eBay announced a $0.20 cent listing sale on the 13th of Feb. and listings shot up to over 15.5 million, according to Medved. On a typical day for eBay, listings normally hang around 12 million, so the promo added roughly 4 million listings to the site. With previous promos this new elevated listing number would stay for 7 days (the typical length of a listing) and then move back to the normal listing range. What is different this time, is that the Medved numbers for today (2-18) show 14.5 million listings instead of the 15.5 million listings from the previous day. This is not normal, so what would explain it?
A one million drop in listings 5 days after a promo is significant and may indicate:
- Boycotting sellers have kept 1 million listings off of the site. We will know if this is the case if the listing numbers on Weds, when the 7-day promo listings end are 1 million less than normal 12 million.
- Sellers, who normally would choose 7 days auction lengths during a promo, decided to choose 5-day listings, so their listings would end prior to the beginning of the boycott.
Regardless of what actually happened, the fact that eBay has 1 million fewer listings today then the previous day, with two more days left on the promo is significant. We will have a better guage on the impact of this listing boycott on Weds when the 7-day promo listings end and the new fee structure begins.
If listings are in the 11 million range on Weds, then I think it will be safe to say this boycott is having some effect. It may not change anything in the way eBay does business but it will be a sign that if sellers join together they can move the needle a little. If listings come back to the 12 million range, the boycott will be considered a failure.
This will certainly be interesting to watch.