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Mon Oct 27 2014 12:05:33

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - How Old Are You?

By: Ina Steiner

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Dear Ina,
With today's rapidly aging population and those struggling trying to live on a fixed income - not to mention those raising their grandchildren or still supporting their adult children, it is amazing how shortsighted online sites, including eBay, pretend that this entire population does not exist.
 
With all of the surveys you do, I would like to see Ecommerce Bytes take the lead and do a survey on senior online sellers like myself. I would really be interested to learn who is the oldest person out there and the tips they can share with the rest of us.
 
One of the few things I have read about seniors selling online is that they should sell "coupons" because they are easy, and not to sell larger items because they will be too heavy and troublesome to mail.

Are you kidding me?

I think that kind of advice clearly comes from those in the "popular computer age group" who is simply ignorant about the seniors of today.
 
A female, I have been selling on eBay since 1996, am a power seller, and am 69 years old. I also fit all of the criterion listed in my first paragraph.
 
I think there are a lot of senior sellers out there with online businesses who simply are not recognized, appreciated or encouraged.
 
It's time to catch up with the times!
Texaswoman




Comments (43) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 27 12:34:57 2014

Not quite a "senior"  yet but as a handicapped person who is approaching "senior-hood"  kicking and screaming---this is of interest to me.

I don't sell "coupons"--which first off--WHERE do you sell---coupons???---(I don't think you can on ebay?)  and where do you GET them FROM to sell?

Well anyways I sell---or TRY to sell--anything that comes my way and admittedly with help from those adult kids or not so adult grankids get the stuff into bags or boxes and off to the PO.  For me this is not that easy but our lovely Rural Route Driver would pick up what I needed to get shipped if I did not have this help.  

What is MY biggest problem is that I was COUNTING on ebay to be a steady source of income--as long as I kept interesting items flowing INTO the pipeline money would flow BACK to me.  In the past couple of years however this source of income has dried up almost completely.

Ebay has done SUCH a dis-service to those to whom it sold a bill of goods---That it was POSSIBLE to sell things using the venue and to make money this way regardless of your age or physical status AS LOING AS YOU HELD UP YOUR END OF THE BARGAIN.

Ebay failed us.

Where ELSE are seniors or any one ELSE selling?  

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Oct 27 14:15:43 2014

A good argument can be made that ebay sellers are unpaid ebay employees in which case an a mass EEOC complaint for age discrimination (those over 40 could participate) could be filed.

An effective EEOC complaint would  require proof that ebay treats sellers over 40 differently which might be difficult since ebay treats all sellers like garbage.

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 27 14:28:15 2014

This is what is good about selling on line - No old/young. No black, white, brown, yellow, blue, or purple. No straight/gay; Religion Yes/No; Single/Married, Poor/Rich who cares. Selling on line is an equal opportunity endeavor. Tips on how to sell can be useful to all. No need to have special rules/tips for anyone.    

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Oct 27 14:36:29 2014

I agree with OP.  The senior and baby boomer demographic have deep pockets.  Just foolish to focus so much of their attention ONLY on kids holding a mobile phone.

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: Russ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 27 18:08:26 2014

Must be the section of the eBay ''demographic'' wanting coupons to lower the price of the ''Made in China'' trash now abundantly available on the eBay site.  At least the ''seniors'' could handle coupons bettter than eBay handles their coupons...the ones for $100 if your smartphone doesn't sell at 99-cents and the highly lucrative eBay Bucks program.  I'm sure coupons are the future for eBay...they've totally screwed up what once made them a ''go-to'' online destination...now, eBay is an irrelavant and lame house of mirrors.

Oh, yes, my age is sixty-one years...tsk-tsk...and I no longer sell on eBay...come here to read all the ''positive'' comments re: eBay...still trying to find those....though watching the implosion materialize is great!

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Oct 27 18:08:53 2014

Funny I was discussing this over the last couple days with some other sellers and my husband. I think part of that discrimination is brought in by some of the sellers themselves when they introduce themsellers as old, disabled, computer illiterate, raising the grandkids or whatever so they will be needing lots of help (their words not mine). It is like if they don't pull the sympathy card from the get go they think they won't make it selling without help (lots of it) from other sellers they won't make it. Then if they don't get the help they think they deserve it is the bad other sellers fault for their lack of success. Couldn't possibly have anything to do with them!

The computer and selling venues are blind. They can't see your age, color, disability or how many you have living at home and if you live in a McMansion or a shack. No one cares, and they shouldn't.

Well I'm getting up there myself as I turn 59 this week, have a disablity that keeps me home, but I have managed to parlay my work and hobby experiences into a business that consistently brings in the extra we need each month to keep bills paid, food on the table, and a good supply of chocolate. I sell on ecrater and Amazon. Gave up ebay years ago when Meg was in power and I saw the writing on the wall. I taught myself how to use a computer and the internet in the mid-90's yet know many older people that wouldn't touch a computer yet 20+ years later. If they don't know anything about computers or the internet then why are they trying to use that specific route to sell on?

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Oct 27 19:45:33 2014

I'm 66 years old (67 at the end of January). I left eBay in February 2008 and sell only on eCrater now. I have been lifting weights for decades, so large and heavy doesn't deter me. My husband is a computer programmer, and we bought the first home computer (Commodore PET) when it was released, and every major brand since then, so computers and technology is not an issue for me. I sell collectibles, and don't have a clue how someone starts a "coupon" business.

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Oct 27 20:21:21 2014

Shoot, I don't even clip coupons for myself to use anymore. Print keeps getting too hard to read that I miss the exp. date and set off RED Alerts at the checkout. All the coupons seem to be aimed at personal care stuff and junk food. A 25 cent toilet paper coupon is not worth my time.


Now 50-something, been an eBay store owner for several years. Been through the powerseller, TRS road - which will be dead-ending with the roadblock of 90 day returns.  


These days, my eBay store has less inventory and less income but does have ''followers''. That term makes me feel a bit like a cult leader but it is eBay's term. I'm just grateful so  many people choose to ''follow'' my listings and I don't want to toss out buyers/sellers that follow my store. You just don't pick up all those followers overnight!


I can't tell you the last time I saw an older ''model'' on eBay, but they do seem to have finally gotten away from all the young Asian model ads I routinely got in the past. Maybe their incorrect intel was that I was Asian - it was so consistent that I couldn't help but notice the uniformity of young Asian girls in ads for clothing featuring the words ''sexy'' or ''hot''.

I don't know what in heck I searched for to bring on that spate of ads, I grilled Mr. Basset but he pleaded innocent - then wanted to see them for himself, he being a hound dog 'n all!  At least eBay seemed to finally figure out that I was NOT the demographic for those ads. Now I get ads for credit cards and medical stuff.  Age appropriate, I'd say.


eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: sunnieyes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Oct 28 00:51:27 2014

I have been selling on eBay since 2001 I just turned 72 years young.
I'm happy to have a place like ebay to help pay some bills. When my daughter lost her job I show her how and she is making enough to pay her bills. I know a lot of big sellers are leaving ebay and wonder where they are going, to sell their products.

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 28 00:56:45 2014

I'm 53, and female. I've been selling online since 2003. I've been a powerseller since I was first eligible and have somehow managed to maintain TRS status since it's inception. I do sell lightweight items, but not as light as coupons, simply because it takes up less room in my home.  

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

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

Tue Oct 28 01:05:03 2014

I am 70 with two eBay premium stores + several other IDs and two eCrater stores.  I ship about 30 packages a day.
If I had a rocking chair, I would sell it too!

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 28 01:30:14 2014

Florida is the state that I sell the most to and I am in California. I would say most of those are folks who are retired.  

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

This user has validated their user name. by: gettingby

Tue Oct 28 01:37:15 2014

While I've discovered that there are restaurants that offer discounts to "seniors" over 50, the hubs said he'd prefer to pay the 10% (or whatever) and not show his i.d. :) We don't really consider ourselves seniors -- my Mother is a senior at 80, but frankly, I know some folks around her age who are still active enough and interested enough to be successful at online selling -- and not coupons, either.

What annoys me as much as assuming that we should sell items that are easy to mail is eBay's assumption that their target market should be the in the 20 - 30 something age group. In my experience, folks in that age have less expendable income than the over-50's group. They are early in their careers and are either paying off student loans, saving for a down-payment on a home, taking exotic vacations before they settle down with a family, OR raising young families -- or some combination of these things. When eBay focused primarily on hard-to-find items, it was a market for the more established people with money to spend on things they wanted to own, not stuff they needed.

JMHO.

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: dasw This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 28 02:42:30 2014

I'm 68 and I started selling online in 2007 when I realized baby boomers were going crazy over anti-aging products. Sure worked out well for me.

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: neilaz This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Oct 28 02:43:21 2014

I’ve always felt that age didn’t matter when selling on eBay. I started eBay selling and buying in March of 1999. Compared to all you young whippersnappers  I guess I’m an old fart…I’m 79 and will be 80 in January…whenever I tell someone my age I always say, “ I’m a young 79.”
Fortunately I’m doing much better now than in my early eBay years. As an engineer with a home woodshop and machine shop I started my eBay activities by selling machinists tools I would purchase at garage sales and from retired machinists selling their tools. Because I made a lot of my own tools I would get requests from local home machine shop friends to make “one” for them. Then I got the brilliant idea to make tools and try selling on eBay.
Not surprisingly they sold. Today I very seldom use the auction method but primarily sell my 6 or 8 specialty tools using BIN with good until cancelled. My best seller has been selling since Feb. 2010 for $166 and I’ve sold close to 400. Makes for good pocket change and allows the wife and I to eat out a little more often.
I developed my tools and produced the originals here in my home shop to the point I now have a lot the parts produced by other local shops. I still spend time almost every day in my shop doing some of the operations on my tools and working on new ideas.
The key is to find a niche market and make the item yourself. You then have complete control. I’m not a “re-seller” like so many eBay and Amazon sellers. I create American made items from nothing…it’s called free-market capitalism…and that is how this country started. There are not many of us left.
Another important eBay key point is produce photos that “jump-out” at the viewer. As an amateur photographer that was my primary concern when I first started selling on eBay. Because of the single eBay photo in the eBay beginning I immediately started using Turbo Lister where I could host my own “large” and spectacular photos. I taught myself Photoshop and I think my photos are some of the best on eBay. Again control! Today I use many close-ups and ad text on the photos to aid my engineering buyers with dimensions, notes, etc.  
Don’t get all het up about patents and copyrights. There are not many common things out there that are new and original. Just take an old idea, refine it, improve it, make a few and see if it sells. When it does start producing in quantities and keep selling.
As upset as I frequently get with eBay I have to thank them for getting me where I am today. I could not have done this without eBay.
Just a few comments from “an old fart.”

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

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

Tue Oct 28 03:32:19 2014

I've put in many years on this earth, and am older than most of you.

I really hate those words, ''Senior Citizen'', ''Elderly'', Golden Years'', ''Senior Discount'', and that condescending attitude that goes with them.

I started selling on Ebay in 1997, and am now expanding out away from it. As long as I can do the work of creating a good listing, and filling orders fast, who cares how old I am?

The absolutely great thing about the internet, is that people can't profile you into someone to discriminate against or make assumptions about by just looking at you.  As mentioned, who cares if you are old-young, black-white-hispanic-etc., gay-straight, tall-short, skinny-overweight, religious-atheist, or whatever, as long as you run your business in an ethical and efficient way.

And I agree, older people tend to have more disposable income than younger people.

I'll just ''Keep On Truckin'', thank you very much!

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 28 03:41:08 2014

Back again---I have been on ebay since the early days and did not have the conditions THEN that I have NOW--and was completely computer illiterate.  Had to use the libraries comp to do my first buying and selling.  Had no digi camera --remember how exotic and EXEPENSIVE they were???--and so I used my flat bed scanner for images;  or I did film pics and enlarged them and then used the scanner! Or one of those old UFO looking PC cameras---

Started out selling items I sewed from a local shops printed "flats".  When their business shifted I moved on to ski stuff and antiques--I had been in THAT business for a long time--and did VERY well.

Until of course the Ho decided to trash MY business.  

Now I don't dare sell an antique for fear of having a SNAD filed;  ditto jewelry or scrap precious metals.  Not worth it to possibly lose the item and the $$$ after the scammers at ebay get helped to steal.

I actually SOLD something today--I had to go look at the page about 3 times to be SURE I was not hallucinating.

I found a bunch of those old "flat"  printed fabric items recently---maybe I should stitch 'em up and see how it goes--on--Etsy?  

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 28 05:04:42 2014

I am a 70 years old disabled non driver based in the UK. I sell collectibles on Ebay, Etsy (2 shops), Ruby Lane, DaWanda and my own website. I have sold online since 2000. In my late 40s I went to University as a mature student and did degrees in sociology, psychology (MA) and finally a doctorate in Human Computer Interaction. I began selling on Ebay in 2000 and have seen it decline over the years and become the greedy monster it is today. Sadly this draconian model is being followed by other companies that I sell on so glad to have my own website where I make the rules.  

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: Jcords This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Oct 28 05:42:10 2014

The best advice? Hide your age. There is a very bad perception on aging in the online selling group. Age does not equate to diminished capacity.  

eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho   eBay PowerSeller Scoffs at Advice for Seniors - Ho

by: Jcords This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Oct 28 05:43:28 2014

Hide your age. Too many equate age with diminished capacity.

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