Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Little eBay Stores Board Wisdom!

I regularly read the eBay Stores Board but never post -- I am deemed a "rabble rouser" by the team that runs the stores board. When I was selling I rarely if ever read the eBay discussion boards but I think I missed out. Sure most of the sellers on the boards are small sellers but if you read the boards there are nuggets of wisdom to be found.

I spend most of my time on the Stores Board because I believe eBay Stores are the weakest link in the eBay Empire. I think that eBay has "screwed the pooch" in regards to stores, mostly by limiting Stores potential. They feel if they improve visibility in Stores it will continue the decline of CORE and in its present form that is probably correct. My biggest beef is they don't appear to know how to do both (Core and Stores) effectively.

I have many complaints about eBay in regards to Stores but it is time for Sellers to take some responsibility for their own business. Stores are not the "Holy Grail" of online business; it is a tool to reach customers. Sellers should not make the mistake of believing if they "just list it they [customers] will come. Sellers are not entitled to a nice profit just because they list items. I don't blame eBay for my business failure because when the market dynamics changed I was not prepared to handle it. Sellers need to learn to be responsible for their own business.

This recent comment from the stores board is full of wisdom in this regard.
faeries_finest (709 ) View Listings 2 of 9 Apr-28-07 22:07 PDT

"Stores aren't part of Core. It's that simple. Stores can be a profitable part of an Ebay business but Ebay never claims it is one size fits all - they never say 'put all your inventory in a store and your sales will go up 'You have to be responsible for picking and choosing the services that Ebay offers. Only you can decide the best listing formats and the best mix of listing formats for your particular business. Of course Ebay is going to encourage you to use all of them. That's their job. Your job is to exercise judgment about whether their recommendations are actually a good business decision for you."

Sellers don't let changes in the marketplace catch you by surprise. eBay Stores are a tool, its up to you to become the Master Craftsmen.


Frank Ross said...

Well said Randy. The "reset the marketplace" thing last year should have been a wake up call to eBay store owners to get moving and work on other channels. Still many of them just sit around; complain and blame eBay for their poor store performance.

eBay does deserve criticism, don't get me wrong. The eBay store FV fee plus a paypal fee is comparable to what it costs to serve up items over on the Amazon Marketplace (AM). However, the AM gives you Amazon exposure - that's a big difference.

But there no point on dwelling on 'what eBay did'. They did what they did and if they shot themselves in the foot, so be it. But store owners need to deal with the fact that the golden days of eBay stores (if there were such a thing) are gone and plan accordingly. And YES, for heaven's sake, take some responsibility.

Biddy said...

*applauds* especially Sellers need to learn to be responsible for their own business. I have less and less patience with sellers who think that because it's easy to start selling on eBay, it should be easy to make a full-time living here -- the ones who post on eBay messages boards "my sales are rubbish, is anyone else going down the pan too?" and are comforted when they're told yes :-(

What I do feel sad about is that Stores could be such a great resource for eBay. 80% of my sales come from SIF listings, I do a LOT of work to promote my Stores and I love them: SIF works for my business. But I do think with a little more help from eBay, Stores could be better. It shouldn't be about core vs. store - the two areas are completely different and complementary. If eBay could figure that, we could all do a lot more business.

Randy Smythe said...

Well Said Frank! Besides I do enough complaining for everybody.

We all want the "good old days" back but that will not happen. eBay is strictly a marketplace, like Amazon, it is no longer a community.

Randy Smythe said...

Sue, I believe that Stores/Shops are actually a diamond in the rough. Unfortunately eBay sees them as a chunk of coal.

I still hope they will someday see the value.

Sue said...

Ah well, I believe that pressure on coal turns it into diamond: we just have to keep the pressure up :-D