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Mon Sept 18 2017 20:37:17

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I'd like to propose what I think might be an interesting exercise. In the new Seller Hub you can select the "Performance" tab. In the "Sales" section" you are shown how your present sales compare to your sales from one year ago. They will either have gone up or down and that stat is shown as a percentage.

I'm proposing that eBay sellers post their percentage increase or decrease here in order to get an admittedly unscientific overview of how eBay is serving its sellers. 

I'll begin by reporting that my sales show a 7.9% decline from the same time last year.
L.




Comments (28) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 18 20:45:26 2017

My numbers are 90.1% higher than a year ago, but, that is because this year I made a serious effort to beef up my ebay store while cutting back my listings on Chinazon. I subscribed to an anchor store, increased listings 10 fold, and I am glad to not be so dependent on Amazon.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: longtimepowerseller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 18 20:59:31 2017

-23.1%
Same listings, selling the same items I've sold since 2001.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 18 21:28:17 2017

Naw I don't think so. I know the year-over-year comparisons are big things to a lot of people, but, they mean little without all the supporting detail of inventory levels, product mix, and a myriad of other data.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: tkg This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 18 22:39:43 2017

-40.2  ...feels about right.  Ebay sales have been tanking for a long time.  Items end now with barely any views.  Ebay should have focused more on being unique instead of trying to be Amazon.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 06:53:53 2017

We don't care about growth rate. How can one grow a business on a sinking ship. As long as we have more money in the bank than we did yesterday we consider ourselves growing.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Sep 19 07:01:33 2017

I actually called eBay recently to enquire about my "invisible selling limits".  I mentioned the patterns that I see--a week or a week and a half of incredible sales, then crickets for the remainder of the month.  It happens every month.  I told the CSR that this pattern has been going on very a very long time so it can't be coincidence.  He sent me up the CSR chain, and the last person I spoke to told me that they would be investigating this.  That was over 15 days ago.  He promised me that I would hear back.

Do you think I have heard back?  No, crickets.

Meanwhile, sales on other sites grow and the harder I work the more sales I see.  Just the opposite of eBay.   eBay can take their seller hub and shove it.   Was sellerhub devised for the sole reason of making sellers think that they are in control of growing their business?   I think what it does is shines a light on how bad things are for most sellers on eBay.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Sep 19 07:42:24 2017

Well...I've only got about five years of data but:

In 2012, I averaged $48 per month on eBay, limited to 10 items of $500.  Off-eBay average was $310.  (eBay was 13% of my business)
2013 eBay  grew by 20%.  Off eBay fell 29%.  This was the first full year balancing out?  (eBay was 21% of my business)
2014 eBay  exploded by 356%.  Off eBay fell 14%.  I thought I had something going though.  (eBay was 62% of my business)

Then came the dark times.

2015 eBay fell by 44%.  Off eBay rose 35%.  eBay was 39% of my business, enough for overall sales to decline only 11%.
2016 eBay  rose by 17%.  Off eBay fell 51%.  eBay was 61% of my business, though, so overall sales fell another 26%.

Ebay 2017, is up 72% so far.  It's up 13% from 2014.
Off eBay 2017 is up 59% so far.  It's up 4% from 2014.
2017 overall...is up 72%.  eBay is 61% of my business so I don't know how that works out.

If trends continue, this year I will finally recover from the 2015 crash.  That's a big if though.  I have one good show (that sucked last year), one small show, and no particularly hot item.  In 2014, I had an additional big show and a hot item.  So it'll be a close call I think.

Seller Hub, this month vs last month, claims I'm down 25% vs down 3% for the market.
Seller Hub, this month vs last year, claims I'm up 100% vs up 10% for the market.

Generally, its numbers are off because eBay falsely counts full price plus shipping whereas I count only after non-item costs (shipping, fees, taxes, etc) are deducted.  According to my records, I sold absolutely nothing on eBay during this period last year.  So _anything_ would've been displayed as a 100% increase.

An interesting point to note, which I won't go into much detail on at the moment, is the _number_ of items sold.  eBay peaked at 9 per month in 2014 and appears to have stabilized at about half that.  Off eBay peaked at 17 in 2012 and has fallen to around the same level as eBay.

What this illustrates is that I sell enough at a few of days of shows to compete with 365 at eBay.  This year, for example, in 243 days so far, eBay sold 40 items.  In 3 days of shows, I sold 24.  At the end of the year, I will have 6 days of shows versus 365 days of eBay.  eBay will still probably come out ahead but it's tempting to schedule another week or two of shows and not have to deal with this all year.  If it weren't for the sheer greed of many show organizers...

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 08:36:41 2017

I don't use their hub and just tried it to see. They want me to take a 'tour' but won't do that until I upgrade my browser but give me no way to close either popup. Gee, thanks, ebay.

Their stats are totally useless for a small seller.

''We chose these categories because you've had the most listings here in the last month''

Up 361.5% from a year ago.

Big deal. Anything would be a 100% or more improvement as I didn't list in the 2 categories they chose to use this year. DUH

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Sep 19 08:37:48 2017

Another trend that I noticed.  Credit card charges fell off a cliff in 2015-2016 and are finally starting to recover.  Cash only crashed in 2016 but has picked up this year as well.

Honestly, as far as growth rate goes, I never really considered it in isolation.  When I started, I was looking to fund a a small manufacturing project.  All I wanted was to make money faster than if I just waited for paychecks.  As that goal drifted away thanks to falling sales, the focus turned more to increasing sellthrough enough to run out the clock.  You can't stay in business for very long selling 20% of what you buy, unless it "fell off a truck."

There was just no way that I saw to really grow sales on eBay.

I had a store subscription for a little over a year and all that did was cost me $20 per month.  My sales spiked in December 2014 because I was charging a reasonable price for a toy that everybody else was scalping the hell out of.  Otherwise, I hit the same invisible limit (5 items or $300) almost very month like Rexford has mentioned above.

In 2015 and 2016 I used Markdown Manager to run sales.  At first, it was whenever I needed a boost.  That didn't work.  Later, I timed them over holidays like car dealers and furniture stores.  That didn't work.  Oh, it got watchers, but watchers don't matter until they buy.  In 2016 and 2017 I've had a shipping discount of $7 on 7 items.  That hasn't worked.

Somewhere in there I lost commercial base pricing for USPS.  The discount used to cover eBay's fees but now it's another cost that I'll probably have to start passing on.

This year, in wind-down mode, I've been using the free listing promos to put up more listings with "free" shipping when I run out of unique items.  That's sold about three items for me, which I consider a very poor return for having put up 2-8 times as many listings.  Shoppers are cheap, not stupid, I guess.

What really irritates me is that I don't mind offering free shipping, or giving a price break, if I get something in return.  At this point, what I want is volume, so I don't have to do this another five years.  But I refuse to lose my shirt on a trickle of single items.  Not on eBay, not at shows, not anywhere.

And you just know another round of fee increases is coming.  They're going to make us pay for Seller Hub somehow.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Sep 19 08:45:23 2017

Holy cow.  I don't know what they consider a "listing impression" but I have 85000 of them.  Page views, 1300, with basically a rounding error coming from off eBay.  And, the coup de grace, a 0.7% conversion rate.  That's really low, isn't it?

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 09:15:54 2017

Gee what would all these sellers do if they didn't have all these numbers and statistics to pour over and fret about.

How about this game. Forget all those numbers and just sell.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Sep 19 09:25:47 2017

Half agree.  The only numbers that matter are your own.  eBay's are arranged like dumb ERPs that look pretty but don't help decision making.  On the other hand, "just sell" is not far from eBay's advice to "just slash your prices."  That are a great deal of assumptions hiding in that "just."

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Sep 19 11:44:44 2017

The growth rate in Seller Hub only states the increase / decrease of my two most popular categories, not every item.

So this data is basically useless.

A good question is: Does eBay use the statistics from just these two categories to determine how often they hide or throttle a seller's listings?

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 13:24:19 2017

"A good question is: Does eBay use the statistics from just these two categories to determine how often they hide or throttle a seller's listings?"

Now that is a good question..... We'll probably never get a real answer.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 13:32:57 2017

Growth???  This is assuming you are kissing the right butts and being seen!!!!  I'd like to get back to where I was before The Crash of 2008! They have allowed me about half of that is all.

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

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

Tue Sep 19 13:53:26 2017

I find that one month's results tell very little.  Each year usually has an epic event the impacts sales negatively.  

One year it maybe national elections or this month two hurricanes - no sales for two weeks (yuck!).  July last year was a fantastic sales month.  This year the slowest month of the year.

When in 1985, I traded in my green eye shade accountant visor for the brave new world of small business owner, I was ready with a 5 year business plan.  The plan was relevant for a day or two.

The smartest thing as an eBay micro-seller was to expand to Etsy.  This year maybe I will try Ruby Lane as well.  

Daily, I track sales and trends, ups and downs, but the most import indicator of fiscal health - the bank accounts.  

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 15:55:02 2017

my growth rate is stable at best but that has NOTHING to do with eBay - the antiques and collectibles market has changed and is going through major generational shifts. Simplest example are Hummels - my kids want nothing to do with GrandMa's hummels. The market for collectibles is aging out. I have to list more to maintain same sales $ level. However I do not blame eBay for that. There is plenty wrong with eBay - mostly my complaint is like others in that stop treating us like everyone is a cell phone accessory dealer. We tend to deal in older vintage unique items and eBay rules do not pertain the same as if we sold new sweaters and such.  

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 19:03:11 2017

I don't see where the year to year comparison is located.  I can't find it.  But my sales for the past 31 days is up 26.6% (July to August)

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 19:05:10 2017

Here are more stats.
0.8% Click-through rate
2.1% Sales conversion rate

32
Transactions from all traffic

Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?   Reader Challenge: What's Your eBay Growth Rate?

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 19 19:21:07 2017

Not a good comparison for me because I was selling the house and moving out of state. My ratio of listings of sales per day per total listings has dropped in half though. Not sure if its my product mix or what.

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