eBay Sales Velocity on Black Friday

By Chris Dawson December 10, 2018 - 8:00 am

‘Loyalty’ may perhaps be the wrong word to use for why sellers stick with eBay, perhaps realism and the pragmatic viewpoint that, despite the challenges eBay throws up, all the time selling on eBay is profitable sellers will carry on using the platform. eBay is a phenomenal sales machine and, even though by all accounts Amazon is accelerating faster, eBay Sales velocity is why sellers remain on the marketplace.

The eBay sales velocity from Black Friday transactions has been revealed with a Nintendo Switch selling every 13 seconds, a watch and a tablet selling every 11 seconds, a kitchen appliance selling every 8 seconds, a gift card and a tablet selling every 7 seconds and a pair of shoes selling every second.

The eBay sales velocity is impressive, the numbers are even more so. eBay’s Black Friday transactions mean that eBay sold millions of products and this is only a small selection: 6,646 Nintendo Switch were sold, 7,854 watches and tablets, 10,800 kitchen appliances, 12,342 gift cards and tablets and 86,400 pairs of shoes.

eBay’s latest reports show sales of $21.5 billion in Q3 2018 from 1.1 billion listings and 177 million buyers. 80% of products sold on eBay are new. An incredible 71% (in the US, UK and Germany) ship with free carriage and 64% of all eBay sales are touched by mobile.

Having bought and sold on eBay for over 16 years, even I am staggered at the number of listings that ship with free carriage. That most products are new and that buyers use mobile platforms a lot isn’t a surprise but over 7 out of 10 successful transactions having free delivery does indicate that a free delivery option is far from being optional and has become almost compulsory in order for sellers to be successful.

Ultimately as we stated in the first paragraph, sellers will only stick with eBay whilst it’s profitable for them to do so. You’ll already have an idea of how your Q4 is shaping up and if sales are up or down overall compared to last year (feel free to tell us in comments below). At the end of January eBay will have to report their overall performance to their investors and then we’ll have a fuller picture of their Q4 and if they beat last year, stayed steady or lost ground.

Image credits:

  • Fotolia,
  • Mark
    2 years ago

    Why would anyone be surprised about the numbers selling on eBay with free shipping. If you want the top rated badge you have to or you will be hit with the big eBay stick.

    Most of our customers are fully aware that free shipping does not exist. If a seller needs £10 for n item and the shipping costs £2.99 the item is listed for £12.99 with free shipping. Do they think the public are stupid. Someone has to pick up the bill.

  • 2 years ago

    Another article bashing eBay. Can you please stop hailing Amazons praises please. They’re marketplace is awful for sellers.

    People stick with eBay because of choice, user experience, a better site and mobile app and also to hunt out better deals.

    Sellers stick with eBay because of the incredible quality of their concierge team, the versatility of their selling options and customability and ownership of their listings.

    Amazon has awful customer service, they have an archaic ugly site and they do not value the sellers at all.

    This comes from a seller who has had half a million orders in 2018.

    Stop bashing eBay.

    • Mark
      2 years ago

      Did not hail amazon at all. In fact just read through what i put and did not even mention the A word

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Mark,

      Sorry, I was referring to Chris Dawson, the OP, not your comment

      He has a strange bias to Amazon, this is evident across the theme of a lot of TameBay posts.

    • Peter King
      2 years ago

      Amazoin has a lot of flaws, buts its where the money is,

      ebay is increasingly irrelevant.

    • james
      2 years ago

      “Sellers stick with eBay because of the incredible quality of their concierge team, the versatility of their selling options and customability and ownership of their listings.”

      most ebay sellers don’t have concierge.
      the versatility of selling options is rapidly dwindling, as is ‘customability’
      and as far as “ownership of their listings”, i nearly peed myself reading that.

      “Amazon has awful customer service, they have an archaic ugly site and they do not value the sellers at all.”

      Amazon has awful customer service?
      can you say that again? i think i went mad for a second.
      they have an archaic ugly site – okay not a fan of AMZ’s layout, but at least it’s all from 2018, i keep stumbling onto live pieces of ebay that are from 1998, not even hidden-away nobody-uses pieces, important bloody pieces.
      and they do not value the sellers at all – unlike ebay? ebay values sellers? no, sorry, doesn’t compute, think i’ve gone mad again.

  • 2 years ago

    eBay is an awful website both for a seller and for a consumer and could learn a lesson from amazon.

    There are far too many listings for every single search, far too many drop shippers riding on amazon listings, far too many chinese sellers.
    It is far too difficult to get traction to the top of ths search terms its almost anti competitive for new listings.

    The seller experience if woeful, i have to pay for separate software to manage the pricing and listings side of it.

    The reporting on sales is awful, how on earth you can only reflect back on 90 days worth of orders is beyond me!.

    The only reason i stick with ebay is literally for eggs in baskets!

    The list does go on.

    eBay has a long long way to go, they have the potential to be a great market place but do not capitalise.

    The offers and promotions have been a good thing though i will give them that.

    But its too little too late the damage and monopoly of amazon has already been done.

    The should have woke up 10 years ago.

    • 2 years ago

      So eBay is a bad site, while Amazon is so great (Like bright light from a rear facing orifice?)
      Could I put the perspective of a CUSTOMER? IF SO I would ask one question, a simple question. How many customers of ebay have had FRAUD they can remember? And that is fraud by ebay itself.
      I now ask the same question of Amazon customers. How many Amazon customers have been involved in a fraudulent transaction with Amazon?

      OK, so I will start this off:

      A. EBay (Since 2002) Nome.
      B. Amazon (Since 2017) 10 times.

      Just Qualify, by Fraud I mean misuse of a credit/debit card lodged with either company for payment for goods YOU have ordered.


      Now tell me which is the most HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY Company. IAnd while we are on it, we which is the Company that actually Helps buyers/customers to contact them?
      Your comments please.

      Chris Goddard.

  • Jeff
    2 years ago

    Well I am going to bash eBay. It is not the be all of selling that some people make it out to be. It is absolutely true that there is no such thing as free postage, someone has to pay for it. Also what the article doesnt mention is the amount of profit that sellers make on eBay. Some sellers might make a decent profit on some items, but I suspect those that do are in a very small minority. Why do sellers use eBay? Because its relatively easy and it eliminates business premises, but the fees and rules are crippling, and its not always a safe place to sell. To be successful as a seller you have to sell lots of items with a tiny profit margin. Yes, you can shift items on eBay but if you are selling hand made craft items you are only selling on eBay to get rid of them because your usual paths have dried up. Your profit margins can end up being pence, which is ok if you are buying 1000’s batteries from China, but not much good if your items are hand made. When I first came on eBay it was a place where you could sell and get a fair price for your goods, now its a bargain basement.

  • Toby
    2 years ago

    I disagree Chris. The reason for so much fre (cough cough, included in the price) shipping is that ebay punishes you if you don’t offer it. We have tried both free shipping and with it listed on it’s own… suprisingly in alot of areas sales went up with separate postage! However so did our ebay fees. When a buyer purchases multiple items from the same seller with free shipping then they are paying over the odds. Ebay makes it very difficult for a seller to offer a reduction in these cases. The multi buy thing does help, but only on the same item. It’s the same for postage discounts as they are… if they buy 2 different items, even from the same listing… there is no way to incorperate a discount on postage.
    But why would ebay want you to offer a postage discount? That would cost them that 10% postage fee!
    As for why people use ebay…. much is habit. Look at the age demographics. The younger generation are not so into ebay, opting more for amazon etc. This suggests that if you aren’t already using it then you tend to go elsewhere. Plus, ask anyone about how much they trust ebay and it wont take long to find someone who feels it is full of scammers, fake ‘UK’ sellers from China and business sellers posing as private. The repuation of ebay is junk status in many circles, and like i said many use it out of habit. Even as a seller I tend to buy from elsewhere now!
    The mobile app for ebay is dreadful and appears to be lagging several years behind what people want. As a seller it is simply pants and pointless using it to update listings ( do so at your peril when you check those listings via a pc ata later date!) As a buyer… it misses out important info, displays what it thinks you need to read and it what order, it is glitchy and often hard work.
    Ebay simply have no idea how to progress into the future in a way that reflects real life. This Christmas I have seen many places, inc Amazon advertising how good they are for gifts, last min ideas etc etc. Ebay? The same old crap ads about most things are new? WFT? Who cares! I will search for new on the site like any other platform. I literally cringe when i see those pointless, out of date, insults of adverts on tv.
    Ebay is surviving on habit and ever increasing fees and ever reducing discounts. If you took that out of the equation their figures would be very different.
    I’m not going to predict the demise of Ebay any time soon, but it’s ability to remain a top player is starting to be lost at an ever increasing rate. Repuation is everything… and it simply has a poor one.

  • 2 years ago

    Can’t say the free postage thing has much impact in our area of collectables.

    We’ve compared so called “free” postage with postage charged extra.

    Guess what? No difference in results.

  • Mark
    2 years ago

    Well i will answer chris’s questions and add some extra answers.
    On eBay in 2 years we have had 24 fraudulent credit card claims. on eBay and 1 on Amazon.
    We have had 412 non payers on eBay and not seen any as such on Amazon as they ho;d in pending.
    We have had 308 oops can i cancel on eBay yet zero on amazon.
    We have had 107 item not as described on eBay yet 1 on Amazon
    in one department alone we have a 26% exchange request on eBay as they measure wrong and only 2% on Amazon same product.
    20 plus questions roughly per week on eBay (will this collar fit my Labrador even when measurements are given in specifics and description.
    6 questions in 2 years on Amazon and not for silly things.
    21 returns broken and used on ebay 1 on Amazon.

    so the numbers stack up well in Amazons favour. e think its because the buyer on Amazon think they are buying from Amazon or a business and on eBay they think its someone clearing unwanted goods from the bottom of their wardrobe plus pictures of the little bald chap telling them at every step how they will get their money back.

  • 2 years ago

    Both Amazon & eBay are equally as bad & good as each other. Amazon sales are 3-5x more than on eBay.

    Customer service on both is terrible, unless you have Concierge (apparently).

    On Amazon I have a case currently open, Amazon have had the Buy Box on a listing for the last two months

    ” Temporarily out of stock.
    Order now and we’ll deliver when available. We’ll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. ”

    Customer service respond with:

    I have investigated your case and I can confirm as much as there is no stock displayed available on the Amazon listing, however, Amazon has a supply on demand feature, where we fuflill orders as the buyers places an order for an item.

    Another reason could be that Amazon has a restock date on the listing and that there’s already stock on it’s way hence Amazon is still winning the buy box.

    One of the down sides of Amazon.

    We need to merge all the good parts from both into one market place!

  • 2 years ago

    Yes eBay seller support based in Dublin are incredibly helpful and will go out of their way to support you with the likes of Top Rated Seller, bulk uploads via File Exchange and any sort of technical advice etc.

    If you haven’t got concierge support you must be selling sub £1,000 a month and be doing this part time…

    Amazon Seller Support is always closed, no matter what hour you try. If you get through you arrive to someone reading from a manual in the Philippines who has the same knowledge of the marketplace as a potato .

    If you open a case to make an adjustment to your listing / variation they will massacre it 90% of the time.

    This is why generally most people who seek advanced help on Amazon end up asking other sellers on the forum.

    God help you if your account is compromised or 2FA stops working.

    • 2 years ago

      You can be doing many times that amount and not have concierge.

      Last I read, it was added as part of the anchor shop package, so perhaps that’s why they don’t dish it out for free for lower level shop subscribers.

      That said, the basic customer support has managed to sort out any serious issues this past year, so can’t say I see a need to pay extra for concierge.

    • Jonah
      2 years ago

      We haven’t got eBay seller concierge and our fees are £4K a month easy., sometimes more. We find our seller “support “ almost non existent, some of the “advice” just laughable. How a company can operate a two tier customer service helpline is beyond me, surely my money paid as fees is as good as yours ?

    • 2 years ago

      So we do have an anchor store. Mainly because we use Webinterpret and because of this have such a high volume of new listings being created each month. It just makes more financial sense to have anchor.

      But even without concierge, at least you can get hold of eBay 24 hours a day and get a reasoned solution to issues instead of a template response from Amazon.

      BTW: If you can extend to anchor, concierge is a superb asset.

    • 2 years ago

      @Josh Herbert

      Dublin seller support, as you say, are really good, but it is hard to get through to them, more often than not I end up speaking with somebody who does not understand the problem and I can hardly understand.

      Trying to get through to eBay support can be frustrating, they now make you spend 30 minutes looking through different suggestions till they allow you to make contact.

      Amazon support is about as useless as Royal Mail customer support.

      I rarely need any type of support, but when I do I really do expect better from such organisations that take so much money from me each month.

      Does Webinterpret create new listings for your products each month? All my listings are GTC

  • IHateEbay
    2 years ago

    And how many of that Switch consoles is a scam? On my local Ebay site (Europe) I see scammers sell Switch consoles all of the time for 1/10 of the normal shop price. And just the same for PS4 and Xbox One. It has been going on for months (from before the summer).

    And it just continues. Ebay doesn’t care, its good to mock up the numbers above.

  • James New
    2 years ago

    What do you guys need to talk to eBay about all the time that makes this so important?

    We run a big account, have concierge and probably speak to eBay once a year max?

    • Mark Thatcher
      2 years ago

      Hi James

      Aren’t you the lucky one.

      Big companies rarely need to speak with eBay as things do not hurt them.

      Oops someones returned a smashed item £20 down the drain never mind.
      Oops someone says they have not got their item never mind send another.
      400 negative feedbacks per month never mind we are still top rated due to volumes.
      Fees being taken off shipping never mind we have a very low rate due to volumes from our carriers.

      You see that’s the difference when you sell a lot things get ignored because you can afford to but for some of us the issues are huge.

    • jim
      2 years ago

      because we only contact ebay 2 or 3 times a year at most
      is probably the reason why we have concierge
      ebay will know were not going to contact them whinging about everything
      were not one of the big guys only a fairly small operation turning over about £15 grand a month

    • James New
      2 years ago

      Mark Thatcher…

      Are all of those things you mention not just a part of business regardless of size?

      If you sell online, you should expect issues from returns and customer service? This should be priced into your business running costs and therefore selling prices – no sympathy here.

      Buyer not received an item? This is a part of online business, pay for tracked or insurance or take the hit without complaint.

      £20 of my money is no less valued than £20 of yours. Plus as a larger business we face considerable costs elsewhere, simply associated to running a bigger business.

      But things dont hurt bigger companies…..pfft. Spend your time trying to sell more profitably and fixing the source of your issues, not sobbing on the phone to eBay for half hour for £20.

Featured in this article from the Tamebay Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


eBay’s mission is to be the world’s favourite destination for discovering great value and unique selection

See More Companies >

Recent Comments

6 hours ago
Victor: Why is he doing this interview in disguise with beard and glasses ?...
7 hours ago
Rob: Murray, would love to know when ebay are going to tackle the problem of private...
9 hours ago
Georghios Sideras: The biggest problem for EBay sellers is what to do with Northern Ireland sales and...
10 hours ago
Maureen Sauvage: I sent 2 small packages to my daughter in Holland, on the 15 th December,...