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Are sales on eBay Up, Down, or Steady?

By Chris Dawson March 23, 2015 - 10:19 pm

scream featHere at Tamebay HQ we’ve received a number of conflicting emails regarding the missing shop categories on eBay listings. The Listing Frame has been absent a month and some sellers are saying that it’s damaging their businesses.

David wrote to say “For the last couple of weeks there are thousands of reports of business seller on eBay, both big and small, reporting 90% drop in sales“. He added “It’s clear that something is wrong with eBay. They keep denying any problems but we all know that’s not true“.

However another seller, Andre also complained that the listing frame is still absent but told us “Interestingly enough our sales on eBay have been very good for the last two weeks, up about 30% compared to last month“.

It’s worth pointing out that for buyers using mobile platforms to access eBay the Listing Frame with shop categories wouldn’t be visible anyway.

With the clocks about to change this weekend, the evenings will be longer and people are likely to start enjoying evenings outside instead of cuddling up on the sofa with the eBay app on their iPad. It’s always worth remembering seasonality of selling, not to mention that we’re currently in the second half of the month with many people’s pay day still a week away.

So how are your sales? Are they up, down, or averaging around the level that you’d expect?

  • 2 years ago

    I know my sales are much smaller than most and I sell Specialist Books. However I have absolutely nothing to complain about in regards to my sales. Although I am confused. The Total Sales Value is well up on what I would have expected. However at this time of year my sales are usually saved by one title that I always sell in reasonable numbers…but not this year when they have been abysmal. So I am happy and confused(but thats noting unusual for me).

    • John R
      2 years ago

      I’m a relatively small seller of model vehicles but my sales are surpassing all my expectations currently. Perhaps people are starting to spend more on hobby/collectable items as the economy improves.

    • John R
      2 years ago

      I’ve also seen more buyers using their mobiles to buy throughout the day rather than surge in sales on an evening. Click & Collect which I just started this month is also providing a small but good amount of orders.

  • Richard
    2 years ago

    Sales on eBay so far in 2015 are currently running between 35 – 50% below last year. Some days much worse, this weekend in particular was terrible. I’ve tried every trick in the book, and I’ve been a powerseller for over a decade so know what I’m doing, but nothing makes a scrap of difference. There’s huge periods of many hours without a sale then like buses 3 turn up within minutes. Either there’s something or several things wrong with eBay and / or they really are playing the visibility roulette game with sellers stuff to buyers. I’m just thankful I don’t have a warehouse full of product on credit that needs paying for or employees to pay. Things are not looking good in eBay land.

    • estell4stars
      2 years ago

      Had my second best Month in 8 years in February. March started off reasonably well then since the 6th have sold exactly 6 items to customers in the UK, the reason I mention the UK is the last sale to anyone in the UK was 10 days ago, since then have sold 4 items 2 each to the USA and Australia. What makes this very strange is the last item sold to either Country was 15 months ago. Very very wrong or very very strange, confused you will be.

  • Andy
    2 years ago

    Sales massively down. 35-50% down and orders up and down like a yo-yo. Something is definitely up. Or down. :(

  • 2 years ago

    Same story for me. Being hammered by Chinese VAT evading sellers everywhere. eBay won’t do a thing. Only Euro eBay sales up. I too have been selling on eBay foe 15 years with 265k pos FB.

    eBay seems a broken marketplace presently. The ironic thing is like so many other sellers will testify if we knew 10 years ago what we know today we would have been millionaires.

    We all run tight ships but can’t compete with VAT evaders

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      Its true chinese/hk companies have flooded ebay uk. I’ve switched to pre owned luxury items, fewer sales but better profits and less work for a sole trader. Still very erratic in terms of activity.

      How Cassini works i believe its become impossible to get any visibility for new listings of NEW condition items. Too much competition / saturation and big sellers with huge items sales history.

      Increasing technical errors and as they said themselves ‘the buyers have NOT come back’ following the password security fiasco. Its only getting worse. My business is slowly growing but only because I’ve diversified what and where I sell.

  • Kate
    2 years ago

    Our sales dropped massively this year mostly due to all of our size variations on shoes dropped into the non specified category along with everybody else’s!
    If customers can not find us in a size category then we have practically no visability.
    We have spent hours trying to explain this to eBay who have said there is no technical problem…. Clearly there is!
    Amazon sales are still strong so the buyers are still out there!
    I’ve always loved eBay but something is clearly not right at the moment!!

    • Tony
      2 years ago

      I am an online shopper and to be honest I hardly ever go near ebay. The site layout sucks compared to Amazon. Ebay is so filled with crap that it puts buyers off….and its riddled with scammers…..just some feedback

  • Chris
    2 years ago

    I have used Ebay for over 12 years full time and i do not see any problem at the moment. My sales are better then last year for this time period.

  • Chris M
    2 years ago

    Our sales started to drop in sept 2013 when cassini went live, now for the last 9 months we get 50 sales a day, some days 52 some days 48 but the whole week averages out at 50 a day. We keep our own customer sales records for (the last 6 years) our own figures and don’t rely on ebay’s figures. It’s unbelievable ! our sales are being controlled, we have spoken to ebay who deny anything is wrong. Sales pre cassini were 1000+ a week so we are down by 2/3rds. We also used to send 120+ parcels to Australia per week then one day they just stopped ! nothing ! We also regularly check competitors feedback and they have gone stagnant too ! Last year we started to sell on amazon, all i can say is thank goodness we did.

    • james
      2 years ago

      i’ve also had the distinct feeling sales were controlled, i’ve watched the patterns, and without intervention these kind of patterns just dont make any sense. they are highly artifical.

    • LJ
      2 years ago

      I completely agree! I have always though that sales are controlled on eBay. We get approx. 40 sales per day, some days 36 or 37 and other days low 40’s, but all in all the sales average out at approx. 40 per day. Doesn’t seem to make a difference if we add hundreds more products, or reduce prices it always averages the same.

      Sometimes we might only sell 10 products in a 24 hour period and then suddenly 30 sales all in a few hours to make it upto 40 or so sales.

    • estell4stars
      2 years ago

      Just put this as a reply to someone else, but it fits with your comments. Had my second best Month in 8 years in February. March started off reasonably well then since the 6th have sold exactly 6 items to customers in the UK, the reason I mention the UK is the last sale to anyone in the UK was 10 days ago, since then have sold 4 items 2 each to the USA and Australia. What makes this very strange is the last item sold to either Country was 15 months ago. Very very wrong or very very strange, confused you will be. Since this comment another day but not another dollar.

  • Tinker
    2 years ago

    Something has to give if the market is flooded with the same thing ,at the same price ,

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      So be the cheapest!!

      I’ve being saying for agest that buyers are savvy and cheapest always sells. My issue is getting the stock, once I have the stock selling it is the easy bit. Having said all that it is certainly a bit slower these past couple of months so I simply lower prices and by increasing sales volume overall profits remain steady.

      My margin is typically 400% ROI so I have loads of “discounting potential”. When sales slow I drop prices but I also take the opportunity to aquire more stock at stupidly low prices.

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • Stewart
    2 years ago

    I sell used laptops but have had to stop using ebay as all my profit is gone in ebay charges .They have got to start being more realistic 5% on any item over £100 would be fair and people like me will start selling on there again.

  • 2 years ago

    Alarming drop in what is normally a frantic time of year for me.

  • Andy R
    2 years ago

    Sales are down with us on Ebay, but steady on other sites.

    Main Ebay problems seem to be checkout related for multiple buys, e.g., buyers being forced to pay immediately instead of being able to buy several items and then save on postage.

    Also, overseas buyers find the basket has been removed by Ebay (absurd), so they can only buy singly instead of multiple orders.

    Perhaps Tamebay could highlight these ongoing checkout issues, which are like a running sore for many Ebay sellers.

  • Martin
    2 years ago

    About 35% down on last year. Having said that, the sales I make are at a better margin, largely down to the Euro exchange rate and where I buy.

    Biggest gripe remains the totally defective Best Match default search results. If anything damages my sales it is this. Any buyers reading this, change the search results filter every time to lowest total price and p&p and then make your own mind up about the best option. You will save money and receive your items quicker from a better seller the majority of the time.

  • Ross
    2 years ago

    A couple of comments have echoed my thoughts. EBay sales have been way too erratic. When looking at the same products side by side with Amazon, Amazon show steady and growing sales, Ebay’s are up and down all the time. We are also 15 year EBay sellers, but not for much longer.
    For business planning and growth we simply can’t stick with Ebay.

  • Inspector Gadget
    2 years ago

    I’m convinced that eBay simply shifts sales around to different sellers randomly, just to keep people on their toes.

  • 2 years ago

    I have seen a gradual decline in visitor numbers and hence sales month on month since March 2014, but since the middle of February 2015 both have dropped off the edge of a cliff. I used to get 600 visitors a day now I am lucky if I get 200.

    In my category “Crystal” most sectors are flooded with American listings by upto 83%. Buyers see 8 out of 10 listings with £25-£35+ delivery charges and just go elsewhere. Yet these listings are always above mine, despite jumping through all eBay hoops with Free Postage, Premium Service and 100% feedback.

    Two weeks ago I added another category to 75% of my listings to see if this improved visitors figures – nope if anything it is getting worse.

    Spoke to eBay and get the usual “Nothing wrong with the site but your listings look great”. We are now considering winding up the business as we no longer know what to do to improve sales. Oh hum

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      I did notice something last year, all of a sudden US listings were right at the top of ebay uk search results, they definitely changed something that made this happen.

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    were full time sellers on ebay with a turnover on the million mark
    we know our onions
    we once bought a pair of shoes on ebay,
    NEVER AGAIN its was a nightmare !shoddy service ,shoddy goods even the Negative we left was removed on a technicality , when we complained about negative removal we received a voucher , the ebay rep could not grasp the fact that they were protecting poor service

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      Protecting poor service yes, but also protecting a large seller no doubt. Some sellers receive preferential treatment. This is not a level playing field.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      yes a very large seller,
      still leaves a bad taste
      we like all other sellers hope to get negatives and defects removed
      though we seen things from a buyers perspective this time, and will just buy our shoes on the high st next time

  • D Barlow
    2 years ago

    Sales 2013 brilliant. 2014 good till about September. Started dropping like a brick since then. Even Christmas was poor. Can’t see an end to it. I’ve been trading for well over 10 years. Have 4 shops all power sellers. Trying every trick in the book. eBay IS broke you only have to read the seller forums to know this.

  • us seller
    2 years ago

    Firstly, I want to thank Tamebay fore all the informative posts, my sales are 40% out of US and I find information here that will not come up in the US for weeks..as far as sales, I switched to an anchor Store in October 2014 and was lead o believe that my listings were going to be pt more on the forefront..well..not so..I have experieced drops in sales that are up to 30%..in checking the “downdetector.com” I find that there are multiple issues that Ebay does not acknoledge nor address..mostly they deny any problems..I am now in the process to set up our own website..Basically, I also believe that Ebay really does not give a hoot I have sales going on to make up the loss of income and needless to say this impacts the profit margin, yet Ebay makes the money in either case..I also agree with another poster that they shift sales exposure. At times may multiple sales, then nothing or maybe 1 or 2 sales..this has been going on for many months

  • Chris L
    2 years ago

    Sales down for me too about 20%
    I have spoken to Ebay about the listing frame several times in the last few weeks and just get the same standard answer “technical issue we are working on it”.
    It took less then a second for it to disappear and Ebay has not fixed it now for over 3 weeks.

    Chris @ Tamebay: Would it be possible to push this issue on the listing frameto the Ebay Board of Directors that the listing frame is still missing and that this is influencing sales for us?
    The person who deleted the frame needs deleting from the Ebay Payroll……

    Ebay said there are not many peoiple complaining about the missing listing frame, I therefore suggest that all sellers do complain about it to Customer Support…..

    • JD
      2 years ago

      ~
      ‘Ebay said there are not many peoiple complaining about the missing listing frame’

      That may be because not all sellers have lost the listing frame (at the individual listing level).

      I find it absolutely amazing that some of us sellers are being subject to discrimination.

  • 2 years ago

    Could the launch of the iPad app v3.4 in December be having an effect? It’s lack of usability must have reduced buyers. Also it’s been shown that the number of results returned from searches in the app are significantly less than from a browser. Naturally eBay are ignoring all the negative reviews. Go over to getsatisfaction/ebaymobile to see the problem.

  • Phil B
    2 years ago

    We are a UK based seller and Our sales are 50-70% down and like a lot of other sellers the decline mysteriously started in October 2014 and has not recovered.

    what on earth happened in Oct last year?

    Sales across our other channels are steady and slightly up.

  • Ken E
    2 years ago

    I have to say that I’m amazed that seasoned sellers don’t understand that ebay are bound to rotate sales for the same items, or we would all be struggling to sell against the likes of Argos…. These sellers can afford to have loss leaders and “Could dominate all sales on eBay” but can’t – there has to be some winners & some losers…..

    LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE SELLING, and if its the same old tat as before,maybe look at finding new stock.

    I have to say that my sales on eBay have been increasing slightly on a month to moth basis, so have nothing to moan about!!

  • John S
    2 years ago

    My sales dropped by 50% between March and June 2014 and never recovered, just a very slow upward creeping since then.

    Regarding the randomness, when I first started selling using ebay and people asked me how it was going my answer was always something along the lines of; OK, but sales are completely random and unpredictable, its impossible to plan stock purchases based on previous sales.

    Difference is; then sales of specific products went up and down like an Otis lift, but now the combined sales total week by week goes up and down.

    I guess that as heading to end of quarter, someone has hit the panic button (again) and the search algorithm is being frantically manipulated to generate more sales. Glad I sorted a website two years ago, sanity prevails there.

  • 2 years ago

    There is definitely something wrong with the way eBay conducts it’s business these days. When we first started selling on eBay many many years ago, you could after a while pretty much predict your average daily, weekly and monthly sales and, how much would be in your PayPal account in the morning.

    In the last 3 years or so, sales have plummeted beyond belief, we are running on eBay at less than 20% of what we used to sell. We also sell across the river which to be honest lately hasn’t been that good either so, what we are now doing is investing in outsourcing for our website. Employing professionals to run our SEO, Facebook etc. Rather than investing in eBay anymore we are going to invest in ourselves.

    From a personal perspective I think eBay is a dying duck as far as the original concept is concerned. eBay management is only interested in personal gain and how they get it, they do not care. They are prepared to let thousands of profitable small business’s go to the wall as it no longer suits their aims as to where they get their money from.

    Ethics and morality within the eBay management structure are out of the window and, unfortunately apart from selling on the river there is no current viable platform available. By rights the experts that monitor eBay and the river, state that you should in fact get more sales from the river than eBay as they have a far better platform. In reality, they have a very complicated platform and unfortunately between the two have the monopoly at present.

    If someone could come up with a viable alternative to eBay and the river, we would go there. Many have tried but, I think the problem is they get stuck on the idea that offering everything for free is the answer when in reality, to run a successful platform you do need to have charges so that you can advertise properly, this is why places like ebid don’t work.

    In the long run, you need to have your own website and invest in it. The constant changes by Google etc these days make it impossible for any normal person to understand how to get top ranking etc.

    • John S
      2 years ago

      The question I ask is whether distance Global third party selling sites are a long term viable concept. When I were a lad, used to spend hours trawling through the pages of Exchange and Mart, clothes and household stuff could be bought from Littlewoods or John Moores catalogues etc, cheap unwanted stuff bought at the weekly Jumble Sales, specialist items from suppliers catalogues advertised in magazines. Not forgetting B&M stores.

      All of that stuff became available on line, nothing new just a different way of finding and buying it.

      Ecommerce market is growing at say 15% pa, but is the value of items sold through all methods growing at 15%, possibly not.

      Third party selling costs the buyer, or seller if you absorb them. I estimate for me around 10 to 15% of sale price over website sales to cover fees, risk e.g. INR’s, cost of day to day maintenance, financing overstock as sales very unpredictable, time on bug workarounds etc.

      As more and more businesses move to selling through their own sites, the third party sites could become less important, and maybe only viable in a new geographical market if that market doesn’t have its own like China. Or if they continually massively increase their range of goods, as Amazon are doing by adding more third party sellers and Ebay trying by adding more large stores.

      Long term, the third party sites may become only useful for add on or marginal sales over and above independent sales e.g where overhead costs for storage and distribution are already covered by own sales. Or, the volume of sales is large enough to becomes a major profit generator, this relies on customers habits to be not bothering to look outside of the third party sites for a cheaper deal.

      Dont have an answer to the question, just thinking out loud.

  • Chris Bryson
    2 years ago

    Since around the time the categories ‘vanished’ from my listings my sales have been down about 50%. Also I have had 0 views on my shop front this past couple of months.

    Luckily I had a good Xmas so have been surviving on the money saved, but cash reserves are almost gone, reckon I only have 2-3 weeks left if things don’t pick up.

    I have been updating all my listings and adding more items, but nothing seems to be working.

  • Steve
    2 years ago

    Rah Rah Rah! eBay suck and we all know it. But we also choose to use it.

    If sales are down then you are not the cheapest as someone is always buying. If you can’t compete then maybe you should rethink.

    I have a neich area so very little competion but even so taking £2 off a £30 item is ofton the difference between selling it quickly or it staying on the shelf.

    Buyers are savvy and most do price checks and buy from the cheapest reputable supplier. They will ofton pay a little more to buy from someone who has a good reputation, but it is only a little more.

    If you can, buy cheap, stack high, and sell cheap. The increase in volume will ofton make up for the reduced margins. Watch the competion and always know who is cheapest. When you can raise your prices – but still be the cheapest. Test different prices by putting up multiple listings. If there is only 2 people selling the same item then by having 2 listings you will be 50% of the search results, and sometimes the more expensive listing will be the one that sells. My higher price duplicates produce a couple of hundred extra pounds each month.

    Selling expensive may work occasionally but it can take a long time and is a bit like waiting for your lottery numbers to come up and thats no way to run a business. You need to know your stock will move. If you only have one listing per item then it should be the cheapest.

    Cheapest sells! It works.

    Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • LJ
      2 years ago

      Thanks for the lesson in business, but I assume that most of the posters on here are full time business sellers, and as such don’t need to be told how to suck eggs! What you’ve said is pretty basic stuff!

      The fact that most sellers are on Amazon and also have their own website, neither of which have been affected, means it most likely isn’t price. Buyers tend to be just as savvy on other platforms so the sales falling off a cliff on eBay don’t make sense!

      The fact that you sell neich products means you probably wont be affected by this, as you will be pretty much the only seller of a particular item.

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      Depends on your items. Easy to sell cheapest if you have a great supplier and fairly unique products. I used to import from china and sell to the UK market, but the chinese manufacturers and businesses started importing themselves and posting from uk warehouses at half the price, how can you compete? you cant, its game over. So now I sell unique expensive Swiss items or the rarer chinese products that only my supplier can get. The number of buyers has stayed stagnant or increased slightly driven by mobile but the number of sellers has surely increased exponentially, courting of the big boys and asian wholesalers, throw in cassini and the technical/trust issues its amazing I sell anything no?

      ebay is still a massive marketplace and there is NO competitor so until something else comes along I will be here

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      It may be basic for you but not for everyone.

      If you are selling something with a lot of competition then you either have to be cheapest or find an item that doesn’t have hundreds of sellers.

      Ian A is correct. Its not hard to find items that don’t have hundreds of competitors. I am always trying new items alongside my standard inventory. Some work, some don’t but the ones that do are lucrative. Online commerce is constantly evolving so Embrace, Compete, Adapt, and Succeed.

      eBay has slowed because no one has any money so you need to make changes. Diversify, don’t stagnate by being lazy. LJ, you can suck my eggs anytime!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • 2 years ago

    A lot of my clients are up around 10% on last Feb/March on eBay but conversely up around 40/50% on Amazon. So eBay have dropped the ball somewhat.

  • John
    2 years ago

    Down a lot,but up even more on Amazon.Iv got some new products.Very good,only seller in the UK of these designs and cheapest compared to anything similar.TRS,100%,all the hoops etc.Listed and way down search.34 ahead of me are all listing a similar product none of them have but are simply adding on £30 to the price its on Amazon,so if they get any sales buy from the seller on Amazon.
    Those 34 listings are all still there,but the seller on Amazon is out of stock (i know hes a competitor),so if any sell,a let down customer.Ebay has lost the plot.
    Then there are the chinese sellers shipping from Portsmouth.Prices that its obvious they arent paying VAT.Same sellers with 30+ accounts all with same products spamming search.Ebay helping them trick buyers into thinking theyare UK sellers when they are not.Im investing in google addwords for my webby more and more and its working.I worry for Ebay.

  • 2 years ago

    We had 60%-40% in favour of eBay last year, now that has flipped in Amazon’s favour. Despite higher fees, it is much easier to get results and it rewards the time investment.

    Same can’t be said of eBay. The perfect storm of Cassini, eBay Premium Seller, a dog of a returns/request system that penalises all sellers, and the waste of our time means our prime focus is elsewhere.

    Also, but not mutually exclusive to eBay, selling in the tech sector is a mare with all the Chinese sellers who can ship half way round the world for less than it costs us to deliver to a UK address. Makes me laugh to think we are the ones paying out for Royal Mail prices increases so they can continue to deliver from our Chinese competitors.

    Euro business is down considerably since euro dropped against the £. Fortunately we do import a fair amount from EU, so this compensates.

    Its not all doom & gloom, its a constantly evolving market and we are doing well in expanding into other product categories…thankfully

    • Rich
      2 years ago

      Chinese sellers, and others in SE Asia, and India, may not be making any profit really. They work on an insane model of numbers over profit. I imagine many are just existing on easy credit.

  • Rich
    2 years ago

    My sales on ebay dropped catastrophically as soon as the new search engine was introduced. I completely revised the site and now although my pictures, and prices are a good deal better than competitors I am finding it difficult to get a foothold.
    Like many I have also been hit by the influx of new sellers eager to sell for little or no profit, so this might be a bigger reason.
    I have survived by establishing niche products.
    happily I have now had the opportunity to develop sales outside of ebay, and these accounts are easier to use, and the customers seem more honest.
    I have to give a big thumbs down to ebay.

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