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I finally gave up eBay today, I'm happy to move on.

Discussion in 'Ebay' started by eBayMafia, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. eBayMafia

    eBayMafia BANNED BANNED

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    Over the past couple of years I have been doing about $100,000 in profit yearly. Now I'm throwing in the towel. At some point in every business, they have to evaluate how they sell things, the direction they are going, and how much effort is being spent on how much is coming in.

    The decision is made that eBay is simply not tailored to fit the needs of my business, and not a place in which my business can continue to grow.

    Back in 08 when I was using only eBay, I just couldn't seem to bring in more than $3k in sales (gross) for the items I was selling. Trying to earn a livable income through profit on eBay wasn't easy, my goal was $500/week (profit), or $2,000/month which I felt was a livable income. $3k in monthly sales was giving me about that, but I seemed to have plateaued.

    When I began selling on Amazon, then it changed. I went from $3k to $5k just within a couple months. At this point, my lifestyle changed a little, but I was getting beat up and sleeping for probably 3 hours a night, every other night. It wasn't Amazons fault either, it was eBays. There was Always something to do, something to change, someone to communicate with, someone to send a new item to because of complaints.

    Then when things happened like a paypal limitation, or eBay account limitation on my eBay accounts, I wouldn't sleep at all and it really took a toll on me. When you've got 10k worth of items invested just sitting in your garage, you freak out thinking about how you are going to sell them because an unemployment check doesn't come in for the self employed when they lose their jobs. I would spend days if not weeks coming up with ways to become unlimited, to get back on eBay, make my listings look different. I always felt like a criminal, when in fact, I did nothing wrong.

    At some point in time, I decided it was best to try to open up my own online store and advertise it through things like PPC, banners on forums and related sites, small hardly successful youtube give-aways, and an SEO team finally put me on the first page of the rankings. It finally paid off, and now a good portion of my income comes from my own website but there's always work to do.

    So finally, I was making about 6k a month in several niches, still living a stressful life, I wanted to see more of my family and perhaps, travel to China to start meeting up with suppliers. I hired someone at the cost of $2,000 a month to handle just about everything, and outsourced to someone in China to handle things customer service related and also process my shipments from China. This cost $500 a month. Now I was earning about 10k a month. This wasnt the direct result of hiring people, but also because when I did, it caused me to study up on how things were actually selling on eBay.

    At this point, my life was still stressful, because now I wasn't just worried about items not being sold, I was worried that for some reason, something would happen as to where my employees wouldn't get paid and I would lose face. My business grew and I started selling different items, and even started doing a little wholesale from China, especially for discontinued items from the toy manufacturer Bandai.

    Offices in China, large deals, IRS audits, and hundreds of thousands later, I sat down and started deleting listing on eBay down to just a couple hundred items. Then I started deleting more and more.

    Do I make a little less now that I don't sell on eBay?

    Yes, and no. Yes I make less sales, but no, because is so competitive that if you arent the lowest, you arent selling. I had to hire someone to assure that I was the lowest for thousands of items, and this cost more money. Sometimes, I was only making a couple cents off of items that I was making $10 or even more off eBay.

    Couple days later, I'm happy. I still wake up to see if I have any calls from my account manager at eBay, I'm glad its all over with. I think there is a saying that goes, would you rather walk uphill and downhill for 2 pennies, or just downhill for 1 penny. Choose downhill, it doesn't make you less of a businessman.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  2. loedown

    loedown Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  3. Lawrencess

    Lawrencess Junior Member

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    Thanks for the interesting story. I know exactly how you feel.

    I will relate some of my similar experiences in the eBay and eCommerce game, hopefully to share knowledge with newbies trying to break through, or people like us trying to maximize the effort/profit ratio.

    Curiously my eBay company has been plateaued at 3k a week in sales for a long time. I had 100 items and traded 3k a week9 months ago, and now I have 500 items and trade 3.5k a week.

    Recently I took the time and effort and set it up an online store. It has been trading about $1k a week only 4 weeks after launch, I have finally been indexed in the last week and sales have blown up! It is now trading far quicker than eBay ever did.

    I still work the same 50 hours a week at my day job, and the same 30 hours a week on my eCommerce projects, but the stress levels have decreased and profit levels have increased

    Take home messages for newbies to the area.
    -Just because you can sell 10 items a day work 1 hour and make 50 dollars, does not mean you can scale it to selling 100 items a day working 10 hours and making 500 dollars.
    -you will never sell a single unit on eBay unless you are the absolute cheapest, or have a far better copy and description.
    -If you already have a niche, and stock or drop-shippers. A well put together, standalone ecommerce solution is a worthwhile investment. I like interspire.
     
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  4. krzysiekz

    krzysiekz Senior Member

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    Thanks for the post.

    I feel quite the same, although I am no where near your scale. I do all of the work myself, packing, listings, customer service etc.

    I was initially only into the higher-priced items because I thought to myself that I am never going to be willing to sell items for only a few dollars profit. So, before then, it was okay - I would sell a couple of items per day and make some nice profit on them.

    But now, I have found a new product that sells about 20-30 units per day so about 200 of them per week. The profit is good, about $8 per each so about $1600 profit per week. But the workload is intense! A lot of emails, a lot to ship (all by myself), just a lot to do!

    But, for that type of money I am willing to stick in for a bit longer. I have other plans though, and I do not seem to have enough time to invest into those. I would love to outsource, but I'd be worried they are not doing a good enough job. Plus, how could I outsource to someone in China if I am selling in another country? Outsourcing would be great, I just don't know how - at the moment.

    I would only really need to hire someone for an hour or two per day, 5 days a week. It wouldn't be too much. But all the items are at my home, would I need to give them the items to keep at their home? How would I go about it?
     
  5. SteamyMcSteam

    SteamyMcSteam Junior Member

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    Not asking to give your product sources away, but would you mind saying where you are getting them from? Alibabi or DHGate?
     
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  6. eBayMafia

    eBayMafia BANNED BANNED

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    TaoBao

    Alibaba and DHGate are mostly middlemen that just source their products from sellers set up on TaoBao.
     
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  7. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

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    I walked away from eBay as a powerseller over 3 years ago and I haven't looked back. I will buy from sellers on ebay occassionally but I refuse to sell on their unlevel playing field.

    Good for you for leaving feebay.
     
  8. Jackalakus

    Jackalakus Junior Member

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    I've been selling on ebay since 05. I am currently using Doba.com as a drop shipper. EBAY IS THE RAPEST OF ALL RAPERS!

    BUT at teh same time you can make money from them. I sell (drop ship) only 10 items from doba. The sales are steady and I profit about $1500 a month.

    Sounds like you just need a break and think about things that are more valuable for your time. Or you can keep selling in volume. Either way good move on realizing you are over worked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  9. krzysiekz

    krzysiekz Senior Member

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    I can agree, but there are still a fair portion of actual manufacturers that can be found on Alibaba, too.
     
  10. boo blizzi

    boo blizzi Regular Member

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    @ebaymafia...since u are no longer using ebay...i guess u have to change ur name...lol
     
  11. Lawrencess

    Lawrencess Junior Member

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    I haven't had much success hiring people for such short hours. No-one wants to drive to work, work 2 hours, and then drive home. The only people suitable are high school kids or college students, and more often than not they lack the drive to really give a shit.

    Depending on your area and your future plans, it may be worth hiring a storage shed, or a small commercial space.

    But then again, nothing is ever as profitable percentage wise as running a shop by yourself, from your bedroom.

    p.s. Nice product find, big volume on single items is really an excellent way to sell. My biggest seller is 3 units a day. Some days, I pack 120 completely different items.
     
  12. Jackalakus

    Jackalakus Junior Member

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    HAMMOCKS ARE A KILLER ON EBAY!! Just sayin...
     
  13. yousefgreat

    yousefgreat Regular Member

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    Woah, that was pretty close to my story with eBay.

    They always made me feel like a criminal even though everything done was 100% LEGIT. I got reported (VERO complaint) even though I wasn't infringing any copyrights and the VERO guy wasnt even responsible for this brand name but just wanted to get me off competition... Had my eBay/PayPal account limited a couple of times (2 Years old with 100% positive feedback and 1000's of positive). They just do not know how to treat their valuable clients... I left them for good and thought I would start from scratch with my own online store.. It all paid off by far.. no eBay fees, no damn PayPal limitations and I actually own my own business rather than let eGay do it for me.

    Thank you eBay for all the hard time and pressure you put for Legit businesses. at least i learnt my lesson.
     
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  14. eBayMafia

    eBayMafia BANNED BANNED

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    I can't even fake this:
    [​IMG]

    eBay apparently does not want you to close your account.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  15. eBayMafia

    eBayMafia BANNED BANNED

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    Having had Anime Bags and several other things made, I can tell you that theres a lot less than you think.

    Usually manufacturers dont make their own items to sell themselves, they need people to place orders to have items made. Using Alibaba, it was hard for me to find bags to be made for less than 30 RMB, and I needed some cheap PVC bags, really basic. So, I had one manufacturer produce me 2000. I decided to take a trip to his facility in Shanghai (I'm often in Nanjing and Shanghai anyway) and bear some gifts and hope to build a better relationship. Turns out, the address used didn't exist, he outsourced the bags to be made at another facility which is fine, but because of this, I couldn't have the same bags made again because the faux manufacturer soon disappeared and would have liked to had corrections made. Fast forward three months, I picked another company to make the bags. They said they were in Guangzhao. I ordered 2000 units, and they made the bags Exactly the same as my previous ones. I was amazed. Again, being in Shenzhen for a tradeshow, I took the train to Guangzhao to give gifts and order more in person. Place didn't exist.

    Months later, I found out that a company in Yiwu was making the bags, because I found the bags while shopping. They give me a tour of their Huge factory with like 300 workers and advance machines, and there are my bags sitting in the corner. I ordered more, and it now cost me 19 RMB, and were perfectly happy accepting orders of just 200.
     
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  16. eloquenceeee

    eloquenceeee Regular Member

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    It's good to see you moving on to make more time for things that matter life your happiness and family.

    Cheers mate.
     
  17. zupreme

    zupreme Newbie

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    Wow. This sounds eerily familiar to my own Ebay horror story. My relationship with them ended a couple of years ago when I sold a very brand-oriented domain name on their site for $22k. The buyer accepted the domain transfer, set up the domain on his own hosting provider, and then promptly filed a complaint that he didn't realize that he was buying a domain name and not a physical product. Ebay judged that particular account to be too "high a risk" as a result, in spite of the fact that I was a powerseller moving over $15k in goods every month for over 2 years.

    The upside is that I did finally get the funds - after a 6 month waiting period. But the damage was done. I lost all trust in Ebay/Paypal as a sales platform and have not looked back.

    EPN is another story though..... ;-)
     
  18. boo blizzi

    boo blizzi Regular Member

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    this thread has really struck a chord with people here...ebay better get their shit together...there is talk of a mass exodus all over the net...so what is the best alternative?
     
  19. eBayMafia

    eBayMafia BANNED BANNED

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    You are going to want to hire someone young most likely. Ive noticed that the younger workers can do "this and that" pretty well, but not exceptional. Ive never been impressed with the descriptions for example. An older person can really excel at one task and be horrible at the rest. For example, this lady was great at picking the items, packing them up, and having them out, and updating my inventory. She was pretty bad at listing and description writing. I had the same experience with two other older people.

    I would suggest you ask around for someone in a computer related field at a local community college that is willing to earn x amount a week for doing eBay stuff.

    I now 6 employees, 2 are local, 3 are in China, 1 was in the Philippines. I have some Chinese employees come and go depending on the work.

    Theres also a network of people you can pay to eliminate your competition on eBay. I dont know exactly how they do it, but they do.
     
  20. boo blizzi

    boo blizzi Regular Member

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    hey OP what country are u in/from...the US?