Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Oct 31 2019 23:18:29

eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sent an email to sellers suggesting ways they could get unsold listings "moving again." Some sellers took offense, feeling eBay was blaming them for slow sales at a time when eBay Marketplaces as a whole is experiencing negative growth - Marketplaces GMV was down 2% in the third quarter (July, August, September) from last year, it revealed last week.

eBay sent the following letter to sellers this week: 

Listings Not Moving? We've Got Ideas.
Dear (Redacted),
We took a look at your fixed price listings to see which of them haven't had sales within the past 60+ days and have identified the following:

Active Fixed Price Listings: (Redacted)

Active Fixed Price Listings With No Sales 60+ Days (Redacted)

When your listings haven't had sales in a while, it can be due to a variety of factors. Below is a list of recommendations to help you get your listings moving again:

1) Review Active Listings
Review your active listings in Seller Hub to identify any items with few or no sales within the past 60 days, and leverage the best practices outlined below to improve your items chances of selling.

2) Study the Competition
Check to see if your item is competitively priced.

3) Provide item specifics
eBay provides guidance on the most important item specifics, displaying them as Required, Recommended and Optional in our tools. By providing relevant item specifics, your item will be visible to more shoppers.

4) Promote Your Listings
eBay marketing tools such as Promotions Manager and Promoted Listings can increase overall listing visibility and boost sales. Promote your items now.

The more you know about improving your listings, the easier it'll be to increase your sales. Try these effective tactics to get things moving again. If you have questions for us, please contact our customer service team.

Thank you for selling on eBay!
eBay Selling Team

"The nerve of eBay" was the title of one thread on the eBay discussion boards where sellers discussed the letter. Sellers pointed to the fact eBay recommended sellers pay eBay even more money in fees through the Promoted Listings program in order to get greater visibility. The original poster pointed to ongoing eBay technical issues and wrote, "they are trying to extort more money from me to provide the service I am already paying for and not getting. The nerve of eBay..."

One seller felt the email was threatening, another called the email "hurtful." 

But some sellers took it in stride - one seller wrote, "Just another bot mail, don't take it personally..."

Another seller wrote in a different thread on the eBay boards, "I'm not sure why everyone is upset about the message. They did not say your listings are not moving. Granted they did help you by telling you which ones have not sold in xx amount of days. They "asked a question", "IS YOUR LISTINGS NOT MOVING" ? If they ARE moving that would indicate you can just ignore the message. If they are NOT moving they are giving you suggestions of how to possibly get them moving. Anyone can take it or leave it as it is business and nothing personal."

One seller said, if eBay would fix the lack of visibility issue, "then I wouldn't be getting this type of message."

The real kicker, according to one seller, was that eBay advised them to check their Item Specifics. The seller's comment was a reference to the fact eBay has yet to fix Item Specifics after experiencing a major technical issue that hit some categories 2 weeks ago on October 15th.

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Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 31 23:42:40 2019

Ebay sellers need a union.   We will continue to be destroyed by them until we can voice our concerns and grievances as a collective group.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 00:04:43 2019

We are a union, just pull your inventory from eBay, that is the way you go on strike until they give sellers a reason to place the inventory back on eBay.

Good til Canceled automated fee churning programs are an incentive for us to move inventory off of eBay and to end listings, they don't value our inventory so we pull it.

They were giving away coupons to buyers today, so eBay knows buyers are on strike too, in other words you could buy a 27 dollar item for 17 with their coupon code pop up.

eBay is dead and we all know the reasons, we have been writing about their mismanagement for years, no reason to promote anything on eBay, it is a ghost town.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Nov 1 00:53:01 2019

eBay is like the US Government

Way too many rules and regulations

Sellers left and then the buyers followed them

Bad sellers should've been dealt with swiftly and severely but instead we all paid the price for them with FVF on shipping.

Too many nails in the coffin, maybe it's time to just bury it,

If Yahoo were smart they would jump back in the game and become something viable again. . . . .

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: lancecorp This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 05:36:32 2019

Ebay is not going to change - there will be no union - there will be no lawsuit - sellers just have to decide whether to put up with the BS or start searching for alternative options to sell their items. While many have said for years that Ebay is doomed - it's still here but it hasn't grown like other ecommerce sites and won't. It's stagnant - so a seller's best bet is to start setting up on other venues.

As tough as it is for some who have been with Ebay for years - you'll find yourself saying why didn't I do this long ago - because you will make money elsewhere - with more favorable selling conditions and less stress. Use Ebay as a secondary venue - not as your primary one because it will always disappoint you. Grow your business elsewhere.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Nov 1 05:41:32 2019

I just roll my eyes at eBay's "suggestions."  Lower prices and pay more.  That's all they ever say.  How's about eBay lower fees and pay more to advertise?  Oh, wait, eBay's money, that's different.  You know, I made more at a weekend show in September than all year on eBay.  That's the value proposition of eBay in 2019: pay twice as much in fees to sell less over a year than a single weekend in the real world.  Go home, eBay, you're drunk.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 06:59:36 2019

What a joke.

Why does my non sellers on ebay sell on other sites when I list the there?

Why is it that a competitor sells the same product as me for a higher price (and in volume).
Maybe because I have it with calculated shipping?
Maybe because the other seller doesnt have as many popular items as me, so you have to swing the sales of that item to them??

Why is it that new items I have been listing have been getting no to few views? These are good items that my customers asked for. Somehow they disappear into the ebay search results obscurity. This has only started happening the last few months.  Why, maybe because you want me to use promoted listings on them?
I put the new items on the other site I use, and I sold immediately.


Whats wrong ebay? No one is listening to your growth recommendations like you thought they would? Pushing people to lower prices is a joke. Look at ebay sellers, they have been pushing ebay to lower prices for a long time. Did it work? No they raised there fee's.

Now sellers are not only going to loose sales to ebay screwing with them and the search results, but to buyers leaving the site, and no new buyers coming to the site.

Ebay is loosing because instead of bringing value, and variety to the site they decided to bilk both sellers and buyers.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 07:14:14 2019

Another thing?

Why is it that when I start to sell out on my best sellers, the other items, the slow sellers, and the NON sellers start to sell????

Ebay is a card game that is rigged to the max, and it couldn't be more noticeable than it is already.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 09:28:38 2019

1) NEVER take advise from MORONS

2) the ENTIRE game is rigged - you "could do" their suggestions or not - theres no way to know "if they would even work" since eBay manipulates listings anyway

3) there simply arent enough buyers on the site, and none of their "brilliant ideas" will change that

4) as stated by others here (in a better fashion then me) all of eBays "suggestions" cost YOU the seller - time effort and money - so then you know for a fact its all bs

I personally did take a slight offense to that email - but I know eBay for what it is - a California based criminal organization aka "this business of ours" aka the CA Sopranos - so I bristled at it then deleted it.

When "you (eBay) do nothing" you have some cajones to lay the blame on me - and since Ive been doing this since 1984 (or earlier) and you've been doing it since "never" - you take it from whom it comes".

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Fri Nov 1 09:41:03 2019

Translation of ebay's email.

There are items on our site taking up space and not generating income for US. Do whatever it takes to change that even if it means YOU lose money. Because we don't give a crap about you or anything and we mean anything but MONEY  

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 09:54:45 2019

Take a hint from Walgreen's...some are open 24/7 just like ebay.
But...none of the shelves are ever covered.
ebay will croak from simple bacteria.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: notfunanymore This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 10:31:08 2019

Of course it’s sellers fault.. I really don’t know how you can still sell on this joke of  platform. The punishments will follow... until you all walk in lock step.. they keep taking more of your money, and what do you get?? Sleepless nights, stress beyond comprehension, lost valuable time with family due to the stress level of dealing with this joke of a venue, being kept in the dark on all matters. And let’s not forget about the financial loss... eBay is no longer the place to make money... and most of you are small sellers, we know what Ebay thinks of you....
this is all truth, I lived the nightmare until 1.5 years ago..

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 10:46:38 2019

oh the irony...ebay was built on the backs of small sellers.
It will crumble for the lack of them and their uniqueness.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 11:10:35 2019

eBay was a community that was poisoned by eBay management, it use to be a gathering place for traders just like your local farmers market or flea market, fools like Devin Wenig and Donahoe ruined that with their fee churning fraud which is like a gun to the head of sellers.

List your inventory and you are on a clock, we will charge you forever every month for insertion fees automatically unless you pull your inventory, plus you have to pay extra for your products to be seen.

We have no idea why your products aren't moving, maybe it is your price or our payment processing that fee chuns you at .25 per item on combined orders or our 10% theft on your shipping costs...

Sellers should only list inventory on eBay when it is free to list, they should never buy promoted listings, only pay eBay when they generate a sale, that is what I call pay to play, you only pay when eBay performs.

Until sellers figure out the formula, eBay will never change.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 11:17:45 2019

@ebayout

If eBay actually had enough REAL buyers - they wouldnt have to "hide" listings as there would be enough commerce to move "most" of the merchandise.

People dont come to eBay to buy toothpaste - your local supermarket has it on sale all the time and if not - if you have Prime - Amazon has it at great prices.

What you do come to eBay for is stuff NOT sold on Amazon. Old things, vintage things, hand crafted things, parts etc - and those items cant be treated the same as the items that Amazon sells.

These items ARENT diapers, OJ and toothpaste - and you cant "warranty" a 50 year old toy, a 35 yr old piece of furniture etc - but the dopes in San Jose think you can.

When you need a part for a vacuum cleaner from 1962 - theres only 1 place you (should) can find it - eBay. Demanding that the one guy that has that part, stop what he or she is doing to RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN down to the PO and stand there for an hour while some clerk THINKS about scanning it - is simply moronic.

eBay is a victim of itself - and it deserves every thing it gets.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 12:01:44 2019

Things don't sell if they can't be seen in the first place.  The best way to combat all of these draconian rules and ridiculous site changes is to vote with your feet.  

I realize many are invested in eBay because of the name recognition and hours already sunk into listing, stock acquired and so on.  Even if you move your inventory to another venue a little at a time it would be better than hoping and praying eBay will suddenly start being a fair partner.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Fri Nov 1 12:12:12 2019

Looks like ebay is changing Seller Hub again. Just got this email. In the history of the Internet, even B&M, I can't think of a single company that has relegated so many unnecessary and ridiculous changes in such a frenzied state as ebay.

"As a member of the eBay Expression seller panel we are offering you the opportunity to get early access to improvements we are making to Seller Hub. Only those members invited will be allowed access to the new functionality until we make it more widely available early next year.

There are a limited number of spots available for early adoption. Early access provides access to new features on the Seller Hub active listings page related to item specifics."

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Nov 1 12:13:24 2019

Point made :
New PERFECTED Venue needed.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 12:25:02 2019

Here's the scorecard on 2019 Q3 results for GMV:

Etsy- up 22%
Amazon-up 24%
Ebay- down 4%

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 12:35:51 2019

NoMoreEbay, the best thing they can do is close Seller Hub and roll back all sellers into the MyeBay of 6 years ago.

Schenkel is an idiot for continuing any Devin Wenig idea, Seller Hub, eBay Payments, Promoted Listings are all fraudulent programs, Seller Hub was created as an interface to sell promoted listings and is a massive flop.

The new CEO should be hired soon, and it will not be Schenkel, he has made ZERO announcements and has continued Wenig's fraudulent criminal programs including the Good Til Canceled automated fee churning relisting script that should have been suspended on his first day as CEO.

Perminate Link for eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers   eBay Puts Onus of Slow Sales on Sellers

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 12:37:13 2019

Dang!  I missed all the drama!  As with 99% of ebay "spam", mine went directly into the round file...didn't even read it.

BTW, I constantly get emails from ebay with the subject (various wording) "how to sell more stuff on ebay".

Take advice from these yokels?  Fat chance.  As we have all often said most of them have never sold item one on ebay so how can they give advice on how it is done?

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