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eBay to Change Search-Results Sorting in September
By Ina Steiner
July 20, 2007

eBay said it may roll out its new "Price & Shipping Sort" search option by September. The company had announced in June that it was testing the feature, which is a new search option that sorts search results according to the total cost of the item, including shipping and handling charges. The feature will help buyers take into account shipping costs when perusing items in search results and is an effort to counter excessive shipping charges that some sellers impose in their listings.

Sellers should include at least one valid ShippingServiceOption in listings to prepare for the feature. Items that do not specify shipping information using the ShippingServiceOption feature may sorted lower than expected in eBay search results.

eBay told developers on Monday that two new sorting options for Search results, PricePlusShippingAsc and PricePlusShippingDesc, are currently in testing on the eBay site. If the tests are successful, the sorting options will be enabled in (GetSearchResults, GetCategoryListings and FindItemsAdvanced) by September 2007.

Detailed behavior of the new sorting options includes:

PricePlusShippingAsc Sort: Items will appear in the order of lowest-total-cost (for items where shipping was properly specified), then freight-shipping items, then items for which shipping was not specified (sorted by price).

PricePlusShippingDesc Sort: Items will appear in the order of highest-total-cost (for items where shipping was properly specified), then freight-shipping items, then items for which shipping was not specified (sorted by price).
eCommerce Sellers Motivators "We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? But actually, who are you NOT to be?" Marianne Williamson
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This may be ok for the search results of an identical item, like a particular CD where you have a common basis for a price plus shipping comparison, but many (or most) search results include items that are not exactly the same, nor weigh the same, and therefore such a ranking would be meaningless. Hopefully ebay will make this an optional sort and not a default!
Three points :-

1) I wonder how they are going to discern between sellers who pack well for the p&p, and those that would not even if they knew how.

2) Will they take into account multiple item discounts which cannot be specified automatically because the sellers wares are all different shapes and sizes.

3) Will they discern between those who circumvent fees by selling a £10 item with p&p of say £2, for £2 with £10 p&p ?

And of course with the latter if the item is lost in the post (or deliberately not sent) the unlucky buyer will only get £2 back from the postal service instead of £10 and the seller keeps the surplus, a nice little racket seen only too often.

(Correction: I can't count (Two points !) and no one noticed or perhaps you were all being polite, that must be it Wink )
Last edited by choochooguy

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