Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Announcements Galore at eBay!

Today, Vice President of Seller Experience, Dinesh Lathi announced several important changes coming to an eBay listing near you.
  • New Look for eBay’s Product Pages
    In the next few days, we’re making some important design updates to eBay’s product pages (i.e. the pages you see when you click on "Matching Products" in search results.) You’ll see two different versions of this page—one style is for Books, Music, Movies & DVDs, and Video Games and one is for products in other categories. Sellers’ items will appear on these pages when they list with pre-filled item information. Basically this is a move to standardized content similar to what Amazon does, where there is a product page and then seller listings are sorted below, except on Amazon they are listed by lowest total price. eBay is using their wonderful Best Match to sort. Here's a example for media - looks similar to

  • Offer Starts: FREE Subtitle for Media Listings
    From now through the end of the year you’ll get a FREE Subtitle upgrade when you list books, music, movies, DVDs and video games with pre-filled item information. Subtitles show up on the new product pages, so take advantage of this offer to help your listings stand out. Hey, its free so make use of it.

  • Introducing Featured First, a New Listing Upgrade
    We’re also introducing a new listing upgrade called Featured First. Add Featured First to your listings for an opportunity to appear in the featured area at the top of the first page of search results. A limited number of Featured First listings are randomly selected to be rotated into the featured area, so there’s no guarantee yours will appear. But this upgrade is still a great way to significantly boost your chances of being displayed on the first page for increased visibility and increased likelihood of a sale. It’s also a great way to jump start "recent sales" for a new Fixed Price listing. This was first introduced in the UK and has now made it to the US. [After seeing the cost below, I would suggest staaying away from Feature First]
    Featured First takes the place of Gallery Featured and is offered for the same price: $24.95 for up to 10 days, and $74.95 for up to 30 days. This upgrade is available only to sellers who have not been demoted in Best Match search results (see your seller dashboard for your status). Also note Featured First is not available for any Motors categories. Gallery Featured is still available for Motors sellers.

  • Re-list Credits Ending for Fixed Price Listings October 22
    As you know, we recently reduced Insertion Fees for Fixed Price listings to just 35 cents for a full 30 days, and just 15 cents in Books, Music, Movies & DVDs, and Video Games. As a result, starting October 22 we will no longer be offering Insertion Fees credits when Fixed Price items are re-listed. Credits will still be issued for unpaid items and are now being extended to single quantity Store Inventory Format listings if there is an unpaid item. Note that re-list credits for Auction-style listings will continue. Make sure to calculate no re-list credits in your costing.

  • Best Match for Store Inventory Format Listings in Search Expansion Box
    As you know, when search results surface a limited number of items, the search results page expands to show matching Store Inventory Format listings available from eBay Stores sellers. Best Match is now used as the sort order for these Store items, using the same factors that apply for Fixed Price listings. These include recent sales, competitive pricing—including shipping—and seller track record. Also, you may have noticed that we’ve increased the threshold for when Stores items appear from 30 listings or fewer to about 50 to show even more of your Store Inventory listings. Sellers, if your model consisted of store listings at the lowest price, this new sort throws that strategy out the window. Best match all-around. 
Lots of things to consider. Its nice how they waited until the the first 30-Day FP listings were about to expire to give you time to revise your strategy.

Just my 15%


ms.pat said...

Is it just me or is all this kinda meaningless when so many big problems are towering over sellers. These amount to giving a kid a lollipop because you just gave him one heck of a boo-boo!

We discussed Feature First on the artist board on ebay. If you don't have great Feedback and DSR's don't bother cause you'll be spending the extra money for nothing. FF is still tied to DSR's and Ebay is clear in stating that this is NOT a sure thing but only a "chance" at getting on that precious first page. I think I'd rather buy a lottery ticket.

All I can say is come to Bonanzle and bring your buyers with you ;-)

Randy Smythe said...

Pat, yes, Featured First is a crap shoot. I'm going to revise my suggestion.

For the cost of Featured First for 30 days you could put up 214 30-day FP's

ms.pat said...

randy - they really are sucking money out of sellers' pockets - now without even the promise of service for the fee :-(

David said...

It should also be noted that they changed the way featured plus works without announcing it on the announcements board. It's really sad that eBay is in such a downfall that they choose to only announce this on their "search" message board. Do they not want sellers to know?

The correct way to handle it would have been to announce it and give sellers a grace period until *after* the holidays

Now sellers have to come up with a new listing strategy at a time they should be getting ready for the holiday season.

I'm not sure if Featured Plus is even worth it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Someone requested more changes?

Randy Smythe said...

David, Featured Plus is no longer. It is being replaced by Featured First which is a $79 crap shoot.


Sure, they have plenty of time before Christmas and besides according to the earnings call there really isn't going to be a bump for the holiday season this year, so they might as well just keep changing things :)

ms.pat said...

I have long advocated getting rid of Feature Plus. In the arts category there are at least 30 pages of FP's at any given time. This means listings ending in 1 minute are smothered by 30 pages of FP's. Listings starting immediately are again smothered by 30 pages of the same FP's. We call this front and rear loading and its been going on since 2004. Ebay could care less because they're raking in the money for them. Its been bad for the buyer too since he sees the same 30 pages and generally the same artists and the same art every time he looks in that category. This has forced the small seller to FP or not be seen at all! I would like to see these FF's become so expensive that fewer of our artists will buy them in order to get that first and last page exposure. This gives the rest of the artists a chance to be seen at least within the first few pages of the category. Art, unlike most other items is NOT really searchable. It has to be browsed and viewed before its bought. So, in this respect I'm happy to see Ebay become overly greedy about FP's :-)

Anonymous said...

OMG $79 you could SIGN UP most places for less than that??? Aaaugh!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many large sellers would have taken the FP30 bait, had they known there would be no relist fee credits for the new format, so soon. FP30 isn't exactly cheap for Media sellers.

There are so many SKUs glutting up the core tranche now, items that really have no hope of getting more than, perhaps, one or two sales a year, if even that!

Sure, there were never relist fee credits, for the store inventory format but the SIF was a whole lot cheaper for a large seller.

I predict an exodus of ordinary selling titles over to Amazon by next spring/summer, when ebay sales flatten.

Problem is, I fear Buy, who pay no ebay listing fees at all, will, of course, continue listing en masse on ebay...

Tony P. said...

I'm waiting on their announcement about changing the listing page's color scheme.

White text on white background is included in the basic insertion fee.

Black text is an extra 50-cents.


Compared to ebay's management, Scrooge is a fricking philanthropist.

nadine said...

Randy, I think you're confused about Featured First replacing Featured Plus. Featured Plus still exists; it is Gallery Plus that has been replaced. I haven't tried the new Featured First but Featured Plus seems to be working pretty well if you have items at auction that will be shown in limited size search results, say no more than 50 items.

David said...

My problem with featured first is that you need a 4.6 DSR on S&H to be in standard.

Say you have 10 auctions at $75 a pop and your DSR is a 4.6, All it takes is a few unreasonable or uneducated buyers to leave you a 1on S&H and you gone.

What's to stop a competitor from creating a few accounts under bogus information and leaving low DSR's to get an edge on FF.

When money is involved, and economic times are tough, people resort to a lot of dirty games.