ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Are eBay buyers brand driven?
By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 11/1/2013
Dear eBay Queen: I’ve been really debating if buyers are brand driven on eBay. I think consumers at one time were very brand loyal and some still are. My mom used to only drive Cadillacs and my dad drove Oldsmobiles. Today they both drive Nissans for price and gas. But my mother truly believes that Tide is the best detergent; she’s used it as long as I can remember, and even though it is the most expensive detergent on the market, you couldn’t get her to buy any other. Me? I just bought my first box of Tide Pods last week. They were on sale at BOGO, otherwise I would have stuck with All because it’s half the price. For me, soap is soap! I will even buy the “no name” brand! So what do you think, are buyers brand or price driven? — Jacqueline
Dear Jacqueline: I fight with myself on this too. When it comes to eBay, I believe that name brand wins. eBay is search driven. So, if we were selling vintage white platters, some buyers would search for that. However, I believe most buyers are brand-specific, looking for Ironstone white platters or Johnson Brothers White platters. Without brands, a buyer would not know exactly what to search for.
Dear eBay Queen: I’ve been selling for 10 years on eBay. This is a full time business for myself and my husband. Recently, I’ve been analyzing our sales on eBay, and came across a situation that puzzles me. One of the items I sell, I’ve never seen anyone else sell. I would tell you more about this product, but I don’t want to let my secret out. (I hope you understand.) Here is some of the background information about my business and my competitor’s business when it comes to selling this “secret” product.
• Our Feedback: 54,000 (99.8 percent)
· Their Feedback: 574 (99.6 percent)
Our competitor’s sales are five times what ours are on this product. Our pricing is identical, both with free shipping. I would say that our listing quality is better, and the layout looks better too — so ours looks nicer, but maybe I’m biased.
The only difference I can find is that we are listing our items with perpetually 13 units (via Quantity Manager app). Our competitors are setting up single-unit listings that automatically relist. Do you think that quantity of one really creates that much of a tilt in market share? Obviously, feedback, pricing and free shipping isn’t driving the buyers to me! If so, we might change strategy pretty quickly. — Confused in Oklahoma
Dear Confused: Whoa, this is an unusual dilemma. When you first look at this, it totally blows all the theories we have as sellers out of the water. You’d think more feedback would win a buyer over after the lowest price or free shipping. It would seem the only variable could be the “scarcity” principle at play, you know buyers say there is only one left and I need to buy it now!
After a little research, I believe your problem is the eBay search algorithm called “Best Match.” I don’t know this for sure, but I think your competitor most likely had a boost of sales early on this product, and therefore had a better sell through rate (which will always do good things for you). I have seen situations where sellers put up an item at a similar price as their competitors, then run some sort of discount campaign on another site, driving traffic and sales to the eBay listing (sites like Facebook, Pinterest etc). These sellers will sell at cost or less, just to get a high sell through rate. My experience has shown me a new listing will get a boost from eBay’s Best Match search initially, and if it doesn’t get a sale, it will drop down the search results after that. So relisting something might help, but auto-relisting does not give you a boost.
I hope you are able to get your listings back on top!
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 271304756144. My oldest daughter loves Bethany Lowe Halloween and Christmas decorations. She’ll be sad she missed this retired piece: “Scardy Cat Halloween Bean Bag Toss Bethany Lowe Vintage Style Game Fun Party.” It sold for $122.50 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Scardy-Cat-Halloween-Bean-Bag-Toss-Bethany-Lowe-Vintage-Style-Game-Fun-Party-NWT-/271304756144
Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen