[CA Catalyst] Multi-Variation Listings and Recent Sales

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Following the announcement of Multi-Variation Listings I was curious to find out more about how this would affect Recent Sales scores in Best Match and eBay have revealed more information on how this will work.

multilistingTake the example of a seller who has sold 100 t-shirts from a single Multi-Variation Listing. You might expect the seller to have a recent sales score of 100 but this isn’t the case. The seller will have a score based on the highest individual variation recent sales score that fits the search term.

If for example a buyer searched for “Red T-shirt” in this example the seller has sold fifty red t-shirts (10+18+22) but the highest individual recent sales score is 22 so that’s what’ll determine your position in Best Match. Searching for a “Medium T-shirt will return a recent sales score of 18, but if the buyer searches for Medium Blue T-Shirt then the recent sales score will be just 13.

eBay say this is to stop the larger sellers swamping the smaller sellers, but it opens the question as to whether the larger sellers will want to use Multi-Variation Listings in the first place. With the current choice policy you can offer a selection of colours so long as you have sufficient stock to fulfill all orders in any colour. Offering a medium t-shirt with a colour choice of red/blue/green on a normal multi-quantity listing with the same sales of 18+13+5 will give a recent sales score of 36 instead of a maximum of 18.

Sellers will also need to consider the use of keywords in their titles. Although colour and size choices will be picked up for item specifics the item title will be too short to include all variations of colour and size. Currently items specifics for items such as “Mens Shorts” are S/M/L/XL – if I’m searching for waist size 34″ item specifics are of no use to me and unless you have 34″ in the title I won’t find your product. (Is a 34″ waist medium or large?).

It may prove that Multi-Quantity Listings make stock management easier for sellers to manage their stock, but it remains to be seen if sellers will get better visibility from recent sales with existing choice listings or by maintaining one listing for each product variation.

9 Responses

  1. @ Chris

    When you say people search for “Red T-shirt” or “Medium T-shirt” do you mean through keywords or item specifics? I have a hard time visualizing how this is going to work the way they claim if it is through keywords.

  2. Buyers will use the normal eBay search tools – either keyword or category/item specifics browse or a combination.

    Items will be returned in search results based on keywords and item specifics. There should be a lot more information on this coming out from eBay before it launches

  3. @ # 2

    I know that but what I’m asking is regarding recent sales. Are you saying if I do a search with keywords “Red T-shirt” (no item specifics) then it is going to rank that listing by the number of red t-shirts sold? How does it know which ones are the red t-shirts? Doing it based on item specifics should be trivial but via keywords is going to be rather difficult.

    Or does each variation in these MVL listings get its own title and description as well?

  4. #3 eBay *will* use item specifics/seller tags to identify the product regardless. There will be no need to put colours/sizes etc into the title in fact that would be specifically discouraged as you might not actually all variations in all colours in stock so it would be misleading. You’ll need a title that’s generic to cover all variations but the good news is by not needing to include variation info there’s a lot more room for marketing the product ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Is a 34? waist medium or large?

    It is Skinny, eat something for gawds sake!!!

  6. ๐Ÿ˜ It would also help sellers & buyers within H & B ,I don’t suppose eBay will bother about us . ๐Ÿ™

  7. #6 Sarah, it is going to roll out to all categories eventually.

    I think it’s worth emphasising (in response to a lot of negative comments elsewhere) that the new system is going to build in the options, so that buyers will be unable to buy unless they actually specify what color/size/whatever they want. So the spectre of the buyer from a choice listing who just never bothers to specify their choice, is going to be gotten rid of forever.

  8. we have size breaks for most of our stock, for kids footwear it can be up to 30 different size breaks including half sizes. It takes us forever to do individual listings for each size break.

    On amazon you can have a parent and child variation which is one listing but it has been painful to learn and get right.( there is always glitches!) I hope ebay make the system easy to convert all our listings!

    It should could cut down the amount of emails saying have you got this in a size ????



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