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Internet Marketing: Why eBay Is Dead - Why You Should Not Sell On eBay

Updated on August 15, 2012

The Geat eBay Scam

A few years ago eBay was a great online solution for both buyers and sellers. In fact, a few years ago the internet in general was a great solution for both buyers and sellers also. It was relatively easy for sellers to make a profit on eBay and buyers could find items at low cost. As with most people I first started using eBay as a buyer and managed to find a few bargains then moved onto becoming a seller at a later date. Back in 2005 there was plenty of incentive to use the internet for e-commerce; discounts were available as well as free or low-cost delivery and people were actively encouraged to do so and were provided with incentives to buy online.

Fast forward to 2012 and things have changed... drastically! Despite such a promising start, sites like eBay no longer offer the incentives or encouragement that they used to. In fact, we are now in a time where it's more expensive to buy and sell online than it is to buy and sell offline and so the greed of such corporations has, ultimately, destroyed internet marketing. Whilst there are still a few people who manage to remain successful on eBay this is a minimal amount compared to five years ago and those people are simply just lucky - their time will come.

The incentives are not there any more. Buying and selling online no longer has any appeal and is much more cost-effective and easier to carry out offline - there are less problems, there's less work and there's less waiting about. Ultimately, the death of eBay comes down to greed and the extortionate fees that eBay have introduced - sellers are being outright ripped off.

Setting Up Business

I currently have the opportunity to purchase as many guitars as I want at 50% of their retail value. I decided I would take advantage of this opportunity, become a reseller and sell the guitars on eBay. This was a bad idea right from the start. Seeing as I already had a business account with Paypal I would use this in order to accept payments. This was also a bad idea right from the start.

I purchased ten guitars to start off and listed them on eBay. I had to ensure that I wouldn't make a loss so instead of putting them to auction I listed them as Buy It Now. A listing fee was incurred. Upon selling the first guitar it became apparent that eBay would taking a large chunk of the money as a final value fee. I later found out that Paypal would also be taking a percentage out of the income received. Upon receiving payment, paying the associated fees and then posting the guitar off (which sold for normal retail price, double what I paid for it) I was left £1 ($2) out of pocket.

Despite buying the guitars for 50% of their retail value and then selling them on at 100% of their retail I value on eBay, I was left with a £1 loss per item! It had cost me an extra £1 out of my own pocket for each guitar sold, in order to be able to sell the guitars at twice the cost I had paid for them on eBay!

The entire idea, cost and effort putting in to attempting to start up this guitar business was completely pointless right from the beginning. I have also done the same with other items which I can buy at low cost but because of the associated fees it's just not even worth bothering to look at eBay as a selling point any more. eBay is dead and I suggest you only consider using eBay as a selling medium if you are willing to pay money out of your own pocket.


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    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Marc Hubs 

      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @NadineMay Yep, I did notice that they now don't allow listings to be edited once a bid/purchase has been placed. There are a lot of changes being made there lately.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      5 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you sparkster for your post about ebay. In my own ignorance I added 3 of my books onto eBay. I was Not prepared to pay for my listing, so I thought they would delete my post. A few days later I received an email to say that both my novels were sold for $ 12.00. ( free posting) That was a surprise for me since my novel costs far more. They are on a print on demand system outside of South Africa. I must have made a mistake in filling in the form. What is bothersome is that I can't find a way to edit my posting. I even tried to delete my books that are for sale, but because I want to keep my ebay account, since I add some products from my collection boards next to my hub articles, my books are still for sale. All I can do is decline the sales.

    • Solaras profile image


      5 years ago

      Amazon takes 15% of everything: sales price and shipping. Plus you have to compete with them on product sales. Amazon has an interesting policy - Amazon fulfillment. Ship them the items and they will ship them for you. But at the end of one year, you must pay rent.

      You have the option for Amazon to "destroy" your items and you don't have to pay the rent. I have a life sized image of the incinerator the "destroys" these products. I'st called the sales and marketing department. They relist your products as giveaways or near giveaways when you purchase other products from their "Prime" line of goods.

      They are a miserable alternative to ebay...

    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Marc Hubs 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm sorry but I've tried and tried and tried and kept trying but I cannot find ANYTHING at all, whatsoever, that I can sell on ebay as a business. There is just no profit whatsoever to be made on any products on ebay. Believe me, I've tried them all.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      eBay does seem to cater to the buyers. I used to have an eBay business, but when the penny auctioners took over it wasn't worth it anymore.

    • Motherbynature profile image

      Liv Carradine 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Yeah ebay is definitely dead. I stopped selling almost 10 years ago when it became saturated.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      7 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Well this was my experience, I was an e-bay seller about 5 years ago. People are basically looking for bargains at any auction, therefore there is little room for the seller to profit. Also, e-bay makes it perfectly clear that they buyer is always right, therefore half of your sales are returned and there is nothing you can do.

      But as a buyer, e-bay is great, lots of bargains.

      But I must confess now as an ebay affiliate, I do enjoy making those few pennies from them because I sure did not make them as a seller.

    • Mellonyy profile image


      7 years ago

      I think not only eBay is going to come down because of their greediness. It will ruin every company/person who is thirst for huge profits. I really hope HubPages won't be among them. Shared this great hub!

    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Marc Hubs 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have no idea Jim, state laws don't apply to me as I am in UK - we are responsible for paying our own taxes regardless.

    • FitnezzJim profile image


      7 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Is it true one of the advantages was that buying online avoided State taxes? And that this advantage is soon going away? Will it be getting worse when the new tax laws kick in, where you have to pay tax in the buyers State?

    • hmlm3 profile image


      7 years ago from Georgia

      While I would agree that ebay is not what it once was, I have to say that it does still provide an option for getting things sold at a faster rate than, say, craigslist. I haven't sold on ebay in years, but recently it was ebay bidders who helped me get rid of some articles of clothing that I was relunctant to donate to the Goodwill due to their value and my need for additional funds to assist with grocery purchases during a slow pay period. So to say ebay is dead seems a little remiss. I don't know if it's location or the use of the buy-it-now vs. auction choice that has influenced your opinion of ebay, but I can't entirely agree with it, although I do understand your frustration with a monetary loss.

      I also have to say that I disagree with the statement that it is more expensive to buy and sell online than it is offline, nowadays. I find the opposite to be true, at least insofar as my own personal wants/needs are concerned. With many bookstores closing, I find I have to purchase the majority of my books online and I can normally find them for less. The same goes with certain dietary supplements that I have to order online because the local health food stores don't carry them; or, because I can get a much better deal on vitamins and supplements by ordering them online. For example: when I was pregnant I could either a) buy my prenatal vitamins at Earthfare for around $40, or I could order them off of Amazon for around $32-$35 and get them 2-day shipped to me for free using a Prime membership.

      I think PickingProfits is correct in saying that ebay is far better for getting rid of used items.

    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Marc Hubs 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hmm that's a good point!

      I would also like to point out to efeyas that the final value fee for private sellers is now 10% and that's before Paypal take their share!

    • Pauline Davenport profile image

      Pauline Davenport 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man

      The parameters have changed and the profit less, but it is a useful tool for building up a 'hot list' for selling elsewhere

    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Marc Hubs 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      The concept is good but its been ruined. I cannot sell anything at all on ebay without it costing me out of my own pocket.

    • KevinTimothy profile image

      Kevin J Timothy 

      7 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      You seemed a little one sided in this. I don't think the eBay concept is dead at all.

    • sparkster profile imageAUTHOR

      Marc Hubs 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      It's only still the best because people don't really have much other choice at the moment. eBay is certainly not the only auction site out there, there are some other highly competetive ones and I doubt will be long before people realize they can save a fortune on the fees they are paying. It's just that eBay have been around so long and have become a household name.

    • PickingProfits profile image


      7 years ago

      Ebay is getting worse and worse but it is still the best. To be completely honest, as you probably know, Ebay is better for selling used. On Amazon you can go sky high and people will still buy the item. I know for a fact that you can sell guitars on Amazon but I am certain that they will not be quick sellers. Hands down ebay is better for used items and Amazon is better for new.

      Also, Amazon and Ebay pay a fortune in advertising and have hundreds of thousands of people creating affiliate links linking to them. I think if Ebay continues at this rate then someone else will eventually overtake them, but we are not there yet sadly...

    • efeyas profile image


      7 years ago from Some Sunny Beach, USA

      I agree. I believe there are still niches on Ebay that are profitable but not many. As for the associated seller fees, Ebay is now at 9% per item. Which is absolutely ridiculous! Not to mention listing fees and Paypal fees!

      I have been selling on Ebay for some 6 years now and have noticed in the past couple of years that items that were once cheap are now hugely inflated. Another problem is there are so many resellers. It is not just the average person selling unwanted items on Ebay anymore. It is over populated with resellers in almost every category. It is most certainly not the place to go to look for a deal anymore. Sad but true.

      Voted up and interesting!


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