Thursday, August 21, 2008

Will Selling On Ebay Be Worth It?

Hi, everyone -

First of all, let me say how much I love the fabulous vintage I see on this site! Every time I log on, I get free eye candy!

Second, I hope this entry does not offend everyone. I'm very tired from what I have been doing (see my entry from Sunday), the apartment clean out, which is coming to a close, at least for me.

But I feel so dispirited about the changes coming to Ebay, from the huge hike in final value fees (effectively making the Vintage Blow Out Sale obsolete after Labor Day), and worst of all, the Paypal and electronic payment only option to start in October. As a vintage seller, most of my buyers are not high-end folks, and many of them prefer to pay with money orders. An Ebay trading assistant I'm working with also accepts personal checks. Not only will our businesses be affected, but so will our customers! Not everyone has a credit card, or a Paypal account.

I would welcome comments from other sellers, be they on Ebay, Etsy, Specialist Auctions, or those with their own websites. What is your preferred selling venue?

This is obviously not something that can be discussed on Ebay, so I am tossing it out here. I'm not a Powerseller, just a woman who loves vintage and loves giving it new life by passing it on to others. Please don't make hateful comments, because I am not disparaging Ebay, just wondering how I'll cope.



Sharon said...

Hi Elisa,

I stopped selling on Ebay a couple of months ago. But in spite of their poor business practices towards sellers, they still have the lions share of traffic.

I am probably going to run some auctions and fixed price listings just to keep my head above water.

I just keep telling myself, no matter what it costs to sell on Ebay, it is easier and cheaper than trying to open a B&M.

As for customers ability to pay via MO or check, I don't know how they will work around that. But I AM sure that people smarter than me are already working on a way~

Carol@Dandelion Vintage said...

I sold on ebay for 8 years. I gave it up about 2 years ago. I always had fun selling on ebay, then when it started to become not-fun and things started to change there, I stopped listing there. I was always glad that I had the option to go back to listing there if I found something that would do great in the market there. But the market and ebay itself has changed so much, that now I don't know if I would list any vintage there at this point.
I had my website before I started selling on ebay, and that was always my main focus and ebay was a suppliment to that income. A website is a very hard jump to make, especially if you've only sold on ebay and are used to them bringing the buyers to you.

My advice to anyone looking to leave ebay and go out on your own would be to join another group selling site like Babylon, Main Street, Specialist Auctions or Etsy. In one of those places you are going to have the shoppers drawn in, but you still have to do work to get yourself noticed. On a website you are totally on your own. I think a group site is a good stepping stone to having your own website. It will give you an idea of the time/work involved in self promoting.

Marge, Born Too Late Vintage said...

My name is Marge and I'm the moderator of the vintage clothing and sewing section at Specialist Auctions.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Diversify. List on other venues as well as eBay while you have to and convert your customers to the other site you decide to list on. Not every site is perfect for every seller. So shop around and pick the one that meets the most of your checklist.

Feel free to check out what we do at Specialist Auctions. Our site is moderated which means the vintage police (the moderators) will move items that are in the wrong categories (for example reproduction attire (which has its own category)).

You can't sell anything at the other venues if you don't list there. :)

Cara Mia said...

Carol, that is wonderful advice!