eBay buy Decide to build improved pricing tool

DecideeBay bought yet another company this week, which is not really breaking news – most of eBay’s growth has been driven by acquisitions.

Ever since PayPal eBay have been snapping up the odd marketplace, classified ads sites, a divertion with Skype and various tech companies such as GSI, Magento, Milo, Hunch, Redlaser and Svpply. Whilst we’re sure eBay have made good use of most of the tech that they’ve purchased, it’s not always immediately obvious what it’s done for sellers (or even for buyers). What’s happened to Hunch for example – are eBay sending you emails with things you may want to buy or are you still getting the same old daily deal type marketing?

So why should we care about Decide, which is the latest company for eBay to swallow up?

Decide have made their name by predicting when a consumer should make a purchase and when they should hold off a few weeks. Is there likely to be a new model out that the consumer would prefer, or will the manufacturer trash the price to sell off the old model just before or after the new model comes out. What about price promotions around holidays – will the price of what you’re about to buy plummet just after Christmas, or are retailers giving their very best deals before the holidays start?

Decide say that they base their buying guidance on billions of data points from across the web and reckon they do a pretty good job of it. So good in fact that having acquired them eBay are shutting them down and the service will cease as of the 30th of September.

eBay say that immediate goals for Decide’s team will include helping eBay build an improved pricing tool that helps sellers better price their merchandise and sell items faster, and leveraging their analytical skills to produce more detailed insights, intelligence and price guidance to sellers – information that will ultimately help sellers better compete, regardless of changing market dynamics.

An improved pricing tool? It’s news to me that eBay had what could be called a “pricing tool”, I though the only eBay research tool worth using was Terapeak which is an external service who license eBay data. So could eBay be about to introduce a tool that tells you when your sell price is too high or especially if it’s too low? Will it prompt you when listing or could it also scan your existing offers on the site and advise when you should adjust your price?

Will eBay use Decide to produce a price suggestion tool, or will they consider rolling it into an automatic repricer for eBay marketplaces?

The real answer is of course that we don’t know so at the moment we’ll leave you to speculate. We will of course let you know as soon as we here that a new eBay pricing tool is on the way. In the mean time here’s Decide saying goodbye: