Product Bundle pilot now live on eBay UK

eBay have promised that they’ll be introducing a new cross promotion tool to the UK with a pilot program running in the Spring and if all goes according to schedule full roll out across the site in the summer. The pilot is now running with a small selection of about 30 sellers across a variety of categories and I have been given an early view of the new feature.
Known as “Product Bundles” the feature will enable sellers to offer accessories and add-on sales to buyers. You’ll also be able to offer discounts on accessories included in a Product Bundle, so where for example you might sell a camera for £250.00 and a lens for £100.00 you might offer the lens when sold at the same time as the camera for £75.00.
Setting up product bundles is relatively simple, but relies on Custom Labels, which are accessible through eBay TurboLister or Selling Manager Pro. To launch a product bundle there’s a configuration tool where you select a Primary SKU to attach products to, set a date range for the Product Bundle to run, and then select up to nine related items/SKUs. You can organise them into groups of similar items so if you were offering memory cards as an add on you could offer a 512mg, 1gig and 2gig selection for the buyer to choose from.

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So far the results appear to be positive. I’ve had my first sale of a product bundle for a laptop docking station which sold for £5.25, but the buyer added on a power supply for an additional £8.00 and a power cable for another £2.00. That’s a 200% increase in the order value on a single transaction.
It’s fair to say that the buyer may have potentially purchased the additional items from me anyway, but having the items displayed on the view item page ensures that they’re purchased from me and eliminates the possibility of buyers purchasing from an alternative seller.

An example listing is for a with options to add a and . All three items are separate listings but can be purchased as add on sales directly on the listing.

Currently to be added into a Product Bundle accessories need to be offered with free postage, but the big advantage of Product Bundles is that you can discount from the item price to allow for combined postage.
Product Bundles are only available for fixed price items on eBay, but I can’t think of a category where they wouldn’t be suitable to some extent. They may also assist in Best Match placement as when an item is sold it’s then handled as an individual sale for invoicing and of course your inventory on eBay is automatically depleted.
For users of third party Channel Management software there should be no inventory issues as items are listed as normal and only once live on eBay are accessories associated with a primary product as a Product Bundle.
This is one of the best new features eBay have built for many years and should change the way that many sellers businesses are run. Rather than struggling to drive traffic to your eBay site and cross promote in your item description Product Bundles will enable you to promote add on sales right from the view item page.

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Sounds good Chris. Are the add on items actually listed on eBay or are they optional extras? If they are listed eBay items do they get the same boost in best match as the main item if they are sold as part of a bundle?

whirly • 12th April 2011 •

The add on items are actual eBay listings. It solves a whole bunch of problems for me, for instance I normally sell power supplies with the power cable separately. In case someone buys a power cable on it's own I have to charge carriage so I've got them listed at £5.00 inc VAT and carriage. On the bundle though I can discount them to £2.00 inc VAT and it doesn't cost any difference to post a power supply to a power supply plus cable. What I don't want is to ship power cables on their own at a reasonable price and then lose on ever sale on postage if someone buys individually, but I do want to offer them to buyers.

Chris Dawson • 12th April 2011 •

Good stuff, hope they roll that out sooner rather than later, those extra sales might make up for the horrendous fee hike coming soon.

whirly • 12th April 2011 •

sounds really good, there are several products I sell which could offer add ons. For various reasons, the add ons themselves are not necessarily worth selling as stand alone products but could certainly add worth when bought as part of a package.

paddy • 13th April 2011 •

Not sure I like the wording in your listing Chris "Buy additional items from this seller with free postage" Will buyers expect free postage for the lot.

whirly • 14th April 2011 •

Good question - that's the current default which can't be changed. Will let you know if it causes any issues

Chris Dawson • 14th April 2011 •

The other thing I think will be a pain in the ass is the fact that you've pretty much given away the price you would sell at if the buyer made a best offer on either of the additional items and didn't buy the main item, or they try to buy them individually, they know you will take £15.74 for it, or at least they would assume that.

whirly • 14th April 2011 •

Buyers can assume what they like, but if they think I'm selling a power cable for £2 and paying Postage, VAT, eBay fees and PayPal fees plus the item cost and still make a profit then they're going to be sadly disappointed. :-) When I don't have 20p PayPal transaction fee and don't have to pay postage I don't mind supplying them, but otherwise pay a fiver or buy from someone who's not worried about profit.

Chris Dawson • 14th April 2011 •

meanie we often give every thing away free all a buyer needs to do is ask paypal to give them their money back

northumbrian • 14th April 2011 •

Also, both the additional items are free shipping anyway so "Buy additional items from this seller with free postage" is a pretty pointless statement in this instance as the buyer isn't getting any extra benefit. eBay need to play around with the wording a bit more before going live.

whirly • 14th April 2011 •

“Buy additional items from this seller with free postage” Thats eBay wording!!! Shocked! I've not looked at the feature but even so. eBay give the impression of wanting to do anything to destroy seller DSR's. "Free postage on combined additional items from this seller" has the same number of words. Does it read better? The issue is eBay are based in Ireland and what works perfectly well as a script in Ireland does not always read correct in England/Wales/Scotland.

Gary • 14th April 2011 •