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September 16, 2008

FP30 is born!

Well today eBay officially launched the Multi-quantity 30-day duration fixed price listing (FP30 for short). 

I'm proud to announce that we are already not only supporting FP30 TODAY at ChannelAdvisor in both our MarketplaceAdvisor Standard and Premium offerings, but we've done some enhancements to take advantage of how the relist works so that our customers will be advantaged with their recent sales.

This was tricky because eBay hasn't had this in the API until it went live on the site at midnight PT, so we had to have a team working on this in real time to support it, test, it, etc.  In fact, this new format won't be in the eBay sandbox for weeks.  Clearly the business changes are coming faster than the rest of the company can keep up right now.

In fact, our sales team heard from one poor Turbolister seller that TL won't even support FP30 for at best a week or two.  Ouch, talk about a disadvantage.  Think of all that sales velocity this seller's competitors will be able to build up.  I don't know if Blackthorne or any of the other myriad eBay listing tools will support FP30 yet, but it's not a long shot given how it was rolled out that they will be days if not weeks behind.

Off to a slow start
Given all the hoopla in the press and supposedly nashing of teeth around this new format, it's off to a slow start.  We have about 150 customers that have listed an FP30.  Here's one of the first ones if you want to see what it looks like 'live' on eBay.

Part of what's going on with the seller base is, for lack of a better word, eBay fatigue.  Sellers feel their businesses have changes so much (DSRs, BestMatch, etc..)  for so little/no/decline in sales that eBay is increasingly becoming a lower priority for them and thus they will tend to be reactive vs. proactive as they would have been as recently as 6 months ago.  To be honest, most of our larger sellers are spending their time getting their websites and other channels ready for the holidays and eBay just isn't a priority.  Of course this doesn't bode well for eBay, but it's the reality of what is going on in the grassroots of ecommerce.

So unless eBay puts a promo on the FP30, I don't see this mass switch to FP30 over the store format or anything until maybe Q1 after the holiday dust settles.

I'll keep a close eye on the trends and report anything of interest.

For those ChannelAdvisor customers that are also blog readers, we have details on our FP30 support on the Strategy and Support Center (SSC) here.

SeekingAlpha disclosure: I am long google and ebay.


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