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Part 9 – Me vs Ebay: I lost, so what’s next?

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If you haven’t been following the story you can check back through the blog and read the Moving from Ebay series. If you don’t feel like doing that, then here is a recap: In June, I was on my way to becoming a powerseller on Ebay. I was generating around thousadns a month from the sell of sneakers and at my local market I was also making thousands. Life was great. Then some character on Ebay said I sold him a pair of Air Jordan 9 Retro (University/White/Black) that were not authentic. Nevermind that I had the receipts from a local sneaker boutique, the pictures of the shoes, box labels and all of the relevant information to prove authenticity, Ebay sided with the buyer. This was the kicker though, the guy was trying to sell my shoes on his Ebay page! He had them posted and was pushing them, but I guess he couldn’t get them sold at the high price so he wanted his money back. I told ebay all of this and sent them the receipts, but in the end they closed my account and my Paypal.

I had to find an alternative. I tried Ebid.net and it was a complete failure. I attempted to use Ecrater, but the site was very shaky although it gave me an alternative to list the shoes. I implemented what I thought was a cool feature on my own site an Auction. It worked. This told me that my site could generate sales, but the problem is the type of people visiting only wanted Js and I carry running shoes, various brands and my focus is not on beign high end. I can do that without a problem but I like to carry a lot of cost effective kicks. You can visit my Sneaker Shop.

After three months of attempting to beat Ebay, today, August 29th, 2011 I concede. Ebay has won. This is not a reason for sadness however. What I learned over this time is that when something is so entrenched in the mind of the people they will only do that one thing even if they can get a better deal.

Here is my final input on Moving From Ebay, try to stay on as long as you can, but if you are just starting do what my man Kelso did at Step By Step Sneakers. Build your base through sneaker shows, facebook, and visiting different pages and dropping your website out there. Only have one primary location that you can be reached. Don’t rely too heavily on Ebay for sales. If sales are low at the start just deal with it and let sells be slow. When you allow Ebay to be your only base, there is always a chance that they can pull the plug on you. My biggest issue was that I had too many websites and my traffic has always been spread out. The key to success is launching the site after building a following.

I am currently awaiting my acceptance into Amazon’s sneaker seller community. The next article I write about selling kicks will be about this process. Thanks for following this short series and keep checking back for updates on ARCH and the sneaker shop.

Chris B.