eBay doesn’t have very many competitors, and the ones that there remain small by comparison — that’s part of what makes eBay so powerful for niche items. If you’re selling more common things, though, you might like to list auctions on other sites besides eBay, to increase your potential customer base and avoid some occupational hazards of relying on eBay for all your business. But which ones are worth bothering with?
Yahoo Auctions wins in one big way: selling there is free. There are no listing fees or final value fees. What’s more, Yahoo is still one of the biggest sites around and gets plenty of traffic to its auction site. The site benefits from Yahoo’s experience in providing good, categorized searching, and the site is easy to use all round.
The rub, though, is that dodgy buyers and sellers are even more rampant on Yahoo than they are on eBay, and that’s saying something. Sellers on Yahoo Auctions can expect to run into far more non-paying buyers than they would on eBay. Also, the site is plastered with text ads, which get in the way, and the design in general leaves a lot to be desired — but then, so does eBay’s.
uBid’s model is to offer more security for less flexibility. They pre-screen everything: sellers must be registered businesses and buyers must preregister a credit card. It takes some ‘Wild West’ feeling out of selling — but it also takes away most of the fun.
On eBay, you have complete control over what you’re doing, while selling on uBid feels like you’re just a faceless supplier for a big company. Searching for anything vaguely non-mainstream will come back with no results, to the point that it will quickly get frustrating for your buyers. If you’re just selling common consumer goods for the money, though, then by all means do it at uBid.
Amazon Auctions is an underused auction site. The design is quite bad, and searches don’t turn up many results. The payment system is the same one people use to buy things from Amazon itself, though, which seems more secure than PayPal.
You might be more interested in becoming an Amazon Marketplace seller, which means that you can list your items on their main pages for people to see when they click the ‘Used & New from’ link. This can be a good way to make a few sales, as you can simply keep your inventory updated at your Buy it Now prices and someone will occasionally buy something. You don’t even have to write a description or upload any pictures. This is probably a better thing to be using than Amazon Auctions.
To sum up, registering your items at a few other auction sites could get you a few extra sales — but compared to eBay, they’re all very unimpressive, and have nowhere near as many users.
If you’re trying to think of ways to expand your business, then there might be a shock in store for you with what I’m going to tell you next. Did you know that your eBay income is taxable? But stay calm — the next email will explain everything.