It’s very easy for eBay buyers to compare prices, and they almost always go for the cheapest. At the end of the day, the seller with the best price will make the most sales.
So how can eBay sellers stay competitive? You can monitor and adjust prices yourself, but that’s a really tedious and inefficient way to spend your time.
A software tool that checks prices and updates them for you would be ideal. This kind of automatic repricing is very popular among Amazon sellers, but how could it work on eBay? Every seller has their own individual listing with unique images, different descriptions and even different titles. How would the software know which listings to compare?
Well, eBay repricing software has finally come of age. There are now several tools on the market which address the challenges of repricing on eBay, taking a number of different, innovative approaches to solve the key problems.
eBay repricing tools at a glance
|Free listings/trial||10 listings||15 day trial||7 day trial||50 listings|
|Price for 100 listings||$29/mo||$55/mo||$10/mo||$33/mo|
|Price for 1000 listings||$29/mo||$99/mo||$20/mo||$98/mo|
|Price for 10000 listings||$129/mo||$99/mo||$200/mo||POA|
|Competitor matching method||Multiple||UPCs||Keywords||UPCs or keywords|
|Repricing frequency||8-24 hrs||4 hrs||15 mins – 4 hrs||8-24 hrs|
|Ecommerce price sync||✓||–||–||–|
|More info||StreetPricer||RepricerExpress||Price Spectre||Price Guard|
Price Guard is priced in AUD. US dollar amounts are approximate conversions to allow comparison.
The challenges of eBay repricing
Every item on eBay has its own individual listing instead of being tied to a product catalog. This makes it difficult to find all the identical items currently being sold, as they are not placed under a single listing.
Recently, eBay has begun to replicate Amazon’s format with its Group Similar Listings feature. Like on Amazon, this feature attempts to combine different sellers’ listings into one product page. But it is not turned on by default, and it is not always available. Most of the time, buyers still scour through dozens of listings when comparing prices on eBay.
What’s that got to do with repricing tools? Well, the first thing that the software has to do is find all your competitors selling the same product. Just as shoppers search for a product, and manually compare titles and photos to figure out if they are the same item, repricing software for eBay has to work hard to make sure it is matching products accurately.
If the software matches your listing with a completely different product, it could set your price much lower than it needs to be. If it fails to match your listing with a competitor’s product, it could set your price too high and leave you with no sales.
The challenge of identifying matching items on eBay, where each seller can create their own listing however they want, may seem impossible to resolve. But, there are multiple ways that eBay repricing tools can accurately match items. These include:
- Using keywords to find listings, just like a buyer searching on eBay.
- Using product identifiers like UPCs or EANs.
- Using artificial intelligence techniques such as machine learning.
We’ll identify which technique each repricing tools uses below.
StreetPricer evolved from a program first created by Australian eBay seller Cardy Chung, back in 2003. It became his secret weapon for competing on eBay, and was affectionately called SLD, or Search, Lock and Destroy.
StreetPricer is a web-based automated repricing tool designed specifically for eBay sellers. It analyses your products, and scans eBay to find competitors selling the same items.
StreetPricer uses machine learning technology, which is able to identify matching products in a way that mirrors how a human would tackle this problem. Unlike other methods of product matching, artificial intelligence (A.I.) works autonomously – you don’t have to provide keywords or UPCs. This can be very accurate without a lot of upfront configuration, but it’s less transparent so it might take time for you to build confidence in what it is doing.
StreetPricer offers various repricing rules. These include:
- Matching a competitor’s price, plus or minus a set percentage or fixed amount.
- Excluding listings with a low stock quantity available.
- Excluding specific item conditions, such as new or used.
- Excluding or including sellers from specific countries.
- Excluding sellers based on their handling time.
It offers a 14 day free trial period, then prices start at $75 per month for 1,000 listings. Price levels increase based on how many eBay accounts and active listings you have, reaching $750 per month for unlimited items and stores.
RepricerExpress is developed by Lucid Interactive, a Northern Irish software company with over 12 years experience of delivering solutions for the ecommerce sector, including Amazon feedback solicitation tool FeedbackExpress. RepricerExpress is primarily an Amazon repricing tool, however since 2016 it has also supported automated eBay repricing.
RepricerExpress matches items by their unique product identifier, such as a UPC (Universal Product Code). This enables the software to find matching items and reprice against the current market. UPCs should accurately find identical products, and provide a clear cross section of prices.
In theory, using UPCs to match products should result in a high level of accuracy but it does depend on sellers entering their UPCs correctly. Of course, you must also have your products’ UPCs included in your own listings.
Like Price Spectre, RepricerExpress works on a rules-based system to customize pricing strategies and fit your needs as an eBay seller. RepricerExpress continuously monitors the market 24/7, but you can pause repricing if competition has pushed prices to rock bottom, then wait for them to bounce back again. You can set minimum and maximum prices, select how much to beat competitors by, choose to only compete with Top-Rated Sellers, and more.
Additionally, RepricerExpress provides the option to match your eBay prices against your Amazon inventory, if you sell on both marketplaces. This will automatically adjust your eBay listings to match the prices you have for the same products in your Amazon store.
RepricerExpress operates as a web-based application and offers prices starting at $55 (or £39) per month for 2,500 SKUs. They offer a 15 day free trial.
Price Spectre was developed in 2009 by award-winning eBay software company, NullApps. The developer was also a launch partner on eBay’s original seller app store, and Price Spectre can be accessed through its own website, or as an eBay embedded app. It matches items to reprice against using a keyword searching method.
With this approach, Price Spectre finds and filters listings based on the words they contain. By fine-tuning the exact keywords used, this can be a reliable way to match items and find the market price. One downside of matching this way is that sellers need to specify the keywords themselves, but that does provide a level of control over the process that may be useful.
Price Spectre will search eBay several times throughout the day, and for each product it will adjust the price against the matching listings that it finds, and also the floor price (minimum selling price) that the seller sets.
Price Spectre provides over a dozen rules that sellers can use to control exactly how their prices will be set. Examples include pricing against the lowest price or nth lowest price, undercutting or charging a premium, using the average price, and more. Price Spectre also has a rule to increase or decrease prices based on sales velocity (the number of units sold over time).
Price Spectre is affordable, ranging from $2.95 per month for up to 5 listings, to $19.95 per month for up to 1,000 listings. There is an extra $0.02 charge per listing over that level. It offers a 7 day free trial period.
Price Guard is an Australian eBay repricing tool created by prolific developer and entrepreneur, Mark Whitney. It is a web-based service offering various ways to manage and monitor the pricing of your inventory.
Price Guard matches items by UPC codes or by searching for keywords, which you provide when you setup the tool. It lets you customize the search criteria, then will find your competitors and update prices based on your rules. Some of the options you can configure are:
- Staying a set percentage cheaper than your lowest-priced competitor
- Automatically setting a minimum price, based on the percentage profit you want to achieve
- Optional approval of competitors before they will be used in repricing calculations
- Updating prices on eBay directly, or exporting a CSV file which you can load into inventory management software
Price Guard also offers a competitor tracking feature which identifies top-selling items that you don’t already stock, and could be worth adding to your inventory. Another feature is monitoring your suppliers’ inventory levels, so your eBay listings can be set to out of stock when your supplier runs out of inventory.
Price Guard is priced in Australian dollars. Prices range from AU$49.90 (about $38) per month for 100 items to AU$249.90 (around $190) for 5,000 items. They offer a 14 day free trial.