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Wed Apr 17 2013 11:33:25

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

By: Julia Wilkinson

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In a world where "Cassini" is the latest search technology on eBay, how can you get your listings their best shot at being viewed? I watched an interesting YouTube video by Jean-Charles Compagnon of KiOui Apps, which explained something I had not realized: having stale items that sit and fester in your eBay Store can really hurt you in Cassini search, because one of the factors it looks at is your sell-through rate.

Sell-Through Rates Affect Your Search Ranking


"It's going to look at the percentage of chances that this item will generate money," explained Compagnon, who reminds us in the beginning of the video that eBay is in the business to make money (in case we had forgotten). But so are we as sellers. The video is titled "cassini - what a seller can do from ebay's point of view," and although we as sellers may not always want to think of things from eBay's point of view, that's the reality we live in.

Re-List Multi-Quantity Items Where One Gets Neg or Neutral

And he reminds us getting visibility is not just necessarily about the 5-star (or whatever-star) ratings you have, but "your sell-through is very important." And what else? If you are a seller who sells items in multiple quantities, or many of the same item, and just one of those items gets a negative or neutral rating from a buyer, eBay will likely serve up that same kind of item from another seller before yours. So "consider killing that item and then just relisting it," advises Campagnon.

But "you could have the worst track record on earth, if you have 100% sell-through, eBay's going to [serve] your items" in search, says Campagnon. EBay looks at it in a sense, "is that seller going to generate a sale? Is there more likely a chance that the seller will generate a sale than this other seller?"

For me, the takeway on this is I need to go back and mark down some of the stuff that's been sitting for months in my store. Sure, I would have liked for it to sell for more, but it it's dragging down my other sales, it's not worth it. In fact, there's a chance that actually taking  a loss on one lot in particular will be more financially beneficial to me than letting it sit there and fester at the higher price (Strange little lot of old Scottish dolls and beanie babies, I'm talking to you.).

In the end of the video, Campagnon goes to page 10 of  a set of search results "where nobody ever goes" (fair enough), and a listing he examines there does show that its seller had many unsold items.

Would knowing this make you mark down some of your items? Were you aware of the importance of your sell-through rate on your eBay search rankings? Have you found other factors that are important (or not important) on your items' visibility in search? Post a comment here!




Comments (41) | Permalink

Readers Comments

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 17 13:25:08 2013

I laugh.  You can't get sell-thru if you can't get visibility from eBay.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 17 14:12:39 2013

Items that "sit and fester" was the whole point of a store. Do you think art galleries and antique shops turn over the inventory every month?  

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed Apr 17 14:28:25 2013

RCL: You do have a point about that things need to "fester" sometime. I reminded myself that a piece of art I had listed took over six months to sell, but sell it did, and for a nice profit. So I think it depends on the item. Good points.  

(In the case of my odd little beanie baby lot, it's a $9.95 or so that I can live without, so imo it's not worth dragging my other stuff down).

I just think the whole idea of the sell-thru vis-a-vis search is good to bear in mind.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 17 15:15:03 2013

Well said RCL.   Right on the money.  To be penalized in search as a result is ridiculous, but soooooooo eBay.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed Apr 17 15:57:40 2013

The importance of sell-through should at least vary by category - artwork and antiques, for example, should be able to have a longer "shelf life" than commodities.

But eBay is similar to Google - they don't like talking about their algorithms.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

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

Wed Apr 17 15:58:53 2013

[Cassini:] “It’s going to look at the percentage of chances that this item will generate money [for eBay].”

This sounds like a pretty good summation of Cassini: it has nothing to do with helping sellers per se: it is all about trying to “stop the rot” in eBay’s STR and FVF revenue; Cassini most surely is all “from eBay’s point of view”.

“[To Cassini] your sell-through is very important”—probably all important.

But, you say, “you can’t get sell-thru if you can’t get visibility from eBay.” Again, the point is missed: everything that eBay does is for the benefit of eBay; if you “non-preferred” merchants manage to benefit somewhere along the way, that now will be purely coincidental—you somehow accidentally got some viewing time that was ear marked for the “preferred” merchants.

The fact is the eBay market place is dying—has been for the past five years; it now represents only ~40% of eBay’s business (the clunky PreyPal now represents ~46% and it too is approaching its “use by date”).
http://www.trefis.com/company?hm=EBAY.trefis&from=search#

If you look at the COMPLETED listings of eforcity (ie, “No Touchy Johnny Sheng”), a major, and surely a preferred, eBay merchant, with 145,000 current listings, via theAU site (with as yet un-manipulated completed listings) at
http://www.ebay.com.au/csc/eforcity/m.html?_ipg=200&LH_Complete=1&
_sop=13

you will see that here there is “ocean of red” for both auctions and BIN. If Sheng’s STR is so utterly abysmal, what chance do you think you or indeed anyone else has of selling anything on eBay? Methinks, very little …

But, there is an answer to this STR problem that eBay tacitly (sometimes actively) supports: Like a great many unscrupulous professional eBay merchants (probably the majority thereof), you will can bid on and buy your own stuff at auction (as does “she who cannot be named” and many others), or buy some of your own BIN listings (treat it as a 10% marketing expense to show everyone—including eBay/Cassini—how well your products are moving, at your asking price), AND you thereby provide eBay with a reliable flow of FVFs (on real and/or faux sales as does “she …”)—eBay does not care, the FVF is the same for either real or faux sales—eBay and its Cassini manipulator may then grant you a little better exposure in search …

Despite eBay’s apparent ever-improving quarterly “financials”, clearly, the eBay marketplace appears to be continuing to atrophy—it’s time you all started seriously planning for life after eBay …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ...

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed Apr 17 15:59:30 2013

Ina, I love it! You're making a lot of sense...but it may be like the Talking Heads said.."Stop Making Sense." ;)

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Wed Apr 17 17:40:04 2013

I just learned something about this the other day and Ina i sent you a email about it for you to read.

Ending and re-listing is the wrong thing to do.

Ending and sell similar is the way to sever all the poor marks associated with a sellers old listings.

Ending and then selecting the sell similar link for that item makes it a brand spanking new listing on the ebay site.

Ebay keeps a detailed record of each item from the time it is created. This includes the click thru info and all your edits that one may have made to the listing during it's life time.

Also included in that record are any policy violations that you may have made by not having learned or still have not learned.

Like if you had your phone number in the description and then removed it...it'd still there. If you have old pictures like under 500 pixels they will still be there in the record.

Also if a seller is in any way violating the Fee circumvention policy, it's still there.

or seller has the first general expedited shipping setting chosen and then edits that to expedited priority mail then the old record is still there and because a seller may have unknowingly violated ebay policy it will not matter because the policy algorithms will and do continue to enforce shoving these listings down to the invisible status.

Every seller who has turbo lister can verify what i am saying by clicking on

my computer> C drive> ProgramData Folder> eBay File> Turbolister2 file > Data> and then look in two files.
The first file will contain all of your pictures for your current listings. If you changed your pictures then you will also see your old pictures. the file to look in is your_user_id_listings Folder. in this folder will be 99 folders containing your pictures.

the other file is your userid.tdb
this file will be all code and will contain some readable text of your descriptions. it has all old written info with your titles and descriptions.

Some of you computer nerds should be able to dig more gold than me in these files.

I uninstalled turbo lister two times and deleted all these files and then synchronized bringing all my listings from ebay back into turbo lister. and the records were true...ebay keeps all old info with your listing. if you have policy violations on those listings but have corrected them it still does not help.

kill the listing and relist it by selecting sell similar link.

one at a time end and sell similar, we have a 1000 listing we are doing this week.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 17 18:02:44 2013

If it is supposed to be "best match" it should be working to match the buyers' key words with the item best matching that description.

To penalize long standing items and make them "ebay invisible" really isn't best match is it?  It is eBay showing a buyer what eBay wants to show that buyer.  

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

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

Wed Apr 17 19:17:59 2013

@Ina, RCL, Map

Even for art and antiques, sellers should run listings for 30 days, then create a new listing -- because ebay has to give brand new listings with no history some chance to be seen.

The question is, what makes a new listing? 'Sell Similar' seems to do it for the moment. Creating a new listing from a 3rd party lister does it too (I think). That may not be true in the future as more sellers wise up and ebay tries to recognize and penalize new listings that aren't really new.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 17 19:51:30 2013

I had to chime in.

Sell similar does NOT freshen an auction- we worked through this.

Relisting and taking new photos from scratch is the only way to get fresh exposure.

They are TIMING the no insertion fee into what is actually the FULL IMPLEMENTATION of Cassini which occurred on April 1, and they feel protected by the new "user agreement".
Now, on May 1st when ALL OF OUR ITEMS DON'T SHOW UP AT ALL anymore they can simply say "you didn't pay for the ad so we do not HAVE TO show it".
They did it to us on April Fools Day- now, when the holiday season rolls around they can say "we have fully implemented Cassini and SEE- no problems during the holiday season".
Good story Julia- these are EXACTLY the things that need to be noticed and discussed right now.
Peace (and respect) to all,
Mass Howler  

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 17 20:46:28 2013

NSC says: That may not be true in the future as more sellers wise up and ebay tries to recognize and penalize new listings that aren't really new.

The more this is talked about the more chance that you are exactly right.  Ebay do not like sellers beating them at their own game.  You can guarantee that they will address it.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 17 20:50:38 2013

Mass Howler, how about a fixed price listing?  In your opinion, does sell similar refresh a FP listing?  It would appear to me that they would somehow know this.  Now if you created a brand new listing from scratch, and uploaded new photos, they would have no way of knowing.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

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

Wed Apr 17 21:25:54 2013

@masshowler, How do you list? directly through ebay, through TurboLister, or via a 3rd party tool?

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 17 22:03:02 2013

Trying to stay away from posting, too upsetting and my blood pressure is up.
Sell similar does not refresh fp listings either. We did experiments on both types of listings, 300 auction and fp (relist, sell similar, scratch ad of unsolds, fresh ads) and charted them on graphs and it showed us that since we ran our experiments 1 year ago ''sell similar'' has changed and gives no boost.
We wrote to tell our fellow brothers and sisters in arms to always write the ad from scratch, we knew how much work we were asking everybody to do but now everybody is starting to see that the scratch ads work beautifully IF you use all new photos and it is in fact a ''new'' ad.
I hope that helps, I use TL to list.
Peace and respect to all, I check here about every other day now, trying to re-balance my life over here and SEARCHING for a job again.
This has become a huge waste of time and now I think of ebay as a DISTRACTOR in my life. I am returning to the real world and I am changing my entire format ($70-$80 items and am listing just 150/ mo. but with what we are seeing from April 1st on is dead, dead, DEAD- no matter how you list unless it is a rare exotic.
Mass Howler
(Got to love the AFTER HOURS stock numbers at ebay)!  

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 17 22:10:50 2013

Rex-
If you change the TITLE, along with everything else they cannot know- it's a new ad.
If you have a fp and you are frustrated that it has not sold over and over again, even after lowering the price, and then you write it again from scratch, new photos and title and you start it where you started it initially (or even HIGHER) it sells- This tells us all what WE need to know.

MH

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

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

Wed Apr 17 23:29:21 2013

Thanks for the info, masshowler. I am asking because just because there is a button which says "Sell Similar" in ebay and Turbo Lister and Inkfrog and Auctiva, that does not mean it does exactly the same thing in all of them with the behind the scenes data. We need to test.

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 18 00:10:12 2013

Yah, penalize me for lousy sell through. Keep beating me up, I will be sure to stay on ebay......

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 18 00:19:42 2013

What I do is I purge out the non-selling auctions (and fp) out of my TL database- just delete them. I save the ones that sold strong and use those again or when I have the energy ( I try for 55%- 60%/ week) I do scratch.
The higher the percentage of new scratch ads- the more sales begin to approach ''LOW NORMAL''.
Has Julia discovered a new concern here- are our slow unsolds DECREASING the EXPOSURE of our other items (even our NEW ads)?
With google not showing most items, with search pre-typing in things for buyers, seeing gsi now doing 800 mill- like 28%, we are in some fine boat here!

The forgotten customers.

Great article Julia.
It couldn't hurt to end a few old lowest non-selling items to see if there is a measurable effect on str.
I will check back in a few days, I have been posting too much and I need to take myself in a new direction- on to the real world and back to health insurance, stability, company meetings, job growth, marketing plans, new faces (and god bless them- VACATIONS again).
And being able to peacefully sleep at night.
That is what we are all missing.

To plan for this 150 listing limit I am going to kill off all of my smaller offerings and I am moving to all items over $50 to about $88 plus my s/h (free s/h does not increase exposure). I will never again go over 150 ads. I think we are in for a very rude awakening on May 1st, but I HOPE I am wrong.
Mass Howler  

KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search   KiOui: Sell-Through Rate Important in eBay Cassini Search

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 18 03:26:20 2013

Sell similar, relisting and turbo lister no longer works. You literally have to do a new ad every month to compete on Ebay. We just made a two month test and half the items we sold were older stock that we did a new ad the other half was new stock. It is so time consuming that I am glad Ebay is going to limit the number of items I can sell in my store with their new rates. That means I will only have to work half as hard. On Amazon it is still business as usual and you only have to put the item on once and leave it there.  

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