The eBay debate continues

I know a lot of you out there that trade online, and with eBay are still talking to each other about the changes. This blog puts me in the enviable position of speaking with many of you via e-mail, and quite a few phone calls.

Also, I am able to get information from people within the industry as to their opinions and what their readers are saying.

One of these is Ina Steiner, who most of you will know via the blog www.auctionbytes.com. My thanks to Ina for the following:

“Overall, eBay’s changes hit antiques dealers harder than commodity
sellers. eBay is making it cheaper to list but more expensive when an
item does sell. And every antiques dealer knows there are problem
buyers. Sellers tell us they will have virtually no leverage to deal
with them because eBay is taking away their ability to leave neutral
or negative feedback for buyers.

eBay believes this will make for a better buying experience – more
listings, and buyers who are not turned off by receiving negatives.
But eBay takes the risk that sellers will not only turn to other
venues (and antiques dealers have already turned to marketplaces like
GoAntiques, TIAS and RubyLane), but that those sellers will also stop
buying on eBay.

It’s a high-risk gamble that is not being well received overall, by sellers.”

I also have spoken with Antique Trader Web writer Gabe Constantine, who is a show dealer and a busy eBay dealer as well, and he’s certainly talked to more than a few of you in his journeys through the message boards. His comments mirrored many of the ones I got via e-mail.

Here’s what Gabe had to say:

I feel that the eBay leadership needed a change, and since I wasn’t contacted for the job I will have to hope that this newbie will do what needs to be done.

I disagree that eBay is shifting focus. Right off the bat, they lowered listing fees. Don’t be fooled, read carefully and you will see that they raised the final value fee enough to where it will almost equal out and make no difference.

Maybe this new head honcho will shift direction but in 2007 I witnessed a successful “Bid Victoriously “ eBay advertising campaign generated towards their online auctions. Compared in the commercials to Jumping Higher than everyone else and winning the touchdown Catch of a Vase. To me this isn’t shying away from the auction aspect.

I think eBay will remain a strong force in the Antiques & Collectables marketplace. It’s a monopoly of the online auction world. With the growing success of EBay Live auctions I feel it will have no trouble remaining a force.

One thing eBay has always needed to do is get the input from us, the people who specialize in Antiques & Collectables. We need “our voice” as Antiques & Collectables dealers to be heard in all decision making. Just look at how poor the category system is and you should understand how little our input is.

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