eBay Sales Down? Here’s How eBay Might Be Working Against You

From algorithm updates to site outages and random testing, there are many ways that the mechanics of eBay can cause your sales to fall.

There is one question that sellers ask more than any other: “why are my eBay sales down?”

One month your orders are flying in and then, all of a sudden, sales just fall off a cliff. You didn’t change anything on your listings, and there is no obvious cause like the time of year, changes in fashion, or the release of new products onto the market. This leaves sellers stumped, unsure how to react, and left hoping that their sales will pick up as quickly and inexplicably as they dropped.

So why does it happen? Very often sellers, at a loss for any other explanation, blame eBay, concluding that the marketplace simply doesn’t like them anymore. While eBay may not be deliberately sabotaging your sales, the notion that your sales are suffering because of their actions, or changes that they have made, could well be true.

In this post, we are going to explore ten ways that eBay could be working against you, causing your sales to drop. These reasons are based on logic and observations about how eBay’s algorithms appears to work, but it’s important to remember that the only people who know exactly how these algorithms operate are eBay themselves.

Let’s take a look at why your eBay sales are down.

Automate key
How to automate your eBay business
Save time selling on eBay, price competitively and offload repetitive jobs. Tools to manage listings, create your brand, request feedback, improve marketing & SEO and more. All in the Web Retailer directory.
View eBay Selling Tools Now

1. Competitors got better at search ranking

Imagine this – you’re an experienced eBay seller, you know your competitors and you keep an eye on them regularly. But one day, you type in a keyword to go and scope out your top competitor, and they are now ranking above you.

Your natural reaction in this situation is probably to panic, but don’t! It could simply be that your competitor has improved on one of the factors that are generally believed to play a part in eBay’s search algorithm.

Perhaps they’ve used an eBay keyword research tool and optimized their title so that it ranks better for the most relevant search phrases. Maybe they’ve simply lowered their prices, or are offering cheaper and faster shipping, or have improved their item specifics.

A more complex idea is that feedback could be playing a part. Only eBay knows for sure what the algorithm takes into account, but feedback and performance metrics certainly seem to play a part. Now, it makes sense for feedback that you’ve received over the past 12 months to be weighted heavier than feedback from three years ago, because it’s more relevant to a seller’s current performance.

So, in this theory, if your competitor had bad feedback from October 2016 and it’s now November 2017, that feedback is no longer weighted as heavily. They have effectively “got over a bad patch”. The algorithm may see your competitor more favorably and boost their ranking accordingly.

2. New competitors entered the market

If your existing competitors show no signs of having improved their listings, it could be that new competitors have entered the market, and are ranking better than you.

This might be because they have a long history of selling on eBay in other categories, and are more established. If their feedback and performance metrics are better than yours, then they’re likely to get an advantage in the search results.

You need to watch out for your wholesaler, or the manufacturer of the products that you sell, entering the market.

Another aspect that your new competitors could be beating you on is price. It could be that they are a bigger seller and have more buying power than you. This means they can buy stock in larger quantities from suppliers, at better prices, and reflect this in their offer to customers.

Alternatively, overseas sellers may have entered the market, who are able to offer your product at a much more lower price, because their costs are minimal. Both labor and shipping can be cheaper for foreign sellers, and all too often they don’t have to factor in sales tax or VAT, because they are under the limit or avoid paying them even when they should. This leaves you in a difficult position, because if you compete on price with such sellers it could completely erode your margin and drive you out of business.

You also need to watch out for your wholesaler, or the manufacturer of the products that you sell, entering the market themselves. Their costs are far lower than yours and, as such, they have a far bigger margin to play with, meaning that once again you could be priced out of the market.

In this scenario, all you can do is differentiate the products that you sell in another way. If your new competition is from overseas sellers, then offering quicker shipping could be an option. If the manufacturer or wholesaler is new to eBay, you’re likely to have better feedback which you can leverage. If you are a larger seller with more buying power, increasing your visibility through promoted listings and running sales could be a way to claw back a share of the market.

3. eBay’s traffic dropped

When you sell on eBay you rely on customers going there to search for products, and part of that comes from eBay pages appearing prominently in Google’s search results. So, when eBay itself has a slow month, or has a problem with its own search ranking, your sales are going to suffer.

eBay were no longer appearing for 80% of search results.

A prime example of this was the infamous incident of 2014, when Google applied the “Panda 4.0” update to their search engine algorithm. As a result, many well-known websites no longer ranked highly in search results. eBay were the worst affected, and were no longer appearing for 80% of search results where they previously ranked well.

The knock-on effect for sellers was that only 20% of eBay’s previously high-volume search terms were bringing traffic to the site, so sellers were competing for fewer buyers and sales. They were more reliant on their own marketing efforts to generate traffic, and if they were multi-channel sellers, on their income from other marketplaces.

Google’s search algorithm is immensely complex, and although we haven’t seen further changes as catastrophic for eBay as Panda 4.0, search rankings for individual keywords do vary on a daily basis. If eBay takes a hit on a group of search terms that are important for your products, sales could suffer significantly.

Unfortunately, there is very little that sellers can do in this scenario. The only silver lining is that if ranking changes are due to problems on eBay itself, then it should be able to fix the root problems and the search ranking should slowly but surely come back – or at least improve.

4. eBay is performing random tests

eBay is constantly looking for ways to improve the buying experience for its customers. So, when they want to try something different, rather than roll out a change to everyone at the same time, they’ll perform some random testing first. These tests can last anywhere from a few days to over a week, depending on the stage of the testing process.

Recent examples include hiding seller feedback and Top Rated Seller icons, because eBay thought that they might be too distracting for buyers. Another example, according to EcommerceBytes, was when eBay tested making the Immediate Payment Required feature compulsory on listings that met certain criteria.

If you’re one of the sellers randomly selected to take part in these tests, it can have a positive or negative effect on your sales. For example, hiding seller feedback could mean that buyers don’t trust you and you lose sales. Or, they might be less distracted and buy more. It’s a test, so by definition we don’t know how it will turn out.

Either way, you’re at eBay’s mercy with this one. Very often, sellers don’t even know that they’ve been randomly selected.

5. eBay is giving someone else a chance

Logically, you might think that eBay would give each sale to the best seller for that particular product, to ensure buyers have a good experience and purchase items on eBay again in the future. But eBay’s algorithm appears to do exactly the opposite, boosting some sellers while holding others back, seemingly to share the sales around.

eBay’s algorithm appears to boost some sellers, while holding others back.

Why would eBay do this? Well, there are several possible reasons. The first is that eBay wants to make sure that there is healthy competition. If one seller is getting all the sales, they essentially control the market and can start to increase their prices. eBay don’t want this to happen, so to increase efficiency and keep prices competitive, maybe the algorithm has been designed to split sales between sellers.

Another possibility is that the algorithm tests new entrants to the market, to see how well their listing converts and whether their offering is appealing to buyers. Google sometimes does a similar test when websites publish new material. They trial it at different search positions to see how much traffic it receives and, in turn, discover its relevance for certain keywords.

Perhaps eBay also doesn’t want to become too reliant on certain sellers. If one seller is taking the vast majority of the sales, and then decide that they don’t want to sell on eBay anymore, or they hit difficulties, eBay’s going to lose revenue. By sharing it out, they should always have at least one reputable seller offering each product.

Whatever eBay’s reasons, this one is outside your control. Some sellers will set up second (or more) eBay accounts to try and have multiple “irons in the fire”, but that strategy is likely to get you into trouble.

6. eBay changed their search algorithm

Algorithms govern so much of the internet now, and from time-to-time they get changed. Sometimes this is just to update aging technology, or fix bugs, but often it’s a deliberate update to make them act differently to how they did before.

A good example is Google’s unconfirmed ranking update “Fred”, which shook up search results because it appeared to favor sites that added value to readers, over low-quality content that was written with revenue in mind.

Some changes will be subtle and complex – and probably happening all the time – while others will be big and disruptive, and take place quite rarely. What would this look like on eBay? A simple example would be if the algorithm used to favor having the lowest price over everything else, but an updated version gives shipping and seller feedback more weighting.

If you fall foul of an algorithm update it can prove costly, as it’s not a short term change – once the update takes effect, it applies “forever” from that point in time. All you can do is experiment with changes to your listings to try and fall back into favor with the search engine.

7. Competitors have started advertising

In a land far far away from the pay-per-click advertising of Amazon and Google, is eBay’s Promoted Listings, which your competitors might have started leveraging to eat into your share of the sales.

Only when someone clicks on the ad and buys your product do you pay eBay the fee.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with eBay’s Promoted Listings, you bid between 1% and 20% of the sale price in return for enhanced visibility in search results, and also placement within listings. Only when someone clicks on the ad and buys your product do you pay eBay the fee, in addition to the usual listing and final value fees.

There are several factors that might explain why your competitors are advertising ahead of you. For a start, it could be that you aren’t using Promoted Listings, in which case it is an easy (but expensive) fix – set up a campaign and compete for that ad space!

If you are advertising, but they are still ahead of you, this could be because they are offering a larger percentage of the sale price than you are. Equally, it could be that their listing was doing better than yours before they started advertising, as historic listing performance plays a part in which listings are promoted.

In this case, one strategy is to drop your price to boost organic sales, and put yourself in a more favorable position when you switch on Promoted Listings. Or, increase your Promoted Listings bid by a few percent and increase sales that way, trialing a lower bid every week to see if you can bring that percentage back down and still have your listing promoted.

8. Competitors improved their conversion rate

When buyers are looking for products on eBay (and anywhere else, for that matter) a popular technique is to take the top few results, open them in separate tabs, and compare them to each other.

In the past, when buyers compared your listing to your competitors’, perhaps yours looked the most appealing and so converted the best. Now, though, a competitor has made some changes to their listing, improved their conversion rate, and now buyers are choosing their product over yours. Conversion rate is also a factor in search ranking, so improving it is something of a double whammy!

Conversion rate can be improved in a number of ways, including:

Product photography

Maybe your competitor used to have a couple of poor quality images that had been supplied by the manufacturer. Now, their listing has several professional-looking, high definition images, that show off different angles, key features, and the dimensions of the product. This can give the buyer more confidence that they are buying the right product.

Listing design

Their listing used to have an old, clunky design, but now they’ve had a template designed to create a modern and professional looking listing. Maybe your competitor’s listing is the only one that is mobile optimized, and now they are winning more of the customers looking at the product on their phones.

Description text

Instead of just covering the standard things, like the size and condition of the item, your competitor has added a paragraph giving a nice narrative about the product. This has not only given the buyer further information, but it has injected some personality into the listing, which makes it stand out from the millions of “to-the-point” descriptions on eBay.

Returns policy

Perhaps you used to have the most generous returns policy, but one of your competitors got wise and changed their policy to match or exceed yours. If this was your key source of differentiation – your unique selling point – then this may be why your sales have dropped. If you’ve reached the point where your policy couldn’t be any more generous, then you can’t leverage this any more. Look to improve other aspects of your listing.

9. eBay just screwed up

eBay, as many sellers know, is not infallible. Sometimes their mistakes can cost sales.

A classic scenario is when it experiences outages, where neither buyers nor sellers can access some or even all of the site. In one of the most recent outages, sellers were unable to list items from the new Seller Hub.

If you can’t list your items, you can’t sell them. In the world of marketplaces, where margins are notoriously thin, a few lost sales while eBay was down for half a day, can make a real impact.

eBay, as many sellers know, is not infallible. Sometimes their mistakes can cost sales.

While outages are awful, at least sellers can either see that the marketplace is down, or find out from reports online, and prepare themselves for the hit. In some ways this is preferable to sporadic shopping cart bugs, which can happen without you even noticing.

eBay has suffered bugs where buyers can’t add items to their shopping cart, or get through the checkout and pay for their order. This hits sales, and may reduce eBay’s overall traffic, because buyers start to lose confidence in their service.

It can also affect your conversion rate, as buyers may be clicking on your product and adding it to their baskets, but can’t checkout. If the problem persists they are likely to get frustrated and try elsewhere. The longer this occurs, the larger the effect on your conversion rate.

Only eBay can fix bugs on their site. There’s nothing you can do beyond keeping up to date with eBay news and being vigilant on the site.

10. Bad buyers damaged your feedback or stats

You may think that the impact of bad buyers is easy to see – lost revenue, bad feedback and a nasty headache! But the unseen impact they have on your metrics and, as a result, your search ranking, can be harder to gauge.

For example, it would make sense for the search algorithm to give a heavier weighting to feedback from the last 12 months, than to feedback from three years ago, because it’s more relevant to your current reputation. So, if you’ve started having trouble with buyers in the last six months, that could have a big, negative impact on how the algorithm sees your products.

It is widely thought that your key performance metrics are also taken into account by the search ranking algorithm, although to what extent remains a mystery. If buyers are hitting you with false “item not as described” claims, or saying that your items never arrived, this is going to have a bigger impact than just making your blood boil.

There are a number of ways you can attempt to beat bad buyers on eBay and Amazon, but it’s unlikely you will have the time, determination, and good luck to win every case. One indirect way to minimize their impact is to try and get as much good feedback as possible, to water down the effect of negative seller feedback and order defects.

11. Some combination of the above

Sometimes, the reason that your sales are down is much more complex than one single cause. There could be many factors in play, going for and against you.

Maybe several of your old competitors left the market but were replaced by bigger sellers with a better reputation. At the same time, eBay were testing a new design which gave your sales a brief boost. Then eBay’s search traffic dropped for certain keywords, and their own search algorithm gave other sellers a chance for a while. The combination of factors went against you overall, and your eBay sales went down.

Confused? That’s totally understandable. Marketplaces have so many nuances and secret mechanisms that it’s often not possible to pinpoint every factor that is affecting your listings. In fact, the very nature of eBay may mean that by the time you’ve worked out why your sales were down, everything has changed once again.

Let’s hope that this time it goes in your favor.

Automate key
How to automate your eBay business
Save time selling on eBay, price competitively and offload repetitive jobs. Tools to manage listings, create your brand, request feedback, improve marketing & SEO and more. All in the Web Retailer directory.
View eBay Selling Tools Now

9 comments on “eBay Sales Down? Here’s How eBay Might Be Working Against You

  1. Ebay ARE sabotaging sales, they just don’t realise – probably – that they are doing it. All I will concede here is that an act of sabotage needs to be deliberate and the reality is that it is mostly down to incompetence on their part.

    For the purpose of this post please disregard that we might be doing something wrong. After 30 years in business and proof elsewhere that “it’s not us”, such as consistent performance from our website, assume that we have done all the checks on competitors, keywords, and so on. It’s partly irrelevant anyway because I have proved time and time again that eBay’s algorhythms does not work. On one search I did for an item that we were the ONLY seller of, the search result for that exact item brought ours up as the second of two results.

    That simple test was proof enough that the system doesn’t work, but there have been others. We had an item priced at just under £10 that sold around half a dozen a month. That’s with a 100% 5-figure feedback rating, Top Seller rating, free postage, informative description, item specifics, various hi-res photos, the works, you name it. A competitor came along with under 0200 feedback and a score of 97.8%, not declared himself as a business seller. He listed the same item at the same price using OUR exact title wording, one poor photo, no description, no items specifics. Inside two months he had sold over 600.

    Answers on a postcard…the reality is it doesn’t work. even ebay staff admitted they were stumped. Even if he had one or two metrics done better than ours (he didn’t), we STILL should have easily beaten him on every other aspect. We should have been the ones selling 300 a month.

    After that I looked at a number of other listings and sellers and found the same pattern time and time again. Sellers with no history, low ratings, poor descriptions were regularly getting better sales even at higher prices ahead of many long established professional businesses who were doing everything the way ebay told them to do it, as we were. It’s a total farce.

    Other aspects are some of eBay’s policies. 30 day returns, free postage, free returns, all these things are not good news for small businesses, you know, the ones who make up most of eBay’s seller base. Why? Because small businesses simply cannot afford these luxuries.

    For example, a large chain will not worry about the cost of returns, free postage, free returns and so on so much because the staff and management won’t care how many they get because it’s not coming out of their salary, and those at the top are earning so much they won’t care either. They’re only doing free returns because the competition are. But for small business owners in most cases the cost of this is coming out of their back pocket. It doesn’t increase sales enough to pay for the cost, and as I have mentioned on here before returns are now becoming a serious bind on smaller traders.

    The majority of buyers are wrongly and fraudulently claiming the item is defective because they get free return postage. It’s 21st century human nature – if people can get something for free they will, and ebay highlight the fact that if they want to return something because they change their mind they will have to pay for it. So they choose the “free” option.

    We noted everything that had been returned on the past year as faulty. a HUGE 94% were NOT faulty, but many of them were not retuned in good enough condition to resell as new. That’s hundreds of pounds extra in postage costs on top of all the refunds we were forced to hand back. None of this happened until ebay introduced Managed Returns and other tech sellers we know are saying they are experiencing a similar trend. And as more and more buyers realise how easy it is, it will only get worse.

    this is what I mean by eBay’s incompetence. It’s not just the appalling algorhythms that doesn’t work, it’s policies like this that are not suited to small traders but ebay either don’t understand this, or they don’t care. The latter because they think obsessing over the customer in this way will bring in more sales. The reality is it just brings in more scammers.

    As you say, small businesses are better off concentrating on other methods to attract buyers. We have a couple of methods that work to a degree, but that’s becoming more difficult now because you can’t now highlight things in the photos such as a free gift. You can’t add your phone number or email so that people can call you with enquiries (we sold at least five or six high ticket items a week because we were able to talk to people on the phone who wanted more information before buying. That’s gone now.)

    And the main tool we have, the big description panel, has been sidelined by ebay. You have to click on “See full description” in the mobile view and I’ve noticed recently that it’s the same on a PC on many items, the description is now hidden by default so it looks as though that’s something else they’re changing gain for the worse. Now all most buyer will see to entice them is the cheapest postage, and with nothing else on view to tempt them to buy from you it’s another move that’s going to kill sales even further.

    Look at how High Street stores work, both in their physical shop window, their websites and their YouTube/TV ads: Clear, bright posters to entice you in, free gifts with items highlighted in big letters on the poster. You can’t do that on ebay photos any more, and hiding the description is like trying to promote something by placing on the top shelf at the back of the store. Even with sales and promotions you only get a few words at the top of the listing, and the real madness, ebay display the original price of the item, NOT the sale price. Who in their right mind runs a sale and advertises the original price? It’s incompetence.

    People love ebay for what it is. They don’t look for cheap postage in particular, many people have told us they would rather pay more for a faster service rather than free economy delivery. We do offer not one but TWO extra services, but unless you click eBay’s tiny “see details” link you wouldn’t know it (we do show the option in most listings, if people even get to see the descriptions).

    I could go on for hours, and while all of the above issues quoted in the article might paly a part to varying degrees depending on the seller and the circumstances within their sector, overall I believe eBay’s main problem is simple: They have never sold a single retail product and have no idea how to. The result is they’re thrashing around blindly, trying to change things and they don’t have a clue what to do.

  2. I’ll add some new things I noticed yesterday – it’s absolutely deliberate. I have 100% positive fdbk, so no reason to do this to me either. Yesterday noticed 80% of my relisted items had at least one of the following happen:

    *they moved it to another, irrelevant or worse category
    *they removed my keywords
    *where I KNOW I had made my listing mobile friendly, they’d reverted it back

    Then all evening yesterday things keep bogging up so badly that in two hours I got nothing posted and gave up. You get to the very last step and suddenly you get that ‘Thinking on it” rotating status which goes on forever. I used to be a powerseller. Hate eBay now with a passion and I know all the marketplaces make things hard on their sellers. Only thing I’ve seen that could be positive or negative is eBay is now offering some type of 50% reimbursement on returns in certain situations (you’d have to look it up on eBay, new update). Although if the buyer doesn’t get their full money back, they’re likely to hit you with negative feedback anyway. I’ve only been doing this casually for extra income – left eBay for real many years ago because of their shenanigans – but now I may even be leaving totally. There are some new marketplace alternatives now (sorry, I can’t share ALL I know) anyway, can’t hurt to try.

  3. Oh one more thing – yesterday while shopping eBay wasn’t allowing things to be added to a watch list (yes, there was room in my list). I’d click, but nothing would happen. It either went in your cart or you buy it now. They probably think they’re forcing the customer to just buy, but I think that’s a mistake.

  4. Yes I wonder if it’s deliberate too. People think you’re crazy to suggest such a thing but I can tell you after 30 years in business I’ve seen things that will make your hair curl. Look at how corrupt the banks have been for example, the things that led to the economy in general being in such a bad state.

    Corruption in business is rife and businesses will do what they have to do to suit them. If that means blocking your listings, say perhaps because you’re undercutting one of the major retailers, they may well do that. Amazon do – an endless list of sellers will tell you they were blocked from selling certain items, only to find a couple of days later that Amazon were then selling the same item themselves, with NO competition, at a higher price.

    Back on ebay, errors are constant too. Click on a listing title in your messages and most of the time a blank screen opens up. If a potential customer sends an enquiry then clicks back on the product link at the top of the message and gets a blank screen, you’ve lost the sale. Not just that sale but all of them, every day (the way around it is to send them an offer from the link in the message but again you’re losing money, forced to sell it a little cheaper or not at all).

    Sales just do not fall off a cliff for hundreds, if not thousands of sellers, overnight. Have you ever walked into Tesco or Asda and seen them completely empty after being busy the previous day? It’s not normal, something has to bwe happening for sales to just completely die like that. Even your local corner shop doesn’t experience a drop in sales like that.

    Ten years ago I had one single day in February, which used to be my quietest month anyway, when I sold nothing at all and I went into a panic wondering what was wrong. I never forget that day. In over three years on ebay at that time, even at the very beginning, I NEVER have a single “blank” day. Now that happens several times a month. It’s “normal”, or at least on ebay it is.

    We’re now working to boost our website which currently produces around 30% of our income with NO promoting or advertising and only takes up a tenth of the time on ebay. We don’t know if it will work out or not but if we could leave ebay tomorrow we would do.

    And before anybody starts on “if you don’t like it don’t sell on there”. or “it’s their site, they can do what they like”, that’s not the point. We are paying them for a service, and we’re not getting that service. It’s not just listing fees and commission on the sale, it’s a marketplace and I believe we have a fundamental right to expect the very best service for our money, not zero sales, getting scammed every other day and poor to non-existent support.

    Oh and by the way, if the buyer sends a new item back in a used condition, yes you can deduct up to 50% if it’s sent back because they didn’t want it. BUT they can appeal and if they do ebay will give them the rest of their money back immediately and automatically, just as they do in other cases.
    However, as I outlined in my earlier post most buyers will claim there is something wrong with the item (I’ve had two today claim the USB cable doesn’t fit in the phones they each bought, 2 different phones, standard cables that fit ANY phone except iPhones of course). Basically they’re just lying to get free return postage, i.e. paid by the seller, and in those circumstances you’re not allowed or able to deduct anything and as I say you’re forced to pay return postage too.

    Ebay is screwed now, but the sad thing is it could still be so good but would need a complete change of management at the top who understood the market, the site and the sellers. Sadly they have tinkered with it so much now it’s full of bugs, too big to rewrite and almost certainly will never be the same again.

    1. They answered it in the article, by each topic… you’ll just have to read. A lot of it there simply aren’t really answers to, but where there were, they did try to help.

      I came on to add that tonight when shopping eBay has withdrawn the ability to ask sellers a question. THAT is NOT helpful to sales. They have to pick NOW to screw with things (the holiday season – where some sellers years are made or broken?)?!! Seriously, I wish they would hire someone at the top who has experience selling online – and preferably on eBay! Idiots!

  5. Along with all the other listed frustrations above, you know it’s bad when their customer service rep (that you’ve been working with for months!) agrees that he can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong either. Sales literally tanked in September 2016 and we kept scrambling to “fix our problems” for months. This was our case back in March and April. Things have SLOWLY picked up, but not anywhere near what it was 2 years ago. We did everything they told us to do, including revising more than 800 listings individually two times in a period of a month! It’s not us!

    I used to know who my competitors were. Some are still there; others came out of the blue with big feedback numbers. I can’t tell if they used to only list in other categories, or if the rumors are true that eBay solicited some of the bigger, more cut-throat sellers onto the site with promises of more revenue, preference and feedback manipulation. I actually wouldn’t put it past them anymore. I also asked the customer service rep who’d helped me all those months, “Who’s getting paid off?” He assured me that that doesn’t happen, and I told him, “That you know of…because it sure seems like that’s one of the last logical arguments I can think of.”

    The other thing I’m seeing is that some of these newer sellers are selling “new” branded items cheaper than I can buy them for. While I recognize that some may have more buying power than I do for bigger discounts, I don’t think that the discounts can be that much! Especially if you factor in eBay fees and shipping costs on top of your product costs – it just doesn’t make sense unless they’re possible counterfeits. I came across some known counterfeits and eBay didn’t do anything about it. I reported them at least 18 months ago and they’re still there, listing the item as the branded product, but shipping from China. This particular brand has even posted a notice on their wholesale website warning customers that they do not ship from China, or have any authorized seller who does. eBay has made it clear to me that they really don’t care!

    I too have started my own site, list on Amazon and am looking at other platforms. I will leave eBay when I’m comfortable that those others are solid and doing reasonably well for us. I’m tired of the games that eBay is playing. I’m an experienced reputable seller with integrity. I appreciate that in others and can’t respect or do business with those who aren’t.

    1. I agree – from about September 2016 things have taken a dramatic turn for the worst. Despite changing titles, descriptions and images, nothing has improved. We have a feedback rating of 99.98% and two negatives in twelve months. A Premium seller top rated for more than three years.

  6. I’ve been selling on eBay for eleven years and have never seen anything like it before. Sales have dropped by 34% in 4-5 months time and all eBay can do is to keep sending the same bi-monthly email with their exercise in stupidity called ‘Top Tips for Selling on eBay’: 1.)Qualify for the Top Rated Plus Seal. Why? We used to qualify for that worthless seal but then you raised the requirements… twice… so why even bother? And it doesn’t get you to the top in the listings. 2.) Add Product Identifiers. They’re already there, all of them. Stupid eBay. 3.) Adjust Your Price. After selling on eBay for 11 years you don’t think we’ve done price comparisons? (They’re sounding a lot like Amazon: lower your price, lower your price, lower your price…) And the one that tops them all, tip number 4.) Restock Popular Items. Really? Who was the genius that sat up all night conjuring up that suggestion? Really?

    A ‘good’ week now results in 50% of the number of sales that we had just a few months ago. I’ve called eBay many times and, of course, they have no way to explain it. Sellers with lower feedback ratings, fewer sales and higher prices out rank us. They have fewer products for sale and fewer sold. Some of them even violate eBay’s listing policies. (External links in the listings, text on the main image, etc.) eBay’s algorithm needs to be scrapped and replaced. The same goes for eBay’s upper management.

    Even though everything that we sell is listed as “Good Until Cancelled”, we’ve been experiencing ‘disappearing’ listings for at least eight years. One day they’re there, the next day they’re gone with not one word from eBay as to why they were dropped. If the listings violated eBay’s rules in some way, eBay would send us a nasty note telling us that listing number whatever was removed for X reason. But that is not the case. Instead, they’re just gone. On the many, many occasions that I’ve called eBay and inquired about the disappearing listings (yes, I still hold out hope that one day, some fine day, I will get an eBay rep on the phone that actually knows something about how eBay works… that’s silly, I know) I’m always given the same two responses: either “We don’t do that” or “I’ve never heard of that before”. How could you have NOT heard of that before? I feel as if I’ve reported it to at least half of the reps working at eBay. On one occasion I was actually asked for the eBay item numbers of listings that disappeared. Uh, to know that I would have to SEE the listings but, as I said, they no longer exist, remember? Absolute genius…

    We have devoted all of our resources to developing our own web site. It’s a slow process and, though we’ve made some mistakes along the way (and, hopefully, corrected them), it is the only thing that we can see that we might be able to use to replace eBay.

    After all of that, I suppose I do have one good thing to say about eBay: at least it isn’t Amazon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *