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Searching on Ebay is heavily filtered - you don't get all offers arround the world!
  • Hello,

    as I DIY a lot and also prefere to get my gear without the "premium price tag" of European resellers, I order things very often directly from China via Ebay. Its the general market place in the web, its quite save, a lot of offers arround the world....oh and you get fucked over quite hard:

    If you use the search function in Ebay with "world wide" enabled (and who doesn't?) it does not display all offers that match your search words. It filters out many auctions that 100% match your search, especially offers from China!

    I had this issue with Olympus pro lenses for arround $2000 from Japan and tiny parts for soldering for $0.50 from China. I typed in some words to search, got 0 hits and the exact item I was looking for was displayed in the "more items related to.." below. I used copy&paste of that auction headline into the search window and again got 0 hits. I clicked on the item, the auction/item was display properly and also stated that this seller has 935 other items for sale. Klicking on "see other items" resulted in 0 items found.

    I was using ebay Germany. So I tried ebay USA - some items got now "found" properly, others didn't. Lately I was using ebay Germany but with a proxy server in between - this looked like it showed all results. If ebay doesn't know where you sit, it doesn't know what to filter for.

    I contacted ebay support with this issue:

    1. "It can take time to display your auctions properly" - automatic answer, totally off topic.
    2. "You should update your browser and enable cookies. The ebay search function is working fine." - standart reply, off topic.
    3. "Can you please give an example of that problem" - wow! I did.
    4. "We had a look at your problem. This is a KNOWN issue. We are working on it." - What?! Now its a known problem...and not solved..?

    But...they solved the problem: Today I was using a proxy server again to get some "single row 2.54mm round pin male headers" for PCB soldering and the proxy-method doesn't work anymore. And it will take them not much time to adjust the "related items..." search function aswell to not display auctions that are not "good" for you.

    The only way I know of now to find all items that match a search frase is using Google. But as Google scanns through all listings from time to time, its not up to date and very often you find what you are looking for, but the auction allready ended.

    Has anybody any ideas how to get around this censorship?

  • 12 Replies sorted by
  • @Psyco

    It is good idea to set USA as your location (make sorting by price+shipping and change it to USA with some ZIP).

    And yep, ebay is known for this.

    Many Chinese sellers exclude US or EU from shipping locations (mostly to avoid being detected by dealers), hence they are not present.

  • And yep, ebay it known for this.

    I didn't know for some time. Maybe its good to share such "long known" things;-)

    Many Chinese sellers exclude US or EU from shipping locations (mostly to avoid being detected by dealers), hence they are not present.

    No, checked that - all were selling world wide.

  • Also a friend of mine and I noticed a while back that when browsing eBay on an apple computer with the safari browser that the default best match sorting would show us more expensive versions of the same item as when we searched on a PC using Firefox, chrome, or IE.

  • default best match sorting would show us more expensive versions of the same item as when we searched on a PC using Firefox, chrome, or IE.

    I think people who use best match only deserve something like it :-)

  • when browsing eBay on an apple computer with the safari browser that the default best match sorting would show us more expensive versions..

    Now, that's effective, bog-easy profiling for you! I've always wondered how thieves and hackers rarely got around to targeting apple users, who have a higher median income and who are less interested in the actual workings of their PCs than they are in their productivity. I suppose that's changed now, with higher volume sales meaning it's worth the hackers' effort.

    I don't know a solid, easy way around this profiling issue without creating a separate, (pseudo poor-person-from-a -lower-income-but-trustworthy-country) without re-purposing an old computer to the task of eBay. This person could have a name, demography, apparent proxy (address), a gmail account, everything to try and appear normal. A bank payment process too, whatever it takes to look like a real life and fool the algorythms. (whew!)

    [edit: Ever wonder why eBay URLs end in ".dll"? I] I just found this how-to

  • Thanks @Psyco for waking me up on this issue. I think I knew all of this subconsciously but needed to hear someone else's testimony.

  • Use this site: http://geo-ship.com/

    It searches multiple eBay sites at one time and puts them all on one page.

    Go into the advanced tab and set you country(s).

    You ca also select "Available To" your own country or all countries.

    Looks pretty cool.

  • Thanks a lot @Ian_T !

    I tested the tool and it looks really good (it found all items of my standart test ebay-shop which normally are hidden for me here in Germany).

    But please, don't tell ebay or they will find a way to block that tool:-P

  • Actually @Psyco I'm glad you started this thread. It helped motivate me to search for a solution and now I (we) have a new tool. So thank you.

  • @Ian_T Great find, man! Thanks for sharing!

  • If anyone else might be searching and find this topic like I did there is another similar tool which can search in all of ebay sites.

    http://www.globalEsearch.com

  • Interesting. I will try it. I wonder what kind of information is at risk, like passwords or whatever.....
    Just tried it, you definitely get different results, and it is pretty zippy.