|Fri Aug 5 2011 11:51:36|
Is There Life after eBay? Recent Columns Strikes a Chord
By: Ina Steiner
Bill Fagan and Mimi Kriele have something in common - they both built up big businesses on eBay, expanded to multiple online channels, and ultimately gave up selling on eBay due to dissatisfaction with the marketplace.
Many readers are hungry for information about eBay alternatives, and the idea that there is "life after eBay" strikes a chord with them.
With Bill Fagan's business, Fuji Arts, he found eBay's Best Match algorithm was choking his business on the site. His solution was to advertise his own website using Google campaigns.
"When Best Match was implemented I told my eBay rep that I was going to take my eBay fees and spend them with Google," he told us. Within 60 days, he says, "our eBay business was irrelevant."
In Mimi Kriele's case, she found the influx of counterfeits from Hong Kong combined with eBay's poor enforcement of its policies were the main culprits hurting eBay sales of her company, Touch of Europe.
Today, Touch of Europe garners the lion's share of its revenue from its website and Amazon, with each accounting for around 40 percent of the company's sales, with the remainder coming from her physical retail store, conventions and trade shows. Ideally, she wants her own website grow to about 80 percent of the company's total revenue. Mimi is using Google AdWords, email marketing, a rewards program and appearances at shows to accomplish that goal.
In 2008, we also interviewed Bruce Hershenson of eMoviePoster.com about his decision to leave eBay. In his case, higher fees combined with new policies pushed him out the door. "Their removing sellers' ability to leave feedback makes all sellers of vintage items a target for blackmailers," he wrote at the time. What makes Hershenson's story so remarkable is that he was able to build a successful auction business off of eBay.
I've always advocated that sellers diversify, and we built the EveryPlaceISell.com merchant directory in 2008 in recognition of this growing trend (sellers have called it their "online business card.")
Multi-channel selling has finally become the norm even among small sellers. But if the "Life after eBay" stories teach us anything, it's the importance of establishing your own website.
I cover ecommerce hosting solutions in both EcommerceBytes Newsflash and in the twice-monthly EcommerceBytes Update newsletter, and there are plenty of ways to network with other sellers both in this blog, our forums and on social networking sites (The EcommerceBytes LinkedIn group has had some productive conversations recently.)
Let us know if you've decreased your dependence on one marketplace, and what steps you've taken and the challenges you're discovering along the way.
Links to the stories mentioned in this blog post:
Fuji Arts Finds Life After eBay
Longtime Seller Abandons eBay after Finding Growth on Other Channels - Part 1
Longtime Seller Abandons eBay after Finding Growth on Other Channels - Part 2
eMoviePoster.com Founder Talks about Decision to Leave eBay