This is a question that most full time Ebay sellers will be asking themselves over the next month or two. The “best match” finding 2.0 changes to Ebay’s default search in March 08, and the May 08 removal of a sellers “mutual feedback” privileges will cause unknown changes to many Ebay sellers bottom lines. (I am leaving out fee changes because they can be calculated.) I know of one seller locally who has already closed his doors, and started selling off his inventory. He felt it was too big a gamble with three small children to continue counting on Ebay as his sole source of income. Buy out companies have been quick to take most of his stock of brand new Budweiser mugs off his hands.
If you use Ebay as a part time source of income, you will probably be OK waiting to see how your income changes. For sellers who have made a full time commitment of resources and time to build a business on Ebay, the wait and see approach will probably not work. I personally have two building leases, and several buyers who depend on me. Not to mention year long advertising contracts that cost quite a bit each month. For me, waiting to see what happens to my Ebay income isn’t going to work very well. I have to plan for the worst, and hope for the best.
I plan to sell off as much inventory as I can this month, and stop buying additional stock until I see how “Best Match” is going to change my sell through rates. I have also created a selling account on Amazon. Amazon has a very vital marketplace where you can usually sell your items at a higher price than you can get on Ebay. Amazon has no upfront fees, handles the payment processing (no paypal fees), and the final value fees are 12% to 15% which is just slightly higher than Ebays new fee changes. But Amazon handles more of the customer service tasks, and there are no listing fees. For more advice on selling through Amazon’s marketplace see the IMA forum. For more information about the differences in selling on Amazon vs. Ebay try this link.
There are also niche marketplace websites if you are selling in a collectibles category. Many niche marketplace websites have also seen a surge over the past year in sales, and sellers. The best way to find them is through collectors newsletters or the IMA forum.
For all the Ebay sellers who face extreme business changes over the next few months, I wish you the best and hope all your planning in the next few months bring you a better overall marketplace experience for the coming year.