Get Exposed – Inside the eBay Recent Sale Score

On Tuesday, eBay hosted a webinar that third parties providers were invited to attend. This webinar is being held today for the public – So I want to talk about the topics.

There were a few sections on Ad Commerce and the new Marketing initiatives, which we’ve posted in our Monday Morning recaps and are also available on the eBay announcements board.

In this post, I want to concentrate on helping sellers understand the differences between the eBay searches and to give some tips that might not be easily visible for getting a higher score.

Back in September, we put up a blog post that outlined the key factors in the Fixed Price search. You may want to review that post, as it does contain the criteria that is used to determine a fixed price recent sales score (and there doesn’t seem to be a good acronym for this –  FPRSS??). These have not changed from the previous blog posting, and the bulk of eBay’s new presentation centered around how the various searches work.  But I did think of a few tips that were not mentioned that I want to share for those who wonder: ”Can I ever get an edge in Fixed Price?” or “How do I enter a market where I start on the bottom?”.

In a nutshell, and I want to use the words eBay used because they were really appropriate, Auctions rely on Time Ending Soonest, while Fixed Price Placement is earned. The combined search has both Auctions and Fixed Price Listings, which means auctions are shown time ending soonest, and fixed price is shown by rank and they are mixed together.

Oversimplified Example of the Combined Search:
Auction: Ending in 1 minute
Fixed Price: Score 30 recent sales
Auctions: Ending in 2 minutes
Fixed Price: Score 20 recent sales
Auction: Ending in 3 minutes
Fixed Price: Score 10 recent sales

Other factors come into play, such as the sellers’ standings, which have also been covered in previous postings (and includes DSRs, which have been talked to death), but the most critical component of getting seen when using Fixed Price seems to be the recent sales score.   Here are tips for using recent sales score:

1. Scores are carried over from format to format.  Unless you have multiples of an item with no competition, list in auction first to get a better recent sale score. When you list an auction, your listing is guaranteed to appear near the top of search results as it approaches its ending time. All your sales from the auction will count as recent sales when the listing is relisted as a fixed-price item – even a few recent sales is better than starting from 0.
2. Use featured first when you first introduce a new item to get initial exposure, and hopefully get sales to increase your score.
3. Since auctions are defaulted to ending time, if you are not raised in your eBay Seller Dashboard, you can get better exposure by using auctions vs. trying to make a go on fixed price.  This also gives you time to raise your standards.
4. Once you have a recent sales score for a listing, don’t lose it!  This means that sellers will need to ensure they have ANY driving keyword when they FIRST list their item ;  if they change the title, they will lose their recent sale score. Keyword research is critical (see previous blog post on Keyword Research)
5. One way to raise your price without losing your score is by offering free shipping with markdown manager, thus building an initial score, then returning to adding shipping. This is a way around the fact that once you have a score, you do not want to raise prices or you lose your score.
6. To quickly build a recent sales score, a seller can run 3 day auctions. Since recent sales are counted for 30 days…a seller can moved to fixed price and ensure visibility by selling multiple quantity auctions that hit ending soonest every 3 days.

There is a lot of opportunity for sellers to get on top…but remember – fixed price is based upon  seller performance as well as  recent sales score. So you’ll want to keep a close eye on your Seller Dashboard.

I do not want to leave out the folks with unique items. If you have only 1 of an item – Auctions are still your best bet. With only 1 item, you will not get a carry forward score and you item will be virtually invisible (unless it’s very unique, with no competition).

Happy Selling!!

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