Group Similar Listings and “Our Pick” are the next phase of eBay’s evolution. But how did we get here and what does this mean for sellers?
This post is by Cardy Chung. Cardy is the founder of StreetPricer, a dynamic repricing, competitor analysis and price monitoring tool for serious eBay sellers.
Big changes are in progress at eBay, but to understand how we got here, we first have to look at Amazon. On Amazon, the Buy Box is a crucial part of the marketplace. Buyers search for a product, view the listing and the Buy Box chooses for them which of the sellers offering that product is the best. This is all underpinned by Amazon’s catalog-driven approach which makes browsing products easier, as there should be only one listing for each product.
eBay is a very different marketplace. It takes a listing-driven approach, that means while sellers compete in search, they each have their own independent listing for every one of the products that they sell.
This is now starting to change, as eBay has rolled out a new feature called Group Similar Listings, which comes with their own version of the Buy Box.
Group Similar Listings is not yet a default setting, but by clicking a button, the search results are grouped so that all listings for the same product are put together under one single search result and product page. eBay’s version of the Buy Box, called “Our Pick”, chooses which seller will get the order when Buy It Now is clicked, based on which one the algorithm deems to be best.
In this post, I’ll be looking at why eBay has decided to introduce Group Similar Listings, how it works, and what it means for eBay sellers.
Game theory turns repricing into a strategic battle, pitting you against your competitors to find a market equilibrium, not a race to the bottom
Repricing isn’t a new concept to marketplace sellers. Many sellers use automatic pricing tools, particularly on Amazon, to make sure that they are charging a competitive price and winning a share of the Buy Box.
But this isn’t without its drawbacks. Existing repricers, whether they are rules-based or algorithmic, are known for driving prices downwards. Why? Because they tend to treat repricing too simply, seeing it as an arms race, so instead of one seller with the best price “winning”, all prices are driven down and everybody loses.
Seller snap is a new tool on the market, that takes the innovative approach of applying mathematical game theory to the problem of Amazon marketplace repricing. This provides a way to treat pricing as a strategic game between players, with the goal of finding a balance or equilibrium, instead of a battle to the death with only one winner.
Amazon want Keith to run Black Friday promotions. But will he benefit from taking part, or are Amazon just squeezing him to give lower prices?
Have a question for us? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.
I’ve been selling sports and fitness items online for five years through Amazon, eBay, Walmart and my own store.
For the last month, Amazon have been hounding me to set up big discounts on some of my products for Black Friday deals. They want me to knock my prices down by at least 20% for these deals, which is going to make my margins very low.
What I want to know is whether Black Friday deals are worth it. Am I likely to get a large increase in sales volume that means it will still be profitable? Will I get a knock-on effect after Black Friday because the increased sales will bump up my search rank? Or should I ignore it because the whole thing is just Amazon squeezing me to give lower prices?
– Keith T., Maryland
Will Tjernlund, Greg Mercer and Bernie Thompson talk about private label pricing, from costs and competitors to products and positioning
There is a common misconception about private labeling on Amazon that simply taking a generic product and slapping a logo on it is a recipe for success. In most cases, there are other factors that play a key part.
One of these is price. Unlike wholesale or reselling models, where a manufacturer will often provide you with a retail price, and there are usually many competitors selling the same product, there are no such guidelines with private labeling – the price is totally down to you.
This can be daunting, as not only do you have to analyze market pricing, and decide on your initial place within it, but you also need a strategy for altering your price to react to market changes and your competitors.
To shed some light on this topic, I spoke to three private label experts – Will Tjernlund, Greg Mercer and Bernie Thompson – to get their advice on how to price private label products.
Andy Geldman explains how to set competitive prices while minimizing effort and maximizing profit.
This posted was originally published in January 2014 and updated in June 2017.
For sellers who only have a few product lines in an uncompetitive niche, monitoring the pricing of competitors is easy – they can simply update their prices manually. This is a great position to be in, but it is not the reality for most sellers. The majority need many SKUs to be successful and often face stiff competition. These sellers need to automate repricing in order to survive.
Despite this, a number of sellers are concerned about using marketplace repricing software as they see automatic repricing as a “race to the bottom”. This is a logical argument, but not necessarily correct as repricing is about more than simply having the lowest price.
So in this post, I will demystify repricing software: what it is, how it works, the differences between repricing on eBay and Amazon and, ultimately, how to choose the right tool for you.