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Tue Apr 13 2010 22:11:34

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

By: Ina Steiner

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If it feels like things have gotten a lot more competitive on eBay these days, it's because they have. Since taking the reins from Meg Whitman, eBay CEO John Donahoe has succeeded in increasing eBay listings by 670%.

But if you list in media or some other categories, the news is much more startling. The number of listings in Books jumped 2222% (that's two-thousand, two-hundred and twenty-two percent) in April 2010 compared to January 2008. Three other categories jumped by more than one-thousand percent: Music, Specialty Services, and Business & Industrial. Donahoe has done a number of other things over the past several years to dramatically increase listings on eBay:
  • Added Diamond sellers with deep SKUs - Buy.com, for example;
  • Added an on ramp for large retailers (Large Merchant Services API);
  • Lowered insertion fees in Media categories;
  • Introduced 30-day fixed price listings into core.
When eBay announced the changes to Store inventory format in January, Store owners found they would be paying more for listings beginning in April, but eBay said they would benefit by getting increased exposure in Core. However, with infinitely more listings appearing in core search, does the sheer quantity of items overwhelm any benefit to being included in Core? Here's an example: In January 2008, if you sold clothing, shoes and accessories, your listings were appearing alongside 2.2 million other items. Now, you compete with 16.5 million other listings in the category.

There's no doubt Mr. Donahoe has accomplished what he set out to do. But will his strategy be successful? Take a look at the category(s) you sell in on the chart below, and let us know how the numbers have worked out for you over the past 2+ years.                                                                                                                                                                  

Jan 26, 2008

April 2, 2010

% CHANGE

Antiques

180,529

717,570

297%

Art

181,388

1,165,472

543%

Baby

59,555

236,214

297%

Books

490,140

11,381,578

2222%

Business & Industrial

277,025

3,129,942

1030%

Cameras & Photo

239,732

1,050,606

338%

Cell Phones & Accessories

05,427

2,105,188

419%

Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

2,202,064

16,525,697

650%

Coins & Paper Money

245,246

997,638

307%

Collectibles

1,552,934

11,376,121

633%

Computers &    Networking

463,388

4,012,748

766%

Consumer    Electronics
(Now Electronics)

375,013

2,067,314

451%

Crafts

296,884

2,513,925

747%

Dolls & Bears

138,377

629,980

355%

DVDs & Movies

388,994

2,085,501

436%

Entertainment    Memorabilia

181,777

1,767,447

872%

Gift Certificates

10,607

15,379

45%

Health & Beauty

360,513

2,201,087

511%

Home & Garden

689,433

6,535,694

848%

Jewelry & Watches

1,122,596

6,043,418

438%

Music

369,330

5,359,953

1351%

Musical Instruments

166,585

747,580

349%

Pet Supplies
(Added as Top-Level Category in 6/09)

.

476,302

N/A

Pottery & Glass

215,512

1,225,235

469%

Real Estate

5,020

3,069

-39%

Specialty Sevices

8,634

98,782

1044%

Sporting Goods

497,144

2,197,615

342%

Sports Memorabilia, Cards & Fan Shop

675,251

6,706,578

893%

Stamps

155,499

1,504,494

868%

Tickets

36,830

403,044

994%

Toys & Hobbies

697,901

4,250,962

509%

Travel

12,906

65,547

408%

Video Games

276,375

1,135,871

311%

Everything Else

201,776

775,238

284%

TOTALS

13,180,385

101,508,789

670%




Comments (63) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 13 22:59:52 2010

Yeah - but its the sell thru rate that counts.  

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 13 23:01:03 2010

Just about everyone I know in the Arts category is complaining about lack of traffic - lack of sales.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 13 23:23:19 2010

adding 222% more books doesn't mean that they are books people want.  the diamonds will be the death of ebay, no fees means that no thought has to be put into what to list and what not too.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: RicRoe

Tue Apr 13 23:28:15 2010

The listing counts are the most definitive measure of how John Donahoe has failed as eBay's CEO.

Despite a 670% growth in listing volume in 2 years, eBay has failed to grow sales. Despite a marked increase in listings... despite the buyer can do no wrong philosophy... despite the ''Lowest Fees Ever'' eBay is unable to generate the same sales volume it did in 2008 when listings were a fraction of what they are today.

This is an indictment against John Donahoe's failed strategies as well as those of his entire hand picked management team.

The sense of community that once prevailed across eBay has been systemically destroyed under Donahoe's leadership. The distrust between buyer and seller which has been fostered by Donahoe and his management team have taken a heavy toll on the marketplace that listing volume can not overcome.

Donahoe believed he could grow sales by stuffing eBay full of listings. His effort has not grown sales, they have only succeeded in driving sales down. eBay may have 670% more merchandise listed, but the reality is that sales have not grown in proportion to listings growth. It is obvious that buyers are not interested in what eBay offers anymore. Donahoes simplistic plan of overstocking the shelves with anything he can get his hands on to grow sales clearly does not resonate with buyers.

It is painfully obvious that John Donahoe has failed as eBay's CEO. He asked for 3 years to turn eBay around. Well, it's year 3 and it is abundantly clear that Donahoe has no idea of what buyers want.

eBay's board needs to look at the listings growth, and the resulting decline in sales, then tell John Donahoe it is time to move on. Most of his management team needs to be dismissed as well.

Entirely new leadership needs to be brought in and tasked with rebuilding the rubble Donahoe and his team have made out of eBay.

How much longer will eBay's board of directors continue to sit on their hands and allow this failed CEO to continue the decimation of eBay's marketplace?

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: kw

Tue Apr 13 23:30:11 2010

And how much of the increase is due to free or discounted listings for large sellers?

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Tom

Tue Apr 13 23:40:20 2010

I've definitely noticed the increase in music, where I sell.  I've always concentrated on rare and collectible items, and the increase seems to be on more common titles, so I still get sales.  But eight years ago I think most of my sales came from people browsing the category, whereas now I think it is a result of specific searches.  There's TOO much for anyone to browse, even if limited to items ending today.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: candi

Tue Apr 13 23:54:03 2010

Why is everyone surprised at these numbers? We knew this was going to happen when the change took place on March 31st-April 1st. How can anyone not not how much these numbers are skewed?

For the seller - sales are down, visitors are down, morale is down.

For the buyer - Too much to look at, overwhelming at best and more difficult to find the item your want.

For eBay - Lots more money from the sellers, lots more money from the sellers, lots more money from the sellers.

Works for them!

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: deborah
Web Site

Tue Apr 13 23:55:43 2010

I am pulling out of ebay, I just do not like the new fixed price listing fees for store owners and when I read the figures above.....I know my listings will be even more lost and turnover time slower. It is overwhelming. Donahue has failed. PERIOD. It is one thing to have an item sit in a store that costs me 36 cents and takes a year to sell, it is quite another thing for that same item to sit in my store for $6/year with all that competition. An almost 16.66% increase in sales cost. This is the point he missed. The FVF might be lower, but for slower moving items with high competition,with selling prices under say $50, you are better off paying the low listing fee and higher FVF. EBAY is making out like bandits.  Just wondering how many ebay store owners are looking at the inventory turnover rate....not sales per month as ebay attempted to sugar coat it. It is just like the government taxing policies, it sounds like it is better for the small store owner, until you dig a little deeper.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: GazLanNaThai This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Apr 14 00:17:32 2010

I'm in full agreement with RicRoe

Whilst the majority of unknowing sellers continue to blame Asian sellers generally, and Chinese sellers specifically, for flooding the sites, the reality is that it's the mass inventory diamonds who have done so.

What's more, the devastation that Donahoe has wrought within eBay has spread to the marketplaces channel generally too - there's now too many online venues and outside of a chosen few, none of them are getting sustainable traffic.

It goes further if my own sites are any indication - in order to get buyer's attention, sellers building their own websites need to build tightly focussed niche sites (so that potential buyers landing on them can tell instantly if the site specialises in their wanted product group or not) - that's exploding the internet size exponentially, and slowing growth of new etail outlets. This is a worry - particularly as sellers own websites are widely reported to be yielding higher order values than was achieved on eBay, yet the frequency of sale is not as good as eBay in the 2005-2006 peak period.  

My own sites have longer time-on-site and more page hits per visitor, than did my eBay listings and stores in 2007-2009, and I think its because I use deep and wide product categories of the style that eBay used prior to the eruption of "item specifics" replacing sub-categories.

The listings growth reported by Ina is an absolute reason why eBay should never have embarked upon sub-category merging.  People used to love category browsing - it kept them on site longer and made them more prone to bidding, especially on the serendipity items they found.  

eBay could have rolled item specifics (required by Google search) AND kept the broad list of sub-categories.  Now that eBay and Google appear to be locked in a hill-billy style feud (I loved JD's last comment about Google being up to them whether or not they included eBay items in search - shows how little he cares about the sellers and eBay), eBay is getting little to no search-driven incoming traffic, and their own internal search engine is useless, but they have removed the fallback fail-safe of comprehensive sub-categories.  

Until they remedy that situation, the more they build the listings count, the worse things will get.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: EventHorizon1984 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Apr 14 00:25:16 2010

Tsk, tsk.  The difference would be store items not counted in the first column, but counted in the second.

But let's use an apples to apples comparison.

On 2 April 2010 there were 101,508,789 listings,  versus on any given day in 2006:

http://yahoo.brand.edgar-online.com/displayfilinginfo.asp
x?FilingID=4995117-800-536288&type=sect&TabIndex=2&companyid=7098
''On
any given day, there are more than a hundred million items available through auction-style and fixed-price trading.''
''Our Marketplaces include more than a hundred million items, creating a wide variety and selection of goods''
Margaret C. Whitman, 27th day of February, 2007

A little over three years later and John Donahoe has an increase of 1,508,789 listings.

Creating a little doubt as to the accuracy of the eBay provided 101 million count, OR John Donahoe's success.

/*

http://yahoo.brand.edgar-online.com/displayf
ilinginfo.aspx?FilingID=6428749-799-569002&type=sect&TabIndex=2&companyid=7098
''Our
Marketplaces platforms include more than 140.0 million listings on any given day and make available to our users a wide variety and selection of goods''
John Donahoe, 19th day of February, 2009

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Ebayer since 1998

Wed Apr 14 00:30:47 2010

eBay keeps making it more difficult to sell anything. It all just disappears into the mind numbing huge number of listings. I see a lot of great auction items with 2 or 3 views that do not sell at even .99 cents. Or, even worse, sell with one bid at .99 cents. Might as well bring it to Goodwill and save the time and money of packing and dealing with the claims when the cheap buyer complains about the .99 cent item. I used to sell almost everything that I listed before Buy-It-Now. Now, most items do not sell. They don't even get views. I can't keep wasting my time and money trying to sell items that turn up buried amongst hundreds of items when you search for them. My sales are way down, but eBay and PayPal keep getting more $$$ out of my labors. Lets see, I only sold about $350 last month (I had been in the $1K to $2K/month range about 3 years ago) and eBay/PayPal got over $85 from me. I feel like I am only working to make money for them and the post office. I will have to move my collectibles and antiques to other sites or open a brick and mortar store as eBay does not work for me anymore.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Larry Braccio
Web Site

Wed Apr 14 01:08:10 2010

Tell me why Ebay continues and anger rises?

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Larry Braccio
Web Site

Wed Apr 14 01:19:56 2010

What are the core reasons why Ebay continues and anger rises? Didn't they become successful by doing something outside the norm? So many great people, so many smart people, so many creative people on the internet. We are all part of the solution! Let's share ideas, create and be more successful than before, without Ebay!  :o)

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Joyful

Wed Apr 14 01:26:18 2010

Sell-through rates must be close to nothing. I bid a quarter on a bunch of items last week and won them all. I felt I had to apologize to the sellers, and I did.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 14 01:51:46 2010

I guess Donahoe figured they'd make their revenue by sheer volume.  He failed to realize that there are the same amount of available buyers whether he's listing 10 million items or a billion items.  I can't believe his immature business logic.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Joyful

Wed Apr 14 02:12:58 2010

Patricia, I think it all stems from that Bain & Co. attitude. Bain bought companies, boosted a company's profits by firing half its employees, and then sold the amazingly profitable company at a huge windfall for Bain before the emaciated company collapsed and died.
    The future, the employees, the communities, and their reputations mean nothing, as long as Bain metrics are hot for the quarter. eBay sellers shouldn't expect to be treated any better than Bain subsidiaries' employees---tossed in the street if there's a penny that might be made.
    The scariest aspect is that both Whitman and Romney are both Bain alumni and that both the state and the country could in the near future be run that way.

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Rich

Wed Apr 14 02:26:08 2010

Sorry Ina Steiner, but this article is bogus and wrong.  Bogus might be the wrong word; I'd say the article is misleading and wrong. Store items did not count in the numbers from 2008 and now you're counting them because they moved in fixed price format.  But they always were there and store owners have done very well; with or without core.  That's why stores were so popular.  And any Ebay buyer with half a brain; knew to search by clicking on the link that said search for "all items".  So the listing numbers haven't increased 600%.  It's just that the bulk of the listings were store items and now they're called fixed price. It'll be interesting to see if store owners have started leaving and what the numbers look like in May and June

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

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

Wed Apr 14 05:53:03 2010

Well, eBay at the moment obviously has some sort of serious problem. Who knows exactly what the problem is? The rusting hulk is dead in the water and is taking on water faster that the pumps can cope.

What I would not give to be a fly on the wall in the bunker at San Jose: to watch these headless turkeys in the executive suite running around in circles, bumping into each other, trying to decide what to do tomorrow, to get those revenue pumps working again.

There is revenue still coming in, from sellers’ listing fees; but sellers appear to be not getting much for that fee; hang on, yes they are; after all it is only a listing fee; was there any promise of actual exposure on the marketplace? Yo’ all had better again read that twenty-seven page contract with eBay that you all agreed to when you signed on.

Methinks it’s about time the turkey farmer took his axe to this gaggle; hang on, these turkeys are already headless—and, of course, that is the whole problem …

An evenings entertainment on the folly of it all at http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Digby

Wed Apr 14 06:42:21 2010

Yes, its time most sellers left ebay and joined one of the other major alt sites to teach ebay a good lesson.
And even to get a chance of their listings being seen.
I worked out that my listings were not being seen back in January and left then. So why pay them good money when they do not provide a good service ?

Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years   Number of eBay Listings Rise 670% in Two Years

by: Marvin This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 14 07:03:52 2010

Numbers are up? You sure?

Used to be listings ran just 3, 5 or 7 days now they run 30 days or until sold.

Maybe sales are SO LOW and B UYERS SO RARE that listings are backing up like water in a damn. Maybe people keep listing,listing,listing but nothing selling, selling, selling like it used to

Looks like just another misleading smoke and mirrors Bull Shi* spin of yet another scheme. It's once again ''Story Time'' for the idiotic stock holders who can be so easily ''enroned'' by donahoe.

Don't forget after using the skype sale to mislead everybody into how good ebay was doing they still had to hold onto a couple billion dollars they owed customers to pad their reports.

Immediately for the first quarter for 2010 to do a money grab paypal started keeping the Indians money and denying them access to their accounts.

Fact that you are being told listing numbers are up instead of sale figures or buyers ought to tell you something.

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