Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What a year!!

OK I've packed off my daughter, who is now living with her auntie and hating it as much as she did here -- seems even auntie's house has rules, imagine that . And with that and moving twice in 2 years I've had less time for my crafting and online store than I wanted to, but NOW I'm getting back at last.
I also packed up and left (fe)Ebay for good. The ever increasing fees were bad enough ($16 a month store fee plus per item listing fees plus higher and higher final value fees on top of Paypal fees which were charged even on the postage money) but then they started messing with feedback, so sellers could not warn others of bad buyers but the bad buyers and SHILL buyers were everywehere creating havoc, and THEN they started messing with how much postage one could charge, and the amounts they allowed didn't even cover in many cases the amount the Post office charges the seller to ship the things. It just became a lose lose and lose again situation, and so a little late I joined the Great Exodus which started in February 08.
I have found a few other places I want to try out, in addition to spiffying up my own website at last. Thing was, I've HAD the website but was not using it because of Ebay's non-compete clauses which prevent one from promoting their own site on feebay or from selling the same items as they sell there. I know, a lot of people ignored that, but I tried to be good and play by the rules. Too bad they kept changing and making up the rules as they went along. Now we're leaving by the truckload and finding better places.
For people who still believe that Ebay is the only game in town, and that they won't get as much or as good business/traffic at other sites, I want to assure you there ARE alternatives to Ebay. But just like WE MADE EBAY what it is today, and it didn't happen overnight, WE CAN MAKE other online venues profitable as well. If you build it, they will come!!
That means choosing ONE or TWO sites and telling your friends and making those places grow. If we all split up into a thousand tiny splinter sites, then no, it won't work. I have, for the moment, chosen Bonanzle and Blujay. Multi-channeling is the way to go. Too many of us put all our eggs in the Ebay basket and what did it get us? Bonanzle is a FUN place that is growing rapidly, and if I don't get rich there, still I can rediscover some of the JOY it used to be selling on that other place. BluJay is similar enough to Ebay but without the hassles and the excessive fees and control-freakiness. And BOTH places not only allow, they ENCOURAGE you to link to your own seller website.
Other options I have considered and put on a shelf (for now, maybe to be revisited later) were OLA (online auctions) because I didn't want a strictly auction format, nor the monthly fees. iOffer, because it just seems like a LOT of work. Plunderhere.com because they are still in beta, but might be fun to try in a few months. Webidz, because it doesn't allow you to link to your own store and they have a lot of rules like feebay and a complicated setup. Sell.com is just too expensive ($1 per item listing good for 30 days each). Etsy looks good but I haven't had time to build my craft inventory yet and their listing fees are ALMOST as bad as Ebay. ECrater is new and very buggy, needs to get out of beta mode. EPier kept locking up on me so I could not examine it to find out if I'd like it -- system bugs they need to work out. Ebid is UK based and have as many rules as feebay, seems a cold and unfriendly place. AtomicMall is the one I would most likely try next but for their 6% final value fee seems a little steep.
So there it is. I'll update this blog and maybe add my own background after a while. First to get my inventory in the two new venues then make it pretty. Time's a wastin'.