Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Sept 18 2012 20:15:37

eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

By: Ina Steiner

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As any webmaster will tell you, reading your traffic stats is like taking the pulse of your website. eBay Store owners rely on traffic reports provided by eBay and powered by Omniture. When sales go down, sellers go directly to their reports to see if traffic has also gone down, or if visitors are just simply not buying.

We're receiving a number of reports from eBay store owners that their traffic plummeted around the end of August. Some are sure it's a decline in traffic, others are wondering if it's a glitch with the traffic reports themselves.

Last week a seller sent me some screenshots of his traffic reports, and this week he wrote again: "There is little doubt in my mind that the problems at eBay are quite serious, I am generally not an alarmist but this has been 19 days of dismal and getting worse traffic. As of 1:22pm today I am sitting at 40 views.... my normal for the day at this time of the year is in excess of 900. I'll be lucky to hit 90 for the day. I did call eBay today, expecting little to no help, basically rep agreed that the pattern is not quite right and that he is passing it along to an IT person to examine."



"The question - which is broke... eBay or the report generator at Omniture," he asked. "I know of another active seller that has mirrored my downturn, we have compared notes and it began at the same time in the same manner."

In an email titled, "Ebay traffic plunge or data issues?" another eBay seller wrote, "I noticed that at the start of this month my daily traffic reports are showing 30-50% LOWER on a daily basis for page views. Sales are down as well but I don't think they are down as much that those numbers would reflect. At the beginning of the year, I showed up to 1500 page views a day. That has slowly come down and over the past few months, I've averaged a little over 1000. This month however is showing 300-600 page views per day. I tried contacting Omniture but they never responded. Has anyone else experienced this I wonder?"

Given the increasing number of anecdotal reports about slow sales on eBay, it's not easy to determine or even guesstimate whether it's a traffic problem or a glitch. Today's Letters to the Editor blog, for example, is from a seller who said her sales have not yet rebounded from the summer slump.

Clearly just because some sellers are experiencing a problem doesn't mean everyone is, particularly now that eBay is running frequent experiments on its site to test new features and is testing its Cassini search engine, so we turned to eBay itself on Monday morning, and we're waiting for eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore to tell us if eBay is aware of any problems with the traffic reports.

If it is a problem with the traffic reports themselves, let's hope eBay gets them fixed fast so sellers won't be flying blind. In the meantime, here are some links to some of the threads on the eBay boards where sellers are discussing these issues.

Omniture Not working????

Traffic cut in half, literally.

Omniture report showing unusually low page views.

traffic reports down 80% Why ???

Comments (56) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Sep 19 11:14:16 2012

Just keep sending your eBa'al payments. Oh, I forgot, they just take it from you.

Are you getting what you pay for?

''There is no place that's as good as eBa'al.''

Keep convincing yourselves this is the only place.

We see slides about how to push eBa'al junk in ''social media.'' Is that because there is no other way to find it, and a pity buy from a Facebook friend might shut you up?

Did anybody at Philly eBa'al On Location ask why sales have nosedived?!?

No.

I didn't think so.

You are getting what you deserve.
Are you satisfied?

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: alfabarn This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 19 12:17:24 2012

I only use Ebay for about 15% of my inventory. I have also had sales drop and at a time when I have increased inventory from an average of 325 items to an average of 475, that should have translated into more hits, not less. But it is where those hits are coming from that might surprise you. I sell new brand name auto parts, you can shop by part number, many of my listings have 0-5 visits, but others have 15 -25, the difference is that you can shop Ebay by typing the part number into their search engine, or type the part number into a google search engine, if there is an Ebay hit near the top, the link goes to my listing, the advantage of being best match. There is also a sidebar with several Ebay listings, but I am at the top of that list also. The advantage of being price plus shipping-lowest.   That is the result of jumping thru the hoops to be both best match, and price plus shipping-lowest. Ebay gets the fees, but my visits are as much from google, as they are from Ebay. I know that every seller has different circumstances. But my customers seem to be split between those who get there through Ebay, and those who get there through Google. Which is why, when I price my items, I don't just check Ebay low prices, I check google, because what I get from Ebay in exchange for those high fees is access to a market larger than Ebay, and it is only when I get to that market, that I really get traffic. Please don't mistake that as praise for Ebay, I am not a fan.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Wed Sep 19 12:19:48 2012

Perhaps buyers are viewing the new ebay TV commercials and avoiding the site like the plague. Do you feel oddly confused after viewing one of their new TV ads?

If you all haven't realized that it's time to jump ship, then just stay on this sinking stinker and scream all the way to the bottom of the poverty ditch.

I had a repeat customer who's been buying from me for 6 years email to complain that he pressed the buy-it-now button 2 dozen times from 2 different computers and NOTHING happened. No error message, or suggestions, just a page refresh.

I asked a relative out of state to search with my exact item title, and there were NO Search Results!

It's either completely broken from all the re-engineering, or they're just killing the indy sellers. If your UPC code isn't on their preferred list, you're done. If your UPC code IS on their list, the buyer gets re-directed to one of their insider favorites?

Enjoy the free-fall, and remember; the more you list, the more you will lose.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

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

Wed Sep 19 13:08:52 2012

“eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers”

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/blog/blog.pl?/comments/2012/9/1347
430467.html/1/0#1348026114


As a matter of interest, has anyone watched how this eBay “collectibles” promotion is going, Take a look at “bloomantiques” completed listings:

Sept 12 is a sea of “red”,
Sept 13 is a sea of “red”,
Sept 14 is a sea of “red”,
Sept 15 is a sea of “red”,
Sept 16-17 is a sea of “green” [funny],
Sept 18 is a sea of “red”

The sell though rate is, more often than not, abysmal …

And some of the “sales” appear in tight groups, like they may not be real …

And, the 30-Day Summary stats of some of the bidders look suspect to me (high numbers of bids/items), like they could be from a commercial shill bidding supplier, or even from eBay?

So, what’s changed?

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: spinner This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 19 13:23:06 2012

I have to agree with Cloud.  Up and down sales but also waves coming from certain countries and also waves of types of items. This is the first week that I have ever had NO bids on my auction items and this is my busy season! It looks to me that ebay is manipulating search not only by categories but also by country and FP or auction.  I can always find my stuff in search on MY computers but not always on someone elses computer.  Anyone else tried that?  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 19 14:01:38 2012

My sales came to a screeching halt and I have heard others complaining.  No problem though...Ebay has redesigned its logo and that will surely bring in all the missing traffic (sarcasm intended)....

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

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

Wed Sep 19 14:04:48 2012

The second of the promoted antique dealers, Bruneau Antiques “bkcranston” has no items listed currently. Wow, what a promotion … it’s been so successful, he’s run out of stock …

Of course, the alternative it that the majority of these sales are faux and he can’t be bothered listing any more because eBay’s FVF on faux sales is far too high … Maybe eBay should consider a discounted FVF on faux sales?

So, every item in their completed listings is “sold” … Sep 16 alone (~400 items) … in total ~800 items, not one unsold … can you believe that?

Needless to say the first item I looked at (390452686295), one that sold with a single bid, the bidder has got 30-Day Summary stats of 221 163 30% …

And 200804901882: Whoops there is that bidder again: 221 163 30% …

I can’t be bothered looking any further but its not difficult to imagine that these sales are riddled with shill bidding and to wonder if any of them are real sales, and you also have to wonder if eBay is directly involved in such shenanigans …

Regardless, if this is the true state of affairs then the rusting old scow must be getting close to slipping beneath the waves …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: dj.whatchuwant This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 19 14:06:48 2012

The omniture stats have been WAAAAY off. I just did a quck bit of addition of clicker counts on my 79 auctions that I put up on Sunday.  Since then, I've had 1434 views on just those auctions alone. Omniture puts my view count since Sunday at 437. This includes auctions that ended Sunday and all of my 503 FP items (I didn't have the patience to add all those views up).



My dollar numbers are right on par for the season and growing.



Just thought you all might want to know in case you were looking at Omniture numbers and feeling like the sky was falling.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

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

Wed Sep 19 14:18:42 2012

The third of the promoted antique dealers, Estate Auctions Inc “estateauctionsinc” does have items currently listed, and they too have had a very successful promotion … Again, every item in their completed listings has sold; 800 odd items, again, not one unsold. Can you believe that?

Oh, look at 330782796244, the first bidder, only one bid, but 144 131 66% …

It really is about time the authorities did something about this most unscrupulous commercial entity, eBafia, and its many fraudster hangers-on …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: renaissancegirl This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 19 14:19:47 2012

Agreed on every point. Sales way down, views way down but the big question, WHY? Why does eBay want to do this and sabatoge sales this way? The complaints are the same across the board but I cannot figure out why they are doing this. Anyone?

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

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

Wed Sep 19 14:20:24 2012

THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH OMNITURE I BELIEVE. We are also having the same problems with traffic since about August 28th.  However, our sales have not dropped nearly as much as the traffic reports would indicate, so I did some investigating.  The information from Omniture is wrong.  On Sept 15th  my Omniture Visits report show that I had 173 total visits that day

(That is down 80% from the month before, but my sales do not reflect that)  Here is the definition of a visit.

A visit is defined as a sequence of consecutive page views without a 30-minute break. A visit always contains one or more page views. A unique visitor always performs at least one, but possibly more, visits.  

On that same day Sept 15th my Daily Unique Visitors Report shows that I had 180 unique visitors. Daily Unique Visitors definition below.

(Daily Unique Visitors are defined as a visitor's first visit to your store, listings, Seller's Other Items page, Member Profile (feedback) page, and several other pages in a day


How is it possible for me to have more unique visitors than visits?  That by your their own definition would be impossible.

The reporting is wrong. We have over 15000 listings online so our numbers are pretty constant.  We are activly listing, and our sales are not down a measurable amount.  

How could our sales stay at the same level when our traffic is down 60-80% from a month ago.  This is not the economy, or evil ebay in my opinion.  Maybe its the way the new search testing is being implemented.

On the Omniture.com website twitter it says Updates to multiple products are underway. Please contact ClientCare if seeing interruptions, or service-related issues

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

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

Wed Sep 19 15:12:17 2012

And the fourth of the promoted antique dealers, Rhode Island Internet Consignment & Sales, Inc. “wwolst12” also has items currently listed, and they too have had a very successful promotion … Again, nearly every item in their completed listings, ~1400 items, has sold (except for 20 seller-cancelled items and seven that apparently did not receive a bid). Can you believe that?

130743016096: bidder co(269): 15 11 66%; bidder e7(877): 198 140 3% …
130752168816: cu(1198): 430 363 19% …
130752175717: uu(789): 29 20 34%; 2t(788): 10 9 50%; ib(668): 413 402 3%; 5j(154): 309 140 3%;
130720122029: uh(737): 169 112 84%; h2(518): 169 104 5%;  

Some high numbers of bids/items here too … hmmm …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

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

Wed Sep 19 15:27:06 2012

Philip, what are you showing but that being put onto eBay's home page is good for a seller? Bruneau Antiques is doubly favored as Kevin Bruneau is on TV in the PBS show Market Warriors. Now, that's promotion.

As for Bloom Antiques, they are a slightly different case to read because they have so much listed, over 2000 items, 90% of which is fixed price. Their items are expensive, which means you normally wouldn't expect them sell that quickly. Any particular day's completed listings will show the items that sold that day plus the items that just happened to end that day. There is nothing fishy about both being clumpy. 30 day auctions may be listed and turn in bunches, auctions usually are listed in bunches to end on Sunday when they have a better chance, and with so many listings, there are always bound to be a big clump of sold fixed price items even if the STR is not that high.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

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

Wed Sep 19 15:43:16 2012

Philip, one more point. Kevin Bruneau is doing something I have noticed a number of sellers of hot-commodity antiques doing: he is using eBay as a pure auction platform. He set up an auction with hundreds of items ending on the same day, which he promoted himself. He just finished a large Asian auction (Asian is a very hot antique market right now) which, because of the market and his own high visibility, he could run as a true auction with low starting bids. He got great prices.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: zvicki This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 19 15:53:36 2012

@Comet and others - Same thing here. I often look up regular household and vintage items when pricing for my estate sales. For the past 6 months or so, each time I search for something, I rarly find it. Only by going via google do the ebay sellers items show up - Really awful!
I'm still a small seller (hobby) at this point, and don't know how anyone can make a profit on there anymore. I recently tried Etsy - just put up 6-8 items and within one week - BAM! I got my first sale! what ya know - Folks can find you on Etsy - but not on ebay - time for a move peeps! I sell vintage and antique glass, pottery, jewelry etc. Once estate sales slow down for winter I plan on putting most of my inventory on Etsy - BTW - it only cost me .80 for those listings!

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: AlanJM This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 19 16:28:32 2012

This entire eBay traffic thing has me at a complete loss this week...two weeks ago I had sales over $800 (I have a small eBay store and that was a good week), last week I had over $200 (I average around $200-$300 a week), and this week, so far, 20 bux and NO sales at all since Sunday...I called eBay asking if there was an issue with my account and yes, the canned response...''maybe no one is buying this week''...as far as I can see there is something severely wrong somewhere...

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Wed Sep 19 16:42:00 2012

Could this be related to the new GOOGLE policy when ebay listings were removed from their search engine search algorithm? My traffic report is horrendously low, averaging 60% less than a year (or even a month) ago. Sales, of course following it down the tubes.

One reason why I have a hunch that it has something to do with Google is, my items are showing up better now than it has ever been. Front page exposure galore. Yet, sales are down and so is traffic?????

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: AlanJM This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 19 17:03:17 2012

I don't know as my ''Big Ticket'' items are showing up within Google shopping...3rd and 4th on the list for one item, 4th for another, and some aren't showing up on the main page but that is to be expected as well...I have NO idea. Two weeks ago was great and now sales seem to be ''constipated''...

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Wed Sep 19 17:19:06 2012

It's a big mystery, with all the technology available, we have no answers. OR, is ebay hiding the answers from us. I still think ebay CANNOT survive without the small sellers, why, simply because these same "small" sellers are also buyers. Without buyers ebay (or any other retail site) is up the creek.

What I mean earlier with the Google reference is when a SPECIFIC ebay item shows up on google search, not a link to an ebay page with multiple items.

Any ideas?????

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop   eBay Sellers Stores Reports Show Traffic Drop

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Sep 19 18:17:33 2012

We see these posts every few months.
People complaining about their drop in sales or traffic.

The problem is there is never any definitive data.
Over on the alt sites, you constantly see people saying they can't sell on the alt sites, but they sell heaps on ebay.

So what is the answer?
I think a lot depends on what you are selling or how much competition there is.

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