eBay display average used sale price on listings

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eBay have started adding a text advert to catalogue based listings with the message “Have one to sell? Sell it yourself £x.xx Avg” I have to say I hate this for all sorts of reasons.

What if my selling price is above the eBay average? eBay are effectively telling my customers I’m about to rip them off because they could make a big saving. Of course if my price is below average it could possibly work in my favour, but I’ve never intended to try and be the cheapest on eBay.

The price displayed is also misleading, it doesn’t include postage so now, having had eBay badger me for years to offer Free P&P (which means “Included in the Item Price”), they’re now going to compare my selling price against the average excluding P&P. Thanks eBay, you just made me look even more expensive.

If you’re selling new products you’ll look ultra expensive, because the average selling price is always based on used items. Buyers will only know this if they click the contextual help question mark to red the pop up text which is “Average price before paying applicable eBay and/or PayPal fees, calculated by determining the average selling price on eBay over the last 14 days for this used item in all conditions offered as Buy it now or auction, excluding outlier selling prices as determined by eBay and does not include P&P costs. No representation is made that a particular item will sell for a particular price.“.

Encouraging buyers to become sellers makes a lot of sense on eBay. Any buyer that’s sold on the site is likely to buy more in the future (they’ll have money in their PayPal account), and perhaps they’ll also be a little more tolerant of sellers having found out how hard it is to make a little money.

Displaying average selling prices is lunacy though. Why would I buy an item selling for more than average? Will I be willing to take into account item condition, VAT, warranty, free postage, service offered and seller reputation? Will the average buyer notice the difference between new and used?

Showing the average price of heavily abused, for spares and repairs and broken products alongside the price of a new product without wording to explain there’s a significant difference in the condition doesn’t make sense. Even worse with many products still being mis-categorised on eBay (See how many “books” are not “books”), the average price is routinely dragged down even lower.

Sellers will hate this average resale price display. Casual buyers will at best be disappointed that their items never sell for the expected return and at worst begrudge paying prices that now appear extortionate.

31 Responses

  1. Something else to get annoyed about is that if you look on eBay.com, the average price will be shown in US dollars, then look at the same item on eBay.co.uk and it will show the same figure but in GBP.

    EG – on eBay.com $11 avg price, eBay.co.uk £11 avg price, it seems they’ve just shown the figure without converting the actual value.


  2. alan sugars apprentice wanna bes at it again. why cant ebay leave sellers to selling

  3. Could be that eBay is trying to get back to being a venue for one off collectables only, by driving everything else out?

  4. Isn’t this yet another indication that the catalogue can only work properly for identical, new items?

    Just as the stock photo doesn’t represent used items properly, neither does this ludicrous “mixed” average price.

  5. .
    And then there’s the buyer who emails you saying ‘I’ll buy your item at the average price, etc, etc’,

    Bad feedback coming when buyer ‘think’ they have been done….

    Effectively, ebay is telling you what to sell items for.

  6. Yeah , but how many of these am I going to sell with my item pictures plastered all over Tamebay ?

    Should I change my shop name to
    Reassuringly expensive ?
    TWICE as much as you hoped to pay ?

    Ive tried to stay relatively calm about this debacle but frankly I am sick to the back teeth of Ebays half arsed ham fisted stumbling trying to turn a Sows ear into a silk purse.

    We ALL know its a recipe for disaster , not just for me ,or my items; but for anyone stupid enough to use the catalogue.
    They can “decide” how much you “OUGHT” to be selling this for irrespective of any other consideration

  7. This is an awful idea…Are eBay trying to scare sellers away!?
    I can see it now, messages to sellers with offers of the average sale price.
    Slow clap for eBay…

  8. What I don’t understand is… I sell new DVDs so they display the ave price for used dvds which as stated above is NOt going to increase my sales. Plus if a customer is looking at my listing for a new dvd, they are not going to have one to sell. There are far more imaginative ways to get buyers to sell. Anyone buying on ebay knows they can sell something if they want anyway.

    A completely rediculous idea to be implemented by ebay.

  9. Another poorly thought out idea from Ebay, average sales prices won’t work on a site where people are selling new and 2nd hand items.

  10. IS it me or are ebay obsessed with having the cheapest items on the site ?

    Gone are the great hard to find vintage and collectables and in is the “cheap” “cheapest” stuff they can find.

    Ebay is full of cheap chinese tatt at the monent and all they are doing is trying to force UK sellers to attempt to compete. Can’t be done I am afraid.

  11. not only this
    but buy it now or best offer completed items sold in us dollars are showing as £s. something thats sold for 45 dollars,shows as being sold @£45

  12. Of all the changes and testing and iterations eBay have changed, as a manager of two category-leading shops…I


    with a passion.

    Much of what eBay introduce is well planned, well executed, and even if not overly popular at launch, works well in time. This surely won’t and can’t.

    One of the worst, most poorly thought-out additions to the site eBay have launched. Let’s hope it’s removed.

    And in case there’s any ambiguity, once again


  13. There appears to be a very serious error in Tamebays programming. I entered the original posting but there was a slight error in my email address. So instead of allowing me to correct it Tamebays programming wiped my posting.

    Anyway this is the second attempt. This whole idea of ebay’s is totally and utterly BONKERS.

    I sell Books. Most of my Books are New but are not current publications. The bulk of the same titles on sale on ebay are either Secondhand(in one or other of the grades) or could maybe be ex-Library Copies(with stickers or rubber stamps and with the wear-sometimes considerable wear and the possibility of damaged or even pages removed). Yet according to ebay they are all worth the same price.

    The only way that the idea would work would be if the prices were to be graduated like would happen in a convenional Catalogue according to condition.

    Also if I look through a particular Title and there are copies listed under International Sellers their prices(in whatever original currency-Dollars, Euro’s etc) are converted into Pounds Sterling at the current exchange rate. So there really is no excuse for ebay to initiate a system where 45 Dollars, 45 Euro’s etc are converted to 45 pounds sterling. It is just so totally and utterly amateur.

    There really is not one single saving grace for this idea that I can see. It should be scrapped immediately.

  14. Has there been any indication that eBay might be reconsidering this “enhancement”?

    Or will they just ignore the protests?



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