Tuesday, September 09, 2008

eBay: Recent Sales History Starts ... Now!

Chris at Tamebay, had a post regarding the early start of Recent Sales History for Best Match and Brandon of ECMTA pointed me to the eBay Developers page regarding the change, so I figured I would take a look at exactly what is happening.

According to the eBay Developers blog: "Recent sales will start to factor into Best Match sorting in mid-September, but the tracking starts now.

We think recent sales is a great way to tell a great listing, so we're going to start boosting those listings in search. If you start listing in multi-quantity now and then continue to relist those items when they expire, you'll start accumulating a "recent sales" score reflecting the recent purchases of that item. When the feature is turned on, you start reaping the rewards.

Forget to relist? You’ve got a couple of days to get that item back up on the site and keep your score. Remember, you must do it as a "relist" to have your score carry over. And you can't make major changes to the listing (for example, changes to title, category, condition, increasing price, etc.)." (Bold is mine)

So in theory, this looks like a good idea to get a jump on your competitors, right? Well, there are some issues:
  • The new fee structure goes into effect on the 16th so anything listed between now and then will have the old listing fees. For example a 7-day Fixed price listing with a qty. of 4 and a start price of $25 would cost $4 to list for 7-days and then when you relisted it you would have to relist it as a 7-day FP in order to continue to track your sales. Of course you could convert it to a 30-day once you relisted. Does it really make sense to pay $4 for that first listing to give you that jump on your competitors? It may for some of you, but don't go crazy with this. You are more than likely not going to sell enough in the next 7-days to spike your recent sales much and you don't need to shell out $4 on the "hope" it will help.
  • You have to include multiple quantity in the listing to get credit for recent sales. 
  • If you list on Weds. you can convert the listing into a 30-day listing on the 16th and pay an additional 35 cents but at least the original $ could be spread-out over 30-days. Still not recommended for anything but your hottest selling product.
  • Warning: There is a possibility that if you convert to a 30-day listing from a 7-day that the recent history may not carry-over. I've asked eBay for clarification on this. Update: eBay confirmed that if you convert a 7-day listing to a 30-day your sales history will follow, just don't raise the price, change the category, title or any item specifics.
I would think long and hard about whether this will give you enough of a head start to make it worthwhile, especially as we have no clue what will happen from here on out with Best Match 

Just my 15%


Anonymous said...

Keep twiddling those knobs, ebay.

The engineers had to go into computer science because they flunked out of biology. You see the organisms under the microscope wouldn't sit still, so they hit them with a shot of bug spray in order to study them. Pure genius!

They should give up on taxonomy, and just go into taxidermy.


Anonymous said...

Not surprised. Have you seen their stock price?

Anonymous said...

Randy, do you know if there will still be a relist credit for 30-day single-item listings? Haven't been able to find info on it anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Randy, I've been looking around and the eBay UK announcement board confirms that the relist credit no longer will apply to fixed-priced listings, presumably the same will be true in the US. Another question I was wondering if you knew the answer to, as of October 1 will all media listings need to have a max ship price of $3 or only those listed on or after October 1.

Randy Smythe said...


You are correct, there won't be a relist credit on 30-day FP as for the Max S&H that is applied to all listings that begin on or after Oct. 1st.

Anonymous said...

Why has no-one else started a new auction site to take all the trade which ebay patently no longer wants?

I've been on ebay for 10 years and what they are doing now is driving away ALL of the people who've helped build them up to what they are now.

With ebay only interested in business sellers, where are all the private sellers supposed to go?

This rant isn't aimed at you, I've read some really good stuff here of late and I know you're not ebay. I just wonder if you have an idea if any existing sites may take over ebays title as the place to buy and sell weird old stuff.


Randy Smythe said...


There are a number of places but they are just start-ups and son't have much traffic. Bonanzle.com looks very interesting because it has some of the same elements that the early eBay had.

The problem is that nobody wants to start an auction site because it is no longer a growth business and eBay is still the leader.

ms.pat said...

I like Bonanzle but there is extra work wherever you go...contact your customers, especially repeat buyers and let them know where you will be....give them a little incentive like free gifts or free shipping. Bonanzle is perfect for that because you can declare a Bonanza day with sale prices and freebees and Bonanzle will direct traffic to your store for several hours that day! Get to it. I already have some of my Ebay customers buying from me on Bonanzle and they like the site. Then there's Blujay, eCrater, iOffer, wigix, etc. all free to list - as is Bonanzle. I have my stuff spread to half a dozen different venues.