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Yardsellr, a Wonderful Complement to eBay

Updated on June 8, 2013
Vintage Peggy Jo Ackley Teapot
Vintage Peggy Jo Ackley Teapot | Source

Free market competition is the catalyst for capitalism. Its basic premise is that the market is determined by supply and demand with little or no government control.

As an online seller, primarily based on the global market behemoth, eBay, I consider free competition to be a healthy and vital aspect of worldwide commerce. Just as a wise investor is better prepared for stock market fluctuations by having a diversified portfolio, a savvy Internet entrepreneur knows that a business plan involving multiple online platforms has a better chance of survival, growth, and long term prosperity.

In the last two months, I've experienced a sharp decline in traffic and, consequently, eBay sales. Having learned from many trials and many errors, I've learned to adopt a proactive stance whenever I encounter potential business problems. I thus called eBay Customer Support on three or four occasions to ask about the significant lull in the action.

The reason I called multiple times to ask the same question is in keeping with the strategy of diversification. I wanted to get the perspective of several different people who work for the same company because, quite frankly, I would then be better prepared to sift the corporate public relations response from the truth of the matter .

The problem is that these eBay customer reps have been well trained to stick to the party line. So, while I received different answers, each response was just another facet of the same theme--We feel your pain. No, eBay hasn't changed or done anything to divert traffic. Maybe you need to tweak your listings. Oh, by the way, thank you for being a great seller on eBay!

But, eBay, up until a month or so ago, I was having multiple sales each day. Now, I'm getting 0 to 1 a day. I haven't changed a thing. In fact, I've done a pretty good job of promoting my eBay store on Twitter, Facebook, in my personal blog, and on HubPages. (I wanted to be sure to plug our favorite writing site, of course.)

That's great! It could be the time of year when everyone is enjoying the nice weather or traveling. It could even be part of the general slowdown in spending just prior to, during, and for a few weeks after the filing of income tax returns. Hang in there...I'm sure it will pick up soon. After all, you know how the economy's been down.

Hmm...as a seller, I'm just as much a part of that economy as a buyer is. And, by the way, I haven't noticed eBay modifying its fee structure to accommodate sellers during this down economy. In fact, eBay is currently mandating a higher standard for buyers. And why the greater percentage of non-paying buyers lately? More importantly, why have you rendered sellers powerless to do anything about it?

Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm a seller, too, as well as a customer representative, and I've experienced similar things.

Ah, but you're definitely not motivated to bite the hand that feeds you. Totally understandable.

On and on, ad nauseum...

The bold italicized paragraphs above are my Walter Mitty fantasy responses--you know, the things I'd really like to say while realizing, deep down inside, that diplomacy is the better part of valor.

That said, I want to make it very clear that I am very grateful to eBay and that I would be the first to give a testimonial about how this global marketplace has made a significant and positive difference in my life.

Life is challenging for everyone. Rather than rant about the obstacles, it's definitely healthier for each of us to explore our options.

To that end, I want to share with you a little bit about one such option I discovered not too long ago and with which I am beginning to enjoy some success.

ITEMS I'VE SOLD THUS FAR ON YARDSELLR

1937 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad
1937 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad | Source
1945 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad
1945 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad | Source
1962 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad
1962 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad | Source
1942 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad
1942 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad | Source
1937 Greyhounds and Whippets Print; Edward Herbert Miner, Artist
1937 Greyhounds and Whippets Print; Edward Herbert Miner, Artist | Source
1947 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad
1947 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad | Source
2004 M&M's Tin Canister
2004 M&M's Tin Canister | Source

YOUR FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD YARDSELLR

Allow me to introduce you to yardsellr.com. Yep, that missing second e is indeed intentional, part and parcel, perhaps, of the contemporary trendiness of catchy dot-com enterprises that are purposefully misspelled. Why? Well, I'm surely no expert when it comes to marketing, but my gut feeling is that a misspelled word subliminally irritates a reader to the point of prompting a second look. That's the cognitive hook!

I also like the utter simplicity of its name. It appeals to the common man or woman by virtue of its friendly invitation--Hey! You're new in town, aren't you? We'd love to have you join us! We're having a great time today! Welcome to our yard sale!

Yardsellr is like an eBay for Facebook . When I consider the individuals chiefly responsible for developing the Yardsellr concept, I'm not surprised. CEO Daniel Leffel was a former manager at eBay; VP of Marketing Jed Clevenger used to run the paid search team at eBay; and VP of Community Rachel Makool once ran the community team at eBay. In addition, the San Francisco-based online venture is financially backed by Accel Partners and Harrison Metal. One of the chief investors at Harrison Metal, Michael Dearing , is also a former SVP of eBay.com.

One can only wonder how the conversation might have gone one day at the proverbial water cooler at eBay.

Psst...well, looks like CEO Meg Whitman is stepping down. Now might be the perfect time to take that bold leap and start a more seller-friendly global marketplace. Are you guys in? Well, okay, then...don't forget your parachutes!

Yeah, yeah, I know...I'm doing the Walter Mitty thing again. Hey, it's my Hub, right?

In any event, I'm thankful for free enterprise and our capitalistic society. Even if we are headed towards a more socialistic government, recent history suggests that even socialist world powers appreciate and utilize the free market system.

That said, yardsellr.com will continue to grow at a phenomenal rate. With all due respect to Facebook, Yardsellr may very well be the only financial venture as of late that is doing quite well for the gargantuan social network.

Sellers list items in categories called blocks (again, in keeping with the neighborhood concept). Examples of blocks include guitars, Star Wars, Coca-Cola, collecting lunchboxes, jewelry, ballet, and even individual towns (so far, I'm the sole resident of the College Place block).

Personally, I've begun duplicating some of my eBay listings on Yardsellr. At the time of this writing, I have about 40 listings. I've sold five items in about a month's time (reflected by the photos in this Hub). Yardsellr allows me to list my items free of charge. When an item sells, there are no final value fees. And get this--even though I've opted to be paid through PayPal rather than by check, there are absolutely no PayPal fees! Unbelievable!

Another great feature is that Yardsellr serves as an escrow party. The buyer pays Yardsellr first before the seller is even notified that there's been a sale. This virtually prevents the occurrence of the bane of eBay--non-paying buyers.

My responsibility as a seller is to ship the item out fast and send a tracking number off to Yardsellr. With the first sale, the wait to get paid is about five business days. After that, the wait is about two days.

The only drawback I see--and it's really a minor one--is that Yardsellr is not yet hooked up with the USPS. eBay has built-in software that enables sellers to print mailing labels (with discounts for sellers who meet certain qualifications), and I've found this to be a great and economical time-saver. With Yardsellr, I have to do the old-fashioned thing and stand in line to purchase postage and delivery confirmation without a discount. Even so, given the overall advantages, it truly is a small price to pay.

Yardsellr is growing at a phenomenal rate of about 20,000 or more members each day. Approximately 100,000 members actively comment about transactions or items on a daily basis. (Disclaimer: Admittedly, these statistics are about two years old, and the numbers may be much larger at this point.)

I've presented the seller's point of view. How about the buyer?

By liking a block, buyers receive an ongoing stream of new items right in their Facebook feeds. This action functions as an opt-in social marketing feature. As Leffel puts it, "You can't be social commerce without living fundamentally in it."

Instead of charging sellers fees to list items, Yardsellr charges buyers fees of approximately ten percent on their completed purchases.

But a brilliant strategy is in place that rewards buyers and thus potentially compensates them for the buying fees.

This motivating facet that sets Yardsellr apart from eBay is the unique incentive for buyers called Photons . With Photons, users can enhance their purchasing power. Photons are like money with the conversion rate being 100,000 Photons equals $1. They can be used towards any Yardsellr purchase. A built-in treasure hunt on Yardsellr enables both buyers and sellers to win up to 1,000,000 Photons a day by looking for $ signs. In addition, users can gift Photons to each other. If I notice, for example, that an individual loves my item (so indicated by a heart symbol), I can present him with a gift of 100,000 Photons. He then can use the Photons in any way he so chooses. Yardsellr sends a note to the buyer reminding him that karma dictates he use the free Photons to buy the giver's item, but that buyer is not bound by any hard, fast rule.

When a purchase is made with the use of Photons, the seller will still be paid the full price of the item. Sweet!

Wisely, the founders of Yardsellr implemented the depletion of Photons over time. This serves two purposes: 1) It keeps both buyer and seller actively engaged in Yardsellr commerce, and 2) It protects the Yardsellr bottom line.

IT'S GREAT TO HAVE COMPLEMENTARY OPTIONS!

At the end of the day, it's wonderful to have a variety of options at one's disposal. Personally, I don't see eBay ever having to feel threatened by Yardsellr, and vice-versa. Instead, each can serve as a complement to the other.

For me, searching for other venues on which to sell my various items was motivated by low traffic periods I occasionally experience on eBay. Rather than complain about the situation, I wanted to proactively engage in finding solutions.

To that end, I believe I hit pay dirt with the likes of Yardsellr.

At the very least, it's given me a boost of confidence to discover that sexagenarian can be synonymous with resourcefulness.

Comments

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @AudreyHowitt

    Hi, Audrey!

    Since I wrote this piece, Yardsellr unfortunately met its demise. Apparently, the CEO and administration believed their investment needed to be placed somewhere else. This broke the hearts of a lot of sellers. Their intent was good, but they couldn't compete with eBay, apparently. But in recent months, eBay has made a concerted effort to be more supportive of its buyers, so maybe Yardsellr had an impact on prompting some much-needed changes. Thank you for for stopping by, and again, I'm sorry that things didn't work out for Yardsellr and that you didn't get an opportunity to find out firsthand that they were a pretty decent organization. Best regards from SE Washington state!

    Aloha!

    Joe

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

    I will have to look this up! Thank you!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @sarahshuihan

    Yardsellr doesn't have near the amount of traffic that ebay does, but it's got some unique features that appeal to a lot of people who are disgruntled with ebay for one reason or another. Since I wrote the piece, Yardsellr now charges a $2.95 fee (they call it a slice) that either the buyer has to pay, or the seller volunteers to pay in order to attract buyers. I don't like the change, but change is a constant in life, right? Anyway, blessings to you should you pursue that path of opportunity.

  • sarahshuihan profile image

    Sarah 5 years ago from USA

    This is neat. I have a whole box of LPs sitting in a spare room that I'm looking to sell. I think I might have to check this out!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, UMHiram!

    So nice to make your acquaintance! How are you feeling in the aftermath of Karen Hellier's Ten Hubs in Ten Days Challenge? I crammed in my last four Hubs yesterday, and--man alive!--that really pooped me out! Ha-ha! Never do that again!

    Thank you for stopping by, and yes, by all means, try Yardsellr out. Let me know if I can be of any help!

    Aloha!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @twoseven

    I found your profile fascinating. What a full life you have!

    Regarding yardsellr, my wife just started listing about two weeks ago, and she already had her first sale. This site is definitely much easier to navigate than eBay, and the fact that a seller virtually has 0 fees is pretty cool.

    I wish you the very best!

  • UMHiram profile image

    Unique Hiram 5 years ago from Midwest

    Hawaii,

    Great Hub, very informative and interesting. I used to be an avid seller and buyer on eBay but started getting frustrated with all of the changes as well as the lack of customer service assistance. I will definitely check this out. Thanks for sharing!

    Unique

  • twoseven profile image

    twoseven 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    Super interesting! I have been thinking about trying to sell some stuff on ebay but had been intimidated by all the things you mention. Now I think I will try this new site first! Thanks so much for the great info. And for the humor :)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Dahlia Flower

    Hi, there! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wonderful comments. Regarding your question about non-paying buyers on eBay, this is the term used for those who make a purchase, whether through a Buy it Now or auction win, have a certain amount of days to pay, and yet never follow through with payment.

    To counter that, I've now automated a process by which my BIN items have to be paid for at the moment of a purchase...otherwise, it doesn't allow the buyer to make that purchase. However, this feature is not available with auction items.

    Thanks for your inquiry and input, Dahlia Flower! Have a great weekend!

  • Dahlia Flower profile image

    Dahlia Flower 5 years ago from Canada

    This was very informative. Yardsellr sounds good. I am curious as to how, though, there can be non-paying buyers on Ebay. I thought a seller waits for the payment through their paypal account and then sends out the goods. No?

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hmmm...very interesting,rajan jolly... as soon as I posted my response to you in the Submit a Comment box, all of a sudden, the REPLY button beneath your comment shows up. Weird! Can you help me understand this process?

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Rajan, so sorry it took this long to get back to you. I just didn't see any REPLY button next to the APPROVE button. In fact, I raised a question recently about the missing REPLY button...and so far, no responses. Go figure! Anyway, I've opted instead to use the Submit a Comment window to respond to you. Thanks for reading my Hub and for your kind comments. Blessings!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Hi Hawaiian,

    Very interesting read. I hope you find Yardsellr more profitable.

    Wish you more sales here.

    Voted interesting.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, wetnosedogs! Your suggestion to include my Yardsellr link was a great one. I'm still so very new to this site, and one of the things I need to learn how to do, if at all possible, is to organize my items into their respective blocks. Don't know if I'm permitted to or whether that's something the administration does. Anyway, that's just one example of my novice status on that site. I see wonderful potential there, and I am really going to invest more time and effort in getting stuff listed. As ever, thanks for your encouragement and Hub support.

  • wetnosedogs profile image

    wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

    Hawaii,

    This is interesting! I hope you do well with yardsellr. Your prints are awesome. And I must say I enjoyed the video. The guy is a riot and his daughter is so cute.

    You might want to give us your link to yardsellr, please, when you do another yardsellr hub.