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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone know of an good ebay alternative?

With as many unhappy people there are with the brilliant changes ebay has made, I am surprised that a new auction site hasn't popped up.

I am not as happy with ebay that I once was.

My products don't really qualify for etsy.

Any new auction sites that you know of that are successful???

Clove
 

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Once I was seven years old
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Have you considered your own website? It can really cut out the overhead and you'll learn the hard lesson of Organic SE traffic ;) Seriously, you can get as many sales from your website as you do from ebay if you put forward the effort. And you won't have to keep putting up with future rising fees. I'm just guessing, but with the money you are paying in fees, you could probably run an Adwords campaign and take the same traffic that ebay draws with Adwords. A well thought out campaign should bring a good return. Takes some research and tweaking though. There were some coupons for Adwords so you could at least experiment to see if things would work for you without a huge investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is a good idea.

I have never created nor run a website. I understand it is pretty easy and affordable.

The Adwords: I have studied those costs. It is simply unbelievable what the competition will pay for the words I would use. I have seen them over $2.

While I do believe that the adwords might be an effective tool, I am uncertain how to drive business to my site.

As well, is there an affordable way to take payments these days? How about websites with check outs?

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Clove
 

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Clovis, adwords costs are variable depending on what you want to do. Site targeting the right site can be very cost-effective; you can put an ad in front of people who are interested in exactly your merchandise by targeting sites that discuss that merchandise. (And you can also verify that your ad is, actually, appearing on a good site and not some spammer's click-a-minute splog.) Keyword targeting is less cost effective and you have less control.

That said ... I have seriously considered putting up a FREE e-bay alternative that is advertising funded. You'd have to put up with Adsense ads after your auction listings, but it'd be free. :) Haven't done it yet, but I seriously think it would be doable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Clovis, adwords costs are variable depending on what you want to do. Site targeting the right site can be very cost-effective; you can put an ad in front of people who are interested in exactly your merchandise by targeting sites that discuss that merchandise. (And you can also verify that your ad is, actually, appearing on a good site and not some spammer's click-a-minute splog.) Keyword targeting is less cost effective and you have less control.

That said ... I have seriously considered putting up a FREE e-bay alternative that is advertising funded. You'd have to put up with Adsense ads after your auction listings, but it'd be free. :) Haven't done it yet, but I seriously think it would be doable.
Can you explain with more detail? I would love to hear more about it.

I do think that ebay's key to success is that they have paid to have their ads listed in a google search.

This is one reason I don't mind the higher ebay fees. I know that a part of the fee is going to advertise my product. Just last night, I did a google search for an item that I have listed on ebay, and my ad was listed first in the search!

I just don't understand why all the ebay alternatives keep giving away free listings without a FVF.

The next big alternative to ebay will still charge fees and FVF, but will also spend the money advertising the items that are listed.

Clove
 

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eBay's successful because they're the first. I'm not sure they're the best design, however, for an auction site, and I wouldn't be too surprised to see some of the big players (like Google or Amazon) enter the online auction biz eventually. eBay could be improved upon. A lot. In many and varied ways.

I am not sure eBay's adwords listings are all that cost effective. eBay apparently isn't sure either, because they had a period of a couple of months last year where they stopped running them, apparently as a test to see.

As far as a free eBay alternative would go ... it's certainly feasible. I'd expect CPMs (cost per thousand pageviews) in the $2-3 range, if not significantly higher. Adsense would do really well on an auction site because people would be looking to buy things -- so someone looks for a Green and Paisley Widget, doesn't find what they're looking for, exactly, on the site but there's a handy adsense ad for a Green and Paisley Widget. Voila, the site owner just made some money when the user clicked.

I've seriously considered doing this. I have a PR7 domain with significant traffic and a compatible user base (SF fandom ... we buy stuff!) that could easily have a "new area" of an auction. I just don't have the $$$ at the moment to get it off the ground. Working on that.

(Actually ... thanks for the reminder. I have a huge project that's about done. I might look into this again. I have a gut feeling there's some decent auction apps out there that I could buy and I wouldn't have to build it from the ground up.)

-- Leva
 

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Edit to add: Was your item in eBay's PAID ads or in Google Search?

Google Search itself is free, and search rank is based on a number of factors, but basically, the bigger the site, the more likely search links are to appear at the top.

The ads aren't free.

(See: PR7 site. That's a ranking of how important Google thinks a site is. My site does really well in search too. Hmmm. I really should look into those auction apps.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Edit to add: Was your item in eBay's PAID ads or in Google Search?

Google Search itself is free, and search rank is based on a number of factors, but basically, the bigger the site, the more likely search links are to appear at the top.

The ads aren't free.

(See: PR7 site. That's a ranking of how important Google thinks a site is. My site does really well in search too. Hmmm. I really should look into those auction apps.)
I am not 100% sure, but I think it is in Google search. Isn't ebay paying for those high search results?

There is soooooo much I don't know.
 

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Anyone know of an good ebay alternative?
There is a thread about this topic every now and then. People suggest alternate promotion sites, but they are all missing one key ingredient -- buyers. EBay's got 'em, and no one else does.

Craig's List is not an alternative to eBay. It's fine for local vendors and for large individual items, but you can't spread your ads all over the country or you'll get banned for spamming. I haven't been able to use Craig's List to my advantage. At least not yet.

I'm an eBay Power Seller, and I'm having a very difficult time right now. The problem centers around the new "best match" feature, which is now the default search mode for buyers. It's all but ruined eBay, resulting in 1,600 eBay employees being laid-off.
 

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I am not 100% sure, but I think it is in Google search. Isn't ebay paying for those high search results?

There is soooooo much I don't know.
I used to market exclusively at Google. It was all done by optimization. Unfortunately, that was from about 1998 to maybe 2006. Since that time the Google search algorithm has become sophisticated enough that it's difficult to dominate the search engines like we could 5 years ago. It was a game I was going to eventually lose, and I knew it all along. That's why I turned to eBay, which is basically paid advertising.

I did do some Google Adwords experiments, but it didn't pay. Yes, there are those who who will pay Google for sponsored listings, but I doubt that anyone does well except Google with that kind of advertising.

To give you an idea of the success rate, we normally expect 1 in 200 targeted visitors to actually buy something. Now, multiply what your competitors pay for Adwords click-throughs times 200 and see if you want to pay that for advertising. Even at 50 cents, you're paying $100/sale in advertising. No thanks...

Having a web page is still important though. You can put up a store and drive traffic to your site in a variety of ways, including through Bay. I still recommend optimizing your page for Google. You'll still get your share of visitors from Google.

There are free shopping cart creators out there that interface with PayPal. It's a terrific way to sell things.
 

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I am not 100% sure, but I think it is in Google search. Isn't ebay paying for those high search results?

There is soooooo much I don't know.
Technically, no. eBay is paying for ads shown related to search terms or specific terms themselves. By their own terms and conditions, Google doesn't take payment to rank higher in the organic search results. The reason eBay ranks high for certain terms in the organic search results is because so many people linking to eBay for whatever reason. The ads show up under Sponsored Links in Google search results.
 

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I am a power seller on ebay and I agree, that new search engine is a joke. I do pretty well on the DSR ratings to increase your search standing, but every now and then you get an idiot that does not understand. I had a customer that I mailed the package within a day or two of purchase. She bought on the weekend I believe I mailed on Monday, it was near Christmas time and the package took 7 days to get to her from the time she paid until receiving. She dinged me so bad on my DSRs that I dropped 2 points. It has taken a month to get back to a reasonable standing, but I am still reduced in the search. She brought me down from a 20% rebate to a 5%. I don't know what more I could have done, but this is what we have to contend with now. I did find an alternative site, it does not have all the buyers, but I do sell an item every now and then. It is blujay.com They don't charge for listing, selling or anything. You set up a store and it is free. So, other than a little time, what does it cost. I then added a signature at the bottom of all my emails that direct people to both sites. I don't sell a lot there, but can lower the prices a little since there are no fees and have found that when people compare my ebay prices to the blujay prices, blujay is cheaper and I do take paypal there, so they are starting to buy there. It takes a while, but every sale is a sale, WITH NO FEES!!!!
 

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Craigslist would be great if there search was a little better and more users were willing to ship. Ive sent the a mesage explaining how I felt but got no response. I hadn't heard of blue jay but i will be checking it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am a power seller on ebay and I agree, that new search engine is a joke. I do pretty well on the DSR ratings to increase your search standing, but every now and then you get an idiot that does not understand. I had a customer that I mailed the package within a day or two of purchase. She bought on the weekend I believe I mailed on Monday, it was near Christmas time and the package took 7 days to get to her from the time she paid until receiving. She dinged me so bad on my DSRs that I dropped 2 points. It has taken a month to get back to a reasonable standing, but I am still reduced in the search. She brought me down from a 20% rebate to a 5%. I don't know what more I could have done, but this is what we have to contend with now.
The same thing happened to me!!!!

I, too, am a power seller with DSR ratings of 4.8 or 4.9. A few months ago, a total jerk did the same thing, and ruined my discounts.

Even Ebay admits that they don't understand how the DSR system works.

The frustrating thing to me is that by Ebay's standards, a DSR of 3.0 is a good seller.

It only takes one lunatic or jerk to ruin your DSR.

You mentioned bluejay.com. I need to check it out again. I just wish that a place like that would charge a nominal fee for listing, but advertise heavily with the revenues they bring in. Eventually, they would attract the buyers, and then later the sellers offering bigger and better deals.

Clove
 
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