eBay catalogue data says you’re ripping me off

No primary category set

Today I’ve found yet another stunning example of why I strongly recommend either not using eBay Catalogue data in your listings, or that if you do that you manually check each and every item you match against eBay’s Catalogue data one by one.

In this example for an HP LaserJet 2100 printer the eBay Catalogue data states that 3 items have been sold on eBay and that you should be able to buy the printer used from £7.93. Quite frankly that’s an absurdly low price for a laser printer which happily sells on eBay (dependant on condition) for anything from £30-£80.

Either the three examples that eBay based their pricing on were broken for spares, or they weren’t printers at all but were printer trays, toner or other spare parts. I don’t know why eBay included any selling prices within Catalogue data, but at the very least they should give a price range or use a more realistic selling price. Personally I’d rather they didn’t display any price guides as I’m quite capable of setting my own pricing and letting buyers decide what would be a reasonable Best Offer to submit.

Terapeak (the eBay pricing bible, mainly because they use real sold prices) suggest that the average price should be around £26.22, but shows that sale prices of up to £89.00 have actually been achieved for this printer. Quite frankly I don’t want buyers thinking they should be able to buy something worth £89.00 for just £7.93!

Of course in many categories it’s obligatory to list against eBay’s Catalogue, but you don’t have to include the additional information that eBay’s Catalogue holds. The best solution is to match your product against eBay’s Catalogue, use your own photographs and don’t use the eBay suggested title and don’t use the eBay supplied additional product information.

16 Responses

  1. Amazing!

    Unless a price comparison is like for like it is pointless. Price comparison sites only compare new and so should eBay. I accept Amazon do offer up used prices but they clearly state this. A used book is one thing. A used bit of tech hardware is something else.

    Any attempt to compare secondhand is pointless as condition determines price of used goods.

    And what about those who offer “free shipping”? They are at a big disadvantage in any spot price comparison.

    Talking of price comparison sites have you noticed more sellers are using a ruse of offering up a price that is much lower than anybody else. You then click on the item to find the price at the store has suddenly doubled or tripled.

    There needs to be a trading standards investigation of price comparison sites. At the same time trading standards could investigate ebays own price comparison methods as examples such as those offered up above are tantamount to fraud.

    The eBay catalogue and any price comparisons should be for new goods only.

  2. I wonder if eBay have any prove that these printers sold for £7.93. I seem to remember an advertisement made by eBay a few years ago being pulled because of false claims.

  3. One job I do fairly regularly is to call up books and get them listed as most expensive first. I have a significant accumulated stock and it is just about possible that I have something extremely valuable(I doubt it but there is always a chance). I am always amazed by the number of books listed with a price over £100K(indeed well over £100K).

    From looking at the adverts I think I am correct in saying that every one is an error. Indeed from £10,000 up there is perhaps at most one or two that could be justified. Again if I was to list from the lowest price upwards my guess is that I would find many listed(and some selling) for way under their generally accepted Market Price. Just think of the number of items that have a 99p start.

    So if sellers can and do list with “funny” prices surely Buyers can also buy at “Funny” prices. So is ebay or indeed anybody else justified in taking a “funny” price as the “Value” of a particular item. At best ebays valuation can be a guide and as in the earlier postings a guide which can be influenced by a number of factors.

    Yet no doubt there are buyers who think that a particular item is worth only 99p or whatever and everybody listing it at a far more sensible £9-99 or whatever is a Crook. I am sorry I will continue to try to put sensible prices on the books that I sell.

  4. wow i can get an ipad 2 for 45 quid on this thing. I love you ebay. !

    errr…. wait i cant.

  5. Chris i think some sellers (rightly or wrongly) put silly prices on things that are temporary out of stock so they can keep their best match place.

    Also what you do with books ie highest price first i do with DVD,s just in case i see any at the car boots.

  6. There is a point about the “Value” of items that has been missed. I will comment about Books(because after 30 odd years I know a little bit about these). Let us imagine a Book with a Retail Price(the price printed on the Book) of £29-95. Usually if you order it trade from Publisher or Warehouse you get the Trade Discount of somewhere between 33% and 40%(depending on your Status and the Publisher). But some publishers do what is called a limited or partial Remainder. So they sell off a proportion of the New Books of a particular title from their Warehouse to a Remainder Warehouse at a knockdown price. Later in the life of a Book it is possible that the Publisher will Remainder all the remaining stock.

    Obviously the Remainder Warehouse then sells them on. Obviously if you know which Remainder Warehouses get this stock you can buy at considerably lower price New Books. So on ebay you could have Books selling that have come down both routes. Then there are Secondhand and ex-Library Copies and of course condition comes into it(I have often browsed at the Local Library when it is having a Book Sale. There could be multiple copies of the same book. 1 tatty because from the sheets at the front it has been loaned out on many occassions. Yet another might be in quite good condition because the sheets in the front of that book show that it has only been loaned out a handful of times. So there could be a range of differant Retail Prices quoted. But as the old saying says “you pay for what your getting”. It is likely that each and every Seller is only making a reasonable profit. None of them are trying to Rip Anybody Off. But for ebay to quote just one price for that title is bonkers. Yet as I look round ebay I often find New Books with lower prices than a Secondhand Copy of the same book. Sometimes the SH Copy is substantially more than the New Copy which could very well be a Remainder(New Books sold off cheap to clear the Warehouse Space for a New Publication.) But it is still a New Book Unread and in perfect condition. Yet Buyers looking at ebays valuation will be thinking that Trader A and B are Crooks while Trader C(weho happens to be seling for less than the ebay valuation) is a “Saint”.

  7. Couldn’t help smiling. Today I checked Books as per 4 above. Title “A Share of Honour” by Alexander Fullerton. All books listed have same ISBN so all same edition. Highest price(and obviously a mistake) £582,000-00 another listing by the same seller for same title £6-99. Both of these for New Copies. Then there are some Secondhand copies with the lowest shown as Acceptable at £0-99. I find myself wondering if this is a record spread of prices for the same item on ebay(accepted that the highest priced is Ndew and the cheapest is Secondhand(Acceptable)


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