With millions of people selling on E-bay, isn’t the competition too much?

United States
December 17, 2006 1:08am CST
I just looked into selling on e-bay for my arts and craft items. I find myself overwhelmed by the amount of people selling and buying on e-bay. With this many people doing business on one site, doesn’t that also mean people are getting lost? If you can loose someone in a mall with only a few thousand people, what happens where there are millions of people? I listed an item just to try things out. I returned to see how well the search engine works to locate my item. I put in exactly what my item was and it was no where in sight! If it is this difficult for me to find something I know is there, how is anyone else going to see me by using the search engine? I’m wondering if e-bay has gotten too big for it’s own good! When you flood the market, prices crash. Is anyone really making any money on e-bay anymore?
4 people like this
47 responses
@re08dz (1941)
• Australia
17 Dec 06
If you're searching for a particular item ie one that you know is there, you often need to be very definitive in your search paramaters, as a default I thinks it's set as items ending soonest, so if you've just uploaded something it's probably going to be near the last few pages of that particular search - if that makes sens. I doubt you'll ever flood the market - if you're planning on selling your own arts and crafts, they will be unique so that's how you go about selling/advertsising them. I'm sure plenty of people still make a lot of money, I've sold a few things over time - and each time made a little more than I expected (not that it was heaps mind you, but getting any money for something in the past I may have just thrown away is always a bonus :-) )
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Dec 06
You are right about getting something is better than nothing. If all I was selling was unwanted items then I would be more comfortable. My issue is there are so many drop shippers now. It is hard to get noticed when 30 other people are just listing and selling without a blink. I have to work on my items for hours at a time. I don't want to just sell it to the cheapest person. I want people who actually appreciate the art work. I don't think I'm asking too high of a price either. In fact I just listed a matching set of Patriots Youth Backpacks to test the waters. Most of the other sellers were much higher than I. I couldn't find too many handpainted items like mine thou.
1 person likes this
@re08dz (1941)
• Australia
17 Dec 06
You're right about the dropshippers and all those ebooks etc that you can get for .01 those people are definitely pricing themselves and others out of earning any money. But as you mentioned you have something different, so (and I could be totally wrong - wouldn't be the first time :-) I would imagine that you're already one step ahead, if people want it they will find it and bid on it. I think probably the main key is whether the demand for your particular brand of item is there (and remember that being this time of year many just won't have the extra money to bid on things) Perhaps the best thing to do is to find some similar items and just keep an eye on them for a couple of weeks - see how many bids etc they get on them? And as a suggestion have you thought of setting up your own website to sell from?
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Dec 06
Well, I'm having the same problem as many others are during this time of the year. Money is a bit tight right now. I wish I had the extra funds to start something like my own website, but for now, I just want to sell a few items to get started. I haven't been in the online market so I'm just learning the tricks and layouts. I would much rather sell by word or mouth. Customers who share my passion for the good old fashion artists and quality crafts.
1 person likes this
@Logodae (31)
• United States
17 Dec 06
What sort of crafts are you selling? Do other people seem to be selling similar items for the sort of price you'd like to get? Also, have you seen etsy.com?
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Dec 06
I do handpainted items and jewlry. I had to stop the jewlry because there was just too many drop shippers on ebay. There wasn't a big customer base for custom made jewlry. I'm still uncertain as to whether or not people care enought to buy quality. I can't sell my items at $.99!
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Dec 06
If you can paint well, that's a versatile skill. You just need to find a niche that isn't already occupied... and don't try to compete on price. Produce high-quality stuff and price it high, too. The people you want to sell to aren't the bargain-shoppers anyway.
• Romania
17 Dec 06
The probability of makeing money on ebay is very low because of the high number of users and too many products ... too many offers and visitors can get dizzy.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
17 Dec 06
It depends what you sell. I was recently looking to buy a pipe humming harmonica, something not easily found. And the sellers with those had prices only varying by a couple pennies. There wasn't much competition on that because they knew buyers would have a hard time finding one. And needless to say, I did end up paying the $70.
1 person likes this
@yorb24 (2181)
• United States
17 Dec 06
I believe the only people making profits are power sellers with large quanitites. It's a hard market to make money from. I've tried. A little successful but something that wouldn't work as a full career.
@susanscs (268)
• Spain
17 Dec 06
Ebay has a very good following but has really got out of hand for the everyday seller. It takes ages to go through to find what you really want to sell or buy. Still people buy and sell so it might be worth a try again.
1 person likes this
• India
17 Dec 06
yes you are right ebay is a famous site where all selling and buying goes on however more people on ebay sells than buying so it is inbalced site for buyers and competations for sellers
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Dec 06
Ebay has gotten really big now days and they are now recruiting people to sell for them instead of selling their own items.So thats why it will now fail.
• United States
18 Dec 06
This is one of my concerns. They are recruiting people to do drop shipping. Most people can just sell a whole buch of cheap stuff and not care about flooding the market. Ebay has become the 99 cent store of the internet!
@megs85 (3145)
• Australia
17 Dec 06
I have just started selling on ebay, and in this past week have made around $200 in profit, afetr hideous fees and the like...lol I think if you have a product that people are always after, and it is GOOD. Then it will sell and sell well. But the selling of basically anything is starting to become obsolete, people are wising up and getting over it. Just my opinion.
@kshambl (108)
• United States
17 Dec 06
What did you sell?
@citygirl (1081)
• Canada
17 Dec 06
I don't really have an anwere for you question per say. But I would love to ask you one if I may. Have you sold on ebay before. I have been thinking about it for a while but don't know how it works. I make a homemade craft as well and though ebay might be a good place to sell it. Does ebay cost money or how does it work can you tell me. I would appreciate it greatly thank you
• United States
17 Dec 06
So far from what I have learned is it cost about $2 to list an item for auction. You can have a store on ebay from $15-50 per month. You have to join PayPal in order to accept Credit Card payments. Of course they charge you there too. Crafts are already expensive to produce, add the cost of selling and shipping, you don't have much of a profit zone left. I'm not sure if there is a good way to sell arts and crafts! Let me know if you find the answer. We all need help in this area of the market.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
17 Dec 06
ebay auctions - the online auction of EBAY.  much money is to be had with a bit of time investment and perserverance.
Actually that big of a people base has its advantages. Those of us that sell on EBAY and I have store often shop from each other. Basically a built in client base. There is money to be had and if you are just starting out it will possibly take a bit of time. You must be goal oriented and do the things it takes to get yourself noticed. When you sell an item or two and get the positive feedback it will help you. Then the numbers can start to grow. I do make money when I take the time to list items which I have not done lately. Will have to get back to it. If I can help I would like to! In fact I could cross link you item with mine to help get it out there!!
• United States
17 Dec 06
Thanks for the offer. I'm just starting out so there is a lot to learn still. I just felt overwhelmed by the amount of sellers. Most aren't individuals but import companies. I can't compete with someone selling something they dropship from China at only $.57! If I have someone else add my items to their page, that would double my chances of being seen. One of the problem is that my items are made one at a time. I don't have a stock of 100 ready to be shipped! My items are really custom made and personalized. There is a time delay in that aspect of my items as well.
• United States
17 Dec 06
Crafts are hard to sell. So many different unique sellers to choose from! I sell pet supplies mostly. I sometimes sell toys, clothes, etc too. I still make a fulltime living off it, though somedays I want to bang my head against a wall.
• United States
17 Dec 06
Maybe that's my problem. I'm very attached to my artwork. To be selling it to some cheap jerk just looking for a good deal seems so wrong. I want to sell it to people who are appreciative of the work. On the other hand, I don't want to over charge either. I suppose banging my head against a wall might clear up my thinking!!!
@kareng (7980)
• United States
22 Dec 06
I am seeing more and more imported items there and wholesale lots. I think this is going overboard a bit and hurting the little guys like me and you. Happy holidays!
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
22 Dec 06
Actually people seem not to get lost much on eBay. They have a remarkable ability to find it if they want it. It helps if seller's use key words in the heading and spell things correctly. I sell a lot on eBay and the major problem for me is that so many new sellers cheapen things by offering them too low. The idea is to get a fair market price not undercut the other sellers...If a book (I sell a lot of books) routinely sells for $25-$30 dollars and you need to sell a copy fast, put it up at $20.00 as a Buy It Now and it will zoom. There's no need to start that book at $.99 or do a Buy It Now for $6.99. Not only do you make less but you lower the price for at least a month which is how long a record of that low sale remains. No buyer wants to pay three times the price of the last sale recorded even if that last sale was too low to be fair....Also, if you see there is only one of the items you want to sell and it has a half day to run. Why not let the seller get what he can. Wait until that auction is over and then put your item up. The more money the sale before you makes, the better your sale will be.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
20 Dec 06
Bath gift set travel size - I sold these on ebay to help a friend out who has cancer and sold a few of them.
I sell on ebay all the time. So points I would like to give you is make sure to take great pictures. The more original the more people will look at it. also when doing a search be vague on your search words for example you could put in yarn and get a great variety but if you put in red yarn you might not get that much. IF you are looking for an item you just listed you need to do the whole search thing then when the page comes up go to the drop down box where it says time ending soonest and choose time newly listed. It should pull it up on the first or second page depending how long ago you listed also on the left you can put in how much you want to search for say like $0 to $10 and how far away from your zip code. I have made about $120 these past two weeks but that is because of christmas normally I do that in a month or 2 so you can make some money on ebay but unless you can list thousands of items you will make only some. I hope that this answers your question if not just message me and I will try to clear up anything that isn't clear.
@Sayantan (335)
• India
18 Dec 06
Yeah, I think the compeditition is too much.
• India
18 Dec 06
well i think if the competetion increseas then we would have more choices with us ! the actuall competetion will be between sellers not for buyers ! i dont sell ! but i buy !
@katyzzz (2902)
• Australia
18 Dec 06
Yep!
• India
18 Dec 06
e-bay is a good media to buy/sell
• United States
18 Dec 06
No, it is Capitalism. We Americans thrive on it and competition is what makes it worthwhile.
@innechen (1321)
• Indonesia
18 Dec 06
ebay logo - ebay logo
if you put on something to sell in ebay then you got to look in ebay search also.thats how people ussualy do when they want to buy someting from internet.i hv a friend that live in aussie and he sells on ebay, he really happy to sell in ebay because he dont have to do anything until his stuff sold.if my country accept paypal i also want to sell my stuff in ebay