Buyers-eye view What's one thing you think would help reduce the bloating in search results?

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Original Post

MiliZee says

...or more than one thing if you can think of it!

Anyway, here's my idea: allow for multiple quantities (already done; but give people some incentive to do it like fee discounts or something) and even more, allow people to offer size and color options in the same listing. Right now, if you make the same design (eg: a sleeve for go-cups of coffee) in, I dunno, 20 different fabrics, you have two options: one is to make 20 different listings and the other is to make one listing, but use some of your allotted pictures to show the different fabrics they come in (either as swatches or as finished items).

The first way is more of a guarantee that an inexperienced buyer will notice the different colors, and possibly easier for the sellers to set up. But it leads to major clogging of search results with items that are essentially the same, just in different colorways. The second way is much neater and tidier, but I bet the sellers who do this often find they have to go back to the buyer to ask them to pick a fabric, and/or they lose visibility from having fewer listings up.

This is something I've noticed particularly with fabric etc goods - it seems Bath and Body sellers do this more (in their case it's different scents mostly).

I think offering multiple options through the Etsy system would really help with the aspect of adding work for sellers from having to run after buyers to get their choice hehe. It would also really help cull the clutter from search results. On some searches I've run, I'd say it could cut the number of hits by as much as half if this option existed and was used.

What do you think about that? What's your suggestion?

Posted at 1:10pm Jul 9, 2012 EDT


Xenu says

A different, though not mutually exclusive, approach would be to allow exclusion of shops from search results. If I decide I'm not interested in a particular shop, I should be able to remove their items from view.

Also, allowing full Boolean searches ( Right now you can do implied AND and NOT searches, the first by just listing terms, the latter by preceding any terms you want to exclude with a minus sign (-). Allowing OR would be helpful if I'm looking for say, something red or blue but not both or other colors.

Posted at 1:15am Jul 10, 2012 EDT

MiliZee says

That's true, boolean searches would be great! I don't know how many people know (how) to use them - whenever something is even slightly more geeky I always think, well, duh, everyone knows that only to then find out it's a lot more esoteric than I thought! - but even if it helps *some* users, it's a big gain as these users would then spread the word too.

The exclusion of shops from the search results, I *think* I dimly remember being able to do this once...? Only for a brief time while I was here, and not for probably several years now, but I think so. We'd have to ask someone, because if it was once there then it probably means that it will be easier to reinstate (for instance, they will already have the technical fixes and not need to come up with new ones.

However, I can see how the sellers-only crowd would be up in arms about such a measure! Even if it was clear that exclusions are at the discretion of buyers and ONLY for a specific search result, there would be plenty of resistance to that I reckon!

Keep 'em comin' folks!

Posted at 6:23am Jul 10, 2012 EDT

the most annoying thing to me about the search is all the not-items... patterns and tutorials and supplies. I want a hat, but if I search hat half the results are NOT hats! And I tried doing the search as "hat -pattern" but that means that it excludes all the stuff with the word pattern in it (what if they made one with a snowflake pattern... uh oh!)

I asked etsy about this once, I said maybe they should move patterns to "supplies" since they're technically used to MAKE something, not a real thing, but all these pattern sellers jumped on me to say that they were making their patterns and didn't want to be hidden. grrrrrr.

Posted at 9:52am Jul 10, 2012 EDT

Etsy has two customers: Buyers, and Sellers. Very often, one doesn't understand the other.

Sellers want their items to come up on as many searches as possible. Buyers don't want to see so many items that really don't relate to the kinds of things they are looking for.

Often, neither one really understands the other. I am both, a buyer and a seller.

As a buyer, I want to see the items that really ARE relevant! If I search for horse tack, I don't want to see a tie tack with a horse on it. Horse tack (Tack is the term for equipment) should be in pets, tie tack should be in men's clothing.

If I am selling horse tack, I want my horse tack to appear near the front of the searches, not buried several pages down, under more recently listed tie tacks, thumb tacks, tic-tac-toe items, photos of sailing ships tacking back and forth, or anything with add-ons that can be tacked on to your order.

I don't really understand why the hypothetical pattern maker in specfems post was upset. Why should it be important to her that her item be shown to people who didn't wasn't that kind of item in the first place? A better search would help her item be shown to the people who want to buy a pattern.

Posted at 10:36am Jul 10, 2012 EDT

This post has been removed.

Posted at 10:40am Jul 10, 2012 EDT

MiliZee says

cara - unfortunately I had to delete your last post because it went against Etsy's site-wide 'calling-out rule' (actually three different rules now - see this thread on calling out for more, especially the second to last post: Your post would fall under 'discussing a specific item and shop in a negative way', because of the way you referred to a very specific, recognizable item (since you linked to the actual item and it showed up in the thread and all, there's no way anyone could NOT know which seller and item you were talking about.

It's too bad you decided to be so thorough and concrete lol, because it was otherwise a very good example of what you had said before! Do you think there might be a way you could rephrase things so you explain the example but in a way that wouldn't conflict with Etsy policy? I saved the thread as a PDF on my computer before deleting the comment, so if you need it your original comment to rephrase things, it is not lost, not to worry :-)

And I definitely agree with what you said about not understanding why sellers would be upset their items weren't in everybody's face lol. I think you're right that the goal for everybody should be to return search results that match what the searcher wants. And I don't think it *really* works for them. Like the pushy sales clerk trying to show you neon shorts when you asked for a black pencil skirt, it's irritating, but unlike the live clerk, they don't have the face-to-face interaction working for them in getting you to buy.

spacefem (nice new avatar btw) -

OMG, yeah. The patterns are a BIG problem for me too. Especially because I've ended up buying a bunch of them in the hopes I will *someday* become a knitter and make it myself...yeah, try NOT haha. But because they show up, I'm tempted.

I think it's actually even kind of unfair to the people with the ready-made items, because in the results where it's all side by side, you have a hat that costs like $4 and one that costs $24! The first is actually only a pattern, but you rarely know that from the search results. I'm willing to bet it predisposes some buyers who haven't yet caught onto that to think the second hat is overpriced, just from that visual association. Nowadays there are some searches I will only ever do with a - p a t t e r n s tacked onto the end of the keywords!

Posted at 4:27pm Jul 11, 2012 EDT

I don't remember what it was now. It's OK. There is a problem with the searches turning up unrelated things.

One of the reasons it's good is that you can sometimes see things you didn't think existed. You may not want it now, but maybe later, when you need it, you will remember.

Sometimes, however, it is a stretch. And really a problem if you type in the exact name of the item and it is buried down several pages under things with similar names.

Posted at 10:51am Jul 13, 2012 EDT


Tags should be WEIGTHED! The first three tags you use should have a stronger influence then tags 4-6. Tags after 6 should carry less weight in a search. The TITLE of the item should have the heaviest weight.

Time since listing should NOT matter in search. Unless the searcher WANTS recently listed.

Posted at 10:26am Aug 10, 2012 EDT

Jo from wasataylor says

I think the problem with this is that sellers put in tags that are not related to their items. Say someone is selling a necklace, but then puts earrings into the tags to get more exposure. They really shouldn't be allowed to do that. It makes it harder to find what we are looking for and can be very frustrating to the buyer.

Posted at 9:16pm Sep 26, 2012 EDT