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Tue May 11 2010 21:54:34

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

By: Ina Steiner

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Between 2004 and 2006, small sellers on eBay were excited about the ability to set up a storefront right on the eBay marketplace with their own branding and promotional features. eBay rewarded them for driving traffic to their Stores, and consultants who helped them set up and design Stores flourished. Fast forward to 2010, and eBay Stores no longer give entrepreneurial sellers much reason to feel excited about hanging their shingles on the site.  

When eBay announced yesterday that it would remove the Stores tab from the navigation header, the reaction was ho-hum. eBay eliminated Store inventory format so now all listings show up in core, and the decision to set up an eBay Store is more about listing fees than creative entrepreneurship.

Crafters also felt a similar excitement in being able to set up their own shop on Etsy, but it seems they too are getting disillusioned by some of the marketplace practices. When Etsy announced on Monday a new feature that promotes Shops to visitors using personalized recommendations, the reaction was mixed.

One Etsy Shop owner explained in email, "I think it might be more like the Ebay cross-marketing thing but with no opt-out: sellers bring in the buyers and Etsy hands them to our competitors."

Small online sellers have sought other services that give them the ease of use of an eBay Store with more independence from marketplace constraints. Sellers have flocked to try out Bonanzle Booths, eCrater Stores, Ruby Lane Shops or storefront services such as those from Auctiva and Vendio. Those sellers willing to invest more time and money have launched their own websites.

The EveryPlaceISell.com merchant directory is a testament to the trend of multi-channel selling among even the smallest sellers. Marketplace versus multi-channel is no longer an either-or proposition. Sellers are finding they benefit from marketplace traffic, while they generate repeat business on their own storefronts and ecommerce-enabled websites. And with the proliferation of services that allow sellers to promote listings on social networking sites, small sellers can benefit from the same kinds of exposure larger companies are able to create on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

Some may pine for the old days when they were excited to drive traffic to their Stores on eBay, but times have changed and sellers have learned that driving traffic to their own shop may be the best marketing investment they can make.

See Tuesday's news stories:

eBay Quits Sending Traffic to Stores

New Etsy Feature Sends More Traffic to Shops




Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: just a peon

Tue May 11 22:41:14 2010

This is so ebay.

They charge you ebay store owners more to even have a store now, then immediately cripple and break you by deleting any traffic to them.

Amazing.

Thank God for eCrater!

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Gary Overton
Web Site

Wed May 12 00:37:13 2010

I have pretty much hung in there with eBay through it all without setting up on other venues except Etsy. I have had a little luck on Etsy but it has been mostly around the holidays. A few months ago I discovered eCrater and love it. I am making sales there on a regular basis. So far this month I have not added any new inventory to eBay.(As best I can remember I have NEVER went over a couple of days before without adding items to my eBay store)
I am spending all of my time adding to my eCrater shop. Percentage-wise I sell more there than I do with my eBay store.
I find it interesting that most of my eCrater buyers pay with Google Checkout even though I also offer PayPal. I don't think eBay realizes how many buyers they have alienated and they do not want to have anything to do with anything remotely connected to eBay

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Doris Knight

Wed May 12 09:21:18 2010

Ina Said:
> sellers have learned that driving traffic to
> their own shop may be the best marketing
> investment they can make

AMEN, SISTER!

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed May 12 12:59:38 2010

As a former ebay store owner and now an ecrater store owner instead, I can't figure out why so many ebay sellers are still left in that stomach churning poisonous atmospere called ebay. I can't believe how much better and easier it is to sell on ecrater and I am very happy to drive business to my own store. I'm doing much better on ecrater after over a solid year here than I did on ebay at the bitter end. Does it take work to set up a new source? Yes, but it is worth it especially if you have items for sale that people are wanting and looking for.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 12 14:01:45 2010

I don't trust these venues. I'm still coming to grips with Bonanzle. I like them alot but if they pull it like the rest of them, I'm going to find ways to make their lives miserable. lol.

I think a great way to find out whether a venue is on your side is whether they take away your ability to publish your contact info. If they set up rules or attempt to funnel it through their systems to MONITOR then you know how this is going down.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Digby

Wed May 12 14:24:49 2010

Great post Ina !

In your last paragraph by "shop" do you mean a store on an auction site, or your own website ?

I can't believe these tactics by ebay, people pay to have store, so why take away the store tab !

If I wanted to say a "cuddly toy" I might like to check out the cuddly toy stores.

I hop this just makes more store owners decide to leave ebay ! (permanently)

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 12 14:28:51 2010

I took a small hiatus at Etsy.com while they made a lot of changes. Just added back some items yesterday. and today, I have 2 orders and a possible 3rd. I am amazed. I also sell on eCrater.com and love it there with excellent results. Have some things on Bonanzle, but it is slow there. It may pick up though in the near future.

All of those sites are a pleasure to sell on. I feel light, airy, happy and making sales.

Give it a try. What have you got to lose. If you don't like it then try something else, but DO try something. Don't just sit and moan about eBay. Enjoy your life again. eBay is not the only place at all.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Raz

Wed May 12 16:51:09 2010

For me eBay is the best.  I have been on eCrater for a year and no sales.  I am currently on Bonanzle for 6 months no sales. You get what you pay for with Bonanzle and eCreater - nothing.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: fallonthalia
Web Site

Wed May 12 17:15:47 2010

To Raz:

I would guess that you don't put much effort into the ranch or the moon.  Well, I closed my eBay store, and am now on those two other sites.  I just sold almost $200 of children's books on the moon.  That is bigger than any order I ever make on the bay.  It's not what you pay for necessarily that counts--it's more about putting your energy into it.  

I believe that I have found a good home on the ranch, the river is flowing nicely, and I love looking at the moon!  

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Ha ha

Wed May 12 19:10:15 2010

@fallonthalia

You can feel free to say the real names of the sites here, no need to use their AKA'S...lol

This is an ebay pink slap free zone :)

Besides Donohoe has said the word Amazon more than he's said ebay in the last 2 years. I bet he turns around every time someone calls out the name Jeff too.

He probably dreams of stock market charts, smart phones and angry mobs of ebay sellers chasing him through the streets...hahaha

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: fallonthalia
Web Site

Wed May 12 19:35:50 2010

to Ha ha

Yeah, you are right.  But I have been posting on eBay the past few weeks (on that thread about 5 days straight and not one sale), and have had some of my posts removed with a warning from eBay.  And I actually like the nicknames.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Buck Efay

Wed May 12 20:46:23 2010

Best part is selling on those other sites costs almost nothing. A few hundred in sales on Bonanzle this month cost me $12, Ecrater NOTHING! My last try selling on Ebay, after 11 years as a silver powerseller, I was paying THEM money. Buck Efay.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Saintsteven This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed May 12 23:22:46 2010


It's true; in the 2004-2006 era, for a seller like me to think about trying to deploy my own store was basically thinking I couldn't really support, but I staked out a spot on my own site in 2005.  As a priority, that's gone from low to highest, with the most dramatic upswing in just the past six months.

It may well be that the marketing I've got to do yet is somewhat different from operating from eBay's platform, but I intend to accomplish whatever I need to because these days I feel very much like The Enemy despite my squeaky clean reputation at The Venue.

That, and that latest round of Lowest Fees Ever almost did me in.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Rich

Thu May 13 00:00:25 2010

I don't know what the point of this blog is.  But here's my take on what sellers are faced with now. Ebay store fees are way too high and a complete rip off; due to 5 straight years of fee hikes. A losing proposition. Selling on multiple sites might generate just 1/4 or less of what Ebay generates as Ebay has so many more buyers.  It also means that when an item sells on 1 site; it has to be deleted from all the others.  Also a losing proposition.  So Ebay and other venues are currently unprofitable and a waste of time for most sellers.  So I see just to 2 possible choices left. Criagslist for those who decide to just sell out in bulk.  Or Amazon who; if I understand it right; charges just $39/month for a store; regardless of how many items are in the store.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: mrs ruby

Thu May 13 09:16:35 2010

The best way to get some better competition, I think, is by word of mouth. Start telling your friends and coworkers about alternative places to shop for bargains and also sell their stuff and hopefully ebay's monopoly will start to fizzle. When you email someone, maybe include a small mention of it at the bottom. If you use bumper stickers, put one on your car.  If you sell something on ebay, put a small free bookmark in the package with ebay alternative names written on it. Let ebay buyers hear about the other websites.  Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and that is how I first heard about ebay in the early 90's.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 13 16:00:00 2010

I agree with Rich! Ebay has just about done me in, with it's new ''lowest fees ever'', and suddenly since April 1st, lack of sales. Weird, but I was doing fine before the April Fools Day dump. I made the decision today to close my Ebay Store, with about 1300 items listed. About a years worth of listing work down the drain. (But, I know other Sellers in my area are looking at YEARS of work-so I really feel sorry for them!)

Duh--A couple of days ago, it finally dawned on me, I could list a lot of free and $.25 auctions (for up to $9.99) for the $160 I am now paying Ebay in fees every month, and get better exposure. However, I'm so disgusted with Ebay, I would like to just walk away.

I'm on other websites, but they are still painfully slow. At least they aren't costing me much. I do have hope for their future growth and will start working harder listing on them.

I'm seriously considering a web site. But, it seems like so much work, it feels kind of overwhelming. Could anybody recommend web hosting that doesn't cost a lot, and is easy (for a tech dummy) to build a store and maintain it?  Any, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

I'm embarrassed to say, that I signed up for web hosting about a year ago, but when I went to build their ''easy'' store, I couldn't figure it out. I meant to get back to it, but got busy and never did.  I need EASY!  Is there such a thing?

Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions!!!

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 13 16:34:27 2010

Well, between Etsy and eCrater, I shipped out 4 orders today. I think the secret is to list as much as you possibly can to get more eyes on your stuff, and keep customers looking around your store instead of going elsewhere.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: smith001 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon May 24 08:18:12 2010

hi, this is brad here explane this who helped them set up and design Stores flourished.stuff and hopefully ebay's monopoly will start to fizzle. When you email someone, maybe include a small mention of it at the bottom. If you use bumper stickers, put one on your car.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Penny auctions
Web Site

Fri May 28 06:22:08 2010

HI,
Ebay is a disease that has spread all over the globe. I just cant stand them. Especially on this respective store owner issue. Probably people will realize.

To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner   To Be or Not to Be,...an Etsy or eBay Store Owner

by: Lillie

Sun Jan 30 11:59:38 2011

Long time since the last comment, but I just found this while researching Etsy.

I, too, used to sell on eBay.  I got in at the tail-end of the glory days when it seemed no matter what I put up for auction, it would sell for much more than I expected.  Then fees started hiking up and up, freedoms became fewer and fewer, sellers seemed to get the bad end of every dispute and there was a lot of discontent among every seller I knew way back then.  I got out when sales tanked so low and the work load became so high that I was barely breaking even, especially  with overseas buyers claiming the package wasn't received.  

I just want a place to sell hand knitted things.  I'm considering Etsy, and I am trying to figure out if they are in any way connected with eBay.  If they are, I won't deal with them because it would only be a matter of time before things go bad in a big way.

It's sad that something that can begin as a beneficial thing often becomes a greed machine.



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