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Thu Oct 20 2016 12:04:57

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

By: Ina Steiner

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There's a lot of talk lately about "election stress." Even some friends have told me they can't sleep after watching the presidential debates. But is it having an impact on online sales?

Even if you aren't looking for news or opinions about presidential candidates, you can't avoid it even (or especially) on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

In one recent thread on an industry board, eBay sellers began by discussing a noticeable drop in sales, and inevitably some said they believed the election was having a negative impact on shopping.

While sellers are afraid there's a negative impact, some might think "shopping therapy" could actually help people looking for a way to avoid reading about the election and alleviate some of the stress.

It's certainly an issue on sellers' minds. On a recent thread on the eBay boards about the issue, a poster wrote, "If people want something nowadays, they will get it."

Another injected some humor into the discussion. In response to the question, "Are sales down because of the election," a poster wrote, "What election?"

There are a few countdown clocks to election day, but maybe there should be a countdown clock to the day after!

What do you think - are people buying more, less, or the same in the runup to the Presidential election on November 8th?




Comments (33) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 20 13:51:59 2016

What elections???? No one I know cares anymore....its a joke...

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Oct 20 15:23:20 2016

Oh it is no joke.  It is all too serious.  This for me is the most important presidential election in my lifetime.  No matter who it is you feel compelled to vote for.  

I also think there is some truth in lower sales because of the elections.  It is hard to tear yourself away from the TV sometimes.  My eyes and ears just don't believe what I'm hearing or seeing.  

And I'd suspect there are plenty of people out there that feel the same way.  I've spent more time listening and watching things about this election than I ever have in my life.

For those that don't care anymore because this has been really and overwhelming campaign on both sides of the fence, you need to remember that your future and the future of those you love and care about will be greatly affected by the outcome of this election.

To walk away from your responsibility to vote should not be an option for anyone.  It is just too darn important, no matter how frustrated you are with the candidates.  The lack of voting isn't going to keep you and yours safe and/or happy.  If you are saying to yourself that your vote is not important, you couldn't be more wrong.  It is.  All voters are important and they need to be heard.  

But for those that decide NOT exercise their right to vote then IMHO you have no right to complain about the outcome of the election.  Everyone should care about who is going to be our next president because so much is dependent on it and it will affect many in ways they never expected.

Sorry about the lecture, I just feel very passionately that EVERYONE eligible to vote needs to vote.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Thu Oct 20 16:50:55 2016

I do feel it is affecting online as well as in person shopping. Everything is down.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Thu Oct 20 16:52:32 2016

Agree with you Marie. Those who don't vote have no room to complain about the outcome.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 20 18:02:56 2016

@ you assume again that we aren't voting. WRONG AGAIN. We lost interest when the drive by media started playing favorites and not reporting the real news. Believe what you may but this whole debate is over crooked skanky or dumb thump.

Its all about name calling and old news dragging up.

Not going to worry day by day or be stuck to the tv or newpapers. Its a waste of time as all you are hearing or reading is its crooked killary or dump trump.

HOW About some facts....THE ECONOMY OR JOBS OR IMMIGRATION. NOPE JUST DUMP TRUMP AND CROOKED HILLARY.

This whole election cycle like the past 4 just show how funny it is.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Thu Oct 20 20:40:13 2016

It's definitely having a negative effect on attitudes.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: zigziglar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 20 22:39:40 2016

laurengrace

What you say about attitudes and civility even between family members couldn't be more true or said better! That is more harmful to our republic than whoever is POTUS, which as smart people know presidents have no power over the purse or laws, Congress is where real power is.  

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 20 23:04:12 2016

My sales on ebay are down from last year despite an extra 2000 items.
However, amazon is slightly more than last year.
I did notice that there were no sales at all during the first debate on either.
I guess it could affect the sales if people are preoccupied with other things and forget they need to buy something now for Halloween :(

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 21 00:01:46 2016

I can't help wondering if a ''wrong'' political comment on facebook might irritate some ebay official who would then do something to prevent sales for the seller who made the comment.  

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: BB2 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 21 00:35:43 2016

Overall, my sales have been down dramatically since early September. My average order size, however, has increased. In the previous 7 years, buyers started their holiday shopping in September. Not this year. I assume those with money to spend will continue to spend it. The people concerned the election will affect them economically are more cautious.

As far as the election is concerned, I'm with Marie.

I also agree with one of Froggy's points:

... crooked skanky or dumb thump.
... crooked killary or dump trump.
... DUMP TRUMP AND CROOKED HILLARY.

Its all about name calling and old news dragging up...

Exactly.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: NeverJetHot This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 21 05:17:52 2016

I can most certainly choose not to vote and yet complain about the outcome. It so happens that I do not like any of the candidates.  

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Oct 21 07:07:37 2016

Some people shop when they are stressed, so I doubt it.

As for eBay, slow sales have absolutely nothing to do with the election. Slow sales have absolutely everything to do with search manipulation.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Oct 21 09:41:06 2016

"those with money to spend will continue to spend"

And the growing number without won't.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: SoniaD This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 21 09:59:48 2016

Haven't watched any of the debates, don't have a tv so am not inflicted with all the hype and nonsense.  Am hanging on by my fingernails till early voting begins in my state, then, for the first time in my life, I'm voting a straight ticket.  If I turned on the tv, I would be so mesmerized in horror that I wouldn't be able to turn it off!

So, I'm still buying (and selling) and actually have just had a great few weeks but about half my sales have been international.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: beverly This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 21 10:03:33 2016

can't get away from election even on this site.
stop talking about election and voting. this site is about business, not voting and the election,

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: kvl1 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 21 10:09:19 2016

Yes, our sales are definitely down from previous years, despite having an increased number of listings.  Others I've spoken to who have been in the business for 40+ years say this typically happens before presidential elections.  However, I think people are more nervous about this election for the very reason Marie mentioned: it ''... is the most important presidential election in my lifetime.  No matter who it is you feel compelled to vote for.''  I am counting the days until Nov. 9, the day after the election, when I expect the sales will start pouring in.

And to those who don't plan to vote because they don't ''like'' the candidates, I recommend going to non-partisan, fact-checking websites.  Once you see the facts separated from the rhetoric, you should be able to make an intelligent decision.  

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: Twiganne This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 21 10:17:29 2016

For those of you who don't think voting matters it certainly does.  One want to wrangle China in so if china ripping off your sales is a problem I would lean that way.  The other wants universal trade and open borders.  If that doesn't scare you it should.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

by: SoniaD This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 21 10:31:14 2016

Twiganne:  On the other hand, if a percentage of your sales are international, then maybe the international trade bit is not so scary.  We actually sell to China!  And find that they are great customers.  

Much better to work on getting the ridiculous USPS overseas shipping prices reduced so that we have a shot at competing on costs.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Fri Oct 21 10:43:43 2016

Usually in an election year, sales go way down as we approach November 8th, but they have been nice and steady for me. I'm guessing that it is because in spite of the conspiracy-theory rhetoric, the economy is up.

Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?   Is the Election Having a Negative Impact on Online Shopping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Oct 21 11:01:07 2016

Beverly, the article is ABOUT the election affecting business. GEESH!

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