eBay sellers are no strangers to eBay watching, aka a phenomenon when eBay buyers are interested in a product but aren’t ready to place a bid or click the “Buy It Now” button. Since they aren’t quite buyers, people who practice eBay watching are known as eBay watchers.
Sellers have mixed feelings about eBay watching. If you’re a seller, you’re always excited to make a sale. If you didn’t make an immediate sale yet, there is still hope in people adding your products to “My Watch List” by clicking their “Add To Watch List” button.
If people are adding you to your watch list, it means that they are interested in your products. However, there are some cases when your sales time frame ends and your products are still on their eBay watch list. You have plenty of eBay watchers but no buyers.
The feeling is similar to having an eBay buyer cancel their order. You thought you had it, but you actually did not.
eBay watchers can be encouraging, especially you have a huge number of them. However, they don’t always translate into buyers. eBay watching happens for many reasons but it doesn’t automatically express the intent to buy.
Still, you shouldn’t lose hope due to eBay watching. There’s still an opportunity for you to convert eBay watchers to buyers. There are tools and tricks you can do to improve your listings and create a sense of urgency among eBay watchers. So, dear eBay seller, don’t just go on vacation mode just yet!
Here’s everything you need to know about eBay watching, eBay watchers and your next moves.
What is Watching on eBay?
When people browse for products on the site, they can track potential listings by adding them to their Watch lists, which serve as an online watch counter or shopping bag. This saves the listings in their accounts, enabling the buyers to track auctions and receive updates in case of changes.
How does watching work on eBay?
If you are logged into your account using Google or Facebook, you’ll find a button labeled “Add to watch list” on a listing page. If you’re using your desktop, the eBay watch link sits at the right of the product’s image, under the “Add to Cart,” “Buy It Now” and “Make Offer” items.
When you click the “Watch” link or the “Add to watch list,” the listing is saved in your My eBay area. If you’re watching an item up for auction, you can immediately return to monitor the status of the auction without having to search for the listing again.
eBay will also notify you when the auction is about to close. If a buyer has decided to buy, they can just return via the watch list.
eBay watchers can either be sellers or buyers. eBay buyers who practice watching are bookmarking the items they’re interested in while they decide whether they should bid or not. eBay watching also helps buyers win their actions at the last minute.
On the other hand, eBay sellers can be watchers when they are tracking the items they want to sell in the future. If you are accessing eBay on your phone, the Watch link is under an image with the same options.
More eBay Watchers Don’t Always Mean More eBay Sales
Even if your listing has a crowded watch list, it doesn’t mean most of these watchers are interested in buying your product. Think of the watch list as a shopping cart; buyers just add listings that they may consider in the future. eBay also uses the watch list to help users manage their interests.
Because of the features that come with the watch list, there are many reasons an eBay user will add your listing to their watch list:
- They are interested in your product but think it’s too expensive. Others will want to watch how the auction plays out before they buy.
- They are interested in the product and want to buy it, but not now. They might want something similar at a later date. So, they are using the watch list to remind themselves.
- They’re not interested in buying the item but consider it interesting.
- They are rival sellers who are watching the health of your listings.
There are many possibilities behind an eBay user becoming a watcher. Also, it’s impossible to know which category your target audience falls into. As an eBay seller, you can only see the number of people watching your listing under the Watcher column on your listings page. This feature helps you track the number of people watching your listings, but you won’t know who the eBay watchers are.
Also, even if you focus on counting eBay watchers, the counts do not offer proof of urgency to shoppers.
Recently, eBay also removed its watch counts on listings, so only sellers can see the number of eBay watchers. Buyers no longer have an idea of the number of people interested in their products. So, if you have a high watch count, it doesn’t automatically mean that shoppers are eager to buy your products.
You may not have an idea of who your watchers are or what their motivations are, you can still use the watcher count as a tool. Also, it’s important to optimize listings that have generated interest. Doing so will help you convert more watchers into buyers.
How to Convert eBay Watchers Into Buyers
Keep in mind that not all watchers will become buyers. Still, there are some things you can do to entice interested buyers to actually take the plunge.
Consider the following strategies to optimize your listings and encourage users to stop eBay watching and just buy.
Offer a Deal
One way to draw in more buyers is to offer a special incentive to customers who buy now. Buyers love a great deal since it makes them feel resourceful and clever.
To set up a promotion or an official sale, make sure you’re an eBay store subscriber. From the promotions page, set up different types of offers, which includes the following:
- Sales events. Reduce prices on specific items or categories. For example, offer a 10 percent discount on all of your skincare products.
- Order discounts. Offer a special discount based on the amount spent or order size.
- Codeless coupons. Send exclusive discounts to specific buyers.
- Promotional shipping. Offer discounted or free shipping to qualified buyers.
If an item goes on sale after a user adds it to their watch list, eBay will display the markdown on the list, as well as the percentage off. Offering discounts is always a great way to entice watchers to look at their listing and buy.
If you don’t want to pay for a subscription, run your own sales. Without an eBay store subscription, you won’t have the same visibility that comes with a store promotion, but you can still get some attention. All you have to do is edit the text or title of your listing to reflect your offers.
Make a Direct Offer
In 2019, eBay introduced an “offer to watchers” feature that sellers can use to directly message the auction waters in case of a lower-price offer. This enables sellers to immediately inform potential buyers about offers.
However, this feature is only available on fixed price listings that are at least 10 days old. If your listing meets the criteria, you can find the “Send Offers” option on your Manage Active Listings menu.
Add a “Best Offer” Option
If you’re not a big fan of playing with your listings’ prices, find the sweet spot for your eBay watchers. Let them make the offer. Give customers the chance to suggest the amount by adding an “Or Best Offer” option to your listing. Buyers can make the offer. eBay will give you 48 hours to decide whether you want to accept or decline the offer. If they are allowed to make a choice, eBay buyers are less likely to retract a bid and just jump into the auction.
Lower the Price
Customers won’t say no to lower prices. If you lower the price of your listing by at least five percent, eBay will automatically notify your watchers to let them know you’ve offered a discount. This is a great opportunity to reach all of your eBay watchers with one notification.
When it comes to lowering your item prices, five percent is already significant. But if you are selling a small-ticket item, consider being a bit more generous with your discounts.
eBay watching is a thing on eBay but it shouldn’t discourage sellers from being creative with their strategies. If many people are watching your products, take advantage of it. Use tried-and-tested selling techniques to convert eBay watchers to eBay buyers.