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View Full Version : Out of the loop -- what eBay issues?


pixelscapes
09-22-2004, 12:23 AM
I am just getting back to listing on eBay now, and dropping by WetCanvas again, and I hear ominous references in this forum to some mysterious, devastating recent changes eBay has made, but so far my reading hasn't resulted in a sense of enlightenment. Could somebody give me the "Cliff's Notes" synopsis of what's so different and how artists have been affected?

-=- Jen "Haven't artists always felt dissed by eBay? But this sounds different." Gagne

ElizaLeahy
09-22-2004, 02:46 AM
April 7th. Ebay made changes to the way listings were shown. ALL Feature Plus listings are shown when you search "ending soonest" That's right - 10 days worth.

This affected not only the normal non FP listings, but has also affected Feature Plus listings. Because you practically HAVE to have a Feature Plus to have any chance of being seen, there are now (as of this moment) 13 pages of FP listings.

I was a powerseller. I had to close my shop and leave ebay - I couldn't afford the fees and my work was no longer selling.

Views on a FP dropped from 100 a day to less then 10 a day. (my figures using sellathon)

While this was happening there were other events. Accounts were stuffed up, fees for things that you didn't use would appear on your bill. Things would just stop working for hours at a time. None of this helped with sales.

idahogirl
09-22-2004, 11:19 AM
The other part of the devastation, is that before the changes everyone's page defaulted to "current listings" everyone... Consequently if you did a featured plus, EVERYONE would see it when they came to the category. Under the new system, the user can change their default to "ending soonest" which, I believe, most people do, so new listings are buried on page 12 to 14 or ??? even with a featured plus. I went from selling almost everything I listed to last month where I sold 1 out of 6 and most of them were featured plus. Yes, I'm depressed.

Dee

Lighthouser
09-22-2004, 01:22 PM
The other part of the devastation, is that before the changes everyone's page defaulted to "current listings" everyone... Consequently if you did a featured plus, EVERYONE would see it when they came to the category. Under the new system, the user can change their default to "ending soonest" which, I believe, most people do, so new listings are buried on page 12 to 14 or ??? even with a featured plus. I went from selling almost everything I listed to last month where I sold 1 out of 6 and most of them were featured plus. Yes, I'm depressed.

Dee

One reason you aren't selling might be that none of your self-hosted images are showing up. I just went to your "my ebay" link and viewed each of your active listings. In every case the thumbnail at the top of the page (and by default it's slightly larger version at the bottom of the page) are all that shows up. The two images in your description template are missing from every auction. When most people see that they aren't even going to bother to scroll down far enough to see the "default" image centered at the bottom of the page.

idahogirl
09-22-2004, 01:27 PM
Thanks, John, for the head's up. Just checked and they seem to be working now (at least from my computer)

Dee

Fagan
09-22-2004, 03:18 PM
Dee...I just checked your auctions. All the pictures are showing as of this afternoon. :cat:

Lighthouser
09-22-2004, 11:06 PM
They are showing up here at home too, I'll try to remember to check from work again tomorrow and see if they are okay there now.

Where are you hosting the pictures from? It might be that they are being hosted by a domain that is blocked by our proxy at work - though I don't run into that kind of thing very often on eBay.

idahogirl
09-23-2004, 11:21 AM
They are showing up here at home too, I'll try to remember to check from work again tomorrow and see if they are okay there now.

Where are you hosting the pictures from? It might be that they are being hosted by a domain that is blocked by our proxy at work - though I don't run into that kind of thing very often on eBay.
I use one of the major domains so I doubt that that was the problem.

Thanks,

Dee

Lighthouser
09-23-2004, 01:09 PM
I just checked from here at work and the pictures are still not appearing. I see this occasionally on eBay where our proxy has blocked a photo domain, but not often. I can't say how many other companies might be blocking the same domain nor what that domain (or IP address) might be doing other than hosting photos that has put them on our proxy administrators "no fly" list.

pixelscapes
09-25-2004, 08:32 PM
It sounds like eBay really was futzing with their code in nasty ways! But, as far as I can tell, none of the issues listed below are still happening...?

I decided to take the icy cold plunge of starting all my listings at a dollar last week, and it paid off. ^_^ But I am still paranoid enough to be curious what's currently going on with eBay.

-=- Jen "They're out to get me!" Gagne

ElizaLeahy
09-25-2004, 09:02 PM
They are definately still happening. FP's are still front loading and views are way down.

pixelscapes
09-25-2004, 11:32 PM
Hmm. They are? I'm puzzled, now... I had tested this before, to check.

I found that Featured auctions do stack on the top in one place: category browsing. For example, in the self-representing artists category, the featured auctions fill the first page and a half. That's not great; it means if people browse, our non-featured auctions will never rise to the top.

But, I don't see this effect happening in searches. Don't most people search on eBay? That's always been my impression.

In keyword and "art finder" searches, a few featured items appear at the top of their page -- for example, one featured item is at the 11 hour mark and the rest below are also around the 11 hour mark, and they all appear on the same page, and the featured item appears again in the regular listing. This also matches eBay's description of how Featured "will appear at the top of the page it naturally falls on in the search results list."

My conclusion: the stacking only happens in category view. Which as I said, isn't great, but I can't imagine that many people avoid searches!

So, what am I missing here? Am I wrong about people using the eBay search function; do people mostly browse by category for whatever's ending now, so that this significantly affected the market?

-=- Jen "Confuzzled" Gagne

sandge
09-26-2004, 06:44 AM
I found that Featured auctions do stack on the top in one place: category browsing. For example, in the self-representing artists category, the featured auctions fill the first page and a half. That's not great; it means if people browse, our non-featured auctions will never rise to the top.
What option do you have selected in your "Sort by" drop down menu?

I still see front-loading FPs.

But, I don't see this effect happening in searches. Don't most people search on eBay? That's always been my impression.
Many people search but many also browse. What makes the changes so devastating is that it has become very difficult for the browsers to find our art - particularly in the early part of the auction's life.

theIsland
09-26-2004, 10:32 AM
But, I don't see this effect happening in searches. Don't most people search on eBay? That's always been my impression.

In many categories, yes. I sell collectibles, and most of those buyers know exactly what they want. The stuff sells itself over there! All I have to do is list an attractive auction with good photos and an accurate description, and the sales come in. I never need to FP. Sometimes I don't even list a gallery image.

Many art buyers are browsers. The don't know what they want until they see it, which creates a challenge, to say the least!

Here are some of my recent Sellathon stats comparing my collectibles sales and my art sales. This is how buyers are finding my auctions:

Collectibles (Without an eBay store. No FPs.):
47% - Searching all of eBay
29% - Searching category
5% - Browsing category
6% - View sellerís other auctions

Art (With an eBay store. Most auctions FPed.):
14% / 2% - Searching all of eBay
8% / 6% - Searching category
4% / 13% - Product finder
19% / 26% - Browsing category
19% / 23% - View sellerís other auctions
10% / 7% - Cross promotions
1% / 1% - Searching store
(The first figure is from a week where I had strong, searchable keywords. The second figure is from a week where I had poor keywords.)

I'm always trying to find ways to increase those search stats, because I don't see much hope in being found by browsers.

Looks like you had a good run with those $1 auctions. Congrats!

Noma

pixelscapes
09-26-2004, 07:58 PM
What option do you have selected in your "Sort by" drop down menu?

I tried it a couple of ways -- the "time ending soonest" one is what I'd consider most critical, so I tested that one more. I also checked "ending today" a lot.

And Noma, thanks for the really interesting search stats. Maybe having most of your auctions FPd as you describe is helping you with the category view sales.

Also, I find it ironic that the collectibe folks don't do more browsing, considering their areas have such a fine subject-driven topic breakdown. Maybe because they're looking for a specific brand or character name, and the topics don't drill down quite that far.

-=- Jen "Mondo bizzaro" Gagne