Sell through rate is calculated using this formula:
total listings with sales ÷ (total ended listings + active listings with sales)
The result is a percentage that is reported as sell through rate.
Q. Can I see an example?
A. Here's an example using an imaginary product called FancyWidgets.
- 132 listings for FancyWidgets ended over the selected time period with at least one sale.
- There were a total of 336 listings for FancyWidgets that ended over that time.
- There are currently 89 still-active listings for FancyWidgets with at least one sale.
In this example, there are a total of 221 listings with at least one sale during the period (132 that have ended and 89 that are still active). There are a total of 425 listings for which the sale outcome is known (336 ended listings and 89 active listings with at least one sale).
221 listings ÷ 425 listings = a sell through rate of 52% for FancyWidgets.
Q. How is this information useful?
A. Sell through rate can help you to determine how likely it is that a product will generate a sale if you list it on eBay.
For example, if a product has a sell through rate of 100 percent, every listing for the product whose outcome is known resulted in a sale. Under these conditions, it may be reasonable to assume that if you create a similar listing, your listing is also likely to generate sale.
On the other hand, if a product has a sell through rate of zero percent, no listings for the product whose outcomes are known resulted in a sale. Under these conditions, it may be reasonable to assume that if you create a similar listing, your listing is also unlikely to generate a sale.
Q. I have seen different definitions of sell through rate elsewhere. Why the difference?
A. Sell through rate can be calculated in a variety of ways—using listings or inventory, based on completed listings (outcomes known) only or based on active (some outcomes possibly unknown) listings.
Terapeak's method for calculating sell through rate is based on listings, rather than total inventory, and is biased toward known outcomes—or, cases in which:
- A still-active listing has already resulted in at least one sale
- An ended listing resulted in at least one sale
- An ended listing did not result in at least one sale
Still-active listings that do not yet have sales are not counted because it is not yet clear whether they will result in a sale or end without generating a sale. Once a sale occurs or a listing ends without a sale, it is included in the calculation as either as a sale or a no-sale listing.
Q. I see "n/a" as the sell through rate for my search. What does this mean?
A. In certain cases, no sell through rate for a search can be calculated. This occurs when:
- Your search is filtered by location using the Buyer Country, Seller Country, or Transaction Site filters.
- Your search falls outside the most recent 90 days of marketplace activity.
Due to limitations in the data available to us, we are unable to accurately calculate sell through rates for location-filtered searches or searches involving data more than 90 days in the past.
Q. Why do I see slight variations in sell through rate figures?
A. There are two reasons why sell through rate figures can vary slightly across similar searches.
- Listings are continuously ending, being created, and generating sales on eBay; sell through rate figures for similar searches can thus vary over time as marketplace activity occurs.
- For searches that return a very large number of listings and transactions, sell through rate is calculated using a representative sample, to ensure rapid results.
In both cases, calculated sell through rate figures are generally accurate and representative of market conditions, even if slight variations are observed.