Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Mar 8 2018 21:06:24

eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is sending emails to sellers urging them to lower the prices of items that are in users' shopping carts as an incentive to get the shoppers to complete the transaction. As you might imagine, some sellers hate the idea, but there are some who don't think it's a bad idea at all. 

We wrote about the new feature recently, and today someone forwarded us an email they received showing it in action. "This infuriates me," the reader wrote. "eBay continues to inject themselves into every aspect of my business. I'm tempted to RAISE the prices."

And that's just what another reader did. EcommerceBytes reader "Bidonmine" said, "Instead of reducing the price, I have been raising the price (since someone is interested in the item)."

They received four such emails over a 2-week period, and raised the price on all four. "Two actually sold for the higher price (I don't know if it was to the person who had had it in their cart).... So, I am happy with this new email notice!"

Another reader said the "liked the marking angle," though they didn't report whether they changed their price and how it worked.

The subject line of such emails are: "Your items are waiting in carts. Now make the sale." And inside, it says, "Drop the Price to Make the Sale. Lower the price by 5% on these items in shoppers' carts, and we'll email them to say their deal got better."


It's an interesting merchandising technique, but we see a potential drawback: if buyers see enough sellers lowering prices of items they put in their carts, what's the incentive to purchase items right away? Why not put a bunch of the same items in their shopping carts and see if eBay sends a message enticing them with any lower offers?

What do you think of this new (as yet unannounced) feature?




Comments (56) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu Mar 8 22:53:14 2018

I got one of these e-mails this morning. What a great idea by @Bidonmine- think I am going to incorporate this myself!!

And if anyone complains, I will tell them that eBay just announced a raise in seller fees, and this is why I had to up my prices. Also mentioned will be the fact many sellers may be doing the same thing soon.

In my case, I will not offer free returns, so goodbye to my TRS Plus discount, which is in essence a fee increase. The alternative is to pay shipping both ways when an item is sent back, which is just not doable for my business.

So, no, I will not be dropping prices anytime soon, unless the market dictates it. An eBay e-mail which suggests someone has the item(s) in their cart is not enough to persuade me to do so.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: Fire&ice This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 8 22:54:59 2018

I received this offer from eBay and decided to give it a try to see if it results in a sale. On a selective basis, it might produce good results. Overused, it will become just another step to the bottom feeder market. We'll see.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: thriftyone This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 8 23:18:49 2018

Instead of Ebay sending an email to sellers that an item is in someone's cart and getting them to lower the price, they should notify a buyer if more than 2 people have that item in their carts to encourage them to purchase it.  

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 9 00:52:58 2018

It would appear that all the marketing experts at eBay, most of whom have no marketing experience whatsoever, have never even seen a real retail sale.  

You know - the kind that always has a 'limited time offer' stipulation.  Buy now - before the price goes up.   Or even a single infomercial - that always seems to have a 'countdown clock', regardless of how genuine such may be.

It's not the promise of a lower price to come that induces a sale, it's the fear that the price in hand may rise that induces action.  

Maybe they can ask one of their stockholders how it all works outside of eBay Fantasyville.  

Then again, they probably don't really listen to them either.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 9 05:04:28 2018

HA HA HA HA Looking around found calendar....Checked it twice.... Yep its not April 1st yet......Must be one of those jokes from the idiots in the ivory towers of san jose.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Mar 9 06:56:05 2018

"and we'll email them to say their deal got better".

I really don't need eBay involved in my business any more than they already are.

Strange how the great minds at eBay haven't figured out that they would make more money if they weren't constantly trying to push sellers to match Chinese pricing.  A quality item should sell at a higher price, and "perceived value" is real.  If a buyer gets a rock bottom price for a high end brand item on eBay many of them will cry "fake" once they receive it.

I don't deal with this nonsense on Amazon.  Amazon doesn't pester me to lower my prices and I get top dollar for my merchandise with out the needling emails from buyers with their low ball offers. The buyers are of a completely different caliber as well.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 9 08:10:01 2018

As if I believe anyone has my item in their cart...

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 9 08:47:35 2018

@Rexford , so true, and it just not quality items they are comparing  lately it's also all the  counterfeit , fake, and pirated software items, I honestly have never seen it so bad,  

and Now they are comparing counterfeit  items, with legit items , saying to lower your price on the real legit item, because someone is selling a fake one for cheaper

ebay needs to be investigated for what they are allowing on their site, it's a disgrace. i think ebay knows exactly what's going on, just too greedy to stop

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Fri Mar 9 09:08:49 2018

hopeforthebest said, "As if I believe anyone has my item in their cart..."

I hear eBay is working on a new BUYER premium subscription feature allowing buyers to select items from eBay catalog to a wishlist.  

eBay bots will select and place multiple quantities of these items (from multiple sellers or course) in their temporary wishlist carts until one of those sellers reduces their price and the buyer's order is immediately processed! -arf!

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 9 10:14:55 2018

ebay doesn't have the balls to put up their OWN inventory and take their own medicine.
No room in the ebay mindset for leading by example.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 9 10:39:43 2018

Checking my email, I noticed one of these eBay alerts.
Funny thing, that according to my email, within 2 minutes, that item was purchased at the price I had.

What a waste, and filling up my email with this nonsense  

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Fri Mar 9 10:49:57 2018

The email list of items appears to be a static snaphot of items, and although I acknowledge eBay's attempt at a call-to-action for sellers with the email notice, this would be a much more potentially useful feature as a column adjacent to "watchers" in the sellers active listings grid view.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 9 11:01:44 2018

Wall...meet spaghetti.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 9 11:08:55 2018

The emails should be to the BUYERS to "hurry up and buy this bargain before someone else does" aka create a sense of URGENCY.

Only dopes from San Jose would tell you to LOWER your price (since they make less too!)

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Mar 9 11:35:53 2018

Sometimes, in actuality all the time, I don't understand eBay's logic. By lowering prices, they will receive less in FVFs. The only rationale I can come up with is that eBay figures a little in fees is better than no fees at all.

And I agree with Pace: If an item has been in someone's cart for more than a few days, they should send an e-mail to the proposed buyer stating that he should buy it immediately because other people were interested. It always seems eBay does the exact opposite of what they should be doing.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Mar 9 12:20:01 2018

This seller urges eBay to lower their price on shipping FVF

Do you think they'll listen?

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Mar 9 12:44:13 2018

Breaking news: Toys R Us to go bankrupt next week and close all stores. All toy sellers might want to stock up this weekend.

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Mar 9 14:19:31 2018

Right...  Over on toy forums, most are upset that TRU charges a dollar more than WelfareMart or Ollies and is therefore stealing them blind.  Absolutely zero understanding on how retail works (meaning they've got a bright future as eBay executives).  I wouldn't count on flipping much of anything from a liquidation sale.  No offense but sourcing toys from retail was never a long-term plan anyway.  It can supplement your income a little or soften a crash landing but...

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

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

Fri Mar 9 15:17:12 2018

I'll lower my prices when ebafia ponies up the 5%!

Perminate Link for eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts   eBay Urges Sellers to Lower Prices of Items in Carts

This user has validated their user name. by: Castoman

Fri Mar 9 22:22:05 2018

How about they handle this like Shopify does and let the store owner decide/look/react? Shopify allows me to see "abandonded carts" and send a customizable communication to them if I so choose. Case by case and I can edit the text of the message they receive. That's good marketing.

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