Four years ago I opened my ebay store. On Friday, June 5, 2009 I closed my ebay store.
What was the cause for this decision? Back around February of 2008 ebay made a major change. They changed the default search results to be sorted by “best match” rather than “ending soonest”. This way ebay has massive control over which items are listed first in all basic searches. ebay didn’t show much favor for my store and my items were poorly ranked in their system. You would think “best match” would mean they would have algorithms that would analyze your search terms and find the items that best match your search. No, ebay’s “best match” only favors large shops that sell large volumes of items on a regular basis.
Plus, I sold off most of my baseball drawings around the end of 2006, at least the ones of players that people commonly know. What was left in my store was mostly conceptual art and drawings of old baseball players that very few people know. People don’t shop ebay for conceptual art. They shop ebay for collectible art… and unicorns, lots of unicorns.
With this “best match” change I went from being in the black with very modest profit each month to being in the red. There were consecutive months were I didn’t sell a single item.
EBAY WANTS YOU TO SELL VIA AUCTIONS, NOT STORES
Plus, ebay never showed any love for their store business model. Throughout my entire 4 year experience the ebay store search tool (searching ebay stores, not the default ebay search tool) has been confusing, difficult to find and very convoluted in its essence. Because of this, ebay clearly demands that sellers use their auction-style format in order to have any success.
It was a bit of a marvel that my store lasted as long as it did. When I opened my shop I bookmarked a ton of fellow ebay stores that sold art. I’d guess that maybe 10% of those shops still exist.
ETSY STILL LIKES ME
So I’ll continue to focus my energy on my successful Etsy shop. And I’ll think about what I can do with my 1000markets shop and bigcartel shop, both of which don’t cost me a single dime in operating costs. I was plunking down about $18 a month for the ebay shop.
EBAY STILL HAS USES FOR SELLERS
I won’t let ebay completely fall off my radar. Beginning June 16, ebay is changing their policy to allow users to sell 5 items a month auction-style with no posting fees. I think that’s great. Though I’m sure they are going to raise their commission fee. During my four years of selling on ebay I observed that ebay is CONSTANTLY changing their policies so they may strip more and more money from their sellers. It’s no wonder ebay’s business outlook isn’t bright.