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Fri Nov 7 2008 12:30:28

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

By: Ina Steiner

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The San Francisco Chronicle reports that same-store sales at retail chains plunged 0.9 percent in October, the steepest such drop in nearly 40 years, according to a report from the International Council of Shopping Centers. But the National Retail Federation cautioned that the same-store sales report tells only part of the picture - the Census Bureau posts its comprehensive retail sales report for October next Friday.

We're conducting a survey to find out how current economic conditions are affecting online sales. We have a number of questions designed to see what types of items might be impacted. Feel free to elaborate in the comments section below.

 




Comments (34) | Permalink

Readers Comments

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: Dave

Fri Nov 7 13:41:42 2008

I just closed my ebay account do to required paypal, slow sales, one way feedback and poor customer support. Ebay is the pitts, I hope their stocks go way down and ebay goes under the knife.  clutterboxe seller, Dave

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: Gaz

Fri Nov 7 14:22:13 2008

Hi Ina

Thanks for running this survey, the results will be interesting to see.

Any chance of running a part 2 to it?  I feel there's a couple of questions that could have been added -

For the "are sales up / same / down" question, breaking that up by geographic region would be very interesting - e.g. North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific etc.

Adding a % change question for online channels would provide far more detailed information that may help sellers decide their businesses' futures.

Other questions pertinent would be rate of change in NPBs (effectively the same concept as abandoned shopping carts on sellers own websites - and probably higher on own sites than even on eBay).

Rate of change in time to pay (slow payers) following close of auction or Buy Now purchase.  Are buyers waiting for their own PayPal accoutns to refill before paying - that leads to a payment slowdown spiral system wide.

Buyer's habits - are more opting for cheaper postage or staying with the faster delivery options?  What has been the take up on the "free" postage con forced on us by eBay - are buyers falling for inclusive shipping dressed up as "free", or are they staying on the listings with declared shipping costs?

These types of topics will be very useful to know, not just for this Christmas season, but for next year and beyond.

Cheers
Gaz

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: Et tu, Brute!

Fri Nov 7 15:31:35 2008

I, too, filled in the survey.  Sound idea.

Another thought... Has the seller taking the survey left / changed sites?  This would also affect the answers on the survey taken.

I have completely and absolutely left ebay altogether since the holiday season last year, and made changes accordingly including product changes to carry me thru.  

This, of course, will likely impact my sales dollars, how much and which direction remains to be seen!  I have been able to grow my sales on other sites.

Just a thought.

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: losing my shirt

Fri Nov 7 15:37:03 2008

i took the survey, but here's some additional comments/info....
(gold level PS in USA - 50% of sales where usa and 50% where outside usa) i've been selling limited edition, new items in the media category full time for 4 years full-time and my sales where ALWAYS steady (selling about the exact amount EVERY MONTH YEAR-ROUND with very limited deviation). in others words, my business was very very even and steady. i have even kept things even thru all of this years changes, but 3 weeks ago my business tanked and hasn't come back yet. MY EBAY SALES IN THE LAST 3 WEEKS ARE DOWN A HUGE 65%.

i have done a lot of web research and found that more than half of my items do Not show up on google shopping at all! best match is screwed up as well (REALLY BADLY!!) also, i have no new competitors (initially, i thought this could be the issue). lastly, my current competitors' sales are down as well. i'm wondering how much of this has to do with the current world economy (Could people really be freaking out THIS MUCH in just 3 weeks??) and/or is ebay doing more and more too F things up. if everybody's sales are down, isn't ebay making less too?

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: losing my shirt

Fri Nov 7 15:40:15 2008

before anybody even mentions it , i am planning my own site, but in the meantime, this huge-downturn is really scary

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: losing my shirt

Fri Nov 7 15:44:43 2008

PS one more comment...

TO EBAY - YOU NEED TO SWITCH BACK TO DEFAULT OF: TIME ENDING SOONEST, while you "fix" best match behind the scenes, you asses

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: stoneymall

Fri Nov 7 16:14:07 2008

If there is such a thing as Ecommerce suicide, than eBay is showing how to do it. In a better economic time or situation this might work; they're trying to raise the bottom line, BUT they were told at the Chicago convention to watch out for falling prices and NONE OF THEM LISTENED! At this time the executive board at eBay needs to do some very quick back-pedalling before more damage is done, then again..., it seems too late. By the way, I also own eBay stock so I'm angry at that end also.

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: It used to be good

Fri Nov 7 16:31:15 2008

Traffic to our store is DOWN 41% compared to last year.  Plus, last year's traffic was down from 2006.  We actually expanded our inventory in an attempt to boost traffic and sales.  It didn't work.  
Ebay has one foot in the grave and other one is slipping!!

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: FiveAssMonkey

Fri Nov 7 16:57:05 2008

I wish traffic was only down 41%.  Our eBay traffic is down 80% from last with about 30% more items listed.  Amazon sales have doubled and our website is selling 3 times the volume as last year. At this rate eBay will be over for us next year.

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: heyfiveassmonkey

Fri Nov 7 17:09:06 2008

@fiveassmonkey....

that sounds encouraging.. (about your amazon sales and website)
can you you mention what percentage of your sales are on
1 ebay
2 amazon
3 your site

also, what is your category
or would be willing to say what your site is.

sounds like you are on the path that i need to be on and will be soon.

thanks for any info your willing to share

cheers

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: heyfiveassmonkey

Fri Nov 7 17:14:14 2008

ps would anyone else be willing to share similar info:

what percentage of your sales are on:
1 ebay
2 amazon
3 your site

also, what is your category
or would be willing to say what your site is.


AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: Ashley

Fri Nov 7 18:28:14 2008

eBay sales have tanked!!

Every month from May 2001 until May 2008 my eBay sales had increased 8% or more over the same month the previous year. Yes, EVERY month for seven years saw an increase.

Sales 2008 compared to 2007:
February +16%
March +13%
April +22%
May -12%
June -14%
July -18%
August -27%
September -48%
October -71%
November looks like it could end up being even worse

Despite maintaining a "raised search standing" and DSR's in excess of 4.9, 4.9, 4.85, and 4.85: since July the day of the month with the most traffic has not generated as much traffic on the slowest day of the month in 2007. My slowest day of the month in 2007 beats the best day of the month in 2008 by at least 150 page views every month since July.

Number of customers making a purchase
October 2007: 617
October 2008: 96

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: Jeff

Fri Nov 7 18:32:30 2008

I was unable to answer this survey, as I couldn't find anything applicable to me. I'm a ''clutter seller'' of garage sale finds. Everything is unique, one of a kind. I can't put figures on anything or compare month-to-month. Your survey was more for commodities sellers.

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: Karen

Fri Nov 7 18:57:12 2008

I've been in business 20 years selling in the pet industry, plus gifts and womens accessories. We went from a majority of our online sales being from ebay in prior years, to just about nothing since summer.  Last spring we revamped our website and put up items on Atomic Mall, Bonanzle, ioffer, Ecrater,and lately google base.

In the last 10 days I have seen our on line sales creep up from the couple a week over the last few months to 3-4 a day, mostly off our own website.  Last year at this time, it was 15-20 packages a day to USPS, plus a few for UPS.  

There is a slight glimmer of hope that this holiday season won't completely tank, and I won't have to get a (gasp) real job.

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: lancedalot

Sat Nov 8 08:37:53 2008

PETITION TO REMOVE JOHN DONAHOE!

''Ebay Stockholders and Sellers Calling For Immediate Termination of John Donohoe CEO''

http://www.petitiononline.com/jdonohoe/petition.html
<
BR>=======================

Let
your voices be heard!  Share your ebay story to be compiled with others and presented to ebay's Board of Directors.

They MUST be INFORMED!  We MUST speak up!

http://www.myblogutopia.com/

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: MERMAID

Sat Nov 8 10:55:48 2008

I predict that the bad economy will help online sales this holiday season. And that's good news for eBay buyers.

In a bad economy, people want to save money and right now there are deals to be had online. eBay is a great place to save money because sellers are in desparation mode to reduce inventory -- they will go below the traditional 30-35% off of retail just to make ends meet.

Why? Because TRAFFIC IS DOWN AT EBAY and it's not because of the economy.

Want proof? eBay is weak in traffic in comparison to Amazon. Check STATBRAIN.com and you'll see that daily visits to Amazon are at 10,000,000+ while eBay's are at just 6,000,000+.

Any former seller will tell you that it's eBay who messed up. They messed with the algorithms (best match), which not only makes it more difficult for experienced buyers to find stuff, it creates contrived inquities between sellers making it impossible to sell with any intelligence. It used to be pretty straightforward for sellers about how to have an effective listing on eBay. But now sellers don't know how to list effectively (or they no longer qualify for favorable placement) simply because of the revised algorithims.

RESULT? Lower traffic because buyers can't find what they need and sellers are dropping out of the game.

That's the good news for eBay buyers because now they can get a great deal. With fewer other buyers out there, buyers can win more auctions and get better deals on the fixed price items.

It is a lesson for sellers. Wouldn't you rather put your listing fee dollars to work for a site that generations 4,000,000 + more visitors daily?

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: kitty

Sat Nov 8 17:11:27 2008

losing my shirt.  I stopped selling on eBay in May.  It was frustrating to see my amazon items appear on the bottom of the eBay auction pages (in an ad), while my items were lost in search.  Start looking around, right now I'm selling on several areas:  Amazon, Plunderhere, Etsy, and Blujay
I'm selling less, but making more money compared to last year...go figure.
Shop around and try several areas till you find the right fit

Corporate culture does matter

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: Patricia

Sat Nov 8 17:12:18 2008

Well, my website is doing pretty well...no economy problems there but also no Ebay hassles to deal with.  I just invited all customers who bought from me in the recent past to come to the website for their small holiday gift giving.  I have a little giveaway contest running and also am giving small gifts with each purchase.  I'm not a wholesaler - I'm an artist and have to make whatever I sell.  As a seller, I'm small potatoes...yet, I'm doing okay on my own - without big brother Ebay.  All I can say is its NOT the economy!  If you are selling and your prices are reasonable, buyers will buy.  Not many of them are NOT going to buy something during the holiday season...they're only looking for good prices!  Ebay has strangled its sellers with such high fees and still has the nerve to urge them to give free shipping...how can ebay sellers give bargain prices under those conditions?  I think buyers realize this too.  If you have a website...roll up your sleeves and start contacting your past customers.

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: Kitty

Sat Nov 8 17:17:08 2008

Percentage on each site?
Wish I could share...LOL

As I list I drop them in color coded boxes by site and it fluctuates wildly
Right at this moment

about 10% on amazon
60% on plunderhere
5% on etsy
and the rest on Blujay
and it all mirrored on Ioffer (100%) for extra exposure
Of course I'm not through relisting even a tiny bit of what I took off eBay in May (over 1000 listings)
Their loss, not mine

AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce   AuctionBytes Conducts Survey on the Economy and Ecommerce

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Sat Nov 8 19:14:28 2008

I was hoping the "live" venues would be added, but I added that as a comment in the survey. I have had 2 booths for over 15 years, one was originally family owned before both parents passed. It has always been able to make a living even if just barely making a profit with little or no attention to the spaces. I could go up once a year and unload a ton of stuff and it would sell all year by itself. I just sold a sterling bowl for $395 -20% which would have probably done better on ebay, but who wants to risk a scammer stealing it AND the money. So it is with anything I sell that's higher end. I can't wait till GoAntiques opens their new auction site. In the next few months I hope! I stopped selling on ebay back in January when the first letter came out about the changes.
Since then I've had several close calls of almost deciding to sell there, but each time, ebay announces a new "turnoff" that  prevents me from wanting to list again. The whole site is now a turnoff, to me, anyway. It looks so skimpy and pathetic in the old sections I used to sell in. ewwwww.

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