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Firstly if you are listing on auction format then you have an advantage over the beginner who is listing on BIN. Auction listings finish in chronological order unlike BINs. Eventually your listing makes its way to the top of the page, this is not the case for bins. Have a look at the listing finish times you will notice that some listings are close to the top of the page although they may have many days to go before they expire. If you examine the sales you will notice that that listing has sold a large quantity of items with a great customer satisfaction rating. It is also likely to have been relisted several times.
Why is this case? On September 24th 2008 eBay introduced new rules including its “best fit” policy. The upshot of this is that eBay rates the seller on customer satisfaction, number of items sold etc. Now this is great if you are already an established trader who sells large volumes, you will do rather better. If you are a beginner stating to trade and hence have no history of selling a particular product, you may well struggle to get your item seen with BINs and therefore no or poor sales.
This has certainly been my experience when I have introduced new products recently, this is why it is increasing important in my opinion to find and specialise in the smaller niche markets where there is less competition and the margins are better. I cannot compete with the high volume traders and platinum and titanium powersellers. They can buy in bulk and discount accordingly, they also get massive discounts on final value fees.
Why did eBay introduce this policy? Only one reason, to make more money by attracting high street names to trade on the site and rid it of its “flea market” image. This seems to have backfired rather badly as lots of traders have started to trade on or have completely taken their business to Amazon. Amazons market place is growing at a remarkable rate. Amazon has now overtaken eBay.
Trading figure for the last quarter of 2008 show that eBay suffered a downturn in business of 18%, credit crunch etc. However in the same quarter Amazons sales showed an increase of 18%. As our American cousins would say “go figure”. Just noticed I have wandered off the point!! That’s my problem so easily tempted off the straight and narrow.
Promise next time I will return to listing strategies.