Bad offers actually undermine confidence in the platform says eBay‘s Bob Kupbens. Offers such as save a dollar on a $500 item aren’t good eBay offers. At the end of the day says Bob, you want to see offers that are going to drive conversion.
The problem with showing bad offers is that buyers see them, realise they’re not an attractive proposition, and start to subconsciously ignore the red offer flash on all listings. That hurts sellers who have genuine offers on their listings.
eBay haven’t given much of a definition of what a bad offer is, bar the dollar off a $500 item, but most sellers will know if they’re just playing the game hoping for visibility or if they have a genuine offer that will attract buyers. Bob said that eBay are starting to suppress poor quality offers but that the bar for determining what a poor offer is has been set really low.
Don’t expect it to stay low however, eBay are putting machine learning onto the case and as it gathers data artificial intelligence will automatically determine what’s a good offer and what’s a rubbish offer. With billions of listings and sale each year, it won’t take long before artificial intelligence can make fine judgement calls on offers so expect to see fewer but for the ones that remain to be good.
The aim for eBay is to show offers that drive value for buyers. They’ve already been testing offer placement – higher or lower on the item page – and are likely to continue to test and iterate which is probably why this hasn’t been made an official announcement yet. eBay run so many A-B tests they can’t announce them all and if they did it could lead to sellers trying to game the system making the tests results useless anyway.
The net takeaway is that if you’re putting offers on your listings, make sure they are genuine offers that would attract you to make a purchase. It’s actually in your own interest as if buyers are turned off by your offers you’ll get views without sales and if your offers are the prompt buyers need to purchase then you’ll get sales and we know that eBay Best Match loves listings that convert and give them higher placement in search results.