Friday, April 20, 2018

ebay have messed up their music listing categories

Slightly off topic but here is some really important news for serious record collector and sellers   who use ebay as a way to source rare gems as well as selling have  implemented  drastic changes (since last week)  to their music categories which seriously affects  the browsing and listing experience. 

They have basically dumbed down their categories; which means searching for recently listed items in specific genres and formats is now pretty much impossible. 

Here is some background information on how I used to search for records on ebay

I have 2 ebay accounts meaning (on the desktop version) I have up to 400 searches saved based on key words/group names or titles). From these I receive email notifications.  I also use the ebay mobile app on my phone to see new listings “live” although in their wisdom the later versions of the app limit this to 100 saved searches for some reason.

More importantly I have saved categories (for which I don’t receive email notifications) but which I used to check around 10 times a day in order to see the latest items as close to the listing times as possible.

 I was mainly using my phone for this. I was very useful as it didn’t depend on keywords and it allowed me to browse and discover items within genres which perhaps weren’t on my wants list

Here are some examples of searches I had saved (all filtered to show new listings)

Music >Records > 7inch>Rock> 60s Garage/Psych 
Music> Records > 7inch>Pop> 60s Beat
Music >Records > 7inch>Rock> Glam

Now the only option to spot new listed stuff is Music > Records 

Meaning if you look for new listed records it brings up EVERYTHING!!! So it has absolutely no use at all
Here is the link to their category changes

I understand that this pretty much mirrors the US site. The main implication (as a buyer) is that I will no longer be able to browse and discover new stuff within categories and be first in line to snatch an item. I am now going to miss out on perhaps 90% of what I might be interested in buying

For sellers, and I have talked to some sellers who appeal to collectors in certain niches, it is a disaster and their listings just get dumped in with everything else. It will mean that specific items will be more likely to be missed, so their listings may have to be changed to Buy It Now (at a high price)

When I sell I am very careful to list in the appropriate categories to reach the right buyer target

I am not sure why ebay have made these changes, but it could be to make ebay a more generic dumping ground for sellers who can’t be bothered to enter relevant information (either high volume dumpers, or newbie sellers who have no clue what they’re  selling/doing) or something to do with a change in Google algorithms 

In any case, it’s just a continuing sign that ebay don’t care about record buyers and just want to dumb everything down to the lowest common denominator

There are of course other online avenues. Discogs (with all its faults) remains a useful source, Musicstack is of dwindling importance, however Facebook selling groups are really starting to come into their own. I am buying more and more on Facebook. As a seller Facebook is also great, there are currently no fees and of course if you use Paypal as gift there are no extra charges for the seller

I have contacted ebay, but of course they won’t care. I am not an ebay basher, however until they notice a drop in revenue, they will not do anything and record sales must a very  small part of their revenue generation stream


23 Daves said...

I completely agree with you Robin, and have actually just tweeted your blog piece at them! It shows a very limited understanding of how record collectors operate - we need meaningful categories to search for what we want, and we don't have all day to trawl through hundreds if not thousands of irrelevant items.

Everyone loses as a result of this. It's an odd decision to have made.

JKR said...

Well this is a bummer. At the same time, I gave up on expecting sellers to properly categorize their inventory. I can't tell you how many sales I've missed because a seller put some bargain priced rarity under a totally weird subcategory. A long time ago I went thru my wish list and set up searches under just the "music" category but filtered for keywords relevant to the item. Not a perfect process but I'm definitely seeing more returns than I was previously. Good luck, bud!

Robin Wills said...

That is exactly what I do for records I know I want to find from my wants/wish list. It is being able to browse new listings within genres and formats which is the problem. I know sellers have also mentioned that their records have attracted less watchers since the change, so it's a major issue from the buying and selling side

Jason Mills said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin Wills said...

If you do a search adding genre, format etc...As you said it only brings up those who have specified these in the listing. I have tried and done several permutations, I would be surprised if it added up to 5% of what we had before.
I used to buy a lot on Musicstack and Netsounds 10-15 years ago. I do go to Musictack once a day, but my saved searches have never triggered any notification emails

Anonymous said...

Is that why my selling has been down on my vinyl, now I know. NO lookers means NO buyers, terrible decision from ebay command centre, they don't seem to give a s..t anymore anyway about their bread & butter sellers and the great buyers these sellers attract