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Tue Nov 27 2007 17:26:19

Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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I'm getting a lot of press releases about sales performance over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The marketplaces are reporting decent sales growth, but what are individual sellers experiencing? Any thoughts on whether early indications are that this will be a happy holiday shopping season on eBay, other marketplaces and on your own website? If you weigh in, be sure to mention the category in which you sell, as that is bound to be an important factor.

BTW, if any readers were impacted by the Yahoo Stores glitch yesterday, please give us an update.

From watching news reports about Black Friday, it seems two really popular items this year are GPS navigation systems and digital photo frames. But maybe those were the items retailers decided to heavily discount to bring in traffic. (Since I walk more than I drive, I'll stick with my pedometer - no GPS required.) I've got an article on hot items according to eBay, Shopping.com, Yahoo and Amazon for tomorrow's AuctionBytes Newsflash newsletter.

There was a lot of doom-and-gloom talk leading right up to Thanksgiving about the economy in large part due to the real estate market. I haven't looked at Brick and Mortar results yet, but I'm not sure the online numbers from the holiday -shopping weekend are reflecting that pessimism.




Comments (7) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales   Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales

by: Jeff S

Wed Nov 28 07:35:25 2007

I'm in the Packaging and Shipping supplies category.  As a result, my bump is always 24-48 hours after the stated shopping days.  So far, sales are up 20% over the same period last year.  Hope it sustains.

Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales   Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales

by: Wendy

Thu Nov 29 17:01:43 2007

I am really getting upset about the number of my auctions that are being  ended by eBay because of hijacked user accounts.  This seems to be happening only on my high end items.  

In the last two weeks I have had four auctions end with a legitimate user and a fair price, only to have the auction pulled because of a hijacked account.

This is happening to many, many people I do business with and it creates several problems:

1.  the auction disappears and I can't relist it, meaning I have to start from scratch. TIme consuming and ANNOYING!

2.  my customers are frustrated becuase they lose the bidding war and then I can't even offer them a second chance offer becuase the listing no longer exists.

3.  ebay has done nothing to help sellers with this problem.  Our only recorse is to use the "buy it now" function, which takes all the fun out of my business AND is in direct contradiction to ebay's ad campaign running on TV right now.

4.  Time is running out.  I have a huge inventory of items for holiday gifts and if after seven days, the auction simply disappears, I lose another seven days waiting for a real buyer.

I have never been in this position before, but my livelihood is selling on eBay.  Now I am forced to list items that were fun to win and easy to find via the auction feature, at Buy it Now prices with immediate payment required.  

Why isn't this being talked about more publicly.  Recently, I've seen very successful auctioners state in their new "buy it now" listings that they have been forced to quit offering their items on ebay auction because of this problem.

Any idea what is going on?

Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales   Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales

by: David

Fri Nov 30 08:26:18 2007

I was glad to see that eBay talked about the impact of account TKOs in last night's town hall meeting.  We're a Trading Post, so we sell stuff on consignment.  Sunday night, we had an auction close for two tickets to last night's Dallas Cowboys/Green Bay Packers game, for $550.  The tickets weren't paid for and we didn't follow up (our bad), but in the wee hours of Thursday morning, eBay removed the listing because of an account TKO.  This was the worst possible situation, because the tickets would become valueless in about 12 hours, yet we had no access to the listing to extend a second chance offer or anything else.  Needless to say, our seller was very unhappy.  What should I tell him when he says, ''who's liable for this''?  (He ended up reclaiming the tickets and going to the game--at least the Cowboys won.)

Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales   Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Sun Dec 2 20:31:58 2007

Sales are 50% for me of what last year was. I have 5 Non paying bidders and I have not had that many since I started on e-bay.
Sales look bleak to me. I am holding my bronze powerseller status but barelly.

Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales   Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales

by: Steve

Tue Dec 4 03:06:49 2007

Since Thanksgiving my sales are much better than last year on eBay and Amazon. I tried hard to make sure I had inventory on hand, and priced it right. Sunday evenings have been my hottest time of the week, but my Store items and Buy It Now items have been great. I hope it keeps up.

Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales   Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales

by: ma

Wed Dec 5 13:19:35 2007

Well I have lost my ps status. My hits are 1/2 of 1 year ago. only 150-250 compared to 260-500 last year same time frame. I have more listed, so I have paid more to ebay. I have lowered prices to the point of little profit in the sale, and none if you count my work. Im not a nay sayer. I believe people ARE buying because I go to other sellers and see they have dozens of bids. I have 153 items 28 auctions and no bids. I have had a couple of spurts. that is all and only another good week before its too late to count on Christmas. I see people selling clothing and tech gadgets seem to be doing ok. At least they have bids. My sales changed when ebay changed their search outcomes. My store still pays for itself, but it no longer pays the bills. I guess I have to get my ws done and move on.

Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales   Informal Survey on Online-Auction Holiday Sales

by: justine

Thu Dec 20 15:32:37 2007

I sell antiques, vintage, collectibles, glass, pottery, porcelain, etc.  I notice very little selling out of my store compared to last year when I could barely keep up with the packing and shipping. Have sold 3 items so far out of my ebay store this holiday season compared to 40+ last year.  I checked my traffic reports and compared to last year.  Storefront Homepage views are significantly down.  Some examples- Dec 4- 5 views this year, 61 same day last year, Dec 9- 8 views this year, 98 last year, Dec 11- 22 this year, 59 last year.  Ebay is not promoting our stores any more and they are very hard to notice in search.  The only way is to drive traffic to your own store with active auction listings.  I have been rotating store inventory in and out of auction format- that is the only way anything moves. If auction format is the only way to sell my items, what's the point in paying a monthly fee and listing fees to keep a store?



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