Setting your Sales and Getting Beached on eBay.
This is a well trodden topic so I will keep it snappy and dangerously niche.
As you buy and sell in any market you carve you way down a steep learning curve. Despite a promising start on eBay, it is increasingly obvious that it is no longer the frontier to further our business, new pastures are needed. No offense eBay you were an great stepping stone, however now we must take a step beyond.
Through a multitude of marketing strategies eBay will declare itself the go to place for used item sales. Whilst it might be great for the odd sale or random house clear out, for a rapidly expanding new business like ours it simply isn't the best catalyst for the exponential growth.
There is no denying eBay still provides us a few sales of high value stock here and there, mostly due to the "best offer" function which encourages buyers to spend that little bit more and still receive a good deal. However we see 4 or 5 times more sales on alternative online marketplaces such as Etsy (Side note: We have no investment or business advantage to unduly promote Etsy)
Part of this increase in sales through other channels could stem from our company style and the products we have on sale. However we find eBay not as ascetically pleasing or as intuitive Etsy is.
All being said, it is still important to have a presence on eBay, many people purchase a very high percentage of their total online shopping through eBay, and for many others it is undoubtedly a 'go-to marketplace' when they begin shopping online.
SEO rankings are also an advantage for eBay as they invest a great deal with Google shopping and marketplaces such as Bonanza will also feed into it with their advertising function. Having said that Etsy are now promoting Google shopping more heavily and in some cases overtaking eBay. Try searching your own items on Google and see which comes up first, like us, you may be surprised.
The main benefit to a small business just starting out is that Etsy has the appeal, look and feel of a cool, quirky start up shop, especially if teamed with their own in house eCommerce platform, Pattern. Ebay is overly mechanical looking and seller functionality is outdated, it really would benefit with an overhaul of its functions. Maybe using a more expansive version of Etsy, with seller accounts of varying sizes and functionality.
We may outgrow Etsy, yet for now we are happy setting up our stall on the Etsy wave and surfing the sales it brings.