This blog was contributed by Cardy Chung from StreetPricer.com. Cardy Chung founded StreetPricer in 2016 after 13 years in online retailing and developing software for exclusive use in his eBay and online business. Prior to online retailing, Cardy was an executive in the IT industry and Board Member of an ASX-listed technology company. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) Computer Science (1st Class) with a major in Artificial Intelligence.
If you are aiming at pricing your products for optimal turnover and profit, eBay’s listing-based platform is totally different to Amazon’s catalog-based platform. On Amazon, there is no need to locate competitors for your items, as they are right there – all under the same ASIN numbers. However, finding and identifying competition on eBay is almost an art form, as it is up to eBay’s “Best Match” algorithm to bring up competing listings using Titles, Brand, MPN, UPC, and the endless combination of Item Specifics.
eBay is a competitive marketplace, especially for mainstream branded products. Whereas Amazon customers may make their purchase decisions based on reviews, delivery and customer service, eBay customers love deals. “Top Brands” and “Best Prices” has been the mantra at eBay and their marketing team push the messages.
On eBay, the market is price driven. If your pricing is out, you’re out. Price-monitoring on eBay on every SKU is an impossible task. Thankfully, there are automated price tracking and repricing tools to put you ahead of your competitors.
A good eBay repricer tool finds the competition for you based on your data and your competitors’ listing data. It tells you who your competitors are, what are they selling, when they are selling, how much the items were sold for, and how many. With such data, you can implement your pricing strategy effectively to achieve the best balance between turnover and profitability. You’re in control.
Repricing is one of the latest and fastest growing tools on eBay selling. We are seeing an astonishing monthly compound growth rate of 30%. Let’s have a look at the reasons why.
- It’s all about the price
We all love the hunt and eBay customers are expert at it. They google the product specs, the model, and the color. They decide what they want to buy, and that’s when their fun begins – who’s got the best price on eBay? It is too easy for buyers to compare. It’s too transparent with eBay’s Best Match and Group Similar Listings.
With structured data on listings such as Brand, Model, MPN, and UPC, there is little room for product differentiation. The products are all the same, and they are all protected by eBay’s refund and return policies, why should anyone pay more other than the lowest price?
I see this all the time. One eBay seller ambushes another by sneaking in a listing with the same Title but one cent cheaper. The result? The seller who is losing the sales won’t know about it for days, sometimes even weeks.
- Price Monitoring: You don’t have the time
Ideally, you’d want to do price monitoring for your eBay store regularly, say, at least once every couple of days. But in practice, once your store grows beyond several hundred SKUs, it will no longer be possible to do manual price monitoring. It’s too complex and tedious. You could employ staff to do the job, but it is expensive, and after all, price monitoring is most suited for automation with algorithms.
Because it is “too hard”, most sellers either don’t do it or do it only to find it’s too late. Once you start losing sales, your Best Match search ranking drops, which in turn further reduces your page impressions and conversion. You could find yourself in a downward spiral very quickly.
If you don’t do price monitoring on eBay, you’re exposed. Someone could be eating your lunch. We don’t want that. We want a tool that can help you build your sales momentum, and always put you in the driver’s seat.
- AI-based Solution from StreetPricer
StreetPricer is the latest ShipStation solution partner. It scans eBay for competitors of your store listings. Its “Radar” uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms so it can handle catalog or non-catalog items. For catalog items, operations can be highly automated, and in some cases, completely automated, depending on the product categories your items are in. For non-catalog items, you can use AI Scan to give you results, without supplying product keywords. Alternatively, if you are willing to spend the time to come up with keywords for your items, it always gives more targeted results.
The results from AI Scan vary, and it is quite dependent on what information you supply with your own items, and similarly what item-specific data is supplied in your competitors’ items. In any case, you can set filters and parameters to tailor the results to your business.
A unique feature is its support of eBay’s multi-variations. It has a “Show MultiVariations” feature, which cuts down the amount of time you have to spend sorting out all the various combinations between your items and your competitors’.
The #1 question I get asked all the time is “Is this a race to the bottom?” The answer is “Definitely not”. I can see from the data coming from over 25 eBay and Amazon sites, 50,000+ sellers, almost 1.5 million listings that we are currently tracking, and 200,000+ reprices we do each day, that 49.3% of the reprices are upward movements, vs 50.7% of price reductions.
Why? Because you if your competitors are no longer discounting or if they are out of stock, you’d want to know about it so you can move your prices up immediately.
“Up” reprice means increased profit, and a “Down” reprice means an increased turnover. AI-based automated repricing is the best- kept secret eBay tool for 2018. You should definitely check it out.