Online Auctions: The Original Work At Home Business
Like so many other work at home moms and “mom and pop businesses,” I started my online business career as an eBay seller, very shortly after the online auction went on line. Selling in an online auction format was new, fun and gave an enormous number of people a way to make money selling collectibles, antiques, kid’s clothing, and accessories.
eBay was the first real online auction, almost single-handedly creating the industry and setting the trends for all online auction sites to come.
How To Know When It’s Time To Choose Another Online Auction
When eBay’s CEO’s changed, eBay’s entire atmosphere changed. Over time, the online auction attracted corporate sellers that competed with the small sellers, driving them out of business. eBay fees are most often cited as the reason for having to leave the online auction site. Selling fees and final value fees were raised to the point that the small work at home mom sellers could no longer afford them. eBay insisted that the future was in new products; that the flea market feel would have to go. It became impossible to compete against corporate sellers of new goods, who could afford the fees.
My last straw was when eBay removed the stores from the regular eBay search. I became a powerseller and lost everything within a few short weeks. That was 2005, the year I closed my eBay store, tried dozens of eBay alternative online auction sites and eventually built my own sites.
Treat your online auction business like a business. If you are paying more in listing and final value ebay fees than what you are getting in sales on eBay, it’s time to take a look at other online auction sites. If eBay’s policies interfere with your business, rather than work with it, it’s time to figure out how to make the move away from eBay.
Tips For Choosing An eBay Alternative Auction Site
- If you are among some of today’s eBay sellers who want to know how to make a move to other online auction sites because of high eBay fees, hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful.
- If you really are serious about making money with your online auction business, choose a larger, established site. Don’t try every brand new site that opens. Established sites have worked out the major kinks on their site, they’ve developed some traffic and have earned some experience as an online business. Brand new online auction sites may not have the experience in the industry to help them create the type of auction venue that will help YOU succeed.
- Choose online auction sites that have a specific social media marketing plan. Do you see them promoting their online business on Twitter? Do you see them on Facebook? Are they active on Pinterest? These days, if you want to be successful, you have to establish a presence in social media. That means more than tweeting once or twice a year and creating a Facebook page, but never using it. It means ACTIVELY & consistently promoting their online auctions. Because if they are promoting their online auction site, then they are promoting YOUR online business.
- Believe it or not, you really should choose online auctions that charge final value fees. Free listing sites are all well and good, but what will happen when the online auction goes out of business because they couldn’t pay their bills? In my opinion, the best way to get the revenue they need would be to charge final value fees, charge enhancement fees and NOT charge for listing the items. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference between eBay fees and fees charged at some of the other online auctions.
Auctions Are A Fun Way To Sell Collectibles
More suggestions for choosing an eBay alternative auction site
There are hundreds of online auctions these days, with more opening every day. It seems every new site believes it will beat eBay. Most don’t stay open more than a year.
- Try to find an online auction that actually has traffic of its own already. Two places you can check are Quantcast. Don’t go to all the work of listing your items at a site no one’s ever heard of. If they already have people visiting, there’s a better chance that the online auction is already making sales.
- Find online auctions that offer as many as possible of the features that you need and use. Is there a bulk lister (if you need one)? Can you add enhancements to your listings (like bold, underline, color, etc.)? Can you use various payment methods or are you limited to Paypal and Checks/Money Orders? These features are tools for conducting your online auctions in a professional manner.
Best Wishes For Your Success With Online Auctions
It’s easy to become emotionally connected to our business and to a site. I loved having my eBay business & everything it involved. There were several online auction sites where I made friends that I still have today. But if you start to lose money, then it’s time to disconnect those feelings from your business.
I hope these tips & suggestions are helpful to you in some way. If nothing else, perhaps something you see here will give you food for thought.