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I dont know if anyone is left in this group, I see there hasn't been much activity for a while, I could only imagine you all through your arms in the air and said enough ebay I quit. I actually started a discussion in the whadjafind group, because I didn't realize this group was here. So anyway I will start again on this forum.
I have been doing ebay for a while now and am pretty much at my wits end. I love selling online especially in an auction style format, as it is very fun for me and also nice to make a little extra money. I have been discouraged with ebay for a while now, dipped my toes in the water at etsy but haven't jumped in yet as I don't know if that is the answer I am looking for or not. I know the fees are cheaper, but it doesn't have anywhere the amount of traffic that ebay has, so I would imagine all in all it probably equals out, please give me your opinion on what you think. The other thing is like I said earlier, I enjoy the auction style selling.
I am not really complaining about ebay's fees as I can accept what they want, but what really aggravates me is that I am not getting the service my fees pay for. If things worked correctly and they actually had customer service, then the fees would be absolutely worth it. I mean anymore it costs big money to advertise and sell anywhere.
If you sell on ebay I am sure you know what I am talking about, or maybe you have been extremely lucky and haven't ran into many problems but most people I talk to have had some issue, and by reading the ebay discussion boards you can see a lot of people have some type of problem. I am sure some problems are just brought on by the user, but I think that is a small percentage. I have worked very hard at selling on ebay and have had many issues. I have been in other business for years and know a thing or two, so please don't think, my problems with ebay is due to me.
My first complaint is the constant site technical issues. It seems they cannot leave anything alone, I guess people have to justify their jobs at ebay and always be making so-called improvements, which in turn usually has adverse effects on some other part of the site. There have been problems uploading pictures, there have been problems printing shipping labels, problems getting a listing to enter, problems with content of a listing disappearing when loaded, problems of trying to look at someones listing and the pictures will not show, so on and so on, all you need to do is read the technical issues forum in the ebay discussion board.
Then when ever you have a problem and call ebay customer support, get ready to be even more upset and dissatisfied before you picked up the phone. To start with I speak english and would prefer to speak to someone else that does in an understandable tone, then you explain your problem and the always say it is something wrong with your computer, do this do that have a good day. So you jump through their hoops and do this thing and that thing with your computer and call them again, this will go on for a while, then when you annoy them enough, they will say that they are aware of the problem and it will be fixed soon. Which sometimes gets fixed and sometimes doesn't, I guess it depends on whether the problem will cost ebay money or you money, as to whether it gets fixed or not.
So besides the constant technical issues (seems to be a new one all the time) and by the way this is not just sellers complaining, many buyers have been experiencing technical issues to, I see their complaints all the time. I too, had problems occur before when trying to look at a listing, pictures were there but wouldnt load. Probably cost that seller a sale, which he paid money for. And probably cost ebay money to by not collecting the final selling fee, but they probably figure when things like this happen they make more, because chances are he will relist, that way he pays 2 listing fees in addition to his final selling fee. Back to what I started with the next thing that aggravates me, no matter how honest you are or how hard you work as a seller, you really have no rights.
The seller is the one that assumes the majority of the risk, actually with ebays buyer protection the seller assumes all of the risk. You can lose your item in a blink of an eye, with ebays protection system. Now, I am not saying they shouldn't have something like that, as there is a lot of dishonest scammers out there, but the need to make it so it follows common sense and not their one sided system. For the most the buyers there are good, but believe me, I have seen my share of the idiots and scammers. Dealing with an idiot is one thing, but someone trying to scam people is another. That is when ebay needs to step in, they would if it was a scamming seller, but a scamming buyer they will let go and continue.
A scammer won a bid in October, and marked the item as paid, I really didn't understand as I only accept PayPal and that was clearly stated, I emailed the buyer and politely said payment was not received just to let them know. Well I got no response, so a couple days later I viewed their feedback comments, instead of just the feedback number and sure enough, a whole list of false positives about how they didnt pay. I followed their feedback back to March when their scamming behavior began. I emailed ebay right away and reported them. 2 days later I was on the phone with ebay about one of the technical issues, and verbally reported the buyer. The said the buyer was being investigated. Well I just looked the other day and guess what, the buyer that has been scamming people since March is still a registered user. At least they should be removed from ebay if not put in prison. I just wonder how many people saw the item marked as payment sent and shipped out their item never to be seen again. That is just appalling that ebay lets that kind of thing go on.
I have kept seeing comments in the discussion board about blackouts. This is when your item is not visible all over the country. I honestly don't know if this is true, but it does make a lot of sense to me. I can go days without views, bids or sales, then all of the sudden bam, things sell like crazy. When this happens I have definitely noticed what the others are saying, when I have a spike in sales, usually most of the sales go to a particular region, I may not sell anything to Florida in a month then all of the sudden 3 or 4 sales at once go to Florida. So I definitely think there is something to this theory, even as impossible as it sounds. When I pay my fee I want to be getting my money's worth and I am not sure that is happening. I could be totally wrong on this, and I do understand even if there are these so called "blackouts" I still am getting more traffic than I would anywhere else.
I see it all the time in the discussion boards, people tell the people complaining if they dont like the site, dont use it. The problem is, Ebay is like a monopoly, where else are you going to go? Ebay apparently has their own rules they live by and I think they need to be under scrutiny just like any other business in the US to follow ethical guidelines. In any field you have to do things by the rules. I am not one for government telling people what to do, but they do it to everyone else, why not investigate ebay and if they cannot be the leader in this industry and keep a fair market place, then give a smaller company the national attention and let them take over, I know this paragraph is coming off kind of stupid, but I hope you understand what I am trying to say, just because I company is so big doesn't mean that they can just do whatever they want.
I am done ranting for now, I have much more to say, but I don't want to wear you out and put you in a bad mood, so I will end today by asking, Has any one had any luck with sites other than ebay, and if we can find a good alternative, I think it is time to start pushing people there as many people I know are looking for a new place to sell, and then via social media, and maybe just some flyers, which are both a free start, to try to get some buyers to the site. Please let me know your thoughts.
Have you tried www.webstore.com? I found it when I was looking at about.com to see where you can find antique type market places, I've just recently joined it. I'm not sure what to think of it or the audience you get but its free to sell sell items and set up your own shop with a very similar format of ebay and there doesn't seem to be any interference!
Please keep me posted on how it works out for you. I just did some checking into webstore and it doesnt seem like too bad of a place, but unfortunately doesn't look to get any traffic either. I have been noticing some ads for them here and there. It seems that it would only be good to sell fixed price there, just as well as any of the other ebay alternatives, because that is how I see most items listed on the other sites, a fixed price, so that just tells me auctions don't work on those.
From what I am gathering it appears that webstore.com and ebid, are the next in line for traffic, but I am not sure I have to do more research and am hoping I get some more feedback here. From what I see Etsy really seems to have positive growth, so I think I may start putting a little more effort into that and see what happens. The one thing I do see wrong with Etsy is most of the things on there are pretty overpriced, I did get a couple good deals off of there but it was only because the sellers didn't know what they had. Seems like 80% of the stuff I see on there is priced too high, and high prices don't attract buyers.
How about Ruby Lane, I know items are priced high on there too, but has anyone had luck on there? It always seems to be pretty google friendly when I am looking for something, it usually pops up, or is that the seller that is doing the SEO.
I truly wish you luck on webstore Sarah, being that it is free for now, I guess you can't lose anything but a little time. I do think I read about some technical issues either about webstore or maybe ebid, but I think it was webstore, that your listings will all of the sudden dissapear. Sometimes many at once, it seemed to be happening to quite a few people, as there were many comments about it in their forum. (don't hold me to that though, like I said it could have been ebid)