I’ve often said eBay has all the buyers, but this week I thought I’d put a couple of alternative venues to the test. I wanted it to be a realistic experiment so I chose two popular sites – eBid and Gumtree. Both met one particular criteria which sellers claim to love – they’re both free to list. Gumtree also has the advantage as a classified ads site of also being free to sell.
First job was to choose which products to list. I purposely chose products which I sell week in week out on eBay and never fail to sell. With the thought in the back of my mind that many sellers claim to make a good income from alternate sites there was a twinge of guilt that I was making the test too easy but starting with top sellers made sense.
I was also conscious that listing on the 18th, the first day of the supposed eBay strike should mean that alternate sites were getting maximum traffic. If ever there was a time to list on these sites it’s when they’re in the media spotlight attracting maximum attention.
So the first listings went up just after 8pm on Monday 18th, one of each on eBay, eBid and Gumtree, starting with a laser printer and a TFT flat screen monitor. At the last minute I decided to lower the price by about 27% on both products for eBid and Gumtree, it seemed a reasonable move as I don’t have previous feedback for sellers to assess me by.
The first sale came in just three hours after listingâ€¦ but it was on eBay and for the rest of the week eBay sales carried on as normal.
Tuesday saw a couple of TFTs sold on eBay and one on GUMTREE! For a free listing with a sale less than 24 hours later that was a worthwhile exercise. Gumtree kept a steady stream all week selling another TFT and a printer over the weekend. Sadly eBid failed to generate a single sale, in fact it only generated 4 page views on the printer (and two of them were Sue and me) with 19 views on the TFT Screen.
The eBid listings finished on Monday, but Gumtree are still producing sales. I’ve had another email this evening from a buyer wishing to purchase another printer, it appears the adverts have some longevity even without reposting the ad.
So the conclusion from a quick experiment – don’t bother with smaller auction sites where you still have to pay fees, if you want to try an alternative venue try classified ads on Gumtree.