eBay Easy Pricing test auto lowers prices every 5 days

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eBay are testing a new eBay Easy Pricing feature where they automatically lower your Buy It Now price every five days if you don’t get a sale.

A user reported the feature on Reddit and the idea is that every time the price drops eBay notify buyers who have previously engaged with the listing to let them know it’s now available cheaper.

“Make sure your item gets sold Starting 10 days after listing, we’ll lower the price (5% every 5 days) until your item sells or gets to $5.39. We’ll notify buyers who showed interest each time the price drops. Turn it off anytime by going to your listing.”
– Quote from eBay seller via Reddit

It would appear that eBay Easy Pricing sets different floor prices below which an item won’t drop based on the initial Buy It Now price set by the seller. The feature has also only been reported on long duration listings (30 Day) as the listing retains the price set by the seller for the first 10 days.

Options for sellers who have been included into the trial are to ‘Turn On Easy Pricing’ or ‘Maybe Next Time’.

There are two ways that sellers could view this. Obviously the immediate reaction is to slate eBay and rubbish the thought of them tampering with your prices and automatically lowering your prices. There’s also a lack of control as, whilst you may have some margin to play with, there is no option to set the floor price below which the price can’t fall yourself.

Not liking the thought of eBay interfering with their prices will be a very fair complaint for sellers in some categories, for instance collectibles, where it’s accepted practise to have inventory which sits in the warehouse for an extended period of time but when it sells it will be at full price. However there are other categories where inventory simply doesn’t sell and never will sell and lowering the price might be the perfect way to get it liquidated.

The smart option for sellers including in the eBay Easy Pricing trial may be to increase the original Buy It Now price to above the level you’d normally pick and perhaps even invest in eBay Promoted Listings advertising to drive traffic to your listing. There’s nothing more powerful than having seen a product you love and getting a notification that the price has been lowered.

eBay already regularly notify buyers when prices drop on listings that they have on their watch list – this could be a simple way for sellers to automatically re-engage buyers who have seen their product but not initially made a purchase.

This is somewhat reminiscent of a Dutch Auction which eBay used to support but retired on the 6th May 2009. The fiendishly complex Dutch format was not widely utilised and moreover, was little understood, especially by buyers but having a price which regularly drops until a buyer is found is a tactic still utilised today by many sellers – eBay are just automating the process.

Would you consider using eBay Easy Pricing and have your prices regularly reduced over a 30 day period? Or do you set your prices and accept that either the item sells or it sits gathering dust until a suitable buyer comes along.

41 Responses

  1. the most ridiculous thing ive heard…what if your on holiday for 10 days?just knock all your prices down?

  2. Cue ‘money-saving’ type sites handing out tips like ‘don’t buy anything on buy-it-now on eBay, just wait a few weeks and the price will come down!’.

    I’m in the ‘terrible idea’ camp.

  3. People will quickly get wise to this. They will just watch the item and wait for the price to drop before buying it. Iwouldn’t use it.

  4. Ebay notify me with a suggested lower price on my sales dashboard.
    However when i check the lower suggested price from Ebay my selling price is still cheaper because the Ebay system does not account for the other seller charging postage!
    Yet again not much thought gone into this!

  5. What eBay forget is that many buyers have stock on various markets, including their own web site. I have items that do not sell that well on eBay but sell really well on Amazon, for more money. Amazon buyers seem to like convenience rather than price, the convenience of not leaving Amazon.

    My sales on Amazon are still 3:1 eBay, what are they doing about increasing customers?

    Have they considered, reduce item by 5% & reduce seller fees by 5% ?

    Each month I get emails from Amazon with referral fee discounts of up to 11% if I sell product at or below a set price.

  6. I’m also in the ‘terrible idea’ camp.
    I hope it’s an opt-in rather than opt-out, I wouldn’t want any of my listings slipping through or forget to turn it off on new listings.
    If you turn it off and your listing renews after 30 days does it stay opted out?

  7. Another silly idea by eBay wanting to run our business. Now a buyer looks on ebay at an item and just sits back waiting for the prices to drop to where they want to pay. Or a previous buyer now sees it below the threshold for what they apaid plus return post so return the original item and buy the cheaper option.

    No wonder big business never employ the idiots who have worked at the eBay think tank. As they have never run a retail business just a web platform that can do as it pleases and take more money from its customers without any thought for the damage it causes.
    Again another way the big boys win as a large company buys a product for £3 and a small company £9 so the small company needs to sell with freepost at around £24 the big boy only about £9 so he sets his start at £21 still hammering the little boy and then sets a lovely 5% drop which all the way hammers the little company.

    Great idea yet again eBay (I dont think)

  8. I wish I had the knowledge, back up and skill to set up an Ethical Trading site where, like small producers, we sellers get a fair share of the profit. My profit is driven down all the time by my competition and Amazon, who quite frankly don’t care about us sellers.

  9. and the race to the bottom continues.. terrible platform update Friday last week, reduced sales over weekend, product reviews gone missing.. customer services knows about it and admits it… and apologizes
    Still there is no official notice or warning to BUSINESS SELLERS (Customers) that this issue is known about and being worked on…. but has been impacting your sales..

    All we see is lets ramp up sales (ebay commissions) by driving prices down.. just how does this help a business seller maintain margins or a positive business model..?

    Race to the bottom was a term invented for ebay…

    How about putting prices UP to increase buyer perception they are getting something worth paying for.. i.e. Value for money.. all this price drop does is educate buyers that ebay is a place to buy “cheap stuff” wait long enough and it’ll come down in price…. and sellers will pick up the headache afterwards or reduced margins/buyer remorse/INR

    “Easy Pricing” What utter tosh.. lets not forget the discount coupons sent out last week.. and again on show today across banners.. its like they know it was going to impact sales (their income) so they are issue discount coupons to ensure revenue stays as high as possible.. the US had this since April.. so the platform update must have hit them there then!

    Ebay isnt getting right at all.. and one has to ask: is your selling success by good practise or by chance?? With these goons fiddling with the platform every other week.. there is no way you can confidently predict your doing the right thing or will be in business in 12mths.. .

    Jeeeze.. anyone know if Wenig has found his next job yet? he must be looking and needs to go, this “copy and paste” way of running a business is utter rubbish

  10. I think we here are (mostly) all professional sellers, and i think this feature is purely beneficial to joe public, who punts one or two items on ebay every so often.

    If you have an old phone to sell, this easy pricing gimmick is ideal, if you haven’t sold it within 10 days, drop the price. if it sells in 10 days you get the full whack.
    – at least that’s the theory.

    there’s a theory about how auctions should work, and it’s not supposed to be “ignore the auction for the entire duration of the auction, 99% of bidding happens in the last 90 seconds”

    I don’t think you’ll have to worry much about customers following the advice of “ignore it and the price will come down”, ignore it and you miss out when it’s single-item sales.

  11. My first instinct is that this is a horrific idea by eBay. Who seem determined to alienate large numbers of they’re sellers. Maybe they know some things we don’t? Maybe they’ve looked at the cold hard numbers and have decided it’s worth it for eBay even if it does kill off x number of sellers. I wish they would find more creative ways to liase with and support they’re sellers.

  12. Seriously? I can assure you i will NOT be using this idea. Can ebay please just fix the damn problems they already have without spending time on crackpot ideas to create new ones. Everyone will just sit tight like they do an auction. In fact this is just like an auction in that people will do just that… sit tight until the price drops enough.
    I love the bit about putting up prices at the start, yet we are told and it is obvious that too high a starting price puts people off anyway. Hmm higher price… so higher fees for ebay if you do sell it? The Chinese are going to love this as they sell cheaper than most of us can buy anyway.
    I really do despair at ebay, they are so desperate to pull them self out of the hole they are in that they are over thinking everything… just sort the simple issues, stop fleecing your sellers and it will get better.

  13. I wonder if I failed to pay eBay fees on time they might reduce the amount owed after 10 days…….
    Another crazy eBay “idea”
    I wonder who thinks this rubbish up?

  14. This is really just for private sellers, or specialist sellers of rare/collectable/sought after items.

    It does work, despite all the end-of-the-world responses.

    As a business seller, I wouldn’t use it for any of my listings. But as a private seller, I’ve already been doing this manually for a years, rather than risk the auction format.

    For the past few months I’ve been selling off some books as a private seller. I’ve always started off at the top selling price, based on ebay sold items history and if it hasn’t sold after a little while, just dropped the price slightly every 10 days or so until they do sell. They’ve all managed to get a decent price because buyers do jump in when you have an item at the price they want to pay for it. It’s called FOMO – fear of missing out.

    Ebay isn’t going to make everyone accept this easy pricing feature for everything. It’ll just be an option that some people might want, like best offer. Tick a box. Or don’t. If you don’t like it don’t use it.

  15. Ebay seem to think I get my stock for nothing. That can be the only explanation for their suggested prices for some of my items. Every single “tip” would mean selling at a loss. This idea carries on from that very warped principle!

  16. I accidentally turned this stupid this on (Easy pricing) and now I have spent hours trying to figure out how to turn it off and can’t figure it out! PLEASE HELP!

  17. Its getting tiresome reading every new ebay initiative getting trashed by sellers (almost without exception).

    if this isn’t going to work for you – dont use it.

    Like many things on the platform it will work for some, and not for others. It will be beneficial to a certain type of product / seller/ category. Just because it wont work for your business model does not mean to say it is a dreadful idea. I thought this obvious.

  18. @ Tyler, yes it does get tiresome. You are not always negative though – I find most of your posts objective so please dont think I meant you.

    It will work for the people who it works for.

    It wont work for me or my product range but I am not as arrogant (well may sometimes I am) or short-sighted as some of the folk making comments above – because it wont work for THEIR business. So it wont work for their business……. so its a bad idea and ill conceived……..how arrogant.

    You say “from experience I sell a ratio of 3:1 eBay:Amazon sales, often getting more money on Amazon, for the product, than I do on eBay. ”

    That is not representative of what is happening between the platforms and – in my opinion – too many people trash ebay based on what may or may not be suitable for their business and not looking at what is competitive and best for the platform as a whole (which will in turn benefit their business in the long term).

    This is not a good idea to implement into my business either …… but that doesnt mean to say its not a good idea for the platform.

  19. @alan paterson You say it will not work for your business, like it will not work for mine, so the question still hangs unanswered.

    Who will it work for?

    My answer to that is that it will work for “Joe Public” who is selling unwanted items at home. It may also work for collectables, but mainly for people who have limited items of that product.

    It may well work for people who want to clear stock, but they will do that in a natural way.

    What I often see when you are “telling people off” is that there are only people moaning about the changes, nobody is saying, what a great idea. So where are those business sellers that love eBay’s “new ideas”?

    I don’t think people are being arrogant, they are simply worried that one day they may find that they do not have a choice, eBay will have just switched everybody onto a system that does not work for them.

    What we would like to see is more sales through eBay, we would also like to see some improvement to the eBay system, improvements that work for retail business sellers like you & me. Because this clearly is not one of them.

  20. @ Tyler:

    You stated:

    “What I often see when you are “telling people off” is that there are only people moaning about the changes, nobody is saying, what a great idea. So where are those business sellers that love eBay’s “new ideas”?”

    the answer to that question is simple. the positive sellers often stay well clear of Tamebay. they are out working on their businesses rather than coming on here and moaning about whats not working on the platform. They are examining what IS working and exploiting it. The difference between a successful business and one that is failing is often the attitude of the seller. The negativity on here holds sellers back and you have to agree the negative comments on here FAR outnumber the positive.

    As a matter of fact I have been accused of working for ebay 22 times on Tamebay just because I am making positive constructive comments about the platform.

    I am imune to the negativity – you should see some of the abuse I have had on here so I continue to write. water off a ducks back really.

    But the simple answer to your question is that the sellers building their ebay businesses have better things to do with their time than come on here and wallow in a pool of negativity. Thats why you often dont see many/any positive comments.

    You need to work with ebay to make a success of it – not against it.

  21. @ alan paterson
    ” the positive sellers often stay well clear of Tamebay.” <<– Your own words.
    So you not a positive seller?

    Reading through negative comments and learning from others experiences is as informative as reading positive comments and a great way to learn what not to try as well as what to replicate in one's own business. My business is fast approaching the £1M milestone on eBay alone but that doesn't mean I have to agree with every new idea.

    Example: forcing us to offer free shipping but not making any changes to the fees meaning we have to pay eBay commission on shipping costs. Great for buyers but not for sellers. OK add the cost to the product to cover the increased costs, not so great for buyers anymore but great for eBay.

  22. Forget eBay, negativity, etc. etc. just for a moment.
    What merchant says to a potential customer “If you don’t buy it now we will drop the price” I don’t know of any.
    Isn’t that what sales are, and are they controlled and determined by the owner of the product?
    Imagine the council walking into the high street store and lowering prices because they notice its been at the same price for 10 days whilst the shop keeper stands over watching.
    eBay MUST bear in mind that the goods belong to the seller, their task is to provide a store front for which a seller rents and pays for in the form of fees.
    All idea’s, advice, tools, analytics and assistance is greatly appreciated but the end decision must always remain with the owner of the products being sold and ethical standards aside they should not force or demand “Opt-Out” on their customers; the seller.

  23. @Alan Paterson – You really need to lighten up a little, although some negative comments have been made, some are just voicing their opinion of the idea.

    Personally I don’t think it a good idea, but if it works for somebody, not sure who, then good luck to them. But overall, do you really think it is a good idea? People can already lower their prices if they want to, hardly an inovative idea though is it?

    Look at the comment by Graham White above, I have also eperienced the same problems he speaks of, it is so bad a problem I don;t even bother looking at it any more.

    art.deco.emporium.ltd ion their first comment said how they hope that it is an opt in, ebay can not be trusted to do things for our benefit, so a fair comment.

    mr s states something that we are all aware of, no notifications from eBay of any problems, just pretend the system is running at 100%.

    As Toby said “Can ebay please just fix the damn problems they already have…” Not major issues but certainly a lot of silly things that they surely could put right.

    The idea works for private sellers as both gav & myself pointed out, when I can get round to listing my junk presents.

    Kristen is struggling to turn the stupid thing off after switching it on.

    And then you pop up with your rant about people abusing eBay, well having lkooked at the posts I hardly see it as slagging them off, well not more than usual or that unfairly.

    My question was answered evasivly as we are still struggling to find a business seller that thinks it a great idea and will use it to make their “small” fortune.

    Then we get to the point where you try and make it all about you, being accused of working for ebay, think I have heard you say that once or twice before.

    Persoanlly I thought northumbrian made a good point or two (for a change).

    1. ebay has many faults (tick)
    2. happy to read the negative comments, then make our own decision (tick)
    3. we find it quite a profitable use of our time to learn from others on both sides of a debate (tick)

    Of course it is a balance veiw Tamebay put across their point, which you can either agree with or not. We are all business sellers and we all have diferent points of veiw.

    Your right art.deco was looking at it from the point of view of a merchant and that is the same reason above that I also stated I think it is a bad idea.

    But without wishing to state the obvious, this is a business sellers platform, so this IS how we see things!

    Oh yes, one more thing, can Tamebay please ask your coder to stop the stupid ads popping open a new window every time I click on the page, not an advert.

    Till next time….

  24. @alan paterson
    It’s clear your not a professional seller but is nothing more than an antagonist for reason only known to yourself. Congratulations your doing a great job.
    I must admit blogging is fun but when the post stops being insightful or educational then it’s time to move on.
    On a final note, if your immune as you claim then you wouldn’t feel the need to keep saying it and you would at the very least learn how to spell it.

  25. alan this is a democracy we are entitled to complain examine and question ,
    Especially when we pay fees and use a service to provide income
    Blind faith wont improve ebay

  26. We might give this easy pricing
    A suck and see
    it may work
    nothing lost if we dont like the taste

  27. Would much rather see something useful like 10 minutes added to auctions if a bidder makes a last second bid.

  28. I just hate having to click maybe try it next time every flipin time
    I’m getting to hate selling there to avoid ppl getting hacked off all they had to do is add the option of “no thanks “ but along with the “ good till cancelled bumph that you cannot change without ending your item if you miss it , it’s just another annoyance!

  29. I have been selling on Ebay for 12+ years and now Amazon and others and i really am starting to get sick of Ebay.

    I think it boils down to Ebay not knowing what sort of company they are. Are they an auction site for the public to use or are they a marketplace for companies to sell products.

    Amazon are quite clear and people know what to expect (sellers and buyers). Ebay seem to have lost a huge portion of sales to amazon so are trying everything to claw it back but pissing all professional sellers off in the process. Like their new cataloge (amazon) system. That will not work for private sellers but assume everything people sell will be on their cataloge.

    The simply need 2 sites, ebay general public and ebay marketplace for businesses.

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