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Sat Sept 20 2014 09:47:03

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
For the past several years, I have been selling ashtrays and other tobacciana collectibles on both Etsy and eBay, as I downsize a 19-year collection. During that time I have experienced monumental changes on eBay and moderate changes on Etsy that have impacted my business in a negative way.

As a regular reader of EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, I am aware that eBay appears to be catering to the large box stores and large country of China, while ignoring the small sellers, who may, in fact, carry unique items. Two years ago, at least my items received bids. They went from that to selling for the opening bid to not even having any views today.

My purpose in writing is not to awaken the "ebafia" and "Johnny Ho" dragons and give them a platform to spew venom. (While I may agree with them in theory, spewing venom does not increase sales!) I am hoping that your readers might be able to share some suggestions for feasible online selling sites for collectibles, where they may have experienced success. (As a caveat, at this time, I am not prepared to create and manage my own website.)

I appreciate any and all suggestions as we head into the 2014 holiday season.
Signed,
Foxy G.




Comments (38) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 20 13:22:07 2014

Craigslist

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Sep 20 13:56:40 2014

In my experience, you never know where a motivated buyer will stumble across your listing.

I suggest trying a few listings on Bonanza as it seems their site prefers clothing and collectibles over other commodity items.

When listing on Bonanza, it is important to have plenty of quality item photos as Bonanza users create collections and favor items that appear in attractive photos.

I sell computer parts and accessories on eBay and Bonanza. My category is not a priority on Bonanza, in fact if you look at their main page, you would not even think Bonanza has a category for computers and apparently, Bonanza has no interest in increasing visibility for my primary category.

None the less I do find that occasional items which have failed to sell on eBay are found by Bonanza buyers.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that eBay is seemingly still being penalized by Google's search engine for their past sins, but I find that my listings on Bonanza do appear higher in Google searches than my identical eBay listings.


Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 20 14:21:49 2014

Ruby lane-although you might also be suffering from the fact that smoking is very not PC in the public minds these days. Tobacco jars have fallen in price over 50% in the last few years.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

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

Sat Sep 20 15:06:29 2014

OnlineAuction, Webstore, Unisquare, Etsy, Bonanza, Atomic Mall, BluJay...

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Sep 20 19:39:04 2014

Try eCrater. The fees are less than Bonanza or Etsy (and you don't pay any FVF unless the buyer found you though eCrater's home page). I sell collectibles on eCrater, and have been doing great. In fact, sales have increased substantially since the last eBay glitch/hack/meltdown. eCrater has a specific tobacciana category under the collectibles heading.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 20 22:56:51 2014

While eCrater & Bonanza may be alternatives to eBay, I would suggest listing only a few items with them to see if they get any play. I personally found that those two venues are hit and miss as far as being linked to Google Search and I ended up back on eBay for the time being. If you are willing to spend extra advertising monies, then eCrater or Bonanza might work well for you.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: JTA This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 21 00:15:11 2014

To the OP....I'm also in a place where my own web site isn't an option. I'm also floundering like you are and totally compassionate to your situation. I wish I had something positive & encouraging to suggest...

I too have a sizable amount of collectibles...mostly eclectic unique items and some sterling and gold vintage jewelry. I stopped listing on eBay 3 months ago and put up 10 items on Bonanza & Etsy, all different categories, hoping to see which would grab some attention. I haven't sold a thing.

I literally feel sick at the thought of having to return to eBay! I see the numbers of listings eBay has climb by the hour.Some collectible sellers I know, who have a niche market product, are bringing in sales that are the highest they've ever seen. I don't get it..

Personally, I prefer an auction format..some things I've got I can't even price and I've relied on the eBay buyers to set the price...often happily surprised that they sold far above what I expected them to.

Sadly eBay is the unrivaled auction site, with the most foot traffic. I would be content to be in a much smaller auction site....as long as they weren't stagnant. So far, all the sites I've been investigating & following have been a total disappointment. There doesn't seem to be any activity. Ebid, eCrater, OLA, UBid, Proxibid, UniSquare,,,to name a few.

BTW, Ruby Lane is a bit pricey. Over the past 6 months I was watching a few items there that are similar, if not exact, to items I've got. Everything I've been watching for 6 months has yet to be sold on Ruby lane...1/2 off sales didn't bring a sale.

I'll keep you posted...forums like these to share information is priceless, IMO.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: JTA This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 21 00:18:35 2014

@iheartjacksparrow
With all the changes going on at Paypal...can I ask you what form of payment you are accepting on eCrater? It's great to hear it's been a good venue for you,,,may be a place to revisit.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

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

Sun Sep 21 04:45:44 2014

eCrater now accepts payment through STRIPE. It works well.  

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Sep 21 17:41:29 2014

The collectables industry is basically dead. Unless you have truly unique one of a kind items that some one wants you are going to sit on them until the economy gets going whenever that is.
When people have money then they buy because they are afraid that the price will be higher tomorrow.

I have been in the collectables business for over 40 years. I have seen the ups and the downs. When people have money they buy when there is no money it is dead. These times are the worst that I have seen ever.

When you have a stagnate economy there are still people buying normally because the ''middle class'' still has money. In 1980 the typical ''middle class'' was a family making around $20,000 a year. Now a ''middle class'' family has to make around $120,000 a year to have the same buying power. A typical family that made the 20K in 1980 is now only making 60K but everything has gone up 6 times since 1980.
That is why the collectables market place is dead. There is no money to spend on common everyday collectables.

If you can take your common every day collectable inventory and sell it in one lot for 20% of retail you are doing very well. Typically now a days you will only get 10% if you are lucky.

Will it ever come back? Yes when we have more money in the pockets of a typical American family but not until then.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: MADandCracked This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 21 23:04:33 2014

Have you even tried Amazon?

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: rainbowseeker This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 21 23:05:41 2014

I've had very good success on Etsy with my vintage....I sell a little bit of everything.  My store is TheCalamityHouse.  I opened my store there in Feb. and left officially with the last update roll out on Ebay at the end of August.  August and Sept have been great months on Etsy for me over 1K a month that I was having a great deal of trouble even touching on eBay since the hack and google downgrade.  I'm a small seller but generally did between 1 and 3 K a month on eBay.  You have to list enough items on Etsy to give yourself a chance and you do have to do a certain amount of promoting for yourself...FB, Twitter, Pinterest.....blog...all help plus they have lots of groups to join.  It takes more time, but there is life after eBay if you are willing to put the time into it.  I miss the auction venue, but it is what it is.  There are good buyers on Etsy if you give it a chance and you price things fairly.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

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

Sun Sep 21 23:44:06 2014

Thank you so much for all your thoughtful suggestions. I will definitely check them out.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: BobNJ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 22 00:25:57 2014

I would also recommend Delcampe if you don't mind shipping international. There's a very active collectible market there for many categories.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 22 06:13:28 2014

Not only are collectibles dead. All this credit cards breeching has everyone that did buys online scared to use a cc. If you can accept checks or money orders on the site your working. I think that might help get some sales.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

This user has validated their user name. by: Vintage Touch
Web Site

Mon Sep 22 06:50:54 2014

I've been selling vintage collectibles & antiques on eCrater for over 4 years now.  I am happy with this venue because fees are very low (smalll fee if sale is generated through eCrater marketplace) - there is no limit to number of products; direct checkout available through stripe as well as paypal, and products are sent to google shopping.  Self promotion is beneficial.  

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: Carol This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 22 08:39:52 2014

Great thread!  Thanks for the suggestions - and especially the lack of rants.

I sell on ebay and etsy and have experienced a huge drop in sales.

I was approved for 11Main months ago and had high hopes for it, but the listing process is so cumbersome that I don't know anyone who has had a sale there yet.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Sep 22 09:08:31 2014

@JTA - When I started on eCrater I accepted checks, money orders and Google Checkout. When GCO went belly up, I reluctantly added PayPal as a payment option. When PayPal's new return policy goes into effect, I will be dumping PayPal and adding Stripe.

Another thing: Having only ten items in your stores on Bonanza and Etsy is probably not going to result in any sales. I didn't get a sale on eCrater until I had over 100 items in my store (I currently have over 4,000). So you might want to consider adding items to your Bonanza and Etsy stores so you have a better chance of people finding your items.  

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: Small Guy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 22 09:09:15 2014

I quit selling antiques & collectibles on Ebay last year.  

We do estate sales and have noticed the drop in sales of vintage, unusual, old, and antique items the past 2 years.  I have a friend who runs an auction house who says the same thing.

At our estate sales, practical, household, décor, and mid-century items still do ok and items that appeal to 30-40 year old crowd.  But the older, Victorian, and previously popular antiques have really fallen off.

The ''pundits'' say the baby boomers are selling off their stuff and the younger buyers don't collect or want what the baby boomers coveted.

So, the economy, coupled with Ebay's anti-seller actions, and changing trends, really has caused the drop off in sales of many categories.

Will it return with a turnaround in the economy?  I am hopeful but pessimistic.

Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?   Collectibles Not Selling on eBay, Where to Go?

by: shootingcreek This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 22 09:26:11 2014

My advice is to try changing the way you sell your items on Ebay. Do you have a store? I have a premium store and most all my items are listed at fixed price with make offer. I list them for about 25% over what the very least I will take. I also use markdown manager to run an 18% to 20% off sale for a week each month or so. So far I am still do fairly well with antiques and collectibles. I also have an Etsy store and I do have sales there, just nothing like the sales I have on Ebay.
I have helped a few friends using this business model and they are still selling too. Don't get me wrong, there is still room for improvement but I am still pleasantly surprised with the business I am doing.

Good luck,
Chris

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