EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1899 - October 20, 2008     2 of 3

Data Analysis More Difficult with New eBay Listing Format

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eBay seller Doctor-Deals noticed a problem with eBay's third-party data analysis tool caused by the addition of eBay's new listing format. eBay, which recently stopped offering its own eBay Marketplace Research tool, refers users to a third-party service from Terapeak, an eBay Certified Provider. Terapeak's service allows sellers to determine average selling prices and best performing keywords and categories for their listings. But recent changes at eBay hamper users from getting timely data for fixed-price listings.

Because eBay provides Terapeak data only for listings that have ended, sales made in the new 30-day fixed-price format are not counted in the data until the listing closes.

Terapeak confirmed that, if a seller lists a 30-day fixed-price listing for 200 iPods, and 150 sell in the first week, Terapeak data would not capture those 150 sales until that 30-day listing has closed.

Terapeak is in talks with eBay about gaining access to data for active listings in the new format. Spokesperson Hal Walling explained, "Since we comply with eBay's API terms of use, everything kind of hinges on what they'll allow us to use, but we're always in contact with them about developments and additional data."

As for "Good Until Cancelled" listings, Walling said those are not included in Terapeak data at all, since those listings never close. "That's an area we'll hopefully be better able to tackle as we work with eBay in the future," he said.

eBay data helps sellers track sales and identify trends that could help them improve their businesses. At this point, it is Doctor-Deals' opinion that the data eBay supplies through Terapeak is useful for auction format listings, but is skeptical about the value of its Fixed Price data.

When asked if eBay's decision to stop offering its own research data service to users had a positive impact on subscriptions, Terapeak's Walling said the company has seen positive movement with regards to subscribers in the past couple of months. "But" he added, "part of that may also be seasonal, since, as always, now is the best time of year to know when/how to sell on eBay."

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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