Etsy vs. eBay?
As I’m sure it’s listed somewhere on this site, I have a vintage resale shop powered through eBay named Pink Laurel Vintage. I started it when I was working from home as a way to suplement my income as a freelance designer. It actually started taking up as much or more of my time so it’s safe to say I’ve dedicated some very long hours to this shop.
Recently I realized just how many more hours by getting a new job that requires all of my time and brain power from 8 to 5 Mondays through Fridays (or 7:30 to 5:30, or even 7 to 6:30 some days). This means I need to find a better way to maintain my 150+ listings without so much time on my part. Of course I’ll still have to dedicate some time to the cleaning, photography and even acquiring of these items but eBay listing is very time consuming process. I use the same HTML layout but each new listing gets the item number, description and measurements changed. You might ask, “Laura, why not just use plain text descriptions?” Because that’s what people selling Craigslist crap do, HTML layouts always more professional.
Also, a fun little thing eBay likes to do is change required specific item information often. So let’s say of my 164 listings, 28 of them expire and I need to relist them. I have to go in and manually edit each one to satisfy the new requirements. You could say, “There’s no way it’s that hard to change one or two little item categories,” and you’d be right. This isn’t a hard task so much as it is a tedious task. It’s three or four clicks just to get to the new dropdown menu, then it’s another four clicks to get back to the page with all the other expired listings so I can do it all over again. Not surprisingly, this isn’t the way I want to spend my time away from “real” work.
Now you might ask, “Laura, why not just have fewer listings?” Well there’s an answer to that too. See eBay has become so large that to stay competitive, a seller needs several dozen (sometimes several hundred or even up into the thousands) listings to give themselves better exposure in search results. You also have to do this to compete with all the thousands of listings of cheap knockoffs that plague every eBay category.
Combine all of the above with eBay’s skyrocketing seller fees and new policies aimed at helping the lowly jackass buyer make a smooth transition to deadbeat buyer and eventually “leave negative feedback for no reason” buyer, I just think it’s time for a change.
So I’ve decided to try Etsy. I’m going to start with 25 of my best items with expired eBay listings and see how it goes. It seems like Etsy has a solution for most of the problems I’m having. No HTML in the listings means no one has a technical advantage, fees are relatively low and certainly no higher than eBay’s, for now categories seem pretty straight forward and best of all, small shops with only a few dozen items seem to do pretty well as “on the side” shops, meaning I won’t have to dedicate all my time off to my hobby business. Hooray!
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