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I have read the previous posts about Ebay and selling on it. I have also taken the time to read several posts on the Ebay community sites as well. Apparently Ebay fees are going up, and I am thinking about signing up for a seller's account but I am torn and need some advice to help me make a more informed decision. I am torn between putting my all into my website, spending some on advertising and marketing, linking my t-shirt stores, ect and selling on Ebay. I know selling anywhere is going to require dedication but I just want the advice as to where you think my efforts should be focused., I don't want to spend a lot on Ebay and then waste a lot of my time, energy and money. I was thinking of starting out with my own site first, paying some to get my name out there (as well as reading this forum often). Then if needed, jump on Ebay. I know there is $$ to be made on Ebay, however, I just had a baby girl and I am staying home at the moment. I want to work as smart as I can not as hard as I can. Would those of you who sell shirts on Ebay give me your feedback. Any advice/ help would be appreciated.

Silverbolt
:)
 

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silverbolt said:
I am torn between putting my all into my website, spending some on advertising and marketing, linking my t-shirt stores, ect and selling on Ebay.
Forgive me but Im going to be the apple that spoils the cart I think, ebay from my experience is a very BAD way to do business. ALOT of people will disagree with me and yes some people HAVE made lots of money which shoots down my opinion. But I beleive that in order to get a true weighted decision, you need to hear BOTH sides, both pro and con. And I shall give you the con of ebay.

If I had anything to do with it, I would scream 'DONT DO IT'.

1. Ebay sellers sell more 'auctioning' their goods. Its very hard to keep a level profit playing ground if you either don't make break even or profit more or less everytime.

2. They say you should really only spend a set amount in advertising, I personally wouldnt spend anymore than 5-10% of my budget AT THE MOST on advertising and I know alot will disagree but I consider paying ebay fees, listed or ebay store listed as advertising fees.

3. When I set up shop in ebay, LOTS of product was moving, but whenever I made a profit, beleive it or not the monthly ebay fees went up to, and it took a big junk out of my auctioned sales, and because they were auctioned I did not make enough profit past break even to make it worth my time, and in fact in some cases, I lost money.

4. Ebay in my opinion, and again I stress this is only my opinion and the opinion of a tainted crashed-and-burned x ebay seller, is fantastic for people wanting to get rid of their stuff. But we are in the business of making money, profiting and being in control of that process. They either buy it out right, or they dont. It may make sales difficult that way but its better than your goods going under the hammer at the mercy of auctions. And if no one hardly bids on your goods, the winner scores a nice cheap tshirt, and you score little to no profit.

Again, please please please understand that my opinion isnt the be all end all and if you ask others im quite sure they will tell you that they've done very well at ebay. My opinion is only my own and doesn't reflect anyone elses experiences, but in my opinion... if I absolutley HAD to touch ebay, I would only do it to somehow promote my OTHER stores and ONLY in very very small ounces.
 

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I sell alot on ebay. Mostly through store inventory items. Its actually really cheap advertising, when you think about the exposure that it gives you. I can't think of any advertising that will get you that type of immediate return for such a low price. I have been extremely successfull on ebay. It makes up over half of my business.
 

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eBay constantly gets less and less worth it.

When the fee hike comes into effect Australian businesses selling low cost items in a store will lose 10% to eBay, 5% to PayPal, and 10% to the government (eBay doesn't allow GST to be charged separately). Losing 25% post-sale is nothing in the right market (you lose more selling retail), but in such a price competitive environment it sure slashes your margins.

As Rodney said, your plan is probably in the right order (essentially eBay as a last resort - it is there as an option and you're right that that's a good thing to remember, but it's probably not a good first port of call).
 

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What is currently happening to eBay is a tragedy. A year ago, it was a wonderful traffic stream. With the new pricing, it's becoming increasing difficult to use it profitably.

Buyers go down. eBay increases fees to Sellers to maintain profit. Sellers leave. Buyers go down.

What they should have done is drop fees, get more sellers, who can sell more cheaply, and therefore more buyers.

It is currently run by an idiot, and they are slaughtering a golden goose.

Meg Whitlam should be fired, and preferably sued.
 

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for auctions, they take .60 + 6%, and for store inventory, they take .03 + 8% . There is plenty of room to make money there. Personally, I would pay a much higher price, for the service that ebay provides me with. You do make less per shirt sold on ebay, but it gives you the ability to do high volume, due to the high exposure of ebay.

I dont know about Meg Whitlam specifically, but I have to say that ebays current "you can get IT on ebay" TV commercials are pretty effective in my opinion. I wonder if they are working. I know ebays stock is down right now, but there could be alot of reasons for that.
 

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jdr8271 said:
for auctions, they take .60 + 6%, and for store inventory, they take .03 + 8% . There is plenty of room to make money there. Personally, I would pay a much higher price, for the service that ebay provides me with. You do make less per shirt sold on ebay, but it gives you the ability to do high volume, due to the high exposure of ebay.

I dont know about Meg Whitlam specifically, but I have to say that ebays current "you can get IT on ebay" TV commercials are pretty effective in my opinion. I wonder if they are working. I know ebays stock is down right now, but there could be alot of reasons for that.
Go to the eBay Stores forum and bathe in the blood of the civil war :)
 

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Personally I think its the cost of doing business without brick and mortar. I dont see how you can sell something and lose money unless its a loss leader redirecting traffic in a positive way.
Why sell your product to lose money or break even? You know your costs, believe in your ideas and design, set a price and go. If you have something nobody else has and its outstanding in concept...reality says as well as supply and demand that you can charge whatever you want. E-bay just seems to be the clearing house for the mundane. Fees are what they are, so is an electric bill, ink costs, blank costs etc.......you can win on e-bay if you have something people really want.
 

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If jdr8271 is doing well on Ebay, doesn't that shoot down the anti-Ebay whinges? Quite simply, if Ebay has really made such a dreadful series of miscalculations about pricing and policy, the market will tell them in no uncertain terms and force them to back down and do a re-think. If they remain as profitable, or more so, their changes are clearly astute, not the nasty workings of an evil empire. Time will tell.

In the meantime, my sense is that people like jdr8271 are proof that Ebay still offers profit potential for those who know how to present quality produce at the right price. Perhaps the responsibility for success or failure is mostly with the vendor, their products and their presentation, rather then Ebay's pricing and policies.
 

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If jdr8271 is doing well on Ebay, doesn't that shoot down the anti-Ebay whinges?
I'm not sure if we have enough data yet to say that the ebay changes are good or bad.

I don't think jdr is posting auctions the same way others are talking about using ebay (through ebay stores). So it might not be comparing apples to apples.

With most changes that companies make that effect a large userbase, the changes will be beneficial for some and not beneficial for others (this happens/happened a lot at cafepress).

If there is a way to still use eBay to your advantage (as jdr seems to be doing), it could be worth testing. That wouldn't mean that some of the changes ebay made to the pricing structure weren't harmful to many businesses that used ebay stores.
 

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Yes, fair point Rodney, about insufficient data and time to make a valid conclusion about Ebay's changes. I notice Ebay stated when making the recent pricing changes that they were concerned that the Ebay Stores part of their business was detracting from their original function as an auction site providing a virtual medium of exchange for individuals.

Just as they span off a separate site - half.com - for books, music etc, maybe they'll end up separating Stores from auctions - would seem logical.

Shadowdragon, I'm wondering if your dissatisfaction with Ebay stems from not putting a reserve on your items, so that they risk going off at under your cost price? Alternatively, you could start the bidding price at your cost price, which also guarantees that any sale will give you your investment back, and bids above that represent profit. (That's my strategy, and it's worked well).

Ebay is not as simple as it seems on the surface. I would highly recommend investigating its full potential by reading one of the help books around. I have Michael Miller's "Absolute Beginner's Guide To EBay"; it is a well-priced paperback and excellent in content and scope (much cheaper on Amazon than in Australian retail stores, but only if you have enough other books you want to order to make the shipping worth it) . There is a lot to learn, and this book covers everything you need to know to develop an effective set of strategies and properly understand how Ebay works. Recommended.
 

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Ebay is a great funnel. Have a regular website, and in your about me page, offer up something if the buyer buys from your site, instead of eBay. Like cheaper shipping, or free shipping.

If you post a few items on Ebay, and try to re-direct these viewers to your site, that's all the more hits you're getting.
 

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Ebay is a great funnel. Have a regular website, and in your about me page, offer up something if the buyer buys from your site, instead of eBay. Like cheaper shipping, or free shipping.

If you post a few items on Ebay, and try to re-direct these viewers to your site, that's all the more hits you're getting.
I don't like to cheat ebay of a sale that they rightfully deserve, so I don't do deceptive things like that. Once a customer buys a shirt from me however, I do everything I can to make sure that the next time they buy from me, it will be directly through my website.

I'm not sure if we have enough data yet to say that the ebay changes are good or bad.

I don't think jdr is posting auctions the same way others are talking about using ebay (through ebay stores). So it might not be comparing apples to apples.

With most changes that companies make that effect a large userbase, the changes will be beneficial for some and not beneficial for others (this happens/happened a lot at cafepress).

If there is a way to still use eBay to your advantage (as jdr seems to be doing), it could be worth testing. That wouldn't mean that some of the changes ebay made to the pricing structure weren't harmful to many businesses that used ebay stores.
The ebay store is where I do most of my business with ebay. If you are using only auctions, it can get expensive quick. those $.30 add up fast. The main purpose of auctions for me, is to drive people to the ebay store. About 95% of my auctions do not sell, becuase the people buy from the ebay store instead. When you get them in your ebay store, they are also more likely to buy multiple shirts.
 

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[The main purpose of auctions for me, is to drive people to the ebay store. About 95% of my auctions do not sell, becuase the people buy from the ebay store instead. When you get them in your ebay store, they are also more likely to buy multiple shirts.
/QUOTE]

Interesting, jdr8271. This exemplifies my earlier point about exploring below the surface wih Ebay. Seems like you have an effective strategy there.
 

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jdr8271 said:
I don't like to cheat ebay of a sale that they rightfully deserve, so I don't do deceptive things like that. Once a customer buys a shirt from me however, I do everything I can to make sure that the next time they buy from me, it will be directly through my website.
Okay, so you use Ebay to drive traffic after you've made one sale. I don't see much of a difference. You're still paying the listing fee. I don't think driving trafic to your site via Ebay is deceptive. Ebay has certain things in place to minimize this, but using ways around it - I don't think is deceptive. I think it's smart.

The guy who first told me about doing this makes over $110,000 a year on Ebay sales, and from his own website. And he is also an Ebay University lecturer. Deceptive? maybe, but I'm sure Ebay will survive.
 

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If you search for "eBay" to the left, you'll see that I am one of the biggest pro-eBay people around.

But what is happening now is horrific, and will be the death knell for stores on eBay.

Feelings like this:

http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y06/m08/i10/s01

are now common place.

People run their entire lives on stores. They feed their families through them. People who have major businesses on eBay, and by this I mean a sole income source and supporting families, 99% of the time do so through stores. A 250% fee hike is not "the cost of doing business", it is the cost of corporate greed and corporate idiocy. It will slash profit margins for may people down to pennies on the dollar, and force them to leave.

The eBay Stores forums were once a great place, with many of the big players participating. In the last week, thousands of these people have closed down their stores and moving to St Elsewhere. It was classic bait and switch...they almost begged people to open stores. Anyone with biggish feedback remembers the emails and personal calls, saying stores are "the way of the future". People invested thousands investing in building stores. A whole industry of store design arose. And now those same people are being told there is a need to "rebalance". Perhaps is they didn't virtually conscript 100,000s into opening stores, and spend $30million marketing it, a "rebalance" wouldn't be required? What did they think would happen.

It's like the US government going balls out to make people buy a specific pension scheme, then saying too many people like it, so let's up the tax rate on that by 250%. There would be blood in the streets.


eBay is no longer the only fish in the pond. Setting up your own ecommerce store, even a year and a half ago, was hard. Not any more. People no longer *need* eBay.


They are becoming AOL II.
 

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monkeylantern said:
A 250% fee hike is not "the cost of doing business", it is the cost of corporate greed and corporate idiocy. It will slash profit margins for may people down to pennies on the dollar, and force them to leave.

The eBay Stores forums were once a great place, with many of the big players participating. In the last week, thousands of these people have closed down their stores and moving to St Elsewhere.
If your grievances are felt widely enough, monkeylantern, eBay will be forced to recognise that they have indeed been "greedy" and guilty of "corporate idiocy". If your charges against them are valid, the market will find them out and they will be forced to backpedal. If their profit margins increase and do not suffer, the market will not have agreed with you, and the market will be right.

Having said that, though, it is clear that you feel strongly about the situation and I have no doubt that your comments ring sadly true for numbers of Ebay Stores folk. I suppose 'how many' is the key to the discussion. Either eBay have crunched the numbers and have their calculations right, or they have mis-read the situation and your grievances will be addressed when they back down due to falling profits. One thing is sure - the market will not allow them to be wrong in their assessment without doing something about it. And whether they are wrong will be evident in their bottom line figures in the next couple of quarters. We shall see...
 

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The market has spoken before, with little response:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/04/20/bloomberg/bxmove.php

They are bumping fees to try and cut the profit loss.

This has happened many times before.

They are built on little guys. And they are squeezing the little guys to pay for their big mistakes (Skype, totally free sites in Asian markets, yet still loosing market share).
 
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