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Wed Mar 16 2016 14:47:49

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics Seller

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Hope you're well. A bit of an odd question...I ask because you're plugged into so many in our world.

For the past week or so, our business has virtually slowed to a crawl. We have 300-400 branded consumer electronic products on our own website, eBay, Amazon, Newegg, Jet, Rakuten, Sears and Pricefalls. Everything virtually dead. 

Have been doing this since 2008 and have never experienced anything like this. Not sure if has something to do with all the Trump coverage or something else...

Am I alone? Have you heard anything from your other readers? 

Let me know and thanks.
B.

Note from the Editor: We asked B. if he advertised via Google AdWords, curious if the recent changes might have impacted his exposure in paid search. He said he does not.




Comments (24) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Mar 16 15:10:05 2016

I hate to say this and take no offense.

You sell on 8 sites, have you become a so so seller on many sites and a master of none?

How can you be on top of your game on that many sites?

I have very little extra time for my own website and ebay gets 97% of my time and my own website gets the other 3%.

I put my time where I get the most money, my own website could never pay the bills like ebay does. . .

And to answer your question, NO I don't see the slow down you do.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Mar 16 19:56:41 2016

@B. (OP) - I have also seen a slowing of sales. I sell exclusively on eCrater, and the last couple of weeks I've been averaging one sale a day, which is down from what I normally sell. I'm hoping that once everyone gets their tax refunds in the next few weeks that sales will increase.

And don't be disheartened by what Toolguy writes. In case you don't know, he sells used aircraft tools, which definitely does not have the same demand as electronics.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: RLS This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 16 20:43:17 2016

I too have seen sales slow. With multilisting software it is easy to see how someone could list on several places. I simultaneously list on ebay and my site.  

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: zenbreeze This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 00:19:05 2016

My sales have stopped dead but I know why.  Sweatshop theft hit me hard on Amazon.  They are stealing images of my paintings & making jewelry.  using FBA & running ads.  My sales have dropped to nothing within 2 months.  I miss being able to support myself :(.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

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

Thu Mar 17 00:39:08 2016

Yes,there is something going on in society. I'm not sure if it's just the primaries. But,sales are slow for me as well. I sell on Ebay & Ecrater and I normally get a steady stream of sales and they are trickling in at a snail's pace. It's one of those cyclical moments. Hope it passes before summer!  

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 01:29:54 2016

It really depends on what you sell but in general this time of year (Feb-March) is always slow. Summers over, paid for that family vacation, Christmas is over, paid for all those presents, people are out of money. You should be ramping up your inventory and tightening your screws on everything, run sales if you have too. Or evaluate your business and see where you can improve. Look at what the big retailers do at this time of year. BLOW OUT INVENTORY, and get the next seasons stuff in. So an example would be your used ___ is not going to sell for a higher price because the big retailers discounted the crap out of a brand new one. So people that do have money to spend are buying the new ones. Good news....Taxes are coming and people will have money again. But then summer comes and people go away. Then end of summer and school starts up so people spend again, and all through the holidays. Its a rollercoaster ride, strap in and put your hands in the air!!! :)

It is also election time and a lot of people sit on their money during this time. It doesn't help that the stock market started out as the worst start ever.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 01:44:39 2016

Sales?    Vat is this sales you speak of?  You must zink  you are very funny man to speak in something not ze English here.

Ve haf none of dese sales you speak of here in the Country Of  The Bay of E's.  None.  Nein.  Nicht.  

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Mar 17 02:46:04 2016

It is the time of year.  Many consumers are busy trying to get their taxes done.  Once they accomplish that task and know if they pay in or get a refund, things will start to improve again.  For me, I see this every year.  Some years are worse than others, but always a slow down until after about April 15th.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 05:22:26 2016

I agree with Toolguy.  How can anyone have the time and money to sell on 8 different sites?  How do you do that?

Overall retail has been down.  If you listen to the economic reports, retail is in the dumper, so that would effect online sales too.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: cosqueen This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 05:43:53 2016

March has always been my slowest month due to tax season, spring break and credit card debt due to all of the above plus Christmas. Things will pick up. Hang in there. All of us are going through much of the same.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

This user has validated their user name. by: Vintage Touch
Web Site

Thu Mar 17 06:18:23 2016

I saw a drop off in sales the minute the postage increased.  I'm not sure if that is the reason or if it is something else. Hope it starts picking up soon.  

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Mar 17 07:15:48 2016

OP, whatever you do don't take business advice from ToolGuy. You are smart to sell on multi-channels.  Only a fool would put all of his eggs in one basket.

Selling on multiple sites has saved us.  eBay's game of hide-and-seek with listings REQUIRES sellers to sell on multiple sites.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: Mog This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 07:16:24 2016

I sell on 16 sites, some my own, some auction sites. Using that many is easy as I spent a long time creating my own custom database to track everything. Stock varies so not every item is on every site. The database works for us. Once an item is sold, it's a couple of clicks to update everywhere, job done. (and before anyone asks, no the database is not for sale, hire, loan steal etc).  

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: justsaying This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 08:15:05 2016

From what I'm reading all over the internet, I think it's Google muddying up the waters.  I think they've got a big update to algorithm in the works, coupled with the ad changes, mobile site preference and work, and they've managed to completely screw up ecommerce industry!  Then, you can couple that with each individual site making changes for their "personalized" or "localized" search, and catering to mobile, and there's a perfect e-storm brewing.  Hold onto your hats, as they say!

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: whipnet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 10:54:19 2016

American demand drove the world economies for the most part.  New rising economies since WWII are leach economies and mostly dependent on U.S. consumption.

Shipping jobs out and allowing open borders for decades has finally broken the U.S. demand for products.  Fewer and fewer traditional American's have disposable income anymore, so no one is buying anything.

Our Masters broke the world.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 11:29:05 2016

OP, Toolguy is a ebay cheerleader.  

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Mar 17 11:39:25 2016

@ RL15

Yes, I would be considered a "ebay cheerleader".

I had a customer message me yesterday that he had his package sent to his daughters house and it got stolen off her porch. It was 2 items that cost $95, I had about $18 invested into those items. Customer asks if I can send another order and he would pay for it. Being I got the merchandise for peanuts I can afford to send the buyer another order at my loss. I'm doing this because I know how he feels.

I want my customers to be happy even at my expense. . .

My bet is this customer will be back for more tools (hopefully not free ones ~ LOL)

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Mar 17 11:54:24 2016

People saying that it's seasonal must've missed this:
"Have been doing this since 2008 and have never experienced anything like this."

Shipping certainly is part of it.  USPS dumped commercial base pricing for Click-N-Ship.  The discount used to cancel out eBay's fee on shipping.  The only reason I haven't added another pound is to deny eBay a raise.  Other sellers may not hold such a grudge.  And let's face it, shoppers can be  pretty stupid when it comes to shipping.  They'll pick the $110 plus "free" shipping item over the $100 item where shipping went from $6 to $7.

Selling on multiple sites is a smart move as long as you can keep up with it.  It surprises me how much stuff sells here and rots there.  My eCrater sales are buoyed by foot-draggers and would-be scalpers searching for sold-out collectibles.  Somebody selling less specific stuff may not be so fortunate.

Whipnet also has a point.  Stagnant wages for working people and rising prices for everything else does not translate into a broad base of disposable income.  I see it everywhere I go, especially live shows.  People spend nearly all of their money on tickets and then beg for massive discounts from vendors being robbed on rent themselves.  Something has to give.

I don't even shop beyond food anymore.  Stores just don't carry products.  Maybe they're like eBay, collecting rent or government handouts for empty shelves.  On the rare occasions that they do have something in stock, it's priced very high.  And it sits until it's clearanced or destroyed because nobody runs small sales.

The entire situation is ridiculous but nothing is ever going to change for the better because special interests don't want it to.

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 17 12:39:48 2016

Since 2000, I have noticed a fall off of sales due to the Presidential elections.  October, the month before the election has always been dead.

This year, thanks to the Donald, what he is saying, and all the free time on TV, even the Primaries are frightening the electorate killing sales.  Sales for my collectibles on eBay and Etsy are way down from last year.

And for the next two weeks, March Madness!   Might as well shut down the computer and watch the Donald, Bernie, John, Hillary, and (ugh!) Ted plus the games.  And once again, my alma mater is nowhere to be found....

Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics   Sales Slow to a Crawl for Multichannel Electronics

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Mar 17 13:06:19 2016

eBay has an abundance of rules they put into place and fail to enforce.

In addition to the OP's observation, other unenforced ( or selectively enforced ) polices regularly violated include:

* Text added to listing photographs

* Circumventing higher FVF fees by listing items in the wrong category

* Providing direct contact information in listings which allows buyers to contact sellers and make deals off eBay.

* Providing false merchandise location information to disguise the fact orders are filled from China

The list goes on but enforcement rarely takes place.  Generally speaking, if a seller generates high enough volume in sales, they can circumvent rules with impunity as eBay will not risk losing the seller over enforcement issues.

The question remains.... if eBay is not going to uniformly enforce policies why waste everyone's time and effort by creating them in the first place?

For eBay, I guess it is more about appearing to be able to control things as opposed to actually having control and applying the rules equally to all sellers regardless of volume.



One additional thought.... If a seller is adding text to their photos in violation of policy, and eBay is not enforcing that policy with that seller due to the volume of sales they generate, one might logically  conclude that adding that text to photos just might be helping attract buyers to that sellers items which makes eBay's rule yet another self defeating policy.

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