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Tue Jan 20 2015 16:19:33

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
It has been an amazing ride buying and selling on eBay since 1997. I've spent an enormous amount on time on eBay over these years. The site has changed so much.

I remember how as sellers we would wait for that once-a-year fee listing day that came after Christmas. Then one year it didn't come and we were all so bummed. Then John Donahoe went from no annual free listing day to nearly unlimited free listings. This has all but ruined eBay.

The same overpriced or uninteresting items get re-listed over and over and over. For hardcore collectors of unique or rare items it has become a nightmare. Constantly seeing the same unsalable items in our searches is driving us crazy.

If eBay wants to save its vintage collectibles and antiques markets, it needs to immediately address this problem. We need to be able to filter out re-listed items from our searches, or have a browser extension that will eliminate item numbers or auction titles that are not new.

I've had friends call me and ask me if I know of a way to filter out the re-listed auctions. I wish I knew. I've tried AuctionSieve. There has to be a simpler way that would allow us to keep using our hundreds of complicated bookmarked searches that we've spent years developing.

At least eBay should allow us to set a preference to filter out auctions that have been relisted once, or twice, or three times. Forcing a buyer to see the same auction show up in search results over one hundred times is only hurting eBay.
Richard




Comments (45) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Jan 20 17:25:20 2015

''The same overpriced or uninteresting items get re-listed over and over and over. For hardcore collectors of unique or rare items it has become a nightmare. Constantly seeing the same unsalable items in our searches is driving us crazy. ''

Quite understandable from the perspective of a hardcore collector. I'm sure that going to collectible shows, the vendors there do not carry uninteresting or overpriced items.
At least with eBay, you don't have to drive to the show, pay admission, deal with the crowds, notice that the same item is being flogged for the same dealer for the last 10 years. That dealer wants to sell it, but only at the price asked. It is obviously overpriced, otherwise why would it be there for 10 years. That is, until somebody wants it.
At least you have the luxury of a (refined) search so you don't have to peruse through all the boxes at a show, bend underneath the tables looking for treasure.
Sorry, I can't sympathise. As a dealer with over 42 years in the business, and a collector to boot, I've done it all. As a dealer, you pay for the show up front and there is no guarantee that you will have a good day selling. Ditto for eBay.
With free listings on eBay, however, it gives me the opportunity to list low margin items which has a smaller sell-through rate than the higher margin items. They do sell, but it takes time. There are always new eyeballs coming on eBay to visit.

Respectfully, I can't sympathise from a seller's standpoint that a free listing hurts the collectible categories. It gives the sellers the opportunity to sell items which are in inventory, and has value to someone.

The one thing I have learned over the years is There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. You can't make everyone happy all the time. As a matter of fact, I'm starting to appreciate politicians who manage to piss off a sizeable chunk of their constiuents. At least it shows that they are attempting to do something which will benefit most whist recognizing the minority opinions. I'm no fan of eBay's policies, but as a business, they can do whatever they want with free listings. I just want to be in the position to take advantage of whatever promotion they are offering. I'm a little selfish in that regard.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 20 18:05:57 2015

Good answer Al.  I sell products that are low to high in price.  Of forty thousand items in my database 30,000  are below ten dollars.  If I put those 30,000 items into Ebay I lose money.  Firstly, they charge a Monthly fee, secondly they have final value fees and finally the 30,000 items would cost me 1500 dollars in listing fees a month before I sell anything.  We are dealing with morons at ebay...let me re-phrase, greedy morons.  I stopped supporting them and have opened accounts with smaller venues.  Every should just get out quickly and stop wasting their time.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Tue Jan 20 20:19:11 2015

Yes they certainly have contributed to the ruination of eBay as well as all the other stuff since wonder boy John Donahoe took the helm !

(1.) Time ending soonest ( should be the default, not worse match )

(2.) Store to Core

(3.) DSR's (D)estroy (S)ellers (R)eputation '(s)ecretly

(4.) Free Shipping

(5.) Inability to leave feedback for rotten buyers

(6.) Taking away Featured Plus for exposure

(7.) Influx of China sellers, who can ship cheaper from China to USA than we can from Georgia to South Carolina

(8.) Cassini

(9.) Hack

(10.) Google punishment for eBay sellers

(11.) Throttling, secret seller limits

And the lost goes on and on and on and on.........

Thanks for nothing John Donahoe and eBay

eBay in my opinion

(e)vil
(B)astards
(a)nnihilating
(y)ou

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Tue Jan 20 20:42:55 2015

(12.) 3 *** Rating counts as punishment

(13.) Neutral feedback left for seller counts as negative

(14.) Defects Scheme

(15.) 180 days to file a Pay Pal claim to harass seller up to 6 months after transaction

(16.) And of course FREE LISTINGS every other day, where the Chinese absolutely saturate eBay

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 21 03:29:34 2015

Sorry I can't sympathize with the OP. I have worked years to list over 8000 postcards. Without the free listings, I can't afford to list them.

Again, Ebay is not a one-size-fits-all for businesses. In my category, I have to have that many postcards running at one time, because the special one someone is looking for has to be visible. I regularly sell postcards I first listed years ago. The right person was finally looking for that one.

I have had about 100 running for the last week and have only sold two. It takes thousands of postcards, for me to sell about ten a day.

In my business, I will be out of business, if Ebay doesn't continue to run free listing promos. I wonder how many other Sellers are in the same boat?

I would think it would hold true for collectibles Sellers also. It seems like it isn't too much of an effort for a Buyer to just go on past the items they have seen before, if they are not interested in them.

So little sells on Ebay anymore, the only way a Seller can survive (even barely) is by relisting their inventory several times.  

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Wed Jan 21 03:51:26 2015

@EBay's slow death
You are so right.I couldn't agree more.ebay is so dead now,that is the only way the average seller CAN stay.It is a ghost town.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Wed Jan 21 03:55:39 2015

Free listings are the only thing that keeps eBay from falling of the cliff completely. All those listings they brag about and all those members would dry up quick without them.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: MrSpireite This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 21 04:31:43 2015

Well I only take advantage of free listings nowadays.

When ebay put up their prices in the media section from £0.05 to £0.35 it was just not worth it to list at a price increase of 600% as I would not see an increase in sales to recoup my money.

As a result ebay get around £60 per month in fees less and I get the less sales as I did before but this is made up for in the reduced fees.

However as I see it the only way ebay can recoup more fees from me is to reduce listing costs to the rate they were before as it makes no logical sense for me to list more than I do as the fees would really dent my money.

Sometimes you can't work out the logic of ebay as they must be wanting people to list at the rate they did before, which is just not economically viable.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jan 21 07:17:16 2015

OP says "If eBay wants to save its vintage collectibles and antiques markets, it needs to immediately address this problem."

This is just my opinion, but in my mind this is not what JD wanted for eBay.  JD wants brands, brands and more brands. It should be coming clear to everyone that eBay have become an online mall that is characteristic of a run down mall in Anytown, USA.

What once was special, no longer is.  It is so sad that one man failed to see what made eBay unique and special.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 21 07:27:26 2015

You sellers need to read my post more carefully. I am not against free listings, I am against not having a way to filter out auctions that have been re-listed multiple times. That is what has ruined eBay for buyers of vintage collectibles and antiques. This pertains to the collectibles and antiques categories only. When eBay is ruined for buyers it is also ruined for sellers. For years I have monitored, every week, about 100 buyers who collect the same items I buy and sell. They are hardly buying anything these days. They used to have a long list of purchases each week, now they are only buying a few items on eBay each week. Why? They are as passionate as ever about collecting, many of them are very wealthy, but they just can't deal with the huge proportion of re-lists to wade through, and the lack of quality items. Since 1997 I have faithfully run, every week, my very long lists of bookmarked searches. Every week for 17 years I ran these searches! About 6 months ago I gave up and now I only run about 5% of those searches, just the most important ones. I know I am missing a lot of items but I just don't have the time or the patience. If I could filter out any auction from my search that has been re-listed more than 2 or 3 times, I could go back to running all of my searches again, and find a lot more things to buy. If I haven't bought an item after seeing it twice, there is zero chance that I'm ever going to buy it, so why do I have to see it again and again and again in my search results? I'm buying only a tiny fraction of what I was buying when I was running all of my searches, because I don't have the time to wade through the tens of thousands of auctions I have already seen countless times. Some sellers are re-listing the same item (unique items) every day. With a way to filter out these multiple re-lists eBay will bring some sanity back to the site. If I want to go to the supermarket to buy a loaf of bread, the supermarket doesn't make me go up and down every aisle before I can buy that loaf of bread. They let me go right to it. The philosophy at eBay has been to force us to look at as much material as possible, hoping that we might see something and buy it, even if it was something we weren't looking for (think of how eBay changes our search terms). The collectors with the most money, the doctors, dentists, professionals, gave up on eBay long ago. They don't have the time to look for a needle in a haystack. Nor do I.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 21 07:35:29 2015

Rexford said "JD wants brands, brands and more brands."

I agree, I could never understand how he believed that the ultra-competitive "new merchandise" market was more attractive than the market that eBay was built on, the used items, a.k.a. EVERYTHING THAT WAS EVER MADE!

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jan 21 10:56:54 2015

@ Alaska you believe that having a filter to eliminate relisted items would be helpful, however, do not underestimate the ability of determined sellers who would simply edit the titles of their relisted items in order to defeat that filter and render it useless.

Seasoned sellers already rework the titles of slow or non selling items in order to freshen them up and try to get better placement in best match so a new filter would likely not produce the result you seek.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 21 12:58:46 2015

I agree to some extent with OP, there are way too many sales, and junk is put up over and over in all categories, not just collectibles. One big problem it has is that people double and triple down, I've read it on the boards, and Ebay does not have the server capacity to handle all these listings, so I don't think they benefit most people.
@ebay slow death  while it might be beneficial in saving you some fees in listing, be assured your 8000 postcards are being shown to buyers, they're not all visible.
It's a fact.
The free sales are only to show wall street listings, nothing else, does not benefit buyers or sellers  

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jan 21 13:34:46 2015

"The free sales are only to show wall street listings, nothing else, does not benefit buyers or sellers."

And also to show advertisers....and advertisers are buying it hook, line and sinker.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 21 13:47:47 2015

it is easy e bay does not care about us sellers at all, it is going under due to treatment of the people whom built ebay into what it was, the hoe wrecked the venue, now not only do you as a seller pay extremely high fees, fraud is rampant and no seller protection, today read that e bay selling from chairs to diamonds, good luck to them, I have left and am glad to be gone, ebay keeps renewing my subscription, and trying to tell me its a computer glitch it has become a real mess good luck to anyone who can do business there to me im gone ina your great thank you!!
 

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Wed Jan 21 14:52:26 2015

eBay's "super smart management" has ruined ebay.

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

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

Wed Jan 21 15:38:57 2015

@ MrSpireite, You are so right! Greatly raising the fees has been the only way that eBay has been able to initially maintain their atrophying revenue stream; finally, the chickens are coming home to roost! As many other have commented, the headless turkeys in the eBay executive suite haven’t got a clue …

Rexford is right; Johnny Ho wants an international online Westfield Mall for major brands; what this fool apparently has never appreciated is the small sellers need eBay whereas the major brands don’t and will dump him and his “mall” fees as soon as it suits them …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 21 23:45:51 2015

ya, poor 1%'ers they should charge more!!!

that will finish off the last nail!!

goodbye and good ridden, hope!  

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

by: DVDsandMore This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 21 23:48:50 2015

The free listings are a big deal for me.  I sell movies and have about 5000 titles now.  I combine shipping and cap it at $5, so someone may find me through one movie and then buy many more. The more I have listed, the more I'm likely to sell.  

Some of the titles aren't that popular, or aren't worth buying on their own, but when combined with others, have a market.  Without the free listings I limit how much I list, and that limits how much I sell.  I feel a lot of similarities with the post card seller.

Personally, I'm willing to pay a higher FVF for my DVDs and other media items if I could have free listings to put my entire catalog online.  (I'd want that as an option, not an across the board setting for everything.)  

 

Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?   Are Free Listings Ruining eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Wed Jan 21 23:53:12 2015

I, too, have run several hundred searches simultaneously, but have had to scale back appreciably over the years due to the deluge. A filter would be a useful tool albeit not perfect.  

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