Toward the end of October, eBay decided to quit allowing the use of the asterisk as a “wildcard” search term. Throughout the computer age, the asterisk has been used to stand for “anything” so that a search for “box*” would return results with box, boxes, boxed, boxing, etc. It was wonderful while it lasted, but eBay decided to take it away.
Because my wife was following their forums, observant, and asked the right questions, we got several days of notice of this impending change, which affected searches used to generate over 2,000 pages on over a hundred of our web sites. That is not much time to manually sift through so many pages, especially at the time of year when we need to work on Christmas shopping sites, but there was nothing to do but go and change all of the pages as quickly as we could.
The process was completed today and all of our sites are functional once again, though the search queries used are generally much longer, more complicated, and will not work as well as the wildcard searches worked in some respects.
eBay shoppers who can not find what they need using the new search program should visit Floppy Eared Puppy – A Better Way To Search EBay. The wildcard asterisk still will not work, but the interface provides an easy way for inexperienced shoppers to search the category tree and narrow searches by looking for phrases and excluding words. Try it! You’ll like it!