Menu Icon

What to Do If You’ve Had No Sales on eBay

Published on Feb. 21, 2018

Last updated on Feb. 26, 2020
3 min read

 No Sales on eBay

It’s been days and you’ve had no sales on eBay. Maybe this is your first listing, or maybe you’ve made a living on eBay for years and suddenly nobody wants to buy from you anymore. Either way, it sucks.

What has eBay done to kill your sales? What are you doing wrong? How come things have gotten so hard?

eBay’s algorithms change constantly, and new competitors arrive all the time. Even the most successful seller can see their sales crash as something in the eBay ecosystem changes. And regardless of whether it’s eBay’s fault or your competitors’, you are the only one who can bring your sales back up.

Here are the reasons why your listings may not be selling, and what you can do to turn things around. Some will seem obvious. But be careful to consider each one, as often, we fall shortest in the areas where we feel most confident.

1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Cassini-Huygens Probe

People can’t buy from you if they can’t find your listings. eBay SEO, the art of ranking on the Cassini search engine to top Best Match searches and the eBay Buy Box, is indispensable for eBay sellers. You must learn how it works to save your listings from getting buried by competitors.

eBay’s algorithms change regularly, so if you last researched eBay SEO a few years back, take the time to learn what has changed. eBay doesn’t reveal everything, but what they do release to the public can make a huge difference. Keep up with eBay news and always be ready to change your strategy.

2. Image Quality

How to Take Photos for eBay

eBay is full of low-quality images. As such, it’s easy to think your listing will be fine with a few snapshots. But as competition from sites like Amazon grows more intense, buyers get more and more used to great product photos, and they often ignore grainy, shadowy, or cluttered images outright.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take above-average photos. There are simple systems and inexpensive gear that can make a world of difference. See “9 Tips on How to Take Photos for eBay” for free and low-cost ways to make your listings stand apart.

3. Customer Service

eBay Customer Service Infographic Section

You probably don’t have too many messages coming in if you’re making no sales. All the same, fast and effective responses to the messages you do receive can create a chain reaction of improving engagement and rising Best Match rankings. See “Infographic: The Fastest Way to Make More Money on eBay” to see the insanely powerful effect of good customer service.

4. Description Quality

Well-Written Sunscreen Description on eBay

It’s easy to assume that nobody reads the description and that it plays little to no role in making the sale. But it can have a tremendous impact—not only can good writing make the reader feel like they’ve seen and handled your product in person, it also matters for eBay SEO.

Just like you don’t need to be Ansel Adams to take a good product photo, you don’t need to be Stephen King to write a great product description. See “6 Tips on How to Write an eBay Description That Sells” for writing strategies anyone can use to close the deal.

5. Product Problems

Apparel on eBay

I’ve read complaints from veteran sellers who suddenly had no sales on eBay, and it turned out all their sales were of a single product. That product was probably the problem.

Maybe overseas sellers have undercut you. Maybe your product is falling out of fashion. It might not have lost all its profit potential, but if following the other tips here doesn’t turn your sales around, it has lost a lot. You can no longer count on it to generate a living for you.

It’s time to find something new to diversify your stock. “How to Figure Out What to Sell on eBay” covers basic research strategies, while “6 eBay Business Models with Pros and Cons” explains the different ways you can source new products to sell. They’ll start you down the path to a more diverse inventory that can better handle shifts in the market.

6. Adjust Pricing

eBay Pricing Recommendations

If you kept the same price while sales fell, that could be the problem. But even dropping the price may have made the situation worse.

People don’t always choose the listing with the lowest price, even when the two listings are identical. And eBay doesn’t want you to offer the lowest price. After all, that means it gets less money from fees!

Finding the perfect price means dancing between psychology, competition, and eBay algorithms. See “How to Price on eBay” for the ins and outs of finding the magic number.

From No Sales on eBay to Making a Living

The tips above can break your business out of virtually any selling rut and put your no-sales-on-eBay days in the past where they belong. It will take hard work to turn your business around. But by following eBay’s ever-evolving best practices and putting in the time and effort, you can practically guarantee your own success.