The web is alive with chatter this week about eBay‘s traffic woes. PowerSellers are blaming the online auction giant of changing its search functions and causing a drop in sales.
More than 5,600 replies have been logged to a forum thread titled “5 DAYS STRAIGHT, NOT 1 SALE” that was posted back in April. On the Internet, April is a lifetime ago. Still, the topic has legs. The chorus has grown louder as the economy lumbers along. If nothing else, it gives sellers a source to cry foul and learn from others.
The four biggest complaints, according to Newark, N.J. based blogger Monique Stout:
* Lack of visibility.
* Defining what constitutes a ‘Best Match’
* Buyer favoritism, and
* A slanted feedback system.
Time will tell if the lack of sales is eBay’s work on its search functions or the slow economy. However, it’s clear something even larger that the economy is involved here.
Both sites had equal amounts of unique visitors in the U.S. for the first time ever, according to comScore data. It shows both CraigsList and eBay registering 50 million unique monthly visitors in May.
However, Amazon.com exceeds both of them by 20 million unique visitors.
Crucial to understanding the chart is comparing how eBay’s traffic has changed during the past four years. Back in Nov. 2006 eBay was recording between 75 and 80 million unique visitors a month.
When it comes to sellling antiques and collectibles sellers, it appears traffic matters more than search functions.