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Sun Jan 19 2014 12:05:46

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I enjoy the articles linked to in the e-mail you send almost every day - a lot of good information. What I don't enjoy is all the eBay whining that I see going on - I have been selling on eBay as a comic book dealer for almost 17 years.

Sure, there are plenty of changes through the years that I haven't liked but by in large, I can sell my "stuff" for 85% to 89% of the final value which is WAY better than the terms you get at a large auction house like Heritage Auctions - even local auction houses charge 20% (which I don't have a problem with at all.)

I see so many letters about people that are banned from eBay for some reason or another and I don't get it. If they are restricted from selling, I would bet my bottom dollar that they did something they shouldn't have done.

Yeah, I liked it when it was three to five cents to list and FVFs were 5% but I sure didn't like the frequent outages - the reliability of eBay back in the 1990's was horrible.

My hunch is that the reason most people complain about eBay is that they just don't know what they are doing - i.e. don't know their market, don't know their cost of goods sold, don't understand that their time is worth something (a lot really), don't understand how to properly ship items, etc. eBay is a LOT of hard work but if you put the work in, know your niche VERY well, you can do OK for a nice supplemental income.

I understand that eBay is going to do what is in their (i.e. the stockholders) best interest because they are a publicly traded company but when I think about all the struggling comic dealers with their brick and mortar stores and their schlepping all their merchandise to all the cons every weekend, I am pretty thankful that a venue like eBay exists. I get to enjoy my hobby and make some good income while not having the headaches of a brick and mortar or the back breaking work of setting up at conventions (I used to do that - SO glad I don't anymore).

BTW, I get every invitation for free listings that you cover unless it is in some category that I don't ever list in like eBay Motors - eBay doesn't want to restrict my sales, they would love it if I could clone myself and sell more.

Anyway, my $0.02 worth.
Sincerely,
William




Comments (36) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

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

Sun Jan 19 13:24:53 2014

This whole opinion based the OP’s “hunch”—not a fact in sight …

And, “I understand that eBay is going to do what is in their (i.e. the stockholders) best interest …”

Do show me what eBay stockholders have ever gotten out of eBay compared to how well the stockholders from Amazon have done, or from any company that pays a regular dividend to stockholders …

And what does the "smart money" on Wall Street think about eBay? Well, in August 2007, when the "Pain From Bain", Johnny Ho, was already effectively in control of eBay, the share prices of both eBay and Amazon were ~$40; today, eBay is ~$53; Amazon is ~$400. Clearly, Wall Street considers eBay to be a "dog", and Johnny Ho to be a very poor dog handler ... Now, seriously, what more can be said, other than ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ...

Regardless, I hope that the OP’s luck holds out …

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 19 14:45:04 2014

My dear friend, your ox simply hasn't been gored yet. Let a couple of unwarranted low DSRs (buyer OPINIONS) hit you, along with Guardrail, Quick Decline or trending, and you may not be singing the praises of ebay quite so adamantly. I've been in the comic book business for 30 years and I'll take a good comic convention or show over ebay (as it is now) any day of the week.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Jan 19 14:54:53 2014

..."Do show me what eBay stockholders have ever gotten out of eBay compared to how well the stockholders from Amazon have done..."

A long, uninterrupted, history of substantial cash dividends...?

Pulse pounding stock price increases...??

Able to constantly bask in the warmth of an enthusiastic, admiring and loving small seller base...???

Bragging rights on owning shares in a corporation headed by a charismatic dynamo loved the world over for his Green Policies and affection for the little people who made the company great...????

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Jan 19 14:57:39 2014

"My dear friend, your ox simply hasn't been gored yet."

@Gid:

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!" - The Late Mr. Rogers

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

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

Sun Jan 19 15:13:39 2014

I have been honored! eBay’s chief headless turkey, Johnny Ho (and another eBay stooge) has very recently viewed my profile on LinkedIn—not that there is anything there to see, except my email address … Still, it’s nice to know that the Ho turkey places that much value all the PR work I do for him … Ho, Ho, Ho …

Regardless, it’s all very well for us all to complain here on the ecommercebytes site about eBay, if that makes us feel better, but, if we want to maximize the chances of our criticisms of eBay having any affect on eBay’s policies, we all should also be expressing those same criticisms on LinkedIn and any other such “social media” type sites, whenever the opportunity arises, in response to the disingenuous nonsense that habitually spews from the Ho and his Dept of Spin, and where such criticism may garner the widest possible audience …

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Jan 19 17:27:56 2014

I stopped reading as soon as I got to the word ''whining''.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: silent anarchy

Sun Jan 19 18:00:12 2014

The toy & comic industry has taken a huge nose dive since the rise of ebay in the 90's. Among various areas of collectibles i sold i was a dealer a dealer of collectible comics and toys through the early to late 1990's and attended various shows but gave up because  prices went incredibly down thanks to ebay. Pre-ebay days the comic and toys shows were fun and PROFITABLE, i had boxs of comics and a folding rack full of star wars, secret wars super powers and mixed other actions figures from the 60's 70's 80's. Now whats left just collects dust in my storage rooms. Loose star wars figures that got and average of $15-$70 each are now just a few dollars or less on ebay. Comics that used to be expensive dont even sell for a fraction of the old 90's prices on ebay. After an over a decade or more  absence from the shows i tried one just to see what happening, no lines, no crowd , not much interest. All i sold was 1 small carded super powers robin in excellent condition for a low $20. The extremely few people i have met that praise ebay , i find more that hate it, dont have any proof of true success. Link any auctions that have proof that ebay is getting better with collectibles. My sales went down all last year to an average of 1 item a month and now nothing for january.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

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

Sun Jan 19 19:46:12 2014

Certainly, in Australia the, once active, "flat art" area is now as dead as a dodo ... As usual, the only ones who "appear" to be selling anything are the "nominal starters" with the same regular bidders thereon ... LOL

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jan 19 22:08:53 2014

@William (the OP) - I doubt seriously that the sellers who complain on these threads about eBay "don't know what they are doing." Almost to a person they sold on eBay for eight, ten, twelve or more years, and had a thriving business until Johnny boy took over and began instituting polices to ruin small sellers. The fact that people such as Annie, who started her own website, have more successful businesses outside of eBay would indicate that they certainly know what they're doing.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Jan 19 23:27:10 2014

Back in 2008, Donahoe started his campaign to destroy the used items market and especially auctions. He repeatedly stated fixed new items percentage wise outnumbered auctions. By burying auctions, using DSRs against sellers, making Best Match the default and limiting exposure, he accomplished this. Auctions, collectibles and used items were purposely minimized due to corporate greed and an idiot CEO who cares not for anyone but his Bain and like cronies.

Think about it, back in the day B&M stores hated ebay since ebay was taking their business away. Then a remarkable thing happened and the same B&M stores started selling on ebay AND making money. In fact they made more money selling items online then in their B&M stores. Ebay was the place to go to see what items were worth. Excitement was created with everyone wanting to either buy or sell on ebay. Then 2007-2008 happened and (JD came on board) where the economy was hit hard. Now ebay was in THE position to make mega bucks with used and auctions but JD was determined to make ebay into a retail new mall. Still staying on this path not wanting to admit his failure in turning the marketplace around to suit his misplaced dream, JD is steadfast with little regard to the livelihoods he is destroying.

Ebay had/has a huge part in the economy especially in the US and for it to be dismissed or downplayed in the rule ebay has played in the economic downturn today is a huge mistake.  

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 19 23:59:36 2014

Thighs are fine for you? Great!
Those with open eyes KNOW Donahoe has ruined a good thing. Write again after YOU have been purged. Does not take doing something wrong. Just a psycho buyer or two.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

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

Mon Jan 20 00:14:37 2014

@blaumann2, I'm a breast man myself ...

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

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

Mon Jan 20 00:30:01 2014

I went from making money on eBay to barely making enough to pay my fees which reminded me of the minimum wage job of grocery store cashier that I had once. I would pick up my check, get my groceries and hand the check back over to the company. With ebay I was doing the same thing so I left after about 7 years where I was successful. Now I sell on two different venues where I am also successful. I ran an auction last week on ebay, but would never again trust the bulk of my inventory to them ever again unless Pierre came back and cleaned house. If the ebay executives stop worrying so much about what they had to report to the stockholders and instead worked on making this a better place for sellers to sell on and would woo the sellers back, the money would just naturally be there, no worries at all and everyone would be happy.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 05:37:17 2014

EBay didn't kill comic book sales, publishers and speculators did, prior to eBay, in the early 90s, by flooding the market with too many new titles and expensive variants that eventually crashed the market and drove buyers away.  Happily the comic book market is rebounding somewhat after so many years of stagnation.  


On another note, I see the usual posters hijacking this thread with their usual rants and sky-is-falling warnings that have nothing to do with the OP.  Too bad.  This forum might result in some useful discussions were it not for all the unrelated eBay bashing that goes on every day.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

by: pcwnow This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 08:18:56 2014

FWIW, comparing the stock of ebay and amazon doesn't make a whole lot of sense just b/c you can sell on both sites.

If IKEA were a publicly traded stock, it would be like comparing their stock to Chipolte's.

Now, I'm sure you love IKEA's sweedish meatballs. But, just b/c they have $2 billion in food sales doesn't give you a good comparison to a food stock.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

by: JackieBlue This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 08:23:36 2014

I agree with the OP, it is eBay's company and they can do with it what they wish.  Also, stock price is not an indication of value, only the indication of demand for the stock.  Amazon gets unreasonable high stock price based on their revenue.  Ebay's net income is much higher.  If you are a value invenstor rather than stock price chaser, then eBay is a much better deal.  eBay's net income for 2012-2013 FY was 2.76B vs Amazon's 0.132B.  Who is making money for their shareholders???   Like the OP, a lot of eBay's stuff sucks.  I think Cassinni is one of the worst things ever as it destroy's the long tail. But, eBay is making money for their sharholders.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 08:30:53 2014

Nah, there's at least one usual poster who hasn't commented yet about Fleece-Bay or E-Bafia or whatever clever name he uses for the site over and over again.  Mustn't have awakened yet.  Anyway, I had my best year ever on the site last year.  I'm moving half the products I moved 10 years ago but make more money and have higher sales- how is this a bad thing?  You need to put years of work into the business in order to learn your craft, and you have to be willing to accept you're not going to get rich.  But as a secondary income, I cannot complain.  As to the psycho-buyer guard-railing me- if it happens, it happens.  Not much I can do about it other than have a contingency plan in place.  Until that day, I'll continue to sell and hopefully continue to make money.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

by: candy7122 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 09:17:38 2014

I have been on Ebay since 1999 and selling since 2001.  Yes, there are a lot of changes that I feel have been very unfair and too biased towards the buyers.  On the other hand I think Ebay is the best option for selling.  I sold more last year than I have ever sold on Ebay.  I am a small seller and I know my niche, my product, my time is worth something, how to ship items etc...but that still doesn't stop me from worrying that a few crazy buyers are going to leave me negatives and ding my stars...and then Ebay takes action against my account.  Until the day that happens I will continue to plug along and keep selling as much as possible to get my stock down to nothing and then I will decide if I want to continue or finally give it up.

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Jan 20 10:57:58 2014

"I went from making money on eBay to barely making enough to pay my fees..."

Reminds me of the scene in Trading Places where Randolph and Mortimer Duke are explaining the commodities brokerage business to Eddie Murphy:

Randolph Duke: "Good, William!
Now, some of our clients are speculating that the price of gold will rise in the future.

And we have other clients who are speculating that the price of gold will fall.

They place their orders with us, and we buy or sell their gold for them."

Mortimer Duke: "Tell him the good part."

Randolph Duke: "The good part, William, is that, no matter whether our clients make money or lose money, Duke & Duke get the
commissions."

Mortimer Duke: "Well? What do you think, Valentine?"

Billy Ray: "Sounds to me like you guys a couple of bookies."

Randolph Duke: [chuckling, patting Billy Ray on the back] "I told you he'd understand."

Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay   Longtime Comic Book Seller Is Thankful for eBay

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 11:01:19 2014

I agree with a number of the other comments that eBay is your best friend and selling partner until the monster turns on you.  

Years of service do not count, thousand of happy buyers do not count, and paying one’s bills become impossible overnight.   A long time eBay seller quickly goes from “singing eBay’s praises” to a “whiner”.

I also agree with “Annie” who over and over has recommended that all sellers leave eBay is a great idea!  Now, it is essential for a seller to protect their business by having a presence on multiple selling sites.  And sadly, for many of us that includes eBay.

I was embittered when in 2012, I like thousand of long time sellers saw our sales plunge to near nothing desperate levels.  I quickly moved to start selling on other sites, but I continue to sell on eBay as the sales are there.  

There until eBay jerks for MBA’s look for new ways to increase their annual bonuses and once again purge old line small sellers.

I trust Mr. Comic Book Seller is not playing his fiddle while “Rome” burns.  

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