In a recent interview with eBay Powersellers, we asked how their businesses were fairing during the recession. In the past few months we’ve published blog articles of interviews with Consignment Shop owners and Professional Estate Sale Service businesses about how their businesses were handling the recession. Surprisingly the feedback was mixed, not leaning towards super successful with people downsizing and looking to cash in on personal possessions, but also not overly strained despite the poor economic climate across the country. So we decided to expand our inquires and find out how ecommerce was fairing on eBay. Here’s what we asked:
- Have you found it more or less difficult to sell and market your inventory since the recession began?
- Has the presence of alternative online selling websites affected your business?
Brenda Gonzalez owns Naughty and Nice Lingerie on Ebay. She’s been a Powerseller for most of the past decade by selling lingerie on Ebay. “In my opinion, since the recession hit, my sales have increased tremendously. I have been able to keep prices low on high demand products, which I believe helps to set me apart from the rest. I believe my superfast free shipping, dollar rewards and free gifts for multi item orders also score big points in this economy!” Gonzalez says, “Other online venues just do not have the traffic Ebay does. I have another shop on Bonanza that I just opened, and I have been actively promoting it, but the traffic isn’t there yet…I didn’t expect it to be an overnight success, but I hear it on all the forums and groups I’m in.”
Regarding many changes with the online marketplace giant, Gonzalez says “Many sellers on Ebay are not happy with a lot of Ebay changes, but can’t or won’t leave because of the traffic. I personally am not happy with everything Ebay has done, but I can waste my time complaining about it or I can create new ideas to work with it, so I choose the latter. After all, they “invited” me into their house, so I have to play by their rules, for now.” Gonzalez is grateful for the opportunity to have become as successful as she has been as a Silver Powerseller and a top rated seller.
Bonnie Kane is an eBay Powerseller at starrynightrecords.com (eBay name: starrynightrecords). “We notice that certain valuable items, still hold value, but that they sell for less. There is less competition driving up the price and many people have lower spending ceilings.” Kane recognizes the global economy is hurting and says “On eBay that can be reflected by the number of people bidding on an item and the price that it sells for compared to activity on a similar item that sold the past.” Kane says her business is steadily growing and as far as competition from other online sites/sellers goes, she strongly feels the more the merrier and better off we all are. “More global online enterprises are one of the things that can pull this world economy right out of the gutter. This is because of the unique opportunity that online business provides for the individual or extra small group to survive, thrive and excel. The existence of more sites brings more buyers into the online realm, and that will eventually mean more business for all.”
Cheryl Levkoff sells a variety of items from electronics to sporting goods and collectibles and has found it less difficult to sell on eBay since 2008. Her merchandise is all obtained via clients who seek her selling services and for the most part, the items are high end with favorable brand names. Clients are usually willing to allow her to set a fair market price and since they are desirable items, she doesn’t have a difficult time selling them on eBay. Many eBay buyers troll eBay for great prices on highly desirable brands, so as long as the price is fair, she is able to quickly move her inventories. She also supplements her sales by listing items on Craigslist, but Levkoff says alternative online marketplaces such as iBid or Amazon.com have not affected her business in any way.
Joel Elad has been an eBay Silver PowerSeller since August 1996 and has found it more difficult to sell his inventory on eBay since the recession started. “I sell entertainment items such as comic books, action figures, DVDs, and related merchandise,” “for people that are struggling to pay their bills and necessary expenses, they are having to reduce their entertainment spending.” “Items that do sell have a lower realized price than before, and with fees going up and sales going down, I am forced to accept low offers on higher-priced merchandise just to keep the cash flow coming in.” Elad says he’s “not sure how the presence of alternative online selling websites have affected his particular business.”
So despite the global reach and marketplace eBay offers to sellers, consumer decision making may continue along the discretionary spending path as everyone continues to weather the recession and sellers revise their sales initiatives and operations to remain competitive. One thing is for sure, you can always count on sexy lingerie being a sexy business for any entrepreneur.