This post is laser pointed to explain the important concept of “Recent sales history” and its effect on your eBay sales
Below is eBay’s mission statement:
Our mission is to provide a global online marketplace where practically anyone can trade practically anything, enabling economic opportunity around the world
Don’t let the mission statement fool you, just like any other for-profit company, eBay has one and only mission, which is to maximize it’s profits.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but being an eBay seller, it’s critical to understand that everything eBay does is pointed to that end goal. From giving a disproportional power to buyers, to suspending poor preforming seller accounts, eBay do everything to improve their top earnings line.
eBay’s search algorithm (Cassini) is no exception to the above conception – its primary goal is to increase eBay’s profits.
In order to achieve that, eBay must present shoppers with search results that are most likely to lead to a sale.
I repeat – “eBay must present shoppers with search results that are that are most likely to lead to a sale“.
In a previous post I explained in depth the best eBay title builder practices and mentioned eBay’s search algorithm in that context –
Similar to Google search, eBay uses a search engine algorithm – “Cassini” to determine the order of listings as they appear in search results.
Naturally eBay won’t disclose their exact metrics and their exact hierarchy of relevance, but numerous reports and studies by eBay sellers indicate that “click through rate” and “sell through rate” are among the most important factors for ranking high on eBay’s search results.
Click through rate – Is the number of clicks (on an eBay search result) divided by the number of impressions (how many times the listing appeared in search results). A higher click through rate (CTR) is better, meaning members were more likely to click on your item when they saw it in a search.-
Sell through – Is the number of items sold divided by the number of clicks for your listing. A higher sell through rate (STR) is better, meaning members were more likely to buy your item when they clicked to view your listing.
These metrics are used to determine “how likely” a customer is to purchase from a specific eBay listing.
What I didn’t discuss in the above post was the concept of “Recent sales history”.
This seems to be the most important factor in eBay’s Cassini algorithm; it indicates how many sales the specific listing has generated recently. And naturally, it gives a really good indication about the chances of generating future sales.
So, when I see sellers with low feedback, high prices, bad customer service, etc. on top of eBay search results, it’s usually a safe bet to say that these listings generate many sales (earning eBay many dollars).
How do you gain (and keep) a high “Recent sales history”?
I’ve shared in the past how we took advantage of an eBay best match hack to quickly gain “Recent sales history” and kick our listing to the top of eBay’s search results.
In a nutshell – we lowered our price to such a level that we were losing a few $s on every sale (we regarded this as a “marketing” expense), the dollar driven customer served as a marketing engine for us, as they drove sales and helped us quickly reach the top positions.
This is the part I realized many eBay sellers were missing – If we would have listed with anything but the ebay Good Til Canceled duration, ALL of our gained “Recent sales history” would have been reset once the listing ended!
When you relist an ended listing, the “Recent sales history” is not being carried over to the relisted listing!
Every rule has an exception
If you’re selling unique items and only have a quantity of 1, the above don’t apply to you – you can’t really generate repeat sales for the same listing if you only offer qty=1 for the item…
Another issue to note is that sellers report that eBay give a boost to a fixed price listing as soon as it starts, in order to give it a chance to catch early traction of sales.
So if you’re a diamond seller (every stone / ring is unique), it would be wise to list with short durations, fixed price listings, to enjoy the initial boost.
But otherwise, if you have a good quantity of the item you’re selling – you’d always be better with the eBay Good Til Canceled duration.