eBay, Where Are You?!? What to Do When Sales are Slow

what to do when ebay sales are down

what to do when ebay sales are down

A lot of us can agree that sales are really stinking it up right now. What happened…. at this time of year we expect sales to make a gradual incline as we near the holiday season. At this time last year, we had twice as many sales. It’s difficult to stay encouraged with the lack of sales, recent eBay technical fails, the news that eBay and PayPal are splitting, and that John Donahoe, eBay CEO, is stepping down. What’s next?!?

So what do we do while we’re waiting for sales to pick up? Here are some tips of things you can do to stay encouraged and keep working toward your goals.


Check for Mistakes

Yes, it happens… we make mistakes. When sales are down and the tape gun is not flying, it’s the perfect time to go back over some of our items and check for typos, keystroke errors, wrong category, pricing, shipping options, etc. Sometimes it’s those little errors that have kept buyers from purchasing our item because they’re uncertain, so fixing even the smallest mistakes could effect the sale of that item.

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Organize & Clean Up

ebay inventory management organizationAfter frantically digging through items because you can’t find the item you just sold (we’re not the only ones who have done this, right?!?), things tend to get a little messy. This down time is perfect for going back through and straightening up your inventory. We like to use big plastic totes to organize all of our clothing items by style and gender (women’s pants, mens shirts, etc). It’s a good idea to periodically pull everything out of the tote, refold, and organize so next time you’re frantically looking for an item, it will be easier to find.



You could take this down time to review your inventory and decide if there is anything that just isn’t worth your time anymore. Pull out items to be donated or thrown away. It’s not worth spending our time and energy on items that have been sitting around forever, not selling.


Connect with other Sellers

It’s encouraging to see what other sellers are having success with and get some good ideas of what to look for yourself. There is much opportunity for connecting to other sellers on the internet with social media. We have found many sellers on YouTube who are sharing their experiences and success with their eBay businesses. Many of them are kind enough to show what they are buying and selling. You can also find groups on Facebook and Google+ where there are lots of people eager to talk and share anything that has to do with their eBay businesses. You can also tune into eBay Radio where each week they will discuss many topics and have special guests where you may get ideas of how to increase your sales or adjust your business.


Get Some Motivation in Your Inbox

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Reinvest… aka Go Pickin’!

goodwill outlet store for sourcing ebay itemsWhat items have you passed by time and time again thinking, “I should really look that up to see if it would be worth anything”? We have! Whether it’s coffee cups, stuffed animals, whatever, now would be a great time to finally research and see if those niches are worth investing in.

Perhaps you could see if your state has a Goodwill Outlet Store where you can source a lot of great stuff at cheaper rates.  Have you looked for places to source eBay items that are in a different city or even another state? You could plan a day trip to go picking in a city you’ve never gone to before (or one you have been to and found great items). There’s nothing better than fresh items to keep you excited to sell!



What were you doing a year ago? Where were you at in your business? What were your goals? What was your feedback score?

What are you doing now? How much has your business grown since then? Did you achieve those goals? If you sell internationally, what countries have you sold to in the last year?

How about since you first started selling on eBay? It’s encouraging to think back at how much you have grown and changed in your business. The things we have done in just a year make us feel so accomplished. So much has changed and we keep growing and learning. It’s good to reflect on those goals and set new ones.


Take a Break

It’s good to take a step back once in a while and just do something fun outside of the business. Work on a hobby, do some yard work or gardening, go on a vacation, etc. After sitting in front of a computer, drilling away at your listings, it feels good to get out and do something outside of eBay… something fun, something you don’t get to do that often.

We hope these ideas will help you stay encouraged during the dreaded selling slump. Let us know what you do when sales are slow… we’d love to hear your ideas!


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About the author

The Family Pickers

booksclothesshoes - June 12, 2016

Good information for sellers on eBay, or any other site for that matter.

Master William Davis III - June 19, 2016

Good idea, just wish my listings would be seen easier. Just because my feedback score is slightly below 100%, Ebay threatens to make your listings last seen and your sales will drop, this is why I sell on etsy, amazon, swap meets etc.

Barbara Teresa - July 22, 2016

Grate Article. What needs to be addressed here is that there has to be other streams of income. NOT JUST EBAY. At the moment I am at my lowest point EVER financially. Go Picking? I have no money to pick…I owe eBay $85.00 and only have $55.00 in my paypal account. Have slashed prices in my store AND offered free shipping. I have 140 items sitting in my eBay store and in auction…crickets…no buyers. They’re playing Pokémon GO!
Point is… $4,500 in sales in 5 months is fantastic (if you have a day job or other streams of income). It’s a great way to get money for a trip, car…spare cash etc. Anyone that’s looking to survive with eBay being their sole income is in for a very bad wake up call.
Did I mention that it’s heading towards the end of July and I haven’t had money for rent?
Nor money for gas for my car. My bad. It started out so great and BAM…lights out as if eBay just shut down their machine.

    The Family Pickers - July 22, 2016

    We totally understand Barbara. Our sales have also slipped since writting this article. 🙁

    cjnorth - July 24, 2016

    I agree with you 100%. What the heck happened. Just lights out. Last month I profited just a tad over $4,000 and shipping out at least 20 packages a day. This past week I shipped a total of 10. 10? Where did everyone go? What has happened. I wish I could go sourcing to, but that takes money. If you don’t have it to begin with then what? This is the time of year I normally try to save up to buy new stuff to sell around the Holidays. Not this year. I think coming out of this rut is going to be very hard for a lot of us.

Jon Young - October 6, 2016

It’s sad to see so many sellers are not doing well on eBay. I have several different accounts and their sales did drop drastically within a very short amount of time but figured out what was going on within a few weeks by studying eBay’s algorithm and how it displays search results, etc. I made a lot of major changes to how I listed and marketed my products. Now my sales are back up again.

You really need to stay on top of all the changes eBay is making on a monthly basis. It affects how buyers find and see your items. Buyers are becoming smarter and smarter so it’s not as easy as it use to be to sell on eBay.

If you play the role of the buyer and you cannot find your listing on eBay, then you have a problem. If they do find your listing but if it they are turned off by it for any reason, you also have a problem. You have to then find a way around it so buyers can find your items and if they do find it, it will actually convince them to buy it. There is always a way around the system that eBay has set up.

eBay cannot survive if there is not a large variety of products on it’s site. Amazon is doing great because you can find almost anything on it. Products are only put there by the sellers so eBay needs its sellers just as much as it needs its buyers.

Contact me if you need my help.

Jon Young
Kyson & Associates

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