eBay Sellers Upset At Loss Of Image Search In App

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


It's been almost a month since eBay removed the search by image feature from the mobile app with no warning and sellers are still upset.

eBay Disables Search By Image In Mobile App
eBay has temporarily disabled the search by image function in both the Android and iOS versions of the mobile app.

Here are a few comments I've received from sellers:


I found the search by picture my best way at finding items that I collect for myself and also a big help at finding items that I am listing. A lot of items that I list are antique toys that I get off online auction houses that I don’t know much or anything about. The image search allowed me too find exact too similar items too it that helped me determine what a lot of stuff was and the going price of it. Now without it I am having trouble listing stuff right so I stopped listing items all together. BRING IT BACK CAUSE I PAY ENOUGH OF EBAY’S OVERPRICED SELLING FEES AS IS. Getting too be not worth selling or buying on it anymore. They take about $20 of $100 as is on a total sale GROSS.


When I am shopping for items at estate, yard sales and thrift stores I need this feature to help decide if I should purchase to sell on eBay. This is a must have feature.


Why can't eBay be bothered to provide the simple courtesy of notifying seller-customers when abruptly taking down an obviously important feature such as this?

Better yet, some sort of proactive notice so customers can prepare accordingly?

People often ask why sellers have such a tumultuous relationship with eBay; this is a prime example why.

Liz T

So happy I found this article because I thought I was going crazy… I had listed a book thinking it changed it automatically somehow and spent almost an hour trying to figure out how to switch it back to a camera search!!?!?!?? This is really going to add more time to listings if they don’t add the feature back.. losing money for sellers and for EBay; we work together and both need this to work more efficiently… it would have been nice for a heads up.

Nomie's Resale

Considering they haven’t disabled any of the fees they charge, you would think they could afford to pay a really good tech to fix the problem with the camera and the other issues


I had recently started using it . It was a great function . Just stupidly updated the app now its gone . We all need to search a different platform for buying and selling.Ebay have to much power and charge to much . When you contact them they dont want to know

While eBay hasn't provided any official updates or announcements, today's eBay for Business podcast did shed some more light on the issue.

In the Q & A segment, Rebecca asked Griff:

Rebecca: I pulled this next question because it caught me by surprise. eBay seller Kimberly asked. Hello Griff. Thank you for continuing your podcast. I enjoy listening. My question is why did eBay take off the search by photo? I know that I can use Google for the same type of feature, but it was great to find items right on eBay. eBay's photo search was a bit more accurate and was a big time saver. Please suggest it's return soon. All the best Kimberly. What, what is Kimberly talking about here?

Griff: Okay. So in the research for this, I confess, I had no idea that what we call Visual Search, it was launched back in 2017, was removed from the app, but I checked my iPhone and indeed it is no longer there.

So concerned me, I contacted at our Product Team and they informed me that because of some inconsistencies that popped up with the feature at the end of December, they had temporarily removed it from the app and they had to do it quickly because they didn't want these inconsistencies to keep showing up, but they're working to get it back, fixed ASAP.

So that version of the Visual Search, they should have it back up and running very soon. But he also told me that they actually planned to relaunch a new and improved version of Visual Search later this year in 2022. So stay tuned for that. And yes, it did work really well and it worked a lot better than Google's. I admit it. So, yeah, so it worked really well, but Kimberly, thank you for noticing.

This is the first I've heard of eBay acknowledging it was removed due to "inconsistencies", likely the issues with it returning 0 results that some users have reported.

Hopefully they get the current version back up ASAP and I can't wait to see what they have in store for the new and improved version later this year!

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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!