It has been a busy few weeks in the world of eBay with a lot to digest. Here is what you might have missed:

  • EBay changes default search to Best Match. In other words, auctions are no longer listed by ending first meaning that auction-heavy sellers have much more work cut out for them. What I think: I find Best Match to be completely useless. Having done a lot of shopping on eBay for packing supplies in the last week, the items that were the best purchase didn’t even come in to Best Match results. Best Match is just an excuse to force sellers to jump through eBay’s hoops and is just plain bad for buyers. Also, sorting auctions by anything other than ending first is not only stupid, but guaranteed to kill the listing type.
  • Some people are starting rumors that eBay is going to stop charging listing fees and just raise the end of auction price. Such a plan might mess with the stock price. What I think: I won’t hate this, depending on how much they raise the fees at the end. However, it also probably means a lot more trash on eBay. From eBay’s end, this would allow them to compete with the Amazon and Half model more since that is how they do it.
  • eBay has been Beta testing a new item page and people hate it. I can’t weight in on this as I haven’t seen it.
  • eBay unrolls their new Identical Items and Finding Updates policy. Quite a few sellers are upset about this policy. What I think: Something really needed to be done about the people who spam the site with hundreds of listings and this was definitely one way to do it. If you were one of the people who sold this way, then it affects the way you do business, sure. That said, by all reports, this isn’t working how it should. For instance, it is combining listings that are similar, but not exact, causing two items for different but similar items to show as one. That is bad but it may just be an early bug while the service is new. What worries me more is this “Also, the number of unique listings (listings for different items) per seller
    will be up to ten per page. In a case where a seller has a number of items—for
    instance 20—that could potentially show up in the same search results,
    10 will be shown on the first page, and the other 10 will be on the second page.” If I have 30 auctions that are all different but in the same category all ending in the next 24 hours, why are 20 of them shelved? It’s not a big deal, but I am not in love with that part of the policy. I will have to see how it affects me in the near future.

There are a few other news items that I will be reporting on separately so keep an eye out.