AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Tue Nov 18 2008 18:30:04

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay is rolling back its Identical Listing policy for fixed price listings. eBay's Jeff King said the policy was intended to fix problems with some sellers dominating certain queries and preventing buyers from seeing the variety and nice mix of items on the site, but said it's no longer necessary. eBay had already rolled back the policy for auction format listings.

From my conversation with Jeff, it sounds like eBay is rolling back the policy for fixed-price listings now because of the success of its new 30-day fixed-price format that rewards recent sales. This issue was raised at the recent Top Seller webinar and basically, there is no reason for a seller to list the same item in more than one listing (eBay can't seem to emphasize that enough), plus it's cheaper.

eBay wants sellers to focus on the longer duration fixed-price strategy and eliminate some confusion about the identical items policy. (Reading between the lines, perhaps some sellers were trying to list identical items with variations in Title/description in order to get exposure, while in fact the new Recent Sales factor in Best Match actually rewards the opposite behavior.)

The webinar explains this concept and discusses how to take advantage of eBay's changes to finding in order to rank higher and search results - and when to list in auction format. The presentation is both audio and slides.

Note that the policy that limits sellers to 10 listings per page on search results pages remains in effect. Here is a link to the original Identical Listings policy announcement.

On another, though related, topic: We're hearing from sellers that eBay has launched a Seller Strategies Team focused on delving into current and emerging issues that Top Sellers are facing and working together to discover potential solutions and offer actionable suggestions. They are reportedly going to begin making outbound calls starting November 18th focused on helping sellers optimize for eBay Search and Holiday Best Practices.




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: edward

Tue Nov 18 19:12:20 2008

Mark this date on your calendar. June 1, 2009. Google may have a surprise for Ebay.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: edward

Tue Nov 18 19:19:30 2008

like hopefully they will buy all the stock up by then

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: yoyo

Tue Nov 18 19:45:49 2008

At circa $12… I bet there are at least 2-3 others looking at a take over, even just to get Paypal & the BML (worth it; just for the $700 eBay just paid out)..not to mention sKYpe which could be a real money spinner if operated correctly..or sold off !

The closer to $8-10 Donnahoe must be wetting his/her pants..just look what’s happening with Yahoo stock now that idiot has stepped down

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: Ruth

Tue Nov 18 21:14:01 2008

Just what eBay needs, more garbage listings to bog it down even more. The listings have gone from 14 million to 28 million since they changed the listing fee and duration of listings. Now we can have the same 50 sellers listing more of the same junk on eBay. Hate to tell you this eBay, but your website is even MORE of a flea market since you changed the listing fee to 35 cents. Lots of junk and very little quality. Another "brainstorm" from the pinheads at eBay. Run away from eBay and their stock ASAP. They are the next Enron.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: John

Tue Nov 18 21:16:17 2008

I agree with the policy change, but....Thanks again ebay for all the unnecessary work and all the changes right in the middle of Q4. I sell items that should have the exact same titles but are different items. I have spent the past few months editing titles and figuring out ways around the policy. Good thing I did that!

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: Mechelle

Wed Nov 19 00:41:01 2008

If you haven't listened to that webinar it would be a good idea to put the hour or so of your time into learning how they are deliberately forcing us to drive our prices through the floor.  See how all of these eBay marketing/promotional crap is only geared toward lowest priced and free shipping.

The Q&A session is enjoyable too- a little tense with the top sellers!

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: TekGems

Wed Nov 19 01:24:51 2008

Am I the only one who thinks rolling back Identical Listings filter for fixed price format is a bad idea? eBay should really follow's Google lead in terms of how search results are organized. If Google filters duplicate results, there's a good reason why. This just confuses things even more and makes it incredibly difficult to keep up with policy.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Nov 19 04:15:32 2008

Many sellers certainly wouldn't regard the "Recent Sales" algorithm as a "success" since it hides one of a kind, high quality items from being seen -- especially those items in categories with principally unique items.

Any seller of these types of item still selling on ebay must be able to convert high dollar items into sales, yet ebay insists on assassinating these sellers by putting a lot cheap junk high in the search results.

THIS IS IN THE SHAREHOLDERS BEST INTEREST? To assassinate sellers selling hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in sales?

Is it the the best interests of the shareholders to publically state ebay wants higher performing sellers who list fixed price items (they said buyers didn't want to wait for a auctions tyle listings to end) and then pay no attention whatsoever in the Best Match search results to feedback percentage and DSRs and actually DISADVANTAGES fixed price listings in favor of auction style listings?

Is it in the shareholders' best interest for their company lose business and revenues because their executives who consistently lie, defraud, and misrepresent to their customers?

I think not.

Death to ebay corp.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: rich

Wed Nov 19 09:37:35 2008

I'm not a top seller. They don't care about MY problems? Ahhhhhhh...

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: Jonathan

Wed Nov 19 10:40:21 2008

I do not like most of the things eBay has done to my ability to grow my business on eBay.  However, this one change actually helped my sales, or at least it stopped my competitor from spamming eBay with penny cheaper items so mine never show up.  It just made the site look cleaner even if my items were on the top of the list.

Once again, a rare change that was good, now gone.  What time is it?  Oh, it has been a few hours, better go look for a new bug or change that eBay has implemented to force customers to go to Amazon.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: RicRoe

Wed Nov 19 11:23:37 2008

Ebay keeps rolling back and revising their policy changes that have failed.

Its a good sign. At this rate, if they keep this up, eBay will actually be useable again in about 5 years or so.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: dcsbodyjewelry

Wed Nov 19 12:09:45 2008

biggest problem with FP30 listings is that most of them get buried deep in the search. Hardly any FP30 listings get exposure in core UNLESS there has been recent sales. So, it is pointless to run a ton of FP30 listings.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: Kristoffer

Wed Nov 19 12:18:25 2008

The only reason ebay is doing this is for their bottom line. I am sure someone figured out they were losing money by doing this and decided to change it back. They do NOTHING to help sellers, only things to help themselves.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: dcsbodyjewelry

Wed Nov 19 12:22:08 2008

another problem is only getting listing exposure on a maximum of 10 items in best match. We typically listed about 50 different listings in a particular categories all closing at different times. Since the category we list in only has about 2000 total listings (which includes 1,3,5,7,10 day listings plus FP30 and feature listings, it was VERY EASY for potential customers to see ALL of our listings closing on a particular day. Now, most of our listings can only be viewed of the buyer alters the search criteria from best match to ending soonest or some other non default search criteria. For nearly 3 months our sales plummeted from a sell thruy rate of over 70 percent to less than 20 percent. For that reason we closed our ebay store and stopped listing completely focusing all our attention and marketing dollars on our website and other online storefronts.

Our sales dropped from roughly 375 monthly sales to no more than 60 once best match was implemented, and I know darn well it is because of the state of the economy because local sales and our other online stores our doing quite well.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: dcsbodyjewelry

Wed Nov 19 12:27:52 2008

correction to above post....

I meant to say that our dismall ebay sales werent because of the slow econonmy because our webiste sales  and our local sales are doing well.

BEST MATCH AND EBAY'S MANIPULATION OF SEARCHES SUCK!

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: Wake-Up!

Wed Nov 19 12:44:40 2008

My goodness!

Is anybody sick of this non-stop roller coaster ride?

Make a change, change it back, & re-change it back, modify it, de-modify it, increase the fees, lower the listing, get 'em from the front, get 'em from the back......

AAAACCCKKK!!

Does this not strike anyone as being VERY UNPROFESSIONAL???

My gosh this looks like a company in it's infancy!

SELL YOUR STOCK OR WIPE YOUR ARSE WITH IT!

My opinion of course :)

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Wed Nov 19 15:40:37 2008

Notwithstanding any statements by eBay to the contrary, no action taken by the current management team at eBay has anything to do with benefitting eBay users: eBay’s every action is purposed solely towards improving eBay’s bottom line, and consumers are advised that if at any time there appears to be some benefit to them, that is purely coincidental.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: keepersprings

Wed Nov 19 19:49:49 2008

Typical eBay....change then unchange....well I for one want a permenant change....I sincerely hope that someone, anyone buys this company out....why a roll back now, simple, so many sellers and buyers have left so there is plenty of room for more listings and visibility...pity no one is buying...my sales are in the toilet...but no fear J. Donahoe will get his golden bonus for Christmas.....

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: Another Wronged Seller

Wed Nov 19 21:56:46 2008

Management by chaos theory.

Try something, try something else, try the 50 changes sellers have endured in the last year or so. Change some of them back. Glitches every few days.

Great enviroment to sell in.

Ebay needs to look up the term management in the dictionary. This is chaos not management.

A monkey throwing darts at a dartboard could have better decision making just by chance.

Seriously now. They don't have a clue about what to do so they just keep changing things until something, anything kind of works.

Best match is a joke. It manipulates seller exposure based on who ebay wants to advantage at the time. (diamond level powersellers)

level playing field? A true level playing field would have equal exposure for an equal fee. Now you have sellers paying higher fees for less exposure than the diamonds that pay no listing fees. The bread and butter sellers pay for exposure but get little, the diamonds pay no listing fee but get more exposure. Level playing field....

Just an observation but is the week before black friday with only 35 or so shopping days til christmas the time to be making more changes? How about just giving us some stability in the last couple months prior to the holidays in the critical fiscal Q4.

Auctiva stores is coming in January with their first non-ebay product. What does it say when a company that has been so closely aligned with ebay and every prior product offering was ebay based, picks NOW to launch a non-ebay product? I think it means that auctiva management wants to assure it's survival by not having all its eggs in one basket.

eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies   eBay Rolls Back Identical Listings, Launches Seller Strategies

by: Joe eBay seller

Thu Nov 20 07:33:46 2008

Ebay is just plain "NUTS".

I just listed a new item with no recent sales history as a fixed price "BIN". Searching for my placement of 472 returned items I ended with at the top of page nine out of a total of 10 search pages. Now what's the chace of making a sale?  Well just in case ebay management reads this the answer is "ZERO" I do want to thank ebay for the good venue it once was because it enabled me to pay off my mortgage, but now I'm stopping selling on eBay so I don't have to refinace my home...it was nice once upon a time as they say.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.