Monday, February 11, 2008

eBay Strike

When eBay first started, it was like a giant flea market where you could go to find a treasure or unload your own "treasures." I remember when I first discovered eBay how much fun I had looking up every imaginable item I wanted and finding it for a bargain. It was on eBay that I got Nathan and Christy Nockels first recorded cds as Sons and Daughters. It was on eBay that I was able to find the entire limited edition collection of ornaments that my mom wanted, but was unable to find anywhere else. And it was on eBay that I sold a Hallmark decoration that I had purchased for 13 dollars for 50. :)

Unfortunately, people found a way to make a living on eBay. All of the sudden, everywhere you turned, you were hearing about how to make it big on eBay. (which is mostly a myth by the way) Soon, the listings were flooded with cheap knock-offs and an assortment of illegal items. There were bad buyers and sellers alike. But mostly, eBay was realizing their own power.

And they grew. Every time that eBay has raised fees, sellers have protested but life continues. However, now some significant changes are being made and while I am a very small time seller on eBay, I have taken notice. Partly because it is sellers like me they are hoping to eliminate. After the announcements were made (which included things like higher final value fees and no more negative feedback for buyers), I checked out the community discussion boards and was surprised to see what appeared to be a fairly successful organization of a strike.

So here's the deal. eBay sellers are agreeing to go on strike from February 18-25. That means no buying or selling. Some are agreeing to strike much longer than that. I am very interested in seeing if this is a successful endeavor for them. As it appears that eBay is now targeting businesses and big time sellers, I can't help but wonder if it still has a unique place in the internet marketplace. Apart from a few collectibles, I would never look to eBay for big purchases or sales. As it turns out, there are much safer options out there. If eBay can't offer something that no other place can offer, and its sellers leave to much better places to sell (like Amazon and Etsy) how long will it survive?

I know absolutely NOTHING about business. Do you have much experience with eBay?


Daisy said...

hey Amy - buy on ebay alot, so i know it's easy to get a lot of out ofprint titles, but it drives me insane how a LOT of times that you find something, and you have a large (somtimes mindboggling) shipping fee in order to keep the final fee lower. I don't know what this is going to do with ebay but i'm trying to wean myself off it, and stick to anyway.

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