Increase your eBay conversion rate by up to 60%

By Chris Dawson September 26, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Wiser is a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine that monitors, analyzes, and reprices retail products in real-time. Wiser enables retailers to boost profit margins and revenue, price with confidence, and improve merchandising through a sound pricing strategy. Today Angelica Valentine from Wiser breaks down the latest eBay analytics and what they mean for merchants with real numbers on how simple changes can increase your conversion rates

eBay History

Since eBay was founded in 1995 as AuctionWeb by Pierre Omidyar, it has improved and grown substantially. It now sells much more than broken laser pointers (fun fact: this was the first item ever sold on eBay) and its customer base keeps on expanding. In 2013 eBay had over 128 million active users, a figure that includes those who have bid, bought, listed or sold an item within the last year. In Q4 of 2013 alone, it added 4.6 million users.

Why eBay is a Top Marketplace

eBay accounts for 19% of the global ecommerce market and and its recent metrics prove that it has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Last year eBay’s net profit grew 9% to $2.86 billion. Between 2012 and 2013 net revenue and sales increased by more than 13% to $4.5 billion and $76 billion, respectively. Mobile is also on the rise, as eBay Marketplace sold $22 billion via mobile in 2013. If you can believe it, worldwide marketplace users trade $2,642 worth of goods every second. With all of these impressive numbers, you must be wondering how can you get your fair share of sales on this growing marketplace.

The answer is not as complex as you might think: it comes down to effective selling and pricing strategies.

Sales Depend on Shipping

Fast and free shipping are ways to increase conversions, in fact 55% of transactions on eBay included free shipping between October and December 2013. Also, eBay merchants who offer free shipping see a 60% improvement in conversion rates. Not too shabby, right?

Sometimes free shipping doesn’t quite make sense, based on the type of item and where it’s headed. Luckily, fast handling is another effective incentive. Sellers who offer handling within 24 hours see a 46% better conversion rate. Shipping in the other direction for returns can get complicated, but sellers that have a 30-day return policy have a 19% boost in conversion rates. Shipping is a tricky part of online retail, but great policies can reduce the odds of a shopper traveling to a bricks and mortar store to get the product faster…. or simply buying from your competitor who can ship faster.

Provide More to Sell More

Other factors that eBay customers value are detailed product descriptions and additional photos. By providing subtitles in the product description, eBay sellers were able to increase page views by 26%. And to cater to the more visually inclined, include a second picture to increase your chance of selling by 7%.

What This Means for Sellers

eBay’s sustained growth presents a great opportunity for sellers. With more users comes more competition and more reasons to implement an effective pricing strategy.

Know of any other strategies that are great for eBay? Feel free to comment with your suggestions.

  • Mark
    3 years ago


    Interesting statistics, I was wondering where the numbers came from please? i.e. are these figures which eBay released, or did Wiser gather this data from their own testing and customer base?

    • Angelica Valentine
      3 years ago

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for reading. The numbers are from a few different sources, including Forbes, Internet Retailer, and eBay’s for business blog.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    our interest is to convert our stock into profit not be a monkey on the stick for ebay

  • Tim
    3 years ago

    To become a top rated seller you have to provide a free postage option, this increases your visibility in the searches. Its not really a secret.

    It’ll be much more interesting to see a conversion rate when sellers offer free postage without being a top rated seller. I think its far too simple to just say free postage is likely to see the highest increase in conversion.

    • Richard
      3 years ago

      Wrong, you don’t need to offer a free postage option to be a top-rated seller, trust me, I’m living proof. 🙂

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    rather than sales conversions we wonder how many businesses have went down the pan chasing sales on ebay , trying to reach the unviable and ever increasing list of terms conditions and regulations

  • Gerry007
    3 years ago

    From a buyers point now….

    I recently bought an item on ebay & the seller has been very difficult to contact.
    Even though we had paid for it we were unable to open a case as, although it was a collection item, ebay deemed that 30 days after the expected delivery date had to pass before case could be opened (no delivery was stated in the listing).
    I went on holiday and when I returned the period was now 45 days and you’ve guessed it, I was out of time…

    The seller knowing we had paid for the item, then cheekily re-listed it (or something the same). I contacted ebay and after several LONG phone conversations and promises they would do something, they actual have done nothing & the seller continues to sell.

    The re-listed item sold for alot more than I paid for it & ebay therefore get 2 lots of fees.
    The seller get more money for an item that is technically not his to sell (as it was our’s because we had paid for it already) and ebay do nothing…

    We will get our money back via paypal, but will now have to pay considerable more. ebay’s response “we are not a tradition auction place, we are a venue”….
    With ebay tactics like this, their lies and dismissal of genuine complaints, there number may be up, but with situations like this, their reputation is in shatters.

  • Andy R
    3 years ago

    Don’t believe in this at all.

    We tried free postage for six months earlier this year.

    Unlike most sellers, we didn’t build it all back in to our prices.

    The result? Our sales tanked, down by over a third.

    We found ourselves pushed down the searches because of the (slightly) higher prices.

    Since we went back to charging postage and reducing our prices again, sales recovered to their previous levels.

    It is a myth that most buyers want free postage. What they want is fair prices and fair postage. Do both and everyone is happy.

    • Rich
      3 years ago

      The reasons for my quite dramatic ebay decline may be manifiold but I offered free postage and overall reduced prices. My sales also tanked, despite being TRS.
      Hard to believe, torture figures enough and they’ll tell you what you want to know.

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    Agree that “free” postage is overhyped by ebay. My experience is similar. Lower prices and separate postal charges result in more sales for me also. The big issue is of course is that I loose TRS discount. “free” postage may work in certain categories but it does not work in others where there are more unique “one off” items but of course ebay have this “one policy for all” thing which may well have the effect of hurting sales in the specialised catagories which is surely what ebay don’t want!

    Why oh why ebay can’t have a separate site for collectables and used items with its own fee structure and performance standards relevant for these types of items I don’t know!

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