No eBay Sales? How to diagnose the problem…

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It seems like every time I log into Instagram I see a reseller taking a picture with their huge pile of packages and proclaiming that they just had the best day ever. That’s the problem with social media. With tens of thousands of resellers in the community somebody will be having the best day ever, every…single…day. And it usually won’t be you or I.

But if you have no eBay sales at all? If you’ve been working hard to source and list items in the hopes of having a side income it can be very depressing when things aren’t working out.

So, if you’re having no eBay sales or slow sales, don’t worry, we’ve been there and got out. Let’s talk about what we did to fix the problem and how you can too!

The number one reason that people don’t have sales:

The number one reason that people have no sales on eBay is that they don’t have enough items listed. I’ve seen people complaining that they don’t have any sales but, when questioned, they admit that they only have 50 (or fewer) items listed. That’s not going to cut it if you want daily sales.

When we had 1200 active listing on eBay we would still have random days with no eBay sales. Even though we would average 8-10 sales per day throughout the month we wouldn’t be shipping daily. In fact, it wasn’t until we hit 1500 listings that we stopped seeing sales-less days. Now, a day without sales every once in a while is not a big deal. It happens.

So if you haven’t been seeing the sales you want, get listing. You can’t honestly know if you have a problem with your listing or sales until you hit 500 or so active listings. Before you get to that point, expect your sales to be slow, and to have no sales several days out of the week.

Is eBay down or are they just hiding my items….

Unless you have an absolutely abysmal track record, eBay is probably not suppressing your items. It’s also unlikely that there is an issue with payments, your listings, the internet, etc. Most of the time when you have no sales on eBay for the day, the only thing it means is that you didn’t have any sales for the day. Don’t read too much into it.

However, that is easier said than done. If you sell on eBay fulltime there will still be times that you’re bothered by the lack of sales. If this happens, by all means, give eBay a call and make sure that everything is alright with your account. We’ve done this a couple of times to put our minds at ease. eBay wants its sellers to move as much product as possible (that’s how they make money) so if there’s something you need to change they’ll tell you about it!

The natural ebb and flow of eBay:

Humans are complex creatures and eBay is a highly complex platform. Put them together and you can hardly expect things to be consistent. There are a huge number of things (mostly on the side of humans) that affect how many sales you will have per day. Understanding these things can do two things: stop you from freaking out when you have no eBay sales, and give you some understanding of why and how to fix it.

Everybody knows that Q4 (October, November, December) are the best months to be selling online. But did you know that there is also a significant change in eBay sales depending on the week of the month? We analyzed our sales for the past year and found that the first and last weeks of the month were the worst for sales by a significant margin. The best week was the third week of the month at 27.26% of sales while the fourth week dropped to having only 21% of the sales for the month. People have hypothesized that they “no eBay sales” phenomenon is related to pay-day but the truth is, no one really knows why it happens!

So unless you have thousands upon thousands of listings, you’re going to notice a huge variation in the sales you have day to day. It’s normal and nothing to freak out about. Even a slow week isn’t a big deal. The only thing that matters is your profit and trajectory over time.

So let’s talk about a few ways to reduce your no-sales-days.

5 Ways to Maximize eBay Sales

  1. List Consistently. There is a myth in the reselling community that daily-listing is somehow the magic sauce that results in massive sales. It’s not true. While listing daily may give you a slight bump in search results, it matters far more than you are just listing consistently. The number of items you list every week or month is far more important than your daily total.
  2. Provide Great Customer Service. This isn’t warm and fuzzy. Providing poor customer service on eBay kills your sales in a number of ways. For example, having an outstanding late shipment will result in eBay showing your items lower in search. Other things you should stay on top of include responding to messages, refunding returns promptly, responding to cases, packaging items well, and looking after your feedback.
  3. Utilize Promoted Listings. We typically promote any listing that is over a month old if it hasn’t received much interest. Don’t go crazy and try to match the going rate though, simply promoting a listing at 1% will get you extra views without ramping up your fees.
  4. Take Great Pictures. If you are taking dark and dingy pictures, no one will be looking at your listing. Your picture should make your item appealing enough that the person assumes that you’re a professional and wants to see more of your product.
  5. Price things to sell. We’ve never been fans of the “list it and forget it” business model. We tried it and ended up becoming more of a warehouse than a store. You should constantly be tweaking your prices and adjusting things so that they are moving. It’s far better to profit a little bit and be able to reinvest the money in more inventory than to have an item sit for a year to squeeze an extra nickel out of it.

Are eBay sales slowing down overall?

Every time I visit the eBay Community I see a dozen posts from people who claim eBay is dying. Apparently, these people all made tons of money years ago but now no longer really sell on eBay because “eBay is dying and wants to screw people over, etc.” (by the way, why are you still posting on the eBay Community?! Go do something else with your life!)

When we’ve had a no-sales day we’ve wondered a bit ourselves at the validity of their claims. Is eBay slowly dying? Are sales slower now than they used to be? And the answer is….maybe.

The full answer is that sales have slowed down for many people because the competition on eBay is simply a lot stiffer. This means that, if you make crappy listings for mediocre items, you can expect to have no eBay sales on most days. However, eBay also has more users than ever and continues to post record sales numbers each year. If you are willing to run your business at a high level, eBay is a bigger opportunity than it has ever been.

Conclusion

In the end, a no sales day on eBay is no big deal. So if you had no sales on eBay yesterday or today, don’t give up. Get after and list some more items. The more items you have for sale, the more you’ll sell. Good luck!

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