Personal Shop: The buyer's experience, and how to improve it

So I had some old money and recently spent it on fashion in the player market. Looking through everything I could in my budget was more than an 8 hour workday to do.

It doesn't have to be this way. Addressing the issues that cause this and improving the player market will also mean that people selling items will have an easier time getting their items to sell, because easier buying, means easier selling.

So what are the problems, and how do we fix them?

Problem 1: Redundancy

  • This is the biggest problem in the buyer's experience. The amount off items you have to sift through would be greatly reduced if you weren't seeing the same item in a search result over and over again. The fact is, unless you're looking for something specific, you're probably filtering by price, and to see everything that way, you usually have to run a search a bunch of times with different price ranges for filtering.

Solutions:

  • The search results should only show each item once. To deal with variants and multiple people selling it, you select the result, and are then shown the variants. Select one of the variants, and then you're shown all of that variant up for sale and can pick which one you want to buy. As much as it puts buying a few clicks deeper, the condensing of search results would still be a big win overall. Far fewer ranged filter searches would be required.
  • Another solution would be, in addition to a search, a catalog view, where you can drill into categories of items, and basically view every item in the game this way. Now, some categories have a lot of items in them, but you could set up categories for where items came from, like a particular scratch ticket, or event, or something of the sort, to make it easy to find any item that exists in this game. Then once you've found it, select it and be shown if any are up for sale.

Problem 2: Not quick to see at a glance

  • This one is smaller, but still an issue. The thumbnails for items are small, and are not detailed enough to really tell what the item looks like, forcing a need to preview a lot of things that you may not have to otherwise.

Solutions:

  • This one is simple. BIG. DETAILED. THUMBNAILS. With the amount of search results you have to sift through currently, taking up more screen real estate per result might be a bit of a problem, but if we implement one or both of the solutions to problem 1, bigger thumbnails become a lot more viable.

All this together would cut the shopping time down drastically, and make finding and buying items on the player markets much easier, to the benefit of both buyers and sellers, and with NGS here, now is a good time to move toward overhauling the personal shop system.

This speaks to the buyer's experience, but one of the first things to my mind is that there's also a big way in which the seller's experience could be improved. As things stand now, older listings tend to get buried, creating a perverse incentive to pull down your items and post them again just in the hopes of being noticed this time. It would help this a lot if searching by lowest price would just resolve ties by ordering older listings first.