eBay Sellers Balk at Latest Search Enhancement

Fixed-price listings buried in ‘time ending’ sorts.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Sep 18, 2008

What was supposed to give fixed-price sellers better visibility on eBay in exchange for higher final-value fees instead appeared to some to be a double-whammy. Soon after the much-anticipated fixed-price listing policy took effect on Sept. 16, discussion boards were aflame with angry posts by sellers whose listings were buried several pages deep.

It turns out eBay is still tinkering with its "finding" system. A resolution should be in place by next week, company officials report.

When eBay first unveiled its new 35-cent, 30-day-listing option for fixed-price merchandise, it explained that Best Match searches would rely more heavily on total cost and recent sales history than ending time.

It's what the company didn't say that had sellers crying foul: That search results would no longer display the ending time of fixed-price listings, or that when a buyer sorts by "time ending," all fixed-price listings—even those listed with shorter durations or free shipping—would get pushed to the back of the results, along with store inventory.

Sellers protested on eBay discussion boards that without an ending time, their listings would languish at the bottom of the stack, while auction listings would receive priority ranking, irrespective of the ending time.

Within days of the change, eBay appeared to reverse course. According to a post by "Jacque" from eBay's product management team, eBay will resume displaying time remaining for fixed-price listings by later this week.

Meanwhile, 7-day fixed-price listings will be given the same weight as 30-day listings in Best Match searches. In the same thread, "MarniSue" from eBay's classification team reports that "over the next several days, Best Match will be updated so that duration will not impact the [sort] ranking of fixed-price items."

About the Author

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.

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