|Thu Jan 27 2011 14:32:36|
eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation
By: Ina Steiner
A longtime Platinum-level eBay seller said his traffic dropped like a rock after eBay changed the way it sorts items that use "multi-variations," sorting by the highest possible price instead of the lowest. For example, a listing for a bed comforter that allows the shopper to select a twin for $29.98, or a king-sized comforter for $31.88, will now show up in search results at the $31.88 price.
eBay encourages sellers to use Multi-Variation fixed-price listings to save money by using one listing to sell the same product in different sizes, colors, etc. The use of Variations also provides a streamlined shopping experience, so shoppers have fewer listings to wade through on search results pages.
"EBay made a change Sunday night to how search results are shown for listings with variations," said the Platinum level seller. "Prior to Sunday, a listing with variations would display the lowest price. Now the highest price is displayed. Click-through has dropped through the floor!"
The seller, who wishes to remain anonymous, sells items (not bedding) and uses Multi-Variations to offer different sizes or different quantities of the same size. For example, he said one competitor uses eBay's Variation feature to allow shoppers to order one part per package, three per package, or nine per package. He uses Variations to allow shoppers to select varying lengths of the products he sells, with each length priced differently.
He said he will be forced to "unbundle" his listings and eliminate size as a variation. "This just adds more clutter to the site and is exactly what eBay has been trying to eliminate with the push to use variations."
He attached a screenshot of his traffic report that shows a dramatic drop in traffic for his listings. His suggestion to eBay: "Add the words "Price from: $xx.xx" to the search results OR return a price range, "$2.99 - $9.99."