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Mon Apr 20 2009 10:09:36

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

By: Ina Steiner

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AuctionBytes looked at March traffic data for eBay and Amazon in today's Newsflash newsletter. While eBay's numbers had declined year-over-year, Amazon.com's numbers had increased. I remembered that there was a correlation between fourth quarter 2008 traffic numbers and sales, so I took a look at eBay's first quarter 2009 traffic data.

Using data provided by Nielsen Online, I added the first three months of 2008 and compared them to 2009. eBay had a 5.8 percent decline in unique visitors in the first quarter 2009 compared to the same quarter last year, and its page views were down 25 percent (very similar to the declines in March alone).



It will be interesting to look at eBay's first quarter GMV numbers when it releases earnings on Wednesday to see if there is a similar traffic-to-sales relationship in the first quarter as in the fourth quarter. (Amazon.com reports its numbers on Thursday.)





Comments (113) | Permalink

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eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Scriptorical

Mon Apr 20 10:21:39 2009

Good detective work Ina, I wonder what eBay will have to say on Wednesday. Wouldn't it be funny of their stats were different then yours. I know that we don't buy nearly as much as we did when we sold on eBay. When we do bid it is a minimum bid and we don't bother bidding any higher then our minimum. Something we would not have done as sellers on eBay. This is bad for the sellers on eBay now.

Traffic down 25% rates increasing at sales end. Limited search except of course if you are a high neg feedback diamond seller who lists tens of thousands of items daily. What a mess. I feel real bad for the sellers on eBay today.

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: jake

Mon Apr 20 10:30:05 2009

eBay is the Dodo of the on-line sales business.
Their time is over, I have lost count of the people I knew who bought/sold on ebay that do not even log on anymore..they have all moved on to cheaper fun & less stressful places.
I still sell on multiple ebay accounts but it really is just a pain with sales nowhere near what they were & the buyers are just as dumb as ever ..Our website beats eBay sales every week

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: ebay=penny stock

Mon Apr 20 10:31:01 2009

Ebay is so corrupt right now that Wednesday's report will be a glowing endorsement of the Ho.

And best of all the anaylist will all agree with them.

Hail to the crooks and morons, death to ebay in 2009

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Bob F.

Mon Apr 20 10:46:23 2009

Those are very revealing numbers. As the other responder said, it will be interesting to see if eBay's correspond with yours.

I do have a question/observation regarding the erosion of eBay's buyer base. Has anyone done any research into the psychological trends that motivate the average buyer on eBay? I realize this would be a huge task, but I have a hunch that what we're seeing with eBay's lack of success in its buyer retention efforts is a situation that may be out of its control. Speaking from my own experience (I first became a member back in 2002) I have found that shopping on eBay has become a real chore. At first it was fun, new and exciting. I got a real rush from the auction experience. But after over a 150 successful ''wins'' and countless losses, it is now an emotional downer. If I see something I want, I just don't feel like putting in the necessary effort or the time to go after it. I know the drill. Odds are I'll be outbid at the last moment. There was a time when I searched eBay first to find an item. Now I only go there as a last resort. And I simply can't stand being on the site for more than five minutes at a time. I suspect this is a kind of burnout. And maybe that's the root problem. For me shopping on eBay has become akin to doing a job I no longer enjoy. I practically have to drag myself onto their website. I haven't made a purchase on eBay in over three months.

I wonder how many other former eBayers can relate to my feelings?

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: On Lies and Secrets

Mon Apr 20 11:04:47 2009

I think the statistics are interesting, particularly the page views statistic, given that there are now more intermediate pages to click on than there were formerly.  I have to log-in far more frequently during this past year than I ever had before and after I log-in, I am shown another page that I have to click past in order to get to ''My ebay''. How users are being forced to navigate the site has changed tremendously and I wonder how these changes are counted and interpreted in the ''page views'' statistic and whether you can really compare these statistics from year to year and be looking at similar phenomena.  I don't doubt that the ebay corporation reports these numbers, but I do wonder whether they control for changes in site navigation in reporting them (if this is relevant - I am not certain how they count or measure 'page views').

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Lyn

Mon Apr 20 11:05:15 2009

It was, let's see, about two years ago that eBay started amputating its own fingers and toes (small to medium auctioneers), so it's not surprising that it's toppling quickly now. The latest announcements about being directly involved in disputes will kill off even more sellers, so there go the hands and feet, and the legs and arms won't be far behind.

Ebay has nobody to blame except their own incompetent CEO and board of directors and whoever else has heavily influenced the direction of the website. The "Amazonification" obviously didn't work, so what once was a great thing is no more and that's that.

I finally quit eBay completely after Christmas and haven't gone back to buy or sell anything. Nothing there for me.

How many other sellers there must be just like me...could account for a large part of those non-visitors.

DUH, eBay, best not piss off your best buyers (who are also sellers).

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Rhonda

Mon Apr 20 11:08:22 2009

EBay could use a legitimate excuse for their March decline in unique page views. Sometime in early March or late February, eBay changed the saved searches on the My eBay page. For weeks, I have not had to actually visit an eBay search page to see if there are any items I'm looking for at the price I want to pay. A link on the saved searches page allowed me to see if there were any new listings with my criteria. Perhaps last week they realized it was lowering their unique page numbers because late last week they changed the My eBay Saved Searches again so that one must go to an eBay search page to see if there are any listings for the search criteria. I hate giving eBay that bone, but it's the truth.

I sold on eBay for 11 years. I moved 99.9% of my items to Amazon last year. In the past year, there have only been a few changes for Amazon sellers. For the same 18 month period, eBay has had huge seller and buyer changes and have changed some things back to the way it was before. Constant change is not good. People who haven't sold in 6 months are absolutely lost with all the changes in just that short amount of time. A buyer buys after a 3 month hiatus and nothing looks the same. Search options only get more frustrating monthly.

EBay once had a plan that worked. They couldn't leave it alone. They have tried their darnedest to break it and get closer all the time. Amazon found someething that worked and they have left it alone. The difference is finally showing.

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: sad news again from ebay

Mon Apr 20 11:09:36 2009

I can't shop there anymore, the new search does not load in my computer, about 1/2 page in and it freezes.

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Apr 20 11:11:27 2009

I occasionally still by on eBay, I just put in an auto-snipe bid & forget it. I win, I win, otherwise something else will come along.

The questions to ask is who is not showing up and bidding on eBay, i.e. which categories. If Electronics are taking a hit that is one thing, if Collectibles that means another. CD's & music - again another thing.

It seems like there is just not enough information. Personally, I could use the info to see where to "hock my wares". Obviously some alternate sites would be better for certain types of merchandise than others.

I don't think that eBay would be releasing those figures unless the "analysts" - those that brought you the latest crises - demand it.

Have fun & Happy Patriots' Day

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: C.E.P.

Mon Apr 20 11:14:14 2009

As a member since 96 I quit selling two years ago at Christmas. All I can say to the page view drops is good. I hope ebay dies away. Dona-who ruined the site beyond repair.

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: exEbayer

Mon Apr 20 11:17:13 2009

If you want to see a real disaster, look at the ''improved'' ebay motors.  Major suckage.  They really took a big gulp of kool-aid with this one.  Ebay is history

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Ebay Pays My Bills

Mon Apr 20 11:21:46 2009

I've been a full time seller on Ebay for almost 9 years. Traffic might be down but prices are not. I'm getting more money today for my merchandise then I did 5 years ago. Ebay is far from perfect but it's the best place on the Internet to make money from home. Great sellers adapt to Ebay's changes and move forward. Sometimes I get really tired of hearing all the failures crying!!!

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Ebay Pays My Bills

Mon Apr 20 11:28:12 2009

Page views are down because the New & Improved Ebay is IE 5&6 unfriendly!
Try updating to a new browser and Ebay pages fly like they used to.

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: stylephyle

Mon Apr 20 11:30:43 2009

Well, maybe Amazon secretly bought ebay and now is dismantling the competition.  That's the only way all of this makes sense! And I'm not an ebay failure. I was a powerseller on both ebay and amazon, and finally picked the one that earned me more money with less work. I still like to buy on ebay, but am finding less and less that interests me. Especially with "free" shipping, which ends up costing the buyer MORE if they buy more than one item - no more combined shipping!

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Just me

Mon Apr 20 11:33:10 2009

ebay is still a great place to shop and sell. Especially if you happen to like to buy and sell stolen goods like printer ink and toy lego blocks, have lots of time to wait for the bloated pages to load, don't mind Paypal holding your money, playing games with your livlihood, etc.
Who doesn't like all that?
I can't imagine why the traffic is down. {:?

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: They Pay Your Bills?

Mon Apr 20 11:36:47 2009

Ebay Pays My Bills, I believe it: they do pay your bills. Donahoe, is that you?

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Harry

Mon Apr 20 11:39:26 2009

@Ebay Pays My Bills

At last the one person who is still making real money on ebay, bet your fees are much lower than 5 years ago too!

LOL  please don't insult the MANY good professional power sellers who have walked from eBay we are not dumb or stupid

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: richard

Mon Apr 20 11:40:19 2009

hi I am an authority on one modern artist ( sorry, no name ) whose art is currently and always shown in  as many as 10 international world class museums and who mainly specialises in multiples ( art speak for low edition not too costly collectibles).

Used to be there were dealers from each of the country where she shows that would offer items from their local area: books, posters, magazines, objects. In the good ole days, a new art show would open and the same week, loads sometimes dozens of local rarities would show up on eBay.

This stopped nearly entirely about 3 years ago. Fatigue ? I think dealers realised you couldnt build a business like this with ebay taking a huge chunk, and no chance of repeat business,  and I see many of the same dealers now operating their own websites, where items are priced much higher. I think the rationale is if you are a real collector, then you will eventually find them thru Google.

eBay mostly got out of the art market

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

by: Another Wronged Seller

Mon Apr 20 11:47:46 2009

Another interesting thing to consider would be number of registered users on the site. Also, how many registered users are buyers only vs sellers. Is there any way to compare Q1 2008 registered sellers, buyers vs Q1 2009?

I think we would see a direct correlation between less small sellers equals less unique visitors and less page views (and declining sales)

When you push smaller sellers off the site, who a large number are buyers as well, you are also pushing them off as buyers. With the inevitable bad feelings created when good SMALL sellers are pushed off and dis-advantaged on the site, they are far less likely to shop on ebay at all (or even visit)

Ebay in their wisdom has been trying to re-invent the wheel. In the process of trying to make a better wheel, they made a square one.

Managements stubborn refusal to see the horrible effects of their changes and their blind insistance to stay the course will eventually bring this company down.

Page views,unique visitors, item variety, sell through, sales volume, etc.. Name me one thing that has improved since the disruptive innovation started? Can management really be so blind, stubborn or stupid?

Perhaps all three.....

eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago   eBay Traffic Drops in First Quarter from a Year Ago

This user has validated their user name. by: Doc

Mon Apr 20 11:52:25 2009

Ebay Pays My Bills, is a Paid Shill for eBay, who posts over on the Yahoo eBay finance discussion board.

eBay traffic is down because DonaHoe ran most everyone off. There is nobody left but bottom feeders and scammers!

Anyone that builds a website that shuns older browsers and slower computers, thus costing themselves traffic and business is not too bright.

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