Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat July 30 2022 22:03:52

eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay said its sales as a whole have decreased a little, blaming it on the end of lockdowns worldwide and saying it saw the decline "across the board with online sales" in what appeared to be a reference to an industrywide trend.

The response from a forum moderator came in a thread that a seller started on the eBay discussion boards on May 18 titled, "Sudden drop in sales May 2022." The moderator had compiled a list of sellers who asked eBay to look into why their sales had dropped and forwarded it to an "appropriate team" for review.

On July 29, she reported back to sellers who had kept the discussion going since mid-May and who requested an update:

‎07-29-2022 09:27 AM
Hello all! I've heard back from the team investigating the concerns about a drop in sales and they said the following: 

"The change to view counts has done nothing to impact raw view count numbers. Listings are still going to get the same number of views as they would have previously, subject to site-wide trends. We have not impacted or changed anything on the buyer's side. The change in how we count views itself doesn't impact buy-side impressions, page views, or conversions. It's just a selling reporting tool that filters out what we consider to be inhuman traffic, and reflects that number to our sellers.

"However, we recognize sales as a whole have decreased a little. We speculate this is related to the end of lock-downs across most of the world as we see this across the board with online sales. 

"Where do we go from here? We'll continue to run site-wide analyses from a Data Analytics perspective. If anything outside of the normal and somewhat expected decrease in sales given what's been noted above, then we'll work to implement measures to solve for whatever is found, in an effort to ensure we're doing what we can to help connect buyers and sellers."

Sellers responded with appreciation for the moderator in reporting back but appeared dissatisfied with the response itself. Note that it's highly unusual for eBay to disclose even general changes in sales outside of quarterly earnings reports, as helpful as it may be to its sellers.

On Friday, a seller started a thread about another issue of concern: a drop in Promoted Listing ad impressions. The response was mixed - some sellers agreed their impressions were down too, others said they hadn't seen any decline.

Both threads are well worth studying to understand what eBay sellers are reporting in terms of visibility to their listings. eBay executives will be sharing key metrics including Gross Merchandise Volume during its quarterly earnings release on Wednesday and may share color behind the numbers in its earnings call with analysts.

Update 7/31/2022: Could Google's May update have impacted traffic to eBay? SEO guru Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable noted he had observed some impact on websites from Google changes. The following is an excerpt from his post last month:

"...the Google May 2022 core update began rolling out on May 25, 2022 and was officially pronounced complete on June 9th but we saw big tremors before and after the start and end date of that update."

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Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: AddyUp This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 07:40:19 2022

Putting aside a whole raft of bugs, all the unnecessary "improvements", the VAT mess up effecting many multi million pound big sellers, the one major "improvement" that is effecting views is the "new" relisting.

It was noticed that when relisting an item it had the original start date. No matter how many times it was relisted. As usual weeks ago an eBay rep said they would put their mythical tech team on it. After all this time they came back to say it's working as it should. As it was meant to.

As a seller commented on this. A hundred items relisted with virtually no views as they languish at the bottom of the search. But a hundred items "sell similar" had views and sales.

The eBay rep has yet to comment on this.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: CT Bay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 08:21:32 2022

They are dirty liars and I cannot believe anyone buys their excuses. This is not new. This is a DECADES long issue. When they change the site it destroys sales for everyone and anyone who says otherwise probably just doesn’t sell enough to notice.
  It has NOTHING to do with the market. Thats a scape goat and not a very good one.
  My sales were in the toilet all last week while at the same time I was battling the glitch filled listing tool.
   Then Friday night I guess they were done fooling with the site and they turned the sales back on. The photos started uploading lickity split and the listing tool started working properly. I sold THREE TIMES MORE more from Friday evening to Saturday evening than the three previous days COMBINED!!
  Their site updates are 100% the problem. The issue is the incompetent tech team and inadequate infrastructure. It has nothing to do with the market and anyone who buys that excuse is naïve.  

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: CT Bay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 08:25:14 2022

The sales will be good this weekend. Mark my words, Monday morning they will be back at their tech led reimagining and the glitches and slow/no sales will be back.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 18:05:59 2022

Yea ok, I sell fishing items, July is my biggest month of the year and sales are down 50% from last year. Listing views is a crock, I have items that don't even have one view, half have less then 4 views, in the biggest sales month of the year for me. Just more BS

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 18:45:07 2022

My listing views dropped 90% when they changed how they were calculated.
Anyone else?

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 19:01:06 2022

eBay should have a brick and mortar version...
You could go to the bread aisle (because you know where it's at), and once there, you see ALL the brands offered, even the ones on the bottom shelf.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 19:57:49 2022

All n the grand eBay tradition of arrogant hypocrisy, they would have you believe that YOUR ‘performance’ is lacking, while THEY continue to hose up everything they touch.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Jul 31 20:25:50 2022

So eBay needs a global pandemic to drive sales?  Have they hired a team of quack virologists in Wuhan to troll the wet markets yet?

Think of all the things wrong with their message.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 23:19:41 2022

Why no push back on the claim that all online sales are down after the end of lockdowns? Amazon, Walmart and others are still reporting increases, year to year, in sales. Only eBay is down. ONLY EBAY!

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: Mazdaman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 00:09:54 2022

Apparently eBay HAS hired Jen Psaki as their spokesperson; no one else could actually stand up in front of sellers and with a straight face blame the drop in sles on the END of a lockdown that actually benefited most sellers!

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: tenorsax47 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 00:35:57 2022

Mazdaman - The Jen Psaki comment was totally unnecessary and added nothing to the discussion at hand.  

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Mon Aug 1 00:40:53 2022

Amazon grew 3.3% this last quarter.... ebay has no valid excuse.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: Bird Mad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 00:55:30 2022

When eBay removed the Store Category navigation menu on the side of my listings, it made it harder for customers to find what they wanted or buy additional items from me. I now have customers saying they can't find items they know I sell and I have to send them links to the listings.  Just put the Store Category navigation menu back.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: Fried Chicken Addiction This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 01:56:38 2022

I was a buyer and a seller for 20 years. I had to quit selling because of managed payments and erroneous chargebacks that the seller cannot win. Realizing this I decided if I cannot sell on eBay I will not buy on there either. It has been nearly 9 months now since I quit. I will never go back. I assume I'm not the only person who thinks this way. Oh and  I didn't even mention the new tax regulations hidden in Biden's 2021 "American Rescue Plan" that will be sending out 1099's to anyone making over $600 bucks on line...If eBay last another two years, it will never ever be what it once was. I'm even losing interest in this news letter, the further I get away from thinking about eBay. Remember Mysapce? Yeah, that's gonna eBay someday too.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: Fried Chicken Addiction This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 01:58:58 2022

Myspace, I can't even spell it right anymore. Are you listening eBaiy?  

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: Gumball This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 02:20:40 2022

There is no doubt in my mind, sales are down due to Ebay's deliberate search engine manipulations and hiding merchandise again. My daughter called me and wanted to look at some of my items to buy for gifts. It took about five minutes to find my store. (She was using her phone). and three to four minutes to find an item, and only then because I went online and gave her key words for some of my items.. None of my shop categories were available for her to use.  That is number one problem. The second is I have been with Ebay since 1996, and have never seen sales so bad. NEVER! But when my shop rent comes due, I have sales. So that tells me I am blanked out of searches. My daughter's experience tells me that no one can shop my store without a painful time consuming search.. If Ebay would open up the search engine and dump the drop down menus that no can use because a phone does not show them. Sales would soar.  

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Aug 1 08:15:04 2022

Mazdaman, I was thinking KellyAnne Conway.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Aug 1 08:21:55 2022

Gumball mentions: "search engine manipulations and hiding merchandise again"

You nailed it.  Look at your views count.  Over the years they have continued to manipulate small sellers out of business.  All it takes is one change in the algorithm to put someone out of business.  Rigged card came.

I firmly believe that the latest manipulation was to push sellers' sales down in an attempt to force them to buy ads to promote their items.

I'd burn all of my inventory before I'd pay one red cent in advertising.  There are too many platforms to sell that take less time and stress to deal with their never ending greed.

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: Stone Cutter This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 09:54:30 2022

***Ebay is outdated***

Ebay sells a bunch of junk people don’t need. You can’t compare Ebay with Amazon or Walmart. Amazon is filled with items of necessity while Walmart’s big market is in their food/grocery category. Also, Etsy is down for the same reasons....

Latest data from Wall Street is that money this summer is spent on travel as the airline industry can’t keep up with demand while e-commerce sales have slowed for many.

Ebay may have their issues, but I have no doubt that between inflation and the end-of-lockdowns, both are taking a toll on the site.  

Perminate Link for eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales   eBay Blames End of Lockdowns for a 'Little' Drop in Sales

by: MrFindit This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 10:59:20 2022

It sounds like a bunch of people wanting to blame their problems on someone else.

July was my best month this year selling on E-Bay, so there goes your theory about search not working, or the site not directing traffic to your listings.

I pay $0 in listing upgrades and I promote $0 worth of listings.  I'm about as cheap as you can get...

2021 was a record sales year for me on E-Bay.  Starting January of this year, my sales declined 40% compared to the previous year.  Sales were down about 40% Jan-Jun.  But Jul was about equal to last year, and up over 30% compared to June.

That seems to fly in the face of all these theories.

I think it boils to to the same as politics; IT'S THE ECONOMY!  The cause of your drop in sales isn't some nefarious plot by E-Bay.  This is a starving economy.  People are buying less stuff because they need money for food and gas.

Other sellers are adjusting to this and dropping prices, running promotions, etc.  You aren't keeping up, so the people who are adjusting quickly are scooping up your sales.  If you aren't checking your prices at least monthly, and adjusting them to make yours the lowest price on E-Bay, and then on top of that, running discount promotions for items that aren't moving, then you aren't going to get good sales in this economy.

When everyone has money falling out of their pockets, they may not spend 15 minutes trying to find the best price possible.  When you can't afford groceries, you'll spend $15 minutes looking to save a couple of bucks.

He who sells for the least wins, which means he who bought for the best price wins!

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