Friday, October 9, 2009

Time to eBay again....

Well, we really never left eBay at all but don't do nearly as much as we used to there. Why? The biggest deal was the huge increase in eBay store fees. The increase wouldn't have bothered us too much except that we opened an eBay store - and stocked it pretty full - after eBay went on a huge advertising campaign to get eBay sellers to get a store. Nag, Nag, Nag.... or at least that is how it seemed.

Then the huge fee increase - listing fees went from a penny to 5¢ (now they are 3¢ for items listed at $24.99 or less) and final value fees skyrocketed. eBay's response through all of this was something like "we are an auction site and most of our listings are not auctions so we had to make a motivational environment so that folks would list their items as auctions and not fixed priced items."....Or something like that. Auctions end quickly and final value fees are collected by eBay just as quickly - fixed price items can linger around for months or years before eBay gets a chance to collect final value fees. Sure, they collect the listing fees each month but they are a small fraction of what eBay collects for final value fees.

Well, we bit and built the store and then the fees skyrocket - obviously, we took down the store and decided to maintain a few fixed priced items and do the occasional auction - just to maintain a minimal eBay presence. There was some quote - and I don't know who said it - that was in regards to a company the person represented. It went along the lines of "We want to be the type of company that people want to stay in business". Well, after eBay put the old switcheroo by enticing sellers to GET A STORE NOW and then hiking fees, it is safe to say that many sellers - Walkin' Willie's Comix included - felt like eBay was NOT a business that we wanted to stay in business anymore.

Auctions are dicey these days as eBay traffic is down (in my opinion only...) and one can hardly get good value for items. The only things that do well are items in very high demand - for the comics category, that is high grade (CGC or ungraded) keys, low grade keys and newer items that are very rare (e.g. Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite slipcase edition which was only printed to initial orders). The run of the mill VG copy of any common, non-key Silver Age book is now very lucky to get 50% of guide, most often only fetching 30% of guide or so.

So why are we now listing on eBay? Good question...

We are now listing on eBay to do nothing more than create traffic for our other two websites - www.wwillie.com which is for trade paperbacks, graphic novels and CGC graded books and www.walkinwilliescomix.com which is for heavily discounted comic books (hmmm.... you didn't know about that last one did you? More to come on that in a later post....).

We are thoroughly transparent in our motives - when you win and/or buy one of our items on eBay, you will get an e-mail asking if you want to sign up for our newsletter and promoting our other websites. However, you will only get ONE e-mail per transaction as we are NOT spammers.

And we're not puttin' up junk either - right now, our listings include many keys (minor ones that is...) and the first four JLA Crisis crossovers from the Silver Age. The whole idea is to get you comic lovin' folks to get over to our other two websites and spend all of your disposable income. Hey, we don't want to take food off your table - just the disposable income...

And it is getting better on eBay - for one, they have finally woken up and have starting kissing major eBay seller butt. HELLO!!!! After years of making we sellers out to be the major of all necessary evils, eBay in their infinite wisdom has figured out that the ticked off sellers were leaving in droves. After years of promoting the limp Powersellers program that really only awarded volume of sales with next to no regard in quality, they now have a Top Sellers program that rewards sellers for providing quality service. Gee, it seems like common sense but it took around five years for eBay to get it - and whose to say they really "got it"....

It isn't just eBay though, there are problems with other online venues that has caused Walkin' Willie's Comix to rethink our strategy. That will come in another post in the very near future.

Until then, take a look at what we have on eBay - there's a LOT more to come....
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