Where are your auctions today?

No primary category set

eBay have rolled out major changes to the site over night with the end of SIF and introduction of the new 30 day BIN listing format.

The big question is how will it affect your listings and in particular for the categories you trade in which selling format is most effective?

I’ve done a few searches of my favorite categories for buying and selling and the blend of auctions to BINs varies greatly. In Pottery Vases every fifth item is a fixed price listing, out of a page of 50 listings just 10 are fixed price. Switching to a search for AA Battery it’s a 50/50 mix of auctions and BIN but search for a Dell PA-6 laptop power supply this drops to just 13 BINs out of 50 listings on the page.

With the sort order now being Best Match and recent sales coming into play, auctions may be a great way to gain exposure especially if few of your competitors are using the listing format.

How are your categories affected? Do they have more fixed price listings or greater exposure of auctions? How will this affect your listing strategy for the future?

31 Responses

  1. I’ve not looked at the ratios thus far, but I have noticed that the SIF’s converted to 30 Day BINS do not show up to those still browsing on the “old” search layout.
    “Free postage” does not seem to do anything to improve the positioning either despite being cheaper overall, so I may have to start revising a pricing model – although this will then negate any past sales rankings.

    Oh joy…

  2. just found this statement when revising a fixed price listing in fine jewellery

    If you are selling a single item in this category, an Online Auction may give your listing more visibility to buyers than Fixed Price.

  3. Up until today, if I searched for ‘crombie’ in all categories, best match returned all items with ‘crombie’ in title, displayed in ‘ending soonest’ order. Fine by me – I can refine search further if I need to.

    Today, I do the same search and the results are all over the place – but not for reasons (stated by eBay) to do with best match. On the first page is an item with 77 days to run, offered by a previously (within last few months) restricted seller. It’s a one-off vintage item, so cannot have had previous sles. Cheaper one-off items with less time to run (some just a few hours), from sellers with higher DSRs are showing well below the above listing.

    I spoke to a lovely chap at PS Support (I really feel sorry for the folks there), who told me that ‘the whole team has been urgently seeking clarification on best match since the idea was first tested’. He said he just couldn’t explain why the results were displaying as they were. He said he’d been told (by an eBay ‘techie’) that two different people on different computers could do the same search and have completely different results returned – but the person who told him this couldn’t tell him why it would happen (let alone why it would be desirable to do so).

    If the current scenario is ‘correct’ and not just a bug:

    Auctions will have reduced visibility meaning less bids
    Sales will be at the mercy of a system that is unfathomable meaning less confidence to list full inventory
    Buyers will be utterly confused meaning less conversion

    Best Match is an imperceivable logic – transparently a half-witted farce. Either best match really works for the very high volume sellers that eBay is courting, or it’s broken. Either way, it does not look good.

    eBay is now a best match search term for ‘jumble sale’

  4. #3 I hope that’s not the case in costume jewellery, auctions for cheap jewellery just don’t work, nobody wants to wait a week or even a few days for a pair of low cost earrings, they want to buy them straight away.

  5. I imagine that the best match search will be refining itself dynamically as more data is received and it will take a while for it to settle.

    Not sure if I have just been lucky or best match is a good thing or it was a large load of PayPal vouchers that were sent out but sales have definitely been up since yesterday evening.

  6. So far so good.

    Very pleased with the day so far, F all sales,, but all the new 30 Day BIN’s I have stuck on are appearing on the 1st page of the search results using the most used search terms in my field.

    So eBay you have made me smile for once, all you have to do now is actually bring some traffic back to the sight, if you wanted me to smile on a more regular basis perhaps you could stop being so greedy and let the buyers search the site properly without encouraging them to click on bloody adverts,,

    then again I had a very nice sale yesterday as a result of a google adwords click on eBay, I paid google 84p for it instead of paying eBay £19.34 and paypal £13.00 bit daft really considering I had exactly the same product on both sites.

    Anyway, so far it doesnt seem to bad, touch wood there isnt any daft new announcements around the corner and us sellers can actually get on and sell some gear instead of spending all our days reading & revising.

  7. Well so much for the new type of listings being “advantaged”, if I use a 30 day listing rather than 7 or 10 day, it still appears right at the bottom under “additional buy it now items from ebay shop sellers” just the same as the old shop listings but 3 times the price!

    A total rip off if you ask me.

    To be fair though the one I just listed is showing rather higher if you use the new search, but that does seem a bit random.

  8. Kate, I was looking at ominture stats earlier, I have got a lot more hits from the new search as apposed to the classic search,, I knew eBay was lying when it said they are testing the new search on 10% of users or whatever it was, omniture stats show a 88% advantage over the classic search…now to me that doesnt mean 10%. DSR’s seem to be the key to listing placement, I have several listings with 29 days to run blah blah showing higher than other listings from competitors with listings with sales ??

    Taking Norf’s advice for the time being, List & Hope.

  9. #10 Whirly I can’t tell which type of search the hits come from, but then again I have the free version of SM not SMP and I think you get more detailed reports with SMP?

    All I know from the traffic reports is that I only get about a third of the hits now that I did 2 years ago, and b* all from the USA, I tried International Visibility and didn’t get one USA sale so I gave up on that, whereas a couple of years ago I got 2 or 3 sales a week from USA buyers.

    I’m using the Norf strategy as well, list and hope and see what happens.

  10. #11 Kate, I think the majority of sellers will be seeing the same. A few years ago eBay was God, these days to many sellers have discovered that eBay is not the be all and end all and have set up there own websites, buyers are also more savvy and the way in which they buy online has changed.

    Professional eBay sellers have been beaten to death this year, then just when the scars start to heal eBay run you over with a 20 tonne truck. There is only so much grief a sane human being will put up with, my opinion is that sellers have got themselves so worked up this year they are doing all they can to cut the cord.

    Ask yourself this, if eBay was able to provide everything the consumer wanted why would eBay use adverts to drive traffic off the site?

  11. #12 Actually Whirly, I seem to have done really rather well on CD sales today – old shop listings actually – I’m wondering if todays changes have suddenly raised these in the new search.

    It’s very unusual for me to sell as much as I have today, good job I’m not at work tomorrow!

  12. Whirly, exactly right.

    The whole thing is broke. 🙂

    By the way, where is Richard Ambrose? I haven’t seen him posting his bits of wisdom on why we’re all wrong and ebay is right for a while…

  13. #13 Nice one Kate.

    I’ve been looking at the number of watchers per item in SMP tonight, 14 of the 30 day BIN’s I listed today have more watchers than the equivelent 3,5,7,10 day BIN listings that I have been running this week?

    Best match seems heavily geared towards DSR’s.

  14. #14 I don’t mind searches being geared towards DSRs, mine are currently 4.9, 4.9, 4.9, 4.8 although the P&P one seems to see-saw between 4.8 and 4.7.

    Anyway something is working today (it should be me packing stuff up, not reading Tamebay!)

  15. Thanks Whirly, I’m completely dozy, I never noticed that they split it down like that! I wonder how long they’ve been doing that?

    Mine shows similar stats – 57.1% ebay search, 29.7% Google, 9.1% ebay search classic.

    I use Google base which may explain why I get a lot of traffic from Google.

    Although I’ve never quite trusted the traffic reports anyway for a number of reasons as I get really odd results sometimes.

  16. I am having problems getting traffic data. I keep getting authorization error messages saying I can’t send the data to a third party.

    Anyone got any ideas?

  17. If you goto Site Preferences>General Prefences>Third Party Authorisations just check that omniture is there and is active, I am only guessing that this may be be the problem.

    BTW if you go to Advertising Preferences and set those to No, you can get rid of most of the carp advert’s that eBay thrust on you.

  18. No that seems okay. I will have to spend the next hour of my life waiting to speak to a powerseller helper…

    Thanks anyway

  19. ours are all over the place. Out of 3 vista computer listings the one with most time left is nearer the top of best match search. Spookily, it is also the most expensive, perhaps ebay simply want to make more fees on the expensive stuff.
    Will also be avoiding featured listings after seeing the latest price hikes!
    They will probably lose more than they gain with a drop in people using featured upgrades.

  20. What I really really want to know, is this:

    Is there now any advantage to using 7 or 10 day listings for BINs?
    or would it make sense to just use 30 day listings for all BINs?

    Obviously auctions are different, but I used to use 7 day BINs for stuff I was sure would sell, and 30 day shop listings for slower moving stuff. I’m beginning to think now that it might be better to just stick to 30 day BINs except for stuff that would do better on auction.

  21. Kate, I’m still sticking with a mixture for now. My buyers tend to buy at the end of a listing period: even on BINs, the vast majority (70% or so) are sold on the day the listing ends. So in order not to have no sales at all for the next 28 days, I’m sticking with some 7s and 10s, especially for items that tend to sell more quickly. Whether I’m doing myself a great disservice in terms of Best Match, remains to be seen: I’ll tell you in a month or so.

  22. #25 No one seems to know how much if any weighting is placed on ending soonest in best match. If there is any then shorter bins could get a small boost in comparison to longer listings but I suspect it will be minimal compared to recent sales anyway.

    The one thing you do get is cost savings on features – if you think you’ll sell your stock in 10 days or less listing enhancements are about a third the cost compared to a 30 day listing.

  23. #4 – I have just tested this. And yes, I get DIFFERENT SEARCH RESULTS on different PCs. Both PCs are using the same internet connection, yet they return completely different results for ‘meditation music’.

    On one result I have a number of my listings present on page 1. On the other results my listings don’t appear until page 7.

    I haven’t had any sales for about 5 days…


  24. I don’t tend to use listing enhancements, never even used gallery for CDs until recently (and I don’t think it made any difference to sales).

    My listing pattern used to be a few 30 day shop listings every day, and 10 – 20 BINs on Sunday. I would get sales most days, I don’t worry if some days I don’t get any sales some days as long as it evens out over the week.

    The last 2 days (25th and 26th Sept) sales have been well up, and traffic reports show that the number of unique visitors has been more than double the usual amount for these 2 days. None of the listings sold have been on the day of ending.

    I’ll have to see how this pans out.

  25. #30 They’ll have different cookies.. could explain it. It’s no secret that eBay test different results with different users in order to optimise the site


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