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Sun Jan 31 2010 21:55:25

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers who are wondering what impact eBay's pending changes will have on their own business may want to check their October sales data. In a podcast interview with AuctionBytes on Friday afternoon, eBay executive Todd Lutwak revealed that eBay had put all of the SIF inventory in Core for a period of time in the fall.

AuctionBytes Blog readers may remember our October 15th post about eBay's test of Stores in Core. At the time, eBay said, "We are currently conducting tests that may result in the inclusion of Store inventory format items in the main search results for a small percentage of traffic." To my knowledge, no one was aware of the extent of the test.

Todd said in Friday's interview, "We actually put all of the SIF (Store Inventory Format) inventory on Core for a period during Q4 on the U.S. marketplace in order to test this. So not only do we have all of the data from the European markets on the success of this, but we actually did test this already in the U.S. market in October or November."

You can hear exactly what Todd said about this in the AuctionBytes podcast. The SIF in Core section starts at the end of the interview at (20:06). Todd revealed this information as part of his explanation of why eBay is so "very confident that these changes are the right thing to do for the marketplace."

During the interview, Todd also provided answers to questions, including:
  • If being an eBay Store subscriber affects the exposure of fixed-price listings in search results. 
  • Whether Subtitles, which formerly cost 2 cents for Storeowners, will now cost $1.50.
  • In addition, Todd said Trust & Safety will not punish a user for listing 100 free auctions in each of their User IDs
You can listen to the entire podcast on the "Ecommerce Industry SoundBytes" podcast page.






Comments (67) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: TEW

Sun Jan 31 23:42:36 2010

Frankly, I think these secret tests are disruptive and disrespectful of sellers (not that eBay cares about sellers).

I did suspect the widespread nature of the test - and even spoke to an eBay VP about it.  My point to him was and still is (regarding these tests): How can a business make any plans on a platform that may change at any moment for some or all users and with or without notice - and for an undetermined amount of time.  I can make no marketing plans, no tests of my own, no projections - if eBay changes things like they do.  AND, they did it during the Christmas selling season.  Each year they say they will not make any big changes during the fourth quarter - and each year they lie.  Do they not think a secret test of all stores in core was a big change?

Amazon may not be perfect, but they don't yank my chain every other day and create an unstable platform.  eBay is unstable.  And they don't even know it.  They are PROUD of the fact that they will ''ONLY'' make 3 major (disruptive) changes to the platform this year.  ''ONLY'' three?  How many does Amazon have... in one year, or two years... or three years?  Amazon KNOWS how to do stable.  My business needs stable.

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Mon Feb 1 00:06:19 2010

So that explains why Oct was terrible for all my auction & BIN  sales ....basically we were swamped with all the store listings and the auction fee payers lost out again

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Mon Feb 1 02:41:19 2010

Yes that explains the higher sales in October for our store listings. We also had a higher sell through rate on our auctions and I think that was because of the added exposure since all of our listings has a direct link embedded to our store and the people also saw our auction listings in the store.
The items we sell do not do well on Amazon since they are hobby related. For us this could be a good thing and our over all fees will go back down to where they were 4 to 5 years ago.
This could be very good thing but only time will tell. It all depends on whether or not the sell through rate stays the same for us.

Bill

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: another side of the coin

Mon Feb 1 02:42:17 2010

@Pete
I noticed the big decline too in auctions & BIN in October. So is this what we have to look forward to after March? Other seller's listings I have noticed sold for far less in October. Brings all the sales down especially in antiques & collectibles. But I think everyone is going to suffer with less visibility including Stores in core with all the free 100 listings. Can you imagine what eBay is going to look like? eBay doesn't care if we lose money or give our items away. I use to love eBay and now I loathe them and that is putting it mildly.

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: another side of the coin

Mon Feb 1 02:51:56 2010

I do want to mention one more thing. This is just my opinion but I think eBay did this ''test'' with Stores to get Stores to take the ''hook'' about more exposure after March. eBay gets stores to commit to a premium & anchor store but don't expect them to give you that same increased exposure. I could be wrong but when has eBay came through with ANY benefit for ANY seller?

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Rich

Mon Feb 1 03:25:05 2010

I don't trust this at all. Buyers find every store item who search with either "include store inventory" or "buy it now only" and I suspect many buyers prefer buy it now as opposed to auction.  So I do not trust Ebay one bit that a "secret test run was done in October or Novemeber".  In my view this fee hike is nothing more than an attempted huge money grab by Ebay.   Nothing more and nothing less. And now it's time for Ebay to say whatever they can as thousands of store sellers prepare to leave. Plus a fair number of fixed price and auction sellers also probably leave. My guess is that Ebay will start to panic this week because most likely 100's of thousands of items have already left Ebay in the 5 days since the fee hike announcement.  Probably thousands of sellers have already either closed their store, joined other sites, added nothing more to Ebay or simply crunched some numbers and then logged out of Ebay in disgust.  So now it's time for Ebay to say whatever they can to try to prevent millions of items from leaving. If moving store items to core was "secretly succesfful"; then why not prove it to store owners by doing an announced test run so sellers can see if it's worth staying?  Why not announce all store items will be in core the week of Feb 8th through Feb 14th?  Or would an idea like this worry Ebay because moving to core really won't offset the doubling of fees?  

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Ebay's Slow Death

Mon Feb 1 03:50:04 2010

I don't believe this ''Secret'' October, Store-In-Core ever happened. I think Ebay makes these things up as they go along.  It is part of their constant PR spin, trying to convince Sellers why they should keep selling on Ebay.

As was suggested, why don't they do an announced test for a week or two in February or March, so that Store Sellers can see what happens?

Since their store fees and FVF fees are close to being doubled, maybe they think they can lose half of their Stores. But, every time a Seller leaves Ebay, there goes a Buyer also. This is a simple fact, Ebay just never seems to get.

They are making a big push for Sellers to choose a store subscription before February 16th. Why the rush?

Buyers are becoming fewer every week.  This flooding core with Store items, and $.99 auctions will be interesting. I think it is just another way for Ebay to give the Diamonds and other large Sellers an advantage in exposure. The rest of us will end up down at the bottom, paying higher fees and selling the same or less.

Of course, we won't know until it all flips on April 1st, and JD yells, ''April Fools''.  And, the Sellers who stay through the transition will be the ''Fools''.  I think we should have a Pull-the-Plug-on-Stores party on March 30th. Not on the 31st, because there will be so much activity, Ebay won't be able to adjust fast enough and some Sellers will get charged the extra new fees.

Honestly, for the Sellers who are going to stay through the transition, I hope I'm wrong and your sales increase.  A lot of us will be watching.  I just can't afford to pay $100 up front, before I sell a single thing. So, I'll be reaching for that plug.

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: meme

Mon Feb 1 04:17:04 2010

@Rich I agree and do not trust them either.  Why would you think that eBay would want to inform us store owners and prove/disprove the garbage they are dishing out?  Anyway they would have to prove it to me AFTER the gazillion .99 listings are in.  I will be watching from a distance.  

Good sellers are leaving in droves now but give it 58 more days and let's see who is left.  Then lets watch as those .99 listings sell for .99 and sellers go in the hole...they won't last long.

I have a booth on Bonanzle that will get my full attention in 58 days.  I imported my merchandise there some time ago.  I am preparing my eBay exit after 11 years.  I look forward...

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: dimes

Mon Feb 1 04:33:11 2010

So that's why you'd see the exact same things when you hit the additional items link.

That was annoying.

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Mister Tubbles

Mon Feb 1 05:35:50 2010

Remember when they were "just a venue" and not the format they've become today? They lie like a rug. A cheap shoddy rug made with toxic waste and imported from China.

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Jokers

Mon Feb 1 06:38:41 2010

Just been anounced anyone selling clothing into the UK after 29 March has a postage cap of 4GBP...are these fools at eBay insane

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Feb 1 07:11:17 2010

All the little sellers think their items will be found. Forget the fact that 200,000 others also share this delusion.

Not only will your items not stick out in the mass of carp, but they will be competing against all the 99 cent carp!

Let's give a HUGE hand to the cheerleaders spreading the misinformation! ''I didn't graduate from high school, but I sell a lot of oranges on eBay, and the new plan will be cheaper for me, but you sell bricks and the rate is different, but eBay is cheeper for me and Gosh, but aren't they the swellest bunch of folks anywhere.''

When this doesn't work just let eBay know and they'll have Richard Brewer Hay or some other clueless employee call you and berate you for not offering free shipping. They don't sell for a living so they can offer you the best advice!  

You do realize that all the carp will be sorted by ''Best Match'' (C) TM Pat. Pend.

At least eBay used good timing. By the time sellers lose their shirts it will be warm enough to live in their cars for the Summer.

Maybe Griff and Johnnie DonnieHo will brunch with you at the soup kitchen.

Thanks for being part of the eBay community! People are basically good!

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: kevin

Mon Feb 1 08:36:25 2010

I just went back an looked at our Oct sales numbers as I'd remembered something odd about them.  Our ASP was down 12%.  I could not figure out why at the time....now I know!  Once again, Ebay not giving me what I'm paying for.  Now more changes.  Yet another fee decrease that will somehow cost me more in fees and more screwing around with search.  When will they learn to just leave things alone and let the marketplace work?  I wish they'd come out with a fee increase....in ebay language, that might mean their take would go down

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Jeff Stannard

Mon Feb 1 08:48:05 2010

Todd Lutwak said "YOU KNOW" 87 times in that 22-minute interview.

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Kelly

Mon Feb 1 09:04:31 2010

TEW, the first poster, hit the nail squarely on the head regarding how stable consistent Amazon has ALWAYS been. They understand that sellers cannot repeatedly change their business models.

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Another Wronged Seller

Mon Feb 1 10:01:12 2010

Change for the sake of change... (not improvement)

So, lets see. Ebay conducted a test without announcing it ahead of time which must have advantaged store sellers but hurt auction sellers. Once again a lie about not changing anything in Q4. Doesn't a test that was so disruptive to sales qualify as a change? So, the effect would be to impact both groups sales???

Auction sellers that took a hit should file complaints with the agencies on mings list. And with ebay to demand a refund of all fees during the ''test'' period.

The question I have not seen answered is if the the store, fixed price listings will have EQUAL exposure to auction listings with ''best Match'' calling the shots? The way best match advantages or dissadvantages listings based on DSRS, free shipping, diamond seller, STR, ETC.. do we have any assurance that store listings will technically have ''full exposure'' in core BUT be on page 50? Ebay is promoting this with store listings being included in core, but will they be pushed to the back of the bus?

It might be my paranoia, but my definition of ''full exposure'' is likely very different than ebays...

Anybody have an answer?

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Bookbatches

Mon Feb 1 10:21:52 2010

You can listen to the entire podcast on the ''Ecommerce Industry SoundBytes'' podcast page.''

Excuse me, I think I need a nap...

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Peter Leeflang (Leeflang Archives Corp)

Mon Feb 1 10:38:51 2010

So the SIS was tested in Oct/Nov 209?

That explains our abysmal sales in those months. It is a harbinger for things to come at teh end of march.

So, although I get a break on the fees at Ebay than, I can also expect diminished sales and diminished prices then, which will probably nullify my advantage in less Ebay expenses (or more likely, get even worse).

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: Patricia

Mon Feb 1 10:57:26 2010

Its so obvious that Ebay's plans change constantly due to their own immature business experience.  They have NO solid business plan - that's plain to see....so they keep changing to see what will actually work.  Sellers?  They're a dime a dozen to Ebay - dispensible throw-aways.  Donahoe never had respect for sellers and feels people are still interested in making a buck on his site.  I'm sure he's noticed that there are less and less sellers AND buyers lately.  Hence the massive fee increases for most, the 21 day Paypal holds that are sure to increase and the rolling reserves.  I now have my listings on Ebay down to just a few while I pump up and market my shops on other sites.  Everyone should be doing the same.

eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core   eBay Reveals It Conducted a Test of All Stores in Core

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Mon Feb 1 11:59:51 2010


I have to admit something to Ebay. I've been testing other sales channels since 2007. Those results were pretty good so I'm implementing that strategy full force.

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