Saturday, December 29, 2007

Do you eBay?

By now everybody has heard of eBay. If you have been online for any length of time, my guess is that you are an eBay member yourself.
EBay offers unmatched opportunities for both buyers and sellers of just about anything. You can find just about anything that you'd ever need on eBay (that is legal anyway), very likely at a better price than you can find anywhere else. There are so many competing sellers that prices are kept low on most items. That is not always the case though. Sometimes people get caught up in a bidding war and drive the price for an item higher than what you would pay in your local store for it. Very hot items that are out of stock in most stores countrywide also bring in very high prices. Videogame consoles and (lately) Hannah Montana concert tickets are a couple of good examples.
It seems that eBay has shifted more in favor of buyers than sellers lately. Higher fees, increased competition, and stolen, counterfeit, and pirated items being sold have made it harder for a seller to make a profit. Over the last few years, there have supposedly been many eBay sellers that gave up on eBay altogether, even some powersellers. I believe that some unhappy former eBay Sellers created a site named powersellersunite.com (I'm not sure if that is the correct name or not) in protest of higher seller fees and other changes that eBay made that they didn't agree with.
I think eBay got the message because they have readjusted down some of their fees and lately have been running promotions that allows sellers to save some money or try listing upgrades for free.
Even with the problems listed above, it is hard to beat eBay, especially for the part-time occasional seller.
For less than a dollar, actually for as little as five cents, you can list an item that can potentially be seen by millions of potential buyers. I know of no other way that you can do that. If you live in a big city you can list your item in the local newspaper but it would cost you a lot more than one dollar (depending on what the item is). If you listed your item for sale on your own website, you would have to somehow get traffic to your website by either paying for it with a lot of your time or some money. Even then, you would have to have a nice-looking website so that a potential buyer would take you seriously and not think you're a scam artist. This again would take more time or more money.
I had seen an article somewhere on the Internet calling for the fall of eBay. I don't see that happening. As with anything it seems, the bigger something gets, the more problems there are. It seems that eBay is taking a more proactive approach to dealing with these problems lately though, so I think things will improve in the coming months.
EBay is here to stay. If you're not already buying or selling there, give it a try.

1 comment:

doQ said...

hi... thanks for the information regarding "bidding"..