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Why I don't use...eBay... as a Seller

I'll be very straight up and honest, I cannot STAND eBay. As far as selling, I just feel it's overrated and underachieved at this point. Back in the day, it was not so bad. The categories were not saturated with unrelated junk, and things were just easier to find. Now, it seems as if they pull listings down for any tiny little thing, whether right or wrong, and could care less what this does to artists and their collectors. I have seen artists go through all sorts of turmoil because some other artist (usually someone jealous or too competitive for their own good) makes an erroneous claim for copyright, or finds one small thing they can use against someone, and eBay is right there to come charging in, unannounced, to rip down your listing, bids or no bids, with no question or regard for the seller whatsoever.

To me, this is inexcusable, and unnecessary. I have found my home over at Etsy, where it seems much more warm and welcoming. Although Etsy also has some pretty stringent rules, they are much easier and reasonable to follow and abide by. No, they don't offer "auctions" and that is the one draw back to Etsy. However, auctions are becoming a bit "old school" in terms of buying and selling anyway. Yes, it is fun and exciting to bid on an item, but to me, I think it can be just as exciting to hit "ADD TO CART" and skip all the "Black Friday" style madness.

Many years ago, I created one of the FIRST online auctions and classifieds sites outside of eBay called FaeBae, which stood for "Fantasy Art Enterprise Brilliant Artist Encounter". It had features that no other site, besides eBay, could offer at the time. It was going through it's growing pains, and debugging process, but that is the way it goes with any feature-rich website. Back then, FaeBae achieved little in terms of support because so many were committed to eBay, and there were also others in the "Art Doll" niche that sabotaged the project out of greed and jealousy. I was too trusting, and when asked specifics on development, I willingly divulged too much, and the next thing I knew I was being railroaded. It's true, it's "business" as usual, however, I thought these people were my friends and felt they could be trusted. Needless to say, I was very wrong indeed.

It is my hope, my wish, my DREAM, that someone else will tackle putting together a truly unique online venue for ART DOLL ARTISTS and SUPPLIERS. I think times have changed, and our industry has grown enough to where it could just work with the right backing, and the right people heading up the project. I have often thought about trying this again myself, reinvented, but our niche artists MUST support it so that the collectors will come. It's just that plain and simple. So, if you are one of the ones thinking of possibly tackling this beast, here are my top 10 suggestions based on previous experience:

  • 1) DO NOT trust anyone with your project details or plans, and if you provide any information - get a non-disclosure agreement signed FIRST
  • 2) Purchase a domain name for at least 10 years
  • 3) Focus on SEO and Marketing more than development - This was a HUGE mistake for me. I sunk THOUSANDS of dollars and man hours into development, but focused on SEO and Marketing last...not a good idea - at all!
  • 4) Only work with developers that are EXPERIENCED and know what they are doing.
  • 5) If purchasing a "script" or "turn-key" software program to run the site, be SURE that they have long term goals and funding to keep the development going.
  • 6) Do not "Skimp" on hosting. If possible, get a dedicated server, and be sure that is it monitored and it has at least a 98% up time.
  • 7) Go easy on the "customized" options, often times this can lead to huge money pits.
  • 8) Make user friendliness a top priority, simplicity is KEY.
  • 9) Try to gain interest and support from "Industry Leading" artists and groups. I hate to say it, but you have to either have the support of an Industry Leading Group, or Artist (s) in order to help promote and support your project. Trying to do it alone or without backing in this niche industry will no doubt hinder your success.
  • 10) Don't let Debbie Downers get to you! Haters will do anything to sabotage something they wish they could do, or are jealous of not thinking of first. I know it may sound arrogant, but trust me, the arrogance and opposition is VERY real in this niche industry, and if you have not noticed it yet, you will when you try to launch your idea publicly.