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Mon Jan 25 2016 10:00:42

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I'm beside myself with frustration with eBay. I know it has all been said before, but I'm going to say it again. As a premium store level, top rated seller, power seller, blah blah blah, this is what gets my goat. 

I have over 1,000 items in my store (actually have two stores with over 1,000 items each). In one of my stores, eBay says in my Selling Manager Pro that I can list almost 12,000 more items, totaling over $111,000 dollars. What I'd really like eBay to do is focus on helping get the 1,000+ items that I've already listed in my store to be seen, and in turn sold.         

I'm not new at this, I know my stuff sells. And, yes I know about the hidden listings, the rolling blackouts, etc. I know about all the excuses why sales might be slow, eBay is having issues, etc. I'm am so tired of hearing and making up excuses, I want solutions. 

Just think how much eBay could put in their pocket for listing fees if I really could find a way to list 12,000 items, totaling over $111,000 dollars. And, today's "list 1,000 free listings over the next 5 days promo" is a joke as well. 

Just fix the system so I can sell what is already listed! My sales were less than $50 this week! What the heck is going on? We all know that eBay cares more about padding their pockets, than helping small sellers. 

Not to mention, that the "real" search engines don't like eBay listings that end and restart because links break. Amazon knows the ropes. You list the item and it stays put until it sells or until a seller chooses to end it enabling the listing link to actually have a chance to reach Google, Yahoo, etc. 

And to those who may not be aware, if you "sell-similar" to refresh your eBay listing, tweak the title, etc., then the item # changes - resulting in broken links. 

So much for the time you spent sharing your listing on social media, pinning to Pinterest, or time spent adding your items to eBay collections. If that item # changes because you feel you must refresh your listing to meet Cassini requirements, the link breaks and anyone that clicks on your original (photo/text) postings of your items as stated, is re-directed to other sellers selling similar items. So, now you end up directing traffic to your competitors. 

And, forget getting your items into Google, Yahoo and other search engines when links are constantly broken. 

Yes, I've started my own independent web site, I know to list daily, I know to diversify. But seriously, January eBay sales have been the absolute worse sales in four years. What the heck are they doing? 

Are other small sellers feeling the same pain and do they find their free listings and selling limits a joke? Do other sellers, like me, just wish that eBay would focus on getting the stuff they've already listed visible and SOLD? What is the pulse of sellers this January 2016 compared to past years?

Thanks again for all you do,
W.S.




Comments (46) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

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

Mon Jan 25 10:32:43 2016

Could not have said it better.  My story is identical. About to pull the plug on ebay before I find myself locked inside a dark closed store.  

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 10:33:22 2016

Agree 100%

The problem is that ebay does not care, and would rather make easy money on the ads placed on the site and listings.

 

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: Ephemera Dealer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 10:44:43 2016

I'm in the same boat too. Been on eBay since 1998. Sales for the past several years have been dismal.

I am slowly working my way out of eBay. I've switched my store to month to month payment rather than an annual one, so when I pull the plug I won't get dinged.

No sales in the last six days. Time was I was making 25k a year selling on eBay part time. Now, even though I sell online full time, if I make 2K a year on eBay it's amazing.

Just a waste of time for me at this point. Which is sad, because I loved selling on eBay, I did.

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 11:10:44 2016

The real problem is that you are a small seller. Ebay doesn't want you nor do they care what you think.

If your not a diamond seller you are just noise that will soon drift off into nothing. Guaranteed.

Ebays total existence is for the stockholders to make money without regard to who gets in the way.

Best if you think you are being picked on that you move on to other sites.

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: justsaying This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 12:38:59 2016

Yes, I agree.  My sales go down further each month, and it ''feels'' dead on eBay.  I am contemplating ending my ties with eBay, too, (I've been there since 2003) until ''SOMEBODY'' starts listening to the sellers.  There is complete and utter disconnect throughout the eBay technical system, where the one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing (nor I think, do they care), and the system is truly in a breakdown mode, spiraling downward to a heavy crash.  
Why aren't I gone yet?  It's just sooooo hard to say good-bye to something that I used to love so much, and that used to provide such prosperity!

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jan 25 13:01:28 2016

Talk about eating your seed corn.  Does eBay have any clue where many of its diamond sellers came from?  They started small, just like their hated "noise."

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 14:19:17 2016

I can feel your pain. I too am downsizing my Ebay offerings and moving on. Sadly, I am taking my buying elsewhere with it. I used to spend over 50% of my sales on Ebay. Now if I need something Amazon is the first place I go.  

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jan 25 15:17:21 2016

Yes, post after post on ecommercebytes state the obvious.

eBay refuses to listen.

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 20:07:50 2016

ebay no longer cares. Devin Wenig said 80% of listings are for new items and that's just fine by him.

Like the other folks I've spreadout to other venues and am working on a standalone site. enough already (registered in 1997 - hoping to deregister in 2017)

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 20:16:20 2016

Great summary of the sorry state of eBay.

I could have written this exact same letter. Every word of it rings true to my experience.

Ebay is an absolute mess and things are NOT getting better under Wenig. He has been in charge more than a year now and things just continue to go downhill at eBay.

I see absolutely no reason for optimism about the site until there is a deep house cleaning of all senior management. The current cabal clearly does not have solutions to offer.

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

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

Mon Jan 25 22:11:45 2016

My business with Ebay went down the toilet in March 2006 and never recovered.

http://whyebaysux.blogspot.com/

For what it is worth; Meg was a sociopathic old biatch. Her replacements are no better or worse. They have found the formula for milking Ebay and PayPal dry and could care less about anyone who does business there. F'em.  

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 25 22:59:28 2016

There isnt an account I know that has anything nice to say about doing business on eBay.

Not because of the theft-tacular behaviors, not because the platform is 100 to 1 biased against sellers, or because the people at eBay are a bunch of greedy b@stards. THOSE statements are just fact (and if you are an eBay employee etc and you are reading this - and you're a REAL man - come sue me for slander, PLEASE).

Its purely the abysmal state of affairs when doing business on eBay. Listings, returns, sell through - ALL of it - is in the cr@apper, and getting worse.

You log onto eBay and you FEEL it. You FEEL the oppression, you FEEL that you are being taken advantage of, and you know you've done nothing but your hardest to do the right thing.

Say what you want about Amazon - and they have ALOT of their own issues - but bottom line - you get the buy box and business MOVES. With eBay - due to the myriad of crooked rules - you can NEVER get ahead, never.

You never get to be on top. You list items and they just sit. You make great listings, you devote time to great pics, you list all eBays stupid details - and NOTHING happens.

Business for myself and the 6 HUGE (but not platinum) sellers (people who were doing 10k+ a day on eBay "back in the day") are drowning.

For 3 of them - they just let it all go. What ever happens, happens - they devote their time to Walmart and Jet. If a sale happens on eBay then wonderful, if not not. Its become an 11main.

Free listings are of course the culprit - for a few reasons.

1) its illegal to charge people for a service and then not provide it - the way to get around hiding your listings is to make them FREE. When you get FREE listings you "cant complain" that they arent being shown, and theres no "expectation" (in legalese) that they should be shown.

2) People who get 5000 free listings, are listing garbage. Who has that much time to detail every one of those listings? Garbage in, garbage out. The days of having 20 big accounts who are using a feed to list 10K items are LONG over

3) Free listings attract new blood - which is what eBay lives on. eBay burns out its sellers (churn rate) at such a high speed that they MUST always have a constant flow of new people to steal from. So you give out free listings like candy on Halloween and your listing amounts grow .... but its all garbage.

4) Its the crowded resturant theory. If you drive past an empty palce - you say "if this place was any good - it would be full of people. Its empty to its stinks, lets go somewhere else" and you do. eBay fills it with stuff - even with the Chinese stuff - just to look full.

The GOOD sellers (people with amazing diverse items) have LONG ago left. I buy toys (personal collection) - I can tell you how little there really is left on eBay.

eBay has no forward plan of action, just more of the same. Squeeze whom ever is left for every penny, then discard them - as theres ALWAYS a sucker who believes eBays own spin about being the NEXT EBAY MILLIONAIRE.

Its a shame that a once vibrant platform has turned into a Chinese dollar store, but hey - the top brass need their golden parachutes and GRIFF needs his big house, fancy car and vacations ... some seller advocate HE is ....

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 26 06:14:35 2016

I was searching eBay for things to buy last night, as I do every night. I don't buy much on eBay anymore but I still spend too much time searching. I became extremely frustrated as I was searching through one category looking for items that were made from about 1840 to 1860. These are unique items (literally). So many of the listings were items that have been relisted every week for the past year or two. The sellers never lower their prices, they just keep hitting the (free) listing button every week (relisting). It got to the point where I just couldn't stand it anymore and I started just skimming the pages instead of looking more carefully. I probably missed a couple of ''first time listed'' items but it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. You ask where all of the buyers are? Most serious buyers of antiques and vintage collectibles cannot stand to search eBay anymore because of the proliferation of overpriced or uninteresting items that nobody will buy and just get relisted over and over and over, because of the free listings. New merchandise is another story. If you are looking for new merchandise you don't care if it is fresh to the market or if it has been relisted 100 times. If you are a collector of rare and important items you want to see exciting things that you have not seen before. Because there are so many relists and so few new exciting items, only the most stubborn collectors will search eBay anymore for antiques or vintage collectibles. There is an easy fix for this problem. If eBay allowed us to filter out relisted items from our searches for antiques and vintage collectibles, or segregate the relists to the bottom of the page of search results, you would see a lot more of the wealthy buyers coming back to eBay. The way it stands now, eBay is ruined for buyers and sellers, and the free listings are to blame, at least for the antiques and vintage collectibles categories. Get rid of the free listings, or give us buyers a way to segregate them from the ''first time listed'' items. Why do you think antiquarian bookshops have a ''new arrivals'' shelf? Because buyers want to see fresh items for sale, not the same stale stock that has been on the shelves for the last few years!

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jan 26 08:06:19 2016

alaska, I mean no disrespect, but you are not the only buyer on eBay.  Perhaps someone who has never seen the item that you call stale may want it.

If eBay didn't hide listings with rolling blackouts and push sellers' listings down to the last pages of search, those items would sell and not have to be relisted.

A level playing field with eBay's Cassini not favoring the enterprise sellers would likely eliminate this problem.  When search actually worked, and sellers' items could be seen, they did not become stagnant.

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 26 08:12:56 2016

"Perhaps someone who has never seen the item that you call stale may want it." Of course, after two years of relisting the item EVERY WEEK it finally sells. In the meantime the serious buyers have left eBay because it is no fun anymore.

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jan 26 10:58:20 2016

@alaska - I know you've had this complaint before, and as I've stated previously, just because you are seeing a widget relisted and relisted, doesn't mean that someone in another area of the country has ever seen that widget. I'm guessing there are buyers looking for every interesting or unique item on eBay, but they can't see them because of rolling blackouts (or worse). I am a perfect example: I sold probably 95% of the collectibles I listed until the beginning of 2007, when my sales started tanking (and the sales I did get were clustered in one area).

However, when an item didn't sell, I'd always wait three months to relist because I wanted a new crop of buyers, who might be looking for that item, to see it and not the "old" buyers who didn't want it.

One last thought: Do you search by Newly Listed?  

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: queenfloraday This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 26 11:38:32 2016

Free listings gives more pages to sell & display ads. Wonder if the ad buyers know that many of those pages are not being shown?

















eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 26 11:53:35 2016

Yes, SO many sellers could write this EXACT same letter.

INA, you ought to title this 'Christmas in July' as ebay sales during the holiday selling period were atrocious! Our sales in Nov and Dec have always been from $12-20K per month (and growing until 2012), and in Nov 2015, $2,100 and Dec 2015 $2,200, worse that our very first year on ebay in 2004... Annual sales have declined by 40% (just about exactly, each of the last 3 years), and 2015 is off to a horrible start....

And like most sellers here, we are top rated with a stellar account, good items, fair pricing, good pictures/titles, outstanding customer service, 0% defects, ship sale/next day, free shipping, yadayadayadayadayada!!

It really doesn't matter as the OP has hit the nail on the head. Ebay has no strategy to help store sellers to SELL!

Dead listings, no search engine visibility, can'tseeme search, stealing any traffic we send to our store with their prominent ebay search box at the top, stealing from our traffic with ads in our listings, sending emails to our customers telling them about our competitors, no visibilty to our traffic reporting and analytics, etc.. When I search for my items in Google, I find old auction listings from months ago, and not my current active GTC items. And when you click on these old auctions, as the OP says, it directs you to a page of similar items from your competitors.. And same from social media or Pinterest, if you share a link this can happen.

Its obvious that ebay has hard and fast GMV SALES Limits on sellers. I have consistently sold between 1,500 and 2,500 per month this year regardless of what I do to advertise, etc.. Over 60 days without a sale in 2015 and we have over 1400 items. And we consistently seem to sell 6-8 items a day. And heaven forbid one of our higher priced ($100 and up) items sell, as they you will go into a long drought as you obvious hit the GMV sales limit. Oh, and how many people go all day without a sale and then POP-POP-POP, 3-4 pop in within 10 minutes.. That my friends is the rolling blackout giving you a few minutes of visibilty throughout the day..

Sad sad sad state of affairs on ebay and sellers all around the U.S. know that this is happening. Meanwhile, horrible Chinese sellers with 98% feedback and 1000s of negative (and dissatisfied buyers) sell 10,000+ items a month!

Ina, it would serve you well to do a BIG story on this and challenge the CEO to address and act. We are all just small/medium sellers and its hard for our individual voices to be heard, but you are the one that can bring this issue to the forefront! Thank you!

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Jan 26 11:56:04 2016

@Alaska
I have some saved searches that return many of the same items over a long period of time.  Its not that they're overpriced or uninteresting.  It's that with me selling so little, I can barely keep up with incoming inventory (ordered before my decision to wind down), let alone personal purchases.

eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings   eBay Seller Needs More Sales Not More Listings

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 26 12:51:49 2016

And Ina, the typical ebay response has been that the number of listings has increased dramatically so that is why sellers sales are down. That is a out and out lie and we ALL know it!

I have statistics I collected from 2008-2012. My main category I sold in had over 330,000 total listings back then, and 90K auctions active. Today, that same category has 55,000 BIN listings and a measly 900-1500 auctions at any given time.

Ebay has all but destroyed the marketplace, with its Cassini search when it puts you in a dark empty corner of the shopping mall where NO one dares to go), the unethical Chinese influx direct retailing to America, running off their very BEST sellers, not advertising, not working with business partners like Google, constant glitches and bad decisions, etc etc etc...

So many people were successful and ebay pulled the perverbial 'rug right out from under us'! The problem is, they went with it and I doubt that they will ever recover. The only way would be to go back to the time ending search, quit hand picking the winners and losers, and give everyone a fair and level playing field.

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