Yesterday I made a disturbing discovery while doing some research on ebay. I was preparing a listing for Mens Levis Jeans Size 42x30. I did an ebay search to check and see where prices were at. What happened shocked me.
My search term was "levis 560 42x30" in the mens jeans, used. That brought up 30 items. I then added -black as I didn't want to see the black jeans. When I did that the total results went from 30 to 7. Even though there were only 5 pair of black jeans. So 18 pairs of blue jeans are disappearing from the search when I take out the black jeans. What?? I took a couple of screen shots to prove it and tried it several times to see if I could duplicate it. This is disturbing.
I imagine this error is not just occurring for levis jeans. I plan to test it out some more today. But if it's true and all kinds of searches are affected and items get kicked out of search results when they shouldn't then mine and your items are probably not being seen even when someone specifically searches for them and there aren't even a ton of results.
In the pictures below look at the number of search results before and after I subtract black. Try this search yourself. Do you get the same results? Can you explain this to me? Am I missing something?
I wouldn't be as disturbed if this was a large search with hundreds or thousands of results. But a small search with only 30 items? That should be simple and cut and dried.
Search Term "Levis 560 42x30"
Search Term "Levis 560 42x30 -black"
Edited to Add:
Maybe I'm spending a little too much time and energy on this? I should be listing instead you say?
After some more testing using other items and other search terms I figured out that it is the minus that is the main factor in this weirdness. Not the color black or any word you put after the minus. Do a search that returns less than 100 items so you can see them all on one page and get a quick idea of what is happening. Now add a minus something to your same search term. This should disappear a lot of the original results. You can minus something that doesn't even make sense. For example search "pyrex polka dot bowls". My search turns up 31 results. Now add -jeans. Twenty eight listings disappear. Now try -orange which is a sensical search. Again 28 listings disappear and the same three remain. So what if your listing is the one that disappears no matter what search term is put after a minus? Although as Queen of Fifty Cents pointed out in the comments a lot of people don't use the minus sign in their searches I think there are still plenty of people who do use it. How about you? Do you use minus when you are searching ebay?? Below I've posted a screen shot where ebay tells us how to use the minus sign.