Ebay Is Dead For Sellers
As a long time eBay seller I have felt the many changes that have impaired my sales on the site. The eBay web site still gets a large number of buyers and for unique items is still a great marketplace. If you deal in items that are not unique this is where you might feel the pinch. As eBay has encouraged large-scale sellers there is very little that a small business can do to combat the competition. If you are not getting a great deal from your wholesale company than how can you compete against a seller that gets volume discounts. When you sell on eBay it's the fees that can kill your business. If your margins are low and then you add eBay fees it might not be worth your time to sell on the site.
As more sellers from China join eBay your margins are gone. These sellers are getting their items at very low prices and even with shipping can still make a nice little profit.
It's still possible to make money on eBay, but you will have to do more research on what sells and what the competition for your item is. As I lost sales and kept paying more fees I had to try other online marketplaces. The other marketplaces are not going to have the same volume as eBay, but then again you might make up for it in lower fees.
The iOffer web site is a great alternative to eBay and I have sold many items through that site. If you live in a country where you can create an Amazon sellers account then this market might be a very good alternative to eBay. The Amazon web site gets a huge number of visits each day and is a leader in online sales. The other online marketplace I have used is eCrater which allows you to create an online store. What I did to get traffic to my eCrater store was advertised with Google Adwords. The ad I ran on the Google search engine linked back to my eCrater store and worked out well.
The other online sites I used to generate sales where site that list to local customers. These sites are like local classified ads in the newspaper. The Craigslist site is the best known site and is free to use as long as you meet the sites guidelines you can do very well with this marketplace. The people at eBay also offer a free classified web site called Kijiji which also allows you to post ads to your local market. There are many users checking out both these sites and you will be getting many questions on your item from tire kickers. It can waste a lot of time answering questions you want to make sure you are selling items that have a nice margin to deal with the extra hassle. The other thing to keep in mind when you sell through a local site is your safety. You will be meeting in person to complete the transaction. If it's a valuable item people have been know to rob a seller and run off with the goods. The best way to deal with these transactions is to take a friend or family member to a public place like McDonalds and do the transaction there. The transactions I have had went well and I made sure to take every precaution to make sure my safety was the top priority. If you are selling bigger items like furniture then you might not have a choice the buyer might need to come into your home. If this is the case place the item for sale at the entrance or in the garage to avoid strangers walking around your home and ask a friend to be there with you.
It might seem like a lot more trouble then its worth, but the fact is that I am making more money selling outside of eBay.