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The challenges of selling on Ebay

The Challenges of Selling on Ebay

By BloggerKhan

My profession is Management and Marketing and it revolves around outsourcing, ecommerce and marketing on the internet. Wise men say identify what you are passionate about and then see if ...

By BloggerKhan

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Selling on marketplaces is challenging. Most have adopted an adversarial relationship with merchants and try to exploit merchants in order to get a more favorable reputation with buyers (customers).

Ebay is perhaps the most abusive of them all. They take undue advantage of their Sellers (merchants) and is quick to close the accounts of Sellers who don’t bow to their every exploitation. Here is an example. Let’s say a Buyer purchased 10 hard drives from a Seller @ $100 each. That is a $1,000 transaction. The Buyer receives them and files a complaint that one of the drives is defective. In a normal situation, the Seller would ask the Buyer to send it back and ship him a replacement or refund him for one drive. You would think eBay may place a hold on the price of one drive, that is $100 till the buyer is sent a replacement / refunded. But eBay puts a hold on all $1,000 and the amount is pulled out of your PayPal account. If you are a small business, anyone pulling out $1,000 from your account suddenly could result in a couple of other bounced checks. But eBay doesn’t care. I wonder if they earn interest on that $1,000. Can you imagine how much money they pull out of Seller accounts. This is more like the insurance companies slush funds.

As a Seller on eBay, you are helpless. Ebay keeps exploiting you and you really have no recourse. If they would allow Sellers to rate Ebay, Ebay would get a very bad rating. Dishonest Buyers have figured this out and regularly buy multiple quantities and then file a complaint that one or two are defective. The Seller is caught in a no-win situation. If he immediately refunds the dishonest Buyer for the allegedly defective drive, he looses $100. If he wants the product returned first, he loses $1000 for at least the next 3 to 4 weeks while the Buyer takes his time to send the item back. These very dishonest Buyers also threaten you with negative feedback and many do. Sellers suffer. Many straightforward honest Sellers have had their accounts closed because they refuse to refund Buyers till the allegedly defective items are sent back.

My advice to merchants is to sell on eBay but establish your own website with your own ecommerce platform. Sell on marketplaces, in fact sell on as many as you can but always promote your own website to existing and prospective customers. Be prepared, sooner or later your account may be suspended no matter how clean an operation you run. You have to make a living in this digital river and there are crocodiles. You have to learn how to live with crocodiles.

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