I’m not going to mince words. American eBay sellers can literally spend hours going crazy, wracking their brains trying to figure out how to beat the can’t see me – Cassini system. This is what I’ve learned about the 12 number auto assigned auction numbers and I hope other eBayers will come along and add to my list and make any corrections: We’re talking about the first 3 numbers that appear in a string of 12.
181 and 191 – You are doomed to failure. Close your account and start over. This auction is live and visible on the site, but it will never be visible to anyone but you. Within the blackout theory, when you are assigned this number you are in a 24/7 blackout. This is a number I experienced when I got tired of not having sales on my main account. I read on the eBay website that new eBayers get a placement boost so I created a fresh account, unfortunately, eBay must have recognized what I was doing based on my IP address and nipped it right in the bud by assigning me an auction number that started with 181. I had a quilted Caviar Chanel bag listed for an opening bid of $49.99 and received zero page views for 7 days, not even a single bot view.
111 and 112 – Low priority. This number is assigned to eBayers who sell less than 0.4%. Regardless of whether or not you have changed products or made positive corrections to your business model, eBay has made the decision that either you as a seller or the items you are selling do not offer a significant contribution to the site. You are stuck here for a long while and moving up the food chain will be a lot of work. It can be done but don’t expect any favors. Don’t lose hope. This is where you either collapse to the pressure and quit, get caught in a cycle of no views/no sales, or you figure out how to break out and move up the food chain.
111 and 112 are also assigned to lower priority sellers whose relists may have started with a higher number (121(2)/131(2)/171(2)) on the first go around. Unfortunately, because the item didn’t sell, it lost priority in the relist. Change your keywords, your photos or an item specific before you relist anything. It may or may not help. Sometimes the right person didn’t see the listing but they will this time. The next 3 numbers in the sequence will be one of the determining factors.
Within the blackout theory, when you are assigned the number 111(2) you will experience rolling blackouts. The only time you can be positive your items will appear in search is when you have first listed it, and just before it ends.
121 and 122 – Low priority. A step up from 111(2), this number is assigned when eBay has made the decision that either you as a seller or the items you are selling do not offer a significant contribution to the site, but you have potential. It’s the next step up from the 111(2) range. It doesn’t matter if you have a 100% feedback or have qualified as a TRS or PS. Your sell through rate is approximately .05% to .06% which means you have grown and still have more room to move up the food chain. You have your work cut out for you. It’s tough breaking out of the not visible/results in no sales cycle. Keep pushing.
Within the blackout theory, when you are assigned this number you will continue to experience rolling blackouts. The only time you can be certain your items will appear in search is when you have first listed it, and up to 12 hours before it ends.
131 and 132 – Low priority. This is one of the new seller boost numbers but it’s also used for longer standing casual selling accounts as well as another step for those fighting through the 100 range. The next 3 numbers in the sequence are the determining factors. This number is assigned when eBay has made the decision that either you as a seller or the items you are selling do not offer a significant contribution to the site but show potential. It doesn’t matter if you have a 100% feedback or have qualified as a TRS or PS. Your sell through rate is approximately .06% to .07% and you have more than likely been a seller for 2+ years.
I am unsure if there are numbers 141(2) to 161(2).. if you have knowledge, please feel free to post it and I will add it to the list.
171 and 172 – Low priority. This number is assigned when eBay has made the decision that either you as a seller or the items you are selling do not offer a significant contribution to the site. It doesn’t matter if you have a 100% feedback or have qualified as a TRS or PS. Your sell through rate is approximately .06% to .07% and you have been a seller for a substantial amount of time i.e. 5 to 10 years. This should be easy enough to make the jump into the 200 range but with eBay, no one really knows.
I am unsure of the 181 to 191 range. If you have knowledge please feel free to post.
200 range – Reserved for established sellers of 5 or more years. The second set of three numbers determines the outcome of your sell though. If your 4th number starts with an 8, you are a mid to low priority seller.
In the case of 200 and 300 range sellers, the lower your 4th number, the lower priority. Example: 2XX2 is a lower priority than 2XX9. In either case, your sell through rate will be double to triple that of the low priority sellers who are in the 100 ranges.
300 range – Reserved for eBay starlets. The majority of these listings are are usually from the high volume sellers. There’s only 4 ways to get here. 1. Devalued products for a deliberate high volume sell through, 2. Rarity of items. Those who are fortunate enough to have access to a product that isn’t mass produced. 3. Right place/right time. You had a following before the collapse and you had the business sense to pull through and even grow. Your efforts have been rewarded. 4. Location. Asia seems to have the 300 range pretty locked in regardless of their sell through rate, quality of product or feedback number.
The second set of three numbers still determines the outcome of sell though but not to the extent of the 100 and 200 ranges.
400 range – Promoted listings. This is currently in beta. Your listings will appear spontaneously on any give place within page 1 of best match and will also appear, sadly for their competitors, as the header to a competitors store front.
There are other things I’ve learned about the Cassini search engine which many other eBay sellers also know about. The “things” are not necessarily work arounds but more like tweaks. Tweaking can make the difference between being seen or unseen and being placed on page 1 or page 11. Out of respect for those who know those tweaks, I will not post what those tweaks are. I’m also not sure it would be in my best interest to post for the mere fact that it’s how I am able to sell anything as a 100 range seller.
Outside of Cassini’s manipulated search criteria, there’s other factors that come into play; time of day, day of week, week of month, month of year – all of which are pretty much common sense to anyone who pays attention to their sales and what their competitors are doing.
For the record: I am in the 121 range. I look forward to learning about the higher priorities as I learn how to get out of the no visibility/no sales cycle.
* Change log June 2016: Auction number(s) assignment update. 111 has rolled over to 112. Update is noted as 111(2) to show 111 or 112. 121 has rolled over to 122 and is noted as 121(2). 131 has rolled over to 132 and is noted as 131(2). 171 has rolled over to 172 and is noted as 171(2).
The number roll overs are a natural progression of listings being added to the site.