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Thu Aug 9 2018 14:00:42

eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Practices

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I didn't see this covered on your site, sorry if I missed it.

I'm sure you know there are changes and issues with the Market Manager and price-cut sales.

Well, we ran sales. There was no indication that the item was on sale other than a 10% off note far away from the price. There was no slash through the original price and no lower price listed. But when a buyer clicked to buy (at the full price) they would only be charged the sales price of 10% off! 

So, buyers who were willing to pay say, $100, were only charged $90 with no prior notice that they were getting this deal.

We had to stop the sales because of this. Unbelievable.
Signed,
Perplexed

Note from the editor: eBay markets its Promotions Manager tool as a way for sellers to "Create customized discounts and coupons to incentivize buyers to spend more in your Store. Improve your items' visibility, and move inventory faster."

We have covered the issue the reader is referring to, playing the is-it-on-purpose or is-it-a-glitch game as sellers tried to figure out why eBay wasn't prominently displaying their sales offers.

eBay issued conflicting messages, until an executive finally revealed its practice is indeed "on purpose." See this article containing eBay's official stance on suppressing seller promotions if they aren't "good enough."




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 15:00:44 2018

It's no glitch or "test" as eBay will tell you. It's done on purpose. Your promotions are more likely to be fully shown if you're a larger established seller or if eBay determines they get more money from you or another seller. Otherwise buyers won't even notice you're running any promotion because the banner shows only at the bottom of an item page where it's not seen. Just another of the games eBay plays against it's sellers. They'll take your store money but the features you want to use don't work. I'd say that's theft.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 16:16:35 2018

Awful Practice, but an "easy" Work-Around.  LOWER your asking price to the SALE price you want your would-be-buyers to SEE.  Done and Dusted.  SAME with this MALARKY about needing to WAIT 14 days before ANNOUNCING / SHOWING any sale price.  PIFFLE.  Just start the item at the SALE PRICE, or Revise it DOWNWARD when YOU elect to do so and BOUNCE IT BACK upwards when you WANT the higher price.....Yes, I do know it takes more time, but IF the sale price was sooooo important to you, do it via revision or clam up.  EBAY has made it clear that THEY will NEVER FIX ANYTHING.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: NDrosos This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 16:43:20 2018

@angryllama

The problem with that, is promotions actually give a solid boost in search results, when compared with 2 items of the same price.

This is why they added those rules where there was a delay in time when listing to doing promotions. Some sellers have their entire inventory where every new item has a promotional price, and this padded them in the search results.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 17:31:36 2018

@angryllama

That's fine to do if the seller wants to run a Sale, but many sellers want to run Promotions for multiple item purchases. Also NDrosos is right, when they don't fully show your promotion you're also pushed down in search results. eBay does everything in their power to screw over as many sellers as possible.  

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Aug 9 18:57:30 2018

Every headline should read "EBAY KILLS BUSINESS"

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: Carol Is Here This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 9 22:40:01 2018

Wenig is choosing which sellers will be able to sell and which sellers to destroy.

It makes you wonder what kind of side deals he is playing with the sellers chosen to be promoted.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

This user has validated their user name. by: DeathFromAbove

Fri Aug 10 04:24:28 2018

Check your invoice to make sure that isn't being botched too - wouldn't surprise me if you are getting hit with a FVF percentage of the $100, and not the $90.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 09:58:44 2018

I don't know how much inventory everybody else has, mine totals about $200.  I go through manually and make changes to prices up and/or down.  I remember listing a Carole Little Jacket for months and it didn't sell.  So I listed it at auction $2.99 and it didn't sell.  Then I relisted it for about $25 and it sold.  It took about 6 months to sell.  To me it's better to go through inventory and individually change the prices. Don't rely on someone else's software to do it for you.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 18:32:57 2018

Promotions manager does not work to the seller's benefit.
Markdown manager is the only way to see a sale.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

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

Sat Aug 11 11:51:26 2018

The main takeaway I gathered from OP's message is that they discovered buyers were _completely unaware_ of a discount until they were in the checkout process (thus, the buyer would have purchased at full list without the 10% discount -- the promotion discount itself had NO impact in the buyer's decision to purchase.)

This is precisely correct. And one of the many flaws with eBay's promotions workflow, search display results not showing promotions, and ever-changing results where promotions are ''worthy enough'' to display at the top of a listing.

Both seller AND eBay (FVF/GMV) lose out on situations like OP expressed which is why it's particularly perplexing to me why eBay hasn't corrected these simple issues.

(There are many good illustrations in the eBay technical issues community board, just look for some of the mega threads with Promotions Manager + Sale Event in the subject)

EBAY TERMINOLOGY INCONSISTENCIES:

One of eBay's biggest hurdles in rolling out new changes has getting their own externally-facing team members using the new verbiage their marketing department excretes.

The most obvious examples are things like TRS+ (now TRP) and Markdown Manager related changes.

''Promotions Manager'' is a subset of Seller Hub under the ''Marketing Tab''.
The page itself is titled ''Manage Promotions''

There are 4 types of promotions available, and they are named a bit differently in the dropdown UI from the marketing pages and PDFs.

1) ''Order discount'' (''order size discount'' in the help page
2) ''Shipping discount'' (also ''Shipping discount'' in help page)
3) ''Codeless coupon'' (also ''Codeless coupon''  in help page)
4) ''Sale event + markdown''
^^^ This guy is the main culprit for most confusion.
This is referred to as ''Markdown sale events'' in the help pages.
This is the ''new'' version of the ''Markdown Manager''
Ebay community and support staff frequently still refer to this as ''Markdown manager''.

Although the ''old''  ''Markdown Manager'' is supposed to have been sunsetted, some users have said they can still use it while other's can't, which of course only adds to the confusion.

Internal struggles to wrangle relatively simple issues (in comparison anyways) like these give serious question to eBay's ability to pull off much bigger challenges like structured data and payments (and I think we're actually witnessing many of these challenges now).

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 11 12:16:56 2018

so, you had a sale. buyer bought item at sale price.

you think the buyer should have paid full non sale price.

easy solution, do not run sales.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 12 01:55:48 2018

@RL15

The whole point of a sale or promotion is that it will influence the buyers decision to purchase.  So they should see it before they decide to purchase, not after.

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 12 10:02:28 2018

I will not buy anything on ebay until I get a discount coupon, from ebay, 20% + or no deal, I let the items just sit in the cart otherwise

I will buy it somewhere else, if I really need the item,

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

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

Sun Aug 12 10:06:55 2018

mindelec said, "The whole point of a sale or promotion is that it will influence the buyers decision to purchase.  So they should see it before they decide to purchase, not after."
~~~~~~~~

Precisely.

And critically, both seller *and* eBay effectively leaves 10% on the table in this situation (perhaps that is the real key takeaway).

Perminate Link for eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract   eBay Undercuts Seller Prices with Promotions Pract

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 12 11:42:13 2018

@mindelec

how do you know what the buyer seen? the op admits there was a 10% off sale and on the listing.

from the op: "There was no indication that the item was on sale other than a 10% off note far away from the price"



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