Effect of eBay changes on smaller antiques buyers

One of Trader’s online readers, Frank, responded to our question of the week – Can eBay stay relevant with its current changes? – and raised a good point from the view of a “casual” user, of which there are many – myself included.

Here’s what he has to say:


I was reading about eBay, the current subject for your new blog site. Here are my comments. I’ll let you decide if they are “bloggable”.

I have been a registered eBay user for nearly 10 years. While my selling has been fairly limited, I planned to increase it in the coming years when I retire. My area is mostly antique toys in the $75. to $800. range (at a few dozen per year, a very small dealer in eBay terms).  So I look at every strategic and revenue adjustment at eBay from that perspective.

I don’t really think that the site thinks of me as a member of one of their most important revenue categories. If that turns out to be increasingly true, then I may go over to listing quantities of items with traditional auctioneers (some of whom also use eBay or some other internet auctioneer anyway) to appeal to a wider range of buyers. It all comes down to dollars. If it’s a wash, who needs the hassle of packing, shipping and the occasional non-payer? The decision will be an easy one.


I have to agree with what he says. I believe that eBay might be hurting themselves from the standpoint of the small user, like Frank. If, however, these “small” users are spending anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 a year on eBay – listing and buying – that has to add up when you consider the sheer volume.

EBay might get some of the money from users like Frank, using bigger eBay dealers, but alot of that money is going to go to other dealers on other sites that are specifically dedicated to antiques already, and aren’t as problematic, like Ruby Lane, et al.