eBay Deal Finder: The Real Deal or a Real Dud?

Posted on July 23, 2010. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , |

Today when checking my eBay listings I happened to notice something on the homepage that I had not seen before.  I’m sure most eBay buyers have seen the eBay DealFinder before but I only sell on eBay, not buy, so it was new to me.

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What struck me right away was how eBay stated that they compared prices between eBay and other marketplaces  NOT CONSIDERING shipping charges.  This seemed so ironic to me given how eBay has been hitting their sellers over the head with information about how sensitive online shoppers are about shipping costs.  Heck, eBay sellers are even graded on their shipping costs via Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs).   Given that eBay chose to compare prices excluding shipping costs tells me that eBay is admitting that shipping costs on eBay are higher than other marketplaces especially because marketplaces like Amazon are known for its free shipping model.

Next I clicked on the link that said “see more deals”:

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I decided to check out eBay’s claim that they had the best price on an item.  So, I chose an item from the front page that was relevant to business — an Intermediate Accounting Book. 

While eBay stated that Walmart.com had the next lowest price I found that to be woefully inaccurate.  There were plenty of Amazon third party sellers who had lower prices than Walmart.com which tells me that eBay must only be comparing the prices of items sold directly by Amazon.com not any of its third party sellers.

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Yet, still the eBay seller had the lowest price. 

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But wait a minute…. the eBay seller had the lowest price for a completely different book.

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SUMMARY

 eBay compares its prices to competitors’ prices excluding shipping and eBay doesn’t include the prices of other platforms’ third party vendors despite ALL of eBay’s sellers being only third party sellers.  And, worst of all, eBay employs an apples-to-oranges price comparison model by promoting eBay listings as “deals” that are for a completely different item than the ISBN advertised in the item specifics.

Conclusion?  The eBay Deal Finder is certainly no “real” deal.

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