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Fri July 29 2016 20:37:53

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I just read the responses to the eBay topic, "Are you better off than a year ago" (link). Many sellers confirmed what I've experienced which is "no."

I would like to follow up this topic and ask, "Is it worth the time and effort to develop your own web site? I did so a year ago using Wordpress and have had a few trickling sales. I listed about 100 items and then stopped adding more. An eBay friend of mine built her own Wordpress store too a year ago and due to no sales just closed it recently. 

I know about the theory of diversifying and to market your store but is anyone having success with their stores? I sell mainly vintage goods, Christmas collectibles and craft patterns. Either this category is dead on eBay or my listings are hidden. These items sold daily for 3 years but sales have plummeted over the past year.

I'm not new to this. I know eBay's game. My question isn't about how to make my sales better on eBay but "Is it worth investing more time and effort into my own store no matter what my product line if it is mostly pre-owned, used goods?"

I have closed 3 other eBay stores in the past year and a half due to higher eBay expenses and lower sales. I've tried clothing, new goods, etc. I remain a top seller/power seller in my remaining store but as sales continue to plummet, I doubt for much longer.

Feedback from those who have developed their own, independent stores would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
V.




Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: bookkeeperio This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 29 22:23:44 2016

There's a common misconception that you can 'build it and people will come' on the Internet. But, there's nothing further from the truth.

eBay and Amazon are your distribution channel. You can spend $50,000 on a website and literally not sell one thing. It is very hard to get PageRank on Google.

Your best bet is if you sell something that's not a commodity that people know by name (e.g. Squatty Potty, Back Buddy). But, if you don't have that, you have to build PageRank which means other sites linking to you. It's hard to get them to do that, unless you can provide value to them in some way.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

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

Sat Jul 30 07:48:08 2016

Hi. Having your own website is just part of the Solution. At the moment I sell on Bidstart, Playle, Delcampe , Personal Website, & Ebay [After being gone for 8 years]. I sell plenty on each of these selling points. I also have two other sales points on Stanley-Gibbon [Due to be disbanded on 1 Aug, 2016] & Bonanza [Very poor traffic & Sales]. I also have a good presence on Pinterest & Facebook. I use my Personal Email, Constantcontact, Pinterest, Facebook & The Bidstart newsletter to Generate traffic to my all selling points. Your question : ''Can you build a site...list it on all the search engines & then start selling''. Answer: NO. You & you alone will have to first generate traffic to your own website. Do You have a list of your old customers? If not you already have 1 foot in the grave for your website. Do you have the means to market directly to your past Buyers? If not..why not? Do you understand how Facebook & Pinterest may drive traffic to your website? No? , time to learn..Examine my traffic result numbers from yesterday 7/29/2016 . On Facebook & Pinterest I have a personal & business site for SCVIEW Antique Images & Postcards. I have the two sites linked so that when I post on Pinterest , at the same time items post on Facebook. From Facebook I get 110-150 visitors a day to my selling points. 10/110-150 of them stay on my sites & browse listings daily. On Pinterest I get 1100 Visitors a day with 329/1100 staying on my sites & browsing my listings daily. I also market w/ a 10,000 name old Customer list Via Constantcontact [CC} when I need to. It generates a 10% open rate to whichever selling point I am advertising. So ~ 1,000 visits to my selling points per CC Email sent. My total static traffic to all my Selling points that I generate is ~1200 different buyers per day with 339 staying & looking around on my selling points daily. Also , When I want , I can Use CC to generate a ~1000 customer ''surge'' to any selling point I target. All this is traffic I cause to happen, not search engine traffic to my selling points. That traffic is just extra. With 339 daily lookers on my website & selling points & the ability to direct another 1000 buyers at my call [via CC] , I have steady traffic going to my selling points = Steady Sales. To get new customers , I sell on Ebay. Don't care about other sites..Ebay generates many , many [200+ a month] New Buyers for me. If I only turn 10% of them into repeat customers {Which I do} then I get 20 new buyers a month [Which I add to my CC list]to sell to. On ALL my other selling points combined I only get 8-10 new Buyers a month. Still Good, but doesn't compare to Ebay traffic [Which is why I am back on that site]. Hope this helps you make your decision. Stefano

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 30 10:54:41 2016

@scview

To much information crammed into one paragraph.

Lost interest.

Try using paragraphs next time, it helps.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

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

Sun Jul 31 00:18:34 2016

Scview did provide a lot of information that might overwhelm some, but his point was good. I follow most of his business practices too. Building a website is just part of equation. You must market yourself heavily to get customers to buy. Just posting an item on ebay is not enough. You have to drive customers to your posting. For those willing to go the extra mile and learn how, they will win the customer.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Jul 31 02:47:39 2016

Scview is absolutely correct. The days of just posting on eBay is long gone unless you have absolutely unique items like toolguy has. He is very lucky that he has that niche for most of us do not.
If you want to make money you have to do what every other business in the world does, promote, promote and then promote some more. That is the reality in todays business world.
Froggy said he lost interest well because of that he will also be loosing out on a lot of sales.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jul 31 12:28:10 2016

I haven't seen any posts from Annie recently, but she left eBay, started her own website, and her sales soared. I remember she purchased ads on Amazon to direct people to her site. OP should check advertising.amazon.com for details.

Other sellers have written about promotion on Facebook and Pinterest with success.

OP, make a list of all your buyers and their e-mail addresses mined from PayPal sales and you have a mailing list of people who you know are interested in what you sell. Send them e-mails to promote your site.

Since you sell Christmas collectibles and craft patterns, have you checked Facebook? A quick look shows numerous groups for crafts and Christmas collectibles.

There's also Google AdWords.

You also might consider opening a store on eCrater (which is totally free) and link your shop there to your web site. I get great sales on eCrater with no promotion whatsoever.

You might also look into Shopify which promotes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

OP, there is life after eBay, you just need to do a little research to see what works best for you.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 12:57:54 2016

I thought "Etsy" when I read what the OP says he's sells. making your own website would be my LAST resort. I would try the other sites that sellers here have listed that have an advertising budget to drive customers TO that site.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

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

Mon Aug 1 00:49:12 2016

While I've been running my own sites for years, I will ALWAYS suggest EVERYONE get their own.

In today's market, Shopify is a really great choice if you don't want the technical challenges.

Sure, you'll need to promote your site - but since the venues ( ebay / amazon / etsy / bonanza ) are already doing such a poor job you're bound to do a better job yourself.

Adwords / Social / Print / so many ways to get the words out.

The advantages to having your own site are TOO MANY to list. It's a 'must have'.

Think of it this way: Use the 50 free ebay listings to PROMOTE your site - send coupons to buyers - do a little loss leader to get them on your mailing list...

Did I forget to say 'YES - ITS ALWAYS A GREAT IDEA TO HAVE YOUR OWN SITE'... :)

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: Dhp3 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 01:04:30 2016

scview, I did read your entire post and just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to do it. Excellent info.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

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

Mon Aug 1 01:29:15 2016

We left eBay because of their ridiculous seller dashboard.  We started selling on Facebook.  We also did marketing on Facebook.

From there we branched onto www.handmedownheaven.org.  We preview items on our Facebook page which now has over 19,000 likes.  Then we post them on our website.  While it has taken years, our traffic & sales exceed what we did on fee bay.

Then for those whose phones cannot handle the website, we also sell on https://toucandeal.com/hand-me-down-heaven-thrift-store

There are not that many sales on that site but it is a great back up parking place.  No listing fees, no final value fees.  We have no regrets leaving feebay and going on our own.

And our website is cheap.  I do it myself with Wordpress and I'm a senior.  Our hosting cost is $29.99 per quarter and our IP name cost $23 per year.  Hope this helps

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 06:16:40 2016

Building a website costs money.  Unless you do it yourself.  And it requires maintenance 24/7.  Do you have that kind of time?
You have some good advice from readers.  A lot of what you want to do will require education - maybe take a class in website building.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: strife This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 08:34:19 2016

Starting your own ecom website is a tough row to hoe.

It can be done however I virtually guarantee that you will fail on the first attempt. Take that as a given, collect feedback from what visitors/buyers you do get and when you have sufficient data to make a significant change move on to v.2 of your site.

I'm probably going to get some disagreement on this next point but it will come from folks that don't have anywhere near the experience I have on this both working for myself and others. Unless you have a very significant advertising budget, including a ton of money to downright waste while you learn the system, don't even try to do anything with Google Adwords.

For big budget advertisers Google Adwords is a great tool but it is not geared for the little guy at all. Just from the simple fact that it is designed to fleece you should you hit the nail on the head with your keywords you'll soon see your bid prices go through the roof. The bid that was $2.00 today will be $10 next week once it starts to hit even the tiniest amount.

For small stores and budgets don't underestimate or underutilize the tried and true methods like flyering at local things like flea markets and farmers markets or wherever else your target market may hang out.If you were planning on sinking a couple grand into adwords instead go to your local AM radio station and work out a multi spot deal with them for an ''off peak'' package or something else they may have that's geared toward small business.You will get far more impact from that and especially at the local level (think local pick-up as well and no shipping hassles if you can do that).

My own personal first attempt at a store fell flat on its face and after 6 months without a sale, even though I wasted a boatload of money on adwords and actually had a fair amount of traffic at the beginning, I closed it down.

v.2 actually did quite well but the investment in time/effort vs sales and ROI still was not enough to call it a huge success. v.3 however will be fine but now that will be 2 years and a lot of money spent to figure the whole thing out to an equation that balances on both sides. And remember that I also do this stuff for other people so my experience is going to dwarf most who are considering giving this a go.

Currently I am working on an advertising concept that came to me in an idea born strangely when my wife came home from a local event with some really cool new underwear she purchased from a start-up here in Canada.Obviously I can't say much about it other than I saw a real need for small web businesses to have a promotional outlet that wouldn't bleed you dry of funds and that would have some actual impact. Earliest possible stages right now but the idea I think is solid so we'll see.

I buy business cards a couple thousand at a time because I can get a pretty cheap price on them in that number and every person I meet anywhere any time walks away with one in their hand. Maybe they keep it or maybe it goes in the nearest garbage can but they have had positive impact and on occasion I will put/test  a ''web code'' on the reverse that offers a store discount or an email address to mail for a discount to measure the metric on that and compare various ads/promos for impact results.

So you want to be your own boss? It's a boat load of work just like it always has been but nowadays it involves a skillset that most don't have so you need to be prepared to work your behind off at a level that is probably 5 times what you think will be required. It can be done though and it's kinda nice when the money starts coming in as a result of one of your successes in targeting your customers in the right way.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

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

Mon Aug 1 12:58:47 2016

Since starting to sell on eBay 16 years ago, I have had two brief experiences with my own websites.

I gave up on the first one 12 years ago, as the low volume of sales did not justify the expense.

Years later, the second website was the one offered by eBay.  The low initial cost was affordable, but by the time I added a payment processing service and some consulting idiots from north of the border who promised great results and delivered nothing, the low sales volume and high monthly expenses killed that website.  

My advice to you and me (thinking about trying a third website maybe Shopify) keep the expenses low and under control.  

Do not go for all the ''bells and whistles''.  Use the KISS system - keep it simple stupid!

For my first 12 years selling on eBay, I saw no reason to branch out to other selling venues.  But in my 12th year when those cracker jack MBA's at eBay declared war on veteran small sellers and ruined out eBay businesses, my mantra is diversify, diversify, DIVERSIFY!

Stay with eBay only as long as you are making money, have multiple selling venues because one day eBay will sure as the sun comes up everyday, they will destroy your business.    

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 13:32:53 2016

Is anybody on Ebayclassifieds.com?
(Ina, can you install a "notify me of comments" to this thread and others?)

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 14:15:24 2016





I say yes, but keep selling on ebay. I diversify sometime after Meg Whip-man took over and never been more happy. You have to diversify cause once corporations become big they only care about themselves. I attributed to the fact that now the shareholder becomes more important then the customer.



Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

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

Mon Aug 1 15:25:38 2016

What ever you do, DO NOT pay for  clicks. I just ran a 30 day experiment on 2 sites using my Twitter and Facebook pages. I got over 5000 visitors, but only a three  sales. If I had been paying for clicks, I would have had to take out a second mortgage to pay for them. Clicks might work for General Mills, who has products in every store in town, but for small sellers I would say it is just more money in Google's pocket.  

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 16:50:14 2016

Well I've had my own website for 15 years - most of my items google up on page one - I have nearly 3,000 items in the store - I barely make the monthly service fee. Now on ebay I still do pretty well - not complaining. Would I do it again? Nope - not worth the effort even though every ebay purchase goes out the door with a card to the website where everything is more affordable - do they come? Nope - they park themselves on ebay which is perfectly fine with me - should have saved all those hosting fees for 15 years - could take that vacation I need. For me and my product - Ebay is still the big dog in the room.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: Bruce Hershenson This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Aug 1 23:28:49 2016

I am the proof it CAN be done! I left eBay in 2007 after 330,000 auctions and $2 million a year in sales.

I left eBay completely over a few months time, and now I have run around 800,000 auctions on my own site, and the last three years I averaged over FIVE million dollars a year.

Not easy to do, and not for everyone, but I am living proof it CAN be done. Leaving eBay was the best move I ever made.

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: DifferentDrummer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 23:29:46 2016

In this day and age, it's almost imperative that you have a website, even if it's just a cheap one that refers people to your ebay, amazon, ecrater, sales site etc. If you can't do it yourself you can find a hungry designer on fiverr or craigs list to do it for you.  

Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?   Should eBay Vintage Seller Launch His Own Site?

by: Bruce Hershenson This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 23:30:33 2016

For some reason my site link does not work. It is http://www.emovieposter.com/

Proof of all I say can be found at http://www.emovieposter.com/sales/postersales.php

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