eBay France include popularity in Best Match

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eBay.freBay France have announced that popularity is to be included as a factor when calculating Best Match scores for Buy It Now items. Popularity is the number of items sold from a multiple item listing over the preceding seven days; the score remains valid for seven days after the end of a listing. Listings which have sold more individual items will be advantaged in Best Match search sorting (the default on eBay.fr) above those which have sold fewer.

eBay give some advice for sellers to take advantage of this:

  • sellers should list single multiple-item listings instead of running many listings just for one item
  • sellers should relist sold items within seven days to take advantage of their established popularity
  • sellers should use longer listings – 10 days – to gain greater visibility for their item
  • sellers listing auctions needn’t make any change: their listings will continue to be sorted by ending soonest

It’s good to see this change announced openly, and in detail: other eBay sites could certainly learn something from eBay.fr here. But even more than on eBay UK, I think this goes against buyer psychology on eBay France: I’ve done some fairly extensive testing of multiple listings versus single item listings, and my own experience is:

  • single item listings are more likely to sell than not
  • two items listed together have about an even chance of selling one of them
  • more than two items are unlikely to sell anything.

French buyers, in comparison to their British counterparts, really do lack a sense of urgency: I had an email this morning regarding an item I sold in June, asking if I had another one. So I really don’t want to start telling buyers I have plenty of stock of anything: I want them to think I only have one and if they don’t buy it now, they’re going to miss out. Hammering home the scarcity message really seems to be the way forward on eBay.fr. I’ll be using the seven day relist window as much as I can, but I’ll also be running some tests to see if eBay’s multiple item listing suggestion really does work. Can they overturn more than a decade’s worth of buyer psychology in one little site change? It’ll be interesting to find out.*

* or it would be, if half my income wasn’t riding on it

25 Responses

  1. Hammering home the scarcity message really seems to be the way forward on eBay.fr.

    From years of eBay buying and selling I learned one thing … You can put the word RARE in your title.

  2. I must admit I’m doing some basic testing at the moment regarding the new structure from eBay UK. Bwoy, they like to keep us on our toes don’t they?

    I’ve had to re-write a few of my ebay ebooks because ebay seem to change their policies and structure like the wind. Bloody annoying if you ask me.

    I sell info products and generally list in the “Buy It Now” format. I’m finding that the multiple listing hasn’t really made a great deal of difference and that ebay’s algorithm isn’t quite up to speed yet as their are some listings at the top that have never even sold 1 item, forget about 30. Will have to track and evaluate over a period of time.

  3. Sue

    I’m wondering if eBay are suffering from some Ratner Syndrome here. When Ratner made his first foray into the US, he got severely burned because he tried to impose UK culture and retailing onto the US. The second time he went in, he bought a couple of existing jewellery chains and retained American Management, and built a worthwhile business.

    It feels, watching eBay worldwide, that under JD, eBay are forcing the US etail culture and methodology onto countries that will simply reject both that, and eBay if it doesn’t revert to what they want.

    JD is playing an exceptionally dangerous game with other people’s stakeholdings and livelihoods this year.


  4. Is this the same as “Recent Sales” factor in Best Match? It sure sounds like it. Its been on eBay.com for about two weeks now. It works quite well.

  5. Despite listing all of my items on 30 day gtc and getting first page listing for most of them under Best Match I am finding that 2/3rds of my sales are coming from BINs in their last day of listing.
    I had stopped listing these but am now embarking on relisting everything on a 3 day rolling BIN to try and maintain the sales. My conclusion is that Best Match is not working, and thinking it through, as a buyer my page defaults to Best Match, I have a quick look but then set it to ending soonest to see if I can bag a bargain. Once I do this I do not revert to Best Match, if I am an average buyer then this would explain my recent sales history.

  6. TekGems, yes it is.

    Dave: my fear all along with this (as stated above and elsewhere on TB) is that it goes against years of buyers’ learned behaviour. eBay buyers buy *when they think they might lose the thing they’re looking at*: even on BIN, that means buying at the end of the listing, and also buying when there are few of the item left. Putting a lot of the same item on a long length listing goes entirely against that. Buyers lose all sense of urgency.

    So your rolling three day plan is a good one by and large. But do bear in mind that popularity/recent sales score only last for one relist (so we’re told). You’ll need to maintain the sales on those three dayers pretty consistently.

  7. What I have also noticed is that I have far more people watching the 30 day gtc items, as I said most are on first page. I have listed multiple items of these, could be that as buyers see that I have a lot on sale they are watching rather than buying, I wish Ebay would allow us to hide the number we have for sale – Amazon does this.

  8. If you don’t mind me asking Dave, what site are you listing on?

    I’m sure buyer behavior is very different between country and even more so between product. Emotionally I feel like I would like to hide the quantity but I have been suprised at the number of customers making bulk purchases since the changes (who possibly would not consider it as an option with the quantity hidden).

    I’m not sure if it was eBay’s intention but I would say the importance of creating your own brand on eBay has greatly increased – For “buy it now” sellers eBay is becoming like a shopping comparison site for eBay shops.

  9. I agree completely Sue.

    Our sales are up with the new format but we are fiddling listing continually to achieve it. We started with each listing of our core products having quantity of 15 but we sold just about nothing for the first 3 days so we amended everything to 3’s and now when something sells we up the total to 3 again and so on.

    We’ve sold double in the last 5 days what we normally do – our listings are appearing on the first page of search results but I think you have to create urgency or there’s no call to buy. It’s a lot of bother but at least we aren’t paying fees for relisting when we amend listings.

    I think we may have to employ an Umpa Lumpa to keep listings updated if our sales do keep growing like this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Andy, I’m really hoping that someone will come up with a bit of software to sort out this problem – you’d think it’d be a nice little project for someone, and I’d certainly pay for it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. # 9 & # 10

    So the specs for this program is to edit currently open listings to increase quantity if the number gets too low?

  12. Sue, I think the easiest thing is for ebay to hide the quantity unless it’s 2 or 1 for example as suggested earlier with regard to what Amazon do.

    But I’m sure it won’t be too long before someone has some software out there and I’m sure it will be cheaper than hiring an Umpa Lumpa! (hint) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. #14 I would love a feature like this, but I’d want a variable display quantity. While I have some products that will only sell in ones or twos I have others that will sell in 10s or even 50s at a time.

    Sure someone is unlikely to buy more than one of a particular DVD, but it’s more than likely someone will buy more than one set of AA batteries…

  14. Good point Chris. We don’t sell anything in large quantity purchases so I hadn’t thought about batteries – or address labels which we ourselves buy in huge quantities.

  15. I would envisage it working like this:
    set total stock quantity available
    set total > 1 you want to keep listed (because if you list one and someone buys it, the listing ends, obviously)
    then some kind of chron job to check the listings every so often and update quantities as necessary.

    Would be nice to be able to import all listings from eBay and edit as necessary, though I would settle for cutting and pasting item numbers if that’s much easier.

  16. @ #18

    Basically. There is also something with the API that has to do with alerts so rather than polling you can receive a notification that something happened. I haven’t investigated those so I don’t know if they would be applicable with this or not.

  17. ok, I think I see how to make all of this work. I’ll just make it into a website (I assume that is more convenient than downloadable software for everyone). I should have something workable in a few days.

  18. ~9 Jimbo
    we sell in UK, in clothing accesories. another thing I am finding is that we are losing out to US sellers due to their Choice listing policy, ie I am in effect listing the same item 6 times with different sizes and only getting visibility credit as each size sells, wheras sellers from US get visibility credit more easily via the choice method

    re buyers buying 10 or 50 lots of batteries, if I were buying more than a few of an item I would expect a discount (not only a postage discount) and would be looking for sellers that sold in larger lots.

  19. (repost from another thread)

    I’ve pretty much completed the application that will keep your listed quantity constant. That way you can take advantage of best match’s recent sales AND have relatively low items available to encourage purchases. It also keeps track of relisted items so you don’t have to mess with it every time you relist.

    Once Dreamhost fixes an issue with my account I’ll spend some time testing and then let some of you at TameBay have a free sample of the service before it goes live (plus eBay’s sandbox is completely bugged so I need some testers). I’ll post the URL when it is ready.

    In case Sue was wondering … I managed to do it without a single cron job. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. ok, I ran tests and I can’t think of anything left so here is the link:

    Quantity Manager

    I’ve already submitted this for the Application Check but until it passes I’m limited to 5000 calls per day. That means there are going to be serious issues if the total membership is making more than 5000 sales per day. I will limit accounts if that starts happening to preserve the quality of service. Consider it first come first served. It will be free until I figure out how (and how much) to charge people for using it.

    Let me know if you experience any issues while using it. Also, I believe I’ve removed all of them but if you see any references to feedback anywhere on the site let me know about that as well.


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