My questions require a fair bit of background information, so please bare with me.
We have an e-commerce app that lets users sell their records. To simplify the selling process we populated our database with a large collection of existing records. This allows sellers to search and select a record to sell, choose a price and an condition, and create their listing.
Our business rules represent the items as unique individual units, and the products as profiles in our database associated with items.
This forces the checkout process to be "Product centric" as opposed to "Item centric". In other words, when you search, or visit a product page, you're not looking at the actual item a seller wants to sell. Rather, you'll see the product profile, and along with it with a number of buying options. Each buying option corresponds to a different seller, different price, and a different condition.
Simply put "Here's the product and it's info, and here are the different sellers selling it." Although the sellers remain anonymous.
This leads to some questions:
- When looking at a product, how should we prioritise the sellers?
We plan to display a single listing for each item condition (New, Excellent, Good, Record Only), giving the buyer a choice. But how do we choose those items? Based on price or the order they were listed?
Prioritising price means sellers who list first, but at a higher price, may never sell. This approach may also have implications for "promoted items."
Prioritising listing date may cause an item to never sell if the first seller has a very high price.
- Our design decisions mean the catalogue index page will list unique products from our database. Only once a product page is visited by buyers will they see different buying options from all the sellers who listed an item. Is this a good approach?
We considered making the catalogue index "item centric." Instead of listing products from our db, we could list actual items listed by sellers. This means users will be able to visit pages associated with unique items, instead of a product profile with a bunch of sellers.