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Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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.

2 thoughts on “eBay to Turn Off Some Terapeak Research Features”

  1. @ebayout – It used to be very useful. But it has been neutered this year…

    We used Terapeak for years. It had an interface that wasn’t great, but the information was invaluable. It’s very hard to find solid information to prove glitches in the system. It’s hard to stay on top of the search algorithm changes without Terapeak.

    It seemed like a good thing when eBay acquired it. They claimed they were going to be using Terapeak to being the features in to eBay directly and integrate them in to sellers hub.

    But this was before the nightmare of glitches in 2018. We were sadly victims of some huge tech issues.

    One of the first things noticed was that they were trying to “hide” names of sellers, but you could still simply check the listings and see the actual sellers names anyway? So instead of “Seller1234” you would just see “S***4″… not sure why they bothered but okay, no big deal.

    During our issues. On the eBay forums, I posted extensively based on Terapeak data. Some of the most alarming things I posted were:

    – Sellers who adopted Free Returns/Guaranteed Delivery actually plummeted, while sellers who ignored these things and simply focused on minimum prices flew up the charts – meanwhile eBay CSR’s were recommending FR/GD for increasing visibility/sales! This occured all the way from the beginning of the year, until June!

    – Top seller market share was plummeting as well. In our category last year, top 10 seller market share was 40%, one year later it was 30%, one month later it was 27%.This is very alarming news, because it shows that the “bar” that sets the maximum level for success on eBay was dropping.

    – Overall market share was INCREASING.

    – If we expanded to top 50, or top 100 sellers in our category, similar results. Even those sellers were dropping. So who, exactly is benefitting?

    So we have a situation where sales overall are increasing, but top sellers were dropping suddenly. Seems a clear indicator of “Spreading the wealth” and search manipulation.

    These types of things were very clear indicators of issues on eBay. The first issue confirmed that “Shipping/Returns” were not being calculated in the search algorithm, which I also have other screenshots to back up this data (where items were $107 with $98 shipping, placing higher rank than $108 free shipping).

    Well… these type of reports from Terapeak were on the eBay forum for a couple months.

    Then came the stock report, where the CFO of eBay ADMIT to search manipulation, and that he was aware that the search changes led to “really less sales” but brought the ASP up. Which seems like a crazy thought in itself. Why on earth would a market ever want LESS sales…?

    Right after this, our eBay issues started to resolve itself. A major bug affecting our account was fixed and suddenly impressions/sales were returning to normal. I was curious to see if this improved for others at the same time, or if the market share fluctuated much due to changes.

    Then I find out, Terapeak no longer allows you to see past 11 months prior. But great news – Terapeak now has an add-on that allows you to see up to 3 years in the past! In order to go 3 years, you must pay ADDITIONAL subscription fees!

    We have been on the regular $30 subscription plan for years, and had always been able to go back… and now they want us to pay additional fees for an “add-on”???

    Now they are removing more & more features. Instead of, as they claimed, bringing this information IN TO eBay…. they are instead neutering Terapeak and preventing this information from being available at all. I assume because it’s the only place available to find evidence of their manipulation & prove that the advice they give you is harmful, rather than helpful.

    Now we have even been getting emails from Terapeak, saying “HI Emma,” when nobody has ever worked at our company named Emma. When I try to get support, it says contact eBay, eBay says Terapeak has their own support team. Nobody to go to for help. It seems likely they mixed up account data at this point.

    Basically, we might as well say RIP to Terapeak. It already isn’t what it used to be, and doesn’t seem like it will stop going down the path of removing features and/or requiring higher payments for past features that were FREE.

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