eBay Tests Extending Buy It Now

Buy-It-Now (BIN) normally ends once a bid is placed or a reserve is reached. eBay is now testing leaving the BIN price up as bids are placed.

eBay reports today that extensive research suggests keeping the BIN option available on a listing longer, will increase the chance that a buyer wins the item and that it will close at a higher price for the seller. As a result, eBay is looking at ways to change how BIN works that will balance both buyer and seller needs.

The test is being conducted in the eBay Motors Parts and Accessories category. Over the next few months, eBay will test a number of variations of the rules for how long the BIN option will stay available on a listing. For example, they may start with a rule that the BIN option will remain available on the listing until the bidding reaches 50% of the BIN amount. This rule could be modified with a different percentage over the course of the testing. Other variations could include keeping the BIN available until a certain amount of time is left in the listing, or until a certain amount of bids have been placed.

I was a little curious why eBay picked eBay Motors for this test.  eBay’s Sohil Gilani with from the Buyer Experience team says: "We’re limiting our testing to the Parts & Accessories category on eBay Motors because it has a healthy mix of auction and auction BIN listings, as well as a blend of standard auto parts and hard-to-find items. This should give us a great chance to get solid results and find the "sweet spot" where both buyers and sellers are benefiting most from Buy It Now.

As we experiment to find what works best, we’ll be watching the impact of our testing carefully, and we’ll have the ability to make immediate changes if needed."
So what will the effect on sellers be?  This will be an interesting test.  I think there is no doubt this could possibly increase seller’s final values, but will it aggravate buyers?  eBay knows it has a problem with buyer experience and this test should be interesting.  I speak with buyers all the time and one thing I hear over and over from new buyers is that once they lose something they become disappointed and don’t return to the platform.
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