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Wed Aug 12 2015 16:55:48

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Lots of commentators here and elsewhere have been concerned with the extreme slow down or outright stoppage of sales on eBay. While trying to look thru a category on an item I have listed I noticed something - odd.  

I have had an item - a Ralph Lauren wax jacket - listed for a few weeks now.  At first it was listed as a regular Auction and then on a promo as a Good Til Canceled. The item has - in a few weeks - racked up almost 300 "Views" - -not ONE inquiry or ONE Offer has been made!  

I decided to go look at how many items are listed NOW - around 90 - and then because so many of these had Buy It Now on them (Or Best Offer), I looked at the COMPLETED items. I was shocked to see that of the roughly 90 items shown that ALL of the ones listed PRIOR to 6 JULY had SOLD - however with 2 exceptions - one item listed from England and one other - NOT ONE of the others have SOLD.  

NOT ONE SINCE 6 JULY.  

Now - I also looked to see where my item came in using Best Match and it was in the top third of a fairly small category so it SHOULD be seen. And according to eBay's OWN "Views" it has been seen just under 300 times!  

I wonder how many other sellers are seeing this? It is hard to tell on a huge category now many are selling and if the items really are the same or very similar to the one you have listed - but this one is stark in the reality.

On my other listings - across 5 accounts - I have had almost ZERO sales since that SAME early July date.

My question is - and I suspect others have the SAME question - did eBay turn OFF something so millions of sellers items are INVISIBLE? On this item it seems as though small and larger sellers' items alike are NOT BEING SOLD.

Anyone ELSE able to show this as clearly as I can?   
C.




Comments (66) | Permalink

Readers Comments

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: 1beck3 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 12 17:42:01 2015

I guess my first question would be, how much are you selling it for? If you have over 300 views and you're getting crickets, especially if you have best offer on the listing, you probably have it priced too high.

Two, there have only been 8 sales over a 6 week period for the *entire* site, not exactly a hot seller.

The problem I see with all this is not having access to a real traffic report. At least with a report, I could track how many items I was selling based on page views and if things were actually slowing down or if it was my imagination. You would think they could come up with something by now if they're able to track impressions and clicks for items you list in the Beta Promoted Listings program.........but I digress.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 12 17:42:21 2015

I agree with the OP. We noticed this around June 14th. It is as if someone flipped a switch.  Of course we have noticed this in past years too.  I've mentioned this several times recently, but I think what is going on here is mission creep.  I think on a yearly basis, sometime after the Spring updates, eBay pulls another level throwing small sellers a little further under the bus.

I think this was all orchestrated by John Donahoe.  They couldn't push us down in one full swoop, so I believe that they have been doing it in increments every year. They thought no one would notice.  People clearly have.

But, they still take a percentage of our postage, they still take our store fees, and they take final value fees and they force us to pay the postage on returns.

We continue to build on other venues, our favorite being eCrater, and we have discovered that there is a life off of eBay, and it is a stress free life. To hell with them.

Reconnecting with small sellers Wenig? Do you even know what that means?

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

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

Wed Aug 12 17:55:59 2015

Ebay's "View" numbers are unreliable have nothing to do with reality. They're part of an algorithm that determines if and when ALL your listings will be visible.

For example, the other night not two minutes after submitting a listing, ebay claims it had been viewed 36 times! Impossible! It takes a lot longer than two minutes for new listings to index and show up in search (if they ever do).

These numbers are just more ebafia lies. Lying and stealing are what they do best.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 12 19:04:56 2015

The one million seller purge I think had a huge affect on Ebay's sales.  70% of my favorite sellers are gone.  Sellers with huge feedback #s as well as smaller sellers.  Ebay is tanking it's stock soon and Icahn will pick it up for nothing.  I am also sure that they using similar algorithms and feeds to limit sales.  It seems that most sellers are affected by dismal sales.  When is a viable competitor going to show up?!

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 12 19:06:48 2015

Sales have been impossibly slow to non existent in the last few months.

While I doubt its JD getting his "revenge", there ARE more things going on as usual.

1) JDs replacement knows LESS then he does about running eBay - so you cant expect much to improve

2) Sales are down becuase views are down, all over eBay. eBay knows it and speaks of it in their 10k. They list all the other platforms and explain why/how their business is loosing steam.

3) eBay STILL Has many side deals with specific accounts - visa via sales, views and purchases. Now that eBay has taken money from these people - they expect the sales they were promised. Cassini was designed to do just that and does it well.

4) As time goes by, more and more people ditch eBay for a whole host of reasons - beyond simple theft from buyers. When was the last time anyone you know said that eBay was their "go to place?" It used to be - at least for alot of categories. But now, a good portion of the INTERESTING sellers have gone. No one's going to stay when there are no sales and/or they are stolen from and/or eBay abused them or their friends.

5) People like myself who still sell on eBay despite the abuse - REFUSE to buy on eBay. I just bought some Tomica (toy cars from Japan) from a local dealer INSTEAD of eBay. I sourced it on eBay, looked into the pricing, and then went local. I make sure not to give eBay even 1 red cent. And, there are many here and beyond that feel the same way.

As for the numbers, its all hocus pocus. It can say what ever and it doesnt matter does it? The numbers are there so eBay can tell Wall Street ANYTHING they desire, and they can change those numbers at whim.


eBay stock today:

Change -0.13 (-0.46%)

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 12 19:16:12 2015

eBays admitting that they are in trouble:

We expect competition to continue to intensify. Online and offline businesses increasingly are competing with each other and our competitors include a number of online and offline retailers with significant resources and well-established brands. Moreover, the barriers to entry into these channels can be low, and businesses easily can launch online sites or mobile platforms and applications at nominal cost by using commercially available software or partnering with any of a number of successful ecommerce companies. As we respond to changes in the competitive environment, it may, from time to time, make pricing, service or marketing decisions or acquisitions that may be controversial with and lead to dissatisfaction among sellers, which could reduce activity on our websites and harm its profitability.

Our Marketplaces businesses face increased competitive pressure online and offline. In particular, the competitive norm for, and the expected level of service from, ecommerce and mobile commerce has significantly increased, due to, among other factors, improved user experience, greater ease of buying goods, lower (or no) shipping costs, faster shipping times and more favorable return policies. Also, certain platform businesses, such as Alibaba, Apple, Google and Facebook, many of whom are larger than us or have greater capitalization, have a dominant and secure position in other industries or certain significant markets, and offer other goods and services to consumers and merchants that we do not offer. If we are unable to change our products, offerings and services in ways that reflect the changing demands of the ecommerce and mobile commerce marketplaces, particularly the higher growth of sales of fixed-price items and higher expected service levels (some of which depend on services provided by sellers on our platforms), or compete effectively with and adapt to changes in larger platform businesses, our business will suffer.

Consumers who might use our Marketplaces sites to buy goods have a wide variety of alternatives, including traditional department, warehouse, boutique, discount and general merchandise stores (as well as the online and mobile operations of these traditional retailers), online retailers and their related mobile offerings, online and offline classified services and other shopping channels, such as offline and online home shopping networks. In the United States, these include Amazon.com (which recently opened an experimental brick-and-mortar store in New York City and continues to expand into new geographies and lines of business), Google, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Macy’s, JC Penney, Costco, Office Depot, Staples, OfficeMax, Sam’s Club, Buy.com (owned by Rakuten), Yahoo! Shopping, MSN, QVC and Home Shopping Network, among others. In addition, consumers have a large number of online and offline channels focused on one or more of the categories of products offered on our site.

Consumers also can turn to many companies that offer a variety of services that provide other channels for buyers to find and buy items from sellers of all sizes, including online aggregation and classifieds websites, such as craigslist (in which we own a minority equity stake), Oodle.com and a number of international websites operated by Schibsted ASA or Naspers Limited. Consumers also can turn to shopping-comparison sites, such as Google Shopping. In certain markets, our fixed-price listing and traditional auction-style listing formats increasingly are being challenged by other formats, such as classifieds.

Our online shopping comparison websites (Shopping.com) compete with sites such as Google Shopping, Buy.com, Nextag.com, Pricegrabber.com, Shopzilla, Buscapé in Latin America (owned by Naspers) and Yahoo! Product Search, which offer shopping search engines that allow consumers to search the Internet for specified products. In addition, sellers are increasingly utilizing multiple sales channels, including the acquisition of new customers by paying for search-related advertisements on horizontal search engine sites, such as Google, Yahoo!, Naver and Baidu. We use product search engines and paid search advertising to help users find our sites, but these services also have the potential to divert users to other online shopping destinations. Consumers may choose to search for products and services with a horizontal search engine or shopping comparison website, and such sites may also send users to other shopping destinations.

Bottom Line:

We may be unable to compete successfully against current and future competitors. Some current and potential competitors have longer operating histories, larger customer bases and greater brand recognition in other business and Internet sectors than we do.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 12 19:25:56 2015

Kids start back to school last week, this week, and next week.

Parents are busy getting used to new schedules and don't have a lot of free time to buy anything other than school supplies.

These are the 2-3 slowest weeks of the year for us.

However, it seems as if sales have been particularly dismal even by Ebay standards lately.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: blackmail This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 12 20:29:20 2015

this will be just the beginning of the end I am afraid.

sellers have all but vacated this site

just a few die hard sellers left like someone said over 35 favorite sellers and all but 3 yes 3 are left most are NRU or just not listing now over 6 months guess amazon gets the business

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Aug 12 20:46:34 2015

It's their own fault.  Meg, JD and now Wenig turned the site into what it is. They have only themselves to blame. I only hope that one day, business historians will document Donahoe's failure.

What pace306 posted is no more than an excuse. Hmmmmm, doesn't seem to be affecting Amazon does it?  LOL

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Aug 12 21:24:53 2015

@pace - That's an amazing statement. It almost seems like eBay is announcing its imminent demise. Otherwise, why would they list virtually every site that's a competitor. And to state that others can run a selling site better than they can... incredible!

And I'm baffled by this: "Some current and potential competitors have longer operating histories, larger customer bases and greater brand recognition in other business and Internet sectors than we do."

eBay's been around since 1995 and was right there in the infancy of selling on the internet. Everybody, even if they now hate eBay, know the name. This makes it appear that really bad news is coming quickly.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Wed Aug 12 21:59:02 2015

@pace

Where did that come from? Interesting....

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 12 23:15:29 2015

This info is printed in eBays 10k yearly IRS statement.

Its a comprehensive financial statement and overview of every part of the company.

Its here: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1065088/000106508815000054/ebay
201410-k.htm

Funny
- they tell the government THIS, when they know its a lie "For our Payments segment, our users may choose to pay through a variety of alternative means, including credit and debit cards, automated clearing house and bank wires, other online payment services, offline payment methods such as cash, check or money order and using mobile phones. Likewise, our users may elect to finance their purchases through a broad range of other sources of financing, including credit cards, lines of credit provided by financial institutions and store credit or layaway plans provided by merchants. "

Did you catch the lie? "our users may choose to pay through a variety of alternative means, including credit and debit cards, automated clearing house and bank wires, other online payment services, offline payment methods such as cash, check or money order and using mobile phones" REALLY? Not that *I* know of! eBay pushes Paypal so they can have complete control over a sellers account. If we could use all those other methods - we would.

This is my second favorite "If we are unable to change our products, offerings and services in ways that reflect the changing demands of the ecommerce and mobile commerce marketplaces, particularly the higher growth of sales of fixed-price items and higher expected service levels (some of which depend on services provided by sellers on our platforms), or compete effectively with and adapt to changes in larger platform businesses, our business will suffer." Well if you KNOW IT - then do something about it!

CLASSIC! "If PayPal is not able to differentiate itself from its competitors, drive value for its customers, and/or effectively align its resources with its goals and objectives, PayPal may not be able to compete effectively against these threats. PayPal’s failure to compete effectively against any of the foregoing competitive threats could materially and adversely affect our overall business and results of operations." So, lets offer 180 day returns protection and screw our sellers EVEN MORE!

To Philips point of what Paypal IS or is not: "As PayPal is neither a chartered financial institution nor licensed to make loans in any state, we must rely on a bank or licensed lender to offer the PayPal Credit products in the United States. Currently, when a consumer makes a purchase using a PayPal Credit product, a chartered financial institution extends credit to the consumer, funds the extension of credit at the point of sale, and advances funds to the merchant. We subsequently purchase and retain most of the consumer receivables related to the consumer loans made by the chartered financial institution and, as a result of the purchase, bear most of the risk of loss in the event of loan defaults. Although the chartered financial institution continues to own each of the customer accounts, we own most of the related consumer receivables, and we are also responsible for servicing functions related to the customer account."

Its good to know that worlds most favored payment option had little to no experience in this field (no wonder they suck) "PayPal’s ability to manage and account accurately for customer funds requires a high level of internal controls. In some of the markets that PayPal serves and currencies that PayPal offers, PayPal has a limited operating history and limited experience in managing these internal controls."

Interesting: "Dividend Policy - We have never paid cash dividends on our stock and do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the foreseeable future."



A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

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

Thu Aug 13 00:18:12 2015

@pace306, users can choose to pay using any of those methods; I have been paid in most of them. But sellers are not allowed to tell the users that they will take those forms of payment.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 13 00:25:06 2015

The switch was also turned off at etsy not just eBay. I believe Google is affecting many.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

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

Thu Aug 13 00:30:19 2015

@pace306, of all the reasons for slow sales that you list, I think the side deals are the killer. As buyers decrease, an ever greater percentage of views & sales must be going to the favored sellers.

Just to note, I myself have not noticed a major fall in sales this summer beyond the normal seasonal slowdown; but then, I sell mostly antiques, which I believe are much less affected by the side deals than most of the new consumer product categories.

Devin Wenig has hinted that he regards auctions of collectibles as an eBay core competency (which Donahoe certainly never did). For example, he is giving extra free listings in the collectible categories. So maybe he is trying to entice sellers of collectibles to return to the site. That would be consistent with the way he has thrown in the towel on Donahoe's pet 'let-s compete-with-Amazon' projects.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

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

Thu Aug 13 01:09:30 2015

In the last few months the eBay web site has really slowed down. Internet Explorer often freezes between the time the page is rendered and the ads are located. Sometimes it is not possible to scroll for five to ten seconds. No wonder that sales are dropping. I am surprised that any potential buyers put up with this.
I notice that the page causes Internet Explorer to freeze up and not scroll for seconds at a time. I believe it is due to slow loading ads. My concern is that potential buyers are being thwarted by slow and jerky response from the eBay site. I believe that poor site performance is a primary reason for slow sales reported by other sellers. I would rather have more buyers and slightly higher fees instead of slow performance blocked by irrelevant ads.

Some ''browser snobs'' may argue that buyers should use a different browser. However, potential buyers cannot be contacted or persuaded to use a ''different'' browser, if indeed that would help. To improve sales it will be necessary to improve site performance for all browsers. Meanwhile, my fixed price listings are now up on the Stanley Gibbons site. While the site is still a work in progress, the stamp listings are now in some sort of catalog order unlike eBay which is a mess.


A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: Eliot This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 13 01:40:24 2015

cfrphoto, I agree. I use Firefox and have the same problems. I also get a lot of "unresponsive script" errors, no doubt also caused by those same slow-loading ads. Ebay was trying to make money by placing ads on our pages, but I think all that did was cause the site to be so slow that people give up and move on.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

This user has validated their user name. by: gettingby

Thu Aug 13 01:49:04 2015

This makes no sense: "5) People like myself who still sell on eBay despite the abuse - REFUSE to buy on eBay."

Let me ask this. You want buyers for your listings, but refuse to BE a buyer for other sellers on the site on which you sell? Hmmmmm.....  

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Aug 13 01:57:04 2015

My sales have never been slower. I will from time to time, look to see if identical items are selling. I have a lot of company.

A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate   A Sales Slowdown Leads eBay Seller to Investigate

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 13 03:01:39 2015

My sales died in July and have turned to dust in August. In fact two weeks in a row, I made more at Bonanza than I did on Ebay. Albeit not all that much. I have around 500 items up sale at any one time and prices (No not 99 cents)that are for the most part under $10. I feel like I have entered the "Twilight Zone." I only go to Post Office twice a week now, but each time I go, there are no lines. The lobby at both the local and main Post Office are empty and so I know I am not the only one hurting. Either Ebay levels the playing field and gets more friendly toward sellers which are buyers, or they face the real possibility of bellying up in the US. Not in Asia, I am sure they are doing really well there even if China's money has lost value.  

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