Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Under the radar

This is big news to the smaller eBay sellers, but is probably under the radar of most of the planet. Yet anybody who buys on eBay had better take notice. eBay is raising fees for its smaller Stores and for many of the features sellers have grown accustomed to using, like Gallery (those little pictures that show up when you are searching for something), Buy-it-Now (for when you want to cut to the chase and just buy something outright without waiting out the auction) and ten-day auctions.

eBay is seeing many of the smaller sellers closing their Stores and moving offsite, but management doesn't care. Once the "world's garage sale," eBay now caters to wholesalers and manufacturers in the Far East. It reminds me of what has happened to many small-town flea markets here in the USA: They used to be made up of folks cleaning out attics and basements who had some really interesting things to offer, but now many of them are taken over by the belt-buckle-and-cheap-tee-shirts crowd. What fun is that?

What this means for eBay buyers is a) higher prices as sellers compensate for their own higher costs and b) less selection as the small folk are forced out.

I have two eBay Stores at present. One, Sweet Gal Decals, will be closing and moving to an offsite website within the month. The other, Lulabelle's Place, will probably stay for awhile while I figure out where I want to go with this.

My shallow thought on the subject?

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