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Fri Feb 17 2017 11:40:32

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6 Weeks

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have been selling on eBay for the past 7 years. I, like many long-term sellers, know the ebbs and flows, the rhythms of eBay. 

The winter months are typically *THE* best months for most sellers. So why have I, and many, had all-time low sales for the past 6 weeks??

I am down by approx $10,000 in sales if you compare my data from this same time frame (1/1-2/17) last year, and the year before, etc, etc. It goes without saying this is EXTREMELY frustrating and disappointing.

I have consulted eBay. In January the customer service rep I spoke to said "nothing is wrong".

I called again in the end of January when it was going on 4 weeks of a problem and they finally admitted that the website was having issues. I know I couldn't get on the website until just very recently.

My sales are still extremely down/slow and my customers are not getting reply messages I send to them. 

Adding, in January I had a staggering number of customers not pay. One week I had 9 customers simply not pay. That is unheard of for me - and seemed beyond coincidental. If you look at Downdetector.com, others are clearly having problems as well.

SOMETHING has changed at eBay and it is incredibly unfair to sellers to not be given some communication on what is going on and what to expect, and maybe even some credit or discounts toward future selling fees.

I have enjoyed my eBay business, but this has been so disappointing. Thank God I have a day job and this is just a side gig, but I am no less disappointed. I feel for people who this might be their only source of income.

So I write asking you, what are your thoughts on this? Have you and other experienced this downturn? And above all, what actions can we take about this? SOMETHING is wrong.

Thanks for your thoughts,
MN




Comments (50) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

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

Fri Feb 17 15:05:36 2017

Ebay also has sales volume quotes. Years ago, we had well over $100K in annual sales. Now for the past 3 years, we average $80 a day, every day! We always ship 5 to 10 packages for about $80 even thought we have over 1300 listed.. We finished the last 3 years at right at $30K in sales.. There is NO way that should be the case other than total manipulation by ebay with sales quotas...

And it doesn't benefit to advertise, as if we advertise on facebook and drive higher sales, say a $300 or $400 in a day, ebay goes dry for 2 or more days and we have ZERO sales..

Ebay VERY CLEARLY manipulates the sales for most sellers and its why SO SO many people are in an uproar! I don't understand why this company will not allow the free market to steer and drive it and WHY does it need to pick the winners and losers... What they are doing is driving people to other marketplaces, as you would think that would be the last thing a company would want to do...

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 17 20:27:12 2017

I used to sell $150,000 on a bad year in Ebay.  Sales got so pathetic in the last 5 years that we left them.  No explanation from them.  I figured that they stopped paying Google and many items became invisible to buyers but now I think it's more insidious than that now.  I think they pick and choose sellers for inventory visibility and most are not chosen.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Feb 18 08:29:43 2017

I notice alot of times that I will search something and only see less than 10 results across the entire country.

Anyway, I wish I knew what it was like to make real sales on eBay.  The bext year I had was ~$3500 in 2014.  Then it halved the following year.  It was up a little for 2016 but still not even 2/3 of 2014.

My monthly average in 2016 was ~$197, down from ~$296.  Strangely enough, the average sale price doubled from ~$32 to ~$57.  This happened as the number of sales dropped from 109 to 41.

Think about this.  I maintained 66% of the revenue on 38% of the sales.  If prices hadn't risen, the downward trajectory would've continued through 2015 into 2016.

However, I just can't put all of the blame on eBay.  Toy collectors have become extremely poor.  Go to any forum and news threads will be filled with people saying "That's the most awesome think I've ever seen.  I'll get it for half off at Ross."

Knockoffs of current products are rampant and have broad support.  "China version" Figuarts/Figma, "Takasa Tony" TransFormers, even Mattel stuff is knocked off and sells even though everyone swears up and down how much they hate Mattel products.  Yes, eBay and Amazon are accomplices (reporting KOs does no good) but collectors provide a market for it.

You know, I don't even have a problem with out-of-print stuff being knocked off.  If the company wanted the money badly enough, they'd do a rerun.  But current stuff being knocked off is ridiculous.  And it's stupidly difficult to sell the real stuff when the knockoff is cheaper than wholesale.

Meanwhile, Hasbro in particular is just shutting out small retailers.  They don't even solicit us until weeks after product has started showing up at WalMart.  Those orders then take weeks or months to arrive _if_ they arrive at all.

It's useless to advertise or run promotions.  It's just useless to do anything at all in this market.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

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

Sat Feb 18 08:44:21 2017

''I am down by approx $10,000 in sales if you compare my data from this same time frame (1/1-2/17)''

And you say that you still have a day job? Then don't worry about it. NOTHING has changed at ebay.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Feb 18 08:54:37 2017

Back when I just collected, Diamond was by far the worst.  Now most manufactures are engaged in battle to one-up them and each other.

DCC (DC Comics) just lies up and down about release dates.  If they say November at Toy Fair in February, you have to ask what year.  They also like to quietly remove features and jack up prices.

Medicom, Mezco, Playmates, no idea what a release date is because they've never made one.  Playmates is especially devious.  They don't produce enough to fill orders, lead you on for months that your order will still be filled, promise delivery at X date, and cancel a month or so after X passes.

Seriously, the only people I haven't had trouble with (yet) have been Takara, Bandai, and Mattel (if you can believe it).

You can't offer preorders when your suppliers act like this.  eBay won't let non-Chinese sellers do more than 30 days out.  If your fickle customers decide they don't want to wait anymore (it's very common for people to place orders at 5 different stores and cancel 4 of them when 1 comes in stock), you're out the fees.  That's best case...they could leave bad feedback.  And when you're averaging less than 100 sales per year, even 1 kills your rating (my rating's in the toilet because one such nutcase that eBay won't remove).

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 18 11:36:48 2017

Here's my figures for the same period as the OP compared going back 6 years:

1/1/17 - 2/17/17  6,952.66
1/1/16 - 2/17/16  9,795.28
1/1/15 - 2/17/15 10,486.93
1/1/14 - 2/17/14 11,978.88
1/1/13 - 2/17/13 10,422.53
1/1/12 - 2/17/12  9,993.42

I think these numbers tell the story of eBay for the last several years. Obviously this is not sustainable and the reason that I am now looking for a day job.    

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 18 11:45:51 2017

I would like to add, yes something MUST be happening at eBay. I don't need to get on the phone with them to find out. All I need to do is read the comments of other sellers, review my numbers, study the traffic patterns, consider the wild swings of sales from one day to the next, recall the constant glitches, read the notes from buyers who can't complete their purchases, the list goes on. Ebay doesn't feel the impact because there are so many sellers that they will get their piece from someone. I do think things will reach a critical mass when so many sellers will either leave all together or move their merchandise to other platforms. That will be an extremely difficult trend for eBay to reverse. Given the lack of merchandise available on many searches that I perform, it appears this is already happening.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 18 19:07:47 2017

You are throttled.   Our sales were 40K a month and we now do 10K.   There are no rolling blackouts, but your sales are limited to either a .5% Daily STR or a 1% Daily STR.  If you go above one day you will be dropped back down until you get back to the daily number you are at.   I have run this equation on over 400 sellers with the same result.  The problem, no one news outlet or eBay will cover it or admit.  

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 18 20:20:19 2017

When I called, eBay told me "yes sales views are throttled and rotated".

We cant always have "YOU" being in the number spot, so we rotate others in - even if they have a worse price and a worse account then you.

... I believe em !

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 19 01:19:47 2017

Amazing they would admit it.  They normally say' "We would never do that.  It's bad for us.  We make money when you make money."  Blah blah blah.  Unfortunately so many people believe that load of crap.  

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 19 01:21:15 2017


"We cant always have "YOU" being in the number spot, so we rotate others in - even if they have a worse price and a worse account then you."

That is also why none of the best match best practices they preach yield consistent results in best match.  Look at best match searches there is nothing consistent about the results - ever.  

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: Cargo11 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 19 01:22:27 2017

"One week I had 9 customers simply not pay. That is unheard of for me -"
They must have been out of the same 5 customers in a row on 1 week that never paid for me.

What really ticks me off is when Ebay creates money making from nothing - for example when a customer wants to CANCEL and ebay sends you an email - AFTER of course theyhave paid you to Return their money - well - okay - WHAT PAYPAL "KEEPS" that .30 for a refund that Ebay requested on behalf of their customer??  Hmmm - If this happened to say 1000 sellers a day that .30 adds up to $300 pretty fast - for doing nothing BUT introducing to the custoemr that JUST BOUGHT your item- Similar items - i.e. the SAME ITEM THEY JUST BOUGHT for LESS - so they Want to Cancel YOURS so they can buy the CHEAPER ONE.  Case and Point - this week I had a cancellation - 5 MINUTES - they bought something - paid for it and 5 minutes later the request came in from Ebay the customer wanted to cancel - if they wanted to cancel - WHY DID THEY SEND A PAYMENT FAST?  Oh - they received an email from Ebay showing them the CHEAPER 4 selections they missed that they can still purchase???  Sure - buy a new listing and CANCEL that one you just paid for - PAYPAL will make a "little extra" on the middle man transaction and everyone will win except the original seller - What goes around comes around - one day Ebay - things will change slowly, but fast and then the corporate will wonder why - the Sellers already know!

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Feb 19 13:28:21 2017

@cargo11

Ebay doesn't send an email.  The customer can formally Request a cancellation within 1 hour of their purchase.  If it is outside of that time frame, then they still send you a regular email asking if you would cancel it for whatever reason they may have. But Ebay doesn't get involved at this point.

PP is now a separate company, so that 30 cents has nothing to do with Ebay.  And Ebay did NOT Request a cancellation, that comes from the buyer, but not Ebay.

PP did their job.  Their job is to process the payment.  They did that.  They are a for profit company and there is nothing wrong with that.  We are all trying to make a profit.  It is normal business.  PP did do what they were hired to do, process the payment.

PP doesn't make a ''little extra''.  They provided a service and they should be compensated for that.  It is no different than a seller charging a RESTOCKING fee.

Oh boy do I agree about these counter productive emails Ebay sends out with similar items.  Sometimes as you say, it just knocks the feet right out from under the seller.  

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 19 18:34:29 2017

FWIW, I had a few customer tell me they were being blocked from paying, one even sent me a screen shot of the page as they badly needed the item they bought. At this point it's a game, strongly suggest only listing stuff that is hard to sell locally.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 19 21:26:38 2017

LMAO "paypal is now a separate company" .... in name only my dear :)

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: thriftyattireandstuff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 20 00:19:00 2017

Not one person here has mentioned delays in tax returns for some Americans this year. Knowing that they won't be getting the tax return at the usual time may have some pinching pennies.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: Jim Y This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Feb 20 00:33:54 2017

eBay is getting even more competition.  You may have seen ads on t.v. from a oouple of different companies like Let-go for example.  These companies are taking advantage of eBay's ineptitude.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: Lightning This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 20 00:49:50 2017

@cargo11

Like Marie said, Paypal did its job and got paid. Then on the refund, they did their job AGAIN, gave BACK their original commission from the purchase, DID NOT get paid on the refund, except they kept a whopping 60 cents.  They easily could have justified keeping ALL the money - 2 commissions and 2 transaction fees.  A Paypal refund is the biggest bargain on the internet.  You don't even know when you are well off.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

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

Mon Feb 20 01:00:27 2017

We sell like new name brand clothing.  When we first got our eBay store, sales were pretty brisk.  After that first month sales dropped way off.  2 months of this so we closed the eBay store.

The month of the closed store, sales picked back up along with the emails to re-open our store.  So we did.

Once again, first month was good, all following months are back to the usual 2-3 items per week.  So, we are working on our own site and actively marketing it.

Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6   Seller Reports eBay Sales Down $10,000 for Past 6

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 20 01:17:56 2017

I  looked  at LetGo  and  found it--incomprehensible! Now=this was a few  months  ago  so  maybe  they have  improved but at  that time  there  was no way to BUY  that I could see--and  seemingly  no way to PAY!  It  seemed--if  I  remember  right--that it  was  more  for  local  sales.  which  are not  that  easy  out  here  in Cow  Town.  

Not  worth  my  time  to  endlessly  meet  n  greet  people  shopping  for  cheap  ski  stuff  etc.  I  already  get  dissed  when ever I mention  that I  buy and re-sell  clothing  on  some  blogs I  visit;  apparently  "we" are now the "Enemy"  blocking  ANY ONE from  coming TO Cow Town  and  scouring  the thrift  stores  for  these  things!  As  if we  set  out  to ROB  these  people  of  thrifted  stuff  they  feel  entitled  to!  

And my  sales are C. R. A. P.    Some  of  my  accounts have not  had a sale  in MONTHS;  the others  are  slooooooow.  And  this is  all similar  sort of  stuff  between  accounts.    

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