Shoestring Theory

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Updated: eBay search badly broken this morning

March 11, 2008 at 9:51 am by thetheorist

eBay search results
Click for larger image (where time is visible).

Updated: This afternoon eBay put up a post on the Systems Announcements board that the restructuring of some categories was resulting in not everything being displayed correctly:

Some items affected by last night’s category updates have not been moved to their new categories yet, which is affecting how these items appear when browsing.

We are working on resolving this as soon as possible.

As of 9 p.m. tonight, it’s still not showing as resolved, though Search did seem to be working better this afternoon. You can review the category changes here.

Thanks to Ina Steiner over at AuctionBytes for pointing out the official update by eBay.

Original Post:

Heads up, eBay search doesn’t seem to be working properly this morning. I search for the same items every week (some to cross check my selling prices, others to buy). This morning, eBay showed far fewer listings than is normal.

But, I re-did the same searches again about 30 minutes later and they are now returning two to three times as many listings as they were previously. These aren’t items that were just listed either, some of the “new” auctions in the second search end in just a few hours. As an example, you can see some screen captures of my search for “Tecra 8200” in Laptops (first search is the top image, second is at the bottom). I used the same search criteria: Ending Soonest, Location US Only, and US Dollars only. The first time, I got one auction for a driver cd. The second time, I got four auctions. Two of those end later today and none of them could have been listed in the time between the two searches (if you click on the images, you’ll be able to see a larger picture with the time left). This pattern was repeated across every single search I made this morning.

I used the Tecra 8200 search as an example because I could fit all the listings in one shot. For another item, it jumped from 29 to 82 listings in that same half-hour.

eBay search results
Click for larger image (where time is visible).

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The Submit button may not be appearing or working correctly in IE6. I would suggest upgrading to IE7 or Firefox 2 for full functionality (I'm still looking for a solution to this if anyone knows one).

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