eBay Seller Seeks Advice After Lagging Q4 Sales

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


I received the following email yesterday from a seller who wishes to remain anonymous.

Fourth quarter 2021, something happened.  Overnight my sales dropped to a trickle.

I've been selling on Ebay for 20+ years, I've had a shop for much of that time.  I typically have 1200-1500 fixed price listings active in pre-worn clothing.  13,000+ positive feedback - 100%.  I've been a Top Seller for many years.  Proud of my service / buyer-experience metrics but I know my shop is small with an average of 40-45 sales per month.

When I look around the web for answers and reach out to other Top Sellers, I am seeing / hearing suggestions of more pics (9-12), clear descriptive titles and additional item specifics.  Sure, I can add but for the most part my listings are solid.  I talked with a rep and they suggested my listings may have 'aged' with auto renewal, so I ended and re-listed all my listings.  No change.  I had hoped to jump on the Dec Seller call but had a schedule conflict.

From my stats, I am not receiving the bump in search that I have in the past.

Have you heard from others that they are experiencing similar issues?  Any suggestions?  I am not ready to let my side gig go but with low sales, my cost to be on Ebay is inhibitive.

Unfortunately this seller isn't the first I've heard struggling with lagging sales starting in Q4. Many sellers are still reeling from category and item specifics changes that took effect in October. Those changes seem to have really thrown a wrench in the way that buyers search and find items on eBay too.

On top of that, eBay's push toward more Promoted Listings has increasingly made it a pay to play platform where sellers are finding they must pay eBay higher ad rates just to come anywhere close to the visibility they used to get without ads. Unfortunately, as this seller points out, that only goes so far until the cost to continue selling on eBay becomes prohibitive or causes prices on the platform to rise to the point of not being competitive across the wider online market.

What suggestions do you have for this seller? Have you seen that adding more pictures and item specifics is helping or is it not worth the time and effort? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!