Productivity Tools Policy Updates Technology Promotional Efforts and Partnerships

ISSUE 10, June 21, 2000

This Issue's Features

Picture This—Picture Services Will Soon Be Available On eBay!

We've come up with something that will make including a picture in your eBay listing easier! We plan on launching a pilot of our new Picture Services in late June in two categories: Antiques & Art and Pottery & Glass.

How will it work? Our Picture Services will be integrated into the Sell Your Item form. Most sellers will simply have to drag and drop a picture that is saved on their hard drive into the "Sell Your Item" form. That's it—the picture will be automatically placed in your listing!

Are you required to use Picture Services? Absolutely not. If you don't want to use Picture Services and don't want to see the Picture Services Add Photos page on the Sell Your Item form, just click the opt-out box on the Sell Your Item page. However, we do hope you will give this cool new service a try!

So how much does it cost? In our pilot program (and when the service is available in all categories), you will be able to include up to 2 pictures per listing for FREE. You will also have the option of adding up to 4 more pictures for 50 cents and enhancing your listing by displaying your pictures in a slide show format for $1.00.

Please be aware that Picture Services functionality will not be available through Mister Lister during the pilot period. However, this will not affect the performance of Mister Lister. We anticipate Picture Services functionality through Mister Lister, along with the rest of the categories, to be available in the fall.

Keep your eye on the Announcement Board for updates on our Picture Services pilot launch.

See you in the pictures!

Optional Listing Features—The Power Of eBay Listing Options

In the past, eBay users have asked us to research the effectiveness of optional listing features. We have good news to share with you. The listing features that sellers purchase for their items (25 cents for Gallery, $2 for Bold, and $14.95 for Category Featured) work well!

Here's what we learned after looking at a representative slice of over 600,000 listings with starting bids between $25 and $50.

  1. Category Featured items sold for $92 more than items without any features.
  2. Bold items sold for $24 more than items that did not use bold or other features.
  3. Gallery items sold for $3 more than non-Gallery items without other features.

Very compelling numbers in our opinion, but there's more. We also looked at over 13 million listed items to see if these features helped items sell. There's more good news to share:

  1. Category Featured items are 58% more likely to sell when compared to items without features.
  2. Bold items are 27% more likely to sell when compared to items without features.
  3. Gallery items are 8% more likely to sell when compared to items without features.

Overall, this means that most sellers made a very profitable return when using these selling options. That's why you'll see us promoting them in the coming weeks in seller communication emails and a marketing campaign on eBay. We hope you find the information helpful.

More Details about Our Research:

To get the conversion rate numbers (percentage of items that sell) we looked at a random sample of 9,489,776 items listed during the month of March. We took a look at all optional seller features and narrowed our research to features, which were adopted on more than 10,000 items. Then, for those features, we looked at the conversion rate items had when they used and when they did not use the feature.

To determine the value of each feature we looked within the first sample to select 524,000 items where the starting price was between $50 and $100. We didn't count other price points in our research because we didn't want to bias the numbers with sellers who list expensive items at artificially low starting prices. For each of the items we looked at the final value of the item when the item used no features and also at the final value when the item used either category featured, bold or gallery.

Note that we did not look at Dutch auctions in our research... we were only able to track auctions of single items.

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Promotional Efforts and Partnerships

Theme Pages Are Here!

It has been widely known that there is always something for everyone, looking for anything at eBay. We are continually working on new ways to get a wider audience to come view and, hopefully, purchase the items that you have to sell on eBay. Our new home page features our "Browse by Themes" drop down list. We are currently featuring over 30 theme pages with a wide variety of interests which include Jazz, Golf, Special Needs, Classic TV Sitcoms, Cooking, Animation and Pet Stuff just to name a few.

Theme Pages are the manifestation of everything available for sale at eBay. Theme Pages demonstrate the alignment of the site with user interests and the wide variety of items available on the site. This feature can help those of us without sophisticated search expertise, and to newer users, especially those who initially access the home page. Theme pages draw users into the site and, perhaps, into the Community by demonstrating just how many eBay users have similar interests. Most importantly, they can provide sellers with a means of securing ideas of items to sell.

This feature will help prove that eBay offers a vast array of merchandise that buyers are interested in and has more unique items than any other trading environment they've visited.

Check out some of the latest theme pages on the site:

Crystal and Glass
Home Interiors
Model Trains
All Theme Pages

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Technology Enhancements

Browse Improvements

We have made some changes that should improve the way the Browse menu works on eBay. The Browse area is important because it highlights the vibrancy of the eBay marketplace. Currently, the Browse area of the navigation bar highlights Categories, Featured, Hot, Grab Bag, Great Gifts and Big Ticket. Through surveys and usability studies of the site, we learned that many users did not understand how to use the Browse area menu—so they rarely clicked on these items.

We made these changes in order to help users find regional sites and new theme pages that we are constructing (see the Promotional Efforts and Partnerships section). Under the new Browse area, these areas were moved to a browsing "hub page." And the new Browse area of the navigation bar will highlight Categories, Regions and Themes.

To see the improved Browse area, click here.

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Productivity Tools

New Features Recently Added To Auction Assistant Pro

Blackthorne Software has added a great new feature to their Auction Assistant Pro software. This new feature is called Unattended Batch Listings. Unattended Batch Listings (UBLs) provide an alternative to Mister Lister to list batches on eBay. The principal behind UBLs is that an auction can be started at a predefined time in unattended mode. You can specify a time for each auction to start, and at that time, AAPro will start the auction in unattended mode. If you want to list a batch, just set the schedule time of all the auctions to "now" and click the List a Batch of Auctions button. The List a Batch of Auctions button can now do two different things. It can either start a Mister Lister batch, or it can look for any auctions that have a schedule time of "now" or "earlier" and list them in unattended mode. The way the button works can be set on the Batches tab of the Options panel.

Please be careful when you first learn to use this feature and make sure you have read all of the information regarding AAPro Frontline Beta (Current Version 1.27 Beta 5 - 6/6/2000) at Blackthorne Software's website before trying to list large quantities. This new feature is very powerful and can list a lot of auctions in a short amount of time, so you should fully understand it prior to use. It is best to just start out with two or three items in your first unattended batch to get the feel of how it works.

In order to take advantage of this new feature, it will be necessary to download AA Pro Frontline Beta (Current Version 1.27 Beta 5 - 6/6/2000).

To find out more information about Blackthorne Software and the listing management products they have available, please click here.

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Policy Updates

Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

We have received many great questions with regards to the eBay listing policies. If you are wondering if you're listing an item properly or have items that might be questionable, please refer to our Listing Policy page.

You can access this page by going to the Top of any eBay page, then clicking "Help" then "Rules & Safety." This will bring you to our Listings Policy page.

If you still have questions, please write to us at We are always happy to help!

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For PowerSeller support, contact us at

Have a question?
As always, contact us at for a superior level of PowerSeller support.
Promotional Efforts and Partnerships
Theme Pages are Here!
It has been widely known that there is always something for everyone...
Technology Enhancements
Browse Improvements
We have made some changes that should improve the way...
Productivity Tools
New Features Recently Added to Auction Assistant Pro
Blackthorne Software has added a great new feature to their Auction...
Policy Updates
Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
We have received many great questions...
Newsletter Archive
See other articles from past newsletters.
eBay PowerSellers Program
Find out about top-level benefits and privileges available to you.
Dates to Remember
NAWC, Philadelphia, PA - July 5-8

Beaglefest, Santa Rosa, CA - July 6-9

World Stamp Show, Anaheim, CA - July 7-16

Heart-O-The-Mart, Brimfield, MA - July 12-16

Comicon, San Diego, CA - July 19-23

Siggraph, New Orleans, LA - July 23-28