the “shop with confidence” tag line (I went as deep as page 15 with 60 per page results) even ones like this that don’t exactly…

Some eBay buyers are no longer seeing seller names displayed in search results, leaving them once again wondering if they are experiencing a glitch, limited test, or phased rollout of a new design.

eBay search results are now displaying the generic word ‘Seller’ instead of the specific Seller IDs
Hello, Starting from today ebay Search Results no longer showing Seller ID, only generic word “Seller”. Is it a technical issue or intentional change? Is it a technical issue or intentional change? Thank you.

Starting from today ebay Search Results no longer showing Seller ID, only generic word "Seller". Is it a technical issue or intentional change? Is it a technical issue or intentional change?

Clearing cookies and cache or trying a different browser does not produce different results for those who are experiencing this issue, nor does changing sort order from Best Match to any of the other options like "lowest price+ shipping" - all results simply show the word "Seller" with feedback percentage and number next to it rather than displaying the actual seller name/user ID.

I was able to replicate the issue in both Firefox and Chrome, testing both logged in on two different accounts and in incognito mode - the generic "seller" display was shown in all variations and for all search terms I tried.

Every result also had the "shop with confidence" tagline (I went as deep as page 15 with 60 per page results) even ones like this that don't exactly inspire confidence with that price for a not working/for parts only item and 0 feedback history.

Interestingly, sellers who have been granted the "direct from brand" badge are in luck as the badge still shows in search results to display their name even when the standard seller ID section just says "seller".

If this does end up being an intentional change, that will give the "direct from brand" badge even more value.

That could bolster arguments for an FTC investigation into eBay competing directly with third party sellers via their owned subsidiary TCGPlayer and preferencing their own listings by granting TCGPlayer the "direct from brand" badge even though they are not the manufacturer and arguably have no brand rights to Magic The Gathering, Metazoo or any other products they are selling.

FTC Urged To Investigate eBay TCGPlayer Deceptive & Anti-Competitive Conduct In ROCC Petition
Responsible Online Commerce Coalition petitions FTC to investigate eBay TCGplayer acquisition, alleging deceptive practices & antitrust violations.

Historically, sellers have vehemently pushed back on any efforts eBay has tried to make to downplay or hide their selling IDs, store names or other important brand and trust building designs or features, but if comments in that community thread are any indication, some buyers are likely to be very much opposed to this change as well.

I'm seeing the same behavior here. Multiple browsers, cache and cookies cleared.

Obfuscating seller IDs is a complete disaster, and I say that as a BUYER! I want to see who is offering what AS I BROWSE AND SEARCH.

I hope to heck this is an error and not an intentional change. It is completely moronic.

Another longtime community member said not only would this negatively impact their buying habits on the site, it would also prevent them and many of the other dedicated volunteers who engage in the forums from being able to offer help and advice to other members.

Let's hope it's just an error because that would cause problems for me as a buyer (in other words, I won't shop here if I can't see seller ID in search results).

It would also cause problems for everybody on this forum that volunteers their time to help other buyers and sellers ... you know, eBay's "free" customer service.

And another seller points out that this new design could negatively impact sales because it does not display markdown sales or coupons the seller might be offering.

I hope it's another glitch because you cannot see the coupon sales either, buy 4 get 1 free and the sponsored listings show 0% as my feedback.

Not only that, it appears the new design also leaves buyers completely in the dark about whether the item will ship from an international location - if eBay thinks buyers will click through each individual listing to find this critical information, they may be disappointed.

Some sellers are speculating that move could be designed to help make it less obvious when sellers are based in China in particular, which may not be too far off base given recently moves eBay has made to quietly grow cross border trade from the region as competition from Temu and Shein heats up.

eBay Quietly Grows China Sales As CEO Downplays Temu Competition
eBay CEO Jamie Iannone downplays Temu competition while quietly growing sales from China - are cheap Chinese apps a threat to eBay GMV forecasts?

This new design also robs sellers who have worked to achieve and maintain Top Rated Seller of some of the recognition and benefit of that status.

In the test, it no longer explicitly says Top Rated Plus, instead it's just the little icon next to the word "seller" and a buyer would have to hover over that icon to see a pop up explaining what it means.

eBay has recently been running other tests on homepage design and search as they look to AI to help improve discovery and curate personalized experiences for buyers, with mixed results and often lacking relevancy.

eBay Testing New AI Search & Discovery Features To Curate Personalized Search Experience
eBay tests adding generative AI more overtly into search & discovery with conversational query prompting to curate more personalized results.

Experienced buyers and sellers know that when eBay does testing, glitches very often follow, so it's possible this change to seller IDs not being displayed in search results could be an unintended consequence of other tweaks or tests that are currently in the mix.

I've reached out to eBay to try to get some clarity on this issue and will update as soon as more information is available.

In the meantime, how would eBay removing seller IDs from search results impact your buying experience on the site? Let us know in the comments below!

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


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