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Tue July 26 2016 09:40:53

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am writing about eBay sales but want to preface it with the topic of housing sales. We currently have our home up for sale and we have been told that in our area it is a sellers' market. 

After reading the letter last night regarding eBay sales "are you better off than you were a year go?" it came to me this morning that although it may be a sellers' market when it comes to selling our home (in our area) it is completely a buyers' market with eBay.

Before we listed our house for sale, we had 10 consecutive weekends of garage sales. I was trying to sell off a lot of my eBay inventory. I've been accumulating stuff and selling on eBay for several years. This was not all stuff that was on eBay that didn't sell, it was a combination of items with many items never listed and many new, sealed items but all things I don't want to pack and move when we sell. We actually made more money every single weekend selling our stuff then I've been doing on eBay in a month.

My point is this. Since it is a buyers' market on eBay, the best resellers can do is pretty much dump our inventory. I had auctions going for a week, which I rarely do, and sure enough there were only two sales with 1 bid each and I basically gave the stuff away. I truly have always found auctions a waste of time. But since I'm trying to get rid of inventory I gave it a try again. Usual results. Waste of time.

So the buyers as we know have all the power. And now the price is in their pocket. And I do agree with what others have said that new sellers on eBay probably get featured to get them hooked only to cut their sales eventually like they have for longtime sellers.

I can't help but feel that it is a no win with eBay. Like many others I feel close to closing my last store and completely leaving eBay. When it is a buyers' market, sellers have no leverage, no power. And when you sell on eBay, well we know how that works, we have no leverage or control on whether our listings are even shown. 

Before the crash of 2008, I had two retail stores. About a year "before" the economy crashed I was in North Carolina at the furniture market. I overheard many sales reps talking about how furniture sales had virtually stopped. Well, what I didn't know was that they had a clue into the direction of the economy while I was just busy running my stores. 

I didn't pay attention to the economy over all, I didn't pay attention to the news, I was just living in my own little world. And then the economy came crashing down, my sales stopped completely and I had to close both brick-and-mortar stores.

I eventually started selling on eBay. Great for several years but not for the last year. But now, all the signs show that eBay is crashing. I've read about it for several years from readers in your blog. 

Tell me, fellow sellers, is there any reason to "stay" with eBay?" I already know all of the reasons why I need to get out. But is there any reason, and hope, any logical common sense reason to believe that eBay will recover and I should stay? 

Thx,
Sprig




Comments (27) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 10:17:30 2016

There is a big difference between a sellers market when selling a house than one on Fleecebay.

Ebay is used to sell the small things that mean little if you are scammed or cheated.

A sellers market for a home is pretty hard to scam a buyer there.

On ebay its a very common thing.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jul 26 10:38:39 2016

All depends on what you're trying to sell.

I have no choice but to do ebay.

I sell on average $1000 a week of which about $600 is profit.

At my age I would be hard pressed to find a job that I would bring home $600 a week.

I'm not rich but I can still pay the bills. . .

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 10:57:45 2016

I would not recommend ebay to anyone. The site is anti-seller.
I got suckered for a 1 year store subscription. When the subscription ends I am gone from ebay forever. I wont close my store early and give ebay money for closing it sooner.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jul 26 12:16:55 2016

YES!

eBay is a buyers market, buyers on eBay have many choices when it comes to selecting the item they want to buy.

If I'm seeking a Goodrich Rivnut Tool I have several to choose from.

Same goes with almost everything you or I can think of. . .

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 12:19:20 2016

I gave up on ebay about 6 weeks ago or so.

700,000 dollars sales on ebay since 1999.

Once JD satrted the disruptive innovation, my sales steadily declined to nearly nothing this year.

I gave up on fighting the algoritmn,ebay not showing items, and the glut of chinese cheap knochoffs

Now, they want to use even more A.I. to selcetively show items they want to show.

The crazy train ride is over, and I could not be more peaceful or happy.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: bpm This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 13:55:26 2016

I used to sell about 70-80k per year, and buy about 30k on Ebay of antiques and OOAK. With the last 16 months of collapsing sales, I am down to 30k (and falling fast) in sales and 3k in purchases.

I hardly buy anything anymore; I don't even look for things to buy. The categories I bought in are down 25% or more in items for sale, and there are so few decent things left to buy it's not worth plowing through the dross for the gems. The sellers with decent stuff are mostly gone, and when I do see something good selling seriously under-priced, I dont have the cash to buy it because my own sales figures are tragic.

The old thriving Ebay eco-system of sellers buying and selling, and buyers buying are gone. Far fewer sellers = fewer buyers = fewewr sellers. What buyers are left are getting outrageous bargains - I see it myself. Ebay reminds me of a bright and shiny 1990s shopping mall that is going slowly bust now in 2016 - paint peeling, nothing much works right, no-one cares; deserted stores. Sold prices are dismal, so yes it is a buyers market and will be right up until the shutters come down for the final time.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 14:42:52 2016

Yes, it's a Buyer's Market, but if you auction something with a low-ball starting bid and end up losing money, you have only yourself to blame. Starting bid has to be at a break-even point, minimum. You cannot allow bottom feeders to cherry pick your inventory.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Jul 26 15:05:19 2016

It's the fees.  eBay forums have alot of apologists who cannot (or will not) grasp that the jump from 2% to 14% over the years is not just keeping up with inflation but a geometric increase.  The end result is that the cost of reselling is too high to bother with.

Every resale incurs at least a 14% price hike or up to a 14% loss.  This quickly puts prices beyond market value.  It also makes people think twice about reselling online versus disposal/returns.  

Regardless, it's easier to find a buyer at a 2% premium or eat a 2% loss.  In its blind greed, eBay often ends up with 14% of 0.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 17:02:57 2016

Since eBay decided that ALL sellers were evil and ALL buyers are right ALL the time, it's been a buyers market.

That's what eBay wants.

eBay "isn't" afraid of being in competition with Amazon. They just simply don't care.

1)  they simply want to steal as much money from each and every seller as possible. If doesn't matter if it's faulty returns, VERO fraud, listings fraud, or any other kind. PayPal - run by the former crook that ran eBay helps insure the theft continues

2) eBay makes money off advertising so they don't care about sales


As stated, eBay doesn't care about sellers so it's a buyers market, mostly rotten nasty stealing buyers

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jul 26 21:08:48 2016

@rl15

Ebay didn't sucker you into a subscription for a store.  The information is available for research and it is up to the seller to determine what store if any is appropriate for what they want to sell.  If you didn't do your own research before making the decision, that isn't Ebay's fault.

I agree with froggy, selling on Ebay is a completely different type of market than selling a house.  There are way too many differences to even start listing.  One has NOTHING to do with the other.

Ebay is a buyer's market for most things, but for very different reasons than the housing market.

*******************

With the last Seller's update that restructured store subscriptions, there were many sellers that saw a decrease in fees.  I was one of them.  A small decrease, but a decrease nonetheless.

The Seller update benefited those seller with a Premium store.  Especially if you were someone that was on a month to month and then in May changed to a yearly subscription.  I do however realize that the savings didn't happen for everyone as there are many sellers that use the Basic store or the Anchor store.  The Anchor store was hit the hardest in higher fees.

While I do wish Ebay fees were lower, they aren't the only venue with HIGH fees for small sellers.  

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 26 22:18:08 2016

Most nights I search eBay for an hour or two for antiques and vintage collectibles in my interest areas. This year I rarely find anything to bid on. I've been doing this since 1997. I don't even want to think about the hours I've wasted. I can go a whole week now without finding anything to bid on. Five or ten years ago I would rarely go one day without finding something exciting to bid on. Now it's mostly relisted junk that is overpriced or uninteresting. eBay is now nearly worthless for antiques and vintage collectibles, which is just what John Donahoe wanted.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jul 27 09:22:01 2016

@ alaska

A lot of collectors STOPPED collecting myself included.

I came to eBay in Jan. 1998 looking for Budweiser Beer Steins, Football Cards, Old Gun Parts, Coins, & Pocket Knives.

The only thing I still buy is old gun parts.

I don't have the money to buy collectibles anymore and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

People don't collect like they did in the 20th century, millennials collect very little if anything. . .

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 27 11:33:40 2016


@Marie

I will elaborate a little about getting suckered. 2015 was my best year on ebay. 2016 started out great. I based my decision on those reasons to commit to a store subscription instead of month to month. Then sales pretty much stopped. I was in the stupid test that hid item details. Grifter claims it did not affect sales. He lies. Between that stupid test and the ever changing search, is why I was suckered.
We can not all be cheerleaders.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 27 11:52:14 2016

Too many bad decisions on ebay's part for the sellers.

First was the bloc with paypal's acquisition that cut out any other easy to use pay service.

Next was the DSR system that made it easy to back-stab sellers.

Then no negs for buyers. Open season for fraud on sellers, competitors could kick other sellers off ebay easier.

Then the worst one was anonymizing bidders and buyers. Sneaky ones can bid in small increments to make it look like the seller is shilling, and also made it easier for sellers TO shill bid. My sales were cut in half after this happened.

Then getting rid of search by bidder and making the feedback obscured.

Finally is removal of feedback left by others function.

A lot of my buyers were also sellers. and one by one they seemed to get booted or quit.

Now it's the wild west, watch the tumble weeds roll and the dust settle on your store.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

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

Wed Jul 27 11:54:02 2016

@TOOL , At least i now know who one of my competitors is. As i am no longer a seller on ebay i still  do buy alot of vintage gunparts there, so yes it is a buyers market there.                                

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Jul 27 12:40:38 2016

@rl15

Because I disagree with you does not make me a "cheerleader".  It simply means I disagree.

There can be many reasons why your sales dropped off.  Some of what you have identified and there could even be others.

For me, mine dropped off in March of 2014.  I've stated the reasons here before, but as I see it, it was due to three factors that happened at that space in time.  

1.  Ebay got hacked
2.  Google punished Ebay in searches for not following the rules.
3.  Cassini went site wide.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 27 20:23:19 2016

I still list 99% seven day auction style no reserve and extreme low start price often just 1 penny. I find eBay is still OK for selling better items that are not unique or nitch market - for example I would have no worries about selling an Omega watch for 1 penny start as watch collectors with find it. Another example is a Singer featherweight, I would start it at 1 cent and not worry in that it will be given away for nothing. I have had friends ask how can you start a valuable item for just 1 penny? will you not be forced to sell it for that when it only gets the single bid. Not gonna happen, those examples I gave you and many many others will always find their approximate value. But if an item is one of a kind and not well know or collected like say an obscure but listed artist, I have too be a bit more careful. And I certainly agree when it comes to many of the more common collectibles prices are down but that is true for everywhere not just eBay. A lot of that is generational in that round folks today do not want or wheat my generation wanted to collect and many folks my age (60) are now dumping their items. So can not blame eBay for prices soft everywhere. But if the item is special and desirable I have very confidence it will find its price.
My biggest concern is not with eBay itself but with some of the bigger antiques and artwork sellers. There is a huge volume seller whoo lives in New England as I do and I am finding more than half his auction results show incontrovertible evidence of blatant shill bidding.  

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 28 02:57:13 2016

It would help if eBay would stop using a default price of $0.99 on newly created listings.  Don't put a price, period, eBay.  Let the seller figure it out.  eBay has defaulted to $0.99 for so many years now, prices are artificially lowered.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 28 02:57:14 2016

It would help if eBay would stop using a default price of $0.99 on newly created listings.  Don't put a price, period, eBay.  Let the seller figure it out.  eBay has defaulted to $0.99 for so many years now, prices are artificially lowered.

Is eBay a Buyers' Market?   Is eBay a Buyers' Market?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 28 06:52:57 2016

EB needs a "hook" like AMZ Prime and AMZ Kindle.  At one time EB was the first place that buyers thought to go to.  Now there are hundreds of Ebay's.  There's nothing to lure them in like Prime or Kindle.
But not only EB, it's Bonanza and Ecrater and all those other  online platforms.  THEY are doing poorly too.  Nobody has a clue has to help the seller and get the buyer back in.
Maybe acquisitions would help, but EB definitely needs a hook.

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