I know no one will believe me, but I actually started this post before I saw John’s very similar post on his blog. I was going to scrap it lest I be thought a copycat but I think our reasons are pretty different so I decided to go with it anyway.
As anyone who reads this blog or talks to me on Twitter (if you aren’t following me on Twitter, why the heck not??) know, that, while I am willing to try out new sites and while I do complain a good bit about some eBay changes, overall, I still love eBay. I should add that I am not the sort of person that sellers refer to as having “drank the eBay Kool Ade.” I do not think they are perfect and, when I do occasionally show up at eBay Live, I am dressed like a normal person. But even with all the chaos and changes, eBay is still tops with me. I thought I would take a second to address why.
- It’s where the buyers are. This one is the biggest one and is plain and simple. I listed the same 5 items with the same terms and shipping on Bonanzle and eBay on the same day as a test. Several weeks later, those items on eBay have been sold out and relisted several times already while no one has touched the Bonanzle listings. While I cannot speak for everyone, for the collectibles and old junk (sometimes I totally sell junk, not afraid to admit it) that I sell, the buyers are on eBay and, as long as that is the case, that is where I will be.
- eBay is good to me. As long as I play their game, no matter how stupid I think their game may be, they give me discounts, extra exposure, protection, etc. They have bought my loyalty with perks and I am not afraid to admit that I can totally be bought in that way.
- eBay is still the go to place for random stuff and the first place people think of. My grandmother has no idea what a blog is and holds a cell phone like its a walky talky. Even she made a joke about, “I’ll sell you on eBay!” this past weekend. It’s a part of popular culture. If I want one of those talking pens that Bill Cosby used to do those segments with, the first place I am going to go is eBay, plain and simple. I might later think to look at other sites for a better price but eBay is the place where I know I can find it. I know a lot of people hated them but I loved those “it” ads. Whatever it is, you really can find it on eBay and even after all the changes, most people still think that way. eBay is also still the best place for unusual Christmas gifts. Anyone can buy something from a store. I am the person getting you that weird thing that you love but had no idea existed from eBay. Sure, I might be able to get those items on another site now but I, like most people outside of our e-commerce nerd bubble, are going to think of eBay first.
- It usually has the best deals and most selection. Sure, sometimes the best deal is elsewhere. But I buy a lot of very random stuff online some for my business (packing supplies, computer parts, etc) and some for personal (some crazy old fashioned part my husband needs for a pet project, a collectible item I want, a diner style sign we got a friend as a joke). Even if I am thinking of buying something elsewhere, I always start my research at eBay because there is a such a range of products that I can see all my choices and make decisions before I step into a store. It is also the first place I look if I want to buy something that is out of stock in brick and mortar stores. Even if you are furious at eBay right now, if there was a Tickle Me Elmo like craze going on right now, you have to admit that its the first place you’d look.
- It’s still the best price to sell something either very rare or that you don’t know the value of (aka I love auctions!). Let’s say I find this crazy My Little Pony that I have never seen appear in any book or on the forums before. It could be worth nothing, but it could be worth millions. The best place for me to make sure I get “fair market value” is eBay. No private sale or fixed price listing on another site will get me the profit generating by people fightng over a rare item in an auction. By the same token, if I have something where I have no idea of the value, throwing it up in an auction is a cheap way to find out how much people are willing to pay. I love the thrill of putting something you were just going to throw out up on eBay and watching it sell for $300.
- Forget about bidding victoriously. I like selling victoriously! Sometimes, watching two people fight over something you bought for 25 cents at a garage sale and bid it up to $100 is better than TV! I admit with no shame that I have stayed up way too late on many a night refreashing an auction to watch the price go up.
- It is running great right now! Ok, forget about finding for a moment. A normal sale on eBay is so much smoother, faster and more efficient on eBay today than it was back in 1997 when I started. It’s, for the most part, a pleasure to do business there and much easier. They have added some great special features in recent years and they have made it a breeze to sell. While finding your items may be a challenge, once buyers find it, the sale runs like buttah!
- It’s still the easiest business to pick up with no prior experience. DSRs, SmeeSRs. I maintain that you can still start selling on eBay up tomorrow with no prior experience and do quite well. Would you always have preferred search placement and PowerSeller dicounts, no. But those are just perks. Starting an eBay business, Trading Assistant or otherwise, is pretty simple. It only gets complicated when you are trying to do the advanced things us larger sellers are. Anyone can still pick up something from their closet tomorrow and list it on eBay in less than a few minutes and have the money in a few days. That is awesome!
- eBay is where my repuation is. I don’t have as much feedback as a lot of sellers who have been on eBay as long as me, but I still have a good stash of buyers who see my name and buy from me because they like how I do things. I have a great reputation on eBay and, while I would be willing to give it up if the money went elsewhere, for now, its one of the things keeping me there. I like my feedback, my store, my PowerSeller status and, while I would give it up in the right case, it is one of the ways they keep me there.
- It’s where the money is! Show me the money! Maybe I am a capatalist pig but I got into business to make money and, right now, eBay is where I am going to get the best price for most of my merchandise. It’s saying something that this statement still holds true even with the fee increases, PayPal fees and other expenses. They can fleece me and I will take it for now because they are still bringing me in the most bang for my buck! That said, I don’t particuarly feel fleeced because the discounts make fees about where they were before they raised them.