I firmly believe eBay is maniplutaing its search engine. They're directing sales in the direction in which they want them to go. Summer may be known as being traditionally slower than the rest of the selling season. However, what I'm seeing goes beyond a slow selling season. Something just isn't right kiddos.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Some people should be content watching the grass grow. Instead of committing felonies.
Original Post
Probably. I assume such a thing would be legal for them to do and if that's the case then I don't know why they wouldn't. Big business is about their bottom line -- not those whose income depends on the business itself.

Not that that's morally sound. But I'm a realist.
I don't think it matters what you are selling and yes, I do think they are playing with something over there in searches. I am not sure what their methods to their madness are though. All I know is that every 2-3 weeks or so it is like someone flips a switch and all can see my store, even those overseas. In the past 24 hours I have had 5 sales and 4 were from my store (2 international) AND lots of questions. AND it always seems to happen on a Tuesday. Eek

I know you all think I am crazy but that has been my "pattern" and I have an excel sheet to prove it. Wink

Marcia
There has to be something going on. Several weeks ago I was selling at least an item a day. Then suddenly it completely died. No sales for two weeks even running auctions. Then bam starting Friday all during the weekend it was picking up like crazy. As of yesterday it died to totally zero, zip even though I just added many new items, and am running multiple auctions. I don't know what they do but they are manipulating the system. Just wish we all knew how to beat that system. It is so frustrating.

Liz
Yes, I do think they are! I have been selling 10 to 15 things a day for over a year and I haven't sold 1 store item in 2 days!!! I definately noticed a change in my store traffic too.
I've noticed a problem with search in the past few days. I'd search for an item, get a few results and thought "that can't be right." So, I'd hit the search button again, changing nothing and tons of things would come up. Completed searches has been giving me trouble too if I try to select how I wanted them to show.
I've been having really weird traffic patterns myself. Only explanation is messing with searches.

Sometimes I get hits from overseas on website that are coming to site from ebay (as well as hits from overseras on ebay store), sometimes I go for awhile with nothing from nowhere, and sometimes all I see is USA visitors. Seems to always come in batches. Only explanation that makes sense is ebay messing with things.
Yep...they're definitely manipulating searches.

I have majorly killer days and then zippoh.

Now from previous years of selling, I do know that the summer drops big time in sales. It's why I take summers off from my other three IDs. But this is the most screwy summer I can remember..there is very little consistency to my sales.

Even my stats of showing how visitors find my items is soooo very different than in years past. My stats showing where my visitors come from are off...and majorly different than anytime in the past seven plus years. My previous seven plus years of selling...buyers mainly used the same key words to find my items plus I used to get scads coming from outside eBay searches...very few now.

I'm like Steve in that my stats are just out of whack!

(By the way Steve, Got your message and will answer in full later..lost cable modem for the first time in 3 plus years and I'm on OMG dialup with graphics turned off <blech>Wink

Gotta run! How'd this poll turn out at our other forum Magie?

Peace,
Donna
Even before this summer, I would help some of my friends with Ebay, and using the same search words as me their results would be different.

If Ebay is turning off some search programs, then we're not getting our full worth of our listing fees. Wonder how Ebay would feel about a partial payment for the monthly charges?
quote:
Originally posted by Jett:
Even before this summer, I would help some of my friends with Ebay, and using the same search words as me their results would be different.

If Ebay is turning off some search programs, then we're not getting our full worth of our listing fees. Wonder how Ebay would feel about a partial payment for the monthly charges?


IF eBay is manipulating its search, effectively making some listings ineffective. Thus, being paid by sellers who are then cheated out of a real chance to sell their merchandise, has me asking one question...class action suit? I don't see how eBay can be paid for a service it intentionally manipulates for a higher failure rate. Afterall, eBay wins when listings fail.

eBay LOVES relisting fees.
there has been some discussion on the powerseller board and search board and somone might have something that explains it wish i had the link to the threads.

people are finding item number prefixes that are more likly to be excluded from search results.

somone explained it like a rolling blackout they had in california a few years back.

it looks like eBay is randomly removing these prefixes from search results
I noticed this spring and summer that I was selling quite a few items overseas. Haven't sold one thing overseas now for over two months.

Also when searching now, items from England are showing up frequently.
Is Ebay manipulating Search Engine results? Absolutely. And, we have the proof to demonstrate it.

On November 1st, 2006, our staff took a screen snapshot at Nov-01-06 19:21:28 PST of eBay's main search page while searching for products under keywords "battlefield 2142". The snapshot can be viewed at http://www.alphaleap.com/ebaytime_listing_irregular2.gif. While reviewing the snapshot everything appears to be normal without irregularities. However, the fact is that the auction's end times are completely incorrect and scrambled while displaying some items that have already ended and placing others lower down the timeline. Notice our auction number 190046395889 (circled in red), it has an end time of 1h 36m. In reality, however, this auction ended 36 minutes later at 19:54:57. According the the search result, this item should not end until 20:54 so it would have never been at the top of the search results by product end time. Clearly, the item would either end with a lower bid – luckily, we even had a bid.

The following information provides the accurate end times of each listing from top to bottom as appears within the eBay main page screen snapshot URL.

Snapshop at 19:19:29 PST eBay’s Main Page

(Item Number) (Actual End Time) (Displayed Incorrect End Time) (Seller) (Location) (Auction Type) (Time Difference)
300042367934 Nov-01-06 19:21:28 PST 19:21 gcpellerin canada fixed CORRECT

190046382188 Nov-01-06 18:55:08 PST 19:55 alphaleap thailand fixed AHEAD 1 HOUR

130042856005 Nov-01-06 20:00:00 PST 20:00 psp_accessories usa auction CORRECT

190044054902 Nov-01-06 19:09:08 PST 20:09 kolinb usa fixed AHEAD 1 HOUR

190046395889 Nov-01-06 19:54:57 PST 20:55 alphaleap thailand auction AHEAD 1 HOUR

230045805491 Nov-01-06 20:56:24 PST 20:57 mrtaradon2006 thailand auction CORRECT

190043919591 Nov-01-06 20:00:00 PST 21:01 acarbo1139 usa auction AHEAD 1 HOUR

290043757428 Nov-01-06 21:02:02 PST 21:03 anytimeboy usa fixed CORRECT

230044174207 Nov-01-06 21:09:20 PST 21:10 startat999 thailand auction CORRECT


Please note that the information provided was not cached - we do not use cache on our computers as software developers who must test applications and debug results on real time data. The screenshot provided is unaltered (except the circled red highlight) and generated from a ALT+PrintScreen on a Window's XP system.

The incident was reported to eBay immediately afterward which included two screenshots. Even though there was no response to our inquiry, we saw a significant jump in sales for the next few days (as another member wrote, "a light switch was turned on"). But, it didn't last... As with many others, we have seen significant losses from a drastic change in eBay search engine manipulate starting this year. As a business, we have significant expenses including 7% VAT that must be paid in Thailand for every sale and are always trying to expand through improved customer service, software development, auction advertising including customs designs and graphics - all of which adds up especially with the depreciating U.S. Dollar and strong Thai Baht. Now, we're asking ourselves, what's the purpose behind all the hard work and expense? By clear search result manipulation, how does a seller compete with other sellers who apparently have their eBay "switches" turned on 24 hours a day?

AlphaLeap Co. Ltd.
http://www.alphaleap.com
Everyone should check to make sure their listings are even appearing in the search. Yesterday I checked on a listed I had done & 7 hours later it still was not there! I believe this is happening quite often now because things that have watchers right away have none into the 3rd day. I e-mailed ebay customer support but of course still no reply. Anyway check up on your listings to see if & when they do appear.
I've been noticing lately that search results will sometimes vary (store and core) upon refreshing the page or returning via the back-button.

I can't remember for sure if I've seen this in Current lisings but I've definitely seen it in Completed. Do Store results show up separated in Completed? If they don't, then I've definitely seen it in Current listings too.

Yesterday, I searched in Completed for a particular item and there were three results. I clicked on one and when I hit the back button there were only two results. I hit refresh and the third returned.

So you never know what you're going to get.
Mad My stats are showing decrease in sales and traffic, down for the last month and way down since last year. In the meantime, by Fees go UP UP and AWAY. Can't keep going like this. Working on my own site and will put in full efforts at this next year. In addition, EBay completely cheated the Store Owners by dropping the Key Words Advertizing, $90. per quarter and replacing it with a paid program that does little or nothing. No adjustment was made in the cost to maintain store tho. Who knows. Hate to admit, You Really Cannot Trust Big Business. They end up practicing Black Magic, every time. [URL=onceuponafind.com ]Once Upon A Find Gifts[/URL]
We recommend that everyone start their own stores as soon as possible! From our many years of testing and experimentation, Oscommerce is the most friendly PHP shopping cart in the world. You can have a store up in just hours. Most importantly, it's 100% free through the open source GNU project http://www.oscommerce.com.

Getting traffic to your site is not so easy. It's best to first start by working on your meta tag description and keywords, writing descriptive information about your products and services while insuring that your keywords are repeated a few times within your content. If you have previously written any articles or blogs pertaining to your products or not, create links to and from the articles while always including your domain name on offsite pages and all emails within your signature.

Oscommerce is not search engine friendly by default, so, you will need to add plug-in(s) (freely distributed on the contributions link requiring some programming experience) Then, after you've added all your products with full descriptions, start using Google's Webmaster tools to validate your website and add maps (read Google's information for additional details). Then, start posting your site freely to other major search engines such as Altavista, Yahoo, etc. You also have the option of using Google's adwords ($$$). Although we did not see a significant increase in sales, the utilities they provide for website traffic analysis are beyond anything we've ever seen.

Additionally, once you're completely up and running with all products uploaded, use Google's new Base http://base.google.com. For free, you can upload all your products via special tab delimited format (free oscommerce contributions available). We have received significant sales through this channel alone, and it's definitely worth the effort!

Trust and safety are most important for buyers. They want to feel safe. If accepting credit cards, you "must" have an SSL certificate on your server. Other options are Google Checkout (non-Paypal non-Ebay). When accepting Google Checkout, you do not need an SSL certificate, in addition, it's safer than Paypal (in our opinion) for the seller and buyer. Using Google Checkout for two months now, we have not had a single fraudulent chargeback. However, with Paypal our losses due to illegal chargebacks are unimaginable. Nevertheless, you will most likely want to accept both, but cautiously watch all orders from Paypal. They perform little to no screening of buyers - only sellers. For example, payments from a buyer in France requesting shipment to a hotel in Hong Kong are very common. You don't want to lose your product and profit to fraudulent buyers.


AlphaLeap Co. Ltd.
http://www.alphaleap.com

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