Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Finally a Carrot eBay Sellers Can Sink Their Teeth Into.

I hope you're all sitting down for this announcement. I think this may be the first sign that eBay is starting to get it. (Sorry couldn't help it)

eBay is making a huge change in the way they handle promos for sellers, at least for this promo. I'm hoping this promo is a signal that there is a change in the wind at eBay and though it may just me the first move it’s not a bad first step. I honestly never thought I would see the day.

It is clear eBay is/are working hard to improve the buyer experience on the site but the sellers I've spoken with, mostly feel that these changes don't offer them anything and in fact are stressing out over them ie. T&S initiatives, etc.. There is certainly a need for incentives to get sellers on board with these changes and something more substantive than a 1-day listing sale.

For years, eBay has trumpeted the use of gallery as a means of increasing conversion and providing a better buyer experience, and many sellers have agreed, well today eBay appears to be putting their money where their mouth is. Here is what Phillip Justus had to say:

"I have great news for you! Based on the success of our last Listing with Gallery promotion on 8/15, we are running a similar promotion for the entire month of September. Like the last promotion, if you buy Gallery and start your Auction-style or Fixed Price listings at $9.99 or less, we're going to give you the insertion fee for FREE. In addition, for items with a starting price of $10 or more, you'll save 25% off the listing fee (up to $1.20 per listing!).

But wait – there's more! This promotion runs from August 29 to September 30. That means significant savings for our sellers who will be able to take advantage of this promotion for an entire MONTH! (Read here for more promotion details.)"

Now, let that soak in a little -- this promotion is for a full 30 days. This isn't a 1-day sale meant to spike listings and its not a FVF discount which has limited impact on your margins. This is a listing fee deal that gives you the benefit of gallery and can save you 25% of your listing fees. Now media sellers will probably not jump for joy over this news but if they add Gallery to their Auctions and FP for items that start under $9.99 they can save 5 cents on each listing for the entire month. That savings could add up. Where this will really help sellers, is if you currently use Gallery, this is a nice gift that will continue for an entire month. It appears eBay is willing to test their metrics regarding gallery. One caveat is for sellers who list in the $10.00 to 24.99 range you basically get your Gallery for 20 cents.

Now, you know me, I'm usually real skeptical about promos but this one seems to have some bite and will certainly improve the buyer experience. I'm willing to take it on face value. If this is a signal that eBay is willing to change how they deal with sellers, I'm all for this.

This announcement is not earth shattering but it certainly is groundbreaking.


Anonymous said...

Lower fees don't mean much without buyers of course.

Without getting anyone I know in trouble, I'll say to look for more ebay tv advertising about halfway into the month when the big (and I mean BIG) tv shows start up again

ONLYEBAY said...

A few weeks ago you wrote on my blog:

"They will find some way to massage the numbers so a single digit growth rate in GMV doesn't happen."

You were dead right! This massive promotion is their way of massaging Q3 numbers to meet expectations and recover from a weak start to quarter.

Randy Smythe said...

A TV campaign would be welcome and if most of the listings use Gallery it would certainly help the buyer experience.


I never quite envisioned a 30 day promo. If this is successful, look for another such promo in late Nov. I'm hoping that eBay sees that a carrot (promo) is much more effective than a stick (T&S).