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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Sept 18 2012 20:15:37

eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
As any webmaster will tell you, reading your traffic stats is like taking the pulse of your website. eBay Store owners rely on traffic reports provided by eBay and powered by Omniture. When sales go down, sellers go directly to their reports to see if traffic has also gone down, or if visitors are just simply not buying.

We're receiving a number of reports from eBay store owners that their traffic plummeted around the end of August. Some are sure it's a decline in traffic, others are wondering if it's a glitch with the traffic reports themselves.

Last week a seller sent me some screenshots of his traffic reports, and this week he wrote again: "There is little doubt in my mind that the problems at eBay are quite serious, I am generally not an alarmist but this has been 19 days of dismal and getting worse traffic. As of 1:22pm today I am sitting at 40 views.... my normal for the day at this time of the year is in excess of 900. I'll be lucky to hit 90 for the day. I did call eBay today, expecting little to no help, basically rep agreed that the pattern is not quite right and that he is passing it along to an IT person to examine."



"The question - which is broke... eBay or the report generator at Omniture," he asked. "I know of another active seller that has mirrored my downturn, we have compared notes and it began at the same time in the same manner."

In an email titled, "Ebay traffic plunge or data issues?" another eBay seller wrote, "I noticed that at the start of this month my daily traffic reports are showing 30-50% LOWER on a daily basis for page views. Sales are down as well but I don't think they are down as much that those numbers would reflect. At the beginning of the year, I showed up to 1500 page views a day. That has slowly come down and over the past few months, I've averaged a little over 1000. This month however is showing 300-600 page views per day. I tried contacting Omniture but they never responded. Has anyone else experienced this I wonder?"

Given the increasing number of anecdotal reports about slow sales on eBay, it's not easy to determine or even guesstimate whether it's a traffic problem or a glitch. Today's Letters to the Editor blog, for example, is from a seller who said her sales have not yet rebounded from the summer slump.

Clearly just because some sellers are experiencing a problem doesn't mean everyone is, particularly now that eBay is running frequent experiments on its site to test new features and is testing its Cassini search engine, so we turned to eBay itself on Monday morning, and we're waiting for eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore to tell us if eBay is aware of any problems with the traffic reports.

If it is a problem with the traffic reports themselves, let's hope eBay gets them fixed fast so sellers won't be flying blind. In the meantime, here are some links to some of the threads on the eBay boards where sellers are discussing these issues.

Omniture Not working????

Traffic cut in half, literally.

Omniture report showing unusually low page views.

traffic reports down 80% Why ???



Comments (56) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY
       
Tue Sep 18 20:21:28 2012
I spoke with ebay yesterday. They did tell me there is a glitch with omniture.  you need to call ebay and they will fix your account.  Regardless, traffic is down this month substantially for me but nowhere close to where the erroneous data from omniture shows.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
This user has validated their user name. by: Doc
       
Tue Sep 18 21:32:42 2012
Wonder if a seller that uses their own html could slip a Google Analitcs code snippete in there? Might be some interesting stats if it works.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Tue Sep 18 22:23:29 2012
Something is definitely going on at eBay and they are not talking about it.

I called ebay customer service with questions about low traffic and sharp decline in sales since the end of August.

All the CS rep would tell me was that my listed items were visible on the site.

The answer to every question I asked was your listed items are visible on the site. The agent roboticly offered that same response to every question as if that was what they were instructed to say.

Out of frustration I simply hung up.

eBay will not admit that a major system issue exists because they fear widespread refunds which would be due to sellers.  Instead, they simply want sellers to believe all is well and this is just a slump.

An explanation as well as the unvarnished truth can not be expected from eBay. eBay executives are allergic to the truth and it would seem allergy season in San Jose is at its peak.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Tue Sep 18 23:03:59 2012
How can you tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is lying? Their lips are moving ...
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Sep 18 23:24:39 2012
I am not a large seller but I have noticed serious visibility issues on ebay---both on my items and other items I have been looking for.

My items are not showing up when a search is done using the EXACT words I wrote the listing title as;  how can I expect a buyer to FIND it if I can't even locate it?

And when I went to look for an item to do a price check I looked by the name of the brand--nothing.  Hmmm---So I Googled it up and lo and behold there was the brand name--on a LINK to an EBAY LISTING.  I could get there via the Google link but even when I went back to ebay and tried the EXACT title wording I could NOT find the item.  Tried this from  both of my accounts.

And yep my sales suck too!  
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: lemonsandlemonade This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Sep 18 23:30:36 2012
I see the exact same pattern in my Omniture reports.

Sales have been off since April and continue to slide.  

Sales in August and September are HALF of what they were last year.  

The interesting thing with the Omniture reports- LOOK AT GOOGLE traffic- the traffic coming from there is NOT off by much - it is the EBAY traffic that is dismal.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Tue Sep 18 23:34:44 2012
Lyan' Moore will report that nothing is wrong with ebay. There are no glitches.

Watch the pendulum and repeat 100 times.

You'll feel better soon.

WAKE UP, WALL STREET!
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Sep 18 23:43:45 2012
I have been complaining of lack of traffic for the last three months now with only a handful of sales as a top rated power seller at 100% FB.
Something is seriously wrong, unless eBay's finally hitting bottom after all of the damage they have done.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: Ed This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 00:26:40 2012
Our traffic forecast for September is lower than August and our store was closed for 2 weeks.

It has to be with the Omniture reports since our sales are already above last September and our traffic is down about 50%

ebay is playing games with the search and doing things to affect the DSR's for shipping cost if you are not using Free Shipping.

When is ebay going to service the sellers as their customers and not as if we are all fools.    
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Wed Sep 19 00:37:43 2012
If you are here complaining, you are "little" people; eBay is not interested in you in the long term; they are interested only in their "national brands" ...

In the meantime they will give your strings a jerk every now and then ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 00:48:52 2012
My eBay sales have been inching upward since May.  No complaints here.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: MADandCracked This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 01:22:54 2012
Alexa shows a dip in August, but it also shows traffic recovering in the last 7 days. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ebay.com
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 04:22:14 2012
I recently did a search for a particular record album using the artist's name and album title. Best match gave me men's watches.  
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: gopher This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 04:26:30 2012
I am not surprised that sales & traffic are down.  I think much of it is the tinkering they are doing with the search engine in order to maximize eBay's profit.

I have found that when a customer wants to send me a message regarding a sale they often get confused and end up selecting ''Not as Described'' when what they really wanted was just to ask a question.

Of course, eBay only gives the buyer two choices at that point and they did receive the item so they choose ''Not as Described''. There should be a 3rd choice ''I want to contact the seller''! And that choice should have no effect on the search algorithm, unless the seller ultimately does not satisfy the buyer!

What the buyer doesn't know is that the ''new'' search algorithm will send all of that seller's listings to the very bottom of any given search! This happens when a seller is unlucky enough to have several buyers get confused and select ''Not as Described'', in the Customer Support, Resolution Center area.

All the customer wanted to do was ask a question! This happens before, or even if, he never files a complaint. I have never had a buyer file a compliant after we solved their problem or answered their question.

Yet the search penalty continues for a year. And there is no way to get it removed from your DSR, even if the customer wants to correct their mistake!

Insanity.

I suspect this is just one of many problems associated with the new search. Buyers are not happy with their search results and sellers are are looking for venues run by adults?
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: vero This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 04:50:49 2012
yesterday I was trying to search for some items,
I typed in my search criteria,
but ebay added hyphens between the words and even in the middle of the words.

I tried it 3x, to only receive the message that I should enter a search criteria.

After 30 minutes I tried again.
Then it worked.

NOT EVERY CUSTOMER tries 3x and waits 30 minutes to try again.

No wonder sellers are having no sales.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 06:13:24 2012
Philip has it right, if you're not a Diamond Seller or a national account, ebay could give a flying cr*p about you. If you're not one of those and your sales are up, it's probably because much of your competition has given up on ebay.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 07:37:18 2012
Mine dropped like a rock between April & July and after that shot up to almost double what it was before the drop and then in September took a nose dive again. Sales have followed that same pattern so I don't think Omniture is broken. I also went back two years and looked at the traffic pattern and I see the same thing, periods of great sales and then plunges. One thing I have noticed that has been going on for years is waves of purchases in certain areas of the world. For instance I'll have an abundance of purchases from certain countries all at once and then nothing. It's like one person in Australia purchased something from me and then recommended me to the whole country. I sell a variety of items so I know its not just from increased exposure on one particular item. I wish we could go back more than two years. I'd love to be able to compare traffic patterns pre-Meg.
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: Theresa This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 08:21:45 2012
My eBay sales have been nothing short of dismal since April.  I am a top rated seller, was a gold powerseller and close to moving to the next tier when the bomb went off.  Case in point, my monthly invoice for eBbay fees used to average $2000+ - I just received my latest invoice and it is for $600.  That speaks volume.  It is so obvious when eBay turns my stores lights "on".  Monday zero sales, then early yesterday my store lights turned on and I had 12 sales in about an 8 hour period.  Lights went back off and not one sale since yesterday at 3:00 pm EST.  I have been selling on eBay for almost 10 years and for the first time ever, I have not been able to pay my bills for the past 4 months.  Had to borrow from Kabbage to save my butt (but of course now I am in debt). eBay has forced me to change my business model and now Amazon is my primary business partner.  
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: wallflower This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 08:43:29 2012
comet - same here! I have found ebay listings while searching google, and when I put search words in ebay that ARE IN THE TITLE it doesn't bring up the auction. Yet I can view it from the google link just fine. INSANE! I can understand some visibility issues, but these ''hidden listings'' - how many are out there, not being findable for buyers?? I figure, who cares about best match, for OOAK items search will find them. NOT!!!!!
Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop
by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed Sep 19 09:18:00 2012
THERE IS NO OMNITURE GLITCH!
This is absurd, sellers are reporting dismal sales everywhere. I know what my sales were last year and the year before and the year before. They were way down 60%. Omniture does not control how many sales, ebay does.All of this also ties into the change in class action policy. This is insulting to all sellers and more of the same horrendous deceptive business practices. Ebay is clearly controlling what is seen and what is not seen, there are sop many glitches it is unbelievable.Descriptions and pictures were missing from ads last week it is still going on. Now ebay announces that if you have a picture in your ad description it will not be visible in the mobile apps. You mean the mobile apps that have not worked prperly from the start, you mean the mobile apps that have been recalled or updated to repair the programming mistakes? What about our loss of sales? This is absurd when are the execs at ebay going to step up and fis their mistakes? I lost 3000.00 in sales in the past month, and more during the end of April and through May because of their mistakes and plans to eliminate small business. Google is now changing things is that going to kill small business too! It is hard to get sales on my website it takes a lot of work but now I am determined to get off ebay. Ebay needs to refund fees for a few months to make up for what THEY LOST for all sellers.  

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