eCommerce Blog / eBay Returns to its Roots

eBay Returns to its Roots

In a dramatic about-face, eBay last week announced that their three-year plan involves returning to their original focus as a venue for selling used, off-season and end-of-life-cycle goods.  Implicit in this change of direction is the admission that their attempt to mimic Amazon has been a failure.

But the eBay team was upbeat, forecasting an overall revenue increase from $10 billion to $12 billion in 2011, $7 billion of which will be coming from its marketplace. With 25 million sellers currently serving 150 million unique visitors from around the world across 50,000 categories, eBay still believe they are a major player with a bright future.

According to Ina Steiner’s EBay Analyst Day Notes, eBay believe the secondary market has a number of advantages:

1. Secondary market goods have uncertain value, so they can be sold via a variety of different formats, which is good because it increases turnover on the site.

2. Buyers are focused on getting the best deal and don’t have such high expectations of professional service (as they do when they purchase new goods).

3. The secondary market is inefficient.

4. The secondary market grosses 500 billion dollars a year worldwide.

What will this mean for SaleHoo members?

Although we can’t be sure exactly how eBay will implement this change, it does seem that eBay sellers will need to concentrate more than ever on using liquidators, going directly to the manufacturers and using alternative sources like estate sales, Craig’s List and yard sales to find collectibles and quality second-hand merchandise.

Sellers wanting to sell new items sourced from small wholesale and drop shipping will still be able to do so, but should explore other options such as moving across to Amazon or another successful marketplace such as iOffer and Bonanzle. The other alternative is to establish their own ecommerce site via BuyItSellIt or Auctiva Commerce.


Comments (4)

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on 8:04 17 Mar
We can pat ourselves on the back for this! It's because so many power sellers led the charge LEAVING EBAY and the tens of thousands of sellers that followed that made eBay realize their vulnerability. Hopefully they will make huge concessions now to draw everyone back.
Kelvin Loh on 10:26 27 Mar
So it's back to deciding which market, eBay or Amazon suits your product listing best- when you are selling your own,OEM, liquidators or items sourced from wholesale drop shipping.The bottom line to decide where to sell is whether you still can make a decent profit from such a competitive market now after minus all the costs involved.
marijane funess on 10:09 20 May
Your readers should also know about Tagsellit ( a site devoted to tag sales, garage sales, flea markets that gives anyone a chance to sell a large quantity of household goods at once for a nominal fee. They are swimming with the big fish - but their niche is people who arent selling antiques and people who do love physical tag and other sales. They also have a greater search capability than Craisglist - you can search for goods-- and sales -- locally and nationally - they also have an iPhone app - Find Tag Sales. Let me know if you want to know more.
Ellen Knight on 14:51 1 Jun
I was selling a product eBay prohibited. (I should have checked first)and of course my listing was kicked off. Me and every other seller from the US. But what ticks me off is they let sellers from the UK and China sell on the US site. Boy are they racking in the profits. I tried reporting over 200 times in over 2 weeks and they are still selling. I would have been banned by now. Sounds a little unamerican to me. Anyone know where I can buy brand name American products in small quanities? Please let me know Never to eBay again


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