Did eBay lose a ton of off eBay traffic last August?

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Laura Mathieson has been looking at the Traffic tab in the eBay Seller Hub and noticed that, back in August, page views from outside eBay dropped off a cliff.

Traffic a year ago, in March, shows around 50% of traffic came from outside eBay, dropping to 25-30% in April/May but on the 18th of August off eBay traffic plummeted to around 5% on average, a level which has remained constant up until now with numbers never going higher than 10%.

This is interesting and Laura initially thought this could be explained by a cut back in the client activity off eBay, less engagement on Facebook for example. So she checked with a number of other client accounts, and found a exact correlation in percentages – off eBay referrals were much higher in March last year, around 40-60% as standard, dropping to 25-30% by May, and then plunging down on August 18th 2016.

Some of Laura’s clients saw an unexplained drop in sales at the end of August/September, which at the time she filed under “Don’t know” – but a significant drop in off eBay traffic may explain it.

Have you checked your traffic reports and seen anything similar, or have your off eBay referrals remained at normal levels?

23 Responses

  1. Coincidentally I was looking at eBay traffic prior to reading this, going back to August also shows the same big drop. Doesn’t tie in with sales though which are up by a big %.

  2. We sell on eBay and for us traffic has been declining over the years.

    My prediction is this will get much worst whilst the long term effects of eBay policies against sellers takes shape. You can’t discriminate and have a platform which lacks basic protection for sellers simply because the sellers are the people who are listing and making products available for customers. Lack of sellers means lack of products and eventually lack of choice for customers which inevitably means decline in customers using platform.

    I hope other new platforms will arise which give sellers better benefits & protection, for example cheaper fees will give buyers opportunity to sell items for cheaper- customers will automatically come as most people like to shop around for price before making a purchase. So where eBay have gone terribly wrong by making the platform solely customer orinentated is that by doing this they have alienated sellers- customers came to eBay to find a range of products easily.

    Giving customers free products stolen from sellers won’t keep make or keep customers happy eventually most sensible sellers won’t stick around especially when there are new and better platforms to sell on.

  3. Mine is the same (plumetting to 5% around the 18th August)… but my sales didn’t see a drop. I doubt there was a drop in “off ebay” traffic and they just realised they were reporting an incorrect figure. To me, 25% seems way too high.

    Last year my “Your totals to date” at the bottom of the Seller Dashboard page (sellerstandards.ebay.co.uk/dashboard) was showing an inflated figure for my total sales figure for all time… it was almost double of what the correct figure was. I was slightly perturbed by this, bearing in mind that they claim they hand over this misinformation to HMRC if requested to.

  4. We’ve seen the exact same thing from August 17th last year. It dropped off a cliff and hasn’t recovered although at the same time ‘From within ebay’ took a noticeable increase – not necessarily accounting for all the loss of ‘From outside of ebay’. I have a suspicion this might be a mixture of reporting based issues and strategy changes for ebay.

  5. Same here, on 18 August, this outside of ebay falls away, only increasing when there is significant traffic like a daily deal. Overall traffic remains stagnant, so I assume this is a reporting change.

  6. I spoke to Ebay CS about this when it first happened last August. They insist it is entirely because they changed what they previously classified as “outside of ebay”. Their answer was that overall page views no different (allowing for seasonal adjustment etc) but that it was simply a reporting change in the way they do their calculations. I suggested that if they looked at my graph they would see that traffic/impressions/page views/sales had dropped, at a time of year when they should have increased, so what was the explanation? Needless to say there wasn’t one and any drop in anything to do with ebay is always the sellers fault.

    We must remember that ebay don’t do anything wrong, any changes are to enhance sales and the buyers experience, they have no technical issues – ever – and CS are there to help…….. and pigs are flying past my window right now. They are pink. Not CS, just the flying pigs.

  7. Sales of high end items down significantly since August.

    Found a few hot selling items around £100-£200 each but my luxury watch sales are so low I’m going back on chrono24 in march and considering a premium package in April. Whilst I continue to grow my own site as just can’t rely on eBay it’s too unpredictable not to be on other platforms .

  8. Sales figures in August were good, sales in both the 1st & 2nd half of the month about equal.

    What I have noticed is that I see less Ebay ads on social media like Facebook, than I used to

  9. Just a thought …

    eBay do an update around the 20th of each month so this would have been for something they changed in July. It could have been to do with the mobile summary descriptions from the Spring changes which were to come into effect in July and would be noted in traffic after the update in August.

    As 55-60% of sales on eBay are touched by mobile then they may be pushing those with the good summary descriptions more than the traditional long, active content/html frames and also those descriptions with too much non product specific data in them.

  10. I have two stores and had exactly the same happen on 18th August with both. I could see a gradual drop of outside traffic over the months so I made screen shots of every 90 day graph going back as far as it would go and then joined them all together so it could be seen as one long graph. It was scary to see how outside ebay traffic had dropped from 500+ a day to just 1 or 2 a day over the last couple of years or so.

    I then spent ages on the phone to CS and eventually spoke to a very helpful agent who could see there was clearly a problem and said she would ‘own’ this problem, she even gave me her email address as correspondence. I sent her the graph images and she went off to investigate. After a few calls back and forth she was still on my side and still looking in to it, but in the end she eventually came back and said there was no problem and would I like to speak to a listing specialist! I’ve worked in a call centre so I know how it works, she had basically been told to get rid of me and drop her investigation as it was probably messing up their team performance traffic lights!

    I gave up after that as I was just hitting a brick wall so I’m glad this has come up on here. Maybe I should contact her again with this article to prove it wasn’t just me that experienced the drop.

  11. Perhaps eBay were testing the social media sponsored posts and then tweeked them in August and didn’t spend so much. Do you do any sponsored posts yourself? I still see lots of sponsored eBay ads on Facebook for the items I’ve been looking at.

    I think they tested it for 6 months then tweeked it, it was first used the facebook pixel in Feb 2016 they are still doing it but perhaps not for as many listings as before.

    Time to step up your sponsored ads I think 🙂

  12. Doesn’t solve lack of sales though?

    Just had an email from eBay with a price increase too on shops?


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