eCommerce Blog / Why You’d Be Stupid to Stick with eBay

Why You’d Be Stupid to Stick with eBay

Who’s got a bone to pick with eBay?

Whatever the exact number, it’s too many. Sellers have been the most vocal, but don’t let’s forget it was the buyers’ discontent that caused eBay’s panic-driven actions in the first place. Let’s face it – why would a buyer choose a potentially ‘cheap’ experience (in every sense of the word) on eBay over a guaranteed slick and professional experience on Amazon?

It’s been 12 years since eBay first came into existence - a long time by ecommerce standards, and perhaps it’s time eBay died a natural death? One can’t get away from the fact that user expectations have changed radically in that time, as online services have become cheaper and more sophisticated. Sadly, eBay just doesn’t seem to have been able to keep up with the times.

eBay’s Litany of Errors - How many screw-ups can one company make and survive??

Most critically, eBay has ignored the trend for community input in site growth, instead, making a string of swift and brutal executive decisions.

  • First we had delayed action against fraud…the reason why eBay is having all these problems in the first place.
  • Then we had fee increases – at a time when 99% of the world’s most popular websites are free, this severely bucks the trend.
  • Then we had feedback changes – and eBay took a giant step towards destroying the dream of eBay as a place where anyone could run a business and make money.
  • Then we had radical changes to search...
  • We’ve had changes & restrictions on shipping cost
  • VeRO’s shoot first, ask questions later approach
  • And now eBay is testing ‘Paypal-only’ in Australia and Shipping & Handling price limits in certain categories in Germany...
  • Plus they have a terrible attitude to support, with many emails going unanswered or receiving only standard responses.

So What Would You Do if You Were eBay?

Clearly eBay is panicking. They see Amazon as their #1 competitor – yet, as Josh Catone from ReadWriteWeb has pointed out, instead of trying to keep their unique selling point, they seem to be cackhandedly hell-bent on turning into a clone.

What would you do if you were eBay? Is there still time for eBay to pull through? At present eBay still has two things going for them...

  • Traffic - 83.9 million users world-wide
  • Brand recognition – People still think of eBay first when thinking of buying & selling online

But the reasons to go elsewhere are compelling...

  • Greater freedom
  • Simpler design – many buyers find eBay over-complicated
  • Cheaper – smaller or no fees

Where do you think eBay will be in 2 years time?

Recommended Reading: eBay Dropshipping Guide


Comments (9)

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on 8:34 5 Jun
Being new to selling on eBay (since March of this year), I have had more trouble getting started and with all the new rules being put into place since I joined I can't keep up. I have given up selling on eBay since I was spending more than I was making, which seemed necessary to get started and build a reputation/feedback. I have my own web store and I was hoping to promote my store through eBay as well as sell products, but this seems to be a bust now. eBay used to be considered the best place to start a new ecommerce business, but really, it's only for those who are already big sellers. The little guy got blown away.
David Key on 13:24 13 Mar
I've not had any problems with Ebay, but many with Amazon. First, they charged me $39.95 two different times, before I gave them my product information. I've never got past that. Never even sent a picture of my product, and am not on Amazon now. What is the answer to my problem ?
Justin Golschneider on 14:34 13 Mar
Hi David! Amazon will charge you for a professional account on a monthly basis whether or not you've added any products to the site. You should only create a professional account if you have uploads ready to go and inventory ready to sell. If you just want to test the waters, try creating an individual account first so you only get charged per sale.
Mariann on 14:03 21 Jun
I just closed my store on Ebay today after selling several items in the past two weeks. I ended up with hardly nothing to show for all those fees I had to pay pay pal and Ebay. I doubt if I will ever sell on Ebay again.
HadItUpToHere on 13:45 24 Jun
I have ended my 10 years of buying and selling on eBay. Never-ending ignorant changes that hurt all legitimate buyers and sellers, nonexistent customer service, and its sister scam-supporting site (PayPal) have slaughtered my loyalty. I don't care what wonderful products or services you're selling on eBay, I (and an ever-growing number of other potential buyers) won't be seeing them. Can you say *eBay boycott*? Where will eBay be in 2 years? I expect it will crash. Maybe someone with a functioning brain will buy it on its downward spiral and turn it back to what it once was. Otherwise I expect we'll only find it on the Wayback Archive.
on 11:03 1 Jul
I am new to selling on ebay, and am also overwhelmed. Especially with the fee's. I looked at an example on Amazon and their fee's for selling are high as well, but I guess if you are not charged for not selling the it may even out. I just wish there was a way for the little guy/gal to get a legitimate start somewhere. I have a website, but it is set up to accept payments through PayPal, so I will still be charged the PayPal fee's. I can not afford to get started any other way right now so I will have to accept the PayPal fee's I guess. Dina
on 22:34 5 Jul
I just stopped selling on ebay and closed my store. After several years of selling and doing well I had a few customers who wanted a refund but did not want to return the item. They left negative feedback and had no fear of their reputation being ruined on ebay because sellers can no longer do the same (leave negative feedback). I went from a 99.8 % positive feedback to 97.1% in 3 weeks and ebay pulled all my listings. I nor my friends and family will no longer do business on ebay as a buyer or seller.
shannon on 18:13 8 Jul
I have been selling on ebay for 8 years. I've noticed a very steady decline over the last 3 years. I have been made to live in fear of Ebay's state of mind for the day! Each time I log on I have to wonder what " alert" awaits me. In the last 3 years I have been shut down 4 times- having to wait 30 days to hear back from them - never being told WHY I was shut down. Most recently- I had 99.8% positive feedback when my baby was born May 19th. When I went to get some money from Paypal I found that they had limited my account ( remember Ebay owns paypal). They left a little notice that it appeared a 3rd party had tried to access my account- yeah whatever- they said i had to change my password and that they would send a letter in the mail with a 4 digit confirmation number to confirm my location ( this account is VERIFIED and 5 years old) THREE WEEKS later I still had no letter, Paypal still had my $2000.00 I could not access any of it- sellers could pay me but I could not get the money out! I could not ship without money and I had a brand new baby. Ebay tried to take my ebay fees out of my bank account 2 times in that time period and charged me an ADDITIONAL $39.95 fee each time it couldn't go I am going to have the money in the bank when they know they have it all locked in Paypal. My bank also charged me $34 each time Ebay tried to get the money out. LONG story short...I am PAYING Ebay to SCREW me every month! One thing after another!!!! 3 weeks after this all happened my feedback was down from 99.8% to 96.2% with 8 negative feedbacks to my 468 positive feedback and Ebay shut down my account for Seller Non Performance! How can I perform if they are IN THE WAY!!! They have WAY too much power! Ebay put my family out. We DEPEND on this income and ended up with $600 in FEES between ebay, the bank, late fees on our bills, etc. This on top of the $660.00 we paid them for the priviledge of being jerked around! We will NOT be returning to Ebay. I have been disheartened as I have watched them fall to pieces the last few years. Too big for their britches!!! They are molding the monopoly they have - like not allowing most online payment methods EXCEPT paypal..where they get an extra buck... Lawsuits are coming as I see it. Ebay is in serious danger. I hope to find other venues online that can let an honest seller alone and not lie cheat and steal to get ahead! No one likes getting trampled as someone else clamors to get to the top! What fun is it being at the top if you don't let anyone come up with you? It's lonely if you are the only one at the party! I appreciate the marketplace ebay USED to be, and the idea they put out there, but it is time for other auction sites to build up and be the competition ebay needs to get their heads shrunk back down to size and maybe become an enjoyable place to visit again.
David on 8:14 13 Jul
Hi today I sterted looking for allternative to ebay I to have been with them for several years, they have opened the door for scammers to buy something from you and leave a negative feedback. I sold a item to someone and made a honest mistake and sent wrong item buyer didnt email me but went to leave me a negative feedback saying I was a thief I contacted the buyer and said I would send out correct item and did, i contacted ebay and said that buyer didnt even open a dispute but left a negative with a comment I felt was unfair and would hurt further sales or other buyers to say the same thing ebay response was in favor of buyer and yes 3 others claimed they didnt get correct items but they did after the first I took pictures for proof, they left negatives also ebay does nothing. So I salute all who have ended their time with ebay There day will come when tere will be a New Kid in town!
Galina on 21:00 15 Jul
I have sold on ebay for 8 years with over 8,000 feedbacks (more than 15,000 transactions)99.8% feedback and now too have closed my store on ebay. I am from Canada....first thing Paypal changed when they were purchased by ebay was divide all the international communities and charge us obscene exchange rates PER TRANSACTION on top of all other PAYPAL fees. It used to be we were charged an exchange rate only on a withdrawl before. Now even though my buyer is US, I accept US funds and want to keep my funds in US$ I am still charged an exchange rate because of where I live? My CAD$ is close to par and has been for the last year but if you were to check Paypal exchange rate RIPOFF CITY!!!!!!!! Ebay started to do its own silly manoevering of increasing prices @ every corner,limiting our ability to list on as opposed to etc. etc. The final straw were the changes to the feedback....fraudsters have caught on that Canada Post does not offer tracking on small packets to the USA...thus all of a sudden after 8 years of exemplery service more than several customers have all of a sudden not received their packages???????? We the sellers are automatically deemed @ fault by paypal because Canada Post doesn't offer tracking (post office receipts were deemed invalid by Paypal)and my record fell to 97%. My auctions were cancelled because of a quick loss of feedback?????????? Nobody @ ebay cares about honesty, or the REAL TRUTH. It seems to me it is time to move on............
griffy29 on 18:08 20 Jul
So is there an alternative auction site to ebay? I have been looking but haven't come across it yet. :(


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