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Thu Jan 27 2011 14:32:36

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

By: Ina Steiner

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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."




Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: walter

Thu Jan 27 14:50:55 2011

Dononoodle and crew just can't seem to figure it out. Hence the constant changes.

He will NEVER give up the manipulation best match supposedly grants him so he will never go with the most logical of sort defaults, which is ending soonest.

Merchandise used to stay fresh as items were always ending and buyers would buy because the items may or may not ever be seen listed again. Everyone had an equal chance at being seen and EVERYONE Ebay included made money.

3years and the guy still doesn't get what made Ebay tick. I know I like seeing whats ending first. It sure beats looking at the same stale multi-quantity listings that stay on top with best match.

Too bad that would give everyone equal chances at selling, otherwise if it was a deterrent Dononoodle would switch to ending soonest in a heart beat. If sellers hated ending soonest he would RUSH the change immediately. If it made no sense he would RUSH to change it immediately. If it caused small sellers to go out of business he would RUSH twice as fast to change it immediately.

It makes WAY too much sense to go back to ending soonest so EVERYTHING get it's moment to get seen. He'll just continue along wondering WHY the Ebay sales are not as good as Amazons sales. Heck he's tried to mimic them all along and has only made them stronger.

Hint for the HO...dump best match IT SUCKS AND ALWAYS HAS.

Manipulation is never a good thing, besides it'll probably end up in a class action suit some day. I imagine that one will be the largest settlement Ebay ever pays. 3 years of sellers fees so far in the kitty! :)

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: say what

Thu Jan 27 14:53:40 2011

Sounds right to me as most of the time when a seller uses variations the seller starts at 0.99 and then goes up. Catch is they are out of the 0.99 so you have to buy the higher one.

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: not so

Thu Jan 27 15:14:22 2011

Actually, if they are out of the .99 item, it won't show.

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: AgendaSwallowAll

Thu Jan 27 15:26:07 2011

My traffic as well as sales have plummeted but it may have nothing to do with changes related to in this post. I have 3 Laptops running here and two legit eBay accounts, I did one of my normal searches yesterday within one of my catagories as an attempt to figure out why views, questions and sales had about come to a standstill. On the Latop used for my main account, one of my listings was at the very top of page #1 in this given search and I had 7-8 more items out of 50 on page #1.

This didn't make any sense so I went to one of my other Laptops to run the same search, I had 2 listings on page #1, neither at or near the top. The only thing that makes any sense is eBay has a program that installs a cookie of some sort to have an individual believe their items are well placed but with just enough variation involved to have things not appear as such if there were ever to be a legal challenge.

I can't speak to this with knowledge one way or the other but it is quite possible if this individual were to do the same search on a different system, the displayed results may be completely different.

By the way, same search on Laptop #3 displayed somewhat different results from Laptop #2.

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: RicRoe

Thu Jan 27 15:28:34 2011

Looks to me like there has been a rethink at eBay with regard to clutter.

While multi variation listings were introduced to reduce clutter, eBay apparently saw a decline in listing volume and thus, a decline in revenue.

eBay is desperate for revenue, so they re-thought the process knowing full well that sellers will end up being driven out of utilizing multi variation listings in order to regain exposure.

eBay appears willing to accept the clutter because it generates listing volume.

This is an eBay lever designed to sway sellers away from multi variation listings and increase listing fee revenue.

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: me

Thu Jan 27 16:43:26 2011

I also have a lot of multi-variation listings & my sales have been dismal this week, BUT when I went to check my traffic it has not fallen any

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

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

Thu Jan 27 23:13:04 2011

I was under the obviously erroneous impression that ebay committed to announcing well in advance any major changes.

Another blantant lie from a corrupt, dishonest, undependable corporation that employs liars, damn liars, and sociopaths.

It hasn't changed:

Ming's ebay Law #1:

EBAY LIES. ALWAYS HAS, ALWAYS WILL.

Ming's ebay Law #2:

EBAY REMOVES, TRIES TO GET REMOVED, OR DISCREDITS SPEECH THEY DON'T LIKE ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET.

Ming's ebay Law #3:

EBAY RETALIATES AGAINST CRITICS USING EVERY MEANS AT THEIR DISPOSAL AND BY ANY MEANS THEY DEEM NECESSARY INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO NUMEROUS BLACK BUDGET OPERATIONS AND UNETHICAL SOCIAL ENGINEERING.

Ming’s ebay Law #4:

WHATEVER EBAY WANTS EBAY GETS ONE WAY OR ANOTHER BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY INCLUDING PATENT INFRINGEMENT, BRIBERY, CHARACTER ASSASSINATION, DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES, AIDING AND ABETTING FRAUD, AND MISLEADING IF NOT UNTRUTHFUL PUBLIC STATEMENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF INFLUENCING STOCK PRICES AND RATINGS.

Ming’s ebay Law #5:

EBAY THUMBS ITS NOSE AT THE RULE OF LAW.


eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: Steve This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Jan 27 23:59:05 2011

This smelled like a rat when DonutHole came up with the idea. Fortunately I never changed all my listings.

eBay is what you make it. They forced me start my own website 3 years ago and now continually supply it with a ton of potential customers. I guess making money from sales there is really a bonus.

eBay can't care less about me (the small seller) and other than using them for the tool that they are, the feeling is mutual.

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: Bloer

Fri Jan 28 00:11:46 2011

eBay censure everywhere including here
Many times I have had my posts here "deleted" after expressing myself

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: Lawrence A Dickerson

Fri Jan 28 01:28:37 2011

Just a note for thought:


It took me a few years to learn responsibility for my actions and words or even the lack of.I was the type that blamed anybody and everybody for my ills or negative reactions to my ways.

I remember well the anger that swelled inside me all the time.I am not that same person any more.That doesn't mean that I have become a Casper Milquetoast.It is just that I accept any consequences for my actions.

My mouth gets me into a lot of trouble and I get deleted,banned and banished quite frequently.I earn every one of them proudly like a badge.

I know this is off topic but I read the one gentleman complain that he has been deleted for speaking his mind.If you and others  like to take up causes come join me on Veterans Today where they are anti Zionist and Israel.I have to sneak in the back door to attack some of that flaming rhetoric.

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: stylephyle
Web Site

Fri Jan 28 09:28:29 2011

Interesting that Ina's article DIRECTLY ABOVE this article was Amazon Announces Q4 2010 Sales up 36% to $12.95 Billion
Is there possibly a connection????? I am internal Amazon plus Amazon powered webstore.  I quit selling on ebay years ago and now don't buy either.  Most of the people I used to buy from are now also on Amazon.  Life on the river is good!!!

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: Jim Young
Web Site

Fri Jan 28 11:49:03 2011

If I were to summarzie all of these comments, I would just say what other people are saying: "don't put all of your cookies in one basket."  You just can't depend on one thing or one group of people.  Diversification is an absolute.  

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: Sayonara eBay

Fri Jan 28 14:08:59 2011

I think it's more like 'don't put all of your eggs in eBay's basket.''

If you can put some in and succeed, fine, but always be aware that eBay is always working to get the better of you, to make money from you, to make money from you when you don't notice it (default settings always in ebay's favor).

Even when it looks innocent, it usually isn't.  Why do we have to sign in so many times?  Probably because each time we sign in, we count as a click or a view. They have more sign ins than homeland security.

Why has eBay made 25 items a default on their screens of listings?  Because if you set it at 100, they lose a click each time you would have gone to a new page.

Glitches somehow always fall in eBay's favor.  It's uncanny.  

And when eBay tells you they will refund your fee if there's an error, run don't walk to the nearest exit.  You have to go through the CS fiasco and spend an hour on the phone for a quarter.  If you're lucky.

So tread wisely here.  Be suspicious of fee requests and checks in boxes while listing. It's like a game of gotcha, and guess who usually wins?

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: Missy

Fri Jan 28 22:26:27 2011

I'm a TRS / Powerseller with over 5000 transactions / no negs...

Everything is peachy on my account...we do NOT use multi- variations in our listings...and our sales tanked this week. Two packages went out today. This whole week had been S L O W! Yesterday none! We usually average about 10k a month. What the heck??? We've seen slow times over the years but nothing like this. Please don't say it's what you sell. We've been selling for years and our things sell well....normally. What's the deal??

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: nadine

Sun Jan 30 21:03:38 2011

@missy, the 100 free listings offer (which started Jan 25) screw up eBay search. My numbers tanked this week too. I've heard speculation that whenever eBay does the 100 free listing thing, they do a server switch which breaks the Google links, but I've never seen evidence to back this up. If everybody could do some Google searches just before and after they start the next round of free listings in a month or two, maybe we could tell.

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: Wake-Up!

Mon Jan 31 10:06:47 2011

I AM SOOOOOOO GLAD I LEFT THIS CORPORATE PORTA-POTTY A LONG TIME AGO!

eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation   eBay Changes to Search Hurt Sellers Using Multi-Variation

by: o.c.d.collectibles This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Feb 1 13:23:46 2011

me too, wake-up!

I'm just wondering why so many people still hang on, taking the abuse? Why?

I mean..isn't it obvious ebay is trying their hardest to "shake" these last few sellers "off"?



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