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Thu June 23 2016 20:16:38

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

By: Reader

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Hello Ina,
Since early May I have experienced a huge decrease in sales on eBay. My sales have dropped approximately 80%.

I expect sales to slow down for the summer months since more people are outside and not glued to their computers, but this is a frightening drop.

Conveniently, I also signed up for an eBay subscription in late March or early April so that I could list more items, and then my sales took a nose dive in May. Is this the result of poor marketing on eBay’s behalf or some kind of manipulation regarding how items are marketed and searched?  

At the present time I am losing money, and I cannot cancel my subscription without paying a $130 cancellation fee.
What should I do?
K.




Comments (37) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: Clothing Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 23 23:07:37 2016

It's sickening to know that your story is actually more successful than most sellers.  Consider this though, if you use terapeke you'll know that there are Chinese manufacturers selling an average of $250,000.00 a month by selling the very same thing you are selling.  

Yes.  Search results are very manipulated.  Search results default to best match which defaults to China.  It's set this way for both the mobile users as well as those surfing via desktop.  BUT also, if you consider our placements are also based on current sell through.  Since we have an extremely low sell through due to search manipulations, it further digs us into a hole.

It's going to get worse.  here's eBays new baby http://picclick.com/

I don't know about you but there are not enough jobs to go around in my community and moving to a new location where there may be more promise is out of the question due to the situation caused by ebay.  Many of us have done well with eBay as a sole income.  Unfortunately like you and most others I went from a sustained 10k/month to $600/month.  What am I doing to supplement my income at 50 years of age?  I've gone back to stripping.  Surprisingly doing quite well for my age, however, my age is a factor so I suppose suicide will be the next best option when it does.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jun 23 23:24:26 2016

@K (OP) - Part of your solution will be to diversify and get your products listed on as many marketplaces as possible. You don't indicate what you sell, but I would suggest you list on eCrater (where I sell; no fee for a store, no listing fees), and perhaps Etsy or Bonanza (where others who post here regularly have had success). Do an internet search for "online marketplaces" for other ideas for where to sell. It's no longer a good idea to "put all your eggs in one basket" with all of eBay's issues. You might also consider starting your own web site. But you can't rely on eBay when they admit to not showing all listings.  

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: cwpdist This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 01:05:07 2016

I had this happen to me a few years ago. It was when the new search engine rolled out. I started my own website. It took some time but it made up the difference. I mainly use eBay to drive sales to my web site. This past month (May) my eBay sales doubled. Then went back to normal (June). I have also noticed that eBay and Google are friends again. My Google adword account says certain key words are too low to use. But I noticed eBay is using those same adwords to show my product on their site. I asked my Google account manager about this and the answer was ''sorry I can't comment on others account''. The whole thing is manipulated. That is just the way things are now.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: printersmithcom2 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Jun 24 01:21:27 2016

We had a terrible time figuring this out.  We discovered a trick that would help anybody:  The first 200 Characters of your description are an extension of the Title.   We were searching for a competitive product and suddenly I see an Ad in the Top 5 of search results for a product which had 1000's of results.  I clicked on it and saw that he had my Keywords right in the front of his description in unformatted text, just raw ASCII letters, Times Roman font.  

So I immediately began to create Keyword sentences that look like this to put in front of all our ads we wanted to increase traffic on:  
36mm USA Made Professional Pro Military Industrial Grade Ducting Sealing Repair Seal Super Stick Sticky Cloth Reinforced Vinyl HVAC Wallet Weather Resistant Outdoor Pressure Sensitive Permanent Adhesive Adhesion Pipe Warning Marking Caution Safety Utility All Purpose Crafts

They used to look more like this:  
[50 characters of HTML code, font formatting, etc] Normal sentence [more HTML]

Our sales DOUBLED immediately and have sustained amazingly in these summer slump times!

In order to really see what your descriptions look like you will need a 3rd party listing editor like ''Wonder Lister'' which allows you to see both raw HTML and the formatted versions of your ads.  

I also Googled everything I could find about Cassini and we find that most ads are just dead for 30 days so we really drop the price until we get 6 sales and then start incrementally raising them $1 per week until we find the sweet spot.  Very much agree you MUST have the Catalog, correct UPC, Item Specifics, and every possible detail in place that supports any ebay ad.  You cannot cut a single corner these days and get any sales.  We use all these strategies to get a boost:

- New ads will get major traffic for the first 2-3 days, so we occasionally kill dead ads, make some changes and relist them
- Use variations where possible
- Fill out every possible Item Specifics and add new ones where appropriate
- Price really low until a few sales happen, then start raising it right away
- NEVER paste anything from the Web or any Microsoft Product into your Descriptions.  Paste into NotePad first to get rid of all the junk code blobs.  You want 100% clean HTML with very simple [Font] tags and minimal formatting.  GET RID of duplicate [Font] tag layers and make sure there are NO ''&_nbsp_;'' (without the underscores) in your code
- NEVER use Tables or any fancy flash listing tools.  Cassini likes text only, so eliminate all the fancy stuff
- Use as many Keywords as possible in your Ebay Store Categories!  Make sure you have the Store Layout appear in your Ebay Ads so all your Categories show

We also researched the heck out of Cassini and used the information recommended in these and other sites with dramatic $1000+ per day results:

https://powersellingmom.com/ebay-seo/complete-guide-ca
ssini-ebay-search-engine/

http://www.webretailer.com/lean-commerce/ebay-cassini-search-engine/#/

http://goodwillhaunting.blogspot.com/2014/05/ebays-cassini-search-engine-what-i.html

http://ebay.about.com/od/sellingeffectivel1/a/Make-Ebays-Cassini-Search-Work-For-You.htm

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jun 24 07:20:39 2016

Most small sellers have likely noticed the mission creep that eBay has been implementing over the last few years.  They've been pulling the band aid off of the wound very slowly, and throttling the lever down on your sales, slowly but surely.  

Think it is simply slow sales?  Nope, this has been their  plan for years. They could not do it all at once because the outcry (or noise as JD liked to call it) would have been too much.

Let's just hope the chickens come home to roost and it kills them.

Do a search for just about any item. What do you see?   NEW, NEW, NEW.  ENTERPRISE, ENTERPRISE, ENTERPRISE.

Make no mistake....they don't want small sellers despite what comes out of managements' mouths.  They do want your money however. They just don't want to give you anything for it.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 07:34:44 2016

Just consider yourself lucky you only signed up for the basic store with much lower fees because -- at least your exposure is limited. I just downgraded my store when Ebay offered free upgrades / downgrades when they raised subscription fees. Sales are down but before I was paying 30% just in subscription fees for my sales and now, even with lower sales, it's only 10% of sales.

My suggestion is to continue with the basic store. Be sure to get the "free" $25 in shipping products per quarter and be sure to take advantage of the full # of listings allowed.

It sounds like printersmithcom2 knows something I had never even thought about but that's something to check out.

Be sure to monitor your subscription and cancel the subscription at the end of the year term. You have to sell over $2000 a month in order to make it worthwhile to have a basic subscription. If you don't sell that much, do a monthly store next year and you can cancel at any time without penalty.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 07:46:22 2016

eCrater (where I sell; no fee for a store, no listing fees), and perhaps Etsy or Bonanza
^^
IMO very poor sites, no traffic.  Etsy is only for handmades and vintage.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 09:15:28 2016

Your sales are just now plummeting? Mine took a nose dive 3 years ago, after the launch of Cassini.  

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 09:39:03 2016

Unlike Clothing Seller - Im a 50 yo male - so no one is hiring me to strip ... LOL

*MY* answer is and always has been AMAZON.

The problem that Clothing Seller may have is getting approved for that category as it is HEAVILY gated.

Amazon is of course the online worlds largest maketplace, dwarfing eBay by alot (oh plz dont listen to TOOLFOOL since he will tell you lies about how big eBay is).

Even if you have to get into different categories (lol aircraft tools! j/k) to get into Amazon - its worth it.

I've gotten in product (small amounts) and put them on BOTH places at the same time and by the end of the day the ones in Amazon are gone, while the eBay ones MAYBE have a few watchers.

People go to Amazon to buy - they browse to buy. On eBay they just browse and IF they find something there that no one else has OR thats cheaper with "free shipping" then in their local store they then buy it - HUGE difference.

Not that Amazon is all peaches & creme - its not - but it has the traffic and the eyeballs - EVERYONE (any of the retail players you know of) is on Amazon in one form or another - making sales!

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

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

Fri Jun 24 09:39:48 2016

Back when the world was young and online sales had just begun in earnest, I was fairly easy to sell stuff and sell it well online, especially on ebay. Then came Meg Wittman who started the downfall of ebay followed by JD who got paid for lots of time to thank about how to make life miserable for the small noisy sellers. I left ebay long ago to go to ecrater where me sales were much better than they had been on ebay. Then google decided it wanted to boss sellers around for a chance to make money from them. So if you don't have all the info in your listings that google wants you to have, even if the item doesn't have the info like a UPC, and visiblity plummeted. At that point I stopped having all my eggs in one basket. So I sell on two sites. I know that at this point in my life I can't deal with one more thing, such as more sites. But use as many sites as possible and be sure that you are developing even more money making ideas in the meanwhile. One suggestion if you pick up new venues to sell on. You have to be patient and not make decisions about whether to stay or go until you have been there 6 months or more so that the search engines will more proactivily show your listings. The apparently like seeing some longevity of a website so it probably doesn't pay to list somewhere and then leave in a month because nothing sold. If you don't have to pay for the listing/s leave them up until sold elsewhere. But keep adding new inventory.

I do want to Printersmithcom's url links as well as their post again. to see what I can glean out of it.

Chicago48 said "IMO very poor sites, no traffic" about ecrater and some other sites. No ecrater doesn't get the traffic it once did and you need to promote your store there, but at this point I have had close to 4800 orders through there. 16 orders so far this month. But you have to dig in as I mentioned before and build up your store and promote it. When ecrater first opened most sellers didn't have to do anything but watch the money flow in. No longer, but I doubt any venue has that ability anymore. I promote a lot so that 9 out of those 16 orders have come from sources where I have promoted on, other than Yahoo and Bing but they still sent me buyers.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Jun 24 10:40:37 2016

@ pace306

"Unlike Clothing Seller - Im a 50 yo male - so no one is hiring me to strip ... LOL"

OMG! all this time I thought you were a 50 year old women!

I'm speechless. . .

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Jun 24 10:45:24 2016

@ moonwishes

16 items a month? That doesn't work!

In the last 31 days I've sold 108 items on eBay.

And I consider that to be slow!

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Jun 24 10:45:33 2016

Chicago48 writes: "IMO very poor sites, no traffic."

Have you actually tried selling on those marketplaces? Because my sales on eCrater are fantastic. I'm selling more there now than the last two years (2006, 2007) I was selling on eBay. And I sell mostly collectibles which is not a "need to have" category.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jun 24 13:57:23 2016

A big LIKE button for iheartjacksparrow's post. It is working well for us and you can't beat the fact that listing is free.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 14:27:29 2016

TOOL - while "clothing" maybe a women (so stated) I am not.

I have no idea why you would think I am one but it doesnt really matter.

In the end, all thats important to know is that eBay is STILL the worlds best thieving platform.

eBays bad behavior is not dependent on what gender, race, creed or color you are, eBay steals from everyone EQUALLY.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Jun 24 14:48:08 2016

@pace306

I guess I thought you were a female because you said you worked in retail most of your life as a buyer.

Most of those jobs are held be females.

If I had known maybe some of my posts would've been directed differently. . .

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 17:07:32 2016

Almost EVERY buyer in the industry (electronics) is MALE.

There are a few females, but they are few and far between.

The reason is because most buyers start off "in the mail room". They start out by fixing electronics, then selling them, then buying them and most women ATM dont approach jobs like that ... I guess that "back in the day" most women didnt take electronics courses in college or werent interested in it.

Of course a smart women is as good as a man any day - but in my industry its just not common.

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

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

Fri Jun 24 17:51:31 2016

The assumption must be that eBay is (still) manipulating search to funnel the atrophying number of buyers to their preferred merchants, ie, those large merchants and national brands, et al, that they hope will provide their golden parachutes. This policy is unlikely to ever be changed by the desperadoes in the eBay executive suite as eBay is still effectively going backwards when compared to ecommerce in general. So, if you are feeling the pinch, the message is clear, it’s time to make other arrangements …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

Donald Trump: The classic huckster; he has no impulse toward public service, only self-service.—John Avalon, “The Daily Beast” (paraphrased).

Change a few words and you have an accurate description of the people running eBay …

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

by: Overthere This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 19:07:21 2016

Chicago48:
I sell on Bonanza and average 10-15 sales a day.That is a whole lot more then I get on ebay in a day and a lot of times in a week.  

What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?   What Do You Do When Online Sales Take a Nosedive?

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Fri Jun 24 23:35:30 2016

As the seller here mentions, our sales of 12,000+ products took a dive of about 80% from the first week of May, we however, saw that 1 very big seller triple its sales and feedback since the beginning of May, meaning, eBay is giving ONE SELLER, more than half of the sales of about 80 average medium sellers, I'm talking a few thousand sales per week. Now, I also saw a lot of listings from India now, so it was China and now India. No hope for USA Sellers.

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