Ina Steiner from AuctionBytes, eBay experienced a major drop in traffic over the last few months. Based on data from Nielsen, Steiner concludes that eBay's page views in May 2009 dropped 32% compared to May 2008, and compared to May 2005, page views were down by 40%. With a 7% drop from May 2008 to May 2009, the unique visitor numbers show a slightly less dramatic decline, but things are clearly not going too well for eBay right now.According to
As Saul Hansell points out on the New York Times Bits blog, eBay is currently suffering from a major identity crisis. As we reported earlier this year, eBay's attempt to drive users away from auctions and towards fixed-price transactions ('Buy-it-Now') drove a lot of users away from the service, which, after all, used to be all about auctions. As Hansell rightly points out, a lot of this is meant to make users feel more secure about shopping at eBay, but at the same time, the company has also managed to annoy its traditional base of smaller sellers by focusing more on large retailers, while confusing users about what eBay really wants to be (auctions or Amazon competitor?).
Of course, it is also important to note that the current state of the economy also doesn't do eBay any favors. Consumer spending in general is down, and a lot of the items purchased on eBay were often collectibles and other items that were not necessities.