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5 Reasons to Sell on eBay

Though alternatives abound, the eBay marketplace still has plenty to offer online sellers.

Over the years of writing for The Online Seller, we’ve heard a number of reasons why people prefer to sell on eBay and why others prefer another marketplace, or their own websites. The arguments on each side are valid.

It’s true that you have to try different venues to really know what suits you best. However, there are plenty of reasons to go the eBay selling route. Below we outline a few.

In our next article we’ll discuss five reasons to venture beyond this marketplace.

Reason No. 1 to sell on eBay: Traffic

We had to put traffic as the top reason to sell on eBay. Few marketplaces can compete with the traffic volume eBay provides. According to eBizMBA Rank, eBay was the eighth most visited site at the beginning of July. Amazon was the only marketplace that ranked higher, coming in at No. 7.

eBizMBA Rank reports that eBay gets 210 million unique visitors every month. That’s a lot of potential buyers, buyers you don’t have to bring to eBay. They already know about it—and they already use it to find what they want. All you have to do is offer quality items, good photos, good prices and provide shoppers with good keywords, so they’ll find your products.

Karen Jentry, an eBay seller of five years, decided to sell scrapbooking supplies on eBay over another marketplace because she knew about the site before she started selling.

“I was a regular buyer on eBay, so I was familiar with the format, and assumed [that] since I was buying a lot there, as were my friends, that it must be a good place to sell,” says the seller known as treasuresandmemories7.

eBay sellers don’t have to worry about setting up or submitting feeds to search engines to drive traffic. Buyers are already there

Jentry, like other eBay sellers, doesn’t have to worry about setting up or submitting feeds to search engines like Google, TheFind or Bing to drive traffic. Buyers are already there.

Just ask yourself how many times a friend has told you she needs to buy something online and what sites she says she’ll check out to make sure she gets a good deal? Odds are eBay is on that list.

Kim Patton, who runs Patton Puzzle Pleasures, says she didn’t expect her business to take off so quickly on eBay when she began selling during her recovery from back surgery.

“It’s grown so much that I can barely keep up,” she notes.

Patton initially began selling puzzles she had completed and no longer needed, but demand was so high she had to look for new ones. She tells us she now has thousands of puzzles in her garage, which she uses as a warehouse.

Reason No. 2 to sell on eBay: Plenty of help

Another reason to sell on eBay is that there are lots of experts out there who have been selling for years and want to share their knowledge, sellers like Danna Crawford, Lynn Dralle, Miriam Otto, John “ColderICE” Lawson, Stephanie Inge, and more. You can also check out sites like Thrifting with the Boys, where sellers Jason Smith and Bryan Goodman share their helpful tips.

And, of course, you’ll find plenty of articles about selling on eBay here on The Online Seller.

Rebecca Miller, an eBay seller of more than 13 years, adds that it’s a good idea to look for an eBay educator in your area when you need selling help. You can do this through the eBay Education Specialist Directory. There, you’ll find a list of scheduled classes and educators who teach those courses.

Miller also suggests hitting up discussion boards to see what gems sellers have gathered over the years.

“But take any advice with a grain of salt,” she continues. She adds that though books might seem like another good source of information, you may want to stick to educational sessions, boards and threads.

“eBay is always changing,” she explains. “Books you buy may be outdated before you even get through the checkout line.”

Reason No. 3 to sell on eBay: Auctions and fixed-price

On eBay, you can use both auction and fixed-price listing formats. Other marketplaces make you choose between one or the other

One of the unique things about eBay is you can list items in both auction and fixed-price formats. Other marketplaces make you choose between one or the other.

Generally, auctions work well for antiques and collectibles, and items you’re not quite sure how to price since auctions let the market dictate the price. Fixed-price work well for items you can easy look up the value of. But to know what really works for your products, you may have to try out both formats. With eBay, you can.

Just be sure you don’t list the same item as both fixed-price and auction at the same time. These could qualify as duplicate listings, which are now against eBay policy.

If you have two similar items and want to see what format works best for them, you can list one as an auction and one as fixed-price. Just make sure the listing titles and descriptions are substantially different to avoid throwing up any duplicate listing red flags.

Reason No. 4 to sell on eBay: Listing sales

We think you’ll like this reason. It will save you money.

You see, eBay has listing sales throughout the year, allowing you to list items with no insertion fee, or for a discounted fee. eBay holds these sales for both auction-style listings and fixed-price in several categories.

When we asked Miller if she likes these sales, her response was: “Free insertion fees… what’s not to like?”

She adds that in her 13 years of selling on eBay, she’s taken advantage of several listing sales, noting that if an item doesn’t sell, she doesn’t worry.

“I think ‘meh,'” Miller adds. It makes sense, she didn’t spend a dime and she can always try reselling the product when another sale pops up.

Reason No. 5 to sell on eBay: Ease of use

Several sellers have told us over the years that eBay is, simply put, easy.

Jentry says that, for her, it was the simplest marketplace to use. To sell, you simply write a description, add a few photos, provide shipping and payment details, and post your listings. You don’t have to do any site maintenance. eBay takes care of it.

You don’t have to design a home page or a checkout flow. eBay has all that in place. You just have to focus on making your listings pop.

And if you list using a third-party eBay tools like Auctiva, you can even create your listings in advance and post them at your convenience. Arlene DeJesus, an eBay seller of more than 10 years, says selling on eBay is a “no brainer.”

“If you want to succeed at generating some extra cash, or even a full-blown business, eBay’s the only way to go,” she says.

Do you sell on eBay? If so, what are your reasons for listing your items in the marketplace? Tell us in the comments below.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Bob Onit

    Gee think these guys are getting an ebay kickback?

  • Bob

    Reason #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 NOT to sell on ebay.
    1) COST – Ebay charges a PROHIBITIVE cost on many items. 15% is RIDICULOUS
    2) COST – Ebay charges a PROHIBITIVE cost on many items. 15% is RIDICULOUS
    3) COST – Ebay charges a PROHIBITIVE cost on many items. 15% is RIDICULOUS
    4) COST – Ebay charges a PROHIBITIVE cost on many items. 15% is RIDICULOUS
    5) COST – Ebay charges a PROHIBITIVE cost on many items. 15% is RIDICULOUS

    A few more
    6) Ebay owns PAYPAL – so during an EBAY transaction, NOT ONLY does EBAY take 15%, but PAYPAL takes another 3% + $0.30 per transaction. That’s OVER 18% of the selling price. I believe that NOW INCLUDES SHIPPING as well! HOLY CRAP!

    7) PAYPAL – in general SUCKS – it is SO EASY to be scammed by someone there. I lost over $600 because paypal let someone scam me.

    • sule


      • If you are going to sell on eBay you would do well to reseach their site first.
        Go to the bottom of any eBay page and click on their site map and then click on the A-Z index on their Help Topics. We stopped counting at eight hundred eBay policies in favour of the buyer and this alone should give you a cautionary warning. Another problem they have is with none paying bidders. These people bid on the same item on different auctions and pay for the lowest bid and do not pay for the others and eBay does absolutely nothing about these bidders. Lastly we sold on eBay for 11 years and went from budgeting $1000.00 monthly for eBay and PayPal fees down to $50.00
        a month and all this due to eBay’s policy changes and the reasons we left them. So again if you are going to sell on eBay or thinking of it please have a small business plan you can follow and let it be your guide and not eBay’s control over your auction site that guides you with your selling.

        • paul

          Ebay is not what is used to be. they are so big now that they own you !, they will dictate what they want and you can not argue. ebay is great for buyers because once you receive youe item you can still get your money back and if there is any dispute %99 will be in favor of buyers. too much fees , hassle , an no real security for sellers . I see a lot of user leaving else where or establishing their own small website where they can sell their items by their own rules.
          there will always be new sellers coming to ebay, but most will leave and the majority will be one time sellers (like having an online garage sale) once they sell what they have they are gone!.
          I believe that ebay make most of its money from international sellers like my self who needs ebay to access and reach buyers world wide .

          • I may go back one day but it has changed so much in 10 years, when I could list 20 items for 7 day auction and sell them all.
            When you could leave feedback for anybody whether not a transaction was involved. Where you did spend days doing your writeups in html and retreiving your photos from your photo website. When you could pull an item and sell it off ebay if you got a good bid.
            When you trusted a seller. Now that was fun.Nowadays there is wayyyyy more stuff listed on ebay than people want to buy.. I may go back, but am fine for the moment with Etsy.

  • Brandon Miller

    Listing sales = marketing scheme to get people to list saving pennies in listing fees. Only to mask +12% after value fees based in the sale price. Save $0.10 so eBay can pillage $10/$20/$100 in AV Fees come invoice time at the end of the month. Let’s face it AV fees and PayPal fees are where they are making it up. Plus if a buyer files a case and decides they hanged their mind and want to return the item, did you realize that eBay doesn’t refund AV fees from transactions that end on returns? So kudos to eBay for waving 10 cent listing fees, but why even charge them anyway? If you list and sell something eBay easily takes north of 1/4 of that sale anyway…

  • I can’t agree with you more! I have owned my own antique store and now rent space in an antique mall, due to the fact I am now a primary care giver and can’t devote the time to a shop. I have an eBay store and have been a buyer and seller on eBay since the 90’s. I have tried other auction and other internet sales sites, but nothing lives up to eBay’s reputation or foot traffic. One recently that was hyped, I duplicated all my listings for three months….I sold over 100 items on ebay, but only three on the other site despite the fact they had 1 million members (They must have been all sellers! LOL) The fees on these sites might be cheaper, but in the long run, if the sales are not there, the fees can’t be absorrbed. For anyone that wants to create a business, an ebay store is the way to go. No need to relist, things carry over at, in my case, five cents per item per month. Discounted shipping and insurance is another plus. My ebay fees to include the final vlaue fees on what I sell, are about half the rent on my rented space and I sell three to four times as much.

    • ebay power seller

      Kc is right, you people who are complaining about fees, ever try it with a brick and motar store? I had a 2500 sq foot warehouse, not good a good retail location though, my overhead when I left was over $5000 / month and that was cheap. How much do you think I have to sell to even break even every month? About $15K to break even. What happens if I don’t break even in any given month is called disaster….and its called going into debt fast. At least online it is a low risk. My story ends up after a few years with an offline store, I went bankrupt. I’m not getting rich from ebay but I never lose money and always make a monthly profit…..pretty much on autopilot too.

  • Anonymous


    • What I think happened — some sellers were charging .99 cents for their item and $20 for shipping to avoid fees. By combining the fees they tried putting a stop to it.

    • ebay power seller

      I hear you people, the gripes are valid however the final value fee on shipping is not. That was obviously put in place to stop sellers from selling items for a penny with a $40 ship charge and it DID. As a buyer, those inflated ship charges really can piss you off and sellers did that on purpose to save money on ebay fees. It took ebay too long to fix that problem but it is fixed now. I do not see anything else they could do to solve that problem and I think they are smart for doing the final value fee on shipping. Don’t get me wrong, I have my gripes too but this is not one of them.

  • Anonymous

    You want facts behind the story? How about asking ebay why they are so greedy. Ask them why every year the costs go up. I am surprised they are not asking you for how much you paid and then demanding half, (at least) of your profits and then later charging you a percentage of what YOU paid for it before you sold it on their greedy site.

  • How do you find out about listing sales?

    • Babaloo

      Go to ebay website and search for sales. They also have link for buyers and sellers.

  • Jupiter Creek Music

    Unless of course you’re in Australia where the shop fees have just gone from $19.95 a month to $49.95 a month generating a huge amount of discontent. Between malcontent bottom-feeder buyers and eBay’s hideously uneven playing field and constant fee increases people the rate of seller attrition has increased greatly.

  • nanabarbi

    Obviously I sell on eBay because its the best online site. But comparing it to physical selling places, it means I can do it all in the comfort of my own home, no carrying stock samples around town, I dont have to be out in the rain and snow, I can work around my family commitments, and dont have any ovewrheads (such as rent on premises or table fees at exhibitions and fairs). I dont even have to advertise – well, not much.

  • fonzie

    I know a lot more reasons not to sell on Ebay, the high fees for example, Ebay makes more money from your sales then you do yourself, so you don’t have to sell less when you sell on other websites, the prices on other websites are higher, you get lots of conmen on Ebay, paying you through Paypal, and taking their money back, and let’s not forget all the buyers who never pay, sellers can’t give them negative feedback, so why bother.

  • Georgielocks

    No mention of the crippling fvf fees or that they are going to make us pay fees on p&p that is already limited in many ctegories and often doesn’t even cover the packaging let alone the actual cost of sending the item? I have been an eBay seller for over 8 years and have seen it get worse and worse, especially over the last couple of years. It is no longer an economical way to sell and not the best place to get a bargain much of the time. I would always advise people to check if a seller has their own website and see how the prices compare there before buying off ebay. I only still sell on there because people expect to find me there but my prices are higher than on my own website and I have reduced my listings by 1/3 since January.

  • Disgruntled Feebay Seller

    Olga, You forgot to mention that FEEBAY AUSTRALIA charges among the most expensive fees, especially for the lowest level store – now $50 a month – which will force most small sellers out. Feebay also admits that they only want the ‘big’ businesses in their Stores, and that ‘surveys’ reveal that buyers prefer this. What surveys? I’ve never been asked to fill in a survey about this and I’ve been with feebay for over 10 years. Feebay also favours buyers, not sellers, who are unable to acknowledge a poor responder in their feedback (one can NOT leave negative feedback for a buyer no matter how bad the experience – and there have been plenty). And I could go on and on – one only has to read the hundreds of comments on the Community Boards to realise how unhappy Feebay sellers are. Perhaps you could take a look at them?

  • beeblebrocks

    Your reasons are valid but you do not mention several things.First fees, you pay for what you get , or may get. I list on ebay belgium because there are no listing fees, if you sell you pay a bit more but if you do not you pay nothing.Second you have to offer paypal on ebay UK whether you want to or not, another bit of your profit gone. If you list the good also list the bad

  • mike

    Depending on what you sell, eBay can be a very difficult
    marketplace. We have been selling there for 6 years, and have 19,000 listings
    at the moment. The one thing that you need to realize is: You are going to sell
    on PRICE. Margins are razor thin in most categories. Also, like the other
    marketplaces, there are so many sellers, selling the same items, it is
    difficult to get seen. I’m not saying it’s not good to be there, but It’s NOT
    easy, and only a few sellers make it big on eBay. (we are sill trying)

  • shelley

    I haven’t sold on e-bay for a while and when I went to list something I realized they took away the ability to post multiple photos hosted on another site. They took away our ability to take checks and MO and we are forced to use PayPal (or some other site) and pay fees. Now we are forced to pay fees for multiple photos. Since they forced us to use PayPal some years ago, and implemented the star system, my disdain for them began. I cannot fathom a buyer can rate a seller on a shipping fee they agreed to pay. INSANITY. And now with us not being able to post multiple photos hosted elsewhere, I actually despise e-bay. More traffic is good, much of my profit going for fees is bad. It’s not worth it anymore to me and that is the biggest disappointment. I used to love selling e-bay, now I don’t even want to buy anything on there.

    • Ken Brooks

      All photos on Ebay are free now. You may add direct links to hosted photos using http in your description if more than 10 photos are needed.

  • e…

    Ebay is the real owner of your business. They make all the rules and charge what they want. They can shut you down with the click of a button and charge far more than they should for all services. I dumped Ebay last year and the traffic then flowed to my website and sales could not be better. Plus I am saving over 10% total in fees….

    • sule

      Yes it’s true ebay is real owner of your business,We have to comply with their policies.What is your website name?

    • Ken Brooks

      What are you selling? Gold bars for $5 each? I have a hard time believing that traffic to your site comes anywhere close to what Ebay was providing.

  • Hoovershybrids

    This would have been a stronger article had it also at least commented on the downside to selling on eBay (PROS vs. CONS). The cost of doing business on eBay is not immaterial (about 20%). Then of course the lack of legitimate “seller protections” is another CON to selling on eBay.

  • cliff6226

    Ebay is fine for selling provided the software for setting up the advert is working.
    Lately Turbo Lister has stopped functioning and the usual Ebay system has let me down badly. If they want more business they should get these difficulties sorted out.
    I have had extensive correspondance with Ebay (not easy) Still not working satisfactoraly. Cliff6226

  • Markus

    I sure hope you have a follow up to balance the story. Here are just four that come to mind now.

    1) Too many fakes, impossible to compete with on a level playing filed in some categories.
    2) Business risk. Ebay can change the rules to adversely affect your ebay business
    and you can do nothing about it.
    3) Feedback system is heavily flawed and geared towards the buyer.
    4) Customer support is not very helpfull and can be tedious to deal with. Many are not aware of their own policies and it can take a large amount of time to get issues resolved .

    • mems

      I have found that paying with PayPal is get great support and my money back with a problem. As to feedback if I’m not happy, then I give negative feedback to the seller, from what I have read on the eBay site if the seller gets too much negative feedback his site can be pulled down.
      As a seller the support is actually extremely good, my buyer didn’t pay, so I rang eBay they told me what to do, I did this and when I checked the buyer, low and behold they no longer existed. Before you sell to a particular check the feedback, you do realise a seller cannot leave negative feedback as a selection. So the positive may well contain the information you need.
      Yes, eBay own that site as well as PayPal and a number of other auction sites.
      Like everything in this world the responsibility lies with you to do your research about a particular auction site, their fees and charges and then make your decision.
      If you haven’t done your homework, don’t complain about things. Lazy people get zero results, play the game according to the sites rules and watch your results change.
      This is just what I have been doing and I am extremely pleased with my results. There is nothing for nothing in this world and the user will always pay. I believe eBay is heading towards being a more professional worldwide auction site. If you want a two bit business I don’t think eBay is the site for you.
      Sorry but I have experience from both sides of the fence and I couldn’t be more pleased as both a buyer and seller.

      • Ken Brooks

        Obviously, you have not yet been screwed as a seller yet, give it time, it will happen. Since you are a buyer and seller, if you had ever been abused by a buyer as a seller, you would not have left negative feedback unless absolutely necessary. Once it happens, and it will, you will learn what the others here are preaching.

  • CoolDealsAZ

    If your main business is selling online, then eBay and Amazon should only be part of your overall online selling strategy. EVERY business, online and offline, should have a website – it’s the new Yellow Pages and makes you look like a real person or business. A website allows you to expand upon who your are, and what your offer.

    eBay is so busy trying to be Amazon that they forgot who and what they are. There isn’t any other place out there that does what eBay does for items whose value is set by what the customer is willing to pay – used items, collectibles and antiques.

    For Fixed Price or New Items we use eBay and Amazon as a Marketing platform to bring us new customers and incremental sales.

    eBay is one of the top Keyword buyers out there, and hopefully will be bring us the Google Product Feed too, all included at no additional cost.

  • eBay works for me,because I buy right and list at prices that give me a profit after ebay and Paypal take their 25% ( when I take into account the cost of relists that don’t sell at the end of the month). My biggest problem is ebay’s love affliction to Buyers. I know they are neccessary, but if eBay would require buyers to communicate with sellers first before buyers can leave feedback I know I could solve most of the dumb negative and neutral feedback I get. I strive to be a TOP Rated Seller, but because I ship worldwide and most sellers do not and the USPS has such rediculusly low shipping rates and is a better system compared to other countries it is hard to compete in S&H charges. Therefore my 5 stars for shipping get low ratings and there is absolutley nothing I can do about that. I have my own site which is a bust and I have tried many other sites( not Amazon because it doesn’t work from Canda.) Thanks for the article.

  • geoff

    my last bill from Ebay was $37 for $120 of sales never again

  • mikespics

    That may have once been the case but as a long time seller myself on eBay, it has come to be a marketplace of where it’s all about the buyer, regardless of whether the buyer is in “outstanding status” or not. eBay has forgotten that they are what they are because of the many, many good sellers that they have. Good sellers bring good buyers (vise versa the same) and while it’s a hard balancing act, the seller’s have gotten stomped on, hand slapped, held to rediculous deadlines, have no voice on the endless “misfits” of buyers they encounter, get charged rediculous fees (come on, a fee on actual postage charges) and despite years of good accountability, get dropped just like that on the whim of some buyer’s comments. Yes, eBay remains the best place to sell if you sell cheap, pay all shipping costs, accept returns that are not in the condition the item was in when you sent it, and spoil the buying public rotten.

  • 8Indians

    We recently started using eBay labels to print out our labels for sales on eBay.
    It is a good service now that they quit charging for it and provides an automatic tracking number which we like. A few weeks in a customer complained that thier item was not received. There was a confirmed address and the tracking number showed it was delivered. We called eBay to be consulted on how to proceed. In the past we had not used tracking numbers and had either refunded the purchase price or sent out an additional item. (which always seemed to arrive) eBay checked the purchase history and then told us we were completely protected from harm and since the tracking number showed the item delivered that we were in the clear. They then suggested that we contact the buyer and encourage the buyer to check with the post office and try to resolve the issue. We inquired about the potential that they buyer could leave us negative feedback as they had demanded an additional item or a refund and eBay told us that in this circumstance that if they buyer left a negative they would remove it and gave us a number to call if that happened.
    We took their advice and contacted the buyer and encouraged them to contact the USPS. They wrote us back a “thanks for nothing” email and left us as negative and low DSR’s. Our First in nearly 7 years!
    We called the number eBay had provided to us for a Feedback Removal Specialist and he told us there was nothing we could do and that he would not initiate removal of the negative feedback because it did not contain profanity or racial slurrs.
    He stated that the eBay rep should not have told us that it could be removed.
    We were stung by following eBays advice.
    BUT WAIT… it gets even better. eBay refunded the buyers purchase price plus shipping and then the same buyer who claimed they did not receive their item ordered from us again… but under a different account.( we had blocked the account they ordered from the first time) We recognized it because we were traumatized by our first negative and noticed the shipping address was the same as the buyer who had left us the first negative.
    Let me ask anyone reading this… why would a buyer who never received their item place an order with the same seller again? (yes they knew they were ordering from the same seller)
    We immediately refunded the buyers money through Pay Pal and blocked their 2nd account.
    Then the same buyer left us negative feedback again for not shipping the item!
    We checked the buyers profile and they were leaving a lot of negative feedback for a lot of sellers. During all of this we were on the phone with eBay but to no avail.
    We eventually reported this buyer but we don’t know what came of it.
    In the meantime we lost top rated seller status and our 20% discount over 2 negatives from a lying and criminal buyer.
    No business should be this vulnerable.

    • Ken Brooks

      Ebay has never charged to print labels through their service, neither has PayPal. The .17 cents for delivery confirmation was the cost from the post office and Ebay simply requires it for labels printed through their service.

    • simon

      Similar thing happened to me , . … there is just one thing i have to say eBay customer service is the worst in the world most of the operatives are ignorant rude and do not listen, if i got this service from any other company i would be able to complain, but not eBay! I spoke to one customer service agent who was rude and insulting & incompetent of listening to my query, when i asked to speak to her superior she refused, i asked her to confirm that she was denying me my right to speak to her superior and she just said ‘yeah’. I dont even bother calling them most of the time now as its a complete waist of time and unless you are a sadist who gets off on being talked down to and insulted there is not much point!
      Good luck we have been selling on eBay for 11 years and the truth is the customer service for sellers has got worse and worse each year!

  • N.Meyer

    Who used to be the CEO? Wasn’t it BILLIONAIRE Meg Whitman? I want to know why it’s acceptable for ANY company to have such a huge profit margin that there CEO becomes a billionaire. That’s proof that they charge too much. And what about spreading the wealth a little? I sure hope there employees are getting paid well, I mean, how about the CEO takes 1 little billion less and spreads that around to all the employees. How much would that be for each one?
    I also agree that the rating system is a joke. I know someone who rates everyone he buys from with 1 star in all categories, and he has about 2,000 purchases a year. You’d think that would raise a red flag, but NOPE! Crazy.

    • Gary Drake

      How about letting a person that steps out, takes a risk, does without for years on end, keep the money they have earned. Get over your envy, go out and build a business and become successful then you have the choice to distribute your OWN wealth as you see fit. If you do not like EBAY start your own online selling site. Also, what kind of petty vindictive people do you associate with? It is the scum that you mentioned on the bogus ratings that have caused sellers to leave in droves. Get a life and quit trying to punish the producers. We are the fuel that makes capitalism work for everyone.

  • G-man

    Reading the comments, I have to agree with most of them. I used to sell a lot on Ebay in the past and recently decided to get back in the game, as my girlfriend have been collecting many items over the years and a little extra cash never hurts. I must say that Ebay has changed drastically in the last few years and definitely not for the better.
    First of all, when setting up a new account, they will put a hold on YOUR money for up to 21 days, until you jump through all the hoops they have set up for you. If I could hold on to the money of thousands of people for 21 days, I’d be a millionaire now. It is like borrowing money with the borrower deciding how and when it is paid back.
    That brings me to the fact that you are basically forced to use Paypal, what Ebay controls as well. They actually asked for my bank account information, including the online user name and password for that account, in order to raise my Paypal withdrawal limit. Are you kidding. You hold MY money and you want to have control of my bank account as well? Who is running this show? The mafia?
    In 500 sales in prior years I had only a few negative experiences, like non paying customers or complaints that were not warranted. In 20 sales now, we already have one “not as described” claim, that Ebay conveniently decided in the buyers favor, without ever looking at the ad, clearly describing the item and posted with 11 high quality pictures. The fact that the buyer did not bother to read any of it or looked at a single picture was MY fault. The case is still open as Ebay decided to “handle” the refund. What a mess!! We also already had 1 non paying buyer and we can’t even leave feedback as we never received any money. How is that fair?
    Ebay has become a buyers market and sellers are left hanging, what seems rather odd, as without them Ebay would not even exist.
    We decided to hang in there a little longer and see if things will improve for us as a seller. Mainly because alternatives are either less convenient and as mentioned above the large amount of potential customers, but if this is the way it is going, we will join the inevitable mass exodus that Ebay is causing themselves.

  • Ken

    eBay is losing sellers, fast and furious. I wonder why?
    The eBay site may well attract lots of traffic but the quality & IQ of the buyers using eBay is the lowest imaginable. They do not read the listing details, do not look at the picture details, do not read emails sent after the transaction is completed, do not read the product instructions for use and THEN they complain. Once they do this there is little you can do as eBay almost never removes negative feedback and when the buyers leaves bad star ratings (DSR’s) they damage your seller rating with eBay for a full 12 months, during which time your visibility on eBay and sales are damaged further. eBay refuses to realize this when setting or maintaining the impossibly high standards for being a Top Seller on eBay.
    You cannot take your purchases back to Walmart or other big retailers as easily as you used to. They realized that the “take it back for a full refund” policy was allowing shoppers to be abusive. Many big name stores keep a black list of shoppers that abuse return policies. However eBay encourages buyers to complain and allows them the tools to do so without any remedy from the seller.
    eBay has useless customer service. The poor people that man their phones in India, South America and the USA, can only manage to read their ‘one size fits’ all script which includes profuse but empty apologies that do nothing to address the problem, before your call gets cut off if one tries to speak with a supervisor for some real action.
    This might be OK if there was a big enough profit margin, but the competition on eBay is so intense and the 18% fees that eBay charges make a liberal refund policy impossible assuming one wants to stay in business.
    We have taken to writing to eBay Trust & Safety for problem resolution but they do not bother to reply. We have also written to Mr Micaeel Jomes the VP of eBay Merchant Development and again silence – not even a form letter response. eBay has engendeed such ill will from sellers that they are unable to handle the calls and written complaints that they get, this increases the seller frustration and increases the call and letter volume. It is a vicious self perpetuating cycle that eBay does nothing to resolve. You do not need an MBA to see that you can’t continue to do this.
    We no longer bother about sales on eBay, their revenue we used to make from them has sunk so low in the past 5 years and the problems that come with eBay buyers, makes it a most unattractive envirinment in which to & make money.
    We can sell cheaper on our own website, we have better customers and can set our own policies. In short we can actually make money. eBay killed the golden goose long ago for sellers and paradoxically for themselves too.

  • jewls

    Yes, the costs to a small seller are outrageous, and rights for sellers are pretty much non existent, but for me its still the best way to get a good small income for me from selling vintage stuff. I have found the best strategy has been to adapt accordingly. When they put up the store fees from $19.95 to $49.95, I closed it. I use to have a lot of buy it now items in my store, I made little money from these, so I deleted them all. Items now get 2 attempts to be sold at auction then in the rubbish. My sales have soared, I recently got $28 for an old evening bag on auction, Now the thing that surprised me was that I have had this bag on buy it now for $9.95 in my old Ebay store for over 2 months. I also found the best time to end an auction is around 7-9pm on week nights, previously I had to pay extra to schedule or fiddle about editing listings every night to do this. I now use Auctiva for $10 a month. They offer me so much more for my $10 than my store ever did, Scheduling for auctions at no cost, the eye catching templates, the scrolling gallery of photos in each of my listings and super sized photos in my listings’ description is better than a store. As for dodgy buyers, all business run with a certain percentage put aside for bad debts 5-10% , so why should an Ebay business be any different? So it costs me about 20% in fees all up , What would a small shop with over heads like rent , wages and utilities be? I have accepted that I may get undelivered claims and am happy to refund them, I do block them to prevent them from abusing the system, I also block buyers with low feedback scores to prevent them just starting up a new one straight away and doing it again. At the end of the day the money is there to be made, Ebay gets you the buyers – you can work your own hours, do what you love, make time for the kids, and you do not have to put up with some turd of a boss ordering you about monitoring your every move. Priceless!

  • niceglass1

    All the comments say it all! GREED-GREED-GREED, and the sellers take the hit.

  • G_man

    Ebay used to be about selling and buying, but if you follow their policies, they expanded into the RENTAL business. Let me explain. You want to build a small shed in the backyard, but you lack a required tool. You could run out to the local rental store and get one, but the drawback is that the time you can use it is very limited, as otherwise the rental will be very costly. Instead opt to use Ebay to “rent” the tool you need. Here is how it works: Look for a USED tool on Ebay and purchase it. When you get it, use it to do your project. Clean it up so it is in the same condition as when you received it and return it for the full purchase price. Ebay will be very happy to assist you in this process if the seller gives you a hard time, even if they specifically state they do not accept returns, because Ebay has a 45 day “Buyer protection policy”. If necessary file a “item not as described” claim, as Ebay will ALWAYS side with the buyer, even if the seller examined the item with a magnifying glass and lists every scratch invisible to the naked eye. You WILL get your money back. Guaranteed!!
    You think I am kidding, guess again. I sold a circular saw and it was returned with the sawdust still under the guard!!! It was obviously used after I sold it by the buyer. My complaints to Ebay fell on deaf ears.

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