Seller Conversation: What Were the Old Days of eBay Like?
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This week we're talking with Sylvia (aka redleader98) about the "early days of eBay".
When we started selling on eBay in 2008, online commerce was already at full throttle. We quickly learned that it was more beneficial to sell our items using "Buy It Now" vs Auctions. There were hints that older sellers were angry at eBay about something, but we didn't really worry about it because we were happy to find a way to make a living. Once we found the eBay community forums, we learned about the big changes that eBay made before we joined. Sellers could no longer leave buyers negative feedback. Fees were substantially raised. Sellers who started out on eBay felt like they were stabbed in the back. I guess they finally realized eBay was a mindless corporation that was always hungry for profits. The Community Forums became a place to rant and rave. As new sellers, we certainly didn't feel comfortable finding useful info there.
Sylvia was selling in those early days and remembers what is was like before the big changes. Online selling was still relatively new and eBay was one of the main places to buy anything. Sellers put anything and everything on auction and it sold. Early eBayers talk about how it felt like a gold rush. Beanie Babies were an actual thing people wanted to buy. I dont know if this is an example of the past always looking brighter, but it sounds like an awesome time.
Sylvia talks about the community of sellers that she belonged to. Before blogs, people met in person to help each other. They had regular meetings where they discussed eBay issues and helped each other solve problems. They even had a float in their town's 4th of July parade! That is some super nerdy stuff.
I always remind sellers that eBay is still always in the top ten most popular sites on the internet. Though there is now massive competition for online sellers, there are infinitely more people buying online each day and this number is growing. It's never been a better time to sell online. Plus, we now have these blogs and youtube communities to help each other. Yes--you must work hard and treat your eBay store like a business, but everything still eventually sells.
If you were around in eBay's early days, we'd love to hear some of your stories in the comments. Instead of telling us how angry you are at eBay, we'd love to hear how you had to change your methods for selling online as ecommerce has become more sophisticated. Sylvia says she'd be happy to answer any questions that newer sellers might have about how it used to be.