Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon June 5 2017 10:55:04

When Should You Reduce Your Prices on eBay?

By: Ina Steiner

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A reader asked a technical question about dropping prices on eBay listings, but it raises a larger question about whether tweaking prices can be a good selling strategy.

The seller asked whether eBay sends notices of price drops to users who have viewed a listing, or if it only notifies people who have added the listing to their watch lists:

"I have several BIN items up ... they have had 30+ "views" but there are no "watchers." If I lower the BIN price will the users that just "viewed" the item be notified by eBay of the price drop? Or will only the watchers, if any, get notified?"

Don't forget that eBay offers sellers who have Stores the ability to put items on sale.

Do you tweak your prices on a regular basis, and what strategies and techniques do you employ? Is raising a price ever a good idea?




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Readers Comments

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by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 5 11:06:56 2017

That one is easy, monthly till the item sells all the way down to the cost you paid for it. The problem is that only 30 views in a month indicates that the keywords you use may need tweaking. However in light of the recent developments regarding ebay overtly pulling listings  and blocking best offer BIN, i'm not sure that ebay will be viable much longer. The biggest question i have is WHY are they doing what they are doing. It makes no business sense at all.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 5 11:11:01 2017

With thousands of listings we never do. Items are listed at the lowest we will accept. If it doesn't sell after awhile then we move it off and take it to the local flea markets where we can still make money by doing half off.

NO FLEECEBAY FEES AND NO PAYPIG FEES. NO SHIPPING.

This keeps our summers business and allows us to close our stores from the sunday before Thanksgiving till the middle of January. The period where buyers go crazy with demands, we are enjoying the sand and umbrella drinks.

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by: futervest This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 5 11:12:49 2017

I have been selling on ebay for 10 years. ( no longer) I have tried every trick in the book. Typically the only thing I have found to make a difference in sales is to start lower. I have reduced my item  (on sale) by as much as 50% WITH NO LUCK It s4ams they just put it in there watch list to save to price compare.  The saying is true If you don't sell it to them while they are there YOU WON'T. Ebay buyers are there for 1 thing. Because they cant find it cheaper elsewhere.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 5 11:39:25 2017

I agree that lowering prices do not work..the reason being is no one can see your items anyways.

It's not like people keep track of your prices like a normal retail scenario..unless you have a way to market the lower price then it's moot.

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by: JimBob This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 5 12:17:21 2017

In the past I have gotten an email from eBay alerting me that the price of a BIN item I have been watching has dropped in price ...

I don't recall ever getting such a notice for an item I was NOT watching... but eBay trys to "fix" so many things that are not broken ... I'm not sure what's going on :-(

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Jun 5 12:56:53 2017

If the item has no or little watchers, your price is too steep for the market.

And the watchers are only notified if they set up their communication preferences to send an e-mail when the item is near the end of its 30 day Good 'Til Cancelled or other listing cycle.

Amazing when I research the price of an item that there are many that have very high prices and no watchers, and have been listed for months (or longer).

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. This is the reason eBay wants to rid themselves of stale listings.

These items with no interest are clogging up the site. If the seller refuses to change the price, relist for less, or temporarily mark it down, then it is DEAD SPACE.

Conversely, if something has a great deal of interest (at least 7-8 watchers), there is no need to drop the price, at least permanently. Someone will eventually buy your item.

I have no problem with waiting for my item to sell, rather then using the Best Offer or auction options. Don't spend much time dropping prices, and do not have a lot of trouble selling my stuff for the well-researched price.

Besides, it costs so much to sell on eBay that I cannot afford to get much less than top dollar.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jun 5 14:32:54 2017

Not really.  Last month, I ran a 40%-off sale.  I had even mailed most of my previous customers about it.  100+ watchers that turned into (wait for it) 0 sales.  Views were anemic (barely double digits) but the watch to view ratio was fairly high.

I've had a multiple-purchase discount in effect for years now and have never sold two separate listings in all that time.

Sales are a waste of time.  Fees are just way too high to move much, let alone for the class of customer that eBay often rounds up.  These paupers just can't/won't buy the 2nd/3rd/4th items that ship for FREE with the 1st.  They've got some nerve expecting sellers to eat $7 shipping on a $20 sale!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 5 15:30:11 2017

27tlce says "That one is easy, monthly till the item sells all the way down to the cost you paid for it."

It's a good thing I never follow this advice. I've sold quite a few items this year for a premium price, and my original asking price.  It took them quite a while to sell but they finally did and I got the price that I wanted.

With eBay search, great items one offers can often be hidden.  This was not always the case, but has been standard since the arrival of Donahoe and after.

It literally pays to hang in there until you get the price that you want.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 5 15:34:05 2017

eXtinctbay says "If the item has no or little watchers, your price is too steep for the market."

I disagree.  The item just hasn't found the right buyer yet.  If you sell quality brand merchandise the buyer will come.  I've been selling on eBay for over 12 years and they always eventually come.

Of course if you don't have the patience to wait, or the storage capacity, this will not work for you.    

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Jun 5 16:31:50 2017

@Rexford

If you have an item where there is more than one listed in a similar condition, and none of them have any interest, your price is too high.

Whether or not you have a quality item, or the only example, there has to be someone watching it. Or, at least, viewing the listing.

I agree that if you have the right price / item, a buyer will eventually purchase. But there has to be some kind of interest.

20 years ago, when I began trading on eBay, everything was offered at auction. It was a different game, this is for sure. Since BIN was enacted, the rules have changed.

All items sold (or went unsold) within 7 days. And the market dictated the price. It was legalized gambling, unless you chose to list with a reserve. And if you started your auction price too high, or placed a reserve onto the item, the results were usually marginal.

I also agree that there is nothing wrong with waiting for the right buyer to come along. This does take time and patience, and is how a successful eBay business works.

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by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 5 17:09:17 2017

Its a hard one, I research the prices and go around what they are selling for. I have done sales and they don't do much. I know people are now having 50% off sales all the time. people are smart to see through it. Get creative with the listing wordage. Often I have an item sit for months, I go in and tweek the listing title and boom it sells in a week

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Jun 5 18:00:22 2017

@RKTOYS

I don't know where you are located but here's some Star Wars toys going up for auction this weekend.

And to those that live in the LA area you might check this out if you've never been there!

Scroll down till you see the star wars picture.

http://www.cwsmarketing.com/?p=3247

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

Mon Jun 5 18:49:36 2017

How is any seller supposed to make rational decisions about inventory when ebafia hides the inventory about 50% of the time if you're not a diamond or Chinese seller?

How am I supposed to know when ebafia disappears a listing -- and this has been going on for years -- or whether it simply is hidden when I search for it?

Relist an invisible or absent listing at my peril and risk a double listing and selling something I don't have?

Ebafia sabotages sellers at every turn.

Ebafia fees rise. PreyPal fees. Shipping costs rise. And so do my prices.

Ebafia's strategy on so many fronts is so self defeating and business killing.

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 5 20:07:52 2017

Sellers should lower their prices when it's their turn to have the rolling blackouts!  

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by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 5 21:19:58 2017

I play with prices on researched OOAK well priced items. Usually on a $30 item I lower price by $1 monthly for four months to $26; then raise the price back to $30 to have it sell at $30 or $29. Search is so messed up or the buyers are just not there. Only time I find buyers finding my items right after listing is when I make and error. Sales in seconds of listing something at $3 instead of $30 or accidentally leaving  ''free shipping in place'' when reducing price by the shipping included price. Yes giveaway prices get sales but at a loss between fees and shipping.    

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 6 06:51:39 2017

eXtinctbay says "If you have an item where there is more than one listed in a similar condition, and none of them have any interest, your price is too high."

extinctbay, if that works for you, that is fine, but I've often sold items at a higher price than those listed, for various reasons.  One of the biggest reasons I think is that our photos are better.  I am a semi-professional photographer, and when I am competing with items whose photos were taken on the floor, in low lighting, blurred or disheveled my customers will pay a higher price for ours.

Once I found 10 great items at a rock bottom price in a retail shop--name brand, high end items.  There were many on eBay, but I knew that would not last. I held out, and months later, they all sold when the lower priced items moved off of eBay.

What works for one may not work for another, but for you to say you can't sell them unless you lower your price is absolutely not true.  I have proven that theory wrong on hundreds of occasions.

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 6 11:02:48 2017

eXtinctBay: "Watchers" count for little and 'views" even less. I'm very skeptical of that view counter being legit; you throw an item up and it has INSTANT 'views' within seconds. I've seen my BIN items that are price leaders accrue dozens or even hundreds of 'views' with no sales. Why did they click on the item?

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by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 6 11:28:13 2017

To answer ONE of the multiple OP questions that nobody ELSE answered.... YES, if you TWEAK your price either DOWN or UP UP UP your recent VIEW "Lookers"  WILL get a nudge from eBay "... you recently viewed this item and the buyer has LOWERED or RAISED the price by $x much..."   I get the ALL the time on things I never put on my own WATCH list.  I know because I get them not only on items I only VIEWED to check the PREVAILING successful sales pricing AND FURTHER because the DANG eBay bots treat ME looking at MY OWN listings as though I were a Potential Buyer of MY OWN ITEMS.  As to High prices producing sales even when that particular HIGH price was 50 or even 100 percent ABOVE even NEW items with IDENTICAL UPC and description total sale pricing.  Why?  Could be TONS of reasons: Some sellers EXCLUDE HI AK PR GU, so THOSE buyers will buy from the FEWER listings that THEY SEE.  Ditto FOREIGN BUYERS... if you have GERMANY on your Banned list... or it's there, but you foolishly use GSP... YOURS WILL NOT BE CHEAPER !  GSP to Rock-Solid European countries like England, Ireland Scotland Germany France Switzerland the BUYER would have to be a drooling idiot to pay VASTLY higher GSP shipping charges that charge that "lucky European" not only Priority International shipping, but also DUTY AND VAT .... even though International First Class on any package 4 pounds or less is cheaper for postage and at least SOME of those countries don't actually COLLECT duty or VAT if the VALUE on the item itself is BELOW some predefined threshold.  (Yet another reason to NOT sell as FREE SHIPPING as that INFLATES the "product price" for EXPORT buyer such that THEY then pay DUTY and VAT on that inflated "product price".)  I regularly DROP a few percent and then RAISE back a few percent on items I have QUANTITY OF, like Store Brand Generics for: Aleve, Allegra, Zyrtec, Claritin, PrevAcid, etc.  WORKS GREAT.

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Jun 6 12:52:12 2017

@Volvo351

Watchers do mean a great deal. How?

When eBay hides your listings so they cannot be seen, the only buyers who can purchase are those who have the item on their watch list.

And when a listing can probably never viewed by everyone at any particular time, you bet it needs to be watched by someone!!

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by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 7 00:23:53 2017

For those that carefully research prices and will hold firm even though it may take years to sell... price this for me.

Digital watchdog DW-VF4500G. Used. Purchased at an estate sale for $10. Includes box, remote & manual. One sold on ebay 3 months ago for $179 + shipping. Couple others currently listed for $175-$400 depending on condition.

I could sell it for $50 and still make a 250% profit.

Personally, I would list it for $200, OBO, free shipping, drop it $10/mo and for the first 3 months, take anything better than $150.

Warehouse space is limited and cheap stuff is constantly coming in.  

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