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Tue Nov 25 2008 08:22:21

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

By: Ina Steiner

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As we reported on Friday, eBay's unique audience in October was down 9.7% compared to October 2007, according to Nielsen Online data, and page views were down 32.6% year-over-year. Nielsen Online has provided AuctionBytes with data for Amazon.com, so it's now possible to compare October year-over-year changes between online retail sites.

Amazon's page views were down by 1.1% in October year-over year, compared to eBay's decline of 32.6%.

And Amazon's Unique Audience numbers were up by 7.85%, compared to eBay's decline of 9.7%, year-over-year.

Looking at the charts, one can see that aside from the month of December 2007, eBay's unique audience numbers exceeded Amazon.com's throughout the year, but the numbers look to be converging in October 2008 - something to watch carefully in the coming months.

It's also interesting to note that eBay's page views peaked in November last year, while Amazon's page views peaked in December. This could be in part due to consumer confidence in getting shipments on time from Amazon.com than from eBay merchants. However, both Amazon and eBay peaked in December in terms of unique visitors, so it's difficult to draw definitive conclusions, since neither company provides sales figures broken down by month.

As we noted in the accompanying article in today's Newsflash newsletter, eBay's average time spent on the site and the number of pages per visitor were down in October year-over year to a greater extent than Amazon's. eBay has made major changes to its search algorithm and "finding" experience over the past year, which may be impacting these metrics. Some could argue that it is a positive trend in that visitors are finding what they are looking for with less searching. Others could argue it's a trend away from serendipitous shopping for unique items and bargains toward a commodity-driven shopping experience - and whether that is a positive development or not depends on your point of view!




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Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: tt

Tue Nov 25 08:44:49 2008

This 100% shows that eBay have screwed up…Amazon are killing eBay on accelerated growth ,eBay are just becoming a FP30 storage locker for many items STR is pathetic

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: joe

Tue Nov 25 08:49:30 2008

Sure you can argue those stats, however in reality with 35,000,000 thats million listings and you have a severe drop in page views means frustration in buyers give up searching thru the junk from China, and sellers give up on the demeaning and unfair best match search standings for their listings. Plus DSR bullcrap...all in all sellers are leaving and buyers are seeking items they really want...
The next severe drop will be after Q4 when most sellers will exit ebay till a fair and equal selling platform is returned...

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Kids Coats

Tue Nov 25 08:57:37 2008

If you're eBay management this must scare the crap out of you.  Amazon is eating eBay's lunch.  

In all fairness, the time on site is outrageous at eBay and shows the need to help buyers find items better.  However, eBay is promoting 3rd party advertising and as they get time on site down that will drag down ad revenue.  Sounds like a catch 22.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: JD

Tue Nov 25 10:40:07 2008

Great -- Now Donahue will even have more reason for trying to make eBay like Amazon.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: otispd

Tue Nov 25 10:55:11 2008

I knew eBay was in trouble as soon as I saw a pre-Christmas listing discount. eBay's concern is not the marketplace they provide, but the bottom line for the corporation. Quarterly sales and earnings must match the expectations of Wall Street, or the stock declines, financing becomes difficult, etc.  Overall their problem lies with a lack of understanding of the marketplace they provide and too much attention to the corporate bottom line.  

As a result, sellers are angry and are looking for alternatives.  Buyers are no longer finding the quality products they were buying.  I used to sell $4,000 to $5,000 per month on eBay.  Now I am content with $500 to $800. If I list what I used to, the buyers are no longer there.  MY bottom line is that the sell-through just doesn't show up on eBay.  I sell a smaller percentage of listings and receive fewer bids per sale.  But I will live with lower selling and higher costs per sale only so long as it remans profitable and eBay provides a market I can use.  

I also noticed that my Power Seller status has not dropped off yet.  Most sellers are not aware that eBay added an ''annual'' (rather than just monthly) method of computing Power Seller status.  

If I were a betting man, I would short eBay stock.  Sooner or later the corporate managers will no longer be able to manipulate the numbers and their real situation will be apparent to more than just eBay users.  

There are just the comments of a frustrated 9-year veteran of eBay whose personal rating is approaching 9,000.  If anbody knows of an alternative site for older or less common books, please let me know.  

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Pat

Tue Nov 25 10:57:47 2008

Can't wait to see how the eBay shills spin THESE numbers...

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: STEVE RONSON

Tue Nov 25 11:22:29 2008

No surprise, eBay deserves to share in the pain it has inflicted on it's sellers over the last 18 months or so. eBay can never succeed whilst the search default to 'best match' is in place. My greatest wish is for somebody like Google to become a direct competitor to eBay. What a nasty company eBay has become.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Jeff S

Tue Nov 25 11:28:46 2008

Wait till BillMeLater gets figured into the mix for ebay's quarterly reports.  That service is headed for the cliff in unpaid credit.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Et tu, Brute!

Tue Nov 25 11:37:26 2008

@ Jeff S

Agreed.  BillMelater will suck the life out of their healthy spreadsheet and IT's gonna hit the fan!

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Inevitable

Tue Nov 25 11:40:30 2008

Three years ago, if anyone would have predicted the position Ebay is in today, nobody would have believed them.

Why?  Because no company would be so stupid as to do what Ebay has done to itself.

The reason Ebay is in a mess is because Whitman/Omar/Donahoe sought temporary financial short term gain for themselves and ignored pleas from its customers.

Because of the huge numbers, Ebay Mgt. thought they could just keep replacing unhappy sellers with new ones.  

Of course they were in denial, blinded by their bonus checks, and look where Ebay is today.

They did not think they had to respond to the cries from the dumb masses out there.  Now who looks like a dumb-mass?

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Sad case

Tue Nov 25 11:59:39 2008

Ebay staff is just rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking ship.  And their Public Relations Band plays on.

It is just sad that so much good-will was flushed down the drain by hard-headed and greedy Ebay staff and hired-gun computer-nerds.

The good will is gone and that was the most valuable thing Ebay had going for it.

Too bad, so many good small sellers got hurt and discarded. But does anyone remember the names of the Chinese workers who built the western railroads?

Meg Whitman and Omar had a perfect right to take the money and run.  But they left Donahoe to take the blame.

Will the last Ebay employee please unplug "Hal" on your way out.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Jonathan

Tue Nov 25 12:26:16 2008

The blame can be spread evenly between management and stockholders.  The management is dishonest at best and the stockholders keep believing what they are told and reelecting the board, despite the company heading for the ditch.

My lack of faith in eBay management has forced me to sell on Amazon and for the first time ever, my sales on Amazon are 10 times what they are on eBay.

What eBay management does not get is the theory of honesty.  I see their numbers and think Enron.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Mike

Tue Nov 25 12:39:08 2008

eBay has been going down the tubes for the last 18 months.
I have closed my eBay account and now sell only on Amazon and my website.
We had over 900,000 sales on eBay, a 99.4% feedback score and payed them just under $5,000.00 a month in fees. You think that would buy us any customer service? On the rare occasion we called our rep, we always got voicemail, a return call 2-3 days later.
They treat their customers like they are worthless. People who bought a $4.00 item off me could pick up the phone and call me and I answered, but I spend $60,000.00 a year and get a return call...maybe in 3 days? Ridiculous! I knew they were in trouble when they became confused who their customer was. Business 101 tells us the customer is the one who buys your product. If eBay would hold their sellers to a high standard of service, and provide the same, eBay would forever own the market. In 10 years or less, the eBay debacle will be written about in text books.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: chrisjuricich

Tue Nov 25 12:49:07 2008

I agree with most everyone who has posted on this thread. I'm a powerseller there and the downturn of ebay pageviews and visits is rather alarming to me as a seller.

While my sales in my store (I just list in my store) have diminished somewhat over the past several months, due to some banner sales months here in early 2008, I can claim with honesty that despite all the eBay shenanigans of policy adjustments, my sales in 2008 will once again exceed those of the previous year. In fact, my sales have increased year over year since I started in about 2003 as a seller.

I don't necessarily expect that trend to continue into 2009, though, unless eBay management somehow manages to get their heads out of their you-know-wheres. Given the trends of their thinking, I'm sanguine about improvements.

Of course, like most eBayers who have found themselves tied to the company financially (ie dependent on it mostly for their online business), I'm doing more business elsewhere like on Amazon. For instance, in a rather watershed moment, the last batch of comics I bought I am going to exclusively list on Amazon rather than eBay as a 'grand experiment'.

Wish me luck!

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Dee

Tue Nov 25 13:05:13 2008

I bet eBay is getting the message and panick is setting in. I just received a poll from eBay ''Tell us your opinion about ebay: would you recommend eBay to a friend?'' Why and why not...the answer was obvious.
Looks like eBay is looking for:
-new Innocent Sellers to become victims
-or maybe get rid of those who STILL maintained a 100% without much fanfare?
Too much to speculate, but this is the first time eBay asked my opinion...in 9 years!  

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Patricia

Tue Nov 25 13:08:43 2008

I can't see them keeping Donahoe much past quarter one of 2009 - if they do then they deserve what they get.  At this rate Ebay will soon be no better then the small venues with free listing where hardly anything actually sells!  JD has destroyed Ebay - he needs to be groveling on his knees to persuade the sellers who were just so much "noise" to return!  Instead he keeps ushering in the very factor that is destroying Ebay - big box stores with drop shipped junk mostly from china!  I can get that at the nearest Walmart - in the store OR online!  Who needs this new Ebay?  Sadly...nobody!

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Lyn

Tue Nov 25 13:18:38 2008

Well, DUH!! It was clear 18 months ago to nearly all sellers (who, incidentally, are the biggest buyers--a fact that STILL hasn't sunk into their management's collective brain) that this was where eBay would be right about now. It was so clear to me that I completely changed my product focus to new rather than vintage items. New things have less subjective value and now I offer only free priority mail (this was all calculated to fight the feedback and low DSR problem and because I saw that the Amazonizification would eventually force sellers into free and fast shipping). I am doing 400% better this year than I did last year. I have fewer complaints. I simply retailored my selling on eBay to be "as if" I were selling on Amazon. My rating went back up to 100% and the DSRs are all in the high 90s, which keeps my discounts in place and my search visibility in the "enhanced" category.

It's like this: If you want to sell on eBay, you just have to change your whole mindset and play the game their way. Meanwhile, you MUST be developing alternative selling venues (Amazon comes to mind, eBid, etc) because eBay is going down the tubes at an accelerating rate.

I am so glad that McCain didn't win the election...if he had, we would be seeing Meg Whitman in some kind of cabinet post or special advisor (don't laugh, it really was seriously on the table!). With all the bailouts happening, it would be a damn sure thing that the Republicans would throw eBay some money when they falter, even though there is 3.3 billion in eBay money stashed in offshore accounts (and only God knows how much more is earning interest on our money in PayPal accounts at any given second). I think eBay and PayPal need to be brought before Congress to 'splain why they were just allowed to borrow over a billion from the Bank of America to buy up a company, when they had three times that much ready cash, at a time when few Americans can even get a car loan, much less a house loan.

No two ways about it, eBay sucks the big one. I hope Amazon kills eBay, but not before the end of this year's Christmas shopping season...I still have a lot of inventory flying out the door.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Martin Levine

Tue Nov 25 13:21:30 2008

Great insight into the numbers, Ina! The disparity between the number of page views for Amazon and those for eBay. While some might say that eBay enjoys 5 or 6x more page views than Amazon, I'd argue that Amazon boasts more quality buyers. They find what they want quickly, purchase, then leave. My own experience tells me that completing a transaction on eBay involves more searching, comparing of prices and feedback, and is generally more complicated.

Especially fascinating is the Web Page views chart that shows Amazon peaking a full month later than eBay. That means that merchants on Amazon have 30 more days of brisk sales than do sellers on eBay. All in all, this is not good news for eBay.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

by: Shelby

Tue Nov 25 13:33:22 2008

For those of us who are sellers, this doesn't surprise we are not surprised.

Just the hits alone on items show that information.

Best match is terrible, and hasn't benefited anyone.

There are several categories that I would search every item, using general information.  

Now when I do that I don't even get a tenth of the items that might be listed.

It is discouraging to say the least, thankfully I have adjusted items to other sites that are slowly gaining speed.

This economy is not helpful either, but this situation started way before the economy took a hit.

Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline   Amazon Grows Unique Visitors while eBay's Decline

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Tue Nov 25 14:21:24 2008

Interesting statistics. The fact is neither eBay nor its sellers can survive without the confidence of the buyers, and the application generally of hidden bidders, in conjunction with absolute anonymity of bidders (“Bidder N” in Australia, UK, Ireland and the Philippines), which serves no other purpose that to hide from view any shill bidding, that is undoubtedly now running rampant, so that buyers can’t detect it and therefore eBay does not have to waste any of their valuable resources pretending to do anything about it, is not going to improve that confidence anytime in the near future. The fact is the people currently running this company are a bunch of greedy, devious, disingenuous snakes …
A detailed criticism of the eBay snake at http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6499794#649979
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