When we started selling on eBay, it was completely on a whim. We began selling things around our home that we no longer used.
Some of our family gave us items they no longer needed and we had a lot of success selling the items on eBay. That is what perked our interest to continue selling.
However, after some success and some trial and error, I have personally become tired of selling on eBay. I will share our personal experience as well as what I’ve done as an alternative to selling on the popular e-commerce website.
What We Sold On Ebay
After we sold all of the unused household items we had, we began buying other items around thrift stores like ceramics, dish sets, mugs, glasses, and so on.
Those items were really difficult to sell and unfortunately, we still have a lot of those items today. Eventually, we tried our hand at selling clothing.
We began buying used clothing at thrift stores. Some clothing items were brand new with tags. Those sold well. Initially, we bought used clothing in barely used condition only to discover that they took forever to sell.
Unless they were name brand items or for a specific sport, clothing was not an easy sell. There is so much competition on eBay that we had to sell most items for what we originally paid for them just to make our money back.
When you deduct eBay and PayPal fees, we were actually losing money.
Inventory, Storage, Budget, and Listing
Unless you figure out a niche that has very little competition (which is unlikely), it is difficult to transition into a full-time income.
Some sellers manage to make a full-time income by finding clearance sales at department stores and buying up a lot of stock. Others make buying at swap meets and garage sales a full-time job.
Like any business that sells physical items, you’re bound to end up with a whole lot of inventory. If you are in a small space, it is difficult to store all of your items.
When you are on a budget, you may not have extra income to rent out a storage unit. It can all be very overwhelming and challenging!
You also have to remember that the more inventory you buy, the more items you must photograph and create listings for. This in itself is very time-consuming. I spent hours posting new listings.
Eventually, we realized that our photos could use a lot of improvement. Potential customers would ask about the exact color of an item because the poor lighting made it appear different in each photo.
We had to invest in a professional photography lighting set-up which made a huge difference in the appearance of our photos.
What About Drop shipping?
The idea of drop shipping seems like a logical solution to having to invest in a ton of inventory. I’ve actually done drop shipping in the past.
The problem with the niche I was in was competition. Other sellers were selling the same items I drop shipped for a much lower price than I was able to sell them for.
You have to keep in mind that the drop shipper may have fees of their own to ship items for you or they offer the products at a certain price point that you cannot go below or you will not make a profit.
Finding success with drop shipping is challenging simply from the competition aspect of selling on eBay.
I can only share my personal experience of drop shipping which is to say it is not as simple as throwing up products and waiting for the sales to come in.
Are You Tired of Selling on Ebay? Here’s an Alternative You May Like Better
The most annoying part of selling on eBay for me was the customer service and buyer feedback. We made it a point to provide excellent customer service and we only had one negative feedback to deal with.
No matter how great your customer service, if you sell long enough on eBay, you are bound to get one or more negative feedback ratings at some point.
You simply cannot please everyone and some buyers feel justified in ruining your seller rating with negative feedback.
In my opinion, it is no fun having to deal with returns, refunds, and negative feedback. Most of our returns and refunds were due to the customer ordering the wrong size.
The negative feedback we incurred was due to a customer criticizing the item as “ugly.” Rather than allowing us to fix the issue by offering a refund, they left negative feedback.
We still gave a refund even though the item was in worse condition upon its return. We weren’t even able to resell it.
These are the types of issues you have to worry about and deal with as a seller. Keep in mind that eBay will always favor the customer.
Unless the customer is blatantly abusing the system such as marking an item “not as described” to avoid paying return shipping, as a seller the odds are not in your favor.
As for myself, I was burned out on these issues fairly quickly. Besides not being able to sell enough items on a regular basis to keep a positive cash flow, customer service was another hassle on top of not making any money.
Affiliate Marketing and How It Has Shifted My Online Business
I have always dabbled in affiliate marketing. I dabbled enough to replace a part-time job with it. My problem was that I became too comfortable with a paycheck to ever take my online business seriously.
After being laid off from my previous job, I used it as a wake-up call to focus on my online business and change the way I did things in the past.
Basically, I started fresh and invested in my affiliate marketing education. Before I delve into the benefits of affiliate marketing, I’ll explain briefly what it is.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is simply the promotion of other company’s products and/or services in exchange for a commission when a sale is made.
Have you ever told someone about a great book you’ve read or a fabulous restaurant you’ve tried out? That, in a nutshell, is affiliate marketing. The only difference is you weren’t compensated for your promotion.
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
Why do I think affiliate marketing is so awesome? For one thing there is zero customer service! That is probably my favorite perk. 🙂
Here is a list of why I think affiliate marketing is one of the best businesses to start:
- No dealing with customer service
- No inventory to buy and store
- Work from home, a coffee shop, wherever you want
- Affiliate marketing is free (companies do not charge to promote their products)
- Unlimited earning potential (your effort determines your income)
- Unlimited products and/or services to promote
- Low-cost start-up (in most cases under $200)
- Lifestyle freedom (control your time and location)
Get Your Own Free Website
In order to make commissions with affiliate marketing, you will need a website. A website is easy to set-up so if you feel technically challenged, don’t worry.
Get Step-By-Step Training (Also for Free)
Getting started with affiliate marketing is easy but achieving success with it is difficult if you don’t know much about marketing online.
Even though I have dabbled in affiliate marketing off and on over the years and wasn’t a complete novice, there was still so much I had to learn.
I was tired of making a commission here and there. I wanted to develop a true online business that will last for years to come.
That is why I joined Wealthy Affiliate as a starter member for free. I had to find out if what they were teaching was legitimate and not another scam.
After test driving it for a day, I signed up as a premium member. It was a no-brainer for me. The lessons were invaluable and what I’ve learned has changed the way I run my online business.
Affiliate marketing holds so many benefits as compared to selling on eBay. You can do both of course. However, if you are totally burned out on eBay like I am, consider giving affiliate marketing a try.
Are you able to relate to being tired of selling on eBay? If so, share your experience in the comments below.