Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Dec 16 2014 15:28:30

eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

By: Ina Steiner

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A seller updated us about an unusual promotion that kicked off last month in which eBay gave some sellers personalized sales goals along with an offer to coach them, and it tied their success to a sweepstakes.

"We have had our basic eBay Store since March of this year," wrote the EcommerceBytes reader. "From March to June we reached Power Seller status in a very short time and also Top Seller Plus. Things were going well as we saw steady growth through July. Then August 20th came along and sales went from around $2000 per month to $500."

The reader received the promotion from eBay last month that encouraged him to reach a sales goal it had set for him. He called the premise of the promotion absurd, stating he would have far exceeded the goal "had they not messed with things and created a "Defect Rate" which gave them the excuse to strip us of our status, limit our visibility to buyers and pipe buyers to their larger accounts."

On Monday, he received a progress report showing the number of items he'd sold as of October 1st along with the number of items listed. However, he said he had almost 3 times that number of active listings. "Unless I'm totally mis-understanding this page, almost two thirds of our listings are not being recognized by eBay and are not being presented to buyers." He wondered if it could be proof that eBay places secret selling limits on sellers.

Like many sellers, he prepared for growth because he wanted to grow his business, not because of a promotion.

"We ramped up with inventory last Spring and Summer to make sure we would be ready for growth, basing our purchases on our past sales and the season," he said. "We have had just spurts of items being sold and we're stuck with inventory that should be moving. Nothing has been steady and it's forced us to liquidate the merchandise in our brick and mortar store."

The promotion promised eBay would send "pro seller tips" and information about what buyers are looking for, what's selling now and at what price. We've asked the seller if he received any of that and if so, whether it was useful.

In the very early days, eBay would run free listing days to motivate sellers to list items. What kind of promotion would motivate you to list more on eBay these days?

And if you received the sales-target promotion, let us know if you've learned anything from eBay tips and whether or not your progress report accurately reflects the number of active listings and listings sold.




Comments (54) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 15:54:45 2014

out of 7500 steady very good selling items since march this year sales dropped from 1100+ items a month to exactly 100 and stayed there until we closed store oct when paypal announced 6 months on items for snads, with only very limited page views and limited if any showing in the searches, we decided we were paying more in fees and hourly we figured we were making approx. $3-5 per hour, and were top rated gold power sellers with .50 defect rate sad very sad, china sellers were latterly best match in search even if we were less money with free shipping , simply does not make since at all looks to me as if ebay wants sellers out of the country not any in the usa, their loss , I can tell you the stress is lifted I now have time to do things I never had before I was always too busy baby sitting the computer, I surely hope yahoo considers opening again I think they will be instant sucess    

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 16:15:22 2014

4 years ago I was killing it on ebay.  It was fun, fast paced and profitable to the tune of 50k per year. Want to guess how many items I have sold so far in December......SIX.  SIX freaking items.    Ebay now hides your listings, and the search engine is not fair by any means.   Ebay is a rigged, fraudulent, unethical,....did I say fraudulent?  Pile of dog crap.   STAY FAR AWAY......this is NO PLACE  to build your business upon.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Dec 16 16:21:58 2014

Ina asks: "What kind of promotion would motivate you to list more on eBay these days?"

I'd like to see a promotion that says, "Let's party like it's 1999!" And then they roll back everything on the site to what was in effect that year.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 16:32:12 2014

I got one of these absurd Pep Talks, too. They have a ''goal'' set for me of ten times current sales. Yeah, they're really going to increase my volume by an Order of Magnitude. You believe JD's B/S, you'll believe anything.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 16:34:36 2014

A "free listings" promootion is utterly pointless. What's needed is a free or drastically reduced FVF on any resulting SALES... if you're lucky enough to find any buyers on this pile of steamin' crap!

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: Sorbet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 17:25:14 2014

The kind of promotion I'd like to see:  EBay will butt out of your business and be a well run platform, concerning itself soley with maintenance of the site and promotion of its customers (sellers).

Or:
EBay will hold itself to the same standards as it holds sellers and its defect score based on customer (seller)-reporting of their experiences will be shown.  Also, a sell-through rate for each seller will be calculated and eBay will assume defects and fee refunds if sellers do not reach their projected sales.

or even:
EBay gives Cassini the heave-ho.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 17:26:31 2014

It takes a special kind of demented sadist to systematically and deliberately destroy thousands of small businesspersons not only by hiding their listings and throttling them, but also by designing a series of programs of mass extermination , and then call to torment them by claiming to be trying to help them grow their throttled, beaten, and Hidden listings ...

 I have said it before and I will say it again, their pathologically paranoid and sadistic actions toward us cannot be explained by any sane business plan... There is a sickness that has infected this company that is truly frightening

Advertising Update:

 Working home all day say some interesting ads from target.com and of course overstock.. Ebay : NOTHING

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

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

Tue Dec 16 17:53:25 2014

@Orwellwasright,

"It takes a special kind of demented sadist ..."

I hope you are not referring to my good mate, the cretinous, narcissistic, sociopathic Johnny Ho?

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: h-on-ebay This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 18:04:09 2014

I'm absolutely baffled by eBay.  It's pretty obvious that they are trying to cull sellers, but it's also obvious that very little thought has been given to the consequences.

How do you profit by losing customers?  Beats me. Your front page story suggests that we are being replaced by Chinese sellers, but I've got news for all those bright MBAs: the Chinese can do it better on their own.

I'd like to think that there is some evil plan, but it's more likely that this is simply a case of a corporation in complete disarray.  Guess we'll just have to watch it play out to know the answer.

I would not want to be an eBay employee right now.  You can get a sense of the tension by reading the last weekly chat on the eBay discussion boards.

''Non-negotiable'' seems to be the new eBay mantra.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

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

Tue Dec 16 18:38:53 2014

The ebafia "coaches" should be fired.

What do these arrogant jerks know about nuts and bolts online selling anyway?

They impose Above Top Secret monthly sales limits, deny and lie about their existence, and then sadistic and unrealistic "sales goals" for those too inexperienced with ebay as sellers to understand that ebay is and really never has been a dependable trading partner.

Like Cassini, this game is rigged in favor of the house. Few if any sellers have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

DEATH to ebay inc in 2015.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Dec 16 19:42:40 2014

If only eBay had a Jacob Marley to Scrooge kind of epiphany shouting: ''Sellers were our Business!''  
(a bit of liberty with Dickens, there)  


Motivation to add listings could include:

Provide: Visibility, localized trained customer service.

Lose: Defect program, micromanagement, limits on visibility and sales.

Fix: Search, Glitches


That would be a start


As it is, I have scaled back. Way back from what I listed at one point.


Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Tue Dec 16 20:44:12 2014

@Ina

I have dozens of traffic report pages from 2010 to today.

If you compare my reports to many other sellers traffic reports I am confident that ebays secret selling limits will be exposed.

Also if we aligned the history log of when ebay rolled out all its changes and test trials then these dates will also be reflected on each sellers traffic reports as a decline in traffic on the sellers traffic reports.

The ebay employee who broke the news on ebays secret selling limits has spoken the truth!

Ebay has volleyed back that secret selling limits are not true.

The traffic reports will validate that the ebay employee is telling the truth and that ebay is lying and is NOW covering it up.

When are any of us going to get together to compare our traffic reports.

I am getting sick of talking about this and no one is listening.

@Ina please contact me if you do not understand the information that i am trying to convey.

@sellers please print your traffic reports so we can compare them together.

I am confident all our traffic reports will be strikingly similar on the same dates for 4 reports.

The reports are,
1)ebay search engine 2) google search engine 3)referring domains, ebay 4)referring domains,google.

The last time Ina did a story on Omniture ebay instantly made a public announcement that Omniture was broken.

Also there is a road block ebay has had inplace for two years on the ebay site since that article.

If the seller attempts to log into their traffic reports an error message comes up and says the page is not available most of the time.

There is a way around the error by logging out of your ebay account and then log back into your ebay account and then log into traffic reports by omniture.

simple but effective tactic to discourage sellers from accessing their reports.

Many sellers never look or are interested in traffic reports but here is the smoking gun.

This ebay employee had the testicles to leak the truth we have all known for long time.

We can not let this fade away.
Traffic reports we must compare.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: justsaying This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 20:54:49 2014

I have noticed that my listing count on my monthly newsletters are only about 1/4 of my actual listings now.  Supposedly, eBay states in the personalized newsletter that the average listings is computed on the last three months...well, mine were around 180, 200, and 250, but they reported them as 61.  When I asked an American customer service rep about it, he said that the average was the number of ''new'' listings that I listed that month.  I don't know...it seems pretty fishy to me.  But, if the ''average'' they computed is the amount that they actually have showing in the marketplace, that would probably be about right...they are probably only showing 61 of my 250+ listings.  This would coincide with what another poster said about his stats.  My sales waaay off what they should be with listings ever-increasing each month.  I can't seem to grow.  Take a look at your own monthly newsletters and see if they match your actual counts or not.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 16 22:34:36 2014

Not much can encourage me to list more. In fact, I am actively spending more time trying to move my items OFF of Ebay. Sad because before I was selling 40K a year and would have keep on growing my business year after year and even hapily paying my fees to do so.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Tue Dec 16 23:54:46 2014

Before paypal was ripped from John Donahoes hands...ebay was building their corporate sellers and were slowly running off small sellers while fleecing small sellers for listing fees until their plan was complete to become Like Amazon.

But Paypal was snatched away and screwed up their mission which is now collapsing and exposing all the price fixing and interference & manipulations.

Ebay has lost.

Ebay's focus now is fixing stock prices and allowing corporate board member to sell out their stock options and flee with as much money as they can legally sell off.

Ebay is diverting lions share of customer traffic their corporate sellers because they now want all small sellers to subcome to injury.

IF You as a seller stop selling on ebay and close your account your time for litigation is now limited.

If you as a seller go bankrupt from selling on ebay you have less chance of having any cash resources to file a lawsuit.

If you as a small seller go under by the hands of ebay's manipulations then you have now become another voice that has become silenced and less likely to complain to the Federal Government asking for investigation.

Total small seller extermination is in full operation because.....

They must cash out stock holdings for personal gain....

They must sell the company for personal gain....

They must sell ebay in 2015 to avoid small seller lawsuits.

They must sell ebay in 2015 to avoid a FTC & SEC investigation...

They must sell ebay before investigations & lawsuits or they are trapped.

SELLERS PRINT YOUR TRAFFIC REPORTS BEFORE THEY ARE UNAVAILABLE.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

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

Wed Dec 17 00:40:51 2014

@justsaying

Ah! More intentional ebafia fuzzy math for obvious purposes of deception.

Double talk lies.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

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

Wed Dec 17 00:40:51 2014

@justsaying

Ah! More intentional ebafia fuzzy math for obvious purposes of deception.

Double talk lies.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

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

Wed Dec 17 02:55:34 2014

"Have you tried free shipping"-?
LOL!
Clear your browser or cookies.

No, this is the 1st I have heard of it.

I will have a supv call you, definitely withing 24 hours.

It ain't you brother.
MH

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

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

Wed Dec 17 06:13:04 2014

EBAY's LATEST SCAM : Live Auctions.
Stay Away from Ebay Live Auctions.
It's ALL fake and over valued GARBAGE. "GovernmentAuctions" is one of the rip-off artists backed by Ebay, lining their pockets with the proceeds from unsuspecting bid winners. "Certificates of Authority" are fake, signatures are fake, valuations are WAY over inflated.
STAY AWAY FROM EBAY LIVE AUCTIONS.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target   eBay Seller Needs Greater Visibility, Not Sales Target

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 17 06:20:46 2014

I'm a very small seller and my average sale is around $130. I was happy when my little business grew to about 4k a month. I do have a ''day job''. After Cassini, I'm lucky to see $100 a month. I have three times the listings now at Etsy, where I'm doing better and better. Only SALES,CUSTOMER SERVICE, or an ANTIQUE & COLLECTIBLE SPIN-OFF with rationale policies would ''incent'' me at this point. It's very sad for all of us who invested time, money, and hopes in ebay.

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