eBay U.K. has begun displaying relevant products at the bottom of buyers' active view-item pages in auction listings—something it has done with fixed-priced listings since March.
The additions give buyers a chance to purchase other items they may be interested in while giving merchants added exposure and increasing their chances of making more sales, says Patrick Munden, an eBay U.K. spokesman. The relevant products may be from the same seller offering the item of initial interest, or from other sellers offering similar merchandise.
"Our goal is to increase the probability that a buyer will find the item they are looking for," he says. "We're displaying merchandise in these areas to give shoppers more relevant results and more opportunities to purchase popular items on eBay. The main advantage to a seller is that they, too, can have their listings appear on other sellers' items, thus increasing their chance of a sale."
By allowing competitor listings near your item, a seller can demonstrate value, service or other differentiating aspects
If the relevant listings additions are successful in increasing the number of purchases made on the site, eBay could add seller merchandising items to other eBay sites, Munden notes. He admits that not all sellers will be thrilled with the additions, but notes there are several benefits to them.
"It all depends on the offer that a seller is making to a buyer. For example, by allowing competitor listings near your item, a seller can demonstrate value, service or other differentiating aspects," he says. "It's important to note that sellers can opt out at any stage. If they opt in, they get increased exposure for their item beyond their initial listing."
To opt out of the program, sellers must change their account settings through their My eBay page, eBay notes. However, sellers who opt out will not have their items displayed on other sellers' listings.
"We encourage sellers to increase exposure for their popular items by staying opted in for merchandising on the item page," Munden notes. "This ensures that their listings appear on other sellers' item pages. It's all about weighing up the trade-off between buyers opting for a competitor product versus the potential for increased exposure."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.