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Kreativebargains: An eBid success story

By Chris Dawson September 6, 2012 - 12:07 pm

Last month eBid sent us a press release which claimed that “eBid is a better alternative for anyone looking to really make a living, or at least a fair income, with online auctions“. We were a little skeptical about the ability to really make a living on eBid, so we asked eBid for a case study or to put us in touch with a successful eBid seller turning over £1000 a month on a regular basis. eBid stopped answering our emails but today we’re delighted to publish an interview with Andy, the most successful eBid seller we’ve been able to find.

Andy is pretty realistic about eBid and although not making a living on eBid is using the platform to supplement his income with a turnover which has averaged around £700 for the last three months and he’s still growing his business. Here in his own words are Andy’s tips:

My eBid selling

My eBid user name is kreativebargains. I have a varied mix of products in 5 stores, the majority being clothing and accessories.

I cannot get into Facebook, Twitter and the like though I know I should, so rely mainly on Google for sales. My clothing store currently has the second highest number of listings on eBid.

What works

For any seller on eBid getting Google right is imperative, titles, barcodes and ticking all the boxes to get it onto Google.

Unfortunately for me, clothing is not a massive seller on eBid although there are steady sales. I have increased my baby items and they sell well, homewares also do pretty well.

Tips for listing – Keep Google happy!

I use BIN for 7 days with 10 auto relists, that means I only relist every 77 days, my listings rise up the eBid pages pretty quick and there is ample time for them to move up the Google pages as well.

I have got the Make An Offer on some listings and have had some success with that.

I have had listings on Run Until Sold but have not found this to be a success.

Traffic

If I was not so anti Facebook/Twitter I would drive a little more traffic myself, but I generally rely on Google.

I do use the eBid forums and this has brought some sales.

Sell through

I’ve got to be honest it is not what I would like, but it is improving. I started with about 1400 listings almost 2 years ago and in my first month had 5 sales, second month 10 and the hovered around the 10-15 mark for a while.

This year sales have always been over 20 and are now averaging 45 over the last 3 months. I have just achieved my 2500th listing, so overall I am just under 2% monthly sell through rate. With baby items this is probably around a 5% sell through rate.

Overall things do appear to be improving recently, sales are becoming more consistant and repeat buyers more frequent, though over 90% of my sales are new to eBid. Viewings also seem to be rising, though bots do count on the viewings as well. I am confident that that £1000 figure mentioned in the article will be achievable before long. I have managed 5 sales in the first four days of this month worth £115.44, with sales every day.

Tamebay Take

We’d like to thank Andy for talking to Tamebay, this is the first time any eBid seller has been willing to show us a screenshot to verify their sales and who really is making money on eBid.

Whilst Andy’s sales aren’t enough to support eBid’s claim that you can make a livable income on the site, they’re certainly high enough to be of interest. Andy is already turning over well in excess of £6k per year, and it looks likely he’ll soon be turning £12k per year if sales keep increasing.

Sell through is very low in comparison with eBay or Amazon, but as Andy told me if you do an eBay listing it only takes another 30 seconds to port the listing onto eBid. eBid is definitely attractive if you have a large inventory but your products are very slow selling as with a lifetime membership there are no insertion fees to pay.

Andy’s experience suggests that despite the widely acknowledged relatively low number of buyers on eBid, it may be worth experimenting with the site again. If adding £6k – £12k turnover to your business would make a significant difference to your overall profits that is achievable.

What we don’t yet know is how Andy’s experiences would translate across different product lines in different categories. Andy already has significantly different sell through rates between adult and baby clothes – tech products, antiques, motors and home and garden may all have widely different success rates on eBid.

If you are an eBid seller and are willing to substantiate your sales (with screen shots of your recent sales) we’d love to hear from you. In the mean time Andy holds the crown as the all time most successful eBid seller Tamebay have ever found.

  • 9 years ago

    Well done, and good luck going forward.

  • Stuart
    9 years ago

    Yes well done, never thought so much could be made from ebid!

    Be interesting on how ebid sales are when google drops shopping in the UK? As I am guessing this what they rely on?

    • 9 years ago

      I think the loss of free Google shopping will probably hit eBid hard, which is why it’s so interesting that Bonanza in the US is offering sellers the opportunity to pay higher final value fees in exchange for Bonanza paying for Google Product Listing Ads.

    • kreative bargains
      9 years ago

      eBid have indicated that listings will still be uploaded to Google Shopping and there will be no additional cost to eBid users. And to be honest how many members of the public use Google Shopping, the vast majority probably use a general Google search when looking for goods, though it is obviously great to have the additional exposure where items are likely to feature higher.

    • Sunny Martin
      9 years ago

      I have been buying and selling on-line on a number of sites since 2006 and only learnt of Google Shopping from other sellers. I have never used it for shopping and prefer to use the regular Google search where I have always seen my eBid listings on the first page.

    • Don
      9 years ago

      I too have (today) had sales, probably direct from a google search.

      £30 quids worth of vintage pyrex.

      Not bad for a hobby seller.

      It will pay for this months fishing trip!

      So I’m well chuffed!

    • 9 years ago

      Congrats and well done!

      I’m always fascinated to hear what hobby sellers use their online profits for. Enjoy the fishing! 😀

  • Madelaine
    9 years ago

    From Gazza, who is one of eBid’s owners
    posted yesterday on eBid forums

    “UPDATE – Added another 91,237 keywords to Google Adwords to promote eBid “

    • 9 years ago

      Hi Madelaine, Google Adwords aren’t the same as Google Shopping listings.

      In the past Google Shopping has widely been acknowledged as the best (and free) shopping comparison engine.

      What’s changing on the Internet is that now around 20% of transactions are carried out on mobile devices. If you view a desktop Google search and a mobile Google search you’ll soon realise that’s what’s missing on mobile is the 10 adwords listing down the right hand side of the page.

      Doesn’t matter how much you spend on Adwords, what counts in the US and will count in the future in the UK is Google shopping results which are shown in the mix on both desktop and mobile devices.

      Also it’s worth pointing out that if you pay eBid for a lifetime membership they’ve only got fifty quid to spend on adwords and/or Google Product Listing Ads for you before they make a loss.

      Fifty quid doesn’t go far – just do some adwords tests yourself. Just where will eBid get the funds to spend money on for Andy’s 2,500 listings next year, the year after and the year after that?

      The answer is that eBid simply don’t have the income to fund long term advertising for all sellers products on Google, which is exactly why Bonanza have decided to offer a higher final value fee to fund Google advertising.

    • Hush77hush
      9 years ago

      Chris do you think that ebid could have done some kind of deal with google about the shopping feeds and there future fees?
      I remember that there was some big who har about ebay and the change from google base feeds to what we have now and ebid came out and said something along the lines of they were a google partner or such and such.
      It was one of the reasons i closed my store on greedbay was i couldn’t import my listing to them through google base anymore.

    • 9 years ago

      I don’t know, although it would surprise me.

      eBid (and Etsy and eCRATER) became the first Google Product Search Marketplace Partners in 2009, but Google have scrapped free Google Product Search in the US in favour of paid for Product Listing Ads.

      All well and good being a partner when it’s free. Not likely to mean much when the free program is scrapped.

    • Hush77hush
      9 years ago

      if the free partnership is scrapped not heard anything to say otherwise.
      When i heard that it was gonna be pay to display and ebid then came out and said don’t worry we got it covered they must have something in the pipeline I suppose we will have to wait and see.

    • 9 years ago

      It’s not so much a “free partnership” as a marketing thing…

      The back story is many moons ago each individual seller on a marketplace could upload their own items to Google shopping. The marketplaces invariably did the same.

      Google decided to put a stop to it to cut out duplicate items and said only marketplaces could upload items. At that time they announced a few “partners” as it sounded good.

      Didn’t mean anything then and doesn’t mean anything now. Any marketplace can upload items to Google shopping and they all do.

      The “free” ends when Google introduces Google Product Listing Ads to replace Google Product Search which is already happening in the US and doubtless will roll out around the world in the not too distant future.

    • Madelaine
      9 years ago

      I know that adwords are not the same as google shopping listings.

      I also know that £50 doesn’t go far (had one of those free trials), but eBid are always assumed to be doing no promotion at all.

      While I agree that eBid’s fees don’t leave a lot of room for a marketing budget, few people don’t use gallery when listing so £49.99 isn’t the end of the story.

    • 9 years ago

      Madelaine,

      90k added. Good effort. How many in total? That would be a number worth knowing. eBay will be in the very many millions, as a benchmark.

      Best,

      Dan Wilson

  • rick
    9 years ago

    lets get real you could do better dumping it all outside your door with an honesty box

    • 9 years ago

      Yes Rick, let’s get real!

      £700 sales a month or £8400 per year can produce a reasonable profit which can make a real difference to someone’s income. OK you can’t live off it and Andy hasn’t suggested that you can.

      I don’t know too many people who if they had the opportunity to make an extra £300, £400 or maybe even £500 a month who would reject it out of hand as you appear prepared to do.

    • rick
      9 years ago

      to right I reject ebid totally, wasting time selling-on ebid deluding yourself your making money and saving fees ,while you could be spending your time making money is silly

    • 9 years ago

      Rick I fail to see how the profit off £8400pa is “deluding yourself”.

      Whilst I’ve never recommended eBid as a way to make a living, I’m more than open to learning how to make some supplemental income from the site and that, at least from Andy’s experience, seems eminently possible.

      In truth I’d probably stick with eBay, but I can see some circumstances when the free insertion fees on eBid would make sense.

    • rick
      9 years ago

      because for the same effort you could make three times the profit using ebay, rather than being regligious or tribal or deluding your self because there are no fees ,

    • 9 years ago

      Rick why don’t we try it get an ebid seller to match you with your honesty box against Andy and see who make the most money after a week?? lol

    • kreative bargains
      9 years ago

      Rick

      How about if you put it on eBay and it does not sell, which happens. With store fees, relisting fees and then the higher FVF’s you might as well have thrown it in the skip, especially for lower value items.

    • rick
      9 years ago

      Its simple common sense that an item that actually sold on ebid ,would sell on ebay for more ,with less effort ,and more profit.

    • 9 years ago

      rick seems to be totally and utterly anti-ebid. I find myself wondering if he was frightened by ebid as a child and has never got over it.

      Lets think about it. Dumping everything outside with an Honesty Box. Obviously I am not certain where he lives or what he is selling but in the UK climate and the level of honesty of so many today my guess is that he will go out to check on his sales to find that a) it has rained and all his goods are ruined or b) the whole lot and the honesty box have been nicked.

      Less effort. I suppose that is hard to quantify. Surely it will depend on the effort involved especially if relistings and amendments etc are involved but surely a click of a mouse is much the same on either site.

      more profit. With greedbays 20% fees(ebay + Paypal) and the continuous mucking around by ebay. Then of course there is the East German Stasi type Secret Courts on ebay which can see ebay sellers being punished time and time again for being targeted by a scammer(as I have been this year) I am not certain that I have made any profit on ebay this year(after all ebay is the scammers friend).

      If an iten sells on ebay it will sell for more than it would sell for on ebid. This might be true if an item was to be subject to a bidding war but look at the listings under almost any category. The vast majority sell with just one bid on ebay. So in reality will sell for the same price on ebid.

    • 9 years ago

      20% eBay fees? How on earth are you managing to rack up that much in fees unless you’re listing with auctions that hardly ever sell in which case you’re needlessly racking up insertion fees… open a shop and use fixed price format or dare I say it… try eBid 😀

    • 9 years ago

      On Tamebay recently there have been postings that have indicated that ebay + Paypal + relisting fees could be as high as 50%. I must admit that the 10% ebay fees plus the Paypal charges does not leave much in the way of relisting fees to make a grand total of 20%. Then of course there are other charges or costs forced upon us by ebay. Let me just quote an example. I sell Books. A small hardback book often costs over £4 to post and if it goes missing in the post and you haven’t sent it tracked ebay automatically finds against you.

      But of course the cost of tracking is additional to the postage and the £4 maximum charge that you can make to a customer means that in many cases booksellers have to stand a part of the postage costs themselves(OK if there is plenty of profit in a transaction but much harder if the Book is current with a publishers price printed on the Book).

      So 20% Greedbays charges are just the beginning of costs caused by ebay. Then if you are targeted by a scammer, as I have been this year, the fact that the books were not sent Tracked means that ebay will take the monies out of your Paypal Account and refund the scammer(even though he has had the Books that he ordered). Then the ebay “Stasi Courts” will hit you time and time again because the Scammer left foul totally untrue DSR’s and Feedback. I have been tried twice and punished 4 times this year because a scammer left totally untrue DSR’s and Feedback and all I get from ebay when I protest is third rate standard emails telling me to improve. Certainly all of my protests have been ignored.

      ebay wouldn’t even compare the lies left by the scammer with the DSR’s and Feedback left by every other of my customers.

      If I had to mark ebay in a DSR type way I would feel that a 1 would be very generous because in reality they are worth a very poor negative score probably about minus 5.

    • 9 years ago

      There has been a post by someone who claimed eBay fees could be 50%. The same person claimed that their eBid fees would be £1000 on £6000 of sales with a lifetime membership giving free listings and a maximum of 2% final value fees.

      They probably because they simply made up some figures trying to sound good. We’d rather have someone accurately reporting exactly what percentage fees they’d paid (and supply a screen shot), than give any credence to people simply plucking figures out of the air.

    • 9 years ago

      I must admit that when I saw the claim of 50% I looked at my own case. 10% ebay fees plus Paypal Charges and then a bit for such as relisting fees. It does come to just under 20%.

      Then as I put in my earlier posting there is such as having to stand a proportion of the Postage Charges because ebay will only allow a maximum of £4. etc. But no matter how much I included I could not get anywhere near 50% Unless like myself you have been targeted by a Scammer and found that ebay not only believes all the scammers lies but tries you time and time again before their secret Stasi Type Courts with “evidence”(DSR’s) supplied by the scammer which you are not allowed access to and ebay will not allow you to challenge and where the sentence is always Guilty(its almost like East Gerrmany while the Wall was still standing or Trials in the days of Josef Stalin) and the sentence is always restrictions which in effect mean that you have to pay higher fees to ebay(talk about living under a totalitarian Regime).

    • Hush77hush
      9 years ago

      how do you know this rick??? i have listed comic books on ebay 3 or 4 time in a row with no sales listed the same on ebid and bang got sales. sometime low priced item get lost in the massive amounts of the same stuff listed on feebay list it on a smaller site same money easier to find bang sale. also there are now people that would do anything then buy something on ebay and will purposely buy from smaller sites even if it is listed on greedbay

    • rick
      9 years ago

      “also there are now people that would do anything then buy something on ebay and will purposely buy from smaller sites even if it is listed on greedbay”

      HOW Do YOU know This ?

      this cult of ebid thing is ridiculous its as if your somehow being green, or saving the planet from greed

    • Hush77hush
      9 years ago

      how do i known this??
      do you talk to any of your customers over thre no greedbay?
      I know this from the communication I have with my customers both off and online.
      perhaps this is a bit cultish or to green for ya to try lol

    • Sunny Martin
      9 years ago

      That’s not true in my experience. Items I sell on eBid might sell for more on eBay but any profit I might have made was spent on relisting fees while I waited for a sale. On eBid I will often get a lower sale price but I have no insertion fees nor relisting fees. Also my preferred method of payment is by direct bank transfer so no Paypal fees either.

    • Sunny Martin
      9 years ago

      That’s why I left eBay. I was selling a lot of items to people in the USA then eBay changed the way my items were displayed on the USA site so they were virtually invisible. I went to selling regularly to selling nothing to people on the USA site.

    • rick
      9 years ago

      nothing against ebid if it worked we would use it.
      and if it worked they would charge fees, or ebay would buy it or give it stress

  • 9 years ago

    @Kreative bargains,

    As far as I am concerned, if you make money you make money. Sound profits are all that count. Well done.

    I’m less impressed with the Ebid personnel and team though, if I’m honest.

    They never email or call. Can you have a word? ;o)

    Dan Wilson

    • jim
      9 years ago

      i have always had a reply or problem sorted within 24hrs.

      Ebid CS has always been very good for me

  • jim
    9 years ago

    i have said before, if ebid can get the branding then they will give ebay a run for the money.

    i have been waiting patiently on this happening.

    Only needs one big player too partner them and then we will see some serious competition.

  • Jon
    9 years ago

    Hi, A few months ago I tried eBid initially attracted by the “import listings from eBay” facility. Unfortunately after several months I could not get it to work. The import system relies on Turbo Lister which is packed full of bugs & has never worked smoothly since it was created and even eBay do not offer full support on it. For eBid to rely on Turbo Lister and not offer any constructive support whatsoever is not the right move in a seriously competitive market. If I had some help from eBid I may have been successful at importing my 2,700 listings from eBay. I eventually asked for my money back after 5 months. I am seriously disappointed in them. If they had helped me rather than telling me to sort it out with eBay they would have another 2,700 listings on their site. I thought this would have been worth a phone call or some sort of help. For this reason alone I have backed off. I realize now that they are not serious about competing with eBay. If they were they would have fallen over backwards trying to help. Sadly they did nothing but eventually refund me after 5 months.

  • superhans
    9 years ago

    I agree that ebay is far better, but ebay was at the same level as ebid at one point,

    If I had 1400 listings on ebay, I would turn over around £400,000 per year,

    We have voted with our feet and stayed with ebay,

    Sales have slowed right down on ebay at the moment, I am going to use this lull to look into ebid a bit harder,

    Ultimately ebid needs more users and more listings to help it grow as a viable alternative, so they need our help, and we should start looking to buy on ebid also,

    This is the only way we can threaten ebay’s domination on the online marketplace, vote with our feet,

    Ebay may then see the loss in turnover, and not put their fees up again,

    If ebid starts to pick up don’t be surprised if ebay buy them out, who knows maybe this is what ebid want.

    • Don
      9 years ago

      [We have voted with our feet and stayed with ebay,

      Sales have slowed right down on ebay at the moment, I am going to use this lull to look into ebid a bit harder,]

      More like voting with yer fingertips! Hang on in there:)

      As for ebid, I hope it rate of growth accelerates.
      It then may reach that critical mass it needs to explode onto the online auction scene.

  • johnC
    9 years ago

    Surely the question that needs to be answered is this:

    Why would you put all this effort into ebid in preference to ebay?

    I don’t see it. You’d earn far more net on ebay for the same effort. The fees are not the dominant factor, the sales are.

  • DS2987
    9 years ago

    We have always thought eBid put a lot of time into developing/fixing their site rather than pushing forward a usable API to attract the big sellers?

    Every month on their newsletter there is a long list of fixes/new features which seem to deal with the the odd seller gripe rather than looking at the bigger picture.

    We are a multi-channel retailer and the low fee option appeals if it stays low if the traffic ever increases.

    With the right API tools available adding another marketplace (shop branch we call them) would not be much trouble for our 12,000 lines.

  • 9 years ago

    The reason people put a lot of effort into alt sites like ebid, is probably more to do with the fact that they don’t like the way ebay has kept increasing their fees when they were already making money.
    Secondly they don’t like all of the changes and the fact that it is so hard to get your listings seen on ebay, due to technical reasons and the sheer number of listings.

    • rick
      9 years ago

      were warming to ebid, its performing a valuble service by keeping the amateurs happy

  • 9 years ago

    I am slightly bewildered by some of the logic that I’m reading on this thread.

    My advice would always to be ‘platform agnostic’ in business. The level of sales, the level of fees, how you feel about a marketplace are relevant. But surely turning a profit is the only critical measure of business success?

    This game is just “flogging stuff on the internet”, at the end of the day. I suggest grasping every profitable channel, and taking the sales.

    What am I missing?

    Dan

    • 9 years ago

      This game is just “flogging stuff on the internet”, at the end of the day. I suggest grasping every profitable channel, and taking the sales.

      Don’t forget time. eBid currently has no developer’s program which means no third party tools (technically there might be some but they would all be hacks). No third party tools means no multi-channel software. Multiply that out to every single profitable channel out there that lacks an API.

    • 9 years ago

      I would suggest that you talking about API’s means you’re too business focused.

      We’ve pretty much established that eBid isn’t currently ready for a business to sell on the site (surprising given that they’ve been around 10 years, but probably true until we find evidence to the contrary).

      Given that eBid will then be used to supplement an existing income or be used by hobby sellers than an API isn’t a pre-requisite for success.

      Whilst a business may be time poor many eBid sellers may be time rich and be able to make a successful supplement to their income without worrying about the hours required.

      Also with the low sell through rates there’s not a lot of inventory management needed from or on eBid. The inventory management would only become a pain if the same items were listed elsewhere and selling at a fast pace.

      For people that only sell on eBid, API integration isn’t exactly at the top of their list of worries.

    • Jimbo
      9 years ago

      Chris, It seems like “Play” is expznding into new areas. I’m sure there are sellers who have done well in the more traditional “play” areas. I would be interested to hear how sellers are doing in the newer areas. Any idea on what it is like as a venue?

    • 9 years ago

      @ Chris

      The point I was addressing was specifically when Dan said “every”. I used eBid as an example because that is the focus in this discussion but I was talking about every profitable yet smaller than eBay marketplace (like eBid) and why one would not sell on “every” marketplace.

      The good news is that eBid looks like they are trying to create a public API. I linked to their oDesk job posting in the other thread.

    • 9 years ago

      When calculating profitability, I would assume that an savvy business person would factor in time. Obviously.

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