Friday, July 27, 2018

Thoughts on eBay, Etsy, and Facebook

My Etsy sales have outpaced my eBay sales in the last month.  It's because I have put a lot of effort into my Etsy shop in the last month and have listed a better variety of books.

The following graph shows that my eBay sales have fallen greatly in the last month.  Remember that you can always click on any image to see a larger version.

Now here are my Etsy stats for the last 30 days.

I removed the revenue amount from the image, but my Etsy revenue from the last month is twice that of my eBay revenue.  That's pretty impressive.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to list on Etsy.  You might recall that I came on pretty strong in 2009 when I started listing on Bonanza, and during that time, I was very successful on Bonanza.  I truly did feel at that time that Bonanza had the momentum to be a very successful sales venue, but the site later made some huge mistakes that ultimately destroyed the momentum.

My main motivation in focusing on Etsy is that the overall fees are much lower than eBay's.  Even though I have to pay $0.20 to list each item, I pay lower fees since the final value fee is much lower.

eBay is still the best choice for anyone who sells series books.  Etsy is a good secondary choice since the site is established, but sellers have to work at it in order to have success.  For that matter, sellers even have to work hard to have success on eBay.  It's not as easy as it once was to sell books.

Etsy does have some advertising options, but I am not comfortable with using any of them.  I know of three people who dislike me, and there are likely a few others out there.  One advertising option on Etsy is for sellers to pay to have ads show at the top of search results.  If members click on those ads, the sellers are charged.  I worry that someone who doesn't like me would click on an ad a bunch of times.  That's why I don't use them.

Another advertising option on Etsy is to pay to have Etsy send coupons to people who fave an item or leave items in their shopping cart.  I tried that one for just a few days, then I turned it off.  Without getting into a detailed explanation, I felt that the targeted offers were not ultimately going to effectively raise my sales.

I finally tried the promotion that I currently have active on Etsy, which is free shipping on orders of $35 or more.  I am still getting quite a few sales for under $35, but I do feel that a number of buyers are taking advantage of the shipping promotion and that it is helping to raise sales.

The primary reason I quit selling on Bonanza was that my listings were no longer getting any interest.  On Etsy, I can tell that people are interested in my listings.  Etsy has a "recent activity" section in Shop Manager that shows when members have faved my items or my shop.  I see at least one fave each day, which tells me that people are reacting positively to my listings.

Finally, I do not want to sell on Facebook.  I tried it some last summer, but members want books to be extremely cheap.  Furthermore, I went to a lot of trouble to offer really nice books on Facebook and saw very little interest.  Since Facebook's primary purpose is not sales, members are way too easily distracted by everything else.  Selling on Facebook was not worth my time.  I would rather list my books on eBay and Etsy.  At least eBay and Etsy members are on those sites to buy, so they aren't distracted.

I also found that Facebook members ignore any notes about items that have already sold, ask to buy those items, and then have a strong reaction about that item being unavailable.  I would rather sell on eBay or Etsy where I don't have to send a message explaining that an item has sold.

Another problem with Facebook is that some members reserve a book and then do not follow through.  This happened to me twice, and I only offered books for sale a few times.  Buyers almost always follow through on eBay, and on Etsy, buyers cannot end a listing without paying.

I have listed many excellent books on Etsy recently.  I broke up several of my bulk lots from eBay.  Some of the books were moved to Etsy individual listings.  I have also listed some of the books from the bulk lots on eBay in individual listings.

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay


sax player said...


I had a question on how to sell a set of Judy Bolton books and thought you would be the perfect person to ask. It's a complete set 1-38 but it's mismatched between PC and books with dust jackets. Would you suggest selling it as a complete, but mismatched set, selling it in 2 lots (1 PC lot and 1 DJ lot) or selling each book individually. The picture cover books are in really nice shape, but some of the dust jacket books have some tears. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Jennifer White said...

Are some of the picture covers in the middle of the range, like #5 through #29? If so, those might do better individually if they are in pretty good shape. The Judy Bolton picture cover books are extremely hard to find, particularly the middle ones.

The picture covers above #30 (#30, 31, and 33 do not exist) also would do better individually.

If any of the picture covers are #1-4, those would be easier to sell in a small bulk lot.

The jackets could go either way. I would probably group ones like #1-10 or so in a bulk lot if they are tweed books, just because it is harder to sell low-numbered books individually. Ones like #18 and up might do better individually.