A shift in sales ebay V Amazon

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Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,316
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
A shift in sales ebay V Amazon
25 Dec 2014
Is it just us or did anybody else experience a shift in sales from ebay to Amazon over the pre Christmas period ?

From around the 3rd week in November to the 21st December our ebay sales increased 100%, but our Amazon sales increased a lot lot more.

Our sales were 60% ebay, 30% Amazon, 5% website, 5% other. However in the weeks from the 21st November our sales were 25% ebay. 60% Amazon, 10% website and 5% other. That is a massive swing, and I wondered if it was just us or a bit of a trend.

Ian
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,387
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: A shift in sales ebay V Amazon
26 Dec 2014
Over the last two years, especially since about April, I've noticed a large decline in eBay sales while experiencing a surge in Amazon sales during the same period. Some of the increase in Amazon sales for us was due to a change in strategy as well as increased products. On eBay, the actual number of items sold as a percentage of items available has dropped significantly. In February of 2012, we had a sale ratio of 42% (#items sold versus #items in inventory). Just to be clear, this is not 42% of our items sold, as some items can be sold more than once. In February of 2013 this ratio had dropped to 31% and by February 2014 this was down to 22.8%. This is a change in the ratio of -45%, over 2 years.

Since February 2014, our ratio of sold items to inventory has declined even further, to 12.5% in November. Amazon has stayed in a fairly small range (varies by season) over the same period, but straight averages around 10%. I've not yet deseaonalized the data yet as with the holidays I'm quite busy. In any case, it appears that eBay is really losing share, at least in our niche. I've shared some graphs in some facebook forums - it is amazing how few comments the data solicits.

Amaz Ebay Inventory Ebay (ebay/inv) Amazon (Amaz / Inventory)
2012-1 430 1592 4,678 34.0% 9.192%
2012-2 430 2180 5225 41.7% 8.230%
2012-3 314 2157 5335 40.4% 5.886%
2012-4 270 2187 5720 38.2% 4.721%
2012-5 191 1918 5863 32.7% 3.258%
2012-6 381 1461 6,077 24.0% 6.270%
2012-7 326 1730 5921 29.2% 5.506%
2012-8 476 1681 5612 30.0% 8.482%
2012-9 464 1546 5401 28.6% 8.591%
2012-10 574 1502 6939 21.6% 8.272%
2012-11 672 1801 6929 26.0% 9.698%
2012-12 1159 1541 5805 26.5% 19.966%
2013-1 796 1312 5962 22.0% 13.351%
2013-2 655 1771 5666 31.3% 11.560%
2013-3 649 1500 5171 29.0% 12.551%
2013-4 736 1741 5982 29.1% 12.304%
2013-5 576 1496 6020 24.9% 9.568%
2013-6 490 1540 5169 29.8% 9.480%
2013-7 528 1002 5493 18.2% 9.612%
2013-8 467 998 4873 20.5% 9.583%
2013-9 373 1692 4704 36.0% 7.929%
2013-10 625 1361 6649 20.5% 9.400%
2013-11 832 1839 7168 25.7% 11.607%
2013-12 1553 1756 6387 27.5% 24.315%
2014-1 670 1663 7510 22.1% 8.921%
2014-2 731 1821 7973 22.8% 9.168%
2014-3 961 1555 8342 18.6% 11.520%
2014-4 874 1471 9345 15.7% 9.353%
2014-5 652 1299 9705 13.4% 6.718%
2014-6 767 1711 9930 17.2% 7.724%
2014-7 620 1468 9530 15.4% 6.506%
2014-8 732 1273 9269 13.7% 7.897%
2014-9 998 1485 9793 15.2% 10.191%
2014-10 1148 1270 10291 12.3% 11.155%
2014-11 1179 1195 9533 12.5% 12.368%
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,661
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: A shift in sales ebay V Amazon
29 Dec 2014
@Jax Music Supply thanks for posting this Jack, fascinating stuff.

There's a number of possible explanations for the eBay drop e.g. increased competition from other eBay sellers, search algorithm changes going against you, buyers going to Amazon or other sites etc. Any idea which is the most important factor?

Also strange that you get a big surge on Amazon in December but eBay barely changes?!
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,387
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: A shift in sales ebay V Amazon
29 Dec 2014
@Andy

Yes, that is what I'm trying to determine. There are market changes and such, but something is very weird with eBay. I'm actually much more competitive on eBay (relative to competitors) than I am on Amazon. One thing I noticed on eBay recently is that depending on how the listings are sorted, our listings are repressed. If I sorted best match, an item didn't show up in the results. If I sorted by lowest price, it did show up. Only 1 data point but interesting none the less.
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,661
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: A shift in sales ebay V Amazon
29 Dec 2014

Jax Music Supply wrote:

One thing I noticed on eBay recently is that depending on how the listings are sorted, our listings are repressed. If I sorted best match, an item didn't show up in the results. If I sorted by lowest price, it did show up. Only 1 data point but interesting none the less.
Absolutely. For a specific search phrase do your relevant listing(s) move up and down over time or stay at pretty much the same position?

Compared to all the effort people put into analyzing Google's search algorithm, best match is barely studied at all.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Midlothian, VA United States
Jax Music Supply
Kudos: 2,387
Joined: May 25, 2009
Re: A shift in sales ebay V Amazon
30 Dec 2014
It is not cost effective for many companies to research it, plus, it would be a violation of eBay's TOS (I believe) to use their search engine in that way. Perhaps their API allows it. If not, you would have to build a screen scraping app, which eBay would hate. Amazon runs into this issue too.
Orkney United Kingdom
PeediePaul
Kudos: 20
Joined: Nov 3, 2014
Re: A shift in sales ebay V Amazon
30 Dec 2014
I have found a down turn with sales via eBay and an increase through my company website, which I think is partly to do with the new policies eBay have in place now.

These policies are great if you live on the main land of the UK, but if like me you live in a remote area (I live on a Scottish Island) and we don't have access to some of the delivery services eBay want sellers to use. For example a 48 hour service takes 3 days through the postal system and up to 10 days using a courier service and can cost up to 500% more, the crazy thing is we are only 6 miles from the coast of Scotland.

What I have found is that the change in the delivery and returns policies puts me at a disadvantage compared to other traders on the mainland, and having raised this with eBay and a month on they still have not replied to my questions.

So as a result I have decided to close my eBay shop and will only keep a small number of items there from now on, as I find it an expensive outlet for selling my products. However that's not to say eBay hasn't been a useful outlet, it has helped build my customer base for the early days of the company.
Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
Kudos: 2,316
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: A shift in sales ebay V Amazon
18 Jan 2015
I have now had chance to check our sales figures over the Christmas period, and although ebay sales did increase by around 102%, Amazon sales increased a lot more.

This does not appear to be down to pricing, competition or availability of products so the only thing I can put it down to is advertising by ebay and Amazon.

I can not remember a single advert on TV or in the press for ebay in the UK (PayPal yes, but no mention of ebay in the ad !). Amazon however was on TV a lot of the time, if only for their Prime service. Product association etc works.

From the 4th Jan onwards, sales seem to have settled down to the usual 60% ebay 30% Amazon. So it appears that Christmas shoppers in 2014 preferred to shop on Amazon.
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