Whether you feel that eBay is a benevolent gentle giant helping the world connect or an evil Goliath you can’t deny that it’s one of the most influential websites ever created. The sheer volume of traffic on eBay makes it very easy for “the little guy” to start quickly without worrying about web traffic, page rankings ,seo etc. Come on, even Optimus Prime uses eBay to find ‘it’, so the ability to attract the masses is undeniable. Unfortunately, this ready made traffic has lulled many merchants into a false sense of security.
The promise of fast and easy riches is hard for most to resist and for those who really put forth the effort and realized a decent second income, eBay can be harder to quit than heroin.
So what happens if you’re making your living on eBay and they freeze your account? What are you supposed to do? Do you have another stream of income in place? Even a short seemingly harmless 3-day restriction can place a real dent in your pockets and snowball into decreased DSR ratings, longer and more severe restrictions and an eventual suspension. Too many eBay sellers are relying on eBay as their sole bread and butter and getting toasted.
Think you’re immune because you have a good record? Have a look around the internet forums and blogs and you will read hundreds upon hundreds of horror stories concerning eBay/Paypal banned, frozen or restricted accounts. Of course, not every ex-ebayer crying foul is innocent (we all know that jails are just brimming with innocent people, right?) and some really deserve to have their accounts banned. But sadly, under the banner of online safety, eBay has made a practice of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and there are many lost incomes as a result.
Some people leave eBay of their own volition. eBay has been known to change the rules of its game at a whim. (But I suppose if you own the playing field, the balls and the bats you can make whatever rules you want) and this year has seen the most drastic changes in a long time. Ever since long time CEO Meg Whitman stepped down earlier this year it has been a madhouse. The sweeping changes that were supposed to create a better shopping environment have left a bad taste and whether these changes were truly in the name of online safety or a ruse to thin the herd we will never know for sure.
Yet business owners must adapt to survive and some sellers end up staying with eBay like an abusive boyfriend or a bad job because they haven’t an exit plan or other revenue streams in place and they’ve come to depend on the money. If you’re feeling trapped in your own business something has gone really wrong. I have learned to respect the old adage “Never put all your eggs in one basket”. So whether you’ve been worked over by an unscrupulous seller/buyer, tired of playing Feedback Rambo or just want to diversify your online sales you have options if you’re willing to work. eBay’s very own practices have created a niche market for eBay alternative auctions sites and business is booming.
Ecrater.com is my favorite among eBay alternative sites. They’re fixed price only and don’t give you those digital download hassles that eBay does. So if you’re an e-book peddler like me this is great news. There’s good product variety and their one page TOS is a breath of fresh air. Oh yeah, they’re free.
Another site is ebid.net, if you really like eBay’s format and features and are looking to expand your customer base ebid.net is a good choice. You will find many of the same features as with eBay minus the listing fees. They’re also one of the longest running eBay alternatives so their traffic is pretty good.
You can also try bonanzle.com, which reminds me eBay early days but classier. Kind of like an upscale flea market. You’re encouraged to wheel and deal and there are lots of nice items. Bonanzle.com is also a good choice if you’re still selling on eBay and want to expand your customer base because they allow the option to import your eBay feedback rating. Which gives you a leg up in the customer confidence area.
Those are three of the sites I really liked this week but there are lots of them. Just Google ‘online auctions’ and decide which sites would be a good fit for what you’re selling. Since most eBay alternative sites offer free or near free listings you won’t lose anything by giving them a try and you just may find another outlet for your product. eBay still reigns supreme when it comes to traffic volume and brand recognition but I advise that you don’t let that security blanket become a shroud.
Get out there and explore. Don’t let one entity control your livelihood. Visit ebayrejected.com for more ways to diversify your income.