How was eBay’s August vs. Previous Years?

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SalesTamebay reader Mark always reads Tamebay’s daily emails, but this week was inspired to send in his response to our post “Can eBay stage a recovery after a dismal August?“. As a veteran eBay seller Mark has an interesting viewpoint and here’s what he had to say:

I have an eBay anchor shop with about 16,000 items selling, or trying to sell, small size second hand collectable items which are mostly one-offs. Sales during August mirror the graph displayed in your interesting article but I put this down to the weather. When I started out about a dozen years ago I had to save money to cover the dreadful sales period between June and mid September but about six years ago Britain’s trusty bad weathered summer kicked in and instead of going on holiday people sat indoors and bought stuff! August 2012 (when my area of SW England was severely flooded) remains my best sales month ever!

Sad old bugger that I am, I have sales sheets and graphs for the past dozen years and the pattern is relatively consistent. Like many people selling ‘second hand/ Collectables my best months are post Christmas when people buy the things they want rather than prior to the festive season when they buy for other people. I do a little better during September, October, November because, statistically, that is the most popular time of year for birthdays!

I have reasonable confidence in my stock, in the sense that I know what people want, but I know that no matter how good my stuff is, it will not sell for decent money in August. I keep plugging away with a couple of dozen auctions each week just to serve as a shop window but I would no longer risk a low starting price on a quality item.

When eBay began it was a relatively straightforward platform but it has been invaded by USA management psychobabble and furious and unremitting attempts at ‘monetisation’.

Like many others I look forward to the day when a large, non American, company takes a big step and sets up an alternative to eBay/Amazon (which I do not use on principle).

3 Responses

  1. I have now downgraded my eBay shop to Basic as I have seen the sales drop 60%. Ebay just seems to want the big shops and companies and are ignoring the smaller companies. Ebay used to be our biggest channel but luckily our website and Amazon has taken up the slack.
    Let’s see how Rakuten fairs this Christmas because now that eBay has not got PayPal to prop it up it is going to struggle.

  2. The “Non-USA” alternative to eBay does in fact exist and it has been around for many years. Ebid.

    Yet, though it’s demonstrated that it’s a stable market place, it’s never been able to compete with eBay. Whilst a lot of eBay Sellers either have identical “shops” on Ebid, if not have left eBay to trade there in disgust, what has NEVER happened is that the Buyers have similarly used Ebid in the same number. They remain firm users of eBay.

    Part of me actually hopes that the newly “single” eBay screws up so badly in the coming year that Ebid becomes a serious source for that “on-line bargain”.

    Not holding my breath though.

  3. We have sold swimwear on ebay for over 9 years. very successfully and without incident. We have 7000 listings and sold over 300.000 items. . August is one of our busiest months on ebay. We received an email from the seller performance team now based in the Phillipines telling us they are slowing down our selling for two months from 20th july to 20th september. They closed down over 100 of our good till cancelled listings. We could not list any new items. Our sales dropped from 2K daily to £200. Paypal payments frozen. After an 8 hour phone call and many other phone calls we finally discovered ebay had added a code to refund requests for items that do not fit to item as not described and adding a fault to our dashboard for every refund request. Dublin did try to help us and in one operatives word the treatment we had received was ‘brutal’ however they could not get the Phillipines to override the decision despite appealing for us. We actually got the fault defects removed but ebay refused to let us list and even worse stopped our remaining listings showing in the search algorithm. We are not the only sellers in fashion affected by this bug. One refund request they escalated to item not as described was our best selling line that had been live for years and we had sold nearly 2000 units. WE have now moved away from ebay as can only see the situation with ebay becoming worse. The words ‘item not as described maam’ are the Phillipines answer to every question


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