What’s wrong with eBay today?

What's wrong with eBay - Sunday Times - online marketplace for sale, one careless owner

There was an article in this weeks’ Sunday Times about eBay which makes for somewhat depressing reading. Titled “eBay: online marketplace for sale, one careless owner”, it’s a hatchet job about all that’s wrong with eBay today but as always there are some truths in there and the truth often hurts.

Cutting through the rhetoric, there are three complaints about what’s wrong with eBay that do have some merit – fees, relevance and financial performance, which can largely be summed up as seller grievances, buyers not being engaged and investor unrest.

eBay seller grievances

Fees are ever growing on eBay and today they are higher than ever, which coupled with eBay’s stated desire to widen their margins means sellers are getting a raw deal.

Let’s put this into some perspective. I remember a time on eBay when you could list SIF (Shop Inventory Format, defunct for over a decade) for 3p insertion fee and final value fees were 5.25% of the first £29.99, 3.25% for the portion of the sale between £30 and £599.99 and just 1.75% for anything over £600.

At eBay Universities I remember happily telling people I ran my entire eBay business for around 6% to 8% total fees (including shop subscription etc) plus PayPal fees. Today you’re looking at double or triple that, even with free insertion fees, depending on category by the time you factor in 10% or 12% final value fees and voluntarily donate a couple more percent to eBay’s coffers through eBay Promoted Listings.

With fees that high, the only thing that can justify them is massive sales and yet eBay’s growth has stalled or worse is contracting. eBay worldwide are getting fewer sales for sellers than a year ago but asking for ever higher fees. I’ve never yet seen a seller complain too much about fees when their eBay sales are sky rocketing, but boy do they complain when sales shrink and they’re not making an income.

Buyer Engagement

I went with a friend this weekend to pick up a second hand dishwasher she just purchased. Bought it on Facebook. My neighbour just sold a caravan. Sold it on Facebook. Want something tomorrow? Buy it on Amazon. Increasingly eBay are missing out on consumer to consumer sales and at the same time also missing out when a buyer wants speed and convenience.

You may well say that 2nd hand dishwashers, caravans, and some batteries delivered tomorrow aren’t eBay’s core strengths but equally all the time consumers are shopping elsewhere they’re not considering eBay for other purchases. It’s been known for decades that a consumer that occasionally sells on eBay is a much more loyal buyer but eBay are letting these customers slip away.

For eBay to be relevant it has to once again become the default place for buyers to start their search for pretty much anything. The Times describes Facebook and Amazon as “Both experiences are vastly different from eBay’s clunky bidding system and the faffing around with shipping. In an era when convenience is paramount, eBay is, well, inconvenient”.

Investor unrest

Giving money back to shareholders, as eBay has recently started doing with a dividend, is says The Times “an admission of defeat – a sign that you’ve run out of ideas”. With the sale of StubHub likely to complete and Investors pushing for a speedy sale of eBay Classifieds they say it will free eBay up to get back to it’s rooks as the destination for self-expressionists and treasure hunters.

The problem with this is that eBay need to have some fresh ideas. Sell offs make it more bite sized for acquisition but eBay’s strength should be returning to be the marketplace where you can buy and sell (almost) anything. Caravans used to be one of the top performing search word (in the now defunct eBay pulse) – it was in the top 10 for over a decade (and so noteworthy we blogged when it was pushed out of the top 10 by tech) and yet now they’re sold on Facebook. eBay was a once the definitive place to buy a dishwasher online and (a nod here to Steve who used to sell on eBay as 99pbatteries) the defacto place to buy batteries.

Part of what’s wrong with eBay is undoubtedly, says The Times, due to eBay being an idea that was so good and so simple that they did little to change it over the years. Whilst Amazon obsessed about shipping and Facebook obsessed about local sales eBay never got into managing shipping and offering convenience (and indeed allowed Chinese sellers with crappy shipping to flood the marketplace) and with a focus on new fixed price products lost their unique knack of connecting consumers with something to sell with consumers who wanted to buy.

There are two things worth remembering about eBay. Here in the UK we get the distinct impression that eBay is performing better than their worldwide results. Second that even in the dire straits eBay find themselves today, they still generate a pot full of cash and if they could only keep investors off their back and find a way to invest it to generate double digit growth, just about everyone – sellers, buyers and investors – would be a whole heap happier.

On the flip side, if eBay fail to perform in a very short space of time, the marketplace could easily find itself sold to the highest bidder. While the owners of NYSE might not have been that serious in their approach, once one potential buyer comes to the table more normally follow and if someone makes an eBay Best Offer that’s attractive to shareholders clicking that accept offer button will be all that’s left for the eBay Board to do.

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The sad fact about the failing of ebay is that most of the answers have been shouted at them for years. Loyal, long term, decent sellers leaving in droves... while ebay shirps about an influx of what appear to be just chinese sellers with 50 accounts each. A feedback system that is so beyond a joke that nobody really takes any notice of it... just look at how many dodgy sellers have massively poor feedback, but big sales~! A search engine that is, well..... dire. And don't even start me on fast and free...get it in 5 days! Can i search for next day, even 2 days delivery? No..... Amazon for that. A system where the page setup you see completely relies on which link you hit... Same info, completely different setup, as devs tinker with new designs.... but don't follow through. All very unprofessional and confusing. Strange changes that seem to have no point to them... look at dispatching stuff, suddenly we can only mark 50 items at a time as dispatched? WHY??? If i have 500 sales that day, why should I have to do 50 ata time, yet feedback i can do 200.... I will skip over fraud and c.s as we all know the long and tearful story here. In fact, i will leave it there... We all know the stories, we have all experienced the glitches, lack of communication and the general woes. Just mention ebay down the pub... not long before the warnings and experiences come out and few are ever good. Yet somehow, with all this going on, voiced in public, voiced in all the ebay forums and web communities, in the news papers and on the news..... Ebay instead decide to listen to this mysterious groupm of buyers that tell them this is what they want... well it must be because they tell us they have listened to them and this is what they wanted. Just counting down the months now until we abandon ebay and continue our expansion onto the many other commerce sites now available. Oh, did nobody tell ebay they weren't alone any more?

Toby • 10th February 2020 •

You have 500 orders a day and manually mark them as dispatched ? It's time for some automation ;) Overall could not agree more about eBay glitches, e.g try to find dispatched order by its "order number" - impossible!

NorthCrystal • 10th February 2020 •

Yep, as far as I am concerned eBay is broken. 20 years ago when I joined it was a great platform, sellers and buyers were engaged and there was the thrill of the chase. But now eBay want to focus on new items, the collectables market is on its knees. eBay has created a world of non-bidding watchers, with a terrible watcher to bidder conversion rate. As a seller i now have to start my auctions or buy it nows at a price I can accept, as there is rarely any competitive bidding and best offer just does not work seemingly. Items sell at maiden bid now, or if a 2nd bid comes it the price goes up one increment, the original bidder having gone in with no margins. I am just about to call in a clearance firm to take away my stock and sell at a general auction, a financial hit I will have to take. But when items wont sell at £1.....or get 6 watchers at 50p what can you do. And as for this Good Til Cancelled of fixed price listings - what a crock that is. I have given up trying to sell the oop collectable model aircraft, watchers, watchers and watchers but no bids. I just wish there was a way to talk to eBay, to explain to them what is wrong with their policies. I am sure we all have lots of ideas to improve things, but will they listen in time. Sadly not for me.

Dave • 10th February 2020 •

What platform is worth using please for small stuff? I'm a very small home seller and nothing selling for years at even half price. It's all brand new and not rubbish. Amazon charge 75 p plus percentage of sale. Thank you.

Kim • 10th February 2020 •

@ Kim - despite the impressions that this thread might give ebay should be your number 1 choice for getting maximum return for what you are describing.

Alan Paterson • 12th February 2020 •

It very simple ebay haven't invested in anything new, they were once number one and still act like they are biggest or only game in town. They have never listened to sellers, happy (and therefore complicite in buyer fraud), with zero monitoring or reporting facilities, or even allowing sellers to even state simple facts like claimed non-receipt demanded a refund straight away, rather then re-sending an item), . Allowed the site to flooded by dropper shippers, delivering goods from Amazon, in Amazon packaging clearly highlighting to any customer unfortunately enough buy via a drop shipper, that they purchase would have been cheaper if they started on they search on Amazon and not ebay. They are tied to there old technology that was built in the early 90s , I bet if you worked in technology for ebay, it's held together by rubber bands and pieces of strings!!!. I can sell an item for less then 8% seller fee's in health and beauty if it's less then £10, paypal alone charge 5% to process the transaction and ebay 10%, and now they want more to promoted listing, placing fee's above good customer service. Its a dinosaur, dying a slow death. In ten years time it have been brought and sold by another venture capital (probably having around gone through the hands of 2 or 3 others VC firms prior to that), claiming they will reboot it Ebay version 6.0 or whatever, they will just strip out whatever fee's they can from the bones of the company.

Thomas Shearing • 10th February 2020 •

It has been run by greedy shortsighted YES people for far to long, with no fresh ideas, no innovation, just more stupid metrics (which are a total sham) and fees fees fees. Stealth FEES with Pay to Play are totally abused. Fakes goods and seller misrepresentation have sky-rocketed ( because the can get away with it). Lots of bad buying experiences. Private sellers cannot sell anything so DO not even bother switching onto eBay where they might buy something. Honest my mates all use Facebook and buy on Amazon. Since 2017 it has been a complete disaster for myself, and complete race to the bottom, sales are not the issue it is the HUGE fees are eating up all the margins. We used to be 24 hour fast free right up to 4pm. Now we are 48 hour with 1 day dispatch. It is just not worth the time and we need to try and keep our margin up. The amount of merchants we see come and go also BOOM and Bust chasing pennies is unreal, 2 year lifecycle. It is far to EXPENSIVE for sellers and buyers...that simple.

SAM • 10th February 2020 •

eBay unfortunately manipulate all their figures to try and appeal yet everyone has now unravelled it. They say sell a mobile on ebay and get a lot morein comparison to other places. Rubbish!! example £150 on ebay minus the 10% minus the paypal minus the safe shipping leaves around £110 to £120. Facebook or Gum tree £150 no shipping unless they want it shipping and no fees. Oh then ebay buyer says it was cracked and returns an item you did not send then ebay side with them and your huge sale is now zero and no phone. Then on top of that we have a spate of buyers not reading listings and then saying the item is not as described to be able to return for free at our expense. we send messages to them and they reply giving us all the ammunition we need for ebay return process abuse. They get us to fill in a form and attach the invoice that ebay have charged. Then just totally ignore it and never refund the shipping. All they are interested in is grabbing more fees. They are just abysmal at defending sellers making eBay one of the most unsecure selling platforms. we use them now as just an advert to get people to look up the item online and they always buy from us on another cheaper outlet. Keep up the good work eBay of steering our customers to a more profitable outlet of ours.

Mark • 10th February 2020 •

I found that one to be a particularly stupid marketing ploy by ebay. going big on the "get more selling your phone on ebay" also shouts "pay more buying your phone on ebay" which isn't something you should be saying to potential customers.

james • 11th February 2020 •

eBay is now my platform of last resort and I started my business from scratch 14 years ago solely on eBay. I now sell over €1 million a year and eBay effectively gets none of it

Chris • 10th February 2020 •

Back when sales were good and to some degree predictable, I used to buy alot on Ebay in turn. Alas I'm a domestic tax paying seller and hence sales are not very good or predictable, hence I buy not much on ebay.

Ifellow • 10th February 2020 •

When I look at the type of low-quality products I am competing with, Makes me want to use eBay even less. I actually like to buy decent quality products, which are well branded and presented even if it means paying more, as ultimately this satisfies me more than the cheapest crud which dominates eBay. There are plenty of other market places that can fill the gap of crud, better than eBay. With all the fakes I find myself buying more and more from manufacturers websites.

ifellow • 10th February 2020 •

"Here in the UK we get the distinct impression that eBay is performing better than their worldwide results" GMV here in the states declined 9% in 4th quarter, as sellers *still* report of problems related to last years botched October catalog updates. It's also refreshing to see a major publication call out eBay's technical issues that underpin many of eBay's other failings. I have yet to see any of the major media outlets in the US shine a light on eBay's chronic tech and ops misexecution as the root cause of many other problems (would US GMV have declined 9% if Q4 if it weren't for the catalog and promoted listings boondoggle?) Always enjoy Tamebay's expert take on things like this, though calling the Times' piece a "hatchet job" seems a bit severe. After sharing this blog post on Twitter earlier, an ex-eBayer remarked that "Tamebay's ostensible defense of eBay management and culture in response reads much more like an indictment."

unsuckebay • 10th February 2020 •

My Daughter purchased an item from Basildon Essex (so it said) 7 days delivery to Suffolk 60 miles away (lol), checked listing and VAT number was for a Health shop in Abingdon, Finally got the item with customs form on from China with returns address to a warehouse beside Heathrow Airport ! Looked at listing and couldn't see how to report the seller, so another buyer lost as she will not use eBay anymore. Have now reported them through eBay's facebook page, but will they get banned from the site ? eBay cannot continue with sellers like this, they are ruining it for everyone, but does eBay care ?

Chris • 10th February 2020 •

They would only care about their reputation if they got called out about it in a petition signed or online by every single person who felt this way. And in the sellers market place there must be thousands. Then the press would get hold of it and it's only through massive interest that things change sadly. One voice alone is not enough to complain to a company employee who is paid peanuts probably, has a manager breathing down their neck to answer chat and phone calls within seconds etc. and then hope to not get rubbish feedback on their limited help! So they are stuck in the same boat really as the customer. Only winners are the CEO or Directors. About time they were held responsible for their company and it's antics. They seem untouchable, like Amazon and Facebook. Why???? If the company were yours or mine, we'd have been told years ago these things were not allowed (in Chinese seller case) and more. Surely someone out there can tell them? Why would you risk your company collapsing after such effort at the beginning? I used to love Ebay in the beginning.

Kim • 10th February 2020 •

Once I tried to buy something but needed to purchase from legit vat business (it was company expense). Ohh. What a joy. One "UK based" company operating from a hotel room in big and known hotel brand. Other "London based" company registered at abandoned building along with 700 other "businesses" in that same building. Their vat numbers "stolen". I spent 10 mins checking businesses and not buying anything. Poor eBay. Now I only buy stationery there and still checking out the businesses details.

NorthCrystal • 10th February 2020 •

Loads of orders like this now via southall. They must get trucks and trucks daily with zero duties paid. What a joke.

Ifellow • 10th February 2020 •

Ebay: Start with a normal customer service by email or chat instead of letting a questioner circling around automic generated answers, which do not answer the question at all. It's a shame that such a big company has such a bad customer service. Also the listing of an item is pain in the ass because of all the boxes that have to be filled in. The fees on the postage costs is a shame. The promotional listings is setting the sellers up to each other. Also, since this started, sales have plummeted to all time low.

Peter • 10th February 2020 •

eBay need to introduce a way for customers to personalise personalised items, it's very simple on amazon but not eBay. The amount of orders I cancel due to customers not providing anything as there is no proper way for them to do it is staggering. It's not easy for customers due to no process, they don't then reply to messages etc, if there was simply a custom box like amazon that is mandatory the issue would save multiple cancelled orders across many sellers

wyatt • 10th February 2020 •

Type in "personalised" and you will find well over 10million items for sale and not one can have any input before you purchase. I have been beating at their door for a long time especially as we are supposed dispatch within a day or cost ourselves another 10% in lost discount on their fees. Apparently the ONLY customer service metric is SPEED of delivery. Have to remember that when I order my Rolls Royce that's on 5 years delivery cycle.

Ian • 10th February 2020 •

I used to sell custom printed items on eBay, I had a custom uploads page linked into the eBay listing and it worked a treat, until eBay blocked it! The standard "Attach photos" option in the message is good enough these days for many custom made items and the quality of the image resolution has been vastly improved. However, eBay is just not the right place to be selling anything custom made as they do not honour the law in the UK by allowing customers to force returns for non-returnable items. eBay hinted that they would be removing custom items from the returns option so I waited months for eBay to update its return policy, all that they eventually added to the nonreturnable items list were some types of dog food! I closed my eBay account that day. It is too risky if a customer buys some printed promotional goods from me, uses them then sends them back for a full refund. That happened and eBay helped the customer to rip me off!

Carl • 3rd March 2020 •

We The People must take a stand against the eBay platform for refusing to force sellers to follow their rules. When ebay refuses to enforce their rules it destroys the market for buyers. I'll NEVER purchase anything from China or made in China ever again. I have eBay/their lack of appropriate response to thank for this.

K. Moore • 10th February 2020 •

@ Moore. ebay is not a public service. it is after all THEIR platform.

Alan paterson • 11th February 2020 •

I have been selling on eBay since March of 2004. I have the same store and 100% feedback. eBay used to allow negative feedback. Bad sellers were weeded out. The bad seller would just reopen another store, why they could is a mystery to me. It was easy to check their history. I would just check the seller's feedback, and click ID History. There it was, the actual history of their store names and how long they used them. To my disbelief, a seller's ID history is no longer available for review. I have a speciality in gemstones. I could tell just by looking at the picture that an"emerald" was glass. There was no way I could report this. eBay has systematically destroyed the integrity of the gemstone trade. The layman buyer has purchased junk for terribly high prices. I would buy this junk and report it to eBay. Once I had proven it was junk, my ability to leave feedback was taken away. eBay allows unscrupulous sellers an unbridled avenue to continue using this outlet. Many buyers have discovered this, just look at the feedback "Buyer Beware".

Adele Harrington • 10th February 2020 •

As much I could drone on for hours about the faults with selling on eBay, I do have to acknowledge the simple fact that our sales on eBay are forever increasing and have done for the past 15 years or so. I spend all day, every day, complaining about the site, the poor choices, the dodgy buyers and duff options on the site, but when all said and done, all the changes over the past few years have never impacted our actual sales. We are busier than ever, continuously beating turnover records and we can be sending anything up to 400 parcels a day. Just saying it isn’t all doom and gloom, very hard work, yes, but still a very viable outlet. I currently only sell on eBay, no other channels which in this day and age is frowned upon, but I have never felt the need to look elsewhere.

hubert72 • 10th February 2020 •

We decided to close up shop in December (on eBay) after seeing our overall eBay fees, FVF, Store fees and Promoted Listings spend (excl.) payment processing, reach a record 35% of our eBay REVENUE for the month. INSANE. We had 20k listings (non variation) these were individual listings with an Anchor Store subscription. We ran free shipping, promotions, promoted listings, top rated seller, massive feedback, all item specifics data filled, yet eBay couldn’t produce the revenue it once used to for us anymore, to the point that our fees reached a whopping 35% of our eBay revenue by the time we decided to close the store and remove everything. Complete corporate greed and mismanagement has destroyed this once vibrant marketplace which is now almost beyond repair imho. If it goes to the wall I wouldn’t be even at all surprised, or bothered for that matter. In fact, it’s enabled us to realise that eBay wasn’t really profitable enough to warrant the volume of work required to maintain it. We’ve cut back, scaled down and we’re actually in a much stronger position financially even though we’ve reduced our turnover significantly. I’d recommend highly that anyone selling on this marketplace right now and currently seeing a long downward trend of spiralling sales decline, does take a real hard look at their eBay numbers, work out your actual net profits from this place, and divide that by the number of hours you put into it. The results for many will be bleak indeed. Sellers are leaving by the thousands every month and the buyers are following them. Don’t think that at any moment now your sales are bound to improve, they won’t. Not unless you pay more fees. You a pay a bit, they give you some sales, You pay a bit more, they give you some more. Reduce what you pay, they’ll take those sales away, and you’ll be left with less sales than what you started with. From here it then becomes a fee trap and a slippery slope with a warehouse full of stock that you can’t sell without discounting it to near cost, all the while your costs keep rising and your prices are being driven into the ground. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. My advice. Get out now, and get out early.

Jay • 11th February 2020 •

Good riddance to sellers who choose to use promoted listings. I hope the rest of them drive their businesses into the ground sooner rather than later.

Johnny • 11th February 2020 •

Never really did see using Promoted Listings as a choice. More like we were being forced into it. Yes, you CAN always say no in the physical sense. But what I’m really saying is that both YES and NO ultimately lead to the demise of ones business on eBay in the long run. And that falling for the Promoted Listings fee trap will only get you to that point sooner.

Jay • 12th February 2020 •

selling much the same product from the same source in the same marketplace Could be the problem

Jim • 11th February 2020 •

K.Moore :"We The People must take a stand against the eBay platform for refusing to force sellers to follow their rules." The people have taken a stand against Ebay, they simply use Amazon instead and Ebay is dying, as clearly shown by the number of comment by sellers above!!!!

Thomas Shearing • 11th February 2020 •

The mess with ebay is that it is too unregulated. Low regulation is good, but no regulation is horrible as people use horrendous business tactics for short term profits. The site is flooded with garbage and bots are used to automatically scrape and relist every listing off Amazon 100x.

Jae from Gorilla ROI • 11th February 2020 •

That pretty much sums up eBay for the last decade. They have come up with endless schemes, tricks, and deception for money because they're allowed to do it. They rely on numerous changes and updates often without official notice to cause confusion for their own profit. It's all done on purpose. At eBay it's all about what they know they can "get away with." For example, additional seller punishment fees for things which are totally eBay's fault and others which they promote such as returns. That's a criminal scheme. Among many other forms of fraud they employ. The only way these tactics against consumers can be stopped is with government investigation and invervention. Until then, eBay will continue to cheat and steal unabated.

Dav • 11th February 2020 •

Too many sellers complaining about decreasing sales and concentrating on the "negatives" of ebay. A positive approach is required. Concentrate on the positive initiatives ebay have introduced and work WITH the platform - then you might get somewhere.

Alan Paterson • 11th February 2020 •

Alan, Please do make a list of said positives. I’m sure we’d all love to comment on your independent view of eBay.

Jay • 12th February 2020 •

@ Alan Paterson - well how are my sales down? I have been on the platform since 2004 and my sales are at an all time low. There seems nothing I can do to fix this. Surely if things were getting better sales would be improving.

Jayne C • 12th February 2020 •

Happy to do that Jay but first I would like to define what a "positive initiative" is. I am sure you will agree that three parties are involved in every transaction: 1. ebay the platform 2. The buyer 3. The seller All 3 are imperative for the business to function. Loose one the other 2 cannot function. Sellers often forget this and look at the situation from only their -often myopic - point of view. In other words - if an initiative is introduced that makes ebay more secure / safe for BUYERS it may - in contrast - inconvenience the SELLER. However, just because the seller is not happy does not make this a "bad" idea if the buying experience is improved or ebay becomes a more profitable stable platform. Sellers forget that this is a symbiotic relationship. Many would like to see ebay bust - what would that do for their ebay business?! Some sellers show incredible resentment towards buyers. Where would you be without buyers? To summarise - just because a seller doesn't like a "new thing" doesn't mean to say it is bad. Whats good for ebay and good for the buyer should be seen as good for the seller - even if its a pain in the arse for us sellers. We need to look at the big picture. I have only encountered one negative initiative and that is SEVICE METRICS which is bad for all 3 parties. With the exception of this I challenge anyone to find anything that ebay has introduced in the last 20 years (and kept) that is not an improvement for at least 1 of the 3 parties. I am sick of sellers prattling on about positive initiatives being bad - just because they do not know how to use the tool. "Promoted listings" is the best thing since Best Match but yet sellers are trashing it in posts above because they seem to be clueless how it works Its frustrating. so there is number 1 positive initative ebay have introduced: 1. Promoted Listings if anyone wants to know how to use it PROPERLY I can TRY and explain on here but I would ask you guys to listen rather than try and persuade me of falsehoods about ebay. If you want to try and explain to me that it doesn't work - thats not going to help you is it? I think we need to concentrate on "what's right about ebay" rather than what's wrong and to learn how these initiatives can increase profits rather than decrease. If promoted listings are decreasing your profits then you are doing it wrong. Thats not ebays fault! Work with the platform rather than against it.

ALAN PATERSON • 12th February 2020 •

Good point! Registering for a throw away vat number and Hong Kong bank account now

Ifellow • 12th February 2020 •

@ Jayne C. if you read my post further down the page it will help you to understand. If you don't mind I will use your case to illustrate my point. I will also talk you through how to get your sales up and I guarantee it will work (providing you are selling a non-seasonal product/s) if you don't mind co-operating with a few back and forth questions.

Alan Paterson • 12th February 2020 •

Fear not yea ebay believers the Messiah has returned

Jim • 12th February 2020 •

Ross & Alan the new comedy duo promote & List

jim • 13th February 2020 •

were happy to work with ebay they owe us nothing, in turn we owe them no loyalty, unless they cut the mustard , we will dine elsewhere

jim • 12th February 2020 •

@ jim - thats my point. Currently sellers are NOT happy to work with ebay. Just read the posts on Tamebay. The vast vast majority are attacking ebay and making demands of the platform "or else" they will go elsewhere (Amazon?). ebay is meant to be your business partner. If ebay is doomed then it will have a lot to do with the attitude of the sellers. Above (if Janyne C participates) I will illustrate that one of the most hated initiatives - sponsored / promoted listings is actually a GOOD thing if used correctly. It allows us to exert a fair amount of control on Cassini with no loss in profits. And you don't need to quote Chris's post - its at the top of the thread. I get that the differential in fees is massive but a comparison is not fair to ebay. It was a different time on the internet.

Alan paterson • 12th February 2020 •

yes a very much different time on the internet ebay had little or no competition yet the fees were very reasonable yet today with so much more competition the fees are punishing we cant work out the logic?

jim • 12th February 2020 •

@ well I can't explain EVERYTHING Jim. you are asking the wrong questions. I have offered help several times on this thread but you seem intent on "proving me wrong" , perceiving positive things and negatives and then dwelling on these negatives. These are not strategies that will help you, or improve the platform in general. You are one of those sellers who look at the hole rather than concentrating on the doughnut.

Alan Paterson • 12th February 2020 •

Alan your inventing things to argue against so you can self congratulate yourself

Jim • 12th February 2020 •

@ yes, I have had that said to me many times before by ignorant people who don't understand and can't keep up.

Alan Paterson • 12th February 2020 •

@ Jim , I don’t think you could be more wrong. “Inventing things” . I think you need to read Patersons posts below. Does that sound like someone who is inventing things? You are really quite rude to someone who is only trying to help negative a***s like you.

Ross K • 12th February 2020 •

Ahh The disciple With the Blind faith and outrage Act Though nothing relative ?

Jim • 13th February 2020 •

We have sold on ebay from the start Even before ebay uk existed, Worked well for us. And we have profited using ebay Though it seems the more successful we became in turn helping ebay to be more successful .we are rewarded with higher fees Ebay are 21st century merchants of venice

Jim • 13th February 2020 •

Nearly! Right? More than one car More than one house ,and at least 3 holidays a year May we suggest that is your sanctimonious Attitude that attracts the mud

Jim • 13th February 2020 •

that is awesome Jim, its really good to hear about your success on ebay. genuinely - people would think the opposite from your posts. but I am genuinely surprised and happy. truly excellent. good for you. it actually seemed that you did not have a clue what you are doing. in contrast I only have one house (with a mortgage), I don't have a car at the moment and I can't take any holidays this year. its good to see good ol capitalism at work and the success of a man is measured in how much property and cars he has in his possession. More than one house and car?! wow. By those standards and materialistic measurements I am truly a failure in life. I have no possessions compared to you. Anyway, I need to get into town today to pick up my prescription so Im off to catch the bus......... A final thought ............ aint ebay been good to you. Why not share your story? Tell people........ Many people think like you. Who knows ........ you might even inspire some folks and generate some true value / worth.

Alan Paterson • 13th February 2020 •

Lol Jim. Paterson is a savant - he takes everything literally and speaks literally. I don’t think he could do sanctimonious if he tried. He is showing u up here and ur falling for it. Don’t even try and engage.

Ross K • 13th February 2020 •

as chris dawson points out. " I remember a time on eBay when you could list SIF (Shop Inventory Format, defunct for over a decade) for 3p insertion fee and final value fees were 5.25% of the first £29.99, 3.25% for the portion of the sale between £30 and £599.99 and just 1.75% for anything over £600." IS THE ANSWER AND THE SOLUTION to the problem

jim • 12th February 2020 •

philosophy, the customer is always right. problem. they are not. buyers shaft sellers. ebay implements philosophy. sellers get hammered

steve • 12th February 2020 •

Ebay where to start Safe place to buy and sell No supports sellers definitely No Supports Buyer Not so sure. Seller offer an item with the title. "Carl Zeis Telescopic gun sights". That's great a brilliant find for any potential buyerhighest quality gun sights and these are only £129 instead of the usual £749. the description reads all technical jargon about magnification and sizes and all the normal stuff brand new and in box. But right in the middle it says " facsimile / clone" not highlighted or made clear. So these are not genuine they are not by world renowned Carl Zeiss at all. those two words mean copies or fake. So you contact eBay nothing is done you get 31 other people to report the listing and nothing is done. I ring eBay and they explain sorry we are not sure they are fake as Carl Zeiss have not contacted us themselves. Now 2 issues with that answer. If they are not fake then they are "not as described" If they are fake they should be removed. If the seller states they are fake and eBay allow it then what chance have honest sellers got. Please all look no further for how eBay have got your back.

Mark • 12th February 2020 •

@Alan Paterson Ok I have struggled with promoted listings including running a month test before as a control, then a month with promoted listings and then a month without again and found no significant uplift to justify the cost. We are a small printers specialising in "personalised" printing. So fake items from abroad etc does not significantly affect us but that does not mean we do not believe it is out there. Ebay is a mega monster and what ever it thinks of as a good idea today will take months or years to implement. We feel that Ebay is trying to become amazon which they are not and should not aspire to be. They have their own identity and that is what they are loosing (in our opinion). Our sales are down year on year and you can say "that's your own fault" and we are not going to shoot you down for that but.. Within Tamebay, recent posts show that Ebays visits dropped during the lead up to Christmas. ebay's GMV has flat lined and forget our sales being down, we are much more interested in our ponds sales being down by an average of 25% almost every month. That's our piers sales are down not just us. We check our competition to see what our world is up to and many big feedback score companies have got their feedback in the past and are doing next to nothing now. Ebay (as per a Tamebay post) even bought in fashion listings on a deal with one of their bigger partners because they had too little to offer. All that did was kick in the teeth a seller who was doing well until swamped by the influx. ebay admitted they over did it. The drive to "get it out the door before you even ordered it" does not work in our world because we need input from the buyer before we can process. 11 million "personalised" listings that could be improved dramatically if ebay made people enter personalisation before you can buy or improve the message system to allow various files and real communication to take place. Amazon recognised this and did something about it. Ebay should have been there. The only thing we can say has been implemented and really works for us is the multi buy promotion allowing single pack items to be discounted in a real helpful way. But our view is that before they pushed you to include postage which inflated a single item package out of proportion, this should have been implemented 1st. Ebay seem to be drunk falling one way and fixing it and then falling another. We are a massive fan of Ebay but think they have got some serious problems at the mo. If you can help us with "promoted listing " as being cost effective and properly done then please lead the way. We are positive thinking but finding Ebay very hard work at this moment in time.

Ian • 12th February 2020 •

@ Ian. One of the problems with promoted listings is that ebay themselves do not know how to apply it to an account. well, at least the people on the phones at ebay - obviously the programmers know how the algorithm works. There is so much secret surrounding how best match and Cassini calculates your exposure - I think the staff at ebay have not been trained to train us - so to speak. To understand it properly certain secrets need to be disclosed about Cassini - and thats not allowed - even to ebay staff. This has caused a certain "ignorance" on how to apply the promoted listings tool. ebay have a team who phone sellers to promote the tool. I have had the opportunity to speak to these operators / sales people on several occasions and they were struggling to understand the fundamentals. For example they were failing to understand the difference between "turnover" and "profit" and I had to point out that an item with a 20 percent net profit would most certainly run at a loss when the bar was set at max (especially when you factor in the additional fees). Fine if you simply want to clear old stock but catastrophic if you are buying stock in to resell at a loss. Some sellers did not "get this" and when you realise that ebay themselves were not understanding you can see the problem. it is no wonder resentment has been building regarding promoted listings - no one knows how to work it - except maybe Reed Richards and oh of course - me. Its a shame because the tool is very very clever. Sellers look at the tool and hate it - it looks as if ebay are trying to create additional revenue. Yes, it does that for ebay but it ALSO gives the seller control over their exposure on ebay. Both parties are winning with this one. When sponsored / promoted listings were introduced I done similar to you. I created several "controls" to observe what was happening. To use an extreme example - one of my controls I set at max 20% while simultaneously adding 20% to my prices. I also done a control with the original prices (without adding 20 percent). BOTH tests actually damaged the ebay shop and I quickly realised that there was a lot lot more than met the eye. Setting the bar high is not necessarily proportional to volume of sales and can sometimes have the opposite effect over time (as some have observed on here). As you sell personalised items it muddys the water and adds another dimension. I am going to wait and see if Jayne gets back to me and give an example of a standard non-personalised product. I hope thats ok but if I am to give advice on this thread I want to make it as straight forward as possible. But meanwhile if you go into your "performance" at the top of your seller hub and select "summary" you will see 4 figures at the right hand side of the page. These are: 1. Listing impressions 2. Click Through rate 3. Listing Page Views 4. Sales conversion rate My following explanations assumes entropy on the category you are selling on and also assumes your product is non seasonal (for ease of explanation). Sellers who's businesses are in decline usually have at least 1 figure RED. Many will have all 4 in the red. If you have figures in the red Cassini will give you less exposure month on month, often resulting in an exponential decline of your sales. The secret is to keep the figures in the GREEN. THIS is what Promoted listings should be used for. These figures are a big deal for the Cassini algorithm yet sellers ignore them or think they cannot exert control over them. Promoted / sponsored listings can directly influence 2 of these and should not be applied "all at once". Assuming entropy and non seasonal items a "green" figure in each of the four categories WILL change your business to a positive growth over time. I will compare it to a stereo playing your favourite tune - have the volume too low nobody can hear it - turn it to maximum it will distort and over modulate , find the correct level , find the "Goldilocks zone" and you can have maximum exposure while still keeping the cost low. There is so much more to this but there a taster. yet sellers throw mud at ebay for this one when in fact ebay have given you the tool to exert some control over the Cassini algorithm while not necessarily effecting your net profit.

Alan Paterson • 12th February 2020 •

@Alan your business trading actions on eBay may need some extra planning. If you set promoted, to say, 20% then it's not enough to raise the original price by 20%. PayPal will eat into the profits so price needs to be on higher % than promoted is. I'm sure you knew it already.

NorthCrystal • 12th February 2020 •

@northcrystal. very observant. and yes, I was aware of that but its a very good point you make. A seller would need to increase by more than 20%. For the purpose of comparing the 2 controls though it served its purpose. ebay have introduced an excellent pie chart breaking down seller fees for the seller including PayPal fees, listing fees, subscription fees and discounts. its very comprehensive and a seller can see at a glance anywhere where they are potentially "overspending". ebay have displayed these fees ex VAT. When sellers accuse ebay of not being transparent it baffles me when they have introduced tools like this.

Alan Paterson • 12th February 2020 •

@ Ian - you mention your sales were down by 25 percent every month - and your peers sales were down also. You will notice ebay give you a percentage of growth in your category - not just your own individual growth (whether that be a positive or negative figure). Your category can be experience growth while simultaneously causing your sales decrease and sales decrease of your peers. My other posts assumed entropy in your category but that will not always be the case. it is a fluidic situation and can be very confusing for a seller. For example - many sellers ask how everyone can be experiencing a sales decrease while the category is simultaneously showing growth. The reason for this is more sellers joining in your category or to put it another way - more competition. There is only one way of combating this. In my category I needed to increase my inventory every month to stay ahead of the curve. with more and more sellers joining a category you off course get a smaller and smaller "slice of the pie". To combat this and keep your growth in the green more inventory must be added. I needed to increase my inventory by 3 percent every month (this will vary dramatically between different categories) to continue to show a growth and keep my figures in the green. Fortunately - unlike Amazons buy it now box - ebay allows you to get exposure without necessarily being the cheapest - this is again where the Promoted listing tool comes to play. It is fantastic that ebay allows increased exposure without being the cheapest. Its frustrating when ebay are compared to Amazon - Amazon are seen as the more lucrative platform. Maybe there is an argument for this in bulk sales - but certainly not for net profit. Cassini is very fair and does not focus only on price. ebay wins hands down yet sellers are migrating to Amazon. Turnover is vanity - profit is reality and the potential for making the best net profit is almost always ebay. We are approaching a crisis point though which has no doubt triggered this sale of ebay. As more and more sellers interpret the data wrong and have a negative approach to the platform there comes a point that the platform DOES go into a decline. And that is my fear. What the mind perceives and believes it will achieve. In order for the platform to grow - sellers need to get behind ebay and be supportive and positive. We need to rekindle the community spirit. This negativity and misinterpretation of the platform is like a cancer in the business. ebay and sellers seem to be working against each other. sellers do not share ebays goals and they see every initiative as bad. if this continues the damage will become more and more evident and eventually irreparable and the negative sellers on here WILL get their own way. Attitude of the sellers is what can make or break ebay. Its a shame because most sellers just have "the wrong end of the stick". when you are a flea living on a dogs back - you want the dog to be healthy - some sellers on here would want to kill the dog.

alan paterson • 13th February 2020 •

@ Alan Paterson. Sorry to hear about your health, hopefully you are on the road to long term recovery. Think you may have misread part of my post. I am saying that we may be doing something wrong and that's our problem to solve but our market is down by 25% year on year on an almost permanent basis. Today I would say about 30% judging by the graphics. I do not understand how the category can experience growth if its sales are down. There maybe more new businesses in the UK in a recession but they still call it a recession until sales are determined to be up, surely that is how you judge a growing market. Saturated and so smaller slice of the pie I get but not growth when sales are down market wide and 25%+ is definitely a huge down. If I have misunderstood then fine, just spoon feed me and I will be ok. So the way I am reading your posts (and do forgive me if I am wrong) is that you are implying that Cassini is account wide when it comes to placement and not individual listing wide. Meaning if my impressions are down then Cassini will limit all my exposure and not just say an item that has not sold for a while. Adding new items from scratch as they are not off the shelf takes time so I would have to think about how I can do it. I think my takeaway from this is that you increase prices on an item to promote (cover your costs), promote to get your impressions and hopefully visits to the shop as well as the listing and you may get some sales on that product into the bargain but the aim is to produce overall interest that long term should result in sales. Thank you for the posts, will read with interest.

Ian • 13th February 2020 •

I keep in touch with a few othr sellers and here is the whole scenarion in a nutshell They have a 98.2 feedback score we have 100. we sell an item for £29.99 because we have to. Its called over heads. Recentley we were allowed to write it off. so for a trial i sent half to the other seller who like us was selling about 2 per month. He then lowered his price by £8 matching a chinese seller with a chinese address shipping from a uk storage using a students account. He now sold 8 per month until all 24 had gone. Whereas in reality he lost £3.99 per sale and 1 was returned so he lost an extra £3.20 shipping on that one. So 24 sales returning a loss of £98.96. So i will not be visiting my accountant to ask if thats good business practice but i may ask Alan to show me the way to proceed. Improve customer relations. Dont know how as 100% was the max the last time i went to scholl and thats over 20 plus years. Pay promotion ads. oh yes pay more to have my listings actually shown to the ever dwindling customer base in the hope of more sales. Pay google ads. Put and ad in the national press. But i have worked it out myself. I should send eveyone the item free who clicks on it just to look. They may then go viral as the best business in the uk and everyone will come to me and i can start to charge and hope they dont go away. As at a loss rate like that adding to the full fee holding thats coming from paypal on any returns the final nails are being hammered.

Mark • 12th February 2020 •

@ Mark, understanding Cassini and how to get more exposure on ebay without reducing your net is the answer. I have had clients with reasonably bad feedback but only get a marginally less "sales conversion rate". Not very significant. So I can say that customer service is not the answer and you have 100% anyway. ebay will tell you that feedback is no longer important for evaluating your ebay business but it DOES effect your sales conversion rate which in turn can effect your exposure with Best Match / Cassini but only marginally. THIS FIGURE NEEDS TO BE IN THE GREEN the vast majority of the time along with the other 3 categories of traffic. Keep all these in the "green" and it is inevitable that your business will grow (assuming non seasonal product and no growth in the overall ebay category for ease of explanation) 1. Listing impressions 2. Click Through rate 3. Listing Page Views 4. Sales conversion rate my expertise is ebay so I couldn't comment on offline advertising. I have seen clients have some success with Google Adwords but caution needs to be applied as it can be expensive. Sponsored listings do not factor in price - however price can effect your click through rate and sales conversion rate. My advice to many sellers is to start by applying a small sponsored ad rate BUT add this to the price of your item so you are still making the same net profit. ebay and you win but the buyer does pay more. Increasing exposure by getting these figures in the green is the answer to everything - your dwindling customer base, it will start to increase your sales and providing your product has a demand it should give you a consistent profit without having to even consider selling items at a loss. keep all other expenses to a minimum. the Chinese seller you mentioned is frustrating. I have no answer for that one except don't worry about something you can't control.

Alan Paterson • 12th February 2020 •

What's wrong with ebay? They don't have a good strategy. Ebay should focus on improving the marketplace, improving buyer and seller experience. In the end if done right this is the only way to a sustainable increase in revenue, the only way to survive. Make listing easy and cheap, make browsing the website a breeze, make searching, finding and buying items a pleasure. Setup a good feedback system. Focus on the fundamentals of a good marketplace, let the right people find each other. Use common sense to resolve issues.

Don • 12th February 2020 •

In all, Ebay needs to return to the way it used to be , without the tampering, Get rid of listing fees alltogether! (will get more people and listings through the door) and certainally GET RID OF PROMOTED LISTINGS! it is getting alot cheaper to put items through our local auction in Newcastle (and thats saying something) after all costs are taken into account. Ebay is still the best, act now so it is not destroyed for good!

Don2 • 12th February 2020 •

@Alan P "yet sellers throw mud at ebay for this one when in fact ebay have given you the tool to exert some control over the Cassini algorithm while not necessarily effecting your net profit." Well with due respect Alan, if most of the ebay staff don't know how Cassini works then how are us mere mortals supposed to know? ;-) I have a business with 3 of the 4 criteria in the red, and bar giving away things for free there is little else we can do with our antique auctions and few buy it now listings. Thanks for the advice though! Rachael

Rachael • 13th February 2020 •

@ Rachael. I am sorry to hear that Rachel. there are things you can do to turn the figures green providing there is sufficient traffic in the first place. Sponsored / promoted listings listing only influence TWO of these figures. All is not lost

Alan Paterson • 13th February 2020 •

@ Rachael. I feel sorry for the ebay staff. you can see why ebay - as a company - do not want folks knowing the algorithms of Cassini. I guess its a bit like Google with only a few people in the world knowing exactly all the pieces to the jigsaw of how a listing is placed / ranked. if this were "taught" it would be open to abuse. If sellers knew exactly how it worked it would be abused so I do not blame ebay management for keeping it secret. I have spoken to ebay staff who have not even heard the word "Cassini" (other than the NASA reference. Antiques is a challenging one as sometimes it is difficult to predict the keywords to get the traffic in the first place. There needs to be a sufficient volume of traffic to place "gain traction". Cassini needs data to calculate where to place you. In some extreme cases I have recommended that sellers go "outside" their category in order to turn the tide. If I can be bold - you should not see yourself as an antiques dealer selling on ebay but an eBayer selling antiques and be open to selling some "fire and forget" products. That would be a last resort and would depend on your goals, your overheads and other commitments.

Alan Paterson • 13th February 2020 •

its all dark arts , in effect to succeed on ebay you need the skills of dynamo the magician, gaming cassini [at a cost] using promoted listings were all circus animals having to do tricks for the ebay ring master to get our tit bits what happened to a good product, at the right price ,with good service,

jim • 13th February 2020 •

@ jim, nobody said selling on ebay was easy. Its like being a plumber , or an electrician. ITS A TRADE. If you have chosen this "trade" take the time to learn it. But it will take time and the right attitude. Complaining all the time will not solve anything.

Alan Paterson • 13th February 2020 •

@Alan Paterson Is there a way we can get in touch? I regularly read your comments and find them helpful. We're a bunch of data nerds here and I'm on the lookout for an ebay consultant. The business has sales in excess of £1m but ebay is sadly falling behind. If you could let me know a way of getting in touch with you it would be great. Thanks

Brysen • 13th February 2020 •

@ Brysen, thanks for your message. And thank you for your positivity. I am glad my posts have been helpful. As you know it is quite rare for someone to say that - I often get the opposite reaction lol. I am not sure how much help I would be to you at the moment. I was taken ill again last year and I am currently not even trading on ebay myself. My mistake was having no one to take over while I was unable to function. Somebody on here seemed to be offering me a position a few months ago but I lost the post (if you are reading this I am sorry I did not respond).. I am certainly not at my best. And I have always prided myself in giving my advice for free anyway. As a consultant I might be a round peg in a square hole. My long term goal is to get back on my feet and get my ebay business running again. My health became so bad last year that I was struggling to lift and pack a pair of shoes averaging 1.1 kg and I ended up in hospital for a couple of months in ICU with a dedicated nurse. Poor me. Im a lot better now but nowhere near 100%. I think I would need to feel a lot better to make any commitment to a business - once started I can get quite "fanatical" which might not be in my best health interests lol.

Alan Paterson • 13th February 2020 •

weve learnt our trade make no mistake ,we do very well out of ebay neither you or anyone at ebay has more experience or sales then we do we have no problem selling its ebay fees, conditions ,and ineptitude, we have trouble with

jim • 13th February 2020 •

@ jim. thats excellent news. from your posts I assumes otherwise. maybe we could "get on" then? Its always good to hear a seller succeeding on the platform.

Alan Paterson • 13th February 2020 •

@ jim, its great to hear you have more experience than me and also anyone at ebay. its astounding actually when I read your negative posts. But good for you, I am genuinely happy that you are not the clueless oaf that you come across as. Feel free to network and share your experience. its always great to hear a success story from the ebay platform. I think you are awesome - I have been reading the posts up this thread. ebay have given you multiple cars, houses and holidays. Amazing. You are amazing. In fact, I am going to call you AWESOME Jim from now on in recognition of your achievements on the ebay platform and intellectual prowess. Share your success story and what ebay has given you. You might actually inspire someone.

Alan Paterson • 13th February 2020 •

? Alan get over yourself your twisting comments to suit your agenda again were not special or unusual little different to Many business men who sell on ebay

Awesome Jim • 13th February 2020 •

thats awesome Awesome Jim, you are awesome (I don't have a thumbs up key)

alan paterson • 13th February 2020 •

and alan our complaining all the time is an exaggeration. we have a grand lifestyle because of ebay yet we dont think they are beyond criticism , they are far from perfect its not always selling methods and seller inexperience to blame which you constantly imply

jim • 13th February 2020 •

@ jim, yes - I criticise them regular too - but about one thing - service metrics which are horrible. I just hadn't seen a positive post from you since I came back on. It seemed to be constant mud slinging at ebay form you. You were also attacking me and accusing me of "inventing problems to then argue and solve to congratulate myself". Jeeeez. You just came across as a very angry man mud slinging. Religion and religious insults should also be kept out of the fray in my opinion. You said in one of your earlier post you owe ebay nothing. If you are doing so well may I suggest you owe them at least a bit of loyalty if they have given you a "grand lifestyle" as you put it. I bet you have a big car, a big house and fantastic holidays every year.

Alan Paterson • 13th February 2020 •

What is the world coming to when everyone feels it is fine to have your items lifted in the searches as long as you pay more. We have shops selling antiques for people in our local area from lovely glass cabinets and when i asked them about cost. None of them said its £5 per week per cabinet but they are out in the back gaeden these in here are £10. Surley if you take the same money for a shop you should offer the same deal.

Mark • 13th February 2020 •

not how the internet works Mark. More or less every search engine and platform that counts practices this. Its not just ebay. You pay more for a bigger ad in the newspaper - or yellow pages. Its not a new concept. The advantage with ebay is that you only pay the extra IF the item sells. I remember taking newspaper or yellow pages ads out in the 90s and getting zero response for quite a lot of money. ebay is far better way of selling - you only pay when an item sells. isn't that far better than many conventional methods.

Alan Paterson • 14th February 2020 •

The ebay way Is if you dont pay it wont sell If it sold in any event why would you use the promote feature

Jim • 14th February 2020 •

you pay Shop subscriptions Listing fees & many more associated costs if an item fails to sell Its evangelistic tunnel vision to claim no sale no fee

Jim • 14th February 2020 •

if you are bothered about shop subscriptions and listing fees (which are lets face it a tiny percentage of a successful ebay business) then you have not got a large ebay business Jim. If you see a £20 a month shop subscription and a significant cost then you are a liar about your success and knowledge of ebay. Alan tricked you earlier to show your shallowness and materialism. Your response is typical of someone who is trying to inflate their own ego People like you judge success with what car you drive (or cars as you put it) and I think your a liar anyway. I can smell success and you don't smell of it - you stink of something else. You constantly contradict yourself and attack people who come on here to share information. Why? because they intimidate you. you are a small man with a personality complex trolling people on here because you have nothing better to do - you certainly do not have a successful ebay business to run. you are a materialistic moron with a hint of narcissism trying to pretend something your not. I hate liars. Alan seems to have more patience. Awesome Jim? More like Pitiful Pathetic Troll Jim. Your idiotic posts give you away.

Ross K • 14th February 2020 •

Crikey you really have if bad ross

Jim • 14th February 2020 •

The biggest problem ebay has is Amazon Easier quicker cheaper

Really awesome Jim • 14th February 2020 •

How long before eBay take further fees from sellers for sale of non promoted items “because the buyer accessed your product via a promoted listing” ? Just a thought

Jonah • 14th February 2020 •

its only a matter of time before they find some way of adding a pay per click fee on page views

jim • 15th February 2020 •

The biggest problem for eBay is the Amazon Affiliate Program... Internet is full of Amazon affiliate websites.

Grelly • 14th February 2020 •

I will say the same as a lot of others in these comments i.e. WE HAVE BEEN SHOUTING ALL THIS AT EBAY FOR YEARS They do not listen, the platform appears to be dying and that's a shame but it is how it is. I just don't get it, they've been concentrating too hard on being Amazon #2 and they're not and never will be, their success has and could be as an alternative to Amazon, not it's smaller sidekick. I do honestly feel the clock's ticking now, and we're working flat out to make eBay one of the platforms that we sell on, and not just THE platform that we sell on. We're just tired of being shafted by stealth fees, hidden costs and other sneak tactics. If they'd look after their sellers then they'd be ok, they're not doing and as a consequence, they're failing. Who was it that said a few years ago - 'We succeed together'.......

Noel • 15th February 2020 •

You can get an idea of what's happening on ebay year on year using the seller hub Our click through rate and sales conversion rate have stayed pretty constant. As far as I am aware our products have stayed constant in search with us generally having 10 in the first 200 Impressions measured over 1 week in January for last 3 years Jan 20 - 163781 Jan 19 - 296724 Jan 18 - 281507 So I would say ebay has had a drastic fall in buyers searching for products, down 44% on last year. We sell wedding Decorations, so January is generally our biggest month for sales

Kestral • 16th February 2020 •

@ Kestral As explained in an earlier post in this conversation, we are very much same. We might be up, we might be down, you could say that is up to us. But when our category pool is examined, the pool is down year on year by an average of about 25% every single month for at least the last two years. That is saying Ebay has a big problem, and in previous conversations it would appear that ebay have asked large merchants to add extra inventory as ebay felt they did not have enough. If you asked for inventory , you most certainly done a deal to add the listings. Love ebay but this is not good for anybody :-(

Ian • 17th February 2020 •

Dear eBay, I have a simple message, like many sellers feel it’s not hard to fathom- you hide my listings and I don’t pay you money. In fact, you hide my listings and I take those listings and list elsewhere. Simple really. We aren’t jumping through promoted listings hoops, we pay more than enough in listing and final value fees thank you very much.

Jonah • 17th February 2020 •

Hi to all the team at eBay I would Thank you all for your support and prompt reply’s you have replied you have been really very helpful during the period I was trading with eBay, Unfortunately I had enough with eBay fees which I have been charged my last bill really put me off ,in purpose I haven’t listed any items at all just to try and see all these fees how are generated and I found them all unfair and without my permission they just help themselves and get the funds from my account I already have some bindings for the coming 7 days And I will CANCEL my account completely and deal with several other selling sites I am sorry but EBAY is unfair and greedy and I will not take this anymore ,once ahgain a big THANK YOU to all the kind team Have a good evening Regards to all Nick I wish eBay becomes more simplified ,and clear explanatory on their charges Nicholas Joseph spinocchia globaldue@aol.com BH22 8HL

Nicholas • 18th February 2020 •

@ N Nicholas - were you dropped on your head as a child?

Alan Paterson • 19th February 2020 •

I have been looking on comments and complaints on eBay for this subject which are horrendous,hope eBay looks at them and be more easy explained And not charge you for items you don’t want to relist without your approval and charge you Thank you again Nick

Nick • 18th February 2020 •

Unfortunately all eBay thinks is money and how to charge you for fees they are like vouchers Waiting for you to list an item and grab you for unfair charges Without your knowledge Trying to get intouch with one of the superiors,every time I call and wait for hours they are at the back desk,whatever this means ...............

Njs • 18th February 2020 •

Unfortunately all eBay thinks is money and how to charge you for fees they are like vouchers Waiting for you to list an item and grab you for unfair charges Without your knowledge Trying to get intouch with one of the superiors,every time I call and wait for hours they are at the back desk,whatever this means ............... NOT ENOUGH THOUGH

Njs • 18th February 2020 •

Internet sales are still growing year on year, yet ebay sales are in decline or stactic, which clearly shows that it is losing market share. When I launch my business just over 10 years ago, I was an ebay only business, then Amazon came along. Now Ebay accounts of less 5% of my revenue (my expected turnover will be somewhere between £3.5m to £4m this year), I'm not saying that show off, but to say I'm not a one man band selling a few items from my bedroom, moaning my revenues have fallen from a few hundred quid to zero . The fact is that Ebay is maintaining it's margins whilst selling less shows that it is simply squeezing more fee's from sellers. Ebay has never listened to Sellers, as the problems that where highlighted years ago are still there. Not to mention the £32K that was stolen from me over a period of around 9 months from my Ebay account, from the number of I seller that reported similar this showed that Ebay security and monitoring like most things Ebay related is slow, lax and poor. Amazon this year introduced 8% selling fee's on items priced below £10 in the health and beauty category (which covers about 90% of the items I sell). Paypal charge you 5% just process your payment, when you look at item priced below £10. Then Ebay charge you 10% plus whatever extra fee's they can squeeze. This makes a massive difference, and will continue to erode sales on Ebay, as you can sell cheaper and still maintain healthy margins on Amazon. I continue to see growth on all the Amazon Marketplaces on which I operate in, Ebay is just flat or falling and I expect this to continue, unless there is new owner that genuinely cares, listens and wants to change things and not just squeeze extra margin from falling sales.

Thomas Shearing • 19th February 2020 •

I don't think it matters if you are selling £10,000 a day or £10, eBay generally isn't working for domestic sellers. The resources required, are not worth the rewards to focus on eBay like it was a few years ago. eBay is quite irrelevant, its an okay platform to clear items at break-even or a loss for us. That's about it, and even that doesn't create much volume.

ifellow • 19th February 2020 •

It shouldn't be the case though. Ebay should be smashing Amazon on price and letting people know about it. The way I set things up on ebay, all buyers have access to multi-buy discounts on 95%+ of the listings, and there are a number of bulk packs that I've only created on ebay. On Amazon, it's only set up for business buyers to get discounts when buying multiples. Everyone else just pays basic single price x quantity. For certain items, I can look at the sales history on ebay vs Amazon and see this makes a staggering difference. The Amazon buyers are happily paying way more than they need to. eg. a recent £60 sale on Amazon would have been £12 on ebay, if only they had looked. Same products, same service, massive saving. I'm happy with the extra profit of course, but why are they not looking over on ebay? Perhaps ebay should do one of those price comparison adverts, like Lidi do (or is it Aldi) instead of the vague upto 50% off ads and other such meaningless nonsense. Then again, when you read about people getting into debt online shopping and blaming it on using Klarna, maybe there is no helping them out when it comes to money.

Gav • 19th February 2020 •

There is no volume for us on eBay, When you actively recruit 10,000s of Chinese sellers onto a platform and give them many advantages. Visibility for existing sellers becomes a problem.

ifellow • 19th February 2020 •

Then you want those same sellers to pay extra for features like 1) Auto Return feedback, (when it's a main feature of your business) 2) Creation of sales (Which is again beneficial to your platform) and so forth, it becomes a total joke. I only have a relatively small business but eBay really isn't import to me going forward.

ifellow • 19th February 2020 •

Gav, ebay fee structure is much higher then Amazon on stuff under £10, so if you just one of something and not 2, 3 or 4, of the same thing plus the fact that repricers push prices down, means that I would have agreed with you in past, now I don't think ebay is much cheaper also consumers don't trust ebay they do Amazon.

Thomas Shearing • 19th February 2020 •

That depends on what you sell, but it isn't the case in my experience. Even factoring in Paypal costs, ebay fees work out lower than Amazon fees on like for like sales. As for repricers pushing prices down on Amazon, yes, maybe, if sellers use them (I don't) But I was quite serious with that example Amazon sale. It was a bit extreme that they'd paid £48 more for the same products, but not uncommon. Buyers regularly pay more than they need to when they purchase multiple items from my business through Amazon instead through ebay. I'm sure trust of Amazon/distrust of ebay is part of the issue, but anyone can work out when the same product comes from the same business and gets shipped the same way. And if they can work that out, there's no logic to them buying on the platform they prefer if it is costing them more to do so. But...that is what they're doing.

Gav • 19th February 2020 •

Too many buyers on eBay are bottom feeders that don't wanna pay what an item is worth. eBay has cultivated this type of buyer for many years by attempting to push buyers to the cheapest items regardless of quality. It's as if they're just begging for a cheap sale so they can collect fees because they know nobody will buy better quality higher priced items. They do it all over the site: On your own listing pages, in search results, spamming buyers with messages about items they viewed, even messaging buyers after a sale that they missed a cheaper price which induces order cancellations. Then you have eBay always trying to get sellers to lower prices. It's an absolute joke. The truth is prices may be lower on eBay for some things because of SELLER DESPERATION. No sales leads to sellers undercutting each other on prices. You see, if there's actually BUYERS and SALES sellers wouldn't need to keep lowering prices. You can absolutely get more money per item on Amazon, many times much more, simply because most buyers don't bother checking eBay or have never used them at all. eBay is becoming more irrelevant by each passing day and it's never going to get better. eBay has a reputation of being CHEAP, but in the worst way. An alternate question to ask is this: What's RIGHT with eBay today? Answer: NEARLY NOTHING.

Dav • 19th February 2020 •

@ dav, your conclusions are wrong.

Alan Paterson • 19th February 2020 •

@Alan Paterson Not conclusions, FACTS. eBay does in fact do everything that I said and more. eBay is a race to the bottom which they are spearheading because of declining sales and seller desperation. Not just recently, many years. You're just too blinded as always being an eBay shill to believe it, see it, or acknowledge anything. For chrissakes, their website is a comedy of daily errors and checkout issues. Daily! After 25 years they still can't even run a website correctly. Pretty telling about the state of this company. It'll never be fixed either. They don't care. For example putting all of the money from the StubHub sale into stock buybacks instead of caring about their issues. Self-serving only for eBay executives, activist investors, and others involved to sell behind the buybacks. A bunch of crooks indeed.

Dav • 20th February 2020 •

@Dev, agree a lot with what you are saying. ebay encourage best offer and keep pushing sellers to send best offers as that is what customers like. What customer would not like receiving something for less. I have never had a buyer on Amazon ask me for money off or something for less as they see the price and know that is what they have to pay. ebay is fast becoming a car boot sale where buyers try to haggle for everything. Amazon I don't have to worry about competing with non business sellers as you know once they hit a certain limit they have to send in HMRC info and register as a business. ebay, I am competing against sellers with over 500 items yet not declared as a business. So do they pay their fair share of taxes? Who knows! We kept getting told ebay want to raise standards to give customers a better experience, yet I have seen some of these sellers run a "business" for 3 or 4 years yet ebay not bother one bit about it that they show no business info, sometimes no returns policy. Sales are down by 1/3 compared to the last couple of years, yet have more stock and better quality stock. Yet pushed down below many "business" sellers who have no business info in listing.

Rob • 19th February 2020 •

@ Alan Paterson - still Ebay UK's biggest cheerleader and more..

Will • 20th February 2020 •

Alan you can blow smoke up the backside of eBay as much as you like. You cannot compare paying more in a newspaper for a bigger advert. The newspaper does not make up posh names for algorythms to get you better rankings it checks the adverts and you are all able to be read. They do not throw the poorer advertisers in the bin you are all still visible as there is only 24 pages. They also do not take 11% of your sales and 11% of your shipping and tell you how to ship and to lie about shipping being free. The next one to be introduced will be extra fees if your delivery company do not drive electric vans and the drivers be vegan. At no point in all my years on ebay have they said to me to get anywhere you must be prepared to pay us more money to be seen and learn how to use our complex systems to try and be visible using things even our customer service do not understand. If they do tell them to stop sending messages how to improve my sales by reducing my prices and add more images images from all angles are enough usually about 5 6 more of a hamster ball are not going to show it any different. what a bunch of wallys.

Mark • 20th February 2020 •

Been on Ebay for years but we had 2 events in past 2 days that we never knew even existed.... 1) buyer able to "return this item" with reason "does not fit" just 2 mins (yes, two!) *after* we marked the order as posted. delivery with RM Tracked. why don't require the buyer to actually get the delivery? and the "doesn't fit" is just a gateway to freebies return delivery. hate it. 2) buyer buys through GSP. I see notification later on but item nowhere on "sold list". buyer probably canceled it (we heard nothing). so we sold it but not physically. item now "out of stock" on eBay (we had single qty) but we haven't sold it. it will be proper nightmare to manage if such cases were more frequent and having few thousand listings.

NorthCrystal • 26th February 2020 •

re 2) just checked our PayPal account... and the payment for "missing" item is received there. no refund made to buyer.

NorthCrystal • 26th February 2020 •

Be very care full when selling on e-bay they do not support the seller You have no rights and the no return policy does not mean anything This is a third world company

frank smith • 7th March 2020 •