Friday, January 2, 2009

The eBay Exodus

Normally I do extremely well the week after Christmas with a sell-through rate of around 60-75% and some bidding wars. My sell-through rate so far this week has been around 26%. This week has been the worst post-holiday week for me of the nearly 12 years I have been on eBay.

The recession is a factor. However, people have always said that eBay is "recession proof." eBay has always been the place to go for bargains, so it would be the ideal place to go during tough times. eBay has always tended to thrive even in bad times.

Twelve lots have sold so far. Of those twelve lots, six have been paid through PayPal. The remaining six are going to be paid by either check or money order. It has been years since I have had 50% of my listings paid for by check or money order. I don't know whether this is just a random coincidence or whether some people read this blog and decided to bid because I will accept mailed payments. While I normally prefer PayPal, I have decided that the savings in fees is a plus, so why not?

I looked at my seller dashboard a few days ago. I have sold nothing in the past two months, and during that entire time, my dashboard had me with a raised search standing. I have no 30-day DSRs, so my search standing is based on my one-year DSRs. While I may have had one or two DSRs drop off recently, the averages are exactly the same as they have been for the last couple of months. Well surprise, surprise . . . as soon as I have items up for sale for the first time in two months, my search standing is lowered from raised to standard. I think I am being penalized for not selling during the last two months. Thanks, eBay!

I told myself that what happened this week would tell me what I needed to do. I am now strongly considering listing books elsewhere from eBay. Two sites have my interest. They have very little activity, but I would be just about the only person selling series books. My listings would stand out if nothing else. These are the two sites:

I have been interested in both of these sites for quite some time but did not act on it until now. Tonight I registered on both sites and have secured the same ID that is my primary ID on eBay. Wensy offers auctions and fixed-price and is completely free. Bonanzle appears to be only fixed-price and does have fees, but only when the item sells.

I prefer auctions, so right now I favor Wensy over Bonanzle. I like the feel of both sites. They feel just like eBay did back in 1997. For those of you who didn't know eBay back in those days, the entire site had only 30,000 items for sale. The books category probably had no more than 5,000 books, and it was possible to browse the entire books category so as to be certain not to miss anything.

Read this post from Bonanzle's blog:

You Wonder: What Happens When We're Huge?

Read this AuctionBytes article about Wensy:

I have some more books that I want to list. The descriptions are typed and ready to go. The books are:

—many Nancy Drew first printing picture covers
—Nancy Drew 1930A-1 Old Clock (no dust jacket)
—large lot of blue/tweed Nancy Drew
—two ND Wanderer hardcover w/DJs
—lot of post-#56 hardcover Nancy Drew

I'm just not happy about eBay. I will probably list all of the above on eBay, but I may list some of my books that did not sell on either Wensy or Bonanzle. I read an AuctionBytes article that stated that eBay's traffic was down 4% for December while Amazon's was up 7%. EBay is still the most popular commerce site, but it is losing more ground to Amazon.

I would really appreciate it if some of you would check out Bonanzle and Wensy and let me know what you think of each site.


Jennifer White said...

This is in response to a comment sent to my personal email. I am posting it here because the comments may be of interest to others.

One of the observations is that Wensy's search is very slow. I checked, and it is very slow. Searching for a user ID may take 30 seconds, which is not too bad, but searching for a specific item may take longer. EBay's search sometimes took 10 minutes back in 1997.

I tried a title and description search for a specific term that is present in the description of at least one listing. The search took around five minutes, and it choked, coming back with no results.

This is the drawback to a new site. They are probably growing quickly in the number of interested users, so they need to upgrade their equipment.

Right now my plan is to stick with eBay for new listings, but I might start putting unsold listings on these other sites so that I don't have to keep paying high fees over and over again. EBay is too expensive for what we now get. I really do have one foot out the door now.

Jack C said...

I checked out Wensy, and there were no Nancy drew books listed, so I'm a little skeptical about the site. Of course, things could change-

Looking for those post 56 hardbacks you are listing- Any hints as to how many and what titles?


Jennifer White said...

I listed the books awhile ago, so you can check them out and see whether they are of interest.

Jack C said...

I checked out the listing, and I have about half of them already, so I'm not sure whether I'm gonna bid or not- I just bought a lot of PC's w/blue endpapers, which I'm waiting to arrive. I know that the copy I have coming of "Clue in the Diary" is NOT the OT, so I bid on your copy to replace if I can get it. So that's me currently w/ the bid!!
I will have to wait for the others to arrive to get a good feel what I purchased. I believe they are mostly OT, and it is 1-39 that I bought. I paid around 6.00 a book, so I felt that at that price, I couldn't go wrong!
I overspent big time last month for Christmas, so funds are somewhat limited, but I am studying your listings on Ebay to see if I can swing anything else.
I also signed up for Bonanzle so I can follow you if you move all sales to this site. Who knows, maybe I'll list some things myself- I have some pulp magazines of the Shadow that I want to sell to get some extra money. I'll definitely be watching these sites.
Thanks for continuing to share your expertise-