eBay Tips 2008: There may be trouble ahead.

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What would you do if eBay pulled the plug? It could happen. What if a change makes eBay untenable for you? What if the developments to Search and Browse, combined with a few unsavoury Feedback, mean that your items are appearing at the bottom of the pile? Just like in the Thunderbirds, anything could happen, although not necessarily in the next half hour.
The only protection from the worst lies with diversification. You can diversify the channels through which you sell. This could mean other marketplaces or building your own website. We’ll look at both in the next few days. Or you could diversify what you sell. It’s very easy, whilst everything is going swimmingly, to imagine that it’s going to keep on going swimmingly, ad infinitum. But it’s when everything’s ticketyboo that you should be planning for the lean times. So here’s Dan Droplet of Doom for today:

The bad times are just around the corner.

eBay doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Since 1999, when eBay was established in the UK, we’ve never had it so good. Thanks to the fair wind of a benign global economic situation behind us, the buoyancy of cheap consumer credit and the prudent stewardship of Captain Brown, the Brits haven’t been shy to spend for the entirety of eBay.co.uk’s life. I suspect that this will change. A useful comparison might be Germany. eBay Germany is bigger than eBay UK (but then Germany’s a bigger country) but when you break down the eBay spend by head of population, the Brits spend more. Economically, the Germans have had a harder decade than we have.

On one hand, while harder times might favour eBay (people will come looking for more bargains) equally it seems to me that it’s very likely that people will be spending less. For sellers, this means you’ll have to work that bit harder for your profits. So what I want to close of the eBay Tips 2008 series with, is information that’s not about eBay. What can you be doing to insulate yourself against over-dependence on eBay and avoid the worst of the oncoming storm?

4 Responses

  1. I guess it’s still not totally inconceivable that one day eBay may be bought/buy another site/merge

    That could totally change the manner that the site works

  2. RE: “eBay Tips 2008: There may be trouble ahead.”

    Improve your client ebay reactivation system, shouldn’t there be a better way than just cutting ‘off the hand that feeds you’Ebay, a better way than currently exist, a system where you supply the eBay client/Buyer with an automated reply, which automates a list of current email address, to each and every Seller, in order that the client may reactivate his or her eBay account, instead of having to go through via the Courts to seek redress.

    Why not have an eBay Tips 2008 on this subject or just maybe bad eBay publicity is better than no publicity? Or is it the case that this would require an eBay staff member (and not constant automated uneffectual eBay emails/response) to have to actually do some work and for this reason, it would not be considered.

    In my case (1)my two bank debit cards, via PayPal expired within the same month, (2)the banks took their time in issuing me new cards/pin numbers and yes you’ve guessed it, (3)my account was/is still SUSPENDED and furthermore (4)eBay wanted me to email to all Sellers, request removal but (5) they (eBay) took their time supplying me with Sellers info/email addresses this even after RSS eBay response (which was useless) and (6) all the time, my account was deacivated, I was (7) unable to contact Sellers and (8) furthermore Sellers became victims, as a result, during this time I was trying to resolve matters and yes you’ve guessed it, (9) I discovered that many of the Sellers emails which eBay supplied were no longer operational/relevant nad (10) I was unable to contact each and every Seller and therefore no longer able to reactivate my eBay account !!! How does this benefit Sellers who want to sell to me and I had no previous problems, these past three years (I had a 98% eBay rating) and whom I want to sell to (thereby increasing eBay profits) I hear you asking? In short no one benefits, there are ONLY eBay losses ! ! !

    Irrate, angry, ex-eBay client
    [personal email address removed for commenter’s protection]



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