Thursday, March 06, 2008

eBay Listings on the Rise! Must be the Fee Changes

There have been lots of rumors and speculation that eBay was padding listing numbers recently, when sellers found Shopping.com listings on the eBay.com platform. As far as I can see there is absolutely no evidence to support the claims.

Here are the Medved numbers for Feb 5th, 2008, prior to the listing promo, fee changes or SDC listing problem. You can see that the listings peaked at 12.4 million listings.




On March 1st when the SDC (Shopping.com) listings were discovered you can see that the listings peaked at 13.5 million, leading to speculation that there was listing manipulation going on.


As of March 4th the SDC “errant” listings were removed from the site, so if they were the reason for the rise in listings we should see a decrease in listings from the March 1st number. As of today March 6, 2008, you can see that the numbers have actually increased even further to 13.7 million with no SDC listings on the site.


I know sellers are unhappy with the changes and don't trust eBay, as far as they can throw them, but making wild accusations to stir things up is very counterproductive. My suggestion for sellers, is to concentrate on optimizing your listings for “Best Match” and devising strategies for making eBay work. If eBay no longer works for you, it might be time to look elsewhere. eBay management is going ahead with their plan regardless.

I complain about eBay as much as the next guy and they certainly need to revamp their whole PR department and communicate better with sellers but this padding of listings is a non-starter.

Just my 12%

1 comment:

Event Horizon 1984 said...

"As of March 4th the SDC “errant” listings were removed from the site" Randy Smythe

No.

Background.
eBay recognized the Shopping.com problem as starting on February 29th, "Friday night."

"EBay on Tuesday admitted that a "bug" in its system had accidentally placed listings from eBay-owned shopping.com onto eBay.com late Friday night."
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,2273210,00.asp

Or as put another way by eBay:

29 February 2008 7:31:50 PM PST
"I see. Actually, this is not an eBay listing, the problem is it's a Shopping.com listing that is showing on our site by mistake." Evan M. A., eBay

"As of March 4th the SDC “errant” listings were removed from the site" Randy Smythe

Incorrect. eBay stipulated the Shopping.com listings were removed as of March 2nd, not the 4th.

2 March 2008, 02:32 PM PST
http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200803021430071.html
From eBay System Status Announcement Board
***Resolved: Shopping.com listings on eBay***
"Some Shopping.com listings appeared accidentally on eBay.com over the past two days. This system issue has been resolved. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused."

Fact is eBay removed listings in a timely manner.

Anyone interested in seeing the rise and fall of Shopping.com listings should go to Medved,
http://www.medved.net/cgi-bin/cal.exe?EIND, and pull up the weekly chart for "EBay Auction Counts: February 24, 2008 to March 1, 2008."

This shows the slices of time missing, between your February 5th and March 1st charts.
Medved graphs use Eastern Standard Time (EST).

You can see quite clearly the Shopping.com listings increasing the count, beginning at 7PM PST approx, February 28th. And are completely deleted by 7PM approx March 1st. As stipulated by eBay.

There was an approximately 500,000 listing increase, followed by a 500,000 listing decrease.

eBay should fire those programmers responsible for causing this fiasco. An error of this magnitude should not be tolerated.

As an interesting side note, eBay was running a listing special on March 1st and 2nd. Historically auction counts increase during a listing special.

Bring up the monthly Medved chart, "EBay Auction Counts: March, 2008." You'll see during the March 1-2 listing special the overall auction counts DECLINED. This does NOT happen.

I have to wonder if when eBay's programmers executed the deletion of the Shopping.com eBay.com listings, they did it in a poorly thought out ill conceived manner.

Were these programmers in so much of hurry to bulk delete these "errant" listings, that they deleted valid auction listings?

eBay FIRE those programmers, hire better ones, learn from this fiasco, and move forward.