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eBay Denies Seller’s Sales-Dropoff after Cyber Attack

eBay told the Today Show that a seller who appeared on the program claiming her sales had dropped dramatically after an eBay security breach was made public in mid-May was not, in fact, impacted by the incident.

Robin Ramsden, owner of Cornerstone Stained Glass Supplies, appeared on the television program in a segment that aired on Saturday morning to talk about her sales slowdown. She said her average sales went from 100 orders/day to 30 orders/day, and she said eBay was not doing enough to convince shoppers that the site was safe.

eBay said in its statement “we’re pleased to see that the recent cyberattack on eBay did not impact Ms. Ramsden’s business.” While it might sound like a slight distinction, Ramsden isn’t claiming the attack itself impacted her sales – she says it was eBay’s May 21st announcement revealing the attack that scared shoppers away.

In fact, Ramsden says she was on track to do half-a-million-dollars in sales on eBay this year from January to mid-May, but she told EcommerceBytes her eBay sales “crashed and burned” after eBay made the breach public. Meanwhile her sales on Etsy and on her own website have increased since eBay’s mid-May announcement. eBay has yet to respond to EcommerceBytes’ inquiries sent after the segment ran.

Other sellers have discussed the case, and one said she analyzed Ramsden’s sales through an eBay research tool called Terapeak and proclaimed Ramsden’s June sales decline was “more than a seasonal dip.”

Another said Ramsden was correct in estimating it would take three months to cover from the breach.

Other sellers noted eBay’s open discussion of the seller’s account. “Something else I find interesting is that eBay was willing to publicly discuss specifics related to a particular sellers account,” one seller wrote. “I never recall them doing that in the past and instead relied on generalities without addressing specific sellers.”

eBay closed 2013 with 128 million active users, and it revealed in its statement to the Today show that “Tens of millions of buyers and sellers have already reset their passwords, and millions continue to actively transact on the site every day.”

Ramsden stands by her statements made to the Today Show and called eBay’s statement misleading – see more about the case on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

EcommerceBytes is conducting a survey to see if sellers were impacted by the security breach – visit SurveyMonkey to participate.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.