Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Aug 15 2012 14:22:51

eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers have been reporting a strange trend in their eBay Stores traffic reports, which are powered by Omniture. When reporting traffic by browser, it shows the majority of visitors are using Safari.

In July, a reader wrote, "I pulled up my Omniture report to find that eBay has now funneled 100% of my traffic through Safari? So am I to believe that unless you are searching by Safari I can not be seen?"

Today, another reader sent his traffic reports for the month of July for both 2011 and 2012 that showed a 96% decline in visitors to his eBay store. "Besides the DISMAL traffic in July 2012, look at the browsers people are using," he wrote. "Safari went from 26% in 2011 to 93% in 2012 with all other browsers almost non-existent. That does not even make sense."



Above: a seller's traffic report for the month of July 2011 shows 26.2% of visitors to his eBay Store were using the Safari browser.




Above: a seller's traffic report for the month of July 2012 shows 92.9% of visitors to his eBay Store were using the Safari browser. Only 2.7% of visitors that month used Internet Explorer 6.0.

A third reader wrote recently saying that, from May 2011 to November 2011, 18-31% of traffic to their eBay Store came from the Safari browser, but beginning in November, the average for Safari rose to between 80-100% on a daily base.

A thread on the eBay discussion boards also documented the issue. One eBay seller hypothesized the eBay reports were incorrect. "Seems like a glitch to me," the seller wrote. "I have 4 computers in the house all using different browsers (Mac and PC) and all my eBay stores view fine in each browser. And I use Firefox and view my listing everyday. So why then does my omniture report only shoe Safari and IE as the only two browsers viewing my listings?"

Reports of low sales and glitches are rampant. eBay no longer posts technical issues on its Systems announcement board, even when it acknowledges them, such as this one in which it ultimately promised to refund sellers who were affected by a glitch that deleted data from their listings, and this one in which sellers were unable to upload images - and buyers were unable to view images in live listings. (We're still awaiting word whether eBay will issue refunds to sellers for that latest glitch.)

If you make a practice of studying your eBay Store traffic reports, let us know what you think!




Comments (34) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

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

Wed Aug 15 15:02:06 2012

That pie chart browser list looks really antiquated.

Safari is often tagged as Google's Android browser. But Netscape Navigator was last updated in 2007. And IE is up to 9 now.

Really strange indeed!  

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

by: Feller This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 15 15:19:54 2012

I gave up on believing any of this data a long time ago. Safari is used by the ipad and iphone. I think the upsurge is eBay's attempt to prove they're taking over mobile shopping.

My current chart on operating systems has the first 2 as Unspecified and Not Specified. Number 4 is also Unspecified. Nowhere on the list is W7 or Vista... seriously?

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

by: gutspiller This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 15 16:10:11 2012

Don't need to have these traffic reports to know what's going on. The number of page views is down, the number of visitors is down, the number of sales is down. And I'm lucky to be in a positions where I can not complain. Where my sales are 20% down I see other sellers making hardly 30% of their normal sales.

A few years back I used to prey for Ebay. Now it's going to hell, where the devil is waiting for JD.

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 15 16:40:05 2012

Still waiting on a response about the EXPOSURE GLITCH which started in APRIL Ebay?!
This is a HORRIBLE COMPANY and JD is a HORRIBLE person who must be stopped and PUT IN JAIL where he belongs.
We Taxpayers pay for REGULATORS to PROTECT us from DISHONEST Companies and POLICIES and we need them to come in NOW.
Mass Howler

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Wed Aug 15 20:41:05 2012

Funny, every single seller says traffic and sales have been down since April, down in July BUT how on earth is eBay claiming fixed price sales are up by 33% in July 2012 over July 2011?

Liars and cheats.

John Donahoe belongs in prison.

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

This user has validated their user name. by: Doc

Wed Aug 15 21:18:55 2012

If those stats images came from eBay they have to be bogus. But the dates almost look like they were photo shoped.

I have been doing a lot of shopping on Amazon this month. It just works. Checking out and even returns are a breeze. Amazon's android app blows eBay's away. Donahoe is living in a fantisy world if he thinks he can compete with Amazon.

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by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 15 22:20:28 2012

Fuzzy numbers, imagine that. You have a CEO paying stock market blogs, research companies, survey companies and even a company that was paid to give eBay an award as the most ethical company! Really? It is all manufactured lies.  
The truth is the eBay is not keeping up with the rest of online retail boom. The increase in fees, and then the  fvf  on shippi

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

This user has validated their user name. by: Doc

Wed Aug 15 22:42:38 2012

I'd still like to see Corri McFadden's account undergo a forensic audit. Heard it through the grape vine that BB was dismissed from the suit. Maybe purseblog.com will step up and grab the bull by the horns!

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

by: Thetruthplease This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 15 23:15:02 2012

Finally! This is the 1st time I have ever posted to this forum in the years of reading this. I have been waiting this year to see if this problem was going to appear. Sure enough, it's here! The figures you see ARE NOT  photoshopped! They look remarkable to mine and another company I am involved in and that sold over 1/4 million dollars a year on Ebay. We have argued with the real ebay support, not the people that you get when you call, but 2 tiers up from that. The supervisors of the division have been looking into this for some time and they are not being told much. Rumors are that if you are not selling and keeping fresh merchandise on Ebay then they throw you on a group of servers that have less exposure to everything including best match. This in turn has you getting little traffic, small amounts of sales, and of course average sales that are drastically lower than the year before. Ours shows that we are seeing 1/3 of the traffic. When we pull the reports, it looks almost exactly like the report here! Safari is the system that ebay automatically feeds the tablets when it detects them. It's also supposed to be the dominate operating system on the Ebay servers that are in the group of lower end best match servers given to the occasional seller. Mind you, one of our companies was getting 2 to 3 people a day down from 400-500 a day 1-1/2 years ago! When we complained that sales were nothing or at least near nothing, they magically came back overnight! I have the reports to prove it. But only 1/3 the traffic came back. I can assure you that everything that is being stated in this report on the strange patterns is 100% true and couldn't be any more right. There is no photoshop or tricks, it's straight up ebay and nothing more. We were told everything from ''list more items'' to ''everything looks ok here'' until we got a supervisor which happened to be an executive filling in for a phone rep supervisor as a favor. What you are seeing here is not a mistake and is not a fluke but something that was planned for some unknown reason. It's not just this person and us, it's a lot of you but a lot of you don't sub to the reports so you don't know. Subscribe to them and keep track for a while and you will see something on there similar to the problem mentioned here I assure you. Unless you are one of the top people in your category, Ebay doesn't really care. I probably won't comment again on here for what could be years but this particular situation is so bizarre that it warranted taking the time to write this as a comment. Thank you.

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

by: kellygirl1217 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 15 23:19:25 2012

Another ebay friend and I were on the phone the other night looking at completed listings for the same seller, same period. There were at least three completed listings that were sold items that she could see and I couldn't. She kept asking me, "Really? You can't see them?" Once again, another indication that some people are seeing some listings and others aren't. No need to talk about my sales...I rarely have one...at ROCK bottom prices...It's ridiculous. eBay feels no need to explain glitches...we clearly now have a dictatorship.

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Wed Aug 15 23:57:00 2012

the ebay stats don't work for months, we reported this many times to eBay, they never replied or fixed anything, it stopped working just after we noticed the big traffic dive

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

by: blaumann This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 16 00:19:49 2012

Many times the page views just don't exist on auction or store pages. It really seems like ebay is entering death throes.

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by: trickstunt This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 16 00:20:49 2012

Maybe the images are not crystal clear because the screen shots were taken in fairly low resolution to begin with, then reduced in size, perhaps pixels per inch?

This has been reported over and over again by numerous persons on ebay forums recently. It's a glitch or a failure, not a photoshop trick.

Go run a content search for Safari in the last 30 days at ebay forums you'll see.

Why would anyone just blurt out photoshop when clearly this has been going on for a while?

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Aug 16 01:50:17 2012

If you look in completed listings you will find different results between browsers. At least this was the case for me. Looking in one completed seller's recently ended listings I found only a few listings in IE9 and then in Firefox I found ALL of the seller's recently completed.  Now I am thinking this is happening in completed but is this going on with live listings as well? My views and sell thru is low to non-existent.

I am still disturbed with seeing another seller's stats in my dashboard. The seller was showing 0 transactions and only a few low sales. Is eBay not showing my listings due to this glitch?

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

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

Thu Aug 16 01:59:04 2012

Why are the dates wrong in the first picture? July 1, 2012 was on a Sunday, not Friday as shown.

Why doesn't Firefox show up there?

Netscape Navigator 4.0? Who uses that?

Who made the chart, Omniture? Where are they getting their data from with these supposed browsers being used?

eBay sellers just keep paying, paying and paying for dreadful service and no service at all. They are like insects who keep flying into a bug zapper.

This is insanity.  

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 16 02:37:41 2012

This is very interesting and bears further investigation.  I won't be able to help because I don't have that store and the store report cited.

But clearly there has been little or no traffic for us from April 2012 thru sometime in July. I suspect ebay was suppressing us because we lost our TRS and PS.  When we got that back things started selling.

It seems likely eBay is manipulating search results and though they admitted it and it was intentional, it went terribly wrong and hundreds of thousands of sellers lost hundreds of millions of dollars of sales because of it.

This is what google scrupulously avoids, ''first, don't be evil''.  When you return anything except even handed organic search results, it creates a tangled web of deceit.

Kind of what eBay Inc. specializes in nowadays, I'd say.

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

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

Thu Aug 16 03:48:29 2012

And what about Google Chrome?

I use IE9, and while watching my favorite eBay-approved rampant shill bidding seller, Corri McFadden’s eDropOff, I have noticed that occasionally some of the auction items disappear when they finish and do not show up in the completed listings …

Who knows what is going on, not even eBay, I suspect …

“first, don’t be evil” LOL, that, of course is a totally foreign concept to John Donahoe’s eBafia …

Let’s not kid ourselves, contrary to eBay’s published financials, the eBay marketplace is showing all the signs of utter desperation for revenue and, as a consequence, the eBafia Don is going to direct all the generic traffic there is to his favourite national brands, for if he cannot satisfy them, he is soon going to fall flat on his face soon; so, sans complaining about it, I would not look forward to much increased generic exposure any time soon …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

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

Thu Aug 16 07:22:39 2012

I did a similar blog post about this very same issue awhile back however with a different twist.  Check those same dates but by search engine.  You will see that the eBay search engine disappears or barely hanging on this year.  We are no longer being found by ebay search engine itself (those of us in the a/b testing) but by contrast they have switched the visibility entry point to eBay referrals.  What that means is that if you are being seen at all, it is because of the "suggestions" people see when then OPEN A LISTING.  If you are selling unique collectibles/antiques you are getting very very low visibility. Take a look at my charts http://mysecretebaydiary.blogspot.com/2012/07/dear-diary-i-cant-keep-m
y-mouth-shut.html

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Aug 16 07:44:07 2012

It is my opinion that eBay manipulate surveys, news, and analysts, so it is quite easy for me to believe that they would manipulate traffic and data.  I feel pretty sure that all of this will come out one day.  I believe in karma, and eBay have a big dose of it coming their way.  I just hope that JD hasn't left the building when karma pays a visit.

Perminate Link for eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns   eBay Reports Show Strange Traffic Patterns

by: nsc This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Aug 16 17:24:01 2012

@steevo, just because hundreds of sellers lost millions of dollars of business, doesn't mean that eBay thinks there is anything wrong.

eBay has decided that the favored brands should have traffic, while the smaller sellers should not. Only exception is for the unsuspecting newbie sellers, which is eBay's marketing move. Why eBay should value new leads over long-established customers, I cannot tell you. But it is plain they do.

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