|Sat Mar 1 2008 08:56:54|
Mystery Shopping.com Listings on eBay?
By: Ina Steiner
Mystery listings are appearing on eBay that don't allow shoppers to bid or buy. The listings appear to be feeds from Shopping.com sellers. A look at the User ID sdc_prod_301013_74, for example, shows the seller has 27,076 listings - but the ones we clicked on did not have bid or buy buttons. Users found multiple User IDs with the preface "sdc" - a commonly used nickname for Shopping.com (Shopping Dot Com).
A discussion about the listings began Friday night on eBay's Feedback board. Some posters believe it is a sign that eBay is trying to inflate its listing numbers to mask any effects of the seller boycott. Because of the dearth of data from eBay, Wall Street analysts put a lot of credence on listing numbers to gauge the company's marketplace performance. This month, everyone studied listing numbers to try and measure the impact of the seller boycott. And sellers have been prowling the site looking for any evidence of manipulation.
Others believe the "sdc" mystery is a test eBay is running or may be a glitch.
Update 3/1/08: eBay spokesperson Usher Lieberman responded by email on Saturday, "This was a limited test that has run its course." I appreciate the update on a weekend and, if I learn more next week, will update this post.
Update: 3/2/08: eBay posted on its Systems Announcement board around 5:30 pm Eastern, "Some Shopping.com listings appeared accidentally on eBay.com over the past two days. This system issue has been resolved. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused."
Update 3/4/08: On Monday, eBay spokesperson Usher Lieberman said he had made a mistake when he called the Shopping.com listings a test on Saturday morning.