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eBay Tests Its Version of the Amazon Buy Box

eBay is directing shoppers who conduct product searches to pages where it displays a single seller’s product listing with the words “Our top pick” with a Buy It Now button alongside a “See Details” button.

Sound familiar? It appears eBay is testing what some are calling its version of the Amazon Buy Box.

eBay didn’t announce the new feature – an online merchant in the UK blogged about the feature on Monday. “If this isn’t a direct imitation of the Amazon Buy Box then it’s a good copy. Actually it may even be a better incarnation,” the proprietors of Bamford Trading wrote on their blog post. “There is no “Buy Now” button – but it could come and right in there is the products’ Seller Star Rating. Just like Amazon.”

The blog post led us to try the same approach on eBay UK and eBay.com, and we too found pages similar to Amazon. The eBay Top Pick pages we saw on the UK site did not show the Buy Button, but on eBay.com, they did.

Sellers are used to Amazon selecting which sellers’ product to show in the Buy Box, but on eBay, where the “level playing field” approach was built into its DNA, it is bound to sting.

The way you find the Top Pick page is to do a search for a product (a commodity item such as tools or kitchen appliances), click on a listing, and then look at the navigation breadcrumb trail at the top.

We did a search on eBay for “kitchen blenders” and clicked on one of the listings shown in search results. As Bamford Trading suggested, we looked for a “see more” link at the top of the page, and after the text showing the category and subcategories, a link was shown called: “See more Cuisinart BFP-703CH Chrome Blender.”

The eBay Top Pick page featured the name of the product and displayed how many ratings that product had garnered. Under that, it gave pricing information: New trending at $59.99; Used trending at $34.99; and Refurbished trending at $59.99

What’s likely to be particularly grating to sellers upon learning of the new feature is that eBay provides them with no way of knowing how it is selecting the sellers whose products it features so prominently.

That eBay is testing search results pages should not come as a surprise to those who closely follow eBay – as we reported last week, CEO Devin Wenig told Wall Street analysts eBay was just starting to experiment with deploying its Structured Data initiative on the search results pages “where a lot of the traffic ends up.”

Once eBay finds a format to its liking, it’s bound to make the Top Pick page more prominent.

Take a look and let us know what you think.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.