End of the road for eBay?

Apr 23, 2011 by

Everyone knows that bad things happen to good people, but isn’t it also nice when you see bad things happen to people — and companies — that really have it coming? eBay’s latest assault on sellers has them howling mad, including newcomers like us.

Although the Orion’s Attic eBay store is bringing in a few bucks, the “Fee-Bay” decision to start charging a commission on shipping means that many sellers’ already scarce profits will be much more likely to wind up on the endangered species list. The company is spinning the news as an effort to “help” sellers because it’s reducing the fees for listing items. If taking off a dollar on the front end of its fee structure only to take $2 or more on the back end is help, many will prefer to live without such assistance.

In an Antique Trader magazine letter to the editor we published, we called for eBay to go to the dustbin of corporate history where it belongs. You’ll see that other sellers inundated the magazine with similar letters.  The difference between this eBay outrage and the litany that came before them, however, is that an apparent critical mass of sellers are now mad enough to actively seek other options.

Better yet, a variety of alternatives are emerging. A lot of small sellers like us are creating our own Web sites.  (Check out orionsattic.com.) Many more are turning to the increasing number of viable alternatives that buyers like to shop with and that are more seller friendly. Services including Esty.com, Collect.com, Webstore.com are just three of many great places where people who love to buy and collect can snag great finds at prices that are often lower than what they would find on eBay.

We’re going to start experimenting with other services, too, with what little time we have to spend and we’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, if you’re someone who loves buying or collecting things and you use a service that you like better than eBay, leave a comment here and share your experience. The same goes for our fellow sellers.

If we all start working together to find other resources for buying and selling the items that mean so much to us, Fee-Bay will change its ways or face the fate it deserves.