Watched item ending soon

May 28, 2008

eBay needs to improve “choice” implementation

Filed under: eBay — estreet @ 10:41 am
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I research eBay changes. And boy have I been busy this year. I really can’t keep up. Here’s the latest policy announcement.

Yesterday, I researched the removal of the “Choice Policy” in depth. eBay used to prohibit sellers from offering a choice of colors or sizes in listings. It was banned because eBay determined it was used for fee avoidance and it would be confusing to buyers.

Now a seller can offer a choice of colors, sizes or configuration. This is the definition under eBay’s “Circumventing Fees” help page:

Choice Listings – A listing where a seller allows buyers to choose from a selection of completely different items. In general, sellers are permitted to offer a choice of sizes, colors and configurations of a particular item within a listing, However, a listing may not offer buyers a choice of completely different items.

eBay provides an example of choice in selling Men’s shoes. But I looked at the current Men’s Shoes listings and no seller is offering choice because their listings would not turn up in the search results. Most buyers would search on “Nike shoe 10” not “Nike shoe”. So you will not get traffic unless you specify the size.

Another category has size built in. Look at Clothing, Shoes & Accessories: Infants&Toddlers. The leaf categories are 1T, 2T, 3T, etc… So you can’t offer other sizes in this category.

Maybe eBay will implement a method of specifying choice in the future. But for now, the seller has to make up their own way to offer choices. And be careful, the penalties are severe:

Circumventing Fees: Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:
Listing cancellation
Limits on account privileges
Account suspension
Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
Loss of PowerSeller status

Another eBay Pulser Wanna be?

Filed under: eBay pulse — estreet @ 10:15 am
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Here’s a new Pulser that has not been NARUed yet.

I think they must use the make track trick. It’s too random for the Pulser script.

See the latest watcher count here.

May 20, 2008

New eBay Feedback Calculations

Filed under: eBay — estreet @ 10:59 am
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Your eBay feedback percentage probably changed this week.

eBay made the announcement on the Feedback system back in February (see below) but failed to mention that the calculation would now count neutral feedbacks.

Here’s an example of the feedback change on Kekoa64. I’m not trying to pick on Kekoa64 – I just happen to have a snapshot of his feedback profile from last week.

This feedback before the change is 99.8%. It includes lifetime feedback but does not include neutrals.

The feedback after the change is 98.2%. Only the past 12 months is included (which was announced) but the surprise is that neutrals are now included. The neutrals reduce his feedback rating by 1.6%.

The main changes to the system being introduced in May:

  1. Beginning in February 2008, we enabled buyers and sellers to earn up to one Feedback per week from the same trading partner. In May we will provide credit for similar repeat transactions going back to when the system was introduced in 1996. This change will encourage repeat transactions and reward good service.
  2. In May, sellers will no longer be able to leave negative or neutral Feedback for buyers.
  3. Removal of negative and neutral Feedback left by members who are suspended or who fail to respond to the Unpaid Item (UPI) Process.
  4. Positive Feedback percentage will be based on the past 12 months of Feedback, rather than lifetime, since it is most indicative of the seller’s recent performance.
  5. Restrictions on when Feedback can be left:
    Buyers must wait seven days before leaving negative or neutral Feedback for active PowerSellers who have been registered for at least 12 months.
    Members must leave Feedback within 60 days of the transaction closing (today members have up to 90 days).
  6. Removal of Mutual Feedback Withdrawal.

Mystery Auctions banned from eBay

Filed under: eBay — estreet @ 6:26 am
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eBay announced their new Trust & Safety policies yesterday. Here’s a few that will affect some readers of this blog.

This one is going to bum out the Mystery Pulse List Auctions group. There were 729 Mystery Auction listings this morning.

Mystery Auctions prohibited:
Due to the high rate of claims and bad buying experiences related to these listings, starting early June, the Chance Policy will now also include Mystery Auctions as a prohibited item.

eBay has really changed under the new President. They have dramatically increased their execution speed in all departments. They rapidly implemented new functionality like best match, custom item specifics and the eBay Partner Network.

Their policy enforcement has shifted from *almost* none to blasting sellers with a shotgun and asking questions later.

The past few years have been marked by inaction. eBay is making up for it now.

For example, the best match search algorithm has evolved to include the seller’s performance. I like this one. It means eBay is walking their talk. They want good sellers that buyers value. As a reward for performance, the seller will get more visibility.

Monitor your seller standing and increase visibility in Search
An expanded version of the Seller Dashboard will be available this week, with more information about where you stand and how to maximize your business on eBay. We encourage you to check it often. Watch for a follow-up post on this Announcement Board as soon as the expanded Dashboard is available.

It’s important to note that as part of eBay’s ongoing efforts to raise the bar on selling standards, violations of eBay policies are subject to serious consequences, including restrictions, forfeiture of insertion fees, seller demotion in search results, and suspension. This is intended to drive any selling practices that hurt buyers and good sellers alike off eBay.

As we continue to raise the bar, we also wanted to give you an update on changes we’ve made to Best Match since the rollout of this new sort order in March. As you know, Best Match considers a number of factors including Time Ending Soonest, item relevance, other item attributes, and seller performance.

Since launch, we’ve been monitoring and making adjustments. Some of our adjustments will result in a larger number of sellers with below average performance scores being lowered in Best Match search results. If either of the following conditions apply to you, the visibility of your listings may be reduced:

* Your 30-day shipping cost DSR is 4.5 and below
* Your buyer satisfaction rate (shown on the dashboard) appears as “needs improvement,” “poor” or “unacceptable.”

If you’re in this situation, we want to help you get back to the top in Best Match. Many sellers are discovering that making small changes in their approach can make a positive difference in their DSRs and business results. Here are some tips on how you can improve your buyer satisfaction and DSRs.

Here’s the entire policy update notice.

May 16, 2008

Kekoa64 NARU again?

Filed under: eBay pulse — estreet @ 10:06 am
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Someone reported that Kekoa64 went NARU again. The last time was in February. I don’t know anything else. Anyone?

May 14, 2008

eBay fast to NARU watcher manipulators

Filed under: eBay pulse — estreet @ 7:46 am
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This 10 day listing was #1 on the Pulse with 965 watchers on Monday at 5 am eBay time. It was ended by eBay on Tuesday at 7:15 pm with 975 watchers.

It was removed from the eBay site but you can view it by using Google cache.

I guess they ran a script to add watchers before the listing started.

eBay’s response time to watcher manipulation is now down to 36 hours. That’s pretty fast for a large corporation.

May 8, 2008

eBay affiliate links within eBay listings

Filed under: eBay — estreet @ 8:47 am
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A developer complained on the eBay Developer’s forum about cookie stuffing using iframes. eBay’s response was they “have monitoring in place to capture suspicious behaviors and poor value traffic to help us quickly pin point questionable affiliate practices.” Here’s the link to the forum.

eBay affiliate links within eBay listings is prohibited in the Ts & Cs of the eBay Partner Network. However, you can see some people do add their affiliate links which are clearly visible in the listing description. Check out this search for “rover.eBay.com” on eBay.

May 7, 2008

blog troll service

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 8:53 am
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I got a new stalker who spews hate towards me yet obsessively visited this blog 55 times in the past day and a half. You don’t have to do much to pick one up, as the Pulsers know.

This is clearly a Blog Troll. I came across this blogging service – you can rent a “Blog Troll” from a website called www.sanestorm.com. How funny is this? 🙂

blog troll consulting and provisioning
what is it?

A blog troll is an obnoxious, hurtful and incredibly valuable loser who, for whatever reason, is both obsessd by and constantly annoyed with, and deeply offended by everything you write on your blog. And while you can ban him/her from commenting on your site — they’ll come back as alts and you can ban them, too — you can’t ban them from commenting on other sites and pointing back to your blog, and you can’t ban them from posting things on their own blog that point back to your site.

And you really, really wouldn’t want to.

Because a blog troll will provide you with more traffic to your blog than an interview with William Shatner, a brief affair with Amanda Congdon, or even a pointer from BoingBoing.

Why? Because being hated is interesting, and tons of people will want to know why this freak has it in for you. That makes you special. That makes you interesting. Nobody targets a nobody.

what does blog troll consulting and provisioning involve?

Basically, one or more of our writers will take the time to get to know your blog and despise it and you and everything you stand for. We will come to believe that we can see inside your soul and understand you better than you know yourself. We will end up RSSing every page of your blog to watch for comments on comments. We will Technoratti your name and the names of everything you’ve ever written.

It’s like stalking, but legal and not dangerous.

Then, once we’re really steeped in your escence, we’ll start unleashing a torrent of troll posts on other folks’ blogs, on new blogs that we’ll create just for this purpose, etc. And on sites like Digg, we’ll consistently try to un-Digg your blog, which will only get it more attention, as everybody knows that total morons that Dugg stuff for lame reasons get just as much air-time as truly interesting, valid posts.

If you don’t want us to troll for you, we can also consult with friends and relatives of yours and provide them with training in how to drive “invert-negative” traffic to your site.
why do this?

Two words: Atten-shun.
why do it with sanestorm?

We’re blog people. We know this language. We understand how to be truly annoying in ways that aren’t obviously so. We know how to tweak the grognards, the wonks, the beardy types and the pointy-heads. Nothing generates interest in your blog more than some total asshat saying that it sucks.

And, depending on your needs, we can charge by the hour, the word or based on your increased page-views or unique visitors. No matter your budget, we have a troll package that’s right for you.

Stop blogging in the desert. If your light is under a bushel, let a troll guide others to it by pissing on it.

May 6, 2008

the.rich.boy is NARU

Filed under: Uncategorized — estreet @ 10:34 pm
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This is old news. Sorry, I forgot to check on what happened to the.rich.boy until tonight. He went NARU some time in March.

the.rich.boy sold $6,900 in eBooks in February, 2007. I can’t see what’s in this listing (listings removed by eBay) but he sold 19 of them for $10K each: Wii + PS3 + XBOX 360 + IPOD + IPHONE + PSP + HP LAPTOP

That’s a grand total of $196,993 sold through eBay in February. Now that’s pretty healthy sales.

Good speakers at the Dev Conf. No eBay Live! 2009

Filed under: eBay — estreet @ 11:31 am
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The good news is that my gamble paid off. At the last minute on Apr 30th, I signed up for the eBay Developers Conference at the reduced rate of $350 even though there were no announced guest speakers. I attended in 2005 and 2006 but skipped last year’s conf. There is a lot of eBay hype there and I can only take so much of it.

eBay DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE REGISTRATION DATES AND DEALS:

  1. March 14 – April 30: $350 SAVE $245!
  2. May 1 – May 31: $475 SAVE $120!
  3. June 1 – June 18: $595

Here’s the good news, they announced some decent guest speakers yesterday. I got this list from AuctionBytes.com:

  • Mike Shaver, Chief Evangelist for Mozilla Corporation
  • Adam Gross, Vice President, Platform and Developer Marketing at Salesforce.com
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com
  • John Donahoe, CEO and President of eBay Inc.
  • Rajiv Dutta, president of eBay Marketplaces
  • James Barrese, Vice President of Systems and Architecture at eBay
  • Max Mancini, Senior Director of Platform and Disruptive Innovation at eBay

No eBay Live next year, but it’s coming back in 2010 at Orlando!

***A Message from Lorrie Norrington – eBay Live! Update***
May 05, 2008 | 09:41AM PST/PT

Since taking on the role of President, eBay Marketplace Operations in January of this year, I’ve had an opportunity to meet and talk with thousands of community members in places like New Orleans, Washington DC, San Jose and elsewhere. I am looking forward to meeting many more of you in Chicago at eBay Live! June 19-21, 2008.

In 2009 we are focusing our energy on smaller venues to facilitate more face-to-face interactions with our customers and community. While I can’t yet name all of the places we’ll be visiting in 2009, I can say that we intend to spend more quality time with more of you in 2009 than we have in recent memory. So while eBay Live! will not be held in 2009, we will be back with eBay Live! on August 12-14, 2010 in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center.

Any one else going to eBay Live! or the Dev Conf?

May 2, 2008

Is the Guitar an eBay Pulsed auction?

Filed under: eBay pulse — estreet @ 5:09 pm
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A reader pointed out the “ROLLING STONES Autographed Gibson Firebird V Guitar!” as a possible Pulser listing. So I tracked the number of watchers on this listing today using eSeller Street.

The increase in watchers is impressive. I started watching this morning at 5 am eBay time when it had 900 watchers. There are changes in the watcher acquisition rate from fast to slow then back to fast. That indicates something is switching on and off.

Is it a script? Well, no. eBay is driving traffic by rotating this graphic and link to the listing on the eBay homepage.

How many natural watchers can you get from being featured on the eBay home page? About 2 watchers per minute. That’s better than the script!

Thanks for the tip, “Watch This”! Keep the suggestions coming.

Top watched item today on eBay.com

Filed under: eBay pulse — estreet @ 6:28 am
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Here’s the top watched listing on eBay.com with 900 watchers. ROLLING STONES Autographed Gibson Firebird V Guitar! The proceeds go to charity.

Thanks for the tip, whoever you are!