eBay UK introduce total price searching

No primary category set

eBay UK have just announced the introduction of two new search sort criteria: “Price + P&P: Lowest First” and “Price + P&P: Highest First”. These, as you might guess, sort listings by total price including postage. The intention is to disadvantage sellers who list very low prices with very high postage, avoiding eBay fees and frequently misleading buyers into thinking they’re getting a great deal.

Sellers are advised to include at least one postage option in the P&P fields of their listing (not just specified within the listing description) because those who don’t list postage prices at all will be displayed lower in these search results.

Buyers and sellers alike have been asking for this feature for years, so I’m very happy to see it finally happen.

24 Responses

  1. I’m not happy with it.

    My carriers have 7 bands based on postcode with £80 difference between the lowest & highest.

    Which price do I put on? The highest and disadvantage myself, or the lowest and lose money hand ove fist.

  2. It’s not that simple with the large machines.

    Which price do I show? The highest one that will presumably disadvantage me in searches or the lowest which will cost me money.

    I suppose if I have to do it I’ll have to go with the highest and give the buyer a surprise refund if they fall into a lower band.

    I hate losing money.

  3. will this only show if a potential buyer actually goes to the drop down menu and selects sort by highest price plus P & P etc etc,

    if that is the case then I doubt it will be a big deal for a lot of sellers as most buyers won’t do this

  4. Well I ship big items to Owen, only pallets so will have to have a much closer look

    Just did a search with the new tool using lowest Price & P&P but it gives new items at 0.99 and £75 postage(total combined price) but £75 is the highest price for shipping in my cat. Seems pretty useless, if it was BIN items fine I can see it working but these results are distorted and do nothing to improve buyer experience.


  5. If the default search is lowest first including P&P then I’m likely to be at the bottom of the pile.

    I don’t think many buyers even know how to change the search criteria.

  6. Owen, the default search is either best match or ending soonest: this won’t affect you very often! Sorting by total price is surely most likely to be used in categories where there is a large amount of identical product: media and small electronics are two which spring to mind.

    Nevertheless, I think it does highlight a wider issue, that for some sellers, including both Owen and Whirly, eBay P&P is not nearly flexible enough. There should be the facility to allow for couriers’ differing rates.

    I’d also like to know if it would be possible to game this new system by putting “free P&P if you collect” as the first option on all your listings.

  7. Sue, your a bright Girl 😛 I can’t get my head around this change, 1. Item £1,Postage £10 Total £11, 2. Item £10,Postage £1, total price of both items £11 each, how is search going to throw up the results?

  8. You mean what order would those two show up, Whirly? My guess would be #2 would be first. It would be a guess, though, based on the fact that #2 is better for eBay. If you really want to know, then lets list two products like that and see what happens 😀

    Remember eBay are making a *lot* of changes to finding at the moment. There’s a long complicated patent application which shows some of the criteria they look at, and I will be trying to figure it all out in a later post – but there may be more news about finding this afternoon, so I’m going to wait until we have more information.

  9. Yes what order? the combined price is the same.

    My guess would be 2 but the announcement doesn’t confirm that 😆

    I think your advise is best, wait until later, it can only get better/worse? 😀

  10. No, the announcement doesn’t confirm it, but to be fair to the poor Pink writing the announcement, if they had to cover every “but what about…” that eBay sellers come up with, every single announcement would be five miles long. 😀

    I’ll see if I can get hold of someone later in the week to clarify our questions, so if anyone has any more points they’d like more detail on, please leave them here.

  11. cor wow the end of my crusade is in sight 😀

    looks as I will now never leave feedback at all !never mind in return to feedback received

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. well bugger me,
    guess who is now going to leave feedback on payment,
    I am now going to guilt trip and emotionaly blackmail buyers, so they feel bad about leaving negative rather than keep it hostage

    😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈

  13. I am very unhappy about the total price searching option. Let me explain.

    For many years we have offered our customers free shipping on additional posters. They pay a fair shipping price on the 1st item and then any amount of additional items ship free.

    The new search does not take this into account.

    I have tried it on a number of our listings and we feature lower than a competitor that offers no shipping discount for multiple items.

    The upshot of this will mean that we will have to reduce our initial shipping charge but then charge a reduced amount for additional items.

    This will make it more expensive for my customers and may ultimately effect my DSR rating in a negative way.

    The customer will lose and so will we.

  14. Nick, I’ll reiterate: total price isn’t default anywhere, and isn’t set to be either. Most buyers don’t even know how to change the default search sorting. Very few will use this. I don’t think you have much to worry about and it certainly would not (and will not) encourage me to rethink a successful postage pricing.

  15. I will wait & see Sue. It would not be surprised if it ended up default one day.

    I will be looking into this though 😉

    “I’d also like to know if it would be possible to game this new system by putting “free P&P if you collect” as the first option on all your listings.”

  16. hi,

    whilst all in favour of striving to provide best service to the buyer and value for money too, there are some aspects of the newly introduced system that are of concern.

    for example;

    buyers will be able to view supposed ”best price” first in search mode, with pnp included.

    this will disadvantage sensible responsible sellers that only offer the more expensive recorded delivery/signed for mail option, with tracking number.

    however, under paypal terms and conditions, the seller will not be covered for compensation and a refund to the buyer is automatic when items are claimed to have gone missing, without recorded delivery & tracking number employed/provided.

    this in effect means the seller is disadvantaged in ebay search, if they do use best practice more expensive postage. But, disadvantaged by paypal if they don’t.

    at the very least, ebay should make a real effort to inform buyers that cheap postage does not always mean the best deal and service.



eBay and News UK team up to push targeted content


Overstock.com takes $1m Bitcoin payments in 2 months


London 2012 Paralympic Torch for sale on eBay


38 Tips to help you make more money on eBay


London 2012 Olympic Torches attract £100k bids on eBay

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars