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.
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.