eBay sellers who are fed up with all of the rules, restrictions and expenses of selling on eBay and who are now increasingly exposed to buyer fraud, abuse and scams, are switching and moving to alternative sites. Some of the popular selling venues that eBay sellers are migrating to include Amazon, eBid and Webidz. Two other sites, eCrater and Blujay, offer sellers more options, less restrictions and 100% free selling platforms.
Problems Selling on eBay
Once upon a time, selling on eBay was easy, fun and even profitable (in spite of the listing and final value fees). The rules were relatively simple and easy to understand for both buyers and sellers. Sellers had a lot of discretion and options in the way they sold their merchandise, received payment and accepted returns. Today, this is no longer the case. The following are the most frequent and serious complaints from eBay sellers:
1. Expensive Selling Fees. eBay sellers must pay both an insertion fee and a final value fee for each item that is listed for sale. The total fees for an item that actually sells range from 9% to 15% of the final sales price of that item and can be more if that item does not sell and must be repeatedly re-listed.
2. Complicated Fee Structure. The final fees that are payable by a seller for an item that actually sells depend on whether or not the seller has a monthly store subscription and at what level, the type of merchandise being sold, the length of the auction or fixed price listing, the starting or initial offer price for the item, the final sales price of the item and any listing upgrades, optional feature fees, reserve price fees, seller tool fees, picture hosting fees, etc., etc., that a seller may select. The fee structure is so complicated that there are multiple charts to explain it all.
3. Limited Payment Method Options. According to the eBay Accepted Payment Policy, sellers are only allowed to accept payment through several electronic payment choices and are generally not allowed to accept payment by cash, checks, money orders, wire or bank cash transfers or point-to-point cash transfers.
4. Mandatory Return Policy. Since the inception of the Buyer Protection Program, to which all eBay sellers must agree, eBay sellers must accept virtually all items for a return and an exchange and/or a refund.
5. Little or No Protection, No Alert or Warnings for Sellers. Since eBay took away the sellers’ right to leave anything but positive feedback for eBay buyers, eBay sellers are no longer alerted to or able to weed out problematic buyers by looking at the buyers’ feedback, nor are sellers able to easily prevent a sale to a buyer who is likely to not pay, to defraud, extort or scam the seller. Furthermore, under the new Buyer Protection Program, sellers have virtually been striped of all protections and rights in the event the buyer files a dispute, even when that dispute is non-factual.
Advantages and Benefits of Selling on eCrater and Blujay
Both eCrater and Blujay offer sellers a 100% free, viable selling platform, a good range of tools, simple, straight-forward rules, with no or minimal interference in the sellers’ activities. As contrasted to eBay, eCrater and Blujay sellers are not required to pay fees in order sell items on their sites and sellers have significantly more freedom to run their online business as they see fit. The most important advantages of selling on eCrater and/or Blujay include the following:
1. 100% Free. Both eCrater and Blujay do not charge any fees to insert, list or sell items on their venues. Each site allows sellers to set up a completely free online store, using a somewhat customizable easy-to-use template. Sellers can then set up merchandise categories and list an unlimited number of individual items for sale within their store. In the event of an actual sale, there are no fees due or payable as a result of that sale.
2. Seller Directed Payment Methods. On both eCrater and Blujay, sellers have the option of accepting payment through PayPal, Google Checkout, COD, money orders, checks and any other payment method each individual seller may decide to accept or to not accept.
3. Seller Directed Return Policy. On both eCrater and Blujay, sellers can decide whether or not to accept returns for exchanges and/or refunds. Sellers who offer a return policy can specify the terms and conditions of that policy.
4.Long Duration of Listed Items. Unlike on eBay, where the longest duration of a listing for most types of merchandise is 30 days, eCrater and Blujay offer significantly longer listing durations. In fact, on eCrater, once an item is listed within a seller’s store, it stays listed in the store until the item sells or the seller deletes it.
5. No Interference from Venue Operators. The rules of selling on both eCrater and Blujay are reasonable, straight-forward and simple. So long as a seller does not violate those rules, there is no interference from the eCrater or Blujay administrators in individual sellers’ listings, sales, return and/or shipping policies, etc.
Disadvantages of Selling on eCrater and Blujay
There is really only one clear disadvantage of selling on eCrater and/or Blujay as opposed to eBay and that is that eBay has a very large buyer base in place that sellers can automatically access. Although previously eBay had an “online flea market” reputation, which eBay has cleaned up to a great extent, the fact remains that certain people have always and continue to refuse to shop on eBay. Additionally, many eBay buyers have migrated to mega-marketplaces such as Amazon. Even so, an item listed for sale on eBay (as opposed to other venues) will automatically get more exposure to buyers than elsewhere.