eBay increase access to historical sale prices

By Chris Dawson February 6, 2012 - 5:16 pm

eBay have increased the look back period for completed listings in certain categories from 15 days to as much as 60 days. This is largely in the collectables categories where it is much more useful to see past prices than in say iPads.

The new look back periods

Collectables category increased from 45 days to 90 days.
Antiques, Art, Coins, Dolls & Bears, Pottery, Porcelain & Glass, Sports Memorabilia, Stamps, Toys & Games categories have also been increased from 15 days to 60 days.

How to find historical sale prices on eBay

All you need do to find out past prices items have sold for is to click on the “Advanced Search” tab at the top of most eBay pages, enter the relevant keywords, check the “Completed Listings” box and click the “Search” button.

Longer look back periods

It’s well known that Terapeak is the best research tool for eBay (They licence eBay’s data direct), although unlike eBay’s tools it’s a paid for service. However if you want to know historical prices items have actually sold for on eBay Terapeak has data available that goes back an entire year, although you’re restricted to reports of 90 days at a time. Mind you… run four reports and you have a whole year’s worth of data if you want it!

  • Gary
    6 years ago

    This is a very poor idea.

    Why let buyers check out past sales for 90 days?

    It could have a significant impact on auction bids and BIN sales and reduce final values of current auctions.

    And this will hit ebay where it hurts them most!

    15 days is enough. If buyers want more info then they should be charged a fee of say ยฃ10 per month. And this fee paid by buyers should be used to subsidise sellers fees. But anyway it should not be offered.

    I have checked and all my sales are now visible for the last 90 days to anybody who can be bothered to look.

    Competitors, the tax man, the vat man, etc. This could put a lot of “private business” sellers off selling so more revenue lost for ebay.


    • 6 years ago

      Oh I wouldn’t have thought a “Private” seller would be particularly worried about the tax man or the vat man ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Seriously though the tax man had Xenon since way back around 2005. I’m sure they’ve plenty of even newer ways to track eBay sales without relying on the last couple of months sales history. I’m also sure the tax man could afford a couple of Terapeak subscriptions as well ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Gary
    6 years ago

    I include myself in the ranks of those who are not bothered by the taxman and the vatman spying on my turnover for the quarter.

    But there are those that will be!

    If it puts off “private business” sellers from listing that is a good thing in my book.

    I am however slightly troubled by competitors (and buyers?) being able to spy on my actual sales for a 90 day period though. I don’t mind them checking turnover (which they can do easily on another site) but lists of individual sales for an extended period is another matter.

    It will also put off potential buyers from bidding or buying as they can now see item volumes for 90 days and something that over a 15 day period may appear unique and a must buy over a 90 day period may suddenly appear less so.

    It will extend the gap for example between my listing unique items that I happen to have in bulk. So a slight rethink on my sales strategy may be required.

    I may of course be entirely wrong and slightly paranoid about all this!

    Unfortuneately ebay have this habit of making a lot of sellers paranoid! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 6 years ago

      Easy solutions to avoiding buyers seeing the 90 day look back…

      1) 90 days is collectables only – it’s unlikely you have 50 identical Ming vases ๐Ÿ˜‰ This is really so that if someone wants to establish a reasonable price for a Penny Black stamp that they can.

      2) The way eBay’s search works is bad enough not to worry too much anyway – thankfully it’s hard enough to narrow a search down on live items to weed out accessories, broken items, refurbs etc and it’ll be even worse in sold items. Until all sellers get savvy with Item Specifics and Item Condition this won’t change. I bought a flat screen TV from Tesco because I couldn’t trust “New” items to be “New”, especially when described as bits missing, only had it a month, small scratches and so on – on eBay I’d estimate close to 80% of “New” aren’t “New”

      3) If you’re in say Toys and Games don’t list your scrabble set on a Good Til Cancelled listings, stick it on a 30 day (or even 10 day) listing with auto renew. The one and only thing you’ll lose is the ability to use Markdown Manager (do you use it?). Sales history for Best Match won’t be overly affected for most products in most categories – so long as your sales to search views is high as it’ll still carry across on the listing renew.

    • Gary
      6 years ago

      On the 10 day listing idea (or anything less than 30 days) remember that you do incur the same store listing fee as you would do for the standard 30 days so you are efectively increasing your monthly listing fees by a minimum of 200%.

      Anchor stores pay 1p per listing for any listing less than 30 days. Otherwise they list for free.

      It is the collectables section and those selling in that section that are hardest hit by this.

      Nobody checks the price of iPads or Scrabble Sets but serious collectors do a lot of price checking and tend to be more search savvy than the typical ebay punter. Things simply are not going to appear to be as uncommon as before.

      If the historic data doubles in size then the impression will be given on a search of historic data that (all things being equal) there are twice as many of an item that has come up for sale than would have previously been the case. And that may seem a lot to some people so they will be more inclined to watch rather than buy.

      So sadly I expect watchers to go up and buyers to go down.

      If there was no historic data I would expect entirely the opposite effect!

      Now which is better for eBay?

  • Gary
    6 years ago

    The other issue with the historic data on ebay is that it is full of auction and BIN stuff that has not sold. What is the point of that?

    You then see exactly the same auction or BIN item that has not sold put up for sale at exactly the same price by the same seller only to not sell again!

    (I partly blame the free listing days for this)

    So now we are going to be subject to seeing multiple duplications of the same item in the historic data that has not sold.


  • 6 years ago

    I’d just like to mention a tool I’ve built that I think solves many of the above mentioned issues –

    It lets you search completed ebay auctions and see real sold prices based on keywords.

  • Val
    6 years ago

    Hi Chris,
    I must apologize as I guess I let myself get carried away. My only excuse is I don’t consider my service spam, because it’s a real one and I don’t even try to get paid for it, instead attempting to reach as many people as I can – if that even counts as an excuse ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Overall, I think your posts are great, especially for someone trying to learn the ropes of eBay; or someone like me – trying to figure out what people need. Thanks for the kind nudge in the right direction and good fortunes to you!

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