Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our Completed Prices Are More Accurate Than Ebay's

Ebay Sale Price
Have you ever seen a listing like this on eBay as you shop for games or movies? eBay lets sellers offer sale prices on buy it now listings if they have an eBay store. These can be a great way to get a cheap price on games, but they also make eBay an inaccurate source for historic price comparison.

When a listing ends eBay changes the listing to look like the above image with a "Sold For:" price. This price is not actually what it sold for but what it was listed for if the item was on sale. If the Tales of Destiny listing above sells, eBay will show the sales price as $59.99 when in fact the buyer actually paid $47.39.

If you were using this listing as a reference you would think Tales of Destiny sells for $12 more than it actually does.

We record the actual sales price in our database so using our historic data as your reference eliminates this upward bias.

We discovered this during our regular pricing audits. We record the ACTUAL sales price every time an item sells. Every time you visit one of our completed auction tabs eBay tells us the price for each listing again. We manually investigate any prices that don't match in order to fix any errors.

This same issue also happens listings sold in another currency. eBay changes the sales price to reflect the current exchange rate instead of the exchange rate at the time of the sale. This doesn't change prices as much as the sales do, but it does make the completed auction listings on eBay inaccurate. For example, the exchange rate between US dollars and Canadian dollars increased 7% during the last 90 days. So all Canadian eBay listings from three months ago will be off by 7%.

Again, we record the prices based upon the original exchange rate so it matches what the buyer actually paid for the item.


Michael said...

Great work guys, I always use the site before buying any game. It's also really fun to just browse and learn about game economics.

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