Finding eBay 2.0, Have you played in the playground?

Written by Steve Grossberg, IMA President

If you listened to the BSC/IMA conference call on eBay you would have heard us talk about finding 2.0 on ebay. This will be a huge change for buyers and sellers on eBay. Ebay is still doing a lot of A-B testing and now is the time for us to do our own testing and make some noise on the good and the bad we see so far.

If you have not tested this find 2.0 for your own items, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. You can get to the ebay playground by clicking here.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The playground is finding 2.0. The finding 2.0 experience is getting rolled out to ebay.com now. In my category 20% of buyers see the new search and this is true in 3 other categories as well (not sure which ones).  In other categories it is only seen by a very small percentage of buyers, but all categories will eventually have increased exposure to finding 2.0.

Let me walk you through a search I just did in my category.

First have 2 browsers open with one at
http://www.ebay.com and one at

http://playground.ebay.com/

In the search box type or copy and paste for both sites

xenosaga 2 ps2

Notice the huge difference in search results. On ebay.com it pulls up 100 results for me. On the playground or finding 2.0 I see 3 different Xenosaga games presented to me titled “best match” – all with photo images.

As you can see the second item down is Xenosaga 2 or actually Xenosaga II. It has only 37 items listed total as indicated there on the search results. So again on ebay.com we had 110 items appear and on the playground 37 items. So finding 2.0 eliminated the 73 items that were not actually the item buyer was searching for Xenosaga 2.

This is extremely positive in my view as it cleans up the clutter.

You will notice under the 3 items presented for best match are listings combined for all 3 best match items or sort of like the view buyer sees on ebay.com, except this search eliminated items that were not the actual video games, like action figures and strategy guides.

Now click on the Xenosaga 2 under best match

You will see some information regarding the game like platform, publisher, release date etc. Again very good information and presentation IMO.

Now you also see this.

What is it Worth?
Just Sold on eBay: $0.01 – $19.95
Suggested List Price: $13.89

This is horrible in my opinion. First off where does ebay come up with the suggested list price of $13.89. This is misinformation and totally wrong. No video game on the market today has a MSRP of $13.89, but notice ebay does not say manufacturers suggested list price and only says suggested list price.

What is suggested list price, eBay’s suggested list price? Where do they get this information because again it is not the MSRP. Then eBay’s says it sold for between .01 and $19.95. So what is this telling buyer? If they pay more then 1 cent they are paying too much? Was the 1 cent item new or used, was it damaged etc?

Again this is not relevant information to represent to buyers because,  first, the MSRP is wrong, and second, what it sold for on ebay is not enough information for buyer to make an informed decision.

Ebay get rid of this section completely. This is like having a DSR for shipping and handling

Next you will notice under the information section ebay presents 5 of these items to buyers. I ask why only 5 when we know there are 37 listed. Would it not be better to present 9 or 12 or 15? What happens if all 5 presented happen to be used items and consumer is looking for new or vice versa. Does buyer think those are only 5 available and leave ebay? Does buyer know enough to click on button “buy one like this” to see all items?

Also keep in mind this is not always presented in ending soonest and I have personally seen it change from ending soonest items appearing, to newly listed, to simply what ebay determined best match. So this will surely affect seller and buyer behavior.

Also notice not all of the 5 items have gallery images, which in my opinion creates an ugly presentation to buyer. Even if seller chose to not list item with gallery, ebay can still have the stock photo shown in best match appearing next to the 5 items presented, but better yet should make gallery free in all listings. Ebay is very hypocritical here saying they want to improve the buyer experience and not include gallery for free which makes for an ugly presentation to consumer.

But it would not surprise me with eBay’s thinking, they will have a weighting for those who use gallery in the algorithms for the 5 items that appear. Thus favoring items listed with gallery is a means to get sellers to pay for gallery. But guess who pays for gallery? Ultimately it will be passed on to consumers raising prices once again on the eBay buyer.

If eBay thinks every time they improve the buying experience someone must pay, it is flawed thinking and high time ebay started giving to improve their own site.

Okay now click on “buy one like this” button. You see the same information header as before and all 37 listings. Notice there is no tab for buy it now only but instead on the left navigation bar is a link. Also notice there is no link to review completed items.

One other observation I noticed on finding 2.0. One cannot search by UPC or ISBN number. For Xenosaga 2 the upc code is 722674100175. If you put this upc code in a search on ebay.com the item will appear. On find 2.0 it will not and it thinks it is a keyword. On Amazon the UPC is searchable as well.

Please tell us what your findings are! We would love to hear your comments.

Comments

  1. says

    Steve,
    eBay has NEVER gotten it right in understanding their historical pricing data. You’re in a ‘commodity’ area, that is the items are theorhetically the same, and they can’t get it right. What will it be like for those of us in collectibles or antiques? I’ve tried all of their efforts at data mining and have found them flawed beyond use. I don’t know where to report such a bad idea though.

    Roy

  2. Snigglefritz says

    imamerchant.org is a treasure trove~Thanks! I’ve learned quite a little here today. The Deutschbank text was very interesting.

    I’m in the ebay peanut gallery of sellers. I ran the side-by-side comparison test Steve so thoughtfully presented using a seach for a specific breakable brand collectible herein named ABC.

    Normally the ABC sector shows, even in this tough market, 550-800 items, day in and day out. Sale prices normally run $3.00 – $500.00 Two years ago one sale @ $4000.00 .

    Lastly: if you go to ebay’s Paypal venue the page says Paypal is free for buyers. Hogwash. Savvy buyers are aware(and they can do the math) but it’s the lack of transparency, dare I saw ”game word-playing”, that makes the ebay playground’s sandbox closely resemble a sandstorm.

    Ebay wants to tie my hands: I cannot respond to unwarranted feedback but ebay and the Neg would determine where or if my items appear? I have a store. I am not amused.

    ebay may have outsmarted me. Two years of work and I’ve had some small successes. I was reasonably content. I may walk away. I’m not a quitter but I am not a Sap either.

    I was looking for a venue when I found ebay. The Net evolves.

    ebay contends these changes are Progress.
    Looks more like Pro-egress.

  3. Snigglefritz says

    [Your software did foolishness with my FABULOUS post~here’s the Test results: I’ll not add back the rest of my post.]

    One sold for $4000

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