Like New and How To Fix That

Thursday, 25 October 2007 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

eBay is reportedly starting to ban the use of the phrase "like new." Of course, people are going wild over it. They are saying that "like new" is a term used all the time in the sales of items, so why ban it?

Let’s think about this from the point of view of a shopper. If you want something that is new, what percentage of the time are you willing to buy something that’s not new? For me, that’s not often. If I want something that is really brand new, I don’t want anything that was used, opened, returned, or who knows what.

Now let’s think about how eBay searches work. If in your listing title you say LIKE NEW, and I search for NEW, I will get your listing unless I know how to use Boolean operators in eBay searches. That’s probably relatively few people. But you could search for NEW -"like new." As I am writing this, I’m searching

items found for: new
items found for: (like new,"like new")

That means that less than 0.4% of items are saying LIKE NEW. That seems small to me honestly. I expected to see many more in my search results if eBay’s cracking down on this. I know that as a shopper, when I want new, I probably don’t want LIKE NEW, so I get this. When I want used or refurb, I search for that.

I think the best way to go is to create condition grading. Then, you can ask people what is the minimal level of use. So you might have:

  1. Brand new, in box, never used
  2. Brand new, open box
  3. Slightly used but with box and all manuals/parts
  4. Slightly used missing box and/or manuals/parts
  5. Moderately used
  6. Heavily used
  7. Not fully working

So for one item, I might want level 3 or higher. For another item, I may only want level 1. For another item, I may be OK with level 6 or higher. If you could do a range of levels, that would be great. Say I want to save money by getting something used that works. I could search for anything that fits into levels 3-6.

I like my idea, and hope eBay adopts it. :)

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Categories: Just An Observation

Comments Closed

Comments are closed.