If you came to this post looking for a comprehensive head to head analysis of the world’s two biggest marketplaces, then I’m sorry to say that’s not what this is. No, today I want to talk about the phenomena of people always thinking that the grass is greener on the other platform, that everything is better somewhere else! It has reached the point where I don’t know whether to cry or laugh when I read on a regular basis how bad one marketplace is and how good the other one is.
I’m specifically talking about Seller Central forums – for both eBay & Amazon. If you have never read those forums, make sure to check them out:
There’s nothing wrong with these forums, in fact – they’re a great place to learn the ins and outs of selling on both Amazon and eBay. But they can be tricky IF you’re totally new to all of this and are just looking for information, especially IF you visit just one forum and not both.
Because you’ll find lots of negative information there. Horror stories even.
The thing is – most sellers don’t go on forums and don’t post when everything is running smoothly. They do it when things go wrong, when they face problems etc. It’s similar to company reviews online. Just check PayPal’s reviews on Trust Pilot for example:
1.3 Stars out of 10!!!!
It must be the absolute worst company, a total scam and criminal organisation! Who even deals with them???
Well, according to publicly available information, there are approximately 200 million active PayPal accounts in 2017. So how could 200 million people use a service that is rated 1.3 stars out of 10?
Because people mostly leave such reviews when they have problems with the company! I have never left a review for PayPal on Trust Pilot as I have never had any problems with it. Just like millions of other PayPal users.
Why am I talking about this? Well, just so you keep things in perspective when you read Amazon and eBay’s seller forums – most of the stuff discussed there is negative – problems, banned accounts, buyer-scammers, eBay glitches etc. And that’s fine of course but it DOES NOT portray the average, everyday life of a typical user.
And what amazes me most are regular, weekly and even daily posts that say something like this:
Post title: sales have totally stopped.
Content: eBay sucks, I will move all inventory to Amazon!
AND the funniest part about all of this is that on the Amazon forum you read:
Post title: no sales made in the last week!
Content: Amazon is a waste of time, I will move all inventory to eBay!
Don’t you agree how hilarious (or ridiculous) this is?
If you read these posts you would logically assume that sales are non-existent on both eBay and Amazon. They’re both dead platforms and no one is making any sales! Really? I don’t think so….
The problem is that there will always be people who can’t make it work and they’re the ones who will go on these forums and let everyone know how bad things are. Successful sellers don’t do this – they’re busy working on their businesses, dealing with customers and thinking of plans to grow!
Don’t get me wrong – I’m NOT saying that there are no problems with these selling platforms, far from it! I’m especially angry about all kinds of technical issues we often have to face – you would think that these multi billion pound behemoths would at least have perfect IT infrastructure in place but as we all know, that’s often not the case. With that being said, you simply can’t make any conclusions by listening to a very, very small percentage of sellers – sellers who are simply not objective.
Luckily for me, very often I receive emails from people who are very successful on both eBay and Amazon and I know for sure that both platforms can work great for the right person, with the right product etc.
If we talk specifically about periods of slow sales – when you have a business for many years, you’ll know that there are such periods and usually there’s no point in looking for explanations. It’s just pure statistics, weather, search traffic, holidays and many, many other factors.
Let me give you one clear example – a few years ago I was selling one product on eBay. I averaged 3 sales a day for almost a year. So around 90 sales a month, with a small variation month to month. Then suddenly, there were no sales for 15 days. FIFTEEN DAYS!!! Everything else was the same – traffic, listing positions etc. but no sales for 2 weeks straight!
I thought I was going crazy as the days went by and I couldn’t figure out what was happening. And it was beginning of the month that this occurred – from 1st to 15th.
And you know what happened? On the 16th sales started to roll in again AND in the remaining two weeks of that month I made my whole 90 sales – meaning that I finished the month as normal! And in the following month I made 90 sales again.
To this day I can’t explain what happened there but one thing is for sure – there can be times when sales go down, go up, or even stop completely but that’s not a reason to panic and move to another marketplace.
Obviously if you see a sudden drop in sales, you should check listing rankings, competitor offers, trends – I have explained this process in my article here. If there’s a problem you need to address, work on it! But if everything else looks ok, just wait it out and see if your sales stabilise within 3-4 weeks.
On a side note – there are products that are more suitable to eBay, products that are more suitable to Amazon, and products that are most suited to your own online shop.
If you’re trying to sell a product with no demand on that marketplace then that’s of course a different story and in such cases you SHOULD move on, yes. I will do an article on this topic very soon on my blog so we can see what kind of products are most suitable for each platform. So stay tuned for that!
Ok, that’s it for today – hopefully it will help some of you to continue your journey with a clear head and not get affected by what other people are writing on online forums.
In my opinion, you should pick your selling platform – be it eBay, Amazon or your own online shop – MASTER it and STICK with it! You want to know it inside out, from A to Z, to really make the most out of it! Half effort brings half results so if you’re not fully into this, you won’t reap the full reward.
And once you have mastered one platform, you move on to the next one. Usually the progress will be from eBay to Amazon and then to an online shop. But some people do Amazon only and add a website later on. And some go straight to having their own ecommerce store! It all depends on you and your products.
If you have any comments/questions about today’s topic, please leave your thoughts below the post!
All the best,