Currently, eBay is one of the biggest online selling platforms in the United States, but with 25 million eBay sellers on the platform, how can you compete and stay profitable? Or, what do you do if you notice your sales start to slow down? Many eBay sellers report slower sales at different times of the year regardless of their experience.
Luckily enough, the team at ZIK Analytics have you covered, outlining our comprehensive guide for fixing slow eBay sales. With our data backed strategies, and our tools comprehensive analytics, you no longer need to guess when it comes to fixing your stores slow sales. This article will help you in identifying the main reason for your sluggish sales and will assist in getting your sales back on track.
WATCH: This video outlines the entire strategy
Understanding your seller rating
Reviewing defect rates
Late shipping rates
Reviewing closed cases
Other important metrics
Traffic and impressions
Types of products being listed
How to improve your eBay sales in 2023
Use descriptive titles
Make product pictures pop
Pricing your products
Ideal shipping options
Use promoted listings
Lets wrap up
Does eBay limit Sales
Why is eBay restricting my sales
Are eBay sales down in 2023 overall?
The online marketplace has changed significantly in 2020, 2021 and 2022. More consumers are making purchases online than ever before, and it led to eBay having a mammoth Q1, with Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) growing by 29% YOY. They however had experienced a slower Q2 with GMV declining by 7% and active buyers decreasing by 2% as outlined in their quarterly report. Now if you sell on the eBay platform, should you be worried? Sure, GMV was down, however eBay recognized and anticipated this, understanding that purchasing habits would be erratic due to the unpredictable economy during the pandemic.
The thing is, overall these figures don’t seem overly concerning to the team at ZIK Analytics, and we feel optimistic that eBay sales will continue to rise as a whole with the company continuing to innovate and focus on improving their core offering, despite the external factors impacting the global economy. So ruling out sales dropping on a global scale, let’s take a closer look at what could be impacting your sales on a store level.
Diagnosing slow eBay sales
Before we dive into this topic and look at how to improve your sales, we need to diagnose why your sales are down in the first place. The first part of this article will outline a few important factors that we look at so that we can get a full understanding of your store’s performance.
Understanding your eBay Seller Ratings
Your dashboard is basically a source of truth for your eBay performance, where you can get a thorough breakdown of your business such as your eBay sales and other important store metrics. Here you can also see if you are adhering to all of eBays policies, and this is the first place I would check to make sure that we do not have any defects on our account.
Essentially, it is like a report card on the profitability and performance of your entire store.
It is extremely important that you are across all of eBays policies to ensure that you are playing within the rules.
Now, your performance dashboard gives you insights into several important indicators which impact your eBay sellers rating, namely:
- Your Defect Rate
- Your Late Shipment Rate
- Cases closed without your resolution
We will touch on these below.
Your defect rate on eBay is calculated by the amount of defects recorded in your store, divided by your store’s total sales. For instance, if you have sold 100 items in your store this month, and had 4 defects, your defect rate would be 4%.
But what causes a defect on eBay?
According to eBay, your store can have a defect for the following reasons.
- The item was not as described
- The item was cancelled by the you
- There was a claim through the payment processor where the claim was in favour of the buyer.
Consider the following to increase your chances of getting better customer satisfaction and reducing defects:
- Accurately describe your goods, provide photographs, and clarify each aspect of your product – ensuring that you fill out the item specifics.
- Routinely check the supply of your items.
- Restock your supply as soon as you see it going low.
- If you feel that will take more time to replenish your inventory, use the “Out Of Stock” option immediately after the items sell out.
- Whenever your buyers flag a problem, talk to them about it and see if you can come to a resolution with them. Compromising with them as soon as possible can avoid a defect and in a lot of cases can lead to favourable feedback.
Late Shipping rate
Now, the late shipment rate is as the name suggests. If you are shipping your items out late, past the time you have specified on your listing – you will incur a late shipment rate.
When your transactions are postponed more regularly, your dashboard rating will decrease. Then, when your deliveries are late a certain number of times, eBay will actually impose restrictions on your shipping choices.
To make sure that you are coloring within the lines with your shipping policy, here are some important things to consider.
- Work out your order duration (including shipping and handling) to provide an exact arrival date for your orders.
- Use order tracking for your shipments.
- Providing reimbursements for late deliveries when you know that your customer is going to be challenging.
Are your cases being closed without a seller resolution?
Customer service is the cornerstone of being a top seller on eBay. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that sellers don’t have any cases being closed without a resolution with the buyer. In other words, if eBay has to step in to resolve an issue, it is bad news for your store!
If you are noticing that your rating and/or sales have dropped and you have had a few cases that have been resolved without a resolution, you have likely found the reason for your reduction in sales. The good news is, eBay recalculates your rating every month, so you can definitely bring your store back!
Need to cancel a buyers order after payment, but not sure how this will impact your seller rating? Check out this guide to find out how.
Other important metrics to check
Apart from your rating, there are a few other important metrics to check to ensure that your sales are performing optimally and more people are seeing your listings.
Check your eBay store policies
The eBay business policy system is intended to make the selling process easier for you by enabling you to specify predefined payments, shipment, and refund policies that you apply on your listings regularly.
Regularly checking whether or not your policies for your store and determine if they are fair and streamlined for your customers.
Check your traffic and impressions
An “impression” occurs when a buyer searches for something and your product appears in the eBay search results. Your actual traffic to your listing occurs when buyers click through on to the listing from the eBay search results.
If you notice that traffic on your listing is low, this may mean that your product requires further optimization, which can be achieved through improving your listing description and title.
Check out this guide on optimizing your eBay Title.
Look at the types of products that you are selling
Your store may have had an amazing quarter, and then all of a sudden you may notice sales have come to a halt. Offcourse, your first reaction is likely panic, “did I do something to displease the eBay gods?”. The truth could be something a lot less worrying. If you are listing seasonal products for instance, then you can expect your store’s sales to be a bit more erratic. We always encourage most sellers to list evergreen products in their store as well to encourage consistency.
How do I increase sales on eBay 2023?
So now that we have diagnosed a few possible reasons that you could be experiencing a downturn in sales, let’s talk about how to get more sales. Here are a few things that we would encourage you to do:
If there are things that you have identified above resulting in a lower seller performance, you can solve this by calling eBay customer service and explaining the situation. There are cases where you may receive a defect erroneously, or you may have had negative feedback due to reasons out of your control (commonly, we are seeing negative feedback due to delays in shipping during the pandemic) or other reasons.
You need to be consistent and vigilant about this, making sure that you get on the phone or chat with eBay to see how you can remove these issues. If this continues to be a problem for you, ask for assistance on the ZIK Analytics Facebook Group. There are agents that provide services to help remove defects in your store, and you are sure to find a helping hand.
Optimize your listings
Here is a quick overview of some eBay SEO items to help optimize your listings to appear in eBay’s search engine.
Use descriptive titles
Your title is one of the most important factors to increase visibility in eBay’s search engine. Having a well optimized title is critical for your eBay SEO.
Take a look at your dashboard on eBay and examine your overall impressions to assess the efficiency of your title. A low percentage of views may mean that your product is only appearing in the eBay search for a handful of potential customers when they are actively looking for items to buy.
So if consumers are not finding your product, it is possible that your title isn’t optimized for the keywords that your potential customers are entering into the eBay search engine.
Make your product pictures pop
Excellent, recognizable pictures have been shown to have an important role in increasing click through rates and views in eBay’s search.
So, it is essential to put high-definition photographs of your product in your listing. If the product photos are pixelated or of overall low quality, potential customers may be turned away assuming that the product is of a lesser quality.
To have better images for your listing, make sure that the picture satisfies the following quality standards:
- They have good lighting to allow better visibility.
- They are high resolution.
- They are not outdated pictures, but actual pictures of the product you are offering the day it is being listed.
- There are photos that display your product from all angles.
Redo the photos, if needed, to make them extra presentable. You also may contact a photographer to shoot and touch up photos of your more expensive listings.
To enhance your listing’s traffic, ensure your photos are clear, crisp and polished!
Price your products competitively
If you have done your competitor analysis correctly, then you have likely priced the item at a level that allows you to compete and still make a profit. Most customers on eBay are pretty savvy, so they will compare your listing to other items if you don’t differentiate it enough. For that reason, it is important to make sure that you are conscious of your pricing. Make sure that when you do list your item, that you take into account all the associated fees, and then put a comfortable mark up without overcharging the buyer.
Offer fast and free delivery where possible
These days, everyone wants their product yesterday (and with platforms like Amazon offering same day delivery, this is not totally unexpected!). It is therefore important that your delivery options are fast, and accurate. You can always offer slower, more affordable options but give them the option for express as well. This allows you to cater to both types of customers.
To achieve this, start by giving a variety of shipping alternatives, like free shipping or shipping nationwide. Most eBay shoppers anticipate free shipping for specific items, and this has the added benefit of giving you a rankings boost as it is something that eBay likes to see offered to customers.
Use promoted listings
Organic sales are extremely important, but there is another way to boost your online sales, and that is the use of promoted listings.
Utilizing promoted listings allows you to use eBay’s native advertising to promote your listings above others. Unlike pay per click advertising, promoted listings allows you to choose a percentage of your sale to devote to the advertising cost. This means you will always be in control of the fees that you are paying to advertise on the platform. eBay has a recommendation of fees for various categories, but you will need to do your own testing to verify those rates.
Lets wrap up..
If you have had a noticeable decline in sales, all is not lost! There is a clear and actionable guide to help you bring your sales back from the dead, and build a thriving store again. The heart of all the strategies that we teach, and that eBay favors is that you offer quality products that customers love, that you communicate with your customers and that you ship items out quickly. If you follow these golden rules, we have no doubt that you will be able to have a thriving store in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does eBay limit sales?
There is a monthly limit on the amount of items you can list in your shop, depending on the tier of subscription that you have and how new your account is. Now, this limit is impacted by the amount of items you have in your store, not the amount of items that have sold – so keep an eye on your stock count if you are using a free account or have a new account as you will initially be limited.
I have a store subscription, why is eBay restricting my sales?
If you are subscribed to one of eBay’s higher plans and you are not being limited by the quantity of items that you are allowed to list, your sales may be restricted or reduced due to defects or seasonality of your products. You can fix this by improving your rating in your dashboard, optimizing your listings and providing stellar customer service.