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eBay Listings Finally Starting to Climb

September 19th, 2008 by Skip McGrath

After a slow start, the new fixed price listing format may finally be taking hold.

In my last post I reported that 48 hours after eBay launched the new Fixed Price (FP) listing format and fees that eBay’s listings had hardly budged.  Now 5 days later, listings have climbed from around 16 million to 18.35 million, according to the eBay listing tracking service at Medved.net.

Medved tracks auction counts and sell through rates on eBay.  I also looked at sell through rates (STRs).  Since the new format started earlier this week, the total eBay sell through rate is down about 2%.  However this is not that significant and STRs change based on the days of the week.  We will have to wait a few days to compare Sunday to Sunday and Monday to Monday –typically the two biggest selling days of the week.

As I mentioned in my last post, a likely reason for the slow takeoff was the last of automated seller tools.  I haven’t checked today, but as of a day ago, eBay’s Turbo Lister was not yet updated with tools to use the new 30-day and GTC format.  I use Vendio, a service used by thousands of power sellers.  Their system was updated, but my sales manager edition was pretty clumsy and convoluted to use.  Basically I had to open each inventory item, click on the eBay site specifics, select the GTC option, save the edits, save the file and then launch the FP listing.  Then I had to go back into each listing and undo and save my changes, so I could launch those items as ordinary auctions. 

I only have about 100 different inventory items and this took a couple of hours of work.  I can’t imagine what eBay sellers who have thousands of items are going through.

I don’t know what the situation is at other popular auction management companies such as Auctiva, MarketWorks, Channel Advisor and InkFrog.

My FP listings have only been up for about 24 hours –and so far no sales, but i would expect that.  I am really anxious to see how they do after a week or so. I did the math and if just 22% of my listings make at least one sale per month, then I will be ahead of the game on fees.  eBay’s historic STR on Buy-it-now sales is around 20%, so I am hopeful this will work out.  If I were to get a 25% or higher rate then the new format will work well for me.  Of course this is very product and price dependent. As an eBay seller, you need to run the numbers for your product, your category and your DSR discount.

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