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Is eBay Really Dying Off As A Collectibles Marketplace?

April 25, 2012

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During my lunch hour last Friday I was skimming through my RSS reader, catching up on some of the posts that have gone up on the dozens of blogs that I follow along with.

One particular post caught my eye as soon as I saw the title: “Are Antiques and Collectibles Dying on eBay?” from AuctionBytes.

(As an aside; if you’re an eBay seller and don’t follow this blog I’d strongly recommend that you do).

The post made reference to an apparently lively discussion that was taking place on an eBay discussion board that I’ve never bothered to visit.

My immediate thought when I saw the headline was “I sure as hell hope not!”.

Given that I’m eagerly awaiting the day that I’ll finally be able to get back to business as usual with my eBay Store after more than 10 months of restriction, the last thing I need is for the site to be in freefall mode as a source of collectibles.

Of course, I knew to take the headline with at least a small grain of salt.  People complaining that eBay is headed for disaster in any number of categories is nothing new, yet the company keeps plugging along with very strong results.

Some of the gripes posted in the forums and quoted in the article are certainly understandable, but from where I sit they have more to do with sellers unwillingness to adapt to the changing realities of eBay and the people who buy on the site than they do with the category actually being in any sort of trouble.

I, for one, am firmly in the camp that is not convinced that there’s any sort of catastrophe on the horizon, at least when it comes to eBay’s place in the hobby as a source of hockey cards and collectibles.

Have some of the changes eBay has made to its seller program made things more challenging in recent years?  Absolutely.  But that is far from an indication of a category in jeopardy.

In fact, when you get right down to it, my sense is that you would be very hard pressed to cite the case of a viable online replacement for eBay in the hockey card and collectibles market.

As far as I’m concerned there simply isn’t one.

Sure, online trading forums and sites like Check Out My Cards do provide collectors with alternative ways of getting cards online, but to me they simply aren’t even in the same realm as eBay. At least not yet.

If they were, I can all but assure you that I’d actually be exploring them more seriously as an additional place to buy and sell cards for and from my collection on a regular basis rather than sticking to eBay as heavily as I do.

But when COMC has just over 151,000 items in the hockey card category and eBay.ca alone has over 570,000, I’m sure you can guess where my attention (and likely the attention of other collectors) is and will continue to be focussed.

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What are your thoughts on the doom and gloom headline used by AuctionBytes regarding eBay’s collectibles marketplace?  Do you think there is any merit to the arguments they cited or do you hold the same view that I do?  If you’re no longer buying or selling on eBay, where are you buying and selling online?

Send me an email at bb_bros@hotmail.com, post a comment, or connect on Facebook and Twitter to let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | My eBay Store | RSS Feed

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandy permalink
    May 27, 2012 1:34 PM

    No longer selling on Ebay (after 10 years). I cannot compete with large Asian distributors. Ebay has become more like Dollar Tree or Walmart with large stores with millions of items in inventory. Ebay has taken an added step to drive out the “mom and pop” type seller by placing the mega stores first in all search categories. If I am selling a single dress I am on page 15 of a search. Buyers must wade past sellers with hundreds of dresses in all colors and sizes to get to me. Most don’t make it that far. It is also for the reason I am no longer a buyer on eBay. I used to search perfume and find sellers with samples or barely used bottles at amazing prices, now it is the store after store with prices just like just my local drug store. I figure why wait for it to be drop shipped from china when I can pop in the store and get it now. So eBay is not dying, it is dead in my opinion.

    • May 27, 2012 3:36 PM

      Sandy – your views are definitely shared by a pretty large (and growing?) number of now former eBay sellers. It’s definitely much more of a challenge to survive as a small-timer on eBay these days.

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