EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1725 - February 12, 2008     1 of 4

Survey: Sellers to Change Listing Behavior as Result of eBay Changes

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A recent survey of over 1,600 eBay sellers found that 90 percent of respondents plan to make some changes to their business due to the fee and policy changes that eBay announced on January 29, 2008. While 10% of survey respondents said they would not make any changes, 23% said they would stop selling on eBay.

All Respondents Percent of all respondents
(answers not mutually exclusive)
I will list more on other sites 55.9%
I will list fewer items on eBay 43.8%
I will sell more through offline channels 26.7%
I will stop selling on eBay 22.7%
I won't make any changes 9.6%
I will list more items on eBay 7.2%

Since a significant amount checked the box, "I will stop selling on eBay," we took a look by characteristic to see who was most likely to express this intention. One thing jumped out: the greater the annual GMV (the value of all items sellers sold on online auction sites), the less likely they were to say they would stop selling on eBay. Conversely, the lower the GMV, the more likely they said they would stop selling on eBay.

However, the following chart points out that while high-GMV sellers won't stop selling on eBay, 53% said the would list fewer items on eBay, and 60% said they would sell more through offline channels and list more on other sites.

Sellers with over $1 million annual GMV Percent of all respondents
(answers not mutually exclusive)
I will list more on other sites 60.0%
I will list fewer items on eBay 53.3%
I will sell more through offline channels 60.0%
I will stop selling on eBay 6.7%
I won't make any changes 0.0%
I will list more items on eBay 6.7%

Sell Through Rates (STR), which indicate the average percentage of listings that end with a sale, also played a role in listing intentions. Of the sellers with STR greater than 66%, 28% said they would stop selling on eBay. Of the sellers with a STR less than 34%, 19% said they would stop selling on eBay. This is not too surprising, since under eBay's changes to the fee structure, it costs less to list but costs more when items sell.

Sellers with ST Rates between 67%-100% Percent of all respondents
(answers not mutually exclusive)
I will list more on other sites 54.2%
I will list fewer items on eBay 44.3%
I will sell more through offline channels 29.5%
I will stop selling on eBay 28.0%
I won't make any changes 7.4%
I will list more items on eBay 4.1%

Finally, of the sellers who said feedback changes would have the greatest impact on their business and that the impact would be negative, 29% said they would stop selling on eBay.

As for listing more items on eBay, 7% of total respondents said they would list more items on eBay. Of the sellers with between $25 - $100k annual GMV, 9% said they would list more items on eBay, and of the sellers with Sell Through Rates of less than 34%, 9% said they would list more on eBay.

See overview of survey results published in AuctionBytes Newsflash on Monday (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y08/m02/i11/s01) and comment on the AuctionBytes Blog (http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2008/2/1202699243.html).


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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