eBay Traffic Stats In Near Freefall

Compete, Nielsen numbers point down

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Remember the dive-bombing plane sound we’d make as little kids?  "Neeeerrrrowwww."  That same noise is perhaps the most succinct way of describing what’s happening to traffic-related eBay statistics.

A Compete graph makes pretty clear that eBay received fewer unique visitors in October 2008 than the same month last year.  The fall amounts to a 13.2 percent year-over-year change, and the September-to-October transition alone accounts for a decrease of 6.2 percent.

eBay Traffic
 Compete’s Record Of eBay’s Declining Traffic
(Credit: Compete)

Even more data that eBay fans are sure to view as disturbing is provided by a table Nielsen Online put together for Henry Blodget.  True, Nielsen only reports a 10 percent year-over-year decrease in eBay’s unique audience.  But the numbers go on to indicate a 19 percent drop in time spent per user, and a 33 percent decline in pageviews during the same period.

All of this points to some rather serious problems.  They may or may not be company-specific, of course – it looks like we’re almost to the point that the term "recession" will officially be used to describe the entire economy – but eBay’s facing some challenges either way.  Don’t be surprised if its scheduled slate of holiday promotions gets either stepped up or extended.

Finally, in case anyone’s wondering, a graph of eBay’s stock follows these other figures and then some, declining 59.7 percent since last November.

eBay Traffic Stats In Near Freefall
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  • Guest

    EBay did this to themselves: alienated, exploited and abused their core sellers to the point where most sellers are gone now. And what they never got was that the sellers were also the primary buyers on EBay. They will be a B-School textbook case of how to self-sabotage a successful company to death.

    • http://www.gadgetnetwork.org Jennie

      I gave up on eBay a couple of months after trying them, their charges are just too high, I opened up my own website instead to sell stuff, http://www.gadgetnetwork.org I think it was the right decision

  • Guest

    They need to stop with the search function changes, price increases, do ‘s and don’ts, no checks, no money orders and on and on it goes…

    Does anyone really lead this company anymore? Garsh, bring back Meg and get rid of Donahue….

    The whole thing is upside down. Amazon is kicking their tail and they can’t chase them fast enough.

    More and more people have opened their own sites or gone to ecommerce sites like Yahoo Merchants.. and why not. The fees are less.

    Anyways they’ve lost lots of customers and sellers. Their stock shows it.


  • http://www.arcadiafashion.com Arcadia Fashion

    Even though they treat sellers poorly it is the shoppers that make the system work and they treat shoppers like crap. 

    Why they allow scammy spammy hanky-panky I’ll never know. Its in shipping and handling trickery, fine print auctions, Posting photos of an item but selling info or accessories for the item. 

    Not to mention that you are almost guaranteed to be outbid on every auction 7 seconds before it ends… then you’ll receive a Guess What! The winner backed out email so the seller doesn’t have to sell at the winning price unless they want to & gain the benefits of the no minimum auctions.

    Ebay has earned their declining consumer confidence. Who on Earth would recommend that their kids, parents, grandparents, siblings, or friends  should shop on Ebay?



  • http://vitaminebay.blogspot.com JP

    Wow what a big drop in site traffic.  As a full time eBay seller it is very dissaponting to see these numbers especially in this economy.   I agree they pushed so many sellers away with all the changes.  Between lisiting fees and a 12% fixed-price Final Value Fee and then PayPal fees, it’s too much.  This is the time that people should be turning to eBay to find deals.

    The 15% FVF discount I get is nice, but I always have to worry if somebody is going to leave a negative feedback just because they feel like it.  They need something big to draw people back.  I don’t see it happening anytime soon.   

  • Doc

    Give JD The Boot!


  • http://creativeherb.com creativeherb

    The thing with online sites, it’s their focus on continously improving usability. Any big changes that so many people hate probably means you should reconsider the action. Instead, Ebay should focus on diversifying and creating more parallel functions to create new streams of revenue.

  • Matt

    One thing that could also be backfiring is ebay’s practice of giving people money to lure others to the site.

    It’s extremely frustrating to post a wanted ad on craigslist, only to receive misleading links to ebay auctions.

    Ha! Craigslist itself is probably a huge reason why ebay is losing steam.

  • http://www.web-sem.com Guest

    They did it to them self by driving people away over fees and regulations. I was a platinum ebay seller but now I sell on ola.com which is a much more refreshing site.

  • Guest

    Ebay has made so many changes to the site in the last year plus or so  and none of the changes have been friendly to their sellers.

    Increased fees while spinning the fee changes as a fee reduction insulting the intelligence of the sellers. Cut one fee a little and raise final value fees a lot.

    Eliminating reciprocal feedback so the sellers can not leave a deserved negative feedback for a non paying bidder. Sellers can only leave positives or none at all. Buyers can leave bad feedback for sellers with no recourse for sellers. Yet sellers can be suspended for the same bad feedback. They have also tied fee discounts for power sellers ONLY  to the same sellers feedback.

    Enabling buyers to leave anonymous detailed seller ratings on some things that sellers have little to no control over. Particularly shipping time and S and H charges. I have personally receved bad feedback and DSR ‘s from buyers in those catagories when I have shipped in less then 24 hours and have charged LESS than the actual shipping charges. Both of which could lead to suspension and lost fee discounts.

    As an east coast seller, when shipping to the west coast, my shipping costs could be much higher than someone shipping from the midwest or west coast. Yet some buyers perception is that they are being charged excessive shipping resulting in a bad DSR for S&H charges. The buyer knows the charges before  they bod, buy anyway, then try to negotiate a lower rate and threaten a bad feedback or DSR unless a seller complies. All with no recourse for the seller effectively resulting in blaclmail for the seller in a system so slanted in the buyers favor.

    Raising fees to the point where sellers in some low margin catagories actually make less than ebay does in fees for each sale. Many sellers have stopped selling entirely because they simply couldn’t make enough to stay in business with all the fee increases.

    Instead of growing revenue the right way by making it easier for sellers to sell more, they just chose to take a bigger slice of the sellers profit.

    Catering to diamond level power sellers woth zero listing fees and lower final value fees with sell thru as low as 3% only to bolster their listing counts. My sell thru is around 60% and used to be as high as 90%. Yet I pay full fees. They have made diamond level exempt from the feedback and DSR ratings essentially making them bulletproof from the same policies the bread and butter sellers like myself have to adhere to.

    By trying to change the very nature of the site to higher priced fixed price listings in this economy when buyers are looking for lower priced options shows a naivete or arrogance about what buyers are looking for right now. Ebay used to be a great place to find a bargain. Not anymore.

    Ebay deserves the trouble it is in by its arrogant changes to the detriment  of the long time sellers and its complete lack of understanding in what buyers are looking for especially in this economy.

    Ebay has done such HUGE damage to itself  t may never recover.


  • Robert Peters

    They deserve this. They appear to have gone really greedy of late.

    Their fees is cut throat. Most sellers are struggling to survive. More people have opened their own sites cos it makes sense and more cost effective.

    If there is no attaction in ebay due to high fees, then why not find other options. The clock is ticking for ebay.

    I predict more fall



  • http://www.freeporndirectory.net Unu din Spania

    i do not sell on ebay anymore www.freeporndirectory.net

  • http://www.grumpy-people.com Guest

    eBay is following the modern mindset, explained to us all by Mr. Obama. They’re taking more and more and more money from the business owners, successful sellers, and putting into the governing coffers (the corporate treasury).

    This is the kind of change voters wanted in the presidential election, so it’s clearly the kind of change the buyers want in eBay. Who cares if the sellers are happy? They’re just "greedy," according to correct-speak these days.

    eBay likely will demand a government bailout soon, as they can’t possibly accept that they did anything themselves. It’s not their utter lack of comprehension about competition and capitalism, it’s that the "economy is bad." They’re a victim, somehow. And the necessity of keeping eBay afloat is critical to the American economy, is what they’ll say.

    Once again, corporate executive greed has thrown out the baby with he bathwater. What began as a terrific idea, helpful to so many people, has been turned into a massive money-grab by people who had nothing at all to do with the invention and creation of the product. They deserve to go under, and likely will go under within two years.

  • http://www.ibdesignsusa.com/ Guest

    I have sold on eBay since Feb 2005 and have seen the decline since about 2006. As they make more and more bad decisions it is not surprising that they are going down the tubes. 

    A couple of years ago we started our own website and since that has grown we have pulled back from eBay. I am glad that we have seen the writing on the wall. Since we make our own product it’s nice to be able to showcase them the way we want and also not have to share the profits with eBay. With all the bad mistakes they have made and the future ones they make they will certainly go down the tubes.

    The graph says it all. Great Article

    • Guest

      Your comment is almost exact to our situation, except I have been buying on eBay since the early 2000’s.  We started selling in February of 2006, though.  We realized quickly that we needed a website and put it up.  After almost 2 years, we pulled out of eBay (not long before they said the seller couldn’t leave negative feedback) and have been on our own since then.

      Buyers can be awful, as well as sellers.  They should be allowed to get negative feedback just as much as sellers can.  There are other things eBay has done to make the sellers and the buyers miserable.  It’s really sad that they say they listened to the users, but they did such awful stuff that nobody I know has any appreciation for. 

      For shame, for shame!




  • http://www.angelscentedcandles.com Guest

    I was one of those flea market type occasional sellers on ebay that donahoe said he hated and made the ebay policy changes to get rid of.  Unfortunately for him, it worked.  Most of us are gone and along with us, so are the buyers. What attracted buyers to ebay was the great deals and unique items and some of us even loved the thrill of the auction.  I was an even bigger ebay buyer than seller but I there is nothing interesting or unique about ebay any longer.  I have no reason to shop there versus one of the other thousands of websites out there and ebays polices and fee structures means I certainly can’t sell there. Since I can find just about everything that is now on ebay at amazon, I would rather shop at amazon for quite a few reasons. All the unque and fun items that used to be there are gone.  I frequently bought great and unique Christmas gifts from ebay year after year.  This will be the first Christmas that I won’t be buying from them.

    Donahue now has the website that he wanted, unfortunately he is the only one. http://www.angelscentedcandles.com


  • http://field-n-water.com FNW

    They should have thought twice before squashing the little guy.

  • Guest

    So this is why E-Bay is allowing a so called Power Seller to scam me? I bought a PC from Blair Technology Group on 11/7/08 that was supposed to work out of the box and paid IMMEDIATELY! I used my debit card but somehow it came up as a pay-pal purchase? I got free shipping and 2 days later, a totally dead PC. After some complaining (they kept insisting, I trouble-shoot it first, HUH?), I returned it for exchange or repair. I even sent a M.O. for $20.00 for return shipping. Now they are ignoring me. I was new to ebay and noted only that the seller had a power rating of 99.7%. I failed to read the feed back (horrendous). My first hint should have been when along with my dead PC, I received in the box a letter threatening me that if I had a problem, I had to try to resolve it with them first and before leaving negative feed back or it would result in a delay in resolution!!! Now they won’t return my emails! I hope E-bay sinks into the Atlantic. I was going to use this pc to start a business. Being unemployed, I have no more funds and scraped up the $318. Now I am seeking a charge back from my bank. I don’t trust the E-bay resolution process.

  • Pula




  • Jenny







  • http://www.riceandstew.com Oscar Odaro

    Ebay have turned out to be the architect of their own misfortune.
    They have shot themselves. I am very disappointed because it used to be an exciting market place for all.
    Time will tell if any improvements or changes occurs.

  • http://www.dianepaone.com Guest

    As a business owner, I can not understand how ebay can treat their customers (sellers) this way! As an artist selling handmade miniatures I luckily have options. In fact a whole ebay community group moved out of ebay and started their own HUGELY successful site: CDHM.org
    I also use ETSY.com and sell on my own site: dianepaone.com
    Thanks to the posts here I will try some others.

    I remember when hundreds of artists banned together requesting help to change category structure in the Paintings category and I was dumbfounded by ebay’s total lack of interest. Deaf ears. I never listed in this category because it was totally futile to get your listing seen because of the over 10,000 listings. So, to be seen artists were paying extra to be featured at $25.00 per listing! Guess what? The featured listings started growing and became a few pages deep! Why should GREEDBAY list they were raking in the bucks from artists in the category! It was sickening! Now they are reaping the seeds they have sown.

    I may not have the next big company, but I believe in providing excellent customer service and going above and beyond, and because of that most of my business is from repeat customers.

  • Okon

    Ebay deserves what they re getting. I say no more as i believe most have reiterated the obvious.
    We need to strip ebay of the powers by using other auction sites

  • http://www.ahugelist.com ahugelist.com

    We tried to warn you … but would you listen?
    You have taken an amazingly successful business and screwed it!
    The down turn will continue – why, because you didn’t listen to those who make you money – the buyers and sellers.

    Drive sellers out with high fees, take our voice away, limit our trading options and ignore our pleas – you don’t want us there any way do you – not unless we are one of the “big boys”

    Well guess what, when we go so will the buyers. Most of my buyers now also have accounts at the growing auction sites – because thats where the sellers have gone! Myny of my selling friends now have their own stores on other sites (for free) or have set up there own.

    If you have your own store or website please list it free at http://www.ahugelist.com

    Wishing my fellow buyers and sellers a profitable 2009 well away from ebay!

  • chad

    the reason i left ebay is there crazy rules and even more crazy fee. the last month i was on ebay i paid the 5000.00 for listing fee and seller fees so i started my own website. under 20.00 a month alot better then 5000.00 and was able to lower the price on my jerseys and even expand my business. i would advise everyone on ebay to do the same.

    • http://www.coin-pro-vending.com www.coin-pro-vending.com

      Yes I have done the same thing! I wish I just made the money I paid out to ebay each month over the past 6 years! Now with all the feedback changes it is a buyers and scammers market.


  • http://www.answeraddict.com/faq/ipod ipod info

    thanks for the great ebay info.

  • powersellers unite

    Do you suspect ebay of DSR Manipulation/Fraud? Sign the petition:


  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SayCp3mcesQ video

    You should try BARNBID dot COM no listing Fees plus you get $100 credit to your sellers account, free classifield ads etc… If you need a alternative try barnbid. check it and dont forget to download the toolbar thing. Its nice… you can sell anything there…

  • http://car2be.com/ Used Saab

    All of this points to some rather serious problems. They may or may not be company-specific, of course – it looks like we’re almost to the point that the term “recession” will officially be used to describe the entire economy – but eBay’s facing some challenges either way. Don’t be surprised if its scheduled slate of holiday promotions gets either stepped up or extended.

  • http://www.ahugelist.com Free Stories

    I would be very interested in an update of ebays stats now considering all the (negative) changes on ebay since this was written

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