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eBay Publicly Displays How Much Sellers Have Sold

eBay Publicly Discloses How Much Sellers Have Sold

This week, eBay began publishing how much a seller has sold on their eBay Stores homepages for all the world to see.

eBay now publicly displays how much sellers have sold since opening their Stores. But it did not disclose to sellers that it was making their sales information public, causing a lot of confusion this week along with privacy concerns. “Since when has eBay announced how much the store makes,” a reader asked EcommerceBytes upon noticing the change to her eBay Store homepage on Monday.

We wrote about the change on the EcommerceBytes Blog the same day.

Some sellers believed eBay was displaying their dollar sales while other said they eBay was displaying was the number of items the seller had sold. In either case, eBay didn’t provide a time period – was it displaying the total amount of sales the previous month, year-to-date, for as long as they had their eBay Store, or for as long as they had been selling on eBay?

By Wednesday, eBay had changed the way it displayed the information, as another EcommerceBytes reader noticed.

Using Google’s eBay Store as an example, on Monday, eBay displayed “179K Sold.” By Wednesday, eBay was displaying “179K Items sold.” “What a big difference a missing word makes,” a reader posted in the EcommerceBytes blog comments.

That solved the mystery of whether it was dollar or unit sales, but it still did not indicate the time period. While sellers were in a better position to make a guess, buyers would have no way of knowing.

We could not find any announcement about the change anywhere on eBay’s site, so many Stores owners may still be unaware eBay is disclosing their sales data publicly.

A seller raised the issue on the eBay weekly chat session on Wednesday, asking why eBay added the number of lifetime sales they had made to their Store homepage. “eBay is big on Buyer Privacy, but this seems to me something that should be optional….if a seller wants the world to know this, give him the option to include it,” the seller wrote.

During the ensuing discussion, eBay moderators clarified certain points:

  • “I’d like to start by clarifying that it’s the number of sales a seller has completed on eBay.”
  • “It is per account, it’s not a combined total of all accounts a seller may have.”

Check out the EcommerceBytes Blog for the discussion about the new disclosure, and be sure to let us know what you think of the change. Do you think eBay should disclose such information? How would you feel if it added dollar sales? And is it providing enough context to buyers with the way it displays your sales data?

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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/.