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If you’re reading this, the three words that comprise this title must really find some resonance with you. You’ve been screwed over one too many times in your life by eBay, and you’re fed up. Right?

Well, now that I have your attention, let’s go into some detail about just why everyone seems to hate eBay so much these days. Of course, there’s all the same old reasons: their fees are ridiculously high, they’re exploiting their monopoly, no one would join eBay if they had a choice, and so forth.

But really now, is eBay actually every bit as bad as these people say it is? – Let’s look at each of the major problems that people have with eBay one by one and see what’s actually going on:

eBay charges a £0.20 fee for Buy It Now listings (with a Basic Shop subscription). After this they also charge a 10% FVF only if the item sells. Sure, £0.20 is a lot if you are selling a £1 item, but if you are selling a larger item, let’s say one that costs £30 it’s really not very much at all.

Then there’s the Final Value Fee of 5%-10%. Once again, this may sound like a lot of money, but it’s actually a lot less than the Amazon marketplace fee of 15%! Even after you add in the 3% PayPal fee, you’re paying less than you would with Amazon, or with any other platform (Play, Pixmania etc.) for that matter. As long as your profit margins aren’t razor thin (which they shouldn’t be), you’ll be fine. Only someone who has never dealt with another selling platform would even think about complaining about the eBay fee structure.

Every payment platform has fees and if you compare eBay’s fees to those of other platforms, they are actually fairly reasonable. Besides, if you use PayPal, you can pay your suppliers for almost nothing at all if you use mass pay, and you can withdraw money to your bank account without a fee. Try finding another system that can do that!
The Real Problem

I know that you don’t want to hear this but eBay is not the real problem, their fees are actually irrelevant. Your business model is the real problem. If you aren’t making a profit, stop blaming eBay and start recognising the things that you can do to change your business and start making good money.

Chances are that you are suffering from at least two or three of the following issues which are totally unrelated to eBay:

Your profit margins are too low.
You’re working in an over-saturated market.
You haven’t solved your cash flow problems.
You’re selling the wrong products. Perhaps you are in an industry (such as branded clothing) that isn’t friendly to newcomers.
You’re consistently falling for supplier scams.
Your marketing platform is completely ill-conceived.
You need to just sit down and admit that it’s your own fault. eBay and PayPal aren’t keeping you from making money. It’s your own business practices that need to change. You need to take control of your business and starting taking responsibility for your life.

Work hard, re-evaluate your business model, and you’ll be able to make a profit. It’s that simple.

Sure, eBay and PayPal do have problems, and they don’t always make it easy for the seller. But this is because they need to always keep the customer as their number one priority or else they will fail. Everything is geared towards making the buyer happy and hopefully making a profit for eBay at the end of the day.

After all, eBay is a business; they have to make money too somehow.

When all is said and done, there are very few other opportunities out there. As we’ve already seen, Amazon, eBay’s main competitor, actually has much higher fees and tighter restrictions. We just hear more complaints about eBay because more people use it.

The only real alternative to eBay is starting your own website. And I definitely encourage you to do this. My only warning is that building a website that actually attracts customers is a long process that requires months of if not years of dedication and hard work. On the other hand, eBay can deliver your audience to you on a silver platter for just £0.20 per listing.

In the end, it’s not really my intention to defend eBay and PayPal (honestly, screw them both!). I just want to point out that although their fees are annoying, they are in no way above the industry standards. Actually, they are quite normal.

Your job is to do your homework and not blame eBay when you meet up with failure. Instead, just brush yourself off and try harder next time. Do your market research and make sure that you are actually selling a product that can make you money. You are running a business, so you can’t just sell whatever comes into your head. Making a living as an entrepreneur is hard work and takes a lot of concentration and thought. Are you up to the challenge?

Work hard, do your homework and you’ll succeed.

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