Stamp Community Family of Web Sites
Thousands of stamps, consistently graded, competitively priced and hundreds of in-depth blog posts to read
Stamp Community Forum
 
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some stamps?
Our stamp forum is completely free! Register Now!

So Ebay Yanked Down All My Bin Store Listings...why? I Really Still Don't Know.

Previous Page | Next Page    
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous TopicReplies: 48 / Views: 2,087Next Topic
Page: of 4
Moderator
Learn More...
8635 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   08:28 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Agreed.
eBay listing indexing has moved away from inefficient 'free text' searches in dicey seller description and more towards a Amazon-like (no surprise) 'catalog' organization. A 'catalog' approach is perfect for consumer based UPC items. For example, Shoes|Sneakers|Mens|Size 12
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
2743 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   09:04 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Item specifics are a time waster - just a hoop to jump through, especially if it's a pale duplication of what you've already written and then some in your description.

I was able to quickly add item specifics via the bulk editor in SixBit. (You're only required to have four specifics filled out).

Certification: No certification
Grade: Ungraded
Quality: See Description
Place of Origin: (already filled out depending on category choice)

...and that's it. Not enough time in the day to deal with the rest of it and it's just repetition otherwise.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Moderator
Learn More...
8635 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   10:53 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Item specifics are a time waster - just a hoop to jump through...


As a person who has worked with data collection, data storage, and data indexing there are some things which are quite obvious about the issue with searching across free form text fields like the eBay 'description' field.

First, every seller describes things differently. Even the simplest things can be problematic. For example to a collector saying 'Mint, Hinged', 'MH', 'Mint Hinged', 'Hinged, Mint' and 'Hinged Mint' is all the same but to a database these are all different. This makes searching for things in a free form text field difficult, inefficient, and inaccurate. Having a drop down box which requires every user to select the same thing makes 100% sense from a database perspective.

Secondly, free form text searches require the largest, most costly hardware to run. As we have seen in this community, free form text searches can bring a server down to its knees. Imagine trying to index and search across eBay's current 1.3 billion listings. It is truly an incredible feat that eBay is able to almost instantly (within a minute or so) make your listing description searchable and include it into a text index of over 1 BILLION listings. The amount of hardware they need to make this happen is almost beyond imagination. Tens of millions of dollars' worth of hardware are in place and no doubt they are constantly adding new hardware to handle the cost of free text searches.
By moving to a catalog type standard categories, they will be saving huge amount of money, make searches and filtering far more accurate, and allow buyers to efficiently locate what they are looking for.

Folks often complain about about eBay fees, but perhaps eBay should just add 25 cents to any listing that wants to avoid using 'item specifics' and instead just rely upon free form descriptions.
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
2743 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   11:34 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,
I understand all that from eBay's point of view, but from mine - it sucks and wastes the seller's time beyond belief. Much easier to find a work around and ignore it as much as possible. Pull down menus are also extremely limited and do not touch upon the fraction of the possible things one can search on free form descriptions especially when it comes to philatelic items. Item specifics maybe great for shoes or commercial goods, but doesn't do collectables any favors.
Will

edit: As for the technological aspect it may sounds awesome now, but as the technology develops and progresses it will becomes much less so and less of a challenge for search engines and other aspects. I see eBay's moves towards item specifics more of a way to deal with more mass produced consumer products online, more buyers with touch screens, and a way to deal with sellers who have "difficulties" creating a coherent description. It feels like a race to the bottom to those who try their best to write a decent description. I write most of my descriptions like how archaeological artifact / unit descriptions (previous occupation). It doesn't lend itself to the limited reduction of pull down choices. Yuck.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by Battlestamps - 10/25/2020 11:44 am
Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
441 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   12:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
eBay's approach to search is very custom, internally designed and a very layered approach to meet it's needs. Last I saw there are at least 5 layers of systems before it even touches the backend. Incoming requests come in load balancers.
There is a query transformer, that basically rewrites your query and then a series of top level aggregators that feed low level aggregators, then the search is passed to query nodes. They use a mix of sql (I think teradata) and nosql (couchdb) databases depending on the data content. They're data is fully reindexed like 3x a day, with intermediate reindexing and updating tasks intraday the full. A massive feat for probably 100PB+ of data.

I can probably dig up a paper on this if anyone is interested. I read about it a few years ago.

The issue with the databases here is probably related to expensive sql queries that aren't optimized (unions, joins, etc). The databases are also probably not ideal for the type of content they're storing either. Blob objects like photos for example are horrific for rdbms over a few hundred kb and should be relegated for file storage or other db architectures.

Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
735 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   12:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I work in financial services, and I recognise the hallmarks of a money laundering control on eBay's part. They don't have much choice over whether they do this - if flags are raised they will have to suspend the account, if for no other reason than failure to do so would be facilitating fraud.

They won't be able to explain the situation either, as it's also a criminal offence to tip off someone that they are being investigated for money laundering. So they use vague terms like "verify information" and "preventative measure".

It's a drag, but they really can't just turn a blind eye to possible ill-gotten funds circulating around their site. Of course, the account holder could be entirely innocent, as is the case here, but sometimes they won't be innocent, and that's why they investigate.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
2451 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   1:56 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Drat, I just lost the message I had entered, so I have to rewrite it!

Some of the Item Specifics they have for stamps are just silly. Who searches the stamps category by color or denomination? For denomination, they don't have it standardized anyway. Although their example suggests they prefer cents, you can put in 2, 2c or 2 cents. If I put 5c in my title, their suggestion is $5. Really? They have both Face Value and Denomination. They are clueless. How is Place of Origin different from Country/Region of Manufacture? For Year of Issue, their examples are all decades. I wonder if people prefer to search by decade or by exact year? Probably some of both.

Whenever you change listing categories, it always wipes out the Item Specifics. I really wish is would default autofill in Uncertified and Ungraded since that is what most of us use the most often. And since it always seems to have the right country as the only suggestion in the dropdown menu for Place of Origin, why don't they autofill that in? (edited to add - possibly not for topical or worldwide postal history and their topics dropdown list clearly wasn't done by an expert - they need to ask ATA for their most recent top 100 list)

Of course the most obvious Item Specific that is missing is Catalog & Catalog Number. It is nearly impossible to do a text search for a catalog number of 100 because it also returns every item with $100 or 100 different etc.

As long as I am ranting, I hate the way they split up countries. Fiji (until 1967) is under British Colonies and Territories while Fiji (1967-Now) is under Australia & Oceania. If they want to put pre and post independence under the same Fiji category it would be fine, but to split them between 2 different main categories is bad. Or the y they don't split up things with France & Colonies not having France as one sub category and Colonies being another. Same with Germany & Colonies.

Wonder what I forgot from the original writing?
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by eyeonwall - 10/25/2020 2:16 pm
Moderator
Learn More...
8635 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   2:25 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi eye,
I am sure the people who did the specifics were not stamp collectors, they probably looked at a catalog and just pulled some of the obvious fields.

And eBay is NOT going to hook their wagon to a 'catalog' number and a 3rd party company like Amos. If they did, they would (at a minimum) want a contract and probably want some money. (And Amos would not come anywhere near eBay with their strong-armed legal threatening demand letters for using 'copyright catalog numbers; eBay legal would bury them.)

I doubt that eBay would 'promote' any catalog publishers for free and/or without a contract in place that benefits eBay.

eBay obviously does not care about the stamps categories, and may not even care much about collectibles altogether; they do not fit into their vision of selling new consumer items. In my opinion there is little value in trying to apply a stamp collecting perspective to eBay. Yes, they once had better support for what this hobby wants to do (in terms of listings) but they clearly have moved on. We are left with trying to fit our hobby into their online venue which does not really want this kind of listing. <shrugs>
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
441 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   2:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think they want any listing that results in payment transactions. I am sure they will always adapt to wherever that flow is most prominent.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Moderator
Learn More...
8635 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   3:01 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Shareholders and Wall Street do not want them to take any listing, they want them to take any profitable listings. eBay is not interested in support a few hundred thousand non-profitable listings for used, low value items like stamps <$5.00. The cost per transaction is a metric which they track. They are trying to be like Amazon, not HipStamp. It seems clear to me that the years of eBay supporting low value, used item listing (including their associated higher numbers of bad transaction, Not As described complaints, and non-UPC items) is coming to an end. Everything that eBay has done over the last 5-7 years has moved them away from listings used, low value items and towards UPC coded consumer type BIN items.
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
2451 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   3:08 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don I am not suggesting eBay develop any sort of database where you put in Scott (or Stanley Gibbons or...) and 57 and it supplies any sort of description like the software that some auction houses use. The catalog number would only be a field that we would enter ourselves and it would then be searchable to avoid all the contaminated searches we get now (this problem is not restricted to stamps either). I could be wrong, but I don't think this is something that Scott or anyone else could require a license for.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Moderator
Learn More...
8635 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   3:20 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You typically would want to have at least three fields to support a stamp catalog number; the catalog number, the catalog name, and the catalog revision (or year).

I use a search string now on Stamp Smarter to link users to the eBay 'sold' listings for a specific stamp. The most efficient way I found was to use a catalog number and a partial description (i.e. '1 + Washington' in US stamps category). This still gets mixed results but at least gets them close.
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Canada
602 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   5:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@rismoney - if you ever run across that article you mentioned, let me know - former RDBMS developer guy here, used to spend a fair amount of time worrying about optimizing queries etc...
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by gmot - 10/25/2020 5:55 pm
Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
441 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   6:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not sure if this is what I previously read or or maybe this is the source work on the article.

My work focus is more on infra than dev/db work, but I find this stuff interesting. Especially I like to learn a lot about how things we use everyday actually work and not just be a user.

Either way -
http://www.cs.otago.ac.nz/homepages...s/2017-8.pdf
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
United States
465 Posts
Posted 10/25/2020   7:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have found myself doing plenty of online shopping in the last year.

Collectibles (stamps, plus non-stamp items, too) - I go to eBay. I have found stuff on eBay, felt like it was overpriced, gone directly to an online retailer (think: going to Subway or Maryland Stamp & Coin for glassine interleaving) and invariably the pricing on eBay is competitive, if not better.

Consumer items - new - whether it is underwear or a stereo receiver - I will go to Amazon. From there I may comparison shop with a large etailer's site, but most likely NOT eBay.

I say this because it is clear that eBay is trying to become Amazon. They have missed the boat, though. Amazon is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE larger than eBay. What could eBay offer that Amazon doesn't? If eBay had made this decision 20 years ago, it would be a different story. eBay doesn't know where their market is. They are trying to grab market share from another company that is doing fine with their system. For me, eBay would have to do a few things MUCH BETTER than Amazon for me to go to eBay first. If eBay makes it harder for collectibles dealers, then they will lose that market, too. If they aren't careful, we could end up with Amazon, Hip Stamps, a few other small collectibles sites, and no eBay - and this could happen within 5 years. They are concentrating on the big stuff, which they won't get, and they are losing the small stuff in the meantime. They could end up with nothing.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by mootermutt987 - 10/25/2020 7:13 pm
Page: of 4 Previous TopicReplies: 48 / Views: 2,087Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.


Go to Top of Page
Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Stamp Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2020 Stamp Community Family - All rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Stamp Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Privacy Policy / Terms of Use    Advertise Here
Stamp Community Forum © 2007 - 2020 Stamp Community Forums
It took 0.25 seconds to lick this stamp. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05