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Saving For a Space Ship

Massive Drop In Online Sales For Ebay, Amazon, Play

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I've started a new thread after mentioning here about the online collapse .

I'm cynical about the 'it's all going online' meme. I see a collapse in retail generally.

The bigger sellers with large postal discounts may prosper, but many smaller sellers are getting hammered.

In the last few months, I've noticed the eBay & Amazon 3rd party sellers forums swamped with threads about a massive collapse in sales.

Theories include ebay search engine changes, cold weather heating costs, Rm postal £ increases

Many sellers I speak to have complained of an enormous drop off in Play.com sales (the third placed online marketplace)

I keep seeing big ebay sellers with 100, 000 + items for sale, yet only a few thou feedback for the month, or sellers with 10,000+ items & a few hundred feedback. They cannot continue like that.

Being an online retail biz myself, I have to work twice as hard for same profit.

I went to a big boot sale seling last w/end Sun. & Mon. Despite the great weather & packed field, sales were grim for the sellers I spoke to.

Forum threads

http://community.ebay.co.uk/thread.jspa?start=0&threadID=18000498295&rw=true&anticache=1369757368242

Poll

http://community.ebay.co.uk/topic/Business-Seller-Board/Sales-Dropped-Poll/1700132476

Long running low sales thread

http://community.ebay.co.uk/topic/Business-Seller-Board/Suddenly-Sales-Yesterday/18000416809

Az

http://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=71813&tstart=0

Collectplus.co.uk, the cheap courier who saved many a sellers margins has announced a 20% + increase.

http://www.collectplus.co.uk/news/?p=687&utm_source=Pre-Annoucement&utm_campaign=55b95143fb-PreAnnoucement5_21_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8d2f257295-55b95143fb-64881229

EDIT; Links fixed

fascinating insight.Thank you.

I've been studying it for sometime now. Sales are often bad in the first months of the year, but I believe this is far worse than usual as may sellers have had sales drop off a cliff.

It's significant that ebay have had 2 out of only 3 ever 'free listing for business sellers' (invited shop owners only) this year. 100 free listings for private sellers have become a regular, almost 2 weekly event.

The last couple of years' hefty RM parcel rate rises must be hurting smaller traders.

For the life of me I can't see how any small on-line trader can compete with the likes of Amazon when Amazon is clearly benefiting from chunky discounts from Royal Mail. I receive stuff in mahoosive Amazon boxes that would cost ordinary folk more in postage alone than Amazon are selling the delivered items for.

On top of that, if you order stuff direct from the Far East those merchants can also ship lower value items to you for less than just the UK postage, excluding the item, would cost a UK-based merchant. Pay Chinese mail rates, delivered by Royal Mail at the receiving end.

+1

And don't forget we've all had a golden era these last 10 years or so with masses amounts of small individual online sales sent out via Royal Mail for pennies really, and definetely as a loss, tens of millions of items every month sent the length and breadth of uk for 50p or something, ok it's gone up recently and is likely to go up again, will this hit internet sales? making a turnaround in circumstances?

With Royal Mail probably going into private hands and profit being the number one issue it could wipe out small item /small mark up/large turnover type internet sellers. (as in the above anecdotal experience)

I spoke to a DHl manager I know the other day, he could not understand how Collectplus made any profit. He said Dhl refused to drop prices to compete.

A few days later Collectplus increases prices 20%+

There's often rumours of Amazon starting or buying their own courier firms. As stated above, with RM doing it below cost, and couriers competing, why would they have bothered before now?

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I've started a new thread after mentioning here about the online collapse .

Thanks SavingForASpaceShip.

It looks like Australian sellers are complaining too. Doesn't look like it is just a UK problem?

Also, how about the prices ? Are recent completed listings achieved the prices you used to achieved in the past ?

If you don't mind me asking - what category are you trading in ?

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You don't tend to get people buying essentials from the likes of Amazon, Play or eBay. They sell stuff to people with disposable income to spend on 'luxuries'.

The cost of essentials is rising quite sharply.

Pay rises or rates on savings aren't even coming close to matching that rise in the cost of essentials.

So people have less disposable income and hence cut discretionary spending.

Therefore, the above e-tailers take a hit (like all retail excluding food shopping, though even that is being hurt now).

It's an entirely predictable result of shifting the ginormous losses of the bubble from the banksters (who created the losses) to the general public (who can be taxed and suffer inflation) -> hence wealth goes in the other direction. I bet if you looked at luxury goods sales to the global super-rich you'd see that that market was booming.

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Royal Mail's increases are certainly hitting small sellers, I've noticed it myself as an occasional seller. It's the low price sales which are being hammered as Royal Mail have now split parcels into small and medium, with medium proving rather more expensive!

Also, insurance for non-signed for packages has dropped to a maximum of £20 at home or abroad, so international buyers are now forced to pay for insurance.

However, higher value items (particularly rare items) are largely unaffected and are attracting high bids from foreign buyers, which fits the theory in previous posts.

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like one of the other posters. I gave up selling on ebay.

I once had a pack of 3 dvds for well know tv series and ebay would only let me charge so much postage on it which did not cover the cost of selling it. So I stopped selling dvds.

also the post office charges to much now.

all I sell now is broken computer equipment which I list on free listing days because its worth nothing to me.

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like one of the other posters. I gave up selling on ebay.

I once had a pack of 3 dvds for well know tv series and ebay would only let me charge so much postage on it which did not cover the cost of selling it. So I stopped selling dvds.

also the post office charges to much now.

all I sell now is broken computer equipment which I list on free listing days because its worth nothing to me.

" -- also the post office charges to much now --"

NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:

THE WORD YOU MEAN IS "TOO" :angry: :angry: :angry:

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like one of the other posters. I gave up selling on ebay.

I once had a pack of 3 dvds for well know tv series and ebay would only let me charge so much postage on it which did not cover the cost of selling it. So I stopped selling dvds.

also the post office charges to much now.

all I sell now is broken computer equipment which I list on free listing days because its worth nothing to me.

TIme to privatise it then, to see if they can "compete"? :blink:

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Buyers hate the postage charges as much as the sellers.....one way around this is to check all items listed for sale within a set collection radius that is suitable to you, say 10 miles....cash on collection.

I am sure more competition with postage will enter the market....royal mail or insignia or what ever it likes to be called have increased their postage charges well over the rate of inflation....being far too (hope that was right) greedy imo.....they will price themselves out of business...laffer curve and all that. ;)

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You don't tend to get people buying essentials from the likes of Amazon, Play or eBay. They sell stuff to people with disposable income to spend on 'luxuries'.

The cost of essentials is rising quite sharply.

Pay rises or rates on savings aren't even coming close to matching that rise in the cost of essentials.

So people have less disposable income and hence cut discretionary spending.

Therefore, the above e-tailers take a hit (like all retail excluding food shopping, though even that is being hurt now).

I think this sums it up.

I'm earning less than I was five years ago, everybody I know is earning less than they were five years ago, but the cost of essentials just goes up and up. I haven't had a foreign holiday for three years now, used to do at least one a year, the days of just spending any amount of money on anything I wanted and easily being able to afford it are long over. Every month, I have less than I had last month even buying virtually no discretionary items.

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You don't tend to get people buying essentials from the likes of Amazon, Play or eBay. They sell stuff to people with disposable income to spend on 'luxuries'.

Bingo. When real incomes are shrinking, people stop buying non-essentials first.

But there are other issues too.

Ebay sucks ass. It used to be a place for ordinary people selling their junk and you could get good deals on the odds and ends that you couldn't or didn't want to buy new. Now it's almost entirely 'professional' sellers selling things for prices little better than you'd find elsewhere. It's also fallen for the same 'more results are better' crap that Google has over the last few years, where any kind of search is flooded with thousands results that don't match what you wanted and/or are from sellers who won't ship to your country (I did a search for a car part last week and most of the first few thousand results appeared to be a single seller who won't ship to Canada: why the hell are they the most common result on ebay.ca?). I used to use it a lot, now I rarely bother because I know I'll spend hours searching to find something that will cost more than buying it here.

Amazon third-party sellers are rarely competitive because of the shipping cost; you might get a book for $1, but then you have to add $10 in shipping. Even when they are competitive, most third-party sellers on Amazon US or UK won't sell to me in Canada, so they're pointless anyway. Not only that, but when you find a good deal, there's a fair chance they just won't ship it because they realise they can sell for more elsewhere and Amazon will refund my money when it doesn't turn up.

Amazon realises that it's not a retailer, it's a search engine for stuff, and does its best to find me exactly the stuff I want. That's why it's light years ahead of the competition and gets such a large chunk of my retail purchases.

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TIme to privatise it then, to see if they can "compete"? :blink:

Amazon are currently selling 4kg of bird seed mix for £4, delivered

Out of curiosity I just checked how much a 4kg parcel would cost a mere mortal to send via RM

...£13.35

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Amazon are currently selling 4kg of bird seed mix for £4, delivered

Out of curiosity I just checked how much a 4kg parcel would cost a mere mortal to send via RM

...£13.35

I assume you mean this item

Crazy, I agree.

However, Rm have been out of the picture for some yrs re: small heavier parcels. Collectplus would be £4.99 (inc vat & going up 20% in a week)

In addition, this is also free postage only with Amazon prime which is £49 a year.

I notice them offering the amazon service 'subscribe-and-save', a free service which hooks consumers into a further 10% reduction for regular purchases of the same item

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/subscribe-and-save/details/index.html/ref=rcxsubs_dp_more

Subscribe & Save is a feature that allows you to set up automatic re-orders of products you use frequently, on a monthly Subscribe & Save delivery date that is convenient to you, and at a discount on Amazon.co.uk's everyday low price. All Subscribe & Save orders are delivered for free in the UK and the Republic of Ireland using standard delivery.

The benefits of the Subscribe & Save programme are available to automatic re-orders that are scheduled to be delivered by your monthly Subscribe & Save delivery date.

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I assume you meanthis item

Crazy, I agree.

However, Rm have been out of the picture for some yrs re: small heavier parcels. Collectplus would be £4.99 (inc vat & going up 20% in a week)

In addition, this is also free postage only with Amazon prime which £49 a year.

I notice them offering the amazon service 'subscribe-and-save', a free service which hooks consumers into a further 10% reduction for regular purchases of the same item

Yes, that's the one

That, I believe, is the delivered 'Super Saver delivery' price, Prime not needed.

edit: How could any ordinary mortal compete with that? You couldn't even give the stuff away and match Amazon's pricing.

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Yes, that's the one

That, I believe, is the delivered 'Super Saver delivery' price, Prime not needed.

Ah, apologies, I may stand corrected then.

I subscribe to Prime, and it shows in my browser as such.

2 more links from the forums

Amazon sellers forum

what a horrible week!

http://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=71919&tstart=0

ebay

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.

http://community.ebay.co.uk/topic/Business-Seller-Board/Hell-Going/1700132346

Edit:

edit: How could any ordinary mortal compete with that? You couldn't even give the stuff away and match Amazon's pricing.

The only way I can compete (I do sometimes undercut amazon on their site as a 3rd party seller) is by having bought stock at bankrupt stock prices from sellers who have made a big loss on it.

The other way is to sell used, but then of course you are up against the dreaded omni present mega seller Zoverstocks (music magpie / estocks on ebay / That's Entertainent shops) with their auto pricing software & Jersey residency. More recently Warehouse Deals, Amazons own 3rd party trade in megaseller has made inroads, along with wholesalers selling themselves cutting out the little guy.

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Amazon sellers forum

what a horrible week!

One of the sellers on that thread comments on the books they just bought from other sellers (at least I presume that's who they mean, and not buying from stores other than Amazon):

One came and was covered in ripped sellotape and every corner was turned down, sold as "Very Good". One was OK but very creased, but is readable. The one I was most looking forward to about American Civil Rights has just arrived from Yankee Clipper and is completely the wrong book.

People who have that kind of experience buying from third-party sellers may not be eager to try it again. My girlfriend, for example, refuses to buy from third-party sellers on Amazon after her previous experience of things she ordered just not turning up.

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One of the sellers on that thread comments on the books they just bought from other sellers (at least I presume that's who they mean, and not buying from stores other than Amazon):

People who have that kind of experience buying from third-party sellers may not be eager to try it again. My girlfriend, for example, refuses to buy from third-party sellers on Amazon after her previous experience of things she ordered just not turning up.

This appears to be a common attiude. A recent amazon forum discussion gave this a reason for the recent demise of play.com marketplace sales.

One theory was that a lot of dodgy sellers were thrown off ebay, they went to sell on Play.

To me it is throwing the baby out with the bath water, especially are there are only 3 main marketplaces. Some people seem particularly sensitive on this subject.

I don't sell on play, but as a buyer used to buy from them on a regular basis, however banned buying from marketplace sellers about a year back due to having too many problems, went back last month and virtually every order resulted in a complaint, listed new, sent used, damaged cases, scratched discs described as VG condition, no reply to emails, only by leaving a neg do you get some attention, overall experience.....simply awful.

But to your point, as I will not be buying direct from play itself, then it's highly unlikely I will even visit the site to look at buying from play traders, I suspect that maybe what is happening as the wider public will only have picked up Play is closing.

I don't see that the tax issue killed them off, they could have moved that operation to the UK and creamed off taxes from an office based outside of the UK as do ebay, Amazon and many others which would have provided a more level playing, but a mini me Amazon simply does not work in reality on a level playing field as Amazon are too big.

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We do some online sales

What is much more noticeable is the third week dip in sales followed by a flurry of purchases in the last few days of the money... Monthly salaries not lasting the month, but still people wanting / needing to buy stuff just as soon as the wages arrive

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Buyers hate the postage charges as much as the sellers.....one way around this is to check all items listed for sale within a set collection radius that is suitable to you, say 10 miles....cash on collection.

I am sure more competition with postage will enter the market....royal mail or insignia or what ever it likes to be called have increased their postage charges well over the rate of inflation....being far too (hope that was right) greedy imo.....they will price themselves out of business...laffer curve and all that. ;)

Yes I have over the last few years grabbed a few ebay bargains by searching nearest first to my Postcode, often asking sellers if they will accept free collection (some don't) If postal prices keep going up this will happen more and more, and then after a while it's not going to be quite a bargain so more...

Doesn't really matter about over the rate inflation or whatever, it's going to be down to the total running costs of delivering these 50p-£2 packets in RM, once privitised it's likely to go up to the actual cost of delivering them all. So imo these small cheap packets will be less profitable (even a loss) for anyone to send so possibly wiping out anyone selling these type of things online in the process.

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I do know some online furniture retailers who are "killing it" on Ebay.

And therein lies the problem. To shift furniture online requires, a warehouse, stock (usually) and your own specialist delivery system as couriers cannot be guaranteed to be able to deliver a large item when the customer is in.

You also need capital, as your cash flow is bashed whilst container shipments are in progress from China, so the barriers to entry are greater.

So my feeling is that any ordinary Joe can start an "Ebay" store for a few quid importing stuff via Ali Express from China, then more or less anyone can. Especially if the item can just be stuffed into a jiffy bag.

The way to do it seems to be leverage Ebay to drive direct sales, and offer "Cash on Delivery" as a preferred payment method, because I've known Paypal withold tens of thousands of pounds as security because Ebay sellers have grown too fast.

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I can understand third party sales falling off as there are a lot of fake goods, high postal prices, etc on Amazon. I do have to say where I have had fake goods I have never had a problem getting a refund, sometimes with Amazon's help.

But the linked question has to be is how are Amazon's first party sales going. I suspect they are doing rather better seen as most of there stuff can be bought with free shipping.

I also use ebay and find their filters like Amazons to be really useful in finding what I need.

Play are a waste of time now, hence their trouble.

Amazon and Ebay may do a lot of discretionary goods but they also do clothes which are an essential, in every case I will go online being a tall person as going into my city centre is an exercise in futility.

Just to add we may knock the Royal Mail but once it has been privatised we will be begging for it to come back. Other delivery companies may be okay if you live in a big city but as soon as you get outside of this you can forget it.

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Just to add we may knock the Royal Mail but once it has been privatised we will be begging for it to come back. Other delivery companies may be okay if you live in a big city but as soon as you get outside of this you can forget it.

Even in the cities and towns lots of tnt, amazon stuff etc gets sent via royal mail for peanuts, if it was delivered by their own couriers the price would be more, even though RM has cost tax payers money over the years, we've all had subsidised post and small packets.

I know I keep going on about it and yes i'm a postie, but i'm just saying how it is.

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  • 246 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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