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Wed Oct 10 2018 13:21:57

Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sales

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have been working overtime listing and revising my eBay store and listings for weeks now and awoke this morning to the realization that my sales last month were down 73% from last year.

I have now come to the conclusion that no matter what I do or how much I list there is just no way to bring sales back up to what I once knew.

I have been reading your blog for answers as I get none from eBay.  eBay just keep telling me that my prices are too high, that I may not have the right items and that I should pay attention to the emails they keep sending me and try to source the items that are proven to sell (ALL WHICH MAKES NO SENSE), has the new eBay gone crazy?

I wonder if you or any of your readers believe they have suggestions on how to master eBay's Cassini search as this will be my last stand, change my listing tittles to see if that is the problem but I don't think it is.

I believe that even though my listings are inviting and my prices are fair once the buyer clicks on my item eBay confuses them and directs them elsewhere with their standard 5 banners of similar items or "Buyers who bought this also bought". It is insulting how they are able to do this.

At this point I am reminded of the Sinatra standard "And now the end is near and so I face the final curtain..."

I am out of ways to get my sales to anything near what they once were, it is quite frustrating.

Sincerely,
RJ



Comments (64) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 14:23:46 2018

They are only showing items they know will sell....everything else gets limited or zero exposure which equals your 73% decline in sales....I and many others are in the same boat and have experienced similar significant declines.  They are a trinket commodity entity now....the unique and one-off stuff does not interest them.  Additionally, I think they have HUGE server capacity issues which add to the limited or lack of exposure ''the rest of us'' get.  If you have the latest shiny object their data shows high sell through rates, you will get exposure and sales.  if not, you go down 73% if not more.  Yet they continue to take our fees for nothing in return....

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 14:41:16 2018

Cassini isn't really a 'search' engine. It's an 'exclusion' engine. It is designed to narrow a hundred thousand possible items down to between 100 and 1000 items.

Because of this, being too precise in your keywords, attributes and description actually hurts you.

For example, if you're selling an unused 1941 postcard of the Florida beachside, conventional wisdom would tell you to choose ''New Postcard 4x6 color Florida great condition''.

Cassini will wait for somebody to type in those words, and then show them your postcard! Easy, right? Not!

People who would fall in love with your listing if they saw it will never see it at all because your description is TOO precise.

Every word has to be carefully calculated: is 'new' a word that will exclude every search that doesn't include it? Perhaps. Not using the word 'new' may help. Is 'Florida' excluding every listing without that word?

Maybe you end up with a listing that has more descriptions and less precision: ''postcard beach ocean lakeside water nature''

Color, Florida, 4x6, New - they're actually BAD words to be in your title, because every one of them is used to exclude your listing from the search somebody typed in.

Something to consider. Good luck! :)

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 15:06:46 2018

If ebay ran on logic, we'd all be rich...THEM TOO, including their worthless CEO, moreso than he is.

ebay hides stuff behind it's back.
ebay is NOT a business...Wall St. has finally caught on.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Wed Oct 10 15:46:53 2018

Get yourself some Free stock chart software.
See how the majority of stocks are going down.
The reasons are many.
Our sales are down because people suddenly realized money is worth more than almost anything they can buy with it. Coupled with the fact that old people realized if they spend, they're too old to earn it back. And for most, there is No Retirement.
"Double Whammy" is what it's called.
We must look around, and fill niches in what people Need.
For instance, Curtains of appealing patterns at the needed length can no longer be had...MAKE 'EM.
Foot hassocks can no longer be had.....MAKE 'EM.
There are hundreds of items that made life fun and comfortable that disappeared.
Cardboard Christmas Fireplaces With the bulb spinner could now be mass produced in America and sold for about $75.... MAKE 'EM.
People will open up their wallets for Fun and Comfort.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: cardfinds This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 16:08:09 2018

I too faced this dilemma a few months ago after facing 2 months of sales tanking by around 75%. I make my living by selling on ebay and had to make a tough choice. I agonizingly decided to change all my listings to free return shipping and magically a few days later my sales started perking up and now I'm back to even better than my sales were. It's a hard pill to swallow but I'm glad I did it. Now my items have very low return potential as most are very unique, but since doing this (knock on wood), I haven't had a single return. I wish you luck!!

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 16:24:41 2018

Best thing you can do is move your stuff off of ebay. We have been ending listings on ebay that were not selling. Once we put those items on Bonanza.com and Amazon we had sales again. Ebay is a Dead Many Walking. There are no buyers there anymore. You need to look elsewhere to sell as the titanic is taking on water fast.  Also check out Shopify, we made out own site and was easy to do. You can move all of your ebay items over in one shot. Our same items sell well everywhere BUT Ebay.  Ebay is a Ghost Town.  

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 17:30:42 2018

On eBay you can be a perfect seller, 100% everything, quality used or new items, great photos and descriptions. And it doesn't matter anymore what you do. It's eBay itself phasing you out. They are not your partner in trying to sell your items. eBay only wants store money and want sellers to stick around longer. Items are hidden. Items are pushed far out of sight in search results. eBay controls what and how much you sell.

As Mark4 said, best solution is to get the hell away from eBay. If you need to use eBay, try opening up a new account. You might get some decent results for a while but eventually the same thing will happen. That's just how it is with eBay.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Oct 10 18:25:10 2018

Bonanza is a real ghost town.  The other issue for me is their poor support for payment processors, like every other venue that thinks it can dethrone eBay.  Why can't they offer anything besides PayPal?  Why can't PayPal support multiple accounts to sort out what's coming from where?  It's ridiculous.  What do their H1Bs do all day?  At least we know eBay's are busy breaking everything they touch.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Wed Oct 10 19:11:27 2018

Well, for whatever reason, the past 30 days I've been up h70%. No promoted listings. I still have 5 day handling. I always offered free return shipping before it even came out because I don't get many returns.

So why are my sales up? I don't know. Was it because I was incessantly tweeting eBay VS. Tweeting Wenig telling him all he had to do was remove the blocks of money and it would come flying in.

I have no idea, but Etsy is overtaking eBay after 3 months. I'm in a good direction and I'll keep walking that way. 🎵🎧

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 20:31:07 2018

......... there is no way .....

Well for me there MIGHT be - eBay hides my listings because I ** refuse ** to do returns (unless forced to by a SNAD complaint)(but thats not the issue here).

My dealers and distributors (not to mention the makers themselves) dont have that policy - so I cant.

They dont want people RENTING things, they test every item we send back, %99 of the items to start with are REPAIR ONLY, and we cant rotate goods in and out of stock if they arent "flavor of the month anymore".

Ces La Vie - thats life on eBay in 2018.  

(its not that its better on Amazon - but at least on Amazon, I turn right around - but one from THEM (and them ONLY) and do an exchange - I wont be getting stuck with old books, newspapers, other items etc from their snowflakes. I cant do this on eBay because they themselves dont sell anything and its immoral and dishonest to stick some random 3p seller with the issue. I know no one agrees with my methods (Im willing to take the flac - but its what you need to do to survive the "return things at any time" online policies that venues seem to love.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 21:16:01 2018

I am down 91% over last year - no sales in 3 weeks. eBay may as well be the Dead Sea. Maybe this has something to do with the "quiet" : https://seekingalpha.com/article/4210557-ebay-flops-competition

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Oct 10 21:51:11 2018

@RJ (the OP) - You should consider moving at least some of your items to other marketplaces, or to your own web site. I'm always suggesting eCrater, because sales there (at least for me) are great, and there's no one telling me what prices I should put on my items, or that I need 60-day free returns, or anything else. eCrater lets me sell what I want how I want.

Since eBay management seems to be determined to destroy the site, all the while instituting one onerous policy/fee after another, the future appears bleak for anyone who only sells on eBay.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Oct 10 22:31:14 2018

@pace306
I, for one, do agree with what you're doing.  If Amazon loves free returns so much, it can open wide and choke on them.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: ThisGuy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 22:44:09 2018

I, too, have been affected by these questionable sales decreases since May 2018!

The ONLY reason I'm EVEN on Ecommercebytes.com is due to me going to the Ebay Community Message Boards back then, and then finding more TRUTH HERE!

I had at least a 1 sale per day average for FIVE years straight, until all the BS eBay did around May of this year!

Then stretches of ZERO sales, NO views to my items, PICTURES deleted, etc, etc.!

60+ sales each month, best month was 150 sales, best day was 11 sales!  FROM A 1 MAN OPERATION!

THEN ZILTCH!

I competitively price ALL my items to be less than those I compete against.  I list only very unique items so that a search can only bring up my items!

I've been doing this for 20 years!!!  Top rated, 5 star seller!

All my friends, all my family, know me as the neighborhood "Ebay Guy"!

I'm speechless!!!

20 YEARS!

I can ONLY think eBay is INCREMENTALLY phasing old school, small sellers like us out!!!!

WE ARE A LIABILITY TO EBAY!

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO COMPETE WITH THEIR RULES, and bigger sellers that can afford to pay for FREE SHIPPING, FREE RETURNS, ETC.!

EBAY IS PHASING SMALL SELLERS OUT ONE BY ONE!

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 10 22:58:40 2018

The only change that I have heard that is working, besides giving your items away which is fine with Ebay, is to pay Ebay the additional ransom they want for promoted listings.  Personally I will go out of business on Ebay before I pay them even 1% more than everybody else in my category is paying just so they will finally show my items.  

I already pay for a store which has basically been reduced to nothing more than buying cheaper listing fees compared to the value it used to have and just will not pay them extra to do what they are already supposed to be doing, period end of conversation !!!!!!  Ebay cannot justify increasing their fees with their junky program so this is what they resort to so that the CEO can continue to fly coast to coast on the company jet at their expense now that his safety is such a concern as well as continue to receive the overpayment of his salary that he gets every payday.  He should be paying the company for continuing to allow him in the building to work with the pathetic ideas he comes up with.  Hell, the janitor at the worst job i ever held had better ideas than this clown CEO comes up with.

Sorry to have to recommend it, but I do believe that all Ebay sellers need to start shifting items onto multiple other sites to protect themselves against the destruction that Wenig is causing to their businesses to try and take care of himself.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Oct 11 01:01:06 2018

@hopeforthebest offered some good advice. I had a habit of listing four main colors in my listing title (for multicolor merchandise) and Cassini didn't know what to do with all the color competition. I have been tailoring my titles and adding view counts in the note sections so I can keep track month to month.

There is simply too much online competition to be viable in any one venue (for most of us). It's crazy, but my merchandise will sell for 10% more on Tradesy because it is being SEEN.

@pace, I, too, agree with your crafty returns strategy. :-)

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

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

Thu Oct 11 01:29:51 2018

It's unfortunately ( and sadly ) too simple. There may be thousands of sellers in a particular category who have swatted up on Cassini and have, essentially, perfect listings. The only way prominence in search is achieved is by eBay's helping hand. In other words seller's are given 'turns'.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Oct 11 01:59:16 2018

Part of the problem that I've found is that there are other sellers doing the same thing in the categories in which I sell.  They too are creating new listings and revising old listing in the hopes of having a good holiday season.

For me it is the sheer volume of additional listings that is affecting my sales.  And affecting my placement in the searches.

Now this is mostly affecting us in Best Match search returns.  So if buyers are sorting their returns by lowest to highest for example, then we may fair a bit better.

Anyway that is my observation about my slower sales in certain categories.

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 11 02:09:36 2018

Start a new ebay id.minstant search boost.

Or move to china and sell from there immediate search boost and free shipping to boot

Perminate Link for Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa   Seller Mystified on How to Revive Slumping eBay Sa

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 11 02:56:44 2018

When I have been out searching for items, I have found lately that Ebay does not have the item. But, when I  go to Google, I find the item is on Ebay. That is one of the ways to reduce a seller's sales as not everyone will put a Google search to buy items off Ebay. The other problem I have run into  is when I go to see a Seller's "Other Items," Ebay states there are no other items for sale by the Seller. I found out this in not true. Most sellers have dozens if not hundreds of items on, but you have to find a way to override Ebay's search engine  to get to them.  I find this very frustrating, and cannot figure out how such tactics benefit Ebay's ecommerce presence.  

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