I hope you are well in these troubled times.
You would think with everything going on in the world one could get away from the nuisance of eBay and their constant barrage of changes and search manipulation. Alas, no. I seem to have more time on my hands to look into the systematic overnight drop in sales that I experienced on October 15, 2019 and then again March 1, 2020.
In October I was convinced, as so many others, that the eBay Item Specifics and category debacle
was the reason for the sales drop. While I agree that it played a part, something much bigger is at play. After all, if not, why didn't our sales rebound when specifics and categories were fixed?
So what is at play you ask?
Managed Payments. eBay began in October making Managed Payment a major player in best match. Why wouldn't they? There is no question eBay makes more money when a transaction is completed with Managed Payments.
Don't forget, October 1st was the beginning of the outrageous 25 cent per item fee instead of the 30 cent transaction fee from Pay Pal. October also saw a major inclusion of sellers into Managed Payments.
Likewise, March 1st saw another major inclusion of users into Managed Payments. All of those mandatory opt-ins got a boost in best match.
Some would say, "Hey, eBay is going to do what is best for them." Sure I get it. However, is this action legal? Our accounts are not eligible for Managed Payments at this time as we donate to eBay Giving Works. That's right, accounts that support EBAY GIVING WORKS, are being hidden in Best Match due to the new weight the Managed Payment search variable carries.
The question remains, how is it legal for eBay to knowingly suppress Pay Pal processed listings when not all sellers are able to enroll in their payment system?
Don't believe me. Search for yourself. I just went through best match on one of our longtime best sellers. We are a top rated seller with free returns. All item specifics maintained. All best practices followed and over 4000 listings at any time. I did not see one of our items, not even a sponsored listing, in the first 600 listings. Up until October 15th we would see at least 12 on the first page with 192 results. After October 15th, we started seeing about half that number and likewise our sales dropped by 50% within 30 days and never recovered. Nothing else changed on our account, nothing.
March 1st we saw an immediate drop in sales again. Based on what we see right now, we will be another 50% down. Please know I understand that we are all seeing some drops due to Coronavirus. However, Coronavirus is NOT the reason for this drop. It is straight up search manipulation by eBay to show Managed Payment listings.
We consistently ran 20K a month is sales for years. At the end of November 2019, after the October 15th change, we were down to 10K a month. At the end of this month we will be at 5K.
eBay is the master of sleight of hand. They love to suggest A is happening or a cause for sales drops when really it is B. We were all convinced it was the catalog issue in the 4th quarter, but was it?
Curious what your other readers think? Especially Managed Payment members. Have those opted in seen an increase in sales?
As always thanks for the work you do Ina.