I've been an eBay seller for a couple years, and I've noticed that my sales aren't doing nearly as well now as they did when I started. Do you think lower sales have anything to do with the current economy? For other eBay sellers, what have been your experiences?
I think there are several factors at work. One thing is competition - originally there were no other auction sites, and not all that many online shops of any description. Now it's easy to find stores online, and eBay is not necessarily cheaper (except for second-hand stuff).
Another thing I'm hearing is that people are getting tired of auctions. We live in an "instant gratification" society and people want it now! I used to list my items for 10 days because I reckoned the longer it was listed, the better price I would get. Now I realise that some people aren't willing to wait that long, so they won't bid - so a longer auction time doesn't necessarily result in a higher price. It's been suggested that "Buy It Now"will be the prime method of sale on eBay soon.
The new economic crisis has effected the world economy, business is becoming more and more hard. Many factories has gone bankrupt in China. The new crisis affected worldwide.
eBay has changed, especially in the last year or so. Where it used to be an open, free, and exciting marketplace for the non-professional seller, it has now become a venue for the big box stores and power sellers who want to compete with the big boxes.
Marisa has a good point about instant gratification. But I'm not sure that the moving away from auctions is because of that, or because eBay has made it non-profitable to run auctions. eBay's current policy is very clear, and their financial incentives attest...if you want to sell, sell at a price, not at an auction. eBay now rewards the seller for Buy It Now pricing rather than selling your items at auction.
With the world economy the way it is, uncertain at best, the auction format should be something that appeals to all. An auction seller is putting product out there at a great starting price. But eBay is missing this grand opportunity to capitalize on everyone wanting a bargain.
ProfoundPuns, there are many smaller eBay sellers out there who are doing well. They've found a niche market and they've cultivated their customers. However, eBay is making it increasingly difficult for them to stay in business.
To Marisa's point about competition, unfortunately, there is no other online auction venue that can compete with eBay. Maybe that will change in the future.
Actually there are several online auction houses trying to compete with eBay - even if they don't attract a large following, they are still diluting eBay's audience.
As for the Buy It Now - I hadn't meant that sellers were moving to Buy It Now, although it's true I'm noticing more of those being offered. What I had heard was that BUYERS were expressing a preference for fixed pricing. I recently changed my affiliate site over to Buy It Now items only, and have seen a rise in sales.
I make money on ebay for a living and what I have noticed, just from trial and error it's best to cover all your basis. I use dropshippers and put the same type of items up 1 with a buy now, 1 a longer auction 1 a short auction.
For me this is the easiest way of maximize my profits. May not work for everyone though...
Profound...I haven't noticed the drop yet...but I'm sure it will slow down for a while and get back up there again.
I do believe as an online seller you are in a better position, I think that economical recession won't hit the Internet as hard as normal retail stores. People usually go online to find a bargain, and when times are tight those bargains will be more important.
Maybe people are just freaking out for awhile and holding onto their wallets, I think it will get better after some time has passed when people have gotten over the intitial fright.
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