homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.204.128.190
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Ecommerce
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks

Ecommerce Forum

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >     
Ebay's New CEO Wants To Move To Fixed Price Listings
engine




msg:3556851
 2:12 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

John Donahoe wasted little time as the new chief executive of Internet giant eBay before announcing big changes.
Less than an hour after being named to the top spot at eBay by the departing chief executive Meg Whitman, Mr. Donahoe said in a conference call with analysts that the company must move more quickly and aggressively to make eBay more appealing to buyers and sellers.

In an effort to reinvigorate growth of the core eBay site, Mr. Donahoe said he would shift eBay’s emphasis from auctions to fixed priced listing, which could make the experience of buying on eBay more like the one customers have come to expect from sites like Amazon.com.

Ebay's New CEO Wants To Move To Fixed Price Listings [nytimes.com]

 

pageoneresults




msg:3556861
 2:24 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Mr. Donahoe also said the company would announce a new fee structure next week, lowering upfront listing fees and raising the final sale fees that sellers pay only when they have successfully sold an item.

Hmmm, isn't that one of the primary merchant complaints right now? The total fee collected for an item sold? And now that is going to increase a little?

EBay is losing market share to rivals, has failed to attract new users and has struggled to combat widespread fraud and counterfeit items for sale on the site.

I look at eBay like the Google of Auctions. That "was" and apparently "still is" their business model. The article points out that 40% of their revenue comes from "fixed priced" sales. They are just going with the flow of their audience.

Personally, I've never been fond of eBay myself, nor Amazon. I'm impressed by their business models but the services don't appeal to me as a consumer. I'm one of those who prefer to work with local businesses first and then branch out from there. If I can find it locally, I'll buy it locally. You know, supporting my local community and all that. And, I know... "I could do it on eBay too". ;)

farmboy




msg:3556886
 3:01 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Based on the article, auctions will still be around, just more emphasis of some type will be towards fixed price listings.

“Auctions will always be the core of the core of eBay, it’s what makes eBay unique,” Mr. Donahoe said

FarmBoy

mack




msg:3556888
 3:02 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

The fixed price model on eBay is already widespread, a lot of categories I visit regularly are full of "Buy now" listings with no auction. To be honest this ruins the appeal of sites like ebay. Bidding and winning is part of the fun.

The fixed price model may appeal to the company, but their market share is already starting to decrease. Ebay need to have anuctions to keep buyers happy.

Mack.

farmboy




msg:3556895
 3:05 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, isn't that one of the primary merchant complaints right now? The total fee collected for an item sold?

To many/most merchants, the total fee includes the listing fee, the final value fee and the PayPal fee to collect payment.

By lowering the upfront listing fee, it encourages sellers to list an item with less fear of having to pay a fee for an item that doesn't sell. Lowering that fee will encourage more listings, assuming it is lowered enough. But it will result in more competition for sellers and more listings to wade through for buyers.

FarmBoy

Realbrisk




msg:3556898
 3:08 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

They need to fix the search alg.
ever tried searching for cellphones on ebay its hell, they same goes on a lot of other categories

farmboy




msg:3556908
 3:15 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

The fixed price model on eBay is already widespread, a lot of categories I visit regularly are full of "Buy now" listings with no auction. To be honest this ruins the appeal of sites like ebay. Bidding and winning is part of the fun.

I sold on eBay for a number of years but haven't been there in a little over a year now.

There are reasons so many auctions are fixed price now as opposed to auctions with the bidding starting at a low price. eBay has the ability to change that somewhat if it will recognize the problem.

Suppose you own a restaurant and sell hamburgers and hot dogs. You notice a lot of customers initially purchase a hamburger but on later visits most switch to hot dogs.

If you conclude that customers want hot dogs instead of hamburgers and decide to make hot dogs your emphasis, you might be correct.

But it also could be true that there is something wrong with the taste of your hamburgers that could be changed with some different ingredients and result in a lot more sales of hamburgers.

FarmBoy

HelenDev




msg:3556910
 3:16 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Speaking from the buyer point of view... I have bought a few items on ebay, most of them have been fixed price, and I prefer that. Here's why:

I don't buy loads of things on ebay, but it is particularly good for collectible nostalgia items which I might otherwise have to root through hundreds of car boot sales and second hand shops to find.

When I do find the item I'm looking for I'd much rather miss the 'fun' of an auction and just buy it there an then, it's much quicker and easier!

the_nerd




msg:3556915
 3:24 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

at first they were satisfied with throwing away billions for unrelated businesses - now they mess around with their core business.

If I were in charge of one of those social-stuff websites I'd try and add in some auctions. If ebay doesn't want mom and dad doing their garage sales on their website any more others will gladly offer that service.

Ebay another Amazon? I don't think that will work. Ebay another story of an early mover losing focus? Maybe.

engine




msg:3556938
 3:53 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Don't forget that Amazon already have marketplace sellers, encroaching on the fixed price sales territory.

rogerd




msg:3556940
 3:55 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Lots of stuff on eBay is now new merchandise sold by stores that sell the same stuff on their own site and/or in physical stores. For those listings, fixed price makes a lot of sense.

A couple of years ago, I literally bought a kitchen sink on eBay. It had the specs I wanted and which I couldn't find locally, and was heavier gauge stainless steel than the ones I found at Home Depot et al. That's a perfect example of fixed price selling - I was ready to buy and didn't want to wait for an auction to end, and the seller had plenty of inventory (I assume) and could set a price that was competitive but profitable.

On the other hand, I've bought and sold one-of-a-kind collectibles - those are true auction items where both parties would have some difficulty establishing the right price, and are willing to let the market do it.

Auctions are also good for liquidation sales - speed of moving the inventory is more important than getting the last nickel of profit. Some stuff may go cheaply, some may go for prices that appear too high, but at the end of the auction it's all gone.

eBay's challenge will be to present both kinds of merchandise effectively. Their current system is kind of a mish-mash, with regular auctions and auctions that offer a "buy it now" option presented first, and then their eBay store items.

eBay may have to add more structure - Amazon, for example, lets buyers choose to view new or used items for a specific SKU. eBay's stuff is so diverse, though, that doing it that way would pose some challenges. Search for a particular model of computer, and you are likely to find a new one, a used one, one that is damaged but repairable, a power supply for that model, and who knows what else.

eBay has added structure in some areas, like tickets for sporting events, with seemingly good results.

fearlessrick




msg:3556956
 4:03 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I sell almost exclusively fixed price items on ebay. Those that I run as auctions generally have a buy it price as well and most of those sales are done that way.

Their auction model is flawed to begin with. Nobody bids early anymore, they wait until the final minutes or seconds, defeating the whole purpose.

If eBay would change the way auctions are structured, to allow auctions to run until the seller accepts a high bid, instead of a set time limit, they would actually be true auctions and people would place bids early.

Of course, eBay would have to get rid of the automated bidding process, but giving sellers more control would be better.

I don't like the sound of lower upfront fees and higher fees at the sale, though. Sounds to me like a stealth price increase. Besides, his timing is horrid. The economy is tanking.

The final value fee (FVF) in ebay stores is already 8-10% last time I looked. That's far too high for my tastes, and I won't open one.

phantombookman




msg:3557000
 4:48 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

They'd do well to reverse the trend of suppressing the shops/stores if that's the case.
You regularly see in search results

No Matches Found

Then, and sometimes below the fold,
see matches in shops/stores link.
I've been selling on ebay since the get go and interest amongst customers has collapsed.
If you are professional then you can no longer take a chance on the final price of an auction in many cases.

For most items a fixed sale price is best. Customers sees what they want and buy it.
If it's very rare then it's different but in most cases ...

I also think they idea of lower listing fees and higher FVFs is not a bad one in theory.
Within reason the FVF is not so much a concern as that of listing fees for unsold items now that sell through rates have collapsed.

They had a system that worked but by continually tinkering and making changes based on gouging more money from sellers they have messed things up

Above all they need buyer confidence back. They neeed to police the site more, remove the cons, misleading auctions and fakes (as best they can) ultimately the decline in ebay sales in my area is due to not enough interested and motivated buyers

rogerd




msg:3557001
 4:48 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

To prevent last minute snipers from snagging a great deal and squeezing out bidders who might have paid more, one other auction site I've used extends the bidding for ten minutes every time a bid is placed at the end of the auction. That ensures that auctions still close in a timely manner, but that the seller gets the best price a buyer is willing to pay - just like a real auction.

That would attract sellers, IMO, and result in higher revenue for eBay on some sales. I don't know why they don't do it.

If they want to fundamentally shift toward fixed price, it could be a simple as presenting both store and Buy Now auction items in one integrated list. Auction-only items (and perhaps Buy Now auctions) could be listed separately. In essence, people wanting to buy something right away could access one inclusive list. Those looking for the "fun" of an auction and who don't mind delayed gratification can peruse the auctions.

jwurunner




msg:3557038
 5:20 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, isn't that one of the primary merchant complaints right now? The total fee collected for an item sold?


To many/most merchants, the total fee includes the listing fee, the final value fee and the PayPal fee to collect payment.

By lowering the upfront listing fee, it encourages sellers to list an item with less fear of having to pay a fee for an item that doesn't sell. Lowering that fee will encourage more listings, assuming it is lowered enough. But it will result in more competition for sellers and more listings to wade through for buyers.

FarmBoy

The primary complaint is the fees that don't result in sales. eBay started to raise the listing fees to a point where a large group of the larger power sellers could no longer make money. Most of them left for Amazon or to start their own sites. When you list 10 items and only a few sell, it is very expensive. Sellers would need to build the extra listing costs into the prices thus causing even less sales.

Lowering the listing fees is a start but they are going to need to do more such as lower the limits of duplicate listings and strengthen the search engine.

ceestand




msg:3557048
 5:41 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Certainly the eBay experience needs improvement, but look at it from eBay's (and their customers') perspective.

If it becomes too cheap to list things then sellers have a tendency to list their items at inflated prices. The buyers don't buy, and eBay loses money. Since the seller is not out enough money to make re-listing at the same price prohibitive, the cycle repeats.

I've seen this on other auction sites where items sit on the site forever. Since the seller has additional ways of selling besides the auction site, they just "throw it out there" to see if someone will actually pay the inflated price.

jomaxx




msg:3557050
 5:42 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree that auctions should be extended if someone puts in a late bid. That makes for a better marketplace and creates that bidder-vs-bidder psychology that can drive up prices.

Of course this would be bad for me, as I only buy on eBay and I ALWAYS snipe in the last few seconds. Why? Last year I put in a bid on an item in the last minute. I outbid Person A and became the top bidder. Then Person A saw that he had been outbid and topped my bid, causing me to lose the item. If I had bid with only a few seconds left, I would own that thing now. That only has to happen once before you realize that there's no upside and a considerable downside to bidding before the last second.

As for fixed-price listings, I don't care for them. In the area I usually look at, such prices are usually inflated or even in the "wishful thinking" category. If an item is REALLY worth $5,000 or whatever, let's see a few people bidding it to that level, let's see some social proof that I'm not the only sucker.

farmboy




msg:3557067
 6:10 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Nobody bids early anymore, they wait until the final minutes or seconds, defeating the whole purpose.

A lot of that is automated sniping provided by third-party services. It tends to keep real auctions from taking place and no doubt discourages new bidders who don't realize what's happening.

eBay could easily defeat this if they wanted.

FarmBoy

martinibuster




msg:3557171
 8:03 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

...which could make the experience of buying on eBay more like the one customers have come to expect from sites like Amazon.com.

Is this guy is a follower not a leader? Why should they emulate Amazon? Oh wait, his previous post at eBay was President of eBay Marketplaces, so is he looking at eBay through the limited perspective of his previous experience?

What makes the eBay experience fun is the anticipation of a bidding war if you're a seller, and a bargain if you're a buyer.

Disappointing.

rogerd




msg:3557191
 8:21 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Selling brand new merchandise that is widely available doesn't fit the auction format well. The seller has a fixed cost and a need to earn some profit on the deal, so there's a lower limit to the price. The market (i.e., dozens of other sites) establish an upper limit on the price (i.e., as soon as it hits Amason's or Buy.com's price, I'll buy it there instead of from some random eBay seller).

Competition usually turns these limits into a very narrow price range for a given seller. So, why mess around with auctions? They take time, and there's very litte upside. If eBay wants to work with these kinds of products and sellers, they have to accommodate them.

bears5122




msg:3557197
 8:29 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

One of the reasons I've moved away from Ebay is because of the fixed pricing on everything. If I want to look through stores, I'll go to Amazon. The lure of Ebay to me was always the auctions. Finding a good deal that everyone missed. Many years ago it was like a giant garage sale where you could find some great deals and unique items.

Unfortunately, now that stores have taken over Ebay, those are few and far between. Ebay isn't much different than any other online store. In fact, it's probably worse considering how much fraud takes place and spoof listings trying to get you to pay $300 for an IPOD box (with no IPOD in very small letters at the bottom of the listing).

ByronM




msg:3557207
 8:41 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

You people must be crazy.. eBay is so full of good deals that its impossible to make a living selling at a fixed price.

People never pay retail on eBay and the problem is the mantra that they deserve to get a good deal at any cost.

I mean I sell a few random new tvs but i make 10.00 after selling it on eBay after fees. I have to compete against people who see cheap stuff but don't realize its used/refurb/return/damaged goods.

In order for eBay to compete on fixed price they will have to create a separate market place that affords businesses to charge legitimate prices and guarantees people are purchasing NEW items from REPUTABLE dealers at a FAIR MARKET PRICE.

jomaxx




msg:3557222
 8:57 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Mr. Donahoe said he would shift eBay’s emphasis from auctions to fixed priced listing

Another other consideration is that they have a ton of competition on the fixed-price side, whereas they virtually own the online auction mindspace. Change your core business at your peril.

TomWaits




msg:3557228
 9:06 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whine Victoriously

rogerd




msg:3557230
 9:08 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

I know some guys who make a ton of money selling consumer electronics on eBay at a fixed price. They buy right, though, and their products have limited discounting.

I agree that seller reliability is an issue, though certainly any buyer with half a brain looks at feedback ratings before buying something.

ronin




msg:3557369
 1:21 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

If eBay would change the way auctions are structured, to allow auctions to run until the seller accepts a high bid, instead of a set time limit, they would actually be true auctions and people would place bids early.

This sounds like an inspired solution to reinvigorate the auctions and get rid of the auto-bidding which ruins things for everyone.

In fact, I would go a bit further and say that while the auctions could continue until the seller accepts a bid, the bidder could also be requested to submit an acceptance time-limit along with their bid.

Thus, when a bidder offers:

$99 / 24 hours for the seller to accept this bid

The buyer can either:

a) accept the bid within 24 hours (let's say it's the highest bid so far); or
b) let it slide in the knowledge that after the 24 hours runs out the bid will be gone. The risk is that the bidder may not bid again (at least not at the same high price). And no-one else may bid as high as $99 again either.

cloghouse




msg:3557582
 6:55 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

When it comes to online brand images, it simply isn't that easy to just change your business model (more fixed-pricing) and expect online users to willingly accept the change in the short-term. Even with this change, people will, for a very long time, still have the perception of eBay being an auction site. It will take much longer than the CEO actually realizes to gain increased market share from this new move.

Its also about credibility, look at Yahoo! and Amazon - their fixed-price image will clearly dominate the market and make it even harder for eBay to compete in this area.

Good luck eBay!

waverly911




msg:3558078
 7:05 pm on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is a shame that Ebay's solution for growth is to increase fees -- listing, paypal, etc.

There is a point where people, it has already arrived for some, say the cost to sell the item (ebay fees) is too high and it isn't worth the time and effort.

I am still surprised that a serious player has not emerged and said they will do it cheaper. Maybe that new entrant wouldn't offer everything under the sun, but would concentrate on certain items to start with like event tickets.

Stubhub (owned by Ebay) gets 25% of each ticket sale. I feel this is way too much. Stubhub is smart enough to realize that they can't get 25% from one side so they make both the buyer and seller shoulder part of the cost.

I don't see how you can extend the fixed price model across the entire universe of items since there is a difference in quality of items sold.

HRoth




msg:3558187
 9:18 pm on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

In the past I have enjoyed buying vintage stuff on ebay and engaging in bidding wars with others who you get to know are interested in the same stuff. I don't use snipe myself, but I don't see how it "ruins" bidding. Maybe it "ruins" it for the seller, but for the buyer, no. You choose how high you want to go and that's it.

Talk about a skewed search algo. I got way turned off of ebay ever since I was searching for some vintage casseroles and kept seeing results from some skeev who had used porno images of women to sell car lights. Complaining about this did no good, I guess because the guy was a power seller and so ebay was making a lot in fees from him. The fees justify anything with ebay.

I also don't appreciate how if you try to report a problem with an item listing, ebay will deliberately funnel you away from complaining about it so that you have to keep redoing it until you actually get to the actual page where you can file a complaint. Obviously, once again, they do not want to sacrifice those fees or to spend any money whatsoever on hired help. Fine. They can lose the business of customers who want to buy something without having their faces shoved in some skeev's idea of what is cool or getting ripped off by clueless twits who think it's so clever to ask $29.99 shipping on a $1.99 item so they don't have to pay fees. Where do they get these people from? Seriously.

If they go to fixed pricing, more people will do a search for an item off ebay and find that most of the time, a new item is way cheaper elsewhere--most likely precisely BECAUSE of ebay's unbridled greed re fees bloats their prices.

rise2it




msg:3559294
 1:01 am on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

"...and has struggled to combat widespread fraud and counterfeit items for sale on the site"

Struggled how? By ignoring the problems?

Maybe they should work on helping the average customer screwed over by Paypal, which they own. Their 'guarantees' are worthless.

The average person gets 'burnt' once, and they don't come back, or at least stop making higher dollar bids/purchases.

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Ecommerce
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved