Gunbroker's obnoxious search engine "upgrade"

I suppose somebody else in here must have noticed that a couple months ago Gunbroker decided to “upgrade” their search engine by making it stupifyingly looser and less user-controllable? For whatever reason they decided to do a few things which all are detriments to anyone trying to find anything, and certainly to anyone who was used to, and who appreciated their previously very picky and exacting search engine.

One used to be able to dictate whether they wanted only titles searched (the default mode), or if they wanted titles and descriptions searched, which could open up many many more results, many of them potentially irrelevant. Well now, all searches automatically search titles and descriptions, and thus many results are flooded with nonsense. This makes their “saved-search” feature almost useless since it is emailing me countless hits on nothing of any relevance most of the time. Today for instance, I did a search under the ammunition category for “collection”, which used to return a very handy 20 or 30 results of people selling mixed lots or collections of cartridges. But now, since it is searching the descriptions, it returned over 1700 results since some sellers throw a lot of key words into their descriptions. And you can’t turn it off, it wont allow you to search only titles. This problem can make searching completed auctions mind-numbing because multiply that by around 10 or 12, and you get the past 90 days worth, times the average listing length of 7 days, and you’re drowned in results. It also makes it hard for sellers to have their items found by those who are used to searching for a particular thing.

It used to be that you could differentiate results by searching plural vs singular (their search engine would score “tracer” vs “tracers” as different results), but that’s gone too.

I emailed Gunbroker about this over a month ago, and actually had a pretty lengthy email discussion back & forth with one of their tech people and customer service, but they are convinced they are correct. I ultimately informed them that I suspected their effort was merely a way of creating more clutter pages and causing people to have to click on more results, which in turn would cause more page-opens and more potential accidental clicks on all of the junk banner ads on their website, and that the effort had nothing to do with enhancing anything for the customers. The email replies stopped at that point…


I agree…and would add that, IIRC, GB search default used to be time remaining and is now “relevance” to what you typed in. You now have to manually select “time” to get this to happen. Also, at least when they first changed over, if you started going through pages without selecting “time”, you would get, for example, items listed on the second page of a search that you had already seen on the first page. Another classic example of computer gurus knowing nothing about how the real world works…


AMEN! Their search feature is nearly useless. I used to look for stuff there daily, now maybe once every week or two. They are thinking only of their own interests, not those of their actual customers, the people who go there to buy stuff. The people who buy stuff are the ones who make the sellers happy.

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Yes, and amen to the pointlessness of that “relevance” feature dictating result order instead of time. Now every time I get results I have to change it to time, or maybe to price. Their relevancy is based loosely (I guess) on how many times your searched-for word appears in the description, or how early it appears in the string of text of the title. A totally meaningless metric!

I thought I was the only one who thought that this search engine was nearly useless.

Gunbroker went ahead and “optimized” their search results layout this morning. So now the results come up in a grid of icons and are laid out in a pointless order of “relevance”. This means that if you list an auction without a thumbnail icon, you’re going to be almost invisible in this new layout. I firmly believe that all of their efforts of late are geared towards optimizing the number of clicks they get on banner ads, and have nothing to do with the customer experience. This, probably due to the fact that more & more people are using browser programs like adblocker to block banner ads from showing up. Gunbroker had been getting crafty and inserting these absurd ads into the lists of search results, and now these ads match the size and format of the search results, so there will no-doubt be more accidental clicks on such enlightening ads as “Do this one simple trick before buying a lottery ticket” , or “diabetes treatment breakthrough will SHOCK you”… roll eyes…

Yes…BIG surprise at about 0600 this morning…I thought I had gotten into some other site by accident !!..
I finally figured out how to get a search to some resemblance of what it used to be, but not really close. Again, relevance is the default, as Matt stated. Used to be, when I searched KRAG, I would switch to “time-ending soonest” and it would keep this as the default as long as the session was running. NOW, if I am done looking at KRAG and I want to search MAUSER, it reverts to all of the defaults. If we want to look at Gunbroker, I guess we have to accept it, but I DON’T LIKE IT !!


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Agreed…I’d search “tear gas” and end up with AR15’s mixed in. Circling the drain like Photobucket (at least for my needs)

More reasons to use Gunauction or the old Auctionarms, I have had way to many issue with gunbroker over the last 19 years, in short they suck

Yep, Gunbroker seems to be following the Ebay and Photobucket model. Start out with a great idea, achieve remarkable market success, high traffic, lush profits, customers are happy and then…the consultants and Wall Street tell them that they are not making as much money as they could, they need to get stricter, raise the rates, tighten up, squeeze the suckers who are the customers…until it become the nearly universal opinion that the company now completely stinks and people leave in droves.

PB is on life support practically begging old customers to come back. If there was any reasonable alternative or fairness in life Ebay would also have been consigned to the junk heap of history. Gunbroker is heading that way.


To which list I’d add Google, as their “search” results are increasingly geared to sponsors of the site … the first page is often taken up with past sales on eBay whilst the “images” option often takes you first to commercial sites such as Pinterest or Alibaba …

… or often to images that have nothing to do with your current search, but everything to do with other recent, but entirely unrelated searches.

It’s a worrying thing when the company involved has a near monopoly on search functions.


I had given up both Auctionarms and Gunauction quite a while back. Gunauction has almost no ammo that I can find. No collector ammo at all today and only one page of 9mm which is all current shooting stuff.

I couldn’t even find Actionarms. I thought it was out of business some time ago.

Am I just doing something wrong??? Are there other auction sites I should be looking for???



Gunauction is the “new” name for Auction Arms…It has been Gunauction for a couple?, few? years now…and yes, it has very little in the way of collectible cartridges.


Thanks Randy! Was afraid I was so inept that I couldn’t find them properly.

I use to find quit a few things on Gun Broker, but for the last 6 or 8 months have been very dry. I saw an interesting 30 Mauser box, it was the old orange and green label from the 1920s, but the label said “Division of Olin” so it was post WWII and the date code was A1077 so it was loaded by Western in 1957. I bid too much for it, but it went for about $180!!! Pretty rich for what it was.

I have been watching EGun in Germany, but that is complicated.


You’re wasting time and electrons trying to deal with Gunbroker. It is run by know-it-alls who not only don’t hear anything they don’t want hear (such as constructive criticism), but who don’t even follow their own rules. If you argue with them they’ll close your account. Life is too short to bother with them. There’s nothing for sale there I want badly enough to put up with them.

Could be worse. Just recently found out I cannot access the Brownells website anymore. At least not without cheating. It identifies my EU IP address and blocks access with a redirect page to European resellers.

Discrimination disguised as customer service…

I don’t like Gunbroker, they don’t care about the seller or buyer.
I feel GunAuction or the old Auction Arms is a much better auction.