eBay losing its grip on profitable collectibles market?

Scientists consider frogs a reliable indicator of the health of the environment. Could the Barbie doll be a similar indicator of eBay’s health? As the most celebrated doll in history approaches her 50th birthday, Therese Poletti from Market Watch has noted a peculiar absence of buying and selling activity around the iconic toy.

The situation seems to be a sampling of the bigger picture, in which sellers in what was once eBay’s strongest categories, Antiques and Collectibles, have begun moving out in search of other venues to do their business.

Their complaint isn’t a new one: they feel eBay has favored powersellers, ignoring and even penalizing smaller sellers, despite the fact they make up a large chunk of the market.

As a result, the ecommerce giant has transformed from a collector’s paradise into a soulless shopping mall for “Target merchandise, CDs, and electronics.” Collectibles sellers also cite eBay’s large fees as a motivation for them to look elsewhere.

Today eBay announced that all pictures posted for listings in the Collectibles, Art, Antiques and Pottery & Glass categories will be free of charge. This suggests that eBay is now realizing its mistake and is taking belated steps to woo sellers back in these categories.

Problem is, there are some very attractive competitors like Ruby Lane, Atomic Mall, Etsy, and Bonanzle. Chances are many collectibles sellers have already moved into a new home, and finding it more comfortable, friendly and profitable, have put down firm roots.

What do you guys think of eBay’s chances of revitalizing its fading collectibles business?


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Comments (16)

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planes on 23:29 12 Feb
This has been going on for over 6 months now. And the picture promotion is a joke as most sellers use third party hosting anyway. In my opinion, its a lackluster attempt by eBay to woo the sellers back. Sort like an after thought.
Mari-Ann van der Walt on 23:43 12 Feb
New to ebay but looked at the commisson and other charges yesterday but had to think twice as I have antiques to sell and as you know they dont come cheap. Unfortunately I will have to sell them in the USA as South Africans is not in that sort of market.
Lewis on 8:51 13 Feb
I had some success selling on eBay until I got the bill! I sold over $8000.oo worth of merchandise at really good prices, and made a profit of almost $2000.00 in one month, then my eBay expenses all together came to more than $1000.00 for that same month! I almost croaked!!! Needless to say, I closed the account and will never sell or buy on eBay again. I'm currently using Atomic Mall and Bonanzle. I don't think eBay has the sense to be either fair or honest with small time sellers. They're too money hungry, are to bloated with employee staff and spend too much on themselves. They've come to rely on their name so much they feel invincible.
Surfwaves71 on 9:04 15 Feb
I begining to think that this whole "website" is a farce. Has anyone had any luck? Should I get my money back before its too late or is it already too late? I just joined and very confused....
SaleHoo on 15:41 15 Feb
Hi Surfwaves71, I hope we can help you out. If you email your questions to http://www.salehoo.com/support or post them on the forum, we will do our best to de-confuse you and point you in the right direction :)
redridinghood on 23:00 15 Feb
Surfwaves,I have three websites and haven't sold a single thing. I would get my money back if you still can. I'm beginning to think it is a farce and that you will never sell anything. I keep loading products and hoping because I can't get my money back. I believe people are being exploited with this website business. And as to eBay, I'm glad you gave the names of some alternatives in this blog. I hate that place now. They got a new president who thinks he's the almighty. Who is he to say, after you have paid the fees just like anyone else, that your item can't be shown in searches! That's like a Hitler regime. And they're constantly changing things. I'm not a computer expert by any means, struggle constantly, and it's very hard to learn when everything keeps changing. I'm going to leave just as soon as I get set up somewhere else. My fees are very unreasonable. Sometimes eBay gets more than I do!
Janine on 19:24 18 Feb
I've noticed this on eBay with the direction going into the Target, Best Buy, Enter_Retail_Giant_Here. It's a shame they are gearing in this direction with the site. And, a lot of buyers aren't aware that even if an item is listed by these giants, it doesn't necessarily mean the item is in stock. I learned my lesson to send an email first and ask about the product's availability. That is stupid business. As for the collectibles market----for the past 3 or 4 months, I've been spending my money over at ETSY. Great stuff. Great prices. Tremendous sellers.
NYM Arts on 9:41 19 Feb
To Ebay : We want : To accept Checks and Money Orders. No Conditions on our return to Ebay. Full disclosure of Bidder ID's during auction. NO "Walled Garden". We want a Link to our own website on EVERY listing. NO FORCED PayPal option. Equal Feedback opportunities. Ebay REMOVES it's Nose from between Sellers & Buyers. Lower Listing & Final Value Fees. It's ALL or NOTHING.
Paul on 21:02 10 Oct
That would be a nothing. Ebay runs their business and won't bow to your needs. If you can't sell and run your business effectively at a profit on ebay, then ebay is not the venue for you. Look elsewhere. Good luck in your sales.
hlroldcars on 10:42 19 Feb
Hello, I have been a active member of ebay since 1999. I am looking for a new source for my auctions because ebay has gotten too restrictive and expensive.
CollectiblesWow on 11:09 19 Feb
I think eBay is a "day late and a dollar short" (no pun intended). Too many low volume, low priced collectors (like me) are realizing that eBay is just too expensive and tends to cater to the power sellers. All of my collectibles are in the low end price category, so it literally, doesn't pay for me to pay high user service charges. As a webmaster, I finally said the heck with it and built my OWN collectibles web site, due to the high charges at eBay. I also will use free and low cost sites such as eCrater and Bonanzle, as a back-up and for exposure.
Clyde Perry on 14:59 19 Feb
This goliath is long overdue for some serious competition.I will surely get on these sites having traded on Ebay for 4 years and recieved indifferent support.
Ann G on 15:09 20 Feb
I think Ebay should have two venues. One for used items and one for new items. That way those of us who sell used good would stand a chance to sell and not have to compete with the power sellers. Ebay, the small seller got you started. Don't let corporate greed affect you as it has the rest of the economy. Help us out.
Unique Tiques 13 on 20:38 14 Mar
I still sell on Ebay but soon I will be leaving permanently. I have found a few great places to sell, the best so far is bonanzle.com which is the new up and coming without all of the crap that we hate on feebay. They have a fantastic community. I personally can't wait to see feebay die.
NYM Arts on 11:26 11 May
Hello Everyone, BONANZLE members = 55,779 at this writing. The Bonanzle Slogan : Everything BUT the Ordinary. If Ebay was so great it would be BONANZLE. Dedicated, Reputable Sellers and Site Owners. BONANZLE is now gaining over 2,000 new members every week. Ebay never could have achieved this level of seller / buyer compatibilty. It's HEAVEN Folks :o) Our own chatrooms in our own booths. We can FREELY accept Money Orders and Checks. The selection of "When I was a kid" stuff is just SWELLING beyond belief. The cost to sell on BONANZLE is right out of the Good Ole Days ! ! ! ! So Nice indeed.... No need to agonize over Where You're going to sell your ATTIC, BASEMENT, or GARAGE CONTENTS. BONANZLE is the place. See You There.
florida33549 on 7:07 18 May
I left ebay last October and have not looked back. Fees over there are outrageous. The 'buyer can do no wrong' mentality is ridiculous. Small sellers, such as myself, have no chance on that site. I started listing on ebid.net. Sales are slow but the site is growing. I'm also going to look at Bonanzle to see their fees. I sell collectibles: glassware, vintage Star Wars & GI Joes, and whatever else I think others might want. I also buy green depression glass. Last time I looked at ebay many of my favorite collectible sellers had left. So I think the small sellers have finally given up on that site. I know I will no longer buy on that site because I refuse to use paypal again.
Shane Balkowitsch on 14:07 19 Oct
I have done over $30,000,000 in sales on eBay over the past 19 years, I was selling more in 2001 with only 300 products than I am today with 3000. They have treated us sellers terribly and have always pushed and pulled, taken and twisted the system against us in favor of the buyers. Guess what, without a seller, there is no buyer. They simply cannot see this. They have also stripped away any personal support for my company that has done these kind of sales and I get the same customer service as the guy who has done $10. eBay is on its death bed, we all know it. I cannot help but think if the company would have been kind and appreciative of who put them where they are, they would have had unlimited potential, but all along they used the sellers as the skapegoats and the pack mules.


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