eBay display sales data over gallery images

eBay Image PopupseBay appear to be running a test which flashes up sales information over gallery pictures.

It appears to be a reasonably wide spread test due to the number of different messages seen and the number of people seeing them. Examples of messages shown include how many views an item gets, how many watchers are on a listing and if someone has made a recent purchase of the item.

I have to say regardless whether or not the popups have a material effect on sales, I can’t understand why eBay still include watchers on fixed price items as a public facing measurement. Displaying the number of watchers on an item is simply an inducement to sellers to add fake spam watchers – we’ve recently seen the effect of spam watchers on eBay with the new eBay Feed emails. Watching an item may have had relevance in the old days of auctions, but for fixed price items they’re much less relevant and certainly less useful.

As a buyer do you find the information compelling? I suspect that the popups could quite well influence buyer behaviour so would the fact lots of other buyers were viewing an item or someone else had just made a purchase encourage you to hit the buy it now button?