Why You Should Never Start an Ebay Store

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If you are going to take your online store seriously, you need to register your own domain and implement your own website. Many people who don’t consider themselves tech saavy often question their own abilities and end up relying on 3rd party sites such as Ebay, Yahoo etc… to implement their website store for them. Let me tell you why that’s a bad idea.

Ebay Doesn’t Have Your Interests In Mind

Ebay, like most publicly traded companies are primarily concerned with their own growth and stock price. They don’t care whether you are successful, nor do they care whether you provide a genuine service to the community. They’ll do whatever it takes to demonstrate growth and make shareholders happy.

What this means is that you are always at their mercy and they can choose to put you out of business at their own whim. Most of their changes recently have been in the form of price hikes for using their service. Let’s take a quick peek at their 2008 Ebay store pricing policy.

Final Value Fees
Price Final Value Fee
Item not sold No Fee
$1.00 – $25.00 12.00% of the closing price
$25.01 – $100.00 12.00% of the initial $25.00 ($3.00), plus 8.00% of the remaining closing value balance
$100.01 – $1,000.00 12.00% of the initial $25.00 ($3.00), plus 8.00% of the initial $25.01 – $100.00 ($6.00), plus 4.00% of the remaining closing value balance $100.01 – $1,000.00
Over $1,000.01 12.00% of the initial $25.00 ($3.00), plus 8.00% of the initial $25.01 – $100.00 ($6.00), plus 4.00% of the initial $100.01 – $1,000.00 ($36.00), plus 2.00% of the remaining closing value balance ($1,000.01-closing value)

If you were to open a store on Ebay, Ebay would take between 8-12 percent of your gross sales. Couple that with the fact that you have to use paypal for your transactions, Ebay takes between 11-15% of your revenue right off the bat. This is ridiculous! In addition to this, you also have to pay a monthly store membership fee just for the right to get ripped off. For the past few years, Ebay’s growth has ground to a halt. You can be sure that more rate hikes will be on the horizon soon.

Ebay Stores Don’t Provide Design Flexibility

Unless you feel like paying hundreds of dollars a month, Ebay greatly limits what you can do with your Ebay storefront. They try to bundle their stores with a bunch of tools to add value, but most or all of these tools are available on the web for free already thanks to companies like Google. To give you an idea of how restrictive an ebay store can be, the “Anchor” membership which costs $300 a month, allows you to build 15 custom webpages. Wow! 15 whole pages for $300 a month. Meanwhile, you can build unlimited pages on your own website that you host yourself.

Ebay Shoppers are Inherently Cheap

When I shop on Ebay, I shop for bargains. Especially since most of the stores on Ebay are mom and pop shops or individuals working out of their own home, I naturally expect to pay less for my merchandise. What this means, is that you will rarely get top dollar for your items. Because you are limited by what Ebay allows you to do with your store design, the only way to differentiate yourself will be to lower your prices which will cut into your margins. The Ebay marketplace is extremely competitive, cut throat and hard to break into.

Still Afraid to Open Your Own Store?

There are many shopping cart or online store software packages already written for you. Here are some choices.

Whatever you decide, stay away from Ebay Stores. As far as I’m concerned, Ebay is only good for getting rid of unwanted items through their auctions.

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89 thoughts on “Why You Should Never Start an Ebay Store”

    1. sydney s says:

      Everyone – this article is wrong. I am selling full-time on ebay with a store and doing fine. My previous career is 10 years in web development. Ebay does a hell of a job with all the features of the site not to mention all the security.

      In my small former web development business, I charged at least $2000.00 for a small e-commerce. That is just bottom pricing. I was up all the time managing the sites, working with clients, and dealing with security issues.

      Plus all the plug ins and widgets you need to show the same information query stuff the ebay store has.

      What’s the bottom line for clients? Making money and making sure the site is up.

      So, ebay’s store option is a bargain! Each web developer makes at least $60000/yr and don’t forget all the SSL, dedicated IP and web hosting monthly fees. Also, I fail to mention the SEO you need to promote the site and the hours of social media you need to just get the brand recognition out there.

      You are getting a STEAL with all the talent YOU will be working with. So, with all the penny pinching involved, ebay stores are well worth every penny!

      So, do what you want, but my ebay store sales far exceed my former salary as a web developer.

      1. I completely agree. Ive made a living on eBay and its really not hard IF you have the right inventory source that also drop ships. I found an amazing blog on how to make money one ebay. It gives you a free step by step guide. Since i started using these steps ive been making a little over $2000 a month.
        Heres the link if youre interested (:

      2. I agree….. I have had my own website online since 1996..!! Yet eBay is where the sales are still coming from… even though I constantly plug my own website where ever possible people just wont shop there…

        The main reason I still have my own website up and running is that is where I use the page source code to drop into my eBay listings and host my images from…

        With the recent change to eBay policy stating that I needed to offer larger gallery images at first I declined but then so did my overall sales… So I finally decided to go back and rebuild the entire list of over 2000 items and so far am only up to 185 listings but the sales are better than ever.. I guess they were right the larger gallery image does show the buyer of our photographs – how clear our photos actually are…

        Trying to source regular buyers/sales from our own website is just too much work.. when I would just prefer to be filling orders…!!!

      3. Michele says:

        Ebay Generates their profits all the money they claim I made it’s bull.
        They fight giving back final fee and not only charge a store subscription Cost
        Then your store makes them money and they get a good chunk of the sellers. Now they want to charge me more to go back to basic on top of their calculated percent of what I may sell.

      4. ss says:

        Bull shit! The industry is a China-mart and you do have to compete.The stores are a rip off and eBay is a rip off as I work full time on it too. Ebay and Paypal are crooks!

    2. Absolutely right, you lose all power. Ebay and Paypal are a law unto themselves. They are above the law. Frightening really that an organization should become so powerful and our governments do nothing about it.

      1. riverw says:

        Wow. Talk a botu an Ebay rep to come on over here and try to “fix” this article with more Ebay crap shoved down out throats. Sorry, but Ebay DOES take way too much money from the sellers and guarantees buyers just about anything. Using Ebay is like using Craigslist but Craigslist doesnt take your profit away from you. Ebay is a rip off. no one from Ebay can come over here and try to smooth the waters. Won’t work.

  1. Dimone says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I am planning on selling some items on ebay for the first time and eventually I would like to open up my own online shopping store. Hopefully, I can get some pointers from this site (http://mywifequitherjob.com) on how to start.


    P.S. I am loving this site. I usually do not engage online, but I may just have to start:)

    1. Anthony says:

      You don’t sell nothing on eBay there rip offs and never go in to community chat they also work for eBay I went in there and told them I am going to open my own online Auction that will take eBay down they threatened to delete my account

  2. I agree with what you’ve mentioned but selling on ebay also has advantages. Ebay attracts a lot of buyers therefore it saves you money on getting traffic to your products. Having your own domain will require a lot of promotion which is very time consuming and costly too.

    1. Agreed they bring in a lot of business but their fees are so exorbitant that it defeats the advantage of their promotional ability. I have gone from ebay to independent, I would never go back.

  3. Jen says:

    The only advantage (which is a huge one) to selling on
    Ebay is the traffic. Furthermore, I don’t even think it’s an advantage, considering the fees and the low end buyers.
    For those who sell on Ebay and do not have an Ebay Store, Ebay has now taken their greed even further by charging 11% of the shipping cost.

    1. Rich Vernadeau says:

      15,000 sellers were purged from ebay two weeks ago. The weapon of choice used was the Guardrail or Quick Decline mechanism at ebay put in place to target small sellers who are “trending” downwards in their DSRs. The elimination of good decent honest sellers continues unabated at ebay.

      1. John says:

        God, I love this site
        eBay sucks and they wield way too much power !

        I f’ing hate eBay !!!
        They shut me down !
        Someone should start a class action suit against them, maybe using their security breach as a point among others
        People would come out of the woodwork !
        Talk about disgruntled !

        Love the article
        The guy who was for eBay is probably a shill for that stupid company in my opinion
        Can’t call it slander if it’s my opinion !

      2. Frank says:

        I’m a small time seller. I will be leaving eBay after 10 years of buying/selling.
        The fees paid do not bother me so much.(eBay is not my sole source of income) What bothers me more are the Newb/crooks that know how to take advantage of eBays buyer protection. It’s disgusting. It’s not the good old “eBay community” it was. It’s more like the eBay ghettos.

  4. Robert says:

    Capitalism, get use to it or move to North Korea.

    1. James says:

      Grow up… They had to design the website, get investors and drive tons of traffic to the site and get it as popular as it is today. If it’s so easy to do that, why don’t you do it?

      They did all this to make money. And one quick question, why are you selling anything?? Oh ya, to make money, so are you not “greedy”?

      If it’s so easy to do what Ebay did, then why don’t you do it?

      You are all complete idiots. You know what’s way more greedy than wanting 11%? Wanting to have all the benefits that Ebay spends millions on (IE traffic) without paying for it. That’s greed.

      1. I totally agree with what you have said! Ebay spends millions for people to have a place to come and make a business? I understand that it cuts into your margins but think of it this way, you are paying to use the site..yes it sucks, but the amount of traffic that comes to eBay is enormous compared to what any normal website could offer. This means more sales, more money, and inevitably more fees to be paid, however you are doing business.

      2. rally01 says:

        best comment I have seen in a while! well said

      3. jonathan says:

        I agree!!!

      4. Cristian S says:

        I totally agree with you. If you think its easy to design or make a website with a free shopping cart, set up your own shipping & payment system, than get tones of free traffic, Do SEO and than make money, Your are lost in space!!! I use to spend over $1000 a month on Adwords, Do tones of social networking, promote locally & after all of that I barley made a profit on my website, after 6 years of doing this I started using ebay & my sales went up %200 in weeks & save $700 a month on my overhead.

        Also a lot of ebayer shop for fun, if they like something they see they’ll bid on it. I’ve sold everything cars to kids shoes.

        Don’t make the mistake that you can do better without ebay for less money.

      5. Spot on…!!

        I still get 99.9999% of my sales from eBay…

        Which far outweighs the fees they charge me… without them I have nothing.. and “have had nothing” …. this is coming from someone who was shut down by them… and I tried to convince them otherwise.. 2 years later I decided to open another account and now 3 years along I am doing better than ever.. BUT still my own website fails to find buyers like eBay can…

      6. The reason your website doesn’t make money is because it needs work. Ebay is great for people who don’t want to spend time creating a high converting website. It’s up to you..

      7. Frank says:

        Annual Financials for eBay Inc.

        View Ratios

        Sales/Revenue 2010 – 9.15B 2011- 11.68B 2012- 14.03B 2013 16.05B 2014 17.9B
        That B is billions
        Oh but wait ! They spend MILLIONS on us. Spit in the bucket.

      8. Uhhhh…. I thought that the article was suggesting exactly that. Do it yourself because eBay’s interest lies with their shareholders and they will do anything to show growth. Was the OP not suggesting that you in fact “Do it yourself” by setting up your own website?

        To me, eBay is like any other venue, it’s good now because it makes money, but when that stops, I won’t even bother to log into the site anymore. Just like my barnes and noble account, I didn’t even bother to shut the seller account down, I logged in after a hole year and there was nothing new.

  5. I appreciate this post and am taking it to heart. I am looking to help my parents set up an ebay store so they can move a lot of the stock from their antique store that amongst other factors was killed by Ebay (ironic).
    I am wondering if there are factors to an ebay store that would give added value that you would not get on your own?
    1. Ease of use
    2. Name recognition, credibility
    3. Sense of protection
    4. Ease of payment options
    5. Is there an added exposure to marketing or do you still have to do all the marketing that you would have to do as a new website owner?

    With these answered it may be that the costs are acceptable in some cases. I am not pro Ebay, they terminated me as an affiliate without paying me due commissions. They are a giant that doesn’t give a sh#& about you or me but it may be an option that is best in some cases?

    What do you think?

    1. Hi Bill,
      The advantage of having an Ebay store is that you can get exposure through Ebay’s audience whereas you have to do all of the marketing yourself with a new website. That being said, Ebay customers tend to be cheap and it’s very difficult to differentiate yourself from all of the other stores due to the limited user interface. Throw in the exorbitant fees and Ebay becomes an unattractive option in the long run.

      1. Thanks Steve, that sounds just about right.
        Ebay is one of the giants that has very little respect for the “little” guy.

        Happy New Year!

    2. Anthony says:

      Well ebay fees are going up to 14% very shortly and they are linked with the taxation department as soon as you join your name is on the taxation data base and the taxation are watching power sellers like a hawk

  6. I have to agree with this article, setting up your own website is the way to go. Running an ebay store can be done in parallel with owning your own website but one should never rely solely on eBay. It’s too risky.

    1. Cristian S says:

      Your Crazy, You know how hard it is to get unique hits, and than turn that into sales, for less cost than ebay? And thats the easy part. You still need a Rich content website with Awesome SEO. Using these free website makers wouldn’t even come close to what you need. You might have a chance with a program like WordPress after you figure out all the plug-ins, custom design everything which might take you a few weeks. Or use Storesonline.com which cost about $3000 a website and $25 a month hosting fee.

      Good luck on that!

      1. K says:

        You’re the idiot, have you ever heard of learning how to design a website or hire someone? It’s not that hard and you don’t need to pay exorbitant fees to a 3rd party.

  7. ft says:

    I am an eBay powerseller and have to stick up for it a bit.

    eBay brings you millions of visitors every week. People who are looking for and buying your products. That kind of traffic and exposure is very hard to come by on the search engines!

    The fees reflect the benfits. It’s also a good place to start in determining if there is a demand for your products and at what price.

    I’d always look for ways to cut costs so expanding to a website and using your eBay store to drive traffic there is a definite.

    eBay isn’t all bad.

    1. Beaver says:

      eBay brings you millions of visitors every week.

      No they don’t. If I’m wrong, show us your visitor counters proving they send you millions of visitors each week.

    2. Anthony says:

      Ebay are bad

  8. julia says:

    yes its true ebay does take a lot of your profit, but for me ebay works the best. I tried making my own online shop it turned out horribly i lost some +$100 maybe not a lot, but to me its quite a bit. I made the website everything was seemed good, I also got google adwords for it. (I have no idea, but they blacklisted me saying I was not allowed to use them anymore no explanation. I think if you have the money and the right item you could make a great website.But getting your customers is very difficult Good things about ebay,ebay is pretty trustworthy company, you get lots of potential customers, most times its safe and secure. Also its not always true the buyer is going for the cheapest item they will also go by the sellers feedback (as for me I always go 4 the cheapest ;p) I have sold items a little higher than what other sellers are selling it for (not much maybe a few dollars more). I think its a good way for people to try out the field. I am a top rated seller, but I still don’t make a lot (haha maybe because i just spent it all on ebay items) as the person above me said its not so bad. All my items have free shipping and if a customer complaints I never argue I just give them a refund. I would rather lose a few dollars than getting a neg and losing potential customers. actually having an ebay store(I have the middle I pay $50 a month) is cheaper than not having one (4 me it is) listing items is just $.05 for 30 days. Its cheaper than listing a item for $.99 for 7 days (I have around 400 items)

    at least its better than Amazon in my opinion (I can make more profit off of ebay and Amazon customers never leave you feedback :'(

    1. Susan says:

      free shipping? give me a break. your shipping is built into your price. I contacted ebay a few weeks ago and the rep told me that I should start offering free shipping because I would immediately get 5 stars. I told her I couldn’t afford to do that and what did she tell me? She told me to add it into the price of my item and then tell customers there was FREE shipping. what a crock. I told her I would consider it, but to me, that is cheating the customer. – and I would believe that most people are not that stupid.

      I am up front about the costs and I give significant shipping discounts. (you can cram a lot into a flat rate box). If the cost on regular shipping is less than I state, I actually refund the money if it is more than one dollar. strange but true.

  9. David says:

    I hope to start selling online soon.
    This website makes a point but downplays the traffic which is one of the valuable aspects of ebay. There is also a bias here as they are trying to make their online money from you purchasing their “how to build your own online store” kit. Everyone has their own motives.

    1. Hi David,
      Having owned an Ebay store myself in the past, the traffic is indeed very alluring. However the point of the article is to emphasize that the best way to proceed is to build and own your own shop so you are not at Ebay’s mercy. Considering that most businesses yield a profit of 20ish percent, getting 12-15% taken right off the bat will greatly limit your profitability potential.

  10. Thanks for the article. I’ve been trying to rationalize my decision to start selling pre-owned branded apparel via my own store interface rather than through Ebay. I know traffic acquisition is going to be a huge hurdle, but I think the ability to control your own branding is just as important.

  11. I have to disagree with your suggestion of not to open an e-bay store. We have had an e-bay store for many years and we are definately profitable. To generate traffic to an off e-bay site is very costly and will be an ongoing expense which far exceeds E-bays fees. Better to build a mailing list via e-bay (your customers) and then open an off e-bay site. Generating traffic to an brand new online store is expensive and not always productive.

  12. These fees are a fraction of what Amazon marketplace’s are, and as stated before Amazon customers do not leave feedback. I am opening my eBay store today for my new business. Best of luck to all in the pursuit of happiness!

  13. Have to say that I agree to cut in between, i mean that its the way to go to have your eBay store and own website the same time. I’ve been working on my new online store for 3 months now just to do all the SEO work to get my site PR on google and no single keyword got on the first page yet. When you consider to run ecommerce as a serious business, you will need some way to generate basic income first to cover your expense and EBay is the best option before your website can bring in enough traffic, which, in most case, need 6 to 12 months, at least.

    1. Cristian S says:

      You are %100 Right. When people say “I’m going to start my own website & become successful” don’t know what it really takes. Sometimes it might take up to 1 year to get listed or ranked. Also Google always chances there SEO system which makes non-stop hell ride. ebay would be the place to start.

  14. Cassie Wilkerson says:

    I have an e-bay store, I only recommend it for one thing get your traffic for free. I only use it to get rid of stuff that I don’t use or refuse to dust and polish anymore -vintage, antiques and so forth and raise the capital for your eCommerce site that’s it if you keep it then use it for liquidations of inventory nothing more stuff that you would sell at a loss. (don’t expect huge profits but residual income for stuff to keep your website clean and not wanting to make it look like a flea market).

    Let’s face facts from time to time a any business will in fact purchase an item that does not sell.

    With e-bay’s traffic it’s only good for liquidations only as these people want dirt cheap well it’s all about reducing your losses. So be practical, a store with say 25-50 items is not a big deal either so once you’ve established yourself become an ebay seller for others – everyone has a friend that needs to get rid of stuff but don’t know where to start there you go diversification.

  15. Nice Article, But Ebay is good for early business persons. I would recommend people to get customer base from ebay and online user response from ebay. Then you can open your online store and sell online.

  16. Way to discourage people. Well done

  17. I had an ebay business which I closed in 2010 after 5 years of trading. Starting from next to nothing, selling just a few second hand items, the business expanded continuously at a rapid rate and in the end with all the ebay fee hikes and changes of rules which cost us more and more we were forced to close. I worked full time, my wife part time, nobody else employed. We turned over £150,000 in our best year, before the recession hit, and ended up paying ebay £22,000 in fees.
    The governments of the world do not seem to be able to control this blatant abuse of companies who destroy the chances of many budding businesses. We were lucky because we were able to establish from scratch what has now become a successful business costing only a fraction of the massive amount of fees paid to ebay over the years.
    These companies do not care if you leave them because they know that you will be replaced by the droves of new businesses joining up. This is because they make it so easy to start a business with them. At no initial cost you can be trading within an hour of inception.

    1. Cristian S says:

      I don’t think you could of made $150,000 without ebay. When business changes so should you, like Why didn’t you take your net income to pay the fees? Its not ebays fault the recession happen. Just like you, ebay too has to pay for over head, like employees, commercial property etc…..

      Sorry you lost your business

      1. Beaver says:

        I don’t think you could of made $150,000 without ebay.

        Most people making that much and more are doing it without eBay. But your point isn’t relevant anyway, because he couldn’t make $150,000 WITH ebay either in the end. That’s why he had to leave.

  18. What i think is that we all should join and create our own website, since you and anyone else can do this, start learning programming, get some money to start your own servers ,pay some websites for advertising your own website , earn only from advertisement while selling and offering open shops for everyone that wants. The problem is who is that guy that wants to give a investment in this idea!?

  19. Jenny Chen says:

    I’m a ebay top rated seller for five years. I don’t make much money each month, I enjoyed the selling, it is more like a fun thing for me to do. Not all ebay buyers are cheap, some of my buyers would pay top bucks for items that they really liked. The key is that you have to monitor your competitors and watch out their selling price, but you decide what to sell, you need to do homework, i.e. what is the recent selling price, how fast the other sellers sell them, the trend. Of course, you have items that not sell, so you have to sell it at a deep discount to keep the cash flow. At the end of the day, I make very little profit but I’m profitable and I’m enjoying the process. If you are serious about making money, it is very hard, you need to find killer products with good sourcing, cut the middle man, but if you just want to use it as semi hobby, make little profit for fun, then it is not bad at all. My two cents.

  20. Jenny Chen says:

    Another thing you have to consider is that most of my ebay buyers are savvy buyers, yes, they are relatively cheap in term of finding a bargain, however, they are also willing to bid on your item without worrying about *what if he/she disappears after I paid for it”, ebay provide some sort of insurance for buyers. Would you honestly go to a unknown website ( not Macy’s, Wal-Mart, Costco, etc ), a new mom and pop website and pay for a item? I will not, even if I can save some money. Even it is not a scam, mom and pom stores close every day, what if this store close out right after I paid for the item, what do I do? At least for ebay, Amazon, Macy’s you can call them and/or find them. It is almost impossible for a mom and pop to open a e-commerce store and being success without large cash infusion from institution, like a few million dollars to build up your inventory and marketing.

    1. Beaver says:

      Would you honestly go to a unknown website ( not Macy’s, Wal-Mart, Costco, etc ), a new mom and pop website and pay for a item? I will not, even if I can save some money.

      If most people felt that way, there would be no ebay or amazon, lol. Both of those sites used to be unknown websites when they started out.

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  22. James says:

    Very informative blog and discussions!

  23. Bach says:

    There is a loss of control over your business when you decide to go with ebay but the one factor about ebay that really swayed my decision was how closely paypal is tied into ebay. For those who don’t know, Paypal is like a bank without rules. It says that for no reason, (read it in the terms & conditions) Paypal can freeze and shut down your account. If you’re running a full-time business on ebay, that means all your funds are tied up in Paypal. They can freeze thousands of your funds and give you no reason for it. All they have to say is that your account seemed suspicious.

    Now I know you’re all thinking, What? That’s crazy talk. That doesn’t happen. But take the time to look up the number of cases of people who got frozen accounts and how long it took them to fight with Paypal to get it back. In a lot of cases, they never get the money back. And in the cases of the people who did get it back, it took them years. I think the longest time I heard of was 3 years.

    So I have a lot of respect for ebay and Paypal but I know I don’t want to spend my time and effort on a business that can be taken away from me for no reason while sharing at least 14% of my profits. Peace out. -Bly

  24. guest says:

    ebay is greedy with their fucking auctions with fucking rare items
    and I Always have fucking problems with PayPal and I hate fucking ebay and PayPal with their fucking feedback pls do not remove this post I had fucking much problems trough ebay and PayPal with paying the bills that were really needed so once I have my collection complete I never come back to ebay again
    thats why I swear because ebay IS greedy!!!and everyone needs to know the truth

    1. Dee Col says:

      All for profit corporations are always greedy. Survival for a corporation is making lots of money. Sellers on eBay are also greedy. They feed off each other. eBay provides the customers, sellers provide the product. This is a perfectly greedy relationship. So all this talk about greed is ridiculous. The cost of starting and building your own web store is expensive and time consuming. If you have the funds and time, by all means, I wish you well with your venture. But for the majority of people who want to start making money right away, you need to use an established store front that already has the traffic. Yes eBay has fees up the yazoo, But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  25. mark says:

    I have to say I have a love hate relationship with Ebay .
    I have been selling on Ebay for over 10 years and agree that they do not care about me or any of their sellers , it is about their profit.
    I can’t stand that they get away with charging fees for shipping .
    That being said, what are my choices ? Amazon , Etsy or Artfire or my own website ?
    Amazon is more greedy than Ebay, Etsy and Artfire are great if you make your own product , but if you don’t , you can’t sell on their sites .
    I keep praying someone will come up with a site like Ebay without all their high fees.
    I do not see the advantage of having your own Ebay store and paying $15.95 a month versus just selling on Ebay without a store .

    1. Dee Col says:

      The main advantage of the store is a bit more credibility and you can list an item until it is sold for a lower cost. If you are selling few items, then a store is not such a good idea because of the monthly fees.

  26. Susan says:

    I came to this site because I have been researching whether to get a store. Based on this site and a couple others I have decided not to do it at this time.

    Since I have been selling, and far longer than I would like to admit, my goal is to give the best customer service possible. in addition to be straight out honest in the description of my merchandise. I used to sell old glassware and pottery (until shipping got too high) and if there were 3 strawmarks, I would put it down. Can you make every customer happy? no. I recently got a good feedback but the customer stated the item (it was material) was too dark. The title of the auction was DARK and in the body of the description it said DARK and yet she complained it was dark. go figure. So regardless what you do, how much you bend over backwards and give time to your customers (and it is probably more time than you can ever make up), there are just some people that are unhappy. However I digressed.

    One day when I retire, I might consider a store, but right now I don’t think it is cost effective – and I did like a comment that stated a store is not to save money but to make money and that is absolutely true. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

  27. Barbara says:

    I’m a full-time web developer, and I also sell on ebay. Why do I sell on ebay when I can create my own website, shopping cart, etc.? It’s the same reason some merchants choose to set up shop in a mall instead of on a remote street corner: the traffic is there. I save a lot of my time by listing with them, and don’t have just “cheap” people buying from me. While that may have been true early on in ebay’s history, it isn’t true today. When people are looking for something unique, unusual, specialized, or hard to find, ebay is where they go.

    The fees listed in the chart are not indicative of the fees ebay charges today. Not only are current fees lower, but Top Rated Sellers can get a discount on their fees, bringing them even lower. The incentive to become a Top Rated Seller insures that ebay keeps high standards, which brings customers back, time and again.

    Yes, ebay is a publicly traded company that’s looking out for its own bottom line. They keep a healthy bottom line by making shopping there easy, safe and secure. This insures the reputable sellers at any level who give great customer service that they can be successful, because without them ebay would not exist.

  28. A number of things are happening. Congressmen from Texas, Illinois, Connecticut and Florida have begin investigations into eBay’s mishandling of the recent hacking event. Social media groups on Facebook such as Former Ebay Sellers and Former Ebay Sellers 2 Open Forum are growing enormously as sellers leave or get suspended by ebay. The new Defect Rate policy at eBay is predicted to create another purge of an estimated 90,000 sellers. Those banned sellers will have to go somewhere, so many other online selling platforms (e.g. Bonanza, Webstore, Unisquare) will experience a sudden influx of new sellers and buyers. Also as a result of eBay’s mishandling of the recent hacking event, eBay took a tremendous hit in terms of public perception. Ebay’s stock has dropped and an avalanche of adverse publicity plagues eBay all over the internet in blogs, forums, comments after articles, etc., etc.

  29. Rossi says:

    Both worlds can be good if you know what you are doing, and have the right products.

    I see a lot of people complaining about Ebay fees.
    I you think about it, it is not that bad, where in this world can you keep the over head to about 14 cents on the dollar?? Because that’s what I have now with ebay. If you include paypal, then I am looking at mayby 17-18 cents on the dollar in fees (overhead).

    I run a business out of my home and have very little overhead beside my selling fees.
    I sell used and new items, it depends on what I find at storage auction during the week/month/year.

    So to me Ebay is a great place to sell online, as I combine ebay with flea markets on the weekends. I also use social media like facebook to sell and promote my items.

    If you had a store front, it would cost you thousands each month in rent, insurance, utility and other misc. costs.

    Operating your own web store with you own URL is not cheap/free or even affordable. When it comes down to it, you have to pay a lot of money for your own website and your own URL. I have done it and it was about $5000 just to get it up and running, and then monthly fees around $25-$40 minimum in subscription costs.

    On top of this you have to spend huge amounts on promoting your website, and even pay fees for payment solutions. I don’t care what solutions you use, there is a cost related to it.

    So to me Ebay is the best option and solution.

    1. Dee Col says:

      You do make good points. You have to take credit cards if you sell on the web, and you cannot avoid those fees. Add that to the overhead of doing it yourself and your chances of success are slim to none.

  30. Ebay continues to collect monthly payments from small sellers for their stores EVEN AFTER EBAY SUSPENDS THEM AND NO LONGER ALLOWS THEM TO SELL ITEMS ON EBAY.

  31. King Ralph says:

    You don’t have to open up an ebay store you can just sell your items through your account at no additional expense. Ebay has bent over backwards in order to placate buyers at the expense of sellers. Their policies have given rise to scam buyers who substitute parts, damage goods, make bogus claims about the item not matching the description and then expect the seller to reimburse them. Unfortunately Ebay is right there cheering them on as there is no longer any way to leave negative feedback for buyers. Ebay used to be a good place to sell but now they attempt to micro-manage each seller with their ridiculous selling limits and other methods of reward and punishment if you don’t meet their self imposed standards. It’s not surprising that their stock has been dropping like a rock lately since their business policies are causing them to lose revenue. When it comes to Ebay let the seller beware.

  32. Simon says:

    For a short term quick buck, yes it’s great, but on the long run it’s better to have your own store. Their interface is horrendous, their selling tools absolutely user unfriendly and on top of that you are at the mercy of their security detection algorithms. I have been shut down the same day I opened a seller account for no apparent reason. I am never using Ebay again ever. The email I received said the following (notice the “however unintentionally” part… unbelievable!):

    “Your eBay account was suspended because recent account activity has raised serious security concerns. We’ve taken this precaution to protect our members while we make sure that the activity doesn’t cause harm — however unintentionally — to the eBay Community.

    You won’t be able to use eBay in any way. This includes using another existing account or registering a new account.

    Any outstanding selling fees are due immediately, and any amounts that you haven’t previously disputed will be charged to the billing method currently on file.



    Go figure!

  33. Steve says:

    As a seller I wouldn’t be too displeased with a 15% fee plus store fees it’s high but the real problem with ebay is how they can and will manipulate the search results, throttling your listings visibility, basically you think your item should be selling but in all actualality it’s not even visible to potential customers. This in my opinion is dirty business ethics. Not only hurting the seller and the market it causes ebay to be making less money. I’m not sure the exact system but it’s tailored to companies that can sell huge amounts of items with piss poor to no customer service for example , I have listed roughly 150 items and maintain great customer service my product is top quality only my prices are a little higher , in best match search of my items I’m at the very bottom , who’s at the top? A seller of the same items poor condition with bad pictures and 300+ negative feedback a in the last 30 days ! So what happens here is new to ebay customer comes along buys the poor product is not happy , customer service is crap , customer more than likely never shops on ebay again. This equals low numbers for ebay , if the customer would have seen my listing at all and seen at a fair but reasonable higher price and seen the quality was much better just from the first picture they would have paid more been very happy and they would have came back to buy through ebay again . This would equal big numbers for ebay and customers would love to shop their . Ebays systems keep the little stores little and the big stores big. I don’t get it ! ebay must not want to be a successful company anymore. Ebay stock holders must not like to make the big profits . Usually when you lose a customer they will never come back never …. Keep this up ebay and all you will see is a decaying profit year after year. I’m Not sure how the guys on top sleep at night. My grandma would say shame on you ! Ebay Your grandma would say they same thing. I’m taking my top notch product and customer service else wear I had just invested and had projected 100k in sales in 6 months but not now that my items are only seen by a small handful of people and not world wide like you would think. Just means less profit for ebay once again …. No good paying customers and no good sellers is how ebay wants it. DO NOT SELL ON EBAY with a flick of the switch your “well built ebay business” is a ghost town. And honestly shoppers don’t buy their either …don’t do business with a unethical company. Most likely You probably will not enjoy the experience anyways.

    Ebay Seller with 100% feedback and no sales this week

  34. i am agree with you!You Should Never Start an Ebay Store..thanks for the explaination..it makes me more understand..keep up your great worked!

    1. Cellia says:

      As a newcomer wanting to start selling online, amongst all of the problems stated here about Ebay, it is the potential to get my Pay Pal account frozen that has frightened me off of selling on Ebay, because regardless of selling fees etc, having your money kept from you would make everything else redundant. It would not only be profit lost from Pay Pal being frozen, but also loss of money invested in stock that was sold but money not received from it. I don’t think I’d want to take that risk. But does anyone know if Ebay has anything to do with that? I believe that Ebay and Pay Pal are separate entities, so it would not be EBay’s fault. If going with your own website or another host what secure payment system would you use to avoid Pay Pal?

    2. I really like selling on Amazon and eBay, but you definitely have to be careful. Having your own online store is so important, too, as you don’t want to put all of your eggs in the eBay basket so-to-speak! http://www.alyssas-garden.com

  35. james says:

    Ebay years ago was a excellent selling platform, example the more you listed the more you would sell. Not any more, Ebay ration you on what sales you are going to have (if any) this week. When ebay started to ration people with selling limits that when things started to go down hill. If you are a mum & dad & lets sell some stuff on ebay, 10 items or £650, so if you happen to sell 10 CDs at £1 thats it until next month. Thats a crazy policy, people used to sell on ebay, getting a rid of any unwanted items & then maybe use the money to buy sometime else on Ebay. Ebay want to become like Amazon, but never will. Ebay suspends sellers due to the stupid policies, & then says to the sellers ” you are banned from selling but you can still buy” just to keep the user numbers up. If you get banned do you really think you will be buying, i dont think so.
    3 years ago Ebay ever 3 months sent out the seller details in the post, showing how much & where you have sold your items. When you compare the data then & now it shows you have no international sales.
    My Advice, dont rely on Ebay, use multi channel sales, Amazon & your own website, fair sales etc. Your own website will take time, but just think of the savings & you ARE IN TOTAL CONTROL, not some little shit in some back office who doesnt give a shit about you.
    Will soon be another purge of good sellers, waking up in the morning & switch on your computer, to have nice little email from Ebay, your selling account is closed, goodbye.
    Be warned. Act now.
    You have a lot of replies here, alot must come from Ebay HQ, saying how wonderful the company is. One of the worst companies i have ever dealt with.

  36. Lee says:

    Ha give me a break! Here is a little preview of what it would be like to open your own website store… ( crickets chirping…. tumbleweeds rolling by… twittling your thumbs ). Please, there IS NO OTHER PLACE ON EARTH that you will get as much traffic than on eBay. Just another post by someone who failed as an eBay seller because of many factors, including but not limited to: selling the wrong products, buying your crap for to much and asking crazy prices, don’t know how to use the system, staying under feebay’s radar. Don’t let them scare you, I make more money at this than my old job and I make my own hours.

  37. Yeah, considering advertisement costs, Ebay is just fine. Use them, but you should have other methods of sales, especially your own website. Amazon can come in handy also.

    You have to consider the cost of advertisement and consider Ebay as an advertiser.
    !0% (for a store subscriber plus an additional 20% knocked off their fees if you are a top seller is not so bad. It costs close to the same when using Google ads for each sale.

    The thing is, you have to view Ebay as a tool, and not your bread and butter….

  38. Yeah… well based on what I have seen here last month I thought I would investigate Amazon… Bad idea… I signed up to see how they setup the page layout… didnt like that it didnt have any of the flexibility that eBay offers (namely html window to add what you wish)… so I dropped the idea … two weeks later I got an email from Amazon : We have charged your credit card (Visa) for the balance due on your account: -$39.99

    Ouch..!! Didn’t even list a thing with them… only wanted to know if I could duplicate my website and eBay items there… and it wasn’t anywhere near as well set out….

    So I wrote to Amazon telling them of my disappointment…

    They replied …!!

    With :


    I am sorry for the inconvenience you experienced in this case. I completely understand your disappointment. That’s definitely not what we want our customers to experience, I’m glad you contacted us.

    BUT :

    After looking into your inquiry, I feel we could best resolve this concern for you over the phone. This way, you can speak to our live customer support team who can ensure we resolve this concern to your satisfaction.

    THEN :

    I realize that, at this point, asking you to contact us again would be disappointing; however, we really feel that the best way to assist you with this concern is over the phone.

    Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.

    Please request a call from our Customer Service department. Here’s how:

    1. Visit http://www.amazon.com/help
    2. Click the orange “Contact Us” button on the main Amazon Help page.
    3. Click the “Skip sign in” button.
    4. Click the “Call us” button and enter your phone number in the window.
    5. Choose a time frame (“Right Now” or “In 5 minutes”) and click “Submit.” We’ll call you right back!

    UNTIL :

    You try to follow their directions… (DON’T BOTHER..!!)

    1. Visit http://www.amazon.com/help YES!

    2. Click the orange “Contact Us” button on the main Amazon Help page. NO..!!! There is NO orange “Contact Us” button on the Amazon Help page

    3. Click the “Skip sign in” button. Through numerous attempts I finally found the “Skip sign in” button

    4. Click the “Call us” button and enter your phone number in the window.

    EXCEPT :

    Once I got to the page it told me you wont call my country..!!!??!!!! On top of that the page gave a number for me to call Amazon… which of course does not work at all..!!!

    You would think that if someone at Amazon was going to write up a reply page… that (ONE) they would get their facts right and (TWO) that they would at least check that the phone number given would even work…!!

    So the moral of the story is AVOID AMAZON… unless you want to pay for the privilege of listing nothing, and doing nothing… but look at them..


    That I will ever see that money again… After all AMAZON must be poor and need the money more than me..!!

    They claim to offer a refund bit of course after much frustration there is no way to even contact them by phone.. the number they offer is not even accessible from this side of the globe..

    AMAZON SUX…!!! eBay Rulz..!!

  39. PROTEST MARCHES AGAINST EBAY PLANNED: Have you, a friend, or a family member been unfairly suspended from selling on eBay after years of hard work? eBay as a corporation has thrown tens of thousands of small mom and pop sellers under the bus, many who were dependent in part or whole for the income off their ebay sales for their very livelihood…Come join our protest movement and become a voice of change…we will also be organizing protest marches at various eBay locations (San Jose, Ca, Salt Lake City, Utah, etc.) in the near future. Come join Former Ebay Sellers 2 Open Forum: https://www.facebook.com/groups/formerebaysellers2openforum/

    1. Dee Col says:

      After reading all these posts I come to realize that eBay is just an entity with a set of rules they set forth to be able to use their services. It is up to the sellers to know these rules and if they cannot live with that, then go elsewhere. There is no motivation or judgment on eBay when they suspend a seller. They are just a profit machine. Most of these seller probably did break a rule even unknowingly. I say read the rules carefully, understand them and if you can’t or won’t, don’t use them. I also know that eBay changes rules, but always sends out some acceptance of the new rules and if you do not agree or respond, they will shut you down, but then you made that decision and it was made for you. So, give me some more whine with that cheese.

  40. JB says:

    All I got to say is this I had 2 website for 8yrs, paying SEO of fees $3500.00 a month just for one website. And never got a sale.

  41. Ebay under Donahoe the past few years has engaged in the orchestrated elimination of small sellers, the limiting and throttling of the views which their items receive- sometimes not giving an item any visibility (or very little)- and the ebay discussion boards as well as the comments on Ina Steiner’s EcommerceBytes blog are filled with hundreds of accounts from small sellers of these issues. Donahoe has favored the Chinese sellers and big box retailers by deliberate design.

  42. Othman says:

    my only problem with ebay are the 10% they take on the shipping
    i ship all my items from Lebanon it means 30% of the what buyer pays go for shipping and some times it is more than 30%
    i think this is a stupid thing and specially for international sellers

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