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Mon Sept 1 2014 14:24:14

Are eBay Glitches Hurting Auction Sales?

By: Ina Steiner

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There have been a lot of reports of glitches that are impacting auctions on eBay recently. Last week, one such glitch prevented some shoppers from bidding on auction listings - buyers told sellers they were unable to bid on their auction listings because, according to an eBay message, the seller doesn't ship to their geographic location. This despite both parties being located in the U.S.

In another reported glitch, buyers said that when they tried to display all of the auctions in which they had placed bids, eBay did not display all of the listings. This was reported on August 31st on the Ecommerce EKG board as well as on eBay discussion boards, where a buyer wrote:

Am I the only one having this issue? I have a bid on an item, when I refresh to see if I am still high bidder or how much time is left, only some of the items I am bidding on show up. I refresh again and they all show up. Refresh again they disappear again and so on. What is going on eBay?

This particular problem appears to be ongoing - this Ecommerce EKG report is from August 17th:

When trying to display auctions actively bidding on via MyEbay homepage not all auctions are displayed. Every reload of the page yields a different group of auctions displayed. Additionally, had one auction report that I was overbid when I was the only bidder on that auction.

Thanks to a new fee structure, eBay is now basically forcing lower-volume sellers in certain popular categories such as collectibles and clothing to list in the auction format.

But the company must understand - if a glitch temporarily brings down a fixed-price listing, the seller at least doesn't face having to accept a lower selling price when the item does sell. But that can be the case when an auction listing becomes temporarily inaccessible to bidders - just one bidder missing the action can make a big difference to the ending price of an auction.

Given the risk of selling a high-value item for a low price due to a glitch, is the auction format feasible on eBay? What are your strategies for protecting your auction prices, on eBay or elsewhere?



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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Sep 1 15:16:58 2014

Since I still have a store, most of my sales are fixed price.  I list very few auctions, and only with a starting price that is the minimum I am willing to accept. The vast majority of my dwindling sales sell fixed price. August looks to be down about 50% from last year.



Seriously folks,  one day when sellers log onto eBay Ferris Buehler will be looking out the screen saying: ''You're still here?''

and then he will wave us away and say ''It's over - Go home!''.

We'll be left staring at a blank screen.


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This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Mon Sep 1 15:39:08 2014

Basset or anyone, can you please answer my question ?

I have been TR since it's inception, yet I have gone down to $10,000 a year. In June 2014 I grossed $300 for the ENTIRE month !

Now I am drying up and dying literally I am afraid, and do not no where to go to end this suffering ?

Anyhow back to my point, I am TR I do get good search position, I sell pretty much in demand items.

My point is I am TRS and good search position, and I am FINANCIALLY dying !

WHO THE HELL IS PROFITING ? I am TRS I am suppose to be kicking @ss yet I am almost out of business !

You all are suffering, every seller I know is suffering, but HOW THE HELL did eBay stock GO UP after the hack ?

This boggles my mind ! Something is horribly not right with eBay !

How the HELL did that stock go up after a hack, which left me TRS $300 gross for the month ?

eBay was DEAD all summer, the worse I have ever seen it since the 1990's

Is someone channeling all sales to only the mega 1,000,000 listing sellers ? WTF is going on ? Sellers are leaving, dying, getting exterminated, hacked, no traffic, yet the stock goes up !

Someone PLEASE help us sellers JD is PINNOCHIO !

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 1 17:38:09 2014

Well we still sell on Ebay. Fixed prices only thru our store.

With the defect fiasco and on going glitches we have stopped buying on Ebay.

We purchased Amazon Prime and have been buying up a storm...Spent at least 2 grand in the last week for christmas...WE WILL NOT RETURN TO THE SCENE OF SCAMMERS, THIEVES, OVERCHARGES, and FAKES.

EBAY WE ARE DONE SPENDING OUR MONEY ON YOUR SITE...BYE BYE DONUTHOLE.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Sep 1 18:46:42 2014

@ LDS Brother - no one knows what lurks in the minds of eBay.  I am also TRS 100% but I don't say much about it anymore. It seems to be meaningless.

The stock market does its own thing. It is indeed living in its own bubble.  


Recently had to buy an i-thing for a family member.

Briefly looked on eBay then thought about the eternal  glitches - the sellers did not worry me so much as the instability. Sorry i-thing sellers.

Went to a B&M store and was waited on by a wonderful young guy who not only sold us one i-thing but two. Set everything up for us, and ended up saving us some money in the long run.


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by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Sep 1 20:31:04 2014

I rarely buy anything on ebay these days.  The search makes me nuts so I just go to other sites where I will be shown the item I want.

@Bassett

AMEN!!  It isn't the sellers that worry me, it is ebay!

I was just FaceTimeing with a close friend who collects Polly Pockets.  She only buys on ebay, has never sold a thing.  She listed half dozen issues she has had recently that have made her go looking elsewhere for Pollys.  Was it sellers?  NOPE!  It was issues with ebay.

So it is interesting, ebay, that this ''buyer experience'' you are always touting is being submarined by you and NOT by the sellers.

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Sep 1 22:46:45 2014

One day we are all going to wake up and eBay will simply no longer be RELEVANT anymore...everyone will have moved on to better sites and whatever eBay will have turned into by then will bear little resemblance to what it started out as back in 1995...

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by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 2 00:06:48 2014

I have searched for craft items and purses on eBay and bid. When I search again sometimes the item on which I am bidding doesn't show in search. I have thus won the bid at lower price than other identical listings, I assume because othe shoppers also don't see the listing. This has happened several times! It seems totally random.  

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 2 00:09:08 2014

@BASSETT and ONLYPOLLYPOCKET--

As a seller ebay makes me see RED and wanna punch a puppy.  Hard.  And often.  Not the least of which is because of the way they are so feckin' ARROGANT about how YOU are defective in every way.

As a BUYER--well I used to say--As long as I sell MORE than I buy-I am happy.  Now--not so much.  Finding what I want--not that easy;  things vanish and re-appear and or don't show up at all until you use a search engine OUTSIDE of ebay--and even THAT is not easy as Google will no longer show you ebay's listings--why IS that anyways????

I feel that there is a certain automatic level of mistrust between buyer and seller that NEVER used to be there--and now overshadows EVERY sale.  I hate this!  I recently bought three of the same items from one seller.  Because of ebays busted MESSAGES system--she never saw my request for combined shipping and so for item No 3 she gave me a discounted price to make up for that--but she mailed the things in three different packages!  One arrived damaged due to the POST OFFICES equipment mashing the package.  Now--I would NEVER fault a seller for properly packaged items that were damaged by something out of their control such as this.  However--I shipped a package and it was destroyed by the PO sort center--and I was FORCED to accept a NEUTRAL feedback----Equals an AUTOMATIC DEFECT RATING---for it!  Buyer actually mentioned that the PO was responsible--but REFUSED to revise (If she even ever got the Message---sigh)  So--I would not rate MY seller on this--but others might.  And ebay feels this is A-OK!  

Altho I like to support the GOOD sellers on ebay---I find sponsoring ebay ITSELF is---repugnant.  And that gives me---pause.  Like shopping at Walmart--I know they pay crap and buy stuff from China but--if people don't shop there local people will lose THEIR jobs.

I gave up "Prime" as I found I did not use it worth $99.00 for me.  Altho I still buy somethings on Amazon--ironically I buy the shipping envelopes I use there as I can't find them on---ebay!

I deplore ebays  "Customer Service"  but after dealing with ETSY's bizarro world "Customer Service"  just ONCE (as a buyer)  I was appalled at their lack of any sort of policy on their part towards a buyer getting something that was--indeed--NOT as described.  Canceled my ETSY account over this.  Amazon's Customer Service is stellar tho!!

There are pluses and minus on all formats but--Where ELSE are we going to get stuff?  I live where it is hard to just wander off to stores--and the ones we DO have are not exactly well stocked or well rounded.  So even before the rise of eCommerce--we had to often use Mail Order to get--almost anything!  When I found ebay it was like a whole new world of Mail Order opened up.  As I am sure it did for many.  and then after both buying and selling for so MANY years there--to have them turn on the very hand that feeds them as they have---with RABIES no less--enough to shake your faith.  

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by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 2 01:34:58 2014

Ebay is not interested in their selling venue, they are too busy with trying to build an advertising agency, a loan company and moving money from one country to the next to pay attention to piddly sales in the US.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Sep 2 06:46:12 2014

Comet - exactly!

I understand the Walmart ''ugh'' factor.  Walmart does not need me to write commercials for them, but one nice feature is the link for all ''USA made'' items. There are quite a few so it is worth a look-see.

Been using their online site quite a bit lately (instead of amazon) with an ongoing shopping basket where I hit ''buy'' when it reaches the magic $50 to get free shipping. Too easy to come up with that $50 for everyday stuff these days. They even carry the hunting scent removal detergent I use on some pre-owned clothing I sell! Works great on smoke and some fragrance smells.




I sell in one of your categories and know of what you speak regarding other venues - at this point, there seems no other choice that brings in the buyers that eBay does (even if sporadically, these days). Of all the other venues, I WISH Bonanza would work - I like the ease of listing there, the look, etc.... BUT no sales there. When I ask other people about it - they have never heard of it. And their close relationship with eBay bothers me.

I've even tried to put my money there - for awhile I was determined to give them some business and I would search Bonanza and eCrater first, before eBay for clothing or household items. Either they had ZERO results for what I needed, or their prices were so high compared to the same thing on eBay that I had to finally go with eBay. Some folks can disregard price - I can't.  



I am not a tech person, but I wish there was a way that people with their own sites/stores in the same categories could ''circle the wagons'' and work from a single, buyer-attracting site with a search feature that can pull results from the ''encampment''.   The group could promote their hub. Sort of a more-is-better approach for visibility, but each wagon is an individual business.  Sort of like an early eBay but category specific, and very simple and straightforward.  Sigh.


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by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 2 08:11:59 2014

@ LDS brother,

Ebay's stock is not to be looked at as a gauge as to how the selling "venue" is doing.
Ebay undoubtedly purchased its own stock to keep the smoke and mirrors up to hide the dive from the investors.  Paypal also pads the numbers.
Do not believe any of it.

All I can tell you is Ebay will not be getting better anytime soon. Small sellers are being ushered out.  There will be several more years of ridiculous updates that strangle sellers.  Its the frog in a pot of water thing.....find other venues, create your own website, before they turn the heat up to full boil.

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by: WhatWas This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 2 08:39:56 2014

@ LDS Brother,

So it's not you, everyone on eBay is suffering. It's a combination of things, econ, search, competition, lack of eBay marketing and fickle buyers, eyeballs are King.

Newbies and younger power sellers have all diversified to amazon FBA and other sites. eBay has its place, but it's just not a cool place to buy things any more. eBay is not attracting the (new) right buyers. They refer to and mention the traffic at Amazon is Grrreat!

EBay tried to screw with google and manipulate their search and got spanked - hard. Nice job boys (idiots really). Traffic is way down. Can’t sell something without eyeballs!

Sooo many ppl are unemployed they have become sellers and have flooded the market with thrift finds. Hence the pricing has really deteriorated over the last 4-5 years. Not to mention the China syndrome - millions of cheap chachki items/knock offs.

With Cassini in full swing, SW updates turn into glitches with unknown outcomes of search - I am certain eBay doesn't even know why. I know my items are not being displayed for days at a time. I can go 2-3 days with NO sales and then wham 10-15 sales in one day, all from one region. Statistically impossible. Can’t sell something without eyeballs!

So if you are not selling clothing I would deff make the move to other sites. Can’t sell something without eyeballs!

As far as the stock price- the invisible hand of Adam Smith will kick in along with reality over time and the price will go down. The Donho and Wall Street will realized, Can’t sell something without eyeballs! I think I mentioned that already.

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by: dr shock This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 2 09:18:35 2014

I can't understand sellers who say they no longer buy on ebay. You're not hurting eBay, you're hurting other small sellers like yourself.
I support the smaller sellers with my business & usually their prices are much cheaper than Amazon.
(Just bought plastic bags,LP mailers, Ultra-Pro pages. All significantly cheaper than Amazon or other places on the web)
I refuse to buy from Chinese sellers or any of the mega-sellers.
If I want to buy something from Buy.com I'll go to their website & buy. Now THAT'S hurting ebay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous

Tue Sep 2 09:22:17 2014

@LDS- your first comment took all the words out of my mouth - almost like you stole my thoughts from my brain. You wonder exactly what I've been wondering. And that goes for every word in your post, *except* I am now no longer a TRS because many months ago, (BEFORE we became aware that eBay planned to rob us like this) I did a customer a FAVOR and held his tap packages for a week  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous

Tue Sep 2 09:23:28 2014

Darn it. Accidentally hit the return button. I am continuing to write. BRB

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous

Tue Sep 2 10:06:52 2014

Held his TWO packages for a week after he paid - per his request  - while he was away in another country. I'm very close to being TRS, but the fact remains - I no longer am.

I've been a F/T seller since 2000. I used to gross btwn 6-10k/mo before 2008, selling mainly antiques, collectibles, and costume jewelry, (but i sell anything vintage I can make a buck on!)

I used to be a silver power seller, but have been bronze since 2007? 2008? It's been a maddening FIGHT to reach silver again. Ever since "best match" came out, It's been impossible!

These last few years I've struggled to gross 2-3k/mo, and this past YEAR I'm LUCKY to gross 2k/mo!

But yesterday I looked at my selling summary and despite listing daily, I GROSSED $47.00 the last WEEK, and due to a lucky sale last night, I'm now at $0.00/wk, but at $9.00 now. Woo hoo!

I also realize that summers are usually slow on eBay, but I've always done quite well in summer, being I sell hard to find collectibles and antiques. I hunt for and find unique items! But this past year is like ebay's basically trying to tell me that no one in the WORLD wants my items? BS!

I kiss their arse and have complied with EVERY DEMAND they've made on me in 14 years! I ship within one day. I offer FREE shipping on many items, I use correct categories (most items 2 cats). I've had a premium store since 2004 when the stores started. And a whole bunch of other stuff, but this post is getting time-consuming, esp. B/c I'm typing on my iPhone!

ANYWAY, my thoughts EXACTLY re: eBay stock prices rising. I keep trying to figure it out and the only answer I keep coming up with is (not sure this makes sense or is possible, but) as investors dump stock, JD himself purchases it to try and make himself and eBay look good to investors. If so, he and the company are a sinking ship. BIG TIME.

and I'm willing to bet that eBay employees who have a seller account do very well with their sales! So the only ones that this is currently affecting are us - the small sellers who rely on eBAy for income. It does not affect those who do it for fun in their spare time, nor the mega sellers who have employees to list for them, nor CHINA sellers. Just the mainstream US sellers who are constantly struggling to get ahead.

As for me - I am SO FED UP that I'm seriously thinking about Moving On. The Question is...on to amazon (where I already sell books), or more onto Etsy (where I do have some things double-listed already), or on to Bonanza? 11 Main is in the works - I'm all set up, but not happy enough to OPEN my store yet, due to their poor shipping options). One can even sell on FB these days too. Or my own Web site? Or a B&M? Or hey....MAYBE ILL GO GET A REAL JOB!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous

Tue Sep 2 10:16:14 2014

I'm back...just realized I didn't even touch base on the topic, lol. That's how ANGRY I am- that I just thought about venting!

Anyway, I do realize that running auctions increases my odds of selling items from my eBay store (when I was a TRS), BUT the opposite is true if not TRS. A few days ago I even had the balls to dare start a high dollar item at $9.99 with FREE PRIORITY shipping in order to attract buyers. Well, after 48 hours and only 9 views and 3 watchers (and no bids - the stupids!), I decided to pull it down and relisted it at what it's worth. I'm no sucker. Ha!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Tue Sep 2 11:38:32 2014

I did a lot of Buying on eBay in August. Selling prices are way down for 'some reason' and I scooped up some scarce items at truly amazing bargain prices.

There are times that I would have attributed this to the fickle collecting community's changing tastes, but these were key collectibles, truly rare items that only turn up on eBay every year or two and that many collectors are seeking in order to fill that hole in their collection.

I for one am watching eBay like a hawk - sometimes it is a great place to sell, and sometimes it is a great place to buy.  

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by: LadyAnne This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Sep 2 12:02:16 2014

We have been tracking our sales for the last two years.  We notice that during the July and August of 2013 our sells were down significantly on Ruby Lane and on eBay. Our sales were also down for July and August of 2014 on eBay and Ruby Lane.  We checked with some of the local brick and mortar business here in Georgetown, Texas and they also experienced very slow sales for the months of July and August.  So, our analysis shows that slow sales for July and August were not just on eBay but were also experienced on other e commerce venues and by brick and mortar stores during this time. Our analysis further lends support that current economic conditions are still having an impact on discretionary consumer spending and that e-commerce will continue to be a very challenging venue.  However, with due diligence and competitive price points our company will continue to meet those challenges.

 

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by: DiscosDeVinilo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 2 12:19:31 2014

I am a TRS but just lost my status because E-Bay has retroactively gone back one year and hit me with 9 'defects'. Two of these were due to Turbo Lister and not my fault and the other seven
was a cancelled transaction in November 2013. I let a buyer cancel after I received a non-EBay message saying they had lost their job. The buyer also asked me if I could cancel the items but have it not reflect on their account.
Cancelled transactions didn't affect my performance last year so I agreed. Subsequently, the buyer found a job and bought items from me. Good customer service on my part.
On August 20th E-Bay introduced their new sellers program. They counted the 7 cancelled transactions from 10 months ago against me and added the 2 from Turbo Lister.
I spent 8 hours to date trying to get these reversed over the course of 4 phone calls. One E-Bay staffer told me he didn't have enough 'evidence' to remove the defects. Another confirmed there was a glitch with Turbo Lister in July.
Yet, my problem hasn't been resolved. I must wait until Friday for a 'verdict'.
Imagine if everything in this world was retroactive. E-Bay's new seller program is a farce. My sells have dropped to next to nothing. After being 'demoted' for my 'defects' which occurred before the new 'rules and policies' I sold 4 out of 2,300 items listed!! Talk about a drop in sales!!
I will continue to call E-Bay and spend hours on the phone trying to have these 'defects' removed. I urge everyone to do the same. It is the only way E-bay will listen.
Maybe I have been lucky, but I have found that if I am persistent with E-Bay customer service they will do something about it. Every now and then I end up with someone at E-Bay who can make a decision in my favor. It's rare but it happens.
Meanwhile. I must figure out how to increase my sales.

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