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What to Do When eBay Sales Are Down (Besides Panic)

What to Do When eBay Sales Are Down (Besides Panic)

Have you noticed your eBay sales are down or slowing? It’s a reason that strikes fear for most eBay sellers. Whether it’s a bad economy or regular seasonal decline in sales, it be difficult not to be concerned.

If you rely on your eBay sales, you’ll want to take this time to examine your strategy and see if there’s a way to boost your sales without making any costly mistakes.

Here are some ways to get through a period of slow sales and emerge on the other side in a better position.

Know Your Fees

During slow periods, it’s easy to get into a cycle of being desperate to sell just to cover your fees. If you find yourself needing this month’s sales to cover last month’s fees, you have a problem. If you aren’t able to pull up your sales, your account can end up with a suspended account. Make sure you know your math and have your bookkeeping in order.

During upturns in the economy, it’s easy to expect sales and increasing income. During downturns, your sales will be erratic and you don’t want to have your entire business relying on money that doesn’t materialize.

Analyze the Situation

If you notice your sales are slowing but the economy as a whole is doing well, consider why your sales are down. Did you find a hot product at the beginning of a trend and now the market is becoming over-saturated? Is the trend winding down or is it seasonal and will pick up again in a year?

Has a competitor hit the market or have you had negative reviews that are keeping customers away? Depending on what you discover, make a note of what the problem is and how to address it.

If you’re in the twilight of a trending product, it might be time to diversify and find other products to push. If you’re facing strong competition, check your photos and descriptions. Can you better differentiate your products?

Don’t Give Up When eBay Sales Are Down

When sales are slow, it’s easy to give up on your business. The grass may seem greener elsewhere and you find yourself getting lured into new businesses. While it’s not a bad idea to diversify, remember that every business needs time to grow and become profitable.

Starting a new business from scratch is usually much harder than continuing to run one that is already established. Don’t abandon a successful eBay seller account thinking you’ll be able to get another business going in a few weeks, especially if the economy is down overall.

Keep Up Your Standards

If you’re on a tight budget, it can be tempting to let things slide. Whether it’s your sales tax, packaging, or shipping — try to keep up the standards that made you a successful seller in the first place.

Customers will notice (and complain) about any slips in the product and fulfillment so set aside a budget to keep customer-facing operations business as usual.

Be Honest in Your Descriptions

Nothing kills profit margin like a lot of returns. While it might be tempting to fib a little on your product description for more sales, once customers get the product, they’ll know the truth.

Keep your product descriptions honest and straightforward and your product photos high quality and easy to see. If there are known problems, address them directly.

Keep Your Sources Close

If you’ve been working with the same product source for a few years, make sure to check in with them. They might be willing to give you a discount to get through a downturn or suggest other products to diversify your eBay account. After all, the more you sell, the more they sell.


First, try to identify why your sales have slowed. If it’s an economic downturn, stay on top of your fees and maintain your standards while you ride out the bad economy. Consider diversifying with lower-cost items if possible.

If the downturn is related to new competition or slowing trends, consider how you can either diversify or demonstrate more value for your products.

It can be tempting to throw in the towel but if you stay committed and agile you can come back with even stronger sales.