Auctions only on eBay please!

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Both the UK and Canada have Cheap Listing days on 31st May, the one difference being the UK announced theirs three days prior but Canada got less than 24 hours notice. The UK is aiming for low start (sub 99p) auctions, and we expect most of the Cheap Listing Days in the foreseeable future to be based around the auction format.

Canada also are focussing on auctions, but have designed the promotion to deter sellers from listing on auction with a Buy It Now price slightly higher than the auction start price. This is a problem not inherent to eBay and Overstock’s CEO summed it up very succinctly:

It’s good to see eBay starting to refocus on auctions, and true auctions with realistic start prices to get bidders bidding again.

Many sellers will simply ignore the Cheap Listing Day in the UK as they view their products as not suitable for auctions. There is a definite shift in philosophy towards low start price auctions to encouraging bidding, if anyone’s still unconvinced take a look at the main “Come on in. Get more” promotions on’s home page – all the links direct you to lowest price searches which invariably highlight auctions above Buy It Now listings.

Whether this is down to Philipp Justus moving to San Jose to revitalise the auction platform is unknown, but if it is down to his influence it’s good to see a European having an impact on eBay. After all the European market as a whole is larger than the US 😉

2 Responses

  1. I don’t think it’s good to see eBay focussing on auctions. I think it’s a sign they don’t have a clue how either their buyers or their sellers are thinking.

    What’s interesting, though, is that the most recent UK and US (.com) CLDs have pushed “lower cost SO LIST MORE”. eBay might want to use fiscal measures to try to control seller behaviour, but they sure don’t want to lose revenue on it 😀

  2. Sue, it looks like they are trying to increase conversion rates. That is the number Wallstreet is lokking at right now. If conversion rates go up they can mask the other problems. Right now IMO eBay is playing a shell game with the numbers. Listings are flat but conversions are up and ASP’s are up. Wall Street see these numbers and is satisfied for another quarter.

    On the revenue side eBay is making good money now from sponsored ads and non GMV related revenue which is taking some of the sting out of listings being flat.

    They are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.


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