Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Sept 27 2012 12:45:09

It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay again reacted to my inquiries about Traffic Reports with a post on its Systems Announcement Board. If you haven't been following this issue, see last week's EcommerceBytes blog post - two days after I wrote about a problem with eBay's Traffic Reports that showed a sharp decline in sellers' Store traffic, eBay acknowledged the problem on its systems board.

A week and a half after first writing about the issue, and after requesting a followup status report, I wrote again to eBay PR last night. I explained that some sellers whose sales declined corresponding with the reports' traffic-decline numbers were speculating that eBay had a virus or was under some kind of hacker attack, and I told eBay I would be be writing about this issue again. I received the following response this morning:

Hi Ina,
Thank you again for the follow up. This is an Announcement Board update that will go live in the next few minutes.

We know that eBay's tracking tools are important to sellers, and their availability is a top priority. We have identified and acknowledged a technical issue on the eBay side that is impacting the reported traffic metrics through the Omniture site. Our software engineers are currently working to fix this reporting issue as quickly as possible; it will unfortunately take time to implement a permanent fix, and we expect a solution in the next couple of weeks. We can confirm that actual traffic to eBay Stores has not been negatively impacted by this reporting issue. We will continue to update this post with the most up to date information; we apologize for the inconvenience.


eBay then posted the announcement on the Systems Board.

So now we know it will take eBay weeks to fix the Traffic Reports, but in the meantime, sellers who are experiencing low sales are left to speculate about the nature of the problem - some are not convinced it's just a technical problem with the reports.

One seller emailed me, "eBay always denied a problem existed until they made their service announcement on Sept 20th about omniture not working but that page views are really not being affected. I find the reverse happening that sales are way down."

He's convinced there's something much more significant going on, and wrote, "One more month of this and I will be forced to lay off my 4 employees." I took a quick look, and the seller has over 3,000 feedback on eBay and is a Top Rated Seller with near perfect DSRs and offers free shipping (the Fast 'N Free logo appears in his listings).

As for Omniture, the company is leaving it to eBay to field calls - its spokesperson told me last week, "We have assisted eBay with researching their Stores reporting issue. Please direct additional questions to eBay."




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Perminate Link for It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says   It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says

by: rqtball This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 27 13:43:45 2012

You have to wonder what the software engineers have been doing the last 2 weeks since this started...figure 8 hour days...that is a lot of time to put a fix in like this.

I would assume they have a core group working just on this...I would think its something that would get fixed pretty quickly

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by: rqtball This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 27 13:44:47 2012

nothing seems to get done or updated until Ina tries to get answers from them..then all of a sudden a new announcement goes up and people are working on it again.

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by: lemonsandlemonade This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 27 13:58:12 2012

It is not important to me that ebay admit to anything, I just want my traffic and sales back.

I am a TRS, near perfect DSR, 1 day handling, 14 day returns, Free Ship on many items, 100% tracking upload, 100% ship in stated time, use Markdown Manager constantly just to try keep some visibility.  

My sales and traffic began to slide in May and have had a steady decline line in Omniture since.

My Omniture Page Views line goes lower and lower every month- any my sales follow accordingly.

I have called ebay, had a store consultation to see if there is something I need to be doing that i am not.  They had no advice.  Said everything looked good.

The ''first on the phone reps'' look at my sales, agree this does not look right, say they will have someone look at my account.  

My year to year sales have increased every year I have been on ebay- UNTIL MAY 2012.  They have been sliding since then, corresponding with my Page Views that Omniture is reportiing.


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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Sep 27 14:01:04 2012

eBay's programming/programmer resources are limited, and their software is flawed, buggy, outdated and in need of improvements.

But still, in spite of all that... they have time to work on something as silly as ''eBay Setify''?

Truly, a dysfunctional organization with skewed priorities.

Perminate Link for It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says   It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Sep 27 14:39:05 2012

How much longer is eBay going to continue the charade?

Why is eBay still trying to convince sellers the facts that are right in front of their face are not really facts?

When eBay sellers had normal sales levels traffic reports from Omniture were accurate. Suddenly at the end of August, when sales nose dived and sellers looked at their reports, they found traffic was sharply lower as were their sales.

eBay is attempting to convince sellers that traffic is normal despite the fact that the reports and sales tell the exact opposite story.

eBay is never going to convince sellers that when all is well the traffic reports are accurate, but with this recent cratering of sales, the reports do not tell the complete story.

eBay may be able to sell that line of carp to Wall Street analysts, but they are never going to convince sellers.

I am convinced that eBay is putting a prom dress on their pig for two reasons.

First, it is the end of the quarter and reports to their Wall Street Masters are due. As such they have to try and deny the obvious facts.

Second, it is likely that with all the fiddling eBay has done with search they managed to break something and that whatever they broke is causing visibility issues with many sellers listings leading to the sudden decline in sales.

eBay refuses to admit this and perpetuates the existing lies because the prolonged malfunction would entitle sellers to massive refunds for listings that are not being seen since the issue began at the end of August.

eBay would rather blame the issue on a glitch with Omniture, deny the obvious facts, avoid admitting their constant tweaking broke search, and thus keep the fees which they know sellers are entitled to have credited.

Perminate Link for It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says   It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 27 15:10:46 2012

@Ric - absolutely correct...its not an Omniture problem...Omniture is only their scapegoat.  I had 46 items up for auction (mostly Halloween related)....only TWO sales and a miserably tiny amount of views....!!!  That's not Omniture, that's LACK OF TRAFFIC!  So whether the buyers have gone elsewhere or there truly is a problem with search...we are NOT getting traffice...period!

Perminate Link for It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says   It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Thu Sep 27 15:22:51 2012

Ric is correct. It's not Omniture reports.

A few years ago on a customer service call, I got into a personal conversation with an eBay CSR who gave me his email address outside work. Let's just say we have a common interest which is why we've become good friends.

I spoke to my eBay CSR friend last night and he told me they're having meetings (they call ''huddles'') every day about how to deal with sellers calling about the traffic/sales issue.

The real issue is Google. Google is hammering eBay out of search results.

Want an example?

Search Google for ''los angeles dodgers jersey''

or try ''hummel figurines''

bye bye eBay.



Perminate Link for It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says   It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says

by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 27 15:36:46 2012

so where IS the traffic going? i shipped 28 items last week (way down from april/may's average of 68 items per week). this week TEN items. and no traffic, no sales, not even stupid questions.

it's broke and no one at ebay seems to know how to fix it.........

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Sep 27 16:37:24 2012

When something is a "priority" with ebay, then you know they'll fix when they';re damn well to ready to fix IF they can fix it.

Setify, Gardens, Facebook -- ebay has enough time and resources for this nonsense and not enough time to fix the dozens of serious coding programs.

THIS is what management by disruption actually means.

Perminate Link for It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says   It Will Take Weeks to Fix Traffic Reports, eBay Says

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

Thu Sep 27 16:52:43 2012

Does Wall Street take notice of listings numbers?

Or just total revenue ?

I would need to see hundreds of complaints about lower sales all of a sudden, before I would believe it.


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

Thu Sep 27 16:58:20 2012

@Spartacuc

I see what you mean about Google Search hammering ebay.
I searched for those dodgers jerseys and did not see one ebay listing in the first 5 pages!

Most of them were from a shop called mlb.

To me that shows Google Search is not working very well.




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

Thu Sep 27 17:09:21 2012

“We know that eBay's tracking tools are important to sellers, and their availability is a top priority. We have identified and acknowledged a technical issue on the eBay side that is impacting the reported traffic metrics through the Omniture site. …”

Hmmm, so these tools are important; and it is an eBay problem, again …

“Our software engineers are currently working to fix this reporting issue as quickly as possible; it will unfortunately take time to implement a permanent fix, …”

Hmmm, there’s such a thing as a temporary software fix? Only at ebafia!

“… and we expect a solution in the next couple of weeks. …”

Which is ebafia-speak for, contrary to what we said earlier in this same par, this problem does not contribute directly to ebafia’s bottom line and therefore has a very low priority …

“We can confirm that actual traffic to eBay Stores has not been negatively impacted by this reporting issue. …”

How can you tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is lying? Their lips are moving ...

In the whole of recorded modern history has there ever been such an incompetent major commercial entity that held its consumers (both buyers and sellers) in such utter contempt as ebafia does? I think not …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

PS I got a whiff of a new US search listing page yesterday; it’s gone again now; but what a doozy it was; more change simply for the sake of change; and it certainly won’t have a direct effect (other than negative) on efabia’s bottom line. What a gaggle of utter turkeys these cretinous MBAs at eBafia are …

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 27 17:16:13 2012

@ Terry

''so where IS the traffic going?''

1) Platinums
2) Manufactorers
3) Specialty Dealers in the PRO Group

Does that help?

Blaming Omniture is moronic, no one will fall for it. Either the traffic is there or its not.

If its there, why are there so many sales issues? If its not - they are out right liars AND they better get worried FAST!

Ric is %101 correct as usual.

I also dont doubt eBay and Google's fall out - I used to find TONS of my eBay listing photos in google - not any more, which means eBay isnt submitting them/they arent being accepted!

My sales come in bunches and are grouped in the same place/locale. Its just simply not possible for things to be as they are - and then claim they havent been tinkered with!

All of a sudden, one specific city or country ''wakes up'' .. wow MIRACLES I TELL YA!

Its just ... eBay playing with the results!

Want proof? eBay let out a soft announcement to all the deal sites they send feeds to - on behalf of Skullcandy. ANYTHING they make %25 off .... eBay store ONLY!

eBay once again - making sure certain sales ONLY go to certain people!

Long Live Amazon!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Thu Sep 27 17:47:27 2012

ebay may have hit the tipping point: MORE BUYERS THAN SELLERS....
But, why is ebay still trying to get more "New" sellers to sell??? Inflating the numbers, perhaps.

It is 100% true that ebay is getting hammered by Google. ebay's page rank has gone down & google decided to exclude ebay listings on their search.
Then why doesn't ebay take etsy's approach. Etsy just announced that ALL their listings will be included in Google searches.

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This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Thu Sep 27 18:04:09 2012

Spartacus has the correct information, and ebayzon must be in complete denial, thinking up ways to cook the GMV for wall street. Google has eliminated ebayzon's free ride, so ebayzon reacted by punishing sellers with the 'fall seller update' hoping that the returns policy and other seller humiliation torture tactics would somehow organically draw buyers with a wallet and a whip back to free rent some goods on ebayzon.

Meanwhile, I stopped buying at Home Depot and anywhere I see a PayPal logo at the checkout because ebayzon is likely using this $ volume to pad it's core GMV as a smokescreen to hide the sudden decline in site sales. Same goes for the manufacturers who are stupid enough to put their reputations on the line as ebayzon sellers.

The unintended consequence is now a mass deflation in prices because sellers are liquidating to survive and get off of ebayzon. Profit margins are non-existent, and small/medium sellers are exiting rapidly.

The house of cards is falling exactly as designed by Google and Amazon. Ebayzon's charade is on it's last legs as the entire selling/buying culture is fleeing ebayzon's corporate greed.

Flee as fast and as far as you can from the cracked hull on the captain-less ship that's now going down. Investing in holiday inventory for Q4 will be a major mistake for all sellers. It's done.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Sep 27 18:50:07 2012

Amazin is only a few millimeters better than ebafia from a seller's standpoint.

Give them more time, and they will become just as oppressive as ebafia. They're well on their way now with virtually every change they make.

NONE of them cna be trusted. Their interests aren't necessarily the same as ours because shareholders rule.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Thu Sep 27 18:55:52 2012

@Digmen1 - Careful, you're turning into quite a stalker. Remind me of some of the trolls on eBay Discussion boards. Shame you can't buy something from me and leave negative feedback because you don't like what I'm saying.

There are other people making comments here beside me, I humbly suggest you back off making comments directed at me on every thread.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Thu Sep 27 19:05:08 2012

eBankrupted - Correct ! Boycott eBay, Paypal, Google and any stores such as Home Depot, ToysRUs partnering with them.

Every merchant impacted by this recent pillow fight between eBay and Google needs to turn their back on both companies. Walk away and put your thinking cap on.

I walked away 3 months ago and my business has not suffered. In fact, my business is doing better than average for this slow time of year. The big reveal will be the holidays.

I'll offer a few strategic tips here for merchants thinking about making the move.....

Community is utmost important. Consumers like to buy from places they find trustworthy and feel comfortable with.

Best thing I ever did was setting up a message forum on my website. How cool is it to have potential buyers discussing your product ?

Utilize social media. Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are not end-all-be-all devices but interacting directly with potential buyers will instill a feeling of trust.

Lastly, the most important thing is to build a mailing list. If you already haven't started, look no further than your eBay/Paypal sales records.

You can do it if you just roll up your sleeves and put your mind to it.

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by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 27 23:27:01 2012

Just Google,Omniture sucks and you will see unhappy folks:(

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by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 27 23:29:11 2012

My sales have been slowly but steadily increasing since June.  I have not experienced any drop in traffic.

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