AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Tue Feb 5 2013 12:23:33

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

By: Julia Wilkinson

Sponsored Link

If you hadn't heard already, on Feb. 4th social shopping site "Yardsellr" abruptly announced it was closing down, and the same day as the announcement said sellers could no longer list new items. (You can read Ina's article about it here). Sellers who felt they'd sunk a lot of time and energy left some brutal comments about the sudden turn of events, with some wondering why Yardsellr CEO, former eBay manager Danny Leffel, did not sell the site. In his announcement, Leffel wrote that he was closing the site to focus on a new business, called "CompoundM," which would help companies large and small "turbo-charge their ecommerce business using the Yardsellr strategies for blending games and social with buying and selling. "

Yardsellr did say that already listed items would remain live for 30 days from the time listed, and the company would fully support transactions made on the Yardsellr platform for the next 60 days, so "sellers can fulfill orders and input tracking, and buyers can access tracking information and report any issues with a transactions." "Photons$," Yardsellr's point credit currency, would be valid for any purchase on Yardsellr, and could be given and received, "for the next 30 days." After March 7, the company would refund any unused credits.

Many sellers reacted to the announcement by posting links to the other sites on which they sell, or their own web sites.

One seller wondered, "Why didn't you sell the business, why just let it shut down? Must be some people out there who would take this over."

Another responded that, "CAUSE IF THEY SOLD IT THEY HAVE TO PAY THE 5 MILLION LOAN THEY JUST TOOK IN NOV..IF THEY SHUT IT
DOWN AND GO BANKRUPT WELL THEY DON'T HAVE TO PAY THE MONEY BACK AND CAN KEEP THEIR INVESTORS' MONEY."

A user named "Apostle Linda" posted a note on Yardsellr's announcement page that "we all need to figure out away to stay connected, this is too much business and too many business owners online to go to waste." She also took the opportunity,  as many sellers did, to post a link to an alternate site - "JOIN WWW.LSMBOUTIQUE.NET FREE TO SELL."

One seller created a Yardsellr "Recovery" Facebook group, where many sellers expressed shock as to the ending and posted ideas for alternative selling sites.

Comments were harsher on the "Seller information about Yardsellr Sunset" page; a sampling includes:

- "Jim": "It is sad that this site, took advantage of lots of people. all for the name of greed...If Yardsellr would have took the time to listen to it's seller base, it would have been right up there with Ebay. (Oh Yeah, YS is probably just a little ebay, letting you know in fact, YOU NEED EBAY!) Their next venture will be a failure just like this one, CompoundM? isn't that for warts?...How hard would it have been to take $1 off the top of $5 and under transactions. You would have made Millions more.

- "Chuck": "Not surprised...Yardsellr's GREED killed what WAS a good thing... For all intensive purposes it HAS been closed ever since the ridiculous fee changes made several months ago... Buyers were smart enough to wave goodbye soon as the changes hit, a few sellers hung in in hopes that things might improve, THEY DID NOT...Yardsellr was a potentially good thing that was poorly run from its inception, time to finally let it REST IN PEACE! So EBAY WINS AGAIN!"

But a seller named Beth was less upset because she said it took a lot of work and promotion to sell things via the platform: "I think I can safely speak for other sellers here by boldly stating that the only time we sellers got noticed was when we worked our arses off promoting our items OURSELVES via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Not once did ANY of my items sell from boosting them. Sure, I may have gotten more VIEWS -- but it sure as hell didn't make me SALES."

What are your thoughts on Yardsellr closing? Did you sell or buy much on there? Do you think this opens an opportunity for another, similar social-based selling platform? Post a comment here!




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

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

Tue Feb 5 15:03:57 2013

Yardsellr's closing was not a surprise to the bulk of the Sellers, most had been exploring options for months and diversifying.

Sadly, this site exploited users easily manipulated by an adrenalin rush for gambling. As, in the end, that is what the so called selling site was all about - gambling for photons aka funny money which Yardsellr ''sold'' to the users at a profit and they profited when they were cashed in for purchases as the only way to redeem the photons was to buy items on the site.

Users were also used, at usury rates, to ''block'' the items or, actually, get the listed items into the appropriate blocks. These users for working for 12-12 hours a day for less than $10 in promised photons. In the later stages, they were working for a chance to spin the wheel for .75cents upto $50 but I never heard of anyone winning anything over $2.00. While the spin was said to be ''chance'', the actual winnings appeared in your account before you spun the wheel.

There were so many problems with the site from payments, the fake items being sold as the ''real'' thing, items not getting into the appropriate blocks, the owner of the company blocking members who had opposing opinions, members blocking each other to ''win'' games, and the list goes on and on.

Because of the blatant spamming by members across the boards at Facebook - the company, Yardsellr, was blocked by an enormous percentage of Facebook users. The net result of that is that users of Facebook, tired of the Farmville and other commercial links are carte blanche blocking commercial links across the board. That is a legacy that Yardsellr left in its wake.

Overall, the site was an embarrassment to eCommerce on every level. I am surprised that Facebook, or the authorities in California, did not step in earlier as the complaints were piling in left, right, and center. I am not sure we have the full story, yet, on the reasons for the actual closing. Time will tell as we await the Paul Harvey ''The Rest Of The Story''.

The Yardsellr concept, brilliant. Application was abysmal.

For Danny Leffel, it appears that this is being added to a growing list of failures.

Kathleen Johnson

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Feb 5 18:58:26 2013

Sounds like a fun activity, but always doomed to fail ...

However, did anyone consider that the eBafia Don might have simply paid Leffel to fold the place? Let's face it, eBafia needs all the buyers and sellers it can get these days ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: JoJo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 5 20:44:20 2013

One of the comments was dead on.  It died when they raised their buyer fees.  At one point it had potential, but failed to take the necessary steps to make it work.

I made some nice sales on there and got some great deals on a few items. But the professionalism required of a marketplace just wasn't there so I focused on the more profitable marketplaces.

Will this be a boon for ebay?  I hope not.  Ugh.

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Feb 6 08:34:46 2013

Will Bonanza be next?  Stay tuned.

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

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

Wed Feb 6 09:22:22 2013

Like Boocoo ate the dust. It is clear that any site support by investments and break the standard creation mode for an "Alternative" site will face this destiny faster than others.

For the Proton thing. I don't like their e-mails. It was annoying receive more than 3 e-mails every day for that stupid concept.  

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Wed Feb 6 09:55:27 2013

Geez, techno-nerds, all we need is a Craigslist with shipping.

Serve it up, you freakin' idiots! We've got fistfuls of cash we're just dying to give you.

SCREW the venture capitalists- take the money from US!!! What in Sam Hain are you folks waiting for???

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: WhoKnewIt This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 09:59:28 2013

We all would like to see some professionalism in business these days but it really no longer exists.  The people behind the "start ups" of these websites act professional until they sell you off or fold you for their own gains.  Sure, we're all in it to make money but the "un"-professional actions of these people is what angers the Merchants most.  1000 Markets is a prime example.  You go to bed one night after working your backside off promoting the website to help drive business to it and next time you wake up they have "sold" you off to Bonanza....not a word to it's Merchants, not a thought about how it will affect those Merchant's.  I'm still waiting for a Merchant website to be developed that actually listens to it's Sellers and their needs, so far I'm still waiting....

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 10:29:33 2013

I used it for my close outs so no harm no foul. I printed lists of my items so I can list them elsewhere if I don't get them all moved before the shut down date. No biggie to me.

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: salesrep1 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 10:39:42 2013

Actually Yardsellr was not an ebay alternative even from the start but more like half.com in the buyer paid Yardsellr you shipped it and they paid you.

It was like a giant drop ship catalog with bonus stamps. The problem was the buyer didn't want the higher dollar item $10 and up but they gravitated to the under $5 . Every transaction  when you do the math 2 paypal transactions $1.20 average cost , bookeeping , promotional costs ate at them then stead of promoting the 2 times a month payment direct to the seller like half.com they made alot of money for Paypal thats why they raised the slice to $3 the sellers kind of fed into it telling him we will pay the slice just keep going. Seeing the money coming in whats a guy to do.
What started as a long term good idea . Turned into a fast cash turning hole but in the long run sales plummented. I am sorry it didn't work out but it was fun while it lasted.

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Feb 6 10:48:22 2013

Someone had commented on one of the blogs here that Yardsellr was a great place to sell, so I went to take a look. For seemingly every day after that I would get e-mails that people I'd never heard of were sending me 100,000 Photons. I even got a message from one of the higher-ups from the site inquiring as to why I hadn't purchased anything. I responded that I was looking at the site as a potential place to sell, and I never intended to buy anything. The e-mails with free Photons continued for months after that, then finally stopped. If I'm going to spend time listing items to sell, it's not going to be for fake money.  

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 11:05:58 2013

@ Philip.  Thinking the same.  What doesn't the public know?  I am sure it happens all the time for the last 100 years.  

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Wed Feb 6 11:11:01 2013

The goal of a lot of these startups is to be acquired by one of the big guys. That's it. They will do as much as they can to attract the attention to a big player with deep pockets so the founders and a few employees can rake in a few million. I did a little work for a startup last summer and the owner's only goal was to be bought out by Google.

Building an ecommerce site that is stable and secure is not a simple thing, especially with every new regulation that comes along. Security and privacy issues can be costly to implement and maintain compliance with regs, so it's not like you can get away with starting something up in your basement any more - not if you expect it to function as well as the bigger guys who have been around for a while.

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

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

Wed Feb 6 12:41:27 2013

I was once one of Yardsellr's top 5 sellers and had high hopes for it. I thought that a small growing company would be willing if not eager to listen to my specific constructive criticism. Boy was I wrong. Yardsellr's staff, right up to Leffel, reacted to my suggestions with indifference, defensiveness, denial, arrogance and incompetence. I knew then that I needed to stop wasting my time on this doomed site and I let all my listings expire. Permanently.

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 6 21:56:54 2013

@PERMACRISIS--

Um--why are WE not already DOING THIS?????

Seriously!!!!!!!

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: MADandCracked This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 7 05:26:33 2013

I for one am sad to see Yardsellr go. It has been my life for over 2 years now. I've sold and bought plenty. I've made a ton of great friends. I will miss them horribly!

Yes, there were times that I got mad at them, but I do the same with my children. That doesn't mean that I loved them any less.

I am one of those that wishes that Danny would have sold the site in order to keep it going. But I know that the "Yardsellr" name has been trashed. Even with new owners, Yardsellr would not have brought back it's older buyers and sellers. They were gone for good.

So hopefully, there really is a buyer for their platform and hopefully, that new site will come out soon enough that I will have a chance to try it out and hopefully, it will be a success along with all of Yardsellr's ex-sellers.

Gotta love hope :D

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 7 11:37:54 2013

[Philip Cohen: However, did anyone consider that the eBafia Don might have simply paid Leffel to fold the place? Let's face it, eBafia needs all the buyers and sellers it can get these days ...]

First thing that came to my mind.

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Mon Feb 11 16:43:29 2013

@ PhilCohen: Seeing they paid Yahoo 6 million in ad business to shutter our US auction site, I'm sure they could have slam dunked YardSeller for one mornings' coffee money.

@comet: let's see how the settlement with the ex goes first...   ;)

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

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

Tue Feb 12 12:10:44 2013

Folks, eBay did not pay Yardsellr to close. Yardsellr was funded by venture capital and unfortunately run by a group of ex-eBay people who acted with the arrogance of a well established profitable company, not a startup. They relied on Photon$ so much that it became their undoing by attracting the wrong kind of buyers -- freeloaders.

Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Thu Feb 14 10:07:35 2013

"Mister Spock... set Photon Torpedoes on FAIL!"


Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments   Yardsellr's Abrupt Closing Brings Scathing Comments

by: AmericanEagle This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 17 20:10:56 2013

I have been selling online for a long time and I was very skeptical about a start up requiring buyers to pay a fee for buying, that concept in itself is a recipe for disaster. I made many sales on yardsellr but I took notice on why I was making those sales, giving away money to people to buy products is not something that leads to success, especially being bombarded by people to give them photons every day. I gave my opinion on why this would not work and offered my services to help make the business self sustaining.

By using another business plan for social marketing this could have worked and I do believe the speculation provided for in Ina Steiner's column has a ring of truth to it. I do know this, all these other sites who are now using this program can expect many many questions from me before I commit in any way toward their business.  

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.