Is It The End of the Road For Ebay?

I bought a lot of stuff from Ebay over the years. I used to sell the odd thing there as well, before all the listing fees were pushed up and 10% was taken off the final sale price. Then, because I used PayPal, there was another few percent knocked off any profits transferred to my PayPal account.

As a very small-time seller, I found Ebay’s endless money-grab on my meagre profits to be off-putting. I can wait several weeks to sell an item on free classified ads site, thanks very much.

Skip McGrath became THE person to follow if you wanted to become a successful Ebay Seller. He’s been selling on Ebay for almost 20 years. He documented all the in-and-outs, procedures, tricks and where to find wholesale stuff to sell in his The Complete Ebay System course. It was THE course to get.

Skip’s course originally sold for $147. But on September 27th, 2018, he made an announcement. Skip said he was leaving Ebay behind for good and moving over to Amazon.

He cited some personal reasons for the move.

He also provided a coupon code (EBAY40) to use at checkout to save 40% on his Ebay course – now $88.20. The discount is available until Midnight, October 31st after which the course will be taken down permanently.

These are the reasons Skip gave for leaving Ebay:

No- it’s not because you can no longer make money on eBay – there are thousands of sellers doing that every day. For us -it had more to do with the fact that we just needed to set some different priorities, such as spend time with grandkids and take more time off for ourselves. With eBay becoming so complicated, we had to make a decision where we want to put our efforts. The simple truth is that eBay has become too complicated and time-consuming for us to navigate profitably.

So, we have decided to concentrate on Amazon, both in terms of selling goods, and where I will be focusing my training going forward. With that in mind, I am going to have a final sale on my eBay Books.


Today, I received another email update from Skip, which alludes to other reasons he ended up leaving Ebay after so long. He pointed his readers to this Open Letter To Ebay Management.

This is how the letter starts:

Dear eBay, it’s not us, it’s you. I am sitting here in my workshop having been an active eBay seller off and on for the better part of two decades. I have sold nearly a half million dollar in sales over that period in various niches. I have seen, first hand, every change that eBay has made, and adapted to them to the best of my ability. I have become adept at adapting to your changes to sellers to the point that I simply look at them as “well, here we go again…

While Skip didn’t write the letter, he says that it mirrors his experience and his issues with the Ebay platform.

The letter makes very interesting reading. It paints a picture of a company in crisis. One that doesn’t listen to its sellers. One that puts the buyer experience ahead of all other considerations (except scalping money from additional fees).

Yes, buyers need to be protected from bad sellers. But sellers also need to be protected from unscrupulous buyers. And Ebay seem to ignore that fact completely.

It’s also worth reading the comments below the letter. Similar sentiments from other long-time Ebay sellers show that these are not the views of a few disgruntled or isolated sellers.

And from what they’re saying, a large number of long-time sellers have already shut up shop or are imminently doing so and jumping ship.

Management appears to be completely at sea in managing the crisis. Ebay stock prices are down too.

Bad Word of Mouth

This kind of bad word-of-mouth spreads rapidly. It spread to me and now it’s spread to you. And you’ll probably tell someone the story now as well.

Some sellers think there’s too much damage for Ebay to ever recover and return to the kind of platform it used to be. One of the management’s mistakes seems to be that they’re trying to turn Ebay into another Walmart or Amazon. And that’s not what it was originally designed to be.

Perhaps a classic example of trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole?

Anyway, if you’ve any experience selling on Ebay, maybe you’d chip in with your thoughts about all this in the comments below…

Keep an eye on Ebay over the coming months to see what happens with it. Will the long-time seller exodus continue? Will sellers’ now bad opinions of Ebay make it into the wider community? And de these events spell the end for Ebay, at least as we’ve all come to know it?

While Skip does sell his The Complete Amazon Marketing System for $227, I still think that the Proven Amazon Course (PAC) is a better buy, even at its more expensive $399 price. You get a lot more with PAC and new courses are constantly being added for free (these are courses that are otherwise sold separately), so the actual value is way more than $399. Jim Cockrum, who’s behind PAC also has more experience running a business as an Amazon Seller.


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Filed under: Ecommerce