eBay has just changed their categories for Dollhouse Miniatures on ebay.com (USA) and ebay.ca (Canada). If you are used to searching eBay using Categories you're going to get different results now. This also impacts how sellers need to list their miniatures in order for buyers to find them. Using keyword searches rather than category searches on eBay can be pretty effective and I'll share some tips.
They have retired a bunch of categories and lumped their contents together into new categories, and renamed others. The specificity that there used to be is largely gone.
Retired Dollhouse Miniature categories:
- Animals & Pets - moved to Dollhouse Dolls & Pets
- Artist Offerings - moved to Dollhouse Decor & Accessories
- Books, Magazines & Newspapers - moved to Dollhouse Decor & Accessories
- Cookware & Tableware - moved to Dollhouse Decor & Accessories
- Fireplaces & Accessories - moved to Dollhouse Building Components
- Floor Coverings - moved to Dollhouse Fittings, Fixtures & Appliances
- Food & Groceries - moved to Dollhouse Decor & Accessories
- Toys & Games - moved to Dollhouse Decor & Accessories
- Wallpaper - moved to Dollhouse Wall, Window & Floor Coverings
- Mixed Lots - moved to Dollhouse Decor & Accessories
- Other Dollhouse Miniatures - moved to Dollhouse Decor & Accessories
Dollhouse Miniature eBay categories now:
Dolls And Bears category -> Dollhouse Miniatures and then:
- Dollhouse Building Components
- Dollhouse Dolls & Animals
- Dollhouse Decor & Accessories
- Dollhouse Fittings, Fixtures & Appliances
- Dollhouse Furniture
- Dollhouse Lamps & Lighting
- Dollhouse Wall, Window & Floor Coverings
- Dollhouses & Room Boxes
- Collectors' Guides & Books
As you can see, a huge number of item types are now combined together in the catch-all Dollhouse Decor & Accessories category. Animals are now in with Dolls. I think that these changes are going to make browsing these categories or searching in them pretty painful.
If you have saved searches that use categories, such as silver in the Artisan Miniatures category, that is now going to be showing you silver items of all kinds from the new Dollhouse Decor & Accessories category. Which will probably include silver coloured or plated commercial items too.
Tips for buyers - use keyword searches, and save them
My advice to buyers wanting to find specific kinds of miniatures now is to use key word searches. For example, since you can no longer browse a category of Artisan miniatures, put "artisan" into your search terms. Here's an example of what I got by putting "dollhouse miniature artisan sculpture -plastic" into the overall eBay search box (iPad screenshot):
That's a pretty focused set of results and looks good to me!
Exclude words from your search
You can also exclude words from search results simply by putting a minus (-) sign right in front of that word (no gap). That's what I did above by putting in -plastic. Other ideas might be -Fisher -barbie -tikes for example. In the above example, putting in -plastic reduced my results from thirty to sixteen!
Just experiment with what search terms give you the results that you like without having to wade through lots of items that you aren't interested in.
Save your frequently used searches
Notice that at the top left of the photo above is a heart symbol with the words "Save this search". It's in the middle of the screen above the results on a computer rather than mobile device. That's a really useful thing to do if you search for the same kind of item regularly. You can find your saved searches under the "My eBay" drop down menu if you are on a computer or from the Search icon on mobile.
It's going to take a while for this all to settle down and for sellers to learn how to adjust their titles to make them more visible to specific keyword searches.
Tips for sellers - use smart title keywords
These suggestions apply to all sellers, whether you have an eBay store or do stand-alone listings, as all listings have to be allocated to at least one official eBay category and so are searchable by category by buyers. (For store owners, eBay categories are not the same as your own internal store categories, which you organize as you wish).
Check the category for your listings, existing and new
Firstly, eBay has automatically relocated all listings in changed categories into the category that they think is the best fit. If it's feasible I'd check your existing listings to see that they are logically placed. All of mine were, so I think that shouldn't be a major problem. Keep an eye on the category that your new listings are going into as well.
Use keywords in your title that used to be in Category names
Make sure to include words in item titles that would formerly have been provided by the categories. For example, if you are listing an artisan dog, put "artisan" and "animal" in the title, as well as "dog". Someone doing a search for an artisan dollhouse pet can then put those terms in their search string and not get the dolls that also now share the same category.
I feel that it is also a good idea to always include "dollhouse miniature" in titles to help buyers find them regardless of their category placement.
The complete eBay re-organization
If you want to go to the source, or check on category changes in other areas, here is the link: