Thursday, May 6, 2010

What To Do if eBay Sales Are Down

Blog post by Debbie Levitt, CEO of As Was

What To Do if eBay Sales Are Down

A client called today saying his April eBay sales were down. I said how we fix this depends on the answer to this question: Are your items getting lots of hits? The answer changes my advice.

If your items are not getting a decent amount of hits, then one (or both) of two things are going on:
  • Demand may be down. Maybe your item is seasonal. Maybe the newest hottest one just came out, and people really want that. What to do about this: Not much. You can't make people want an item they don't want. I hear this all the time from people who buy liquidation stock, and find out that people kinda don't want what they happened to buy. That's not a blanket statement; plenty of liquidation stock is VERY successful on eBay. My point is that you can't make people want an item they do not want.

  • Something is wrong with your listing strategy that is keeping people who want your item from finding yours. This can range from strategy mistakes you might be making to issues with how eBay sorts you in search results. What to do about this: Check your Seller Dashboard. Check what may be holding you back, and fix that. We'll cover more of that in another post. But these should be things you CAN change.

If your items are getting a decent amount of hits, but not really getting sales, that tends to mean that people want your item but for some reason don't want YOURS from you. Reasons might include:

  • Something about your item is not what people expected. For example, I've been searching laptop batteries lately. Most of the items in search results are not clear about the mAh rating for the batteries. So I am hitting a LOT of items, but I am leaving when I realise that they are half the power of my existing "standard" battery. I'd like something the same power or a more extended life. What to do about this: Build more info into your title. You can also build into into item specifics and the subtitle. In my case, if someone had shown the mAh in the title or subtitle, I wouldn't have bothered looking at low-powered batteries.

  • Something about your listing is turning them off. Not enough pictures, not good/focused pictures. Unclear policies or too many policies that people don't want to read. Fear of what's hidden in the fine print. What to do about this: You can fix this. Clean up your listings. Take better pictures. Make sure your pics tell the story of what this is and the condition it's in. Revise your policies to be more organised, clearer, and in an order that makes sense to eBay shoppers (shipping first). Not everybody who has a question will ask it. Some will just hit their back button. And even if they ask a question, while they wait for your answer, they might hit the back button, and shop your competitors.

  • Your listing design and organisation could be turning people off. Some listings look very unprofessional... clip art, lots of wacky font colours, everything centred, and Comic Sans can make people think you're a small nobody. What to do about this: Revise your listing. Create a template that is organised. Don't try to design your text. Let your info be info. Let your design be design. If you have no design, still let your info be info, and don't try to design it. Make info easy to read and professional-looking.

And as always, hire a pro if you could use more help! :)

This is where we start when looking at why people are having issues with eBay sales. It starts by knowing if you're getting hits, so make sure you are using a (hidden) counter.

Founded in 1995, As Was is a full-service consulting firm specializing in branding, design, sales and marketing strategies, operations management, and training. As Was is an eBay Certified Service Provider and has been working with eBay sellers since 2001.


Anonymous said...

my sales are down due to ridiculous DSR system. I lost 1200 for 3 weeks in row and i keep paying to list items.

Customers should only be rating on item as described and shipping cost.

I always answer my customer with 5-10 minutes, still i got low ratings.

I always ship out my items within 1-2 days, and yet i still received low ratings. what People and Ebay do not understand , that USPS DELIVERS , not sellers. I offer free shipping, and it clearly says First class shipping. You bet, i am not going to pay for priority shipping when i offer customer free shipping. Why should i pay out of my profit while i pay such high commission to Ebay, and also I have to compete with International wholesalers selling on Ebay.

Its a ridiculous system, I am ready to leave.

eBay Certified Provider Program said...


If you could email us directly at with your eBay User ID, we could have an eBay representative review your sales and strategies and offer advice on eBay Best Practices. Hopefully help make your eBay selling more successful and increase DSRS.


eBay Certified Provider Program

Anonymous said...

I too, have been ruined by the almighty DSR System. Even though I have a 100% rating and have stayed within the guidlines and policies of e-bay, the "perception" of 3 or 4 buyers out of 150 buyers has all but shut me down. I was never allowed to see the negative comments, but I was told by e-bay it happened. E-bay gets paid whether I sell or don't sell, so I might as well remove all items and just list them in the store. I've had several long discussions with E-bay Reps and only one seemed to truly understand the problem. Then within 10 days of those conversations, I was punished severely by e-bay. I might as well close down...I went from "Power Seller" to "Power Dweller"...Thanks....e-bay..for your E to the 4th Power mentality..."Guilty Until Proven Innocent"

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the eBay Certified Provider Program person who responded to that Anonymous post didn't "hear" a word that that person said! Or chose not to. What a ridiculous response!

It's the DSR's and the fees that are killing us. You don't go from having a successful business one month to less than half the sales the next month because you're suddenly not using the right "strategies" and are now needing "advice" on how to increase DSR's.

Oh, please! I'm on my way out too.

Anonymous said...

my sales are also way down, have no idea why, accept maybe NO ONE CAN SEE THEM. I feel like a fool as it seems I'm paying for a service that just isn't there. I pay to have my items seen by the public at a constant, not placed in a picking order line. Very unprofessional and very wrong. Just searched through 10 pages and found a total of 3 of my items scattered about. But yes, I keep paying to list, so I guess I'm really just paying Ebay for my own work. Very dis-heartening. I have added lots of wonderful templates, as well as lots of photos, you would think this would help - not make it worse.

Anonymous said...

This is what is happening to me. I ship my items within 1-2 days and contact my customers regularly to let them know what is going on with their purchased item. In the selling business you just can't please everyone! The DSR's are very unfair to the seller. You get a few bad feedbacks and you get bad viewing of your product. I have tried multiple times to get negative feedback that was not my fault removed, Ebay would not. looks like ebay would stand up for the people they are making their money from!

Anonymous said...

Ummmmmmmmmmm, this is the same rediculous responses that Ebay says when you ask them what happened. The same BLAME EVERYONE BUT EBAY mentality. (Until it gets leaked that Ebay messed up and only THEN do they want to admit to the problem and offer refunds to ONLY THOSE who happened to be in a certain time period to keep their costs down.

Yeah, go ahead and analyze my Ebay ID lol I sell a lot and know how it works. I'm not the problem EBay, you are. Quit changing stuff!! If its not broke don't fix it.

Everytime you "fix" it, it becomes more broke.

What kind of morons you got working for you? Hire some smart people.

DAVE said...

shipping cost dsr s are the most difficult to bring up due to the fact that BUYERS HAVE NO IDEA OF THE ACTUAL COST OF MATERIALS AND SHIPPING. sellers are paying higher fees for everything and find no ways to increase margins. the ebay system is weighted to far in the favor of buyers and is nuts!
ebay needs to know with no sellers a bunch of buyers means nothing!

Anonymous said...

I wonder why my sales down this month. I covert from basic to premium but hard to find my listing on at least 1st 2 pages.

How can people shop when they can't ever see my listings.May be I had to down grade my store.

eBay Certified Provider Program said...

Hello Everyone,

Because this is a public blog, I invite those who would be interested in having an eBay account manager review your sales and strategy to see if they can make recommendations that can help you save on fees or improve sales with techniques to raise DSRs, email us directly with your eBay User ID at

Please reference you would like to have an eBay account manager review your sales as per this blog post/comment.

We will have someone from our eBay team reach out to you and set an appt to discuss further.


eBay Certified Provider Program