Where have all eBay’s fixed price listings gone?
There’s an interesting thread on the eBay PowerSeller board postulating that there’s been a change in eBay’s Best Match which is heavily favouring auctions rather than fixed price Buy It Now listings.
Sellers have navigated to certain eBay categories and discovered that very few of the first 100 listings are Fixed price – almost all the first few pages of search results are exclusively auctions.
Dan and I have viewed a few eBay categories and agree there are a fair few auctions in many categories such as aff_link("http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Stamps-/260/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=&_sop=12","Stamps","","UK"); ?> and aff_link("http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/15724/i.html","Clothing","","UK"); ?> which sellers highlighted, we also checked out the aff_link("http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/7294/i.html","Cycle","","UK"); ?> and aff_link("http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Mobile-Smart-Phones-/9355/i.html?Screen%2520Size=5.0-5.4%2522","Smartphone","","UK"); ?> categories and again there are a lot of auctions in the first 100 or so listings.
So what’s changed? Or rather has anything changed?
Having been buying on eBay earlier today I hadn’t noticed a particular preponderance of auction listings, although to be fair I was purchasing in a category where their are very few listings that aren’t Buy It Now. Normally I use a search term to find products on eBay as I suspect do most buyers – it’s pretty much the only way to go on mobile (which accounts for some 60% of eBay sales).
I accept that some buyers will browse categories but that’s probably a dying breed and there are so many products (2.1 million in stamps) so view that any buyer will have to browse to sub categories, narrow their search with Item Specifics or enter a search term.
Equally as a seller I quite like the idea that as my auction gains bids and comes towards the ending time that my listing appear fairly high in (and preferably on the first page of) search results. When you’re browsing a category of 2 million or more listings there are going to be a lot of auctions about to end.
On testing as soon as I entered a search term in the Stamps Category (I picked “ aff_link("http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Stamps-/260/i.html?_sop=12&_from=R40&_nkw=1937+coronation","1937 Coronation","","UK"); ?>“) a much higher percentage of Buy It Now listings were included in the first 100 search results (69/100).
Has anything changed? Here at Tamebay we’re unable to answer that question as we don’t have any historical data or eBay search screen shots with which we can compare.
Are there a lot of auctions when you browse to a category? Yes there are.
Is this a problem? Not for me as a buyer as I’m almost certainly going to enter a search term and use Item Specifics to refine my search.
Has something changed? Has it affected your sales to an extent that you’re certain it’s due to a preponderance of auctions in category display rather than for instance the lovely weather over the past few weeks? We’re eager to hear your views.
In my main category, which is quite a small one, there are only 16 BINs on the first 50 items and in this category most auctions are ‘private’ sellers or Chinese sellers.
Unlike some categories, this category is still primarily a browser’s category rather than a keyword search category. Already my main sub-category has had the left side IS filters removed, which has decimated sales as buyers are now confronted with 2 pages of almost identical items from one seller using 2 IDs and various other ‘tweaks’ to evade duplicate listings policy.
So, the increase in auctions visibility is really bad news. I am down to 1 order per day.
For me it’s an influx of Chinese sellers in one of my main catagories, it’s starting to flood and overwhelm any UK listings.
In fact only yesterday I was looking on the mobile for some new undies on ebay, it seemed full of old tat from China, with some very ‘risky’ undies being show. When I narrowed the search by brand it did show a lot of auctions first with BIN’s later, sadly it was auctions from hong kong on branded items that I know aren’t branded items.
In the categories I look in, I find that even if you pick UK only that around 20-30% of the items are still from China or other countries.
We have had the slowest day sales wise in 2 years. Our category is mobile phones and to browse is to see tons of auctions. but if I search a product name it seems to be back to normal, ie: BIN and auctions mixed. But I do notice a lot of items being sold from China.
I check my advert ranks daily for my main key words In my category. From the first page of 50 listings, there used to be only 1 or 2 auctions, now it’s common to see 15-20 auctions selling pure rubbish. I also note that 95% of these auctions end unsold. I believe there have been changes made to the algorithm which is giving much more weight to auctions like the old days.
eBay’s business model is wrong.
They are still making money (by virtue of listing fees) but due to the plethora of rubbish and duplicates clogging up the best match buyers are being turned off eBay.
eBay are cleaning up their act re duplicates (I have a spreadsheet on reports I make) so that is a start. They also need to change the search to UK default and only where a physical address in the seller information from the UK with registered company details. Essentially they need all business sellers to go through a similar verification process as Amazon.
They then need to get rid of listing fees for sellers and just up the FVF a little and make it clearer, like Amazon.
eBay management if you are listening give me a call.
Seem to be less auctions in my category (Pet Supplies) than before. Its makes sense though as most people use BIN.
What doesn’t make sense is the Best Match seems to just show Chicken Coops & Rabbit Hutches on the first category page when most people just have a cat or a dog. Oh my :(
I cant say I have been checking religiously but I did think to myself the other day that there were more auctions than usual on various searches within the fashion category