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How to Offset Declining Sales on eBay with a Sell Similar Strategy

How to Offset Declining Sales on eBay with a Sell Similar Strategy

The Auction Professor is back with an update about using a “sell similar” strategy to fight declining sales on eBay.

Numerous times, each year eBay releases an update announcing changes they are making to the platform. Sometimes they are simple changes, while other times they are massive ones, such as with eBay’s Item Specific centered listing changes. I cringe every time I see their update email, because most of the time it just means more work for me with no real benefits to me or my sales.

Most of the time I am forced to put in hours of extra work changing things around, or adding item specifics to meet eBay’s new update requirements. Sellers are given a deadline to change or add things to their listings. If your listings do not meet their new requirements by the deadline, they can simply not show your items to potential buyers (at all), until they do.

Since eBay changed over to item specific centered listings last year, most resellers (including myself) must either end listings and “sell similar,” or use some form of promoted listings just to get their items seen.

I addressed this last year in an article as a way to boost your sales, but now it seems to be a necessity.

It is very clear to me that when I do not end listings and “sell similar” on a routine basis, my sales drop after a short time. Most resellers will refer to this as “eBay is ghosting” their items. I try to never let any item sit in my store without ending-and-selling-similar longer than 30 days.

I have done this over and over (and over again), since the end of October of 2021. Test after test shows the very same results. If I stop the process, my sales drop (on average it could be as high as a 30% to 40% of a drop), until we end-and-sell similar again. It seems nearly impossible to get steady sales without doing one of those options, or even both, depending on what you sell.

Prior to October 12th of last year, when I was hit with the item specific changes, I did not have to do any of those steps, and I would still get sales. I have talked to and heard from thousands of other resellers on this topic, and the majority have come to the very same conclusion as I have.

Which option one chooses seems to depend on what you sell. If you mostly sell vintage, the best approach, as of now, seems to be ending-and-selling-similar, and then running a sale and markdown.

Other sellers we interact with who sell NOS (New Old Stock), clothing, and household items must do the same, and may as well have to do some form of promoted listings just to be seen.

There are some exceptions to this, such as super hot, in-demand items. Those sorts of items pretty much sell themselves, and usually need no help. Unfortunately, most resellers I know, and who I converse with, are never lucky enough to find those types of items on any type of routine basis.

I personally mostly sell long tail items in one of my eBay stores, which are items that could take a long time to sell. Since eBay’s changes last October, I cannot leave them sitting in my store without ending-and-selling-similar for more than 3 to 4 weeks without seeing a drop in their sales.

What I find that works best for me is to end-and-sell similar my entire store every two weeks, or sooner if possible. Doing so usually gives me a nice boost in sales right after I finish the process.

I have an Anchor Store for my main eBay store, which gives me 100,000 free listings. That store has around 30,000 active listings, which means I am able to end-and-sell similar my whole store three times each month.

Some Caveats
You should keep in mind that ending and then selling similar will count as a new listing, which could eat up your free listings you receive with your store. Once you use up your free listings, you would be charged by eBay for any new listings for that month.

You will lose any watchers or views the item may have when ending and selling similar. I personally do not worry about watchers on my items, other than those I can send an offer to.

I should also add that if you are running a sale of any sort that you should wait until the sale ends to sell similar. If you do not wait, there is a chance that eBay will use your sale price as the actual price of the item once you sell similar. I have personally had that happen to a few of my listings.

If you do variation listings, eBay could also revert your quantities back to what they were when you first listed the item. So, if you sold some items from your variation listings, they may re-appear when you sell similar.

If you are having sales issues and have not tried end-and-sell-similar, I would highly recommend you doing so. It has worked wonders for us and the vast majority of those I have talked to.

And if you want a better boost, you might also try running a sale and markdown, or even some form of a promoted listing, depending on what you sell.

Don Heiden on InstagramDon Heiden on Youtube
Don Heiden
Don Heiden
Don Heiden is a 30-year veteran of online reselling going back to the days of Yahoo Auctions. He runs The Auction Professor YouTube channel posting videos and content about various reselling platforms and topics, and he is a member of the eBay, Amazon, Hip, and other affiliate programs where he may earn a commission when linking to products on those sites. He can also be found on most social networks under the same name, including Instagram. He is also a published professional artist which includes works produced for The Walt Disney Company. He holds an Associate Degree in Database Design, Construction, and Network Administration. He also holds a Bachelor Degree and Master Degree of Research & Communications from The University of Toledo.

4 thoughts on “How to Offset Declining Sales on eBay with a Sell Similar Strategy”

  1. I agree with the Professor. I have been doing this daily. I have found items that still display “require immediate payment with buy now”. Some are missing all of item specifics. Can’t sell those. Use the sell similar and you won’t regret it.

  2. how do you ‘end and send similiar’

    i only see ‘sell similiar’ and it wont let me do it, until i delete the old listings

  3. how are you ending and restarting 30k auctions easily? can you even check the item specifics individually with that many?

    i’ve been ending 5-10 out of 1000 listings daily and i do see a definite result. it would be interesting to try recycling all of them every month, but it looks very time consuming.

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