Another small step for sleazebay, a giant sharp stick in the eyes for ebaY membersUpdated: see below

Following closely on the heels of removing a key feedback/visibility feature, ebaY has now killed off the ability to search by bidder, for both active and completed listings.

Here’s the current advanced search page at ebay, (sans bidder search link) and the preserved page from 09-11-2013 at the Internet Archives Wayback Machine.

This feature has had many uses, (and derivative effects) for buyers and sellers alike. One example would be that you could search another users bids and drastically reduce your own search time and effort by using their searches.

It also could (make that used to) help to foster competition between bidders who both (or all) collected the same types of items.

Another, for sellers, is that you could see if a buyer was overextended, “bid happy” etc.

It could also make it easier to identify shill bidders

Whatever it is they hope to accomplish by this move is anyone’s guess? But if you’ve been following along, you know ebaY doesn’t seem to have both oars in the water these days. They have been on a virtual rampage of destruction and reduction of visibility. Even going so far as to hide listings.

Note the image also has the Trading Assistant program link highlighted too, as ebaY killed that off a short time ago.

Update:

It seems some folks are claiming that if you click the advanced search page, then click ‘seller’ you are taken to a page where you have the link to search by bidder.

However, when I tried to search by bidder, the link purported to work redirected back to the same freshly altered advanced search page linked above. Try it yourselves.

If history is any teacher, any current functionality of the feature may only be a vestige or a sign of sloppy website keeping, much like when they secretly changed the shill bidding policy and tutorial pages. It may be too soon to tell, but clearly they have been making other similar visibility changes, so don’t discount anything.