Live VSL listings and a Free Shipping discounts update.

June 18, 2009

I’m working on Part II of my Variation Style Listings series, but wanted to point out a couple of live listings on the site.  These are not ChannelAdvisor listings (we are still working out some issues we are having with the production implementation), but they are good examples of what this looks like if you are curious to see something ‘live’ vs. screen captures:

(disclaimer – live listings and searches change over time so I can’t guarantee as you are reading this that these will still be live – this is as of 3pm ET on 6/18/09)
  • Women’s ballet flats – This one has size variations
  • Women’s sandals – This one is funny as it has size variations, but only one size, so looks like a seller that went through one of the eBay seller tools and didn’t understand the concept (going to be a common problem I fear).
  •  Men’s boot – This one has size/width variation which is interesting as it has 24 variations.  I have to wonder if that’s really the case.
  •  Soccer shoe – This one has size variations.

Those are the item pages.  Here’s a stab at what it looks like in search – notice the ‘more options plus box’:

  • The men’s boot above in search results
  • The women’s ballet flats above (as a bonus, this one has a wildly un-targeted/irrelevant ad for some wigs that is pretty funny)


Free Shipping Confusion
Back in August of 08, eBay introduced some rewards to sellers for offering free shipping (details here).  Sellers got double powerseller discounts (that are tiered by DSR ratings if you recall) for items sold with free shipping.
That promotion ends June 30 and I know many sellers may not remember the timeframe on that offer.  Also there has been some folks saying that eBay was going to extend this or were rumored to say as much at the PESA conference.  I’m pretty sure that’s not the case and this is really going to end on June 30 so you may want to look at your business model and make sure you are ready for the double rewards to go away.
I have a posting on Free Shipping coming shortly that I don’t want to spoil, but my guess here is that eBay used two levers to drive free shipping: fee reductions and search promotion and search promotion has worked very, very well, so no need to invest in fee reductions.
My guess is most sellers will just put the $ they are losing on FVF credits into items prices so we’ll see prices tick up on eBay 1-2% points here over the summer which should be interesting.