eBay display sales data over gallery images

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eBay Image PopupseBay appear to be running a test which flashes up sales information over gallery pictures.

It appears to be a reasonably wide spread test due to the number of different messages seen and the number of people seeing them. Examples of messages shown include how many views an item gets, how many watchers are on a listing and if someone has made a recent purchase of the item.

I have to say regardless whether or not the popups have a material effect on sales, I can’t understand why eBay still include watchers on fixed price items as a public facing measurement. Displaying the number of watchers on an item is simply an inducement to sellers to add fake spam watchers – we’ve recently seen the effect of spam watchers on eBay with the new eBay Feed emails. Watching an item may have had relevance in the old days of auctions, but for fixed price items they’re much less relevant and certainly less useful.

As a buyer do you find the information compelling? I suspect that the popups could quite well influence buyer behaviour so would the fact lots of other buyers were viewing an item or someone else had just made a purchase encourage you to hit the buy it now button?

9 Responses

  1. On a related note, does anyone know if it’s possible to stop the display of the number of items sold? Like, where it says ‘More than 10 available/5 sold’ or whatever?

  2. I like it as a buyer.

    Not sure it would be that great if you had a message like “nobody has bought one of these for 3 years” if your the seller though, because eBay wouldn’t do that to their customers would they….

  3. Great idea. “5 sold in last 24 hours” definitely gets people buying… especially when I maintain my quantity available under 10!

  4. As a buyer, I find them extremely irritating and it looks as if I’m not alone.


  5. I would like to see a banner that says “34 people have bought from this seller in the last 24 hours”. That could be useful for sellers of unique items.

    As long as ebay makes this optional and not compulsory, and as long as they had the banner suggested above, I may buy into the idea.

  6. Reported that banners indicate that a non TRS seller is getting more views than a TRS seller. Ebay shooting themselves in the foot springs to mind with this idea!

  7. I think this is a feature of Expedia and/ or Booking.com
    It doesn’t work well on eBay – as Chris said, watches on fixed price items doesn’t seem right: I know one very popular listing that had “1 watcher” in 24 hours. It’s odd.

    Again, another initiative or project to keep people in their jobs perhaps?


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