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Tue Apr 22 2008 23:42:38

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

By: Ina Steiner

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In preparing a Newsflash article about eBay metrics, I calculated the percent change in Page Views and Unique Audience for January, February and March 2008, year-over-year, from data provided by Nielsen Online.

Page Views

January: Down 10.54 percent year over year

February: Down 10.69 percent year over year

March: Down 12.82 percent year over year

Unique Audience

January: Down 9.57 percent year over year

February: Down 4.75 percent year over year

March: Down 6.31 percent year over year

The decline in page views has to be of concern to eBay - an almost 13 percent drop in page views in March from the previous year.

I was curious if the numbers might hint at any boycott effect. Looking at the numbers month-to-month, it shows a 13.21 percent drop in page views from January 2008 to February, and a 6.48 percent increase from February to March. There was also a 10.85 percent drop in time spent per person from January 2008 to February. It's always tricky looking at month-to-month numbers, as seasonal effects can cause swings.

The raw monthly data from January 2007 through March 2008 - including time spent on site per person - is included in the Newsflash article, which will be published later this week.




Comments (36) | Permalink

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Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: jsicolts

Wed Apr 23 09:14:22 2008

Page Views - take the data with caution, as we can click & refresh many ebay pages to build a listings views numbers. On our own listings we have refreshed as soon as its listed so it looks like 7-8 views as soon as its listed.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Patricia

Wed Apr 23 13:02:13 2008

I think its kind of a catch-22 situation.  The less traffic the less sellers are listing and the less listed, the less traffic.  Also, sellers who can't sell don't buy either - they go and list elsewhere for free and some of their buyers follow them.  Ebay has never openly considered this as part of the problem...but it is a big part.  So, now they've held a 10 cent listing day for powersellers - of course listings go up - but its artificially high.  The minute the "gimmick" is over then listings start to fall again.  This is all common knowledge and just about any seller can tell you the same thing.

I think many of us have been boycotting in a way since the January announcement.  That's when I set about to find other venues along with lots of other sellers.  My listings on ebay are under 10 now - down from more than 50 on a constant basis.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: horsemama

Wed Apr 23 14:44:12 2008

I wonder how many thousands of those page views in February was the bunch of boycotting detectives who were smoking out all the bogus listings (over 240,000) that "accidentally" ended up on the eBay site from shopping.com.

I must have made several hundred "extra" views myself that night, and there were hundreds or thousands of us who knew about it and were investigating what was going on.

eBay will do anything to manipulate statistics to suit their own stated reality.

But we know the truth, even if we'll never hear it from THEIR lips!


BOYCOTT VICTORIOUSLY . . . May 1 and beyond . . . until they get IT.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Samanthacat0

Wed Apr 23 21:02:54 2008

Thank you Ina for some numbers we and the stockholders can trust! Keep up the good work. You are appreciated.
Jim

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: tula

Thu Apr 24 06:57:23 2008

I wonder if at least some of the drop can be attributed to the new features on eBay that (for example) allow you to refresh the time remaining in an auction without having to load the whole page.  eBay has been adding a lot of this "Web 2.0" technology to allow a lot of partial refreshing of information without reloading an entire page.  This could have a drastic effect on the page view numbers.  I know my own web logs only reflect raw numbers of times a page or a graphic is loaded.  Those "partial views" might not show up in the same way, depending on the technology used. I'm not certain how unique visitors are calculated, so I don't know if it would have the same effect there or not.  Food for thought, anyway.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Donna McCusker

Thu Apr 24 12:56:10 2008

I don't believe it is a boycot . I am a seller and I have found I have had to lower some of my starting bids from 9.99 to 7.99 to get action. If you have collectable items that fall into a real tight nitch then things will sell well. My final value sales , I do believe are down. I would think BUYERS would cause the PAGE VIEWS to go up or down. Money is tight people are not spending.    

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Gravy

Thu Apr 24 16:19:57 2008

It's the economy! duh

Gas Prices UP!
Shipping Fees UP!
Food Prices UP!
Unemployment UP!
Final Value Fees UP!
Cost of Goods UP!


There needs to be some relief or sellers are going to be forced out. This is a joint endeavor and only the fat cats will survive off of volume not margin.

It's a bad time to be in business and especially on Ebay.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: BidFinders

Sun Apr 27 09:03:41 2008

I tend to think it's not the economy that has to do with the drop in page views.  eBay should be known as a place to get good prices and I would think it should thrive in a weakened economy.  

As a seller, I've cut back my S&H charge significantly and lowered starting bids for auctions to try to move product that sold at higher price points last year.  I'm sure others are doing the same, leaving buyers with competitive prices.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Fruity

Tue Apr 29 04:49:12 2008

Hey how come ebay doesn't use MY metric for trending? Here let me sing it to everybody!

index finger going down
now the ring finger it goes down
and lil pinkie goes down

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: BC

Fri May 9 11:18:17 2008

Time on siteis up because you have to mess with Best Match search which is a royal pain.  You don't know one day to the next which page you will see when searching.  I have given up eBay search and now use Google.  My buying on eBay is way down easier to go somewhere else then mess with eBays indicisive changes.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Raia

Fri May 9 11:25:48 2008

I imagine time spent is up because ebay has incorporated so much code clogging crud into their platform that it takes longer to even try to find what you're looking for, while all of that junk loads on each page and floods your PC... just one of the infinate ebay blunders.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Ebay No More

Fri May 9 11:26:01 2008

I just had to laugh. The stat for increased time spent on the site is very easy to explain. You can't find anything with Best Match and your search returns. Best Match has made a real mess of Ebay. I often give up and go out to Google and find the items using Google. If Google returns something on Ebay fine. Otherwise I'll buy from a seller off Ebay because at least I can find what I am looking for.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Charles

Fri May 9 11:26:26 2008

My unscientific evaluation of that data suggests the following:

FEWER visitors spend more time on the site because they are having a MORE DIFFICULT time in finding what they're looking for.

I think eBay has peaked, they're starting a gradual, steady and measurable decline. It's not yet a free-fall, but noting eBay's poorly thought out policies and their unwillingness to respond, react, and change... it's only a matter of time before the entire bottom falls out.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Cynical

Fri May 9 11:44:55 2008

How about this theory of increased time on Ebay:  As Ebay has advertised and "popularized" the site to the masses, more and more "stupid/lazy/dishonest/curious" people have been attracted to Ebay.

I've seen this in the ridiculous emails, non-pays, excuses, and lies that have increased with my buyers.

This "new breed" of buyers is the same type who will spend hours at Walmart looking and touching things and then buy their cigarettes and junk food and go home.

But before they drive away, they will throw their trash and dirty diapers in the parking lot.

A cruel analogy for sure, but I think Ebay has forsaken the good "community type buyers" and enticed the masses to "shop victoriously" on Ebay.

Ebay, you ask for it and you're getting it.  You've changed your business model, now deal with it!

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: stylephyle

Fri May 9 11:49:39 2008

Uhh, maybe taking them more time to find what they WANT??  "Best match" is what's best for ebay not for the consumer.  It's an auction site, stupid!  Auction site default listing should be ending first. I just pulled the last of my listings since I was no longer getting last minute bidders.  Plus, now I don't have to cope with idiots who bid my items up THEN walk, causing both me and a serious buyer to lose out.  It became a very poor "seller experience" for me, so I'm gone.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Steve

Fri May 9 11:58:25 2008

When eBay holds their cards so close to their chest when it comes to their proprietary data, how does Nielsen come up with their numbers?
 If anyone knows the answer to this I would love to hear it.
 Moreover, if eBay pads the system like many suspect, do these phantom listings affect the numbers.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Henrietta

Fri May 9 12:07:46 2008

Gravy if you wait to be forced out you deserve to loose your business because it is going to come. You see, you have no 'track record' unless you are a PS with 12 months status. It stands to reason if you do not conform to that metric you are going to be 'disadvantaged in search' because you must be a 'bad' seller.

When we boycotted in February I picked several alternative venues two of which I have since junked for 'eBay like behavior' numbers 4 & five I think are keepers and I am looking for number 6. I have been planning my exit strategy for two years since SIS.

It is not all the economy, I sell about the most useless product imaginable and sales on my website are OK. I am making less sales but keeping 25% more of the take.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: sd

Fri May 9 12:16:19 2008

Detailed Seller Ratings is the worst.
I charge only what it costs to ship, yet buyers unhappy with postage can grade you down.  RIDICULOUS!!!!

I send emails all the way thru the transaction (no responses) and then get gradeddown for poor communication?
Ridiculous

I show 10 pictures and describe every detail but when buyer receives item decides they don't like it, they grade you down because they CAN.

Ridiculous!
 
I ship item day after payment depending when payment comes sometimes same day yet because THEY CAN buyers can grade you down for shipping time if they take media mail or first class which is slower than priority.

EBAY YOU HAVE GIVEN WAY TO MUCH POWER TO THE BUYERS.

A COUPLE MORE DSR's and I am totally quitting.  So unfair.  I have 100% positive for 10 years almost unheard of, but I bend over backwards to get it and now they still can grade you down with these stupid DSR's.
Thanks for ruining it for me.

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Scott

Fri May 9 12:54:10 2008

There is a saturation point. No matter how much they advertise, they will not get the Amish to sign up for eBay. I think it is a combination of things. I do not think that Best Match is helpful for the buyers to find what they want. I think that high energy costs are reducing the disposable income for shopping. I also think that eBay has alienated its customer base (the sellers). I used to encourage my roommate to shop on eBay. I now tell him to shop on the River.

Scott

Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends   Nielsen Online's eBay Data Shows Interesting Trends

by: Patricia

Fri May 9 13:21:50 2008

Page views decreased/time spent on site increased.  Its so very easy to explain that its almost painful that ebay is just not getting it....Best Match!  Its not working properly and not showing what people are looking for.  They're spending their time nosing around and then get disgusted and leave!  In my category people are complaining that sales and views are DOWN.  Ebay seems to no longer be in the business of bringing buyers and sellers together for the purpose of making sales!  One wonders just where they're going with all this nonsense - except to self-destruct! The only people who are happy about all this are their up and coming competitors!

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