|Tue Apr 24 2012 23:50:31|
eBay Tests Pricing Options including 'See Price at Checkout'
By: Ina Steiner
Several readers brought to our attention some new ways of displaying pricing on eBay's marketplace, including "compare at" prices and "see price at checkout," but the features are not available to all sellers, at least not yet.
One reader said he noticed a large retailer on eBay who was able to post a "compare at price." He wrote, "Notice also that they get the advantage of being able to post a compare at price! I've never seen this feature before - do any of the average eBay sellers have this option or is it reserved for only eBay's Most Favored Sellers (the large sellers that they so lovingly covet)!"
The feature shows a "compare at" price, explained as "the price (excluding shipping and handling fees) this seller has provided at which the same item, or one that is virtually identical to it, is being offered for sale or has been offered for sale within the last 90 days by another online retailer." It shows the price of the item being sold, along with the amount "You Save" in both dollars and percent.
Another reader noticed a second pricing option, writing, "Stumbled across this today... Apparently eBay is allowing some sellers to hide the actual selling price of their item. I also notice that the listing has either had no buyers, or eBay is concealing the number of items sold as well. No idea if this is a test, a perk for high volume sellers, or what."
He included a graphic showing a listing that did not contain the listing price. Instead, it showed a "regular price" along with the message, "See price at checkout."
In response to our inquiry about how sellers could take advantage of these features, eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff said the company was running some tests:
"At this time, eBay is testing strike-through pricing with a small number of sellers in select categories. Results from the test will help inform whether we continue to expand the program on eBay."
The pricing display options are explained to shoppers who run across them on this page. Here's what the page says in answering the question, "Why is the price not shown on some listings?"
"Sellers have the right to set their own prices independently, but some manufacturers place restrictions on how those prices may be displayed or communicated to others. Because the seller's price on this item is below the manufacturer's "minimum advertised price" the manufacturer may not allow the seller to show you the seller's lower price until you take further action, such as clicking on a drop down menu, placing the item in your cart, or proceeding to checkout. The steps required depend on the terms of the manufacturer's minimum advertised price policy. Taking these steps allows eBay to show you the seller's great price consistent with eBay's goal of always bringing consumers like you the lowest possible prices on the widest selection of products.
You should know that by taking these steps, you won't be required to purchase the product. You can always simply remove the item from your cart or not proceed with checkout if you decide not to buy the item."
Let us know if you've encountered such features on eBay or other marketplaces and whether you'd use them if they became available to you.