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Thu July 9 2009 10:14:31

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

By: Ina Steiner

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Today's AuctionBytes Newsflash reports on eBay and Amazon.com traffic. The two marketplaces continue to go head-to-head for unique visitors, it's fascinating to see the race plotted from October 2007 to present.

It's also interesting to follow eBay's unique visitors back to January 2005, and to see where it peaked: November and December 2006 and January 2007, with a high of 66.193 million unique visitors in December 2006 (see the article for all charts). 

The severe recession in late 2008 may have had an impact, but unlike other retailers, eBay could be considered counter-cyclical - as people cut back on spending, they look for bargains and used goods. I recently came across aDecember 2002 article in the San Francisco Chronicle in which Verne Kopytoff noted eBay's increasing profitability during that year's economic downturn. 





"eBay executives say that their company's resilience in difficult economic times is partly explained by the breadth of items available on their Web site. For example, sellers of luxury jewelry may be doing poorly, but other vendors selling less-expensive necklaces and rings may be more than picking up the slack."

Nevertheless, eBay suffered in Q1 2009. Sellers have their own theories about eBay's performance, different from those of Wall Street analysts, as shown in Tuesday's blog post. Share your comments here.




Comments (35) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: John

Thu Jul 9 11:13:56 2009

Can anyone tell how Neilsen tabulates the numbers? Is it from raw data provided by ebay? Is it done through ISP addresses or new registrations? We have a hard time believing the ebay figures to be correct. From our perspective Amazon is growing at a much much faster trajector (compared to ebay) than the Nielsen figures indicate.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Daisy

Thu Jul 9 11:36:56 2009

Unless the job numbers take a dramatic swing upwards, Ebay will continue to fall. Yes, Ebay should be thriving. Donahoe's instincts to turn the venue uptown at this time was assinine. Guaranteed, he won't adjust and let it go back to being a true blue bargain site. He thinks he's a genuis and won't be proven wrong.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Daisy

Thu Jul 9 11:58:43 2009

On the Daily Deal, this ID came up: ideeli

New diamond??? Anyone know?

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Patricia

Thu Jul 9 12:12:46 2009

Considering the size of Ebay compared to Amazon I would say the smaller Amazon is eating their lunch!

Donahoe won't stop - he has to be stopped because he will never admit he's wrong - but the board of directors is sooo stupid!

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: peaceful

Thu Jul 9 12:32:52 2009

@ daisy:

I looked at their profile page and they are new seller of high end purses. Only 21 feedbacks at 100%.
So not a new diamond seller. But who knows, if they keep it up, they will surely get to diamond status.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: peaceful

Thu Jul 9 12:35:26 2009

Do y'all remember what happened in Oct. 2008?

EBAY FORCED PAYPAL.

That's when the policy change was supposed to take place. And it was announced in Aug., when traffic took a drive.
Hmm, and they thought that neat little idea wouldn't make a difference!

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Daisy

Thu Jul 9 13:36:11 2009

A little over an hour ago, ideeli had 21 feedback with one negative right on top. Now, the negative is removed and they have 100% feedback. Ebay doesn't even try to hide the diamond manipulation anymore.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: EventHorizon1984

Thu Jul 9 14:40:53 2009

New Diamond seller ideeli sells ''Cole Haan'' products. According to Google that leads to at least three possibilities.

1) www.ColeHaan.com
2) www.Zappos.com, eBay Diamond Seller to be
3) www.SmartBargains.com eBay Diamond Seller

eBay is counting on the new ''Cole Haan'' Diamond seller traffic to counterbalance the traffic lost from crushed small businesses.

Based on the latest Neilson figures, that's probably wishful thinking at best.

And think about this. When three major competitors sell the same products in a shrinking market meant for one major seller, who profits?


''I'm in a soap opera.''
Dr. Samuel ''Sam'' Beckett, Quantum Leap

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: RedInkDiary

Thu Jul 9 14:53:55 2009

The peak dates you mention were right before Stores in search was pulled and I believe eBay began quietly tinkering with search. My traffic dropped 80% almost overnight.

Approximately 50% of my buyers were in Australia and Europe and that tap got turned off too.

I was following the classic program on eBay, heavy store inventory and between 5 - 10% in staggered auctions at all times.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: peaceful

Thu Jul 9 15:11:39 2009

I googled ideeli and it came up as it's own closed community shopping website.

Interesting. Must not have been getting enough members.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Patricia

Thu Jul 9 15:57:54 2009

Why doesn't Neilson track the amount of sales and revenue lost by small sellers being hidden and search and by them just plain leaving the site?  The amount of revenue lost since early last year would be staggering!...BUT nothing stops John from his "disruptive innovation"!

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Steve

Thu Jul 9 16:05:34 2009

If you want to blame anyone for what is happening at eBay blame the Board of Directors. They sit back and watch eBay implode under the direction of Donkey Hole and they do nothing.  It just goes to show that if you get enough "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" Board members your job is safe.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: steve

Thu Jul 9 16:08:32 2009

And another thing, eBay removing Diamond sellers' negative feedback is about the sleaziest thing I think I've ever heard a company do.  It just goes to show that eBay really doesn't care about customers it ONLY cares about Diamond dollars.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Phil in MN

Thu Jul 9 17:29:31 2009

When will Ebay wake up! Let's go back to running true auctions, keep the fixed priced items in the Ebay stores, and stop the DSR search madness!
What Ebay has done to ruin it's site is unbelievable! Believe me, I want to use Ebay, but my items are just not selling the same since they threw in fixed priced 30 day listings into the mix, as well as their dysfunctional search, they simply must go back to items ending soonest!
Also, if eBay can offer a 30 day listing at .35 cents, why can't they offer discounts for auctions that only run 7 days, theyre listing fees are killing us! Maybe if I was paying 10 cents to list a 7 day auction, I wouldn't complain as much! Having to pay $1.10 listing fee to sell a $25 dollar item before I even make a sale is just too too much!

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: 2010 or Bust

Thu Jul 9 17:33:34 2009

Today's Daily Deal has two items from apparent new Diamond Seller Ideeli -- they have sold a total of 4 items between the two listings they have as part of the 4 Daily Deal listings.

I would guess JD and the crew really have no idea of who their customers are and what they are looking for. I guess they group in Northern California may think that 234.00 handbags are what cash strapped buyers need now days?

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Daisy

Thu Jul 9 17:46:04 2009

Ina and David, I really hope you nail Ebay with this one. ideeli is breaking all the rules that paying sellers would be kicked off the site for. And removing a neg is just scummy when they have repeatedly and firmly announced that no diamond manipulation is going on.

In ideeli's TOS, they state they don't place the order with their distributor until after the item is paid for. 10 handling days. We all know buyers don't read. How can they maintain perfect DSRs?

How far is Ebay willing to go before someone finally scrutinizes this companies practices?

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Joyce

Thu Jul 9 17:48:15 2009

ideeli@ideeli.com
I get the ideele news letter everyday. They are re sellers of high end merchandise - name brands of all sorts of things. In this economy there are over runs, over stocks and over everything except buyers - with money. I assume that's why they are trying ebay. They will find out soon enough, as Portero did, that ebay is not the place for good new items. Not with the Chinese crap flooding the site.
I have a consignor that insists on listing on ebay. I have not sold my own items there in seven months - my last two sales were from non paying bidders.I get more people looking and buying on my website and Bonanzle than I had on ebay in months. I have always setup my own way to search so I didn't quite understand ''best (worst) match'', never having used it. BUT, when I tried to find my own listing and couldn't, I put the entire heading in the search box and still couldn't find it. No wonder there are no sales.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Jul 9 18:31:26 2009

If in fact ebafia is manipulating DSRs, feedback, or search -- which I firmly believe they are -- then ebafia is engaged in organized racketeering and could be prosecuted under the RICO statutes.

RICO is what the government uses to prosecute organized crime like the mafia/Cosa Nostra.

A thorough USDoJ RICO investigation would reveal ebafia for precisely what it is now and always has been.

See why I call them ebafia?

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Diamond Haus

Thu Jul 9 19:23:42 2009

eBay does manipulate seller feedback but it isn't on the scale that people accuse them of.  In fact it is so little that it makes no sense.  You can see Diamond Haus for examples of what they've done in the past.  We have about 7 months of data.

ideeli has been added temporarily due to their low feedback, deal of the day, high volume, and accusation of a missing negative feedback.  This does not mean they are a diamond powerseller though.

Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends   Comparing eBay and Amazon Traffic Trends

by: Commentator

Thu Jul 9 23:16:16 2009

The falling numbers are absolutely no surprise.  eBay has done everything in its power to screw up whatever it touches.  Every time I go to an item page (usually from saved searches that are emailed to me daily), it seems like the page structure is different.  They ask for my opinion about the page and there is almost always stuff about it that is WORSE than the last time.  

I know that it is important to ''eat your children'' (develop new products that take over the sales of your own old products) and ''change before you are forced to change'' and all that. However, what eBay does is really senseless changes that NOBODY outside eBay wants.

I attribute this to eBay's work culture.  The place is one big revolving door.  New people working there all the time.  Everybody thinks that they have to CHANGE SOMETHING (ANYTHING) in an attempt to get recoginition and promotions.  It is all about internal politics and nothing about either the buyer or seller.

It would be a shame for eBay to eventualy implode, but I will NOT be surprised.  The worst part will be that I will lose a source of buying inventory -- with all those supposed eyeballs out there, I am still able to buy a LOT of items in ''my'' speciality that give me a FAST 400% profit.  When people used to ask me if they should sell something on eBay, I would say no, sell it to me.  But now I am just as likely to tell them to go ahead and sell it on eBay --- because *I* can usually buy it from them there for a lot less than I would have felt obligated to offer them had it been a traditional transaction in which I am the expert-buyer.

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