eBay sales reported to be down by many

YouKnowWho

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Well, well, well...ebay is taking it on the chin. YoY sales from 2022 were down, and 2023 is not a great year either. Some (links below) are reporting massive drops in sales of 60%+ and more recently 70%+ from previous 30 days.

This is a fascinating occurrence, and could this have something to do with a wave of nostalgia extinguishing? For a decade or two there was a lot of hardware moving from those who had it to those who wanted it. Collectables of all sorts. Of course in our cases this would be Amigas. However, could this thirst be satisfied? Could we have mostly/nearly all Amiga hardware we want and are looking less and less on that ebay to buy hardware? I see plenty of items which linger and don't get nearly the attention or demand they once used to get.

Of course the western economies are facing all types of issues related to inflation, interest rates, consumer debt, all surely contributing factors when it comes to buying things on ebay, which more often than not are not necessities.

In any case, it is fascinating that traffic, sales and surely average sale amounts are down and continue to trend downwards on eBay, once the mighty market place. I guess those 12.9% selling fees (from 2 to 3%) and all the other policies are also likely taking the once mighty marketplace down. Sellers are taking their listings, dollars and traffic elsewhere in protest of these policies.

What is your view of it? Is it going down the gutter? Less appealing? Same as it was? Better? Are you shopping for Amiga hardware there much much less than you used to?

Links:>>>
 

Sardine

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I quit ebay when they demanded my bank details. Nope never gonna happen

I only buy from there now and then.
 

miggymad

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eBay is too intrusive and too expensive these days.

Take the time to shop around... There are always deals to be found.
 

YouKnowWho

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I quit ebay when they demanded my bank details. Nope never gonna happen

I only buy from there now and then.
Yeah, the bank details was too much. I think there is a word to describe what has been happening to the online world out there: "enshittification".

You're right miggymad...they recently had a period where they demanded payment method information to be set up from buyers. I think they rolled back on that because people were bailing out of purchases at cart checkout.

Is it just me or has the internet jumped the shark? Everyone is creeping on us.
 

tbtorro

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I guess those 12.9% selling fees (from 2 to 3%) and all the other policies are also likely taking the once mighty marketplace down.
As a seller I can attest that the fees and global VAT rules introduced few years back are certainly taking a toll. Curtesy of EU bureaucrats and other idiot and greedy politicians who want a tax on everything - including private people selling used stuff to private people.

These days when I sell something via Ebay to outside EU they cut up to 30% with all the "transaction fees" VAT (25%) on transaction fees and VAT (25%) on postage (for which I alreay paid VAT when I bought the label). AND then they charge the buyer VAT respective to their location (in US another 10%).

An example:
120€ US buyer paid total including shipping and local VAT 10%
72€ I get after shipping and all
88€ item was listed for
So the buyer paid 10% and I paid 18% in fees and taxes.

And to make things worse they started sending mails out to sellers (including yours truly) that they think you are a business seller in X country because you sold Y amount of items, so please provide your business VAT number. If you don't provide a VAT number then your listing in those countries are blocked. No discussion, no appeal, they just state that you ARE now a business seller and must have a registered VAT number (in effect telling you to create a company if you want to keep selling your stuff).

Talking of shooting yourself in the foot? In few years Ebay will be basically a second Amazon. Just shops from businesses who can afford/factor in the 30% markup - no private sales anymore. Apart from the random 10€ t-shirt or whatnot, once a year.

These days I'm including a small paper card with anything I sell on Ebay with the Amibay link - asking Would you like to buy my Amiga stuff 30% cheaper? ;)
 
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Bator

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Previously, there were ordinary people on eBay who wanted to get rid of unnecessary things, and then you could buy interesting goodies there for your collection. But over time, everything there was taken over by "reseller"s and, as a result, it’s rare to find anything interesting there at a reasonable price.
And as always, demand creates supply.
 

YouKnowWho

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NO WAY tbtorro! Ebay will never be a second Amazon. Crappier Amazon, sure...and that's not that hard considering what's happened to Amazon lately. Just the traffic Ebay drive is a fraction of AMZ. Amazon is really sucking people in with the prime membership covering shipping costs. But there is no magic, they have to cover that cost somewhere. So they probably have algorithms to suggest higher margin product to make up the shipping costs or squeeze vendors. Amazon it crap too...with just crazy mess on search results last while, as well as pricing issues. Looks to me like there are some court actions about pricing issues on that platform:


But anyhow, with this Prime method, Amazon has managed to corner a lot of traffic and revenue, and Ebay has been bleeding to Amazon for years. By marketplace size/traffic, Ebay is getting slaughtered. I have to say, for those who were on it back in the day and have seen what's happened, there is some satisfaction to what's happening to them.

The tax point you make...what's really irritating is how they themselves escape taxation through strategy and geography, while pacifying the political uproar with collection tools on transactions between people and reporting their activity for taxation. Another words, creeping.

Bator, you have a point. Quality of sellers is an issue. I don't think your assessment of being "taken over by reseller's" is right, as much as smaller sellers were driven out through frustration and nonsense and gave up on the platform.

Ebay really is a perfect example of enshittification, but it is far from the only example. I really feel it is a broadly applicable phenomenon with the internet lately. Netflix with ads. Streaming services price increases. Paid Facebook. Just piles and piles of nonsense - all about showing us more and more ads. Is anyone ever really paying attention to that stuff? Seems like a massive waste of marketing dollars to me to be perfectly honest.

Do you guys ever think that we still pull towards the Amiga because it was (is) such a pure non-creepy computing experience? No cookies, apps that want access to your contacts, photos, videos, voice recordings, call history and stored data, software as a service, games you buy and then need to download TBs of patches for, on and on it goes. How are we where we are when we know that a fully multitasking OS was possible in under 880KB - booted up and ready to go.

When I think about what was possible when I got my first Amiga, what computers could do, what an amazing tool it was, it is no doubt that the technology has evolved beautifully. But the creeping and data collection that's evolved with it is...very very creepy.
 

tbtorro

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NO WAY tbtorro! Ebay will never be a second Amazon. Crappier Amazon, sure...
That's exactly what I meant, not talking about turnover just pointing out the death of the model..

You know in DK where I live there used to be a great little service called "Jubii Auctions". It was basically a side-service of a small local (country specific) search engine/portal. It had clean (UI), was simple, fun, hassle free, easy to use with rating system and all and completely free. Anybody from DK who remembers it? You could list stuff in few minutes. You could find all kind of weird stuff people sold for cheap. Old ladies in their 60s would dial in and list stuff really.

Then they sold it and renamed it QXL Auctions and started charging 4-5% and butchered the platform with crappy UI, all kind of registrations etc... traffic dramatically dropped but went on for a few years.

Then Ebay bought it and came in, made it (again UI, red tape, verifications etc..) even shittier and raised the fees to 10-15% (can't remember) and sellers just simply left. Fast forward few years, all gone puff, dead! Now there is only classified ads online and that's it.

Ebay really is a perfect example of enshittification, but it is far from the only example. I really feel it is a broadly applicable phenomenon with the internet lately. Netflix with ads. Streaming services price increases. Paid Facebook. Just piles and piles of nonsense - all about showing us more and more ads. Is anyone ever really paying attention to that stuff? Seems like a massive waste of marketing dollars to me to be perfectly honest.
I call it CRS (creeping shit) it's been on for years for the internet as a whole. I feel we as mankind missed (yet another) golden opportunity to use a great invention to the benefit of all. Where many saw collaboration, open world, free knowledge for all, others saw only $$. There is a great (IMHO) argument that after the infancy of the medium, the root of all evil is now, that nobody thought of building some kind of fair monetization for the masses into it from the start. So all original, unique, and valuable web content is firmly on the extinction list, useless noise and pushed crap (PCR) takes over everything.

But there are some glimmers of hope, say the work of the Interledger Foundation that tries to somehow bring monetization to the masses. I've been keeping an eye on the projects of Grant for the Web (https://community.interledger.org/grantfortheweb) hoping one will kick in one day starting a revolution. Another example trying to fix things (at least on the social media landscape) is Mastodon (https://mastodon.social/explore) to check out - it seems like a breath of fresh air after FB. So all in all I'm still a believer...
 
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YouKnowWho

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tbtorro, I can't help thinking about your first point when reading the second point.

Eventually, someone shows up with a bag of money and they all sell us out. They start with good intentions, build up a user base, then ask the inevitable question - "How do we make money off this user base we have?" It just takes them a bit to come around to the fact that protecting our privacy, doing something for the good of it instead of for the money, offers no benefit to them. And they sell. And then either we submit to the new owner's wishes, or we leave and it gets eliminated as a competitor to the established players like your Jubii example noted.

And on and on and on we get stuck in this swirl of enshittification because nothing can be left to be good when it is good.

It has to be "improved".
 

tbtorro

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tbtorro, I can't help thinking about your first point when reading the second point.

Eventually, someone shows up with a bag of money and they all sell us out. They start with good intentions, build up a user base, then ask the inevitable question - "How do we make money off this user base we have?" It just takes them a bit to come around to the fact that protecting our privacy, doing something for the good of it instead of for the money, offers no benefit to them. And they sell. And then either we submit to the new owner's wishes, or we leave and it gets eliminated as a competitor to the established players like your Jubii example noted.

And on and on and on we get stuck in this swirl of enshittification because nothing can be left to be good when it is good.

It has to be "improved".
Yes. And imagine a world when content monetization is built into the medium automatically. Those fair people who created that great little service would have gotten paid fair for their time. They wouldn't get rich but certainly would have been able to maintain the cost (after all bandwidth and storage never been free)

Think of ultra-micro-transactions. Say a fraction of an eurocent per used service. I don't know how practically - maybe billed at the end of the month via your ISP bill? But the whole thing is built into the protocol so completely transparent and automatic and so low you hardly think about it.

So say on top of you 30€ bill you would fork out say 2-3€ extra variable total cost for that service you used when you bought that Amiga part, or red a well researched and objective news report, or someone helped on your research paper. And everything is ad (and bullshit) free. A true democracy of what service, creative work or blog is worthy of interest and valuable. Point to Point, Person to Person. AND on top of that you might be a creator yourself, in turn, getting those "residual" fraction cents. So might end up offsetting your cost anyway. Or even lower your ISP fee. OR make a fair living. Now THAT is incentive.

But people along the way got conditioned into that there could only be sellers and consumers on the medium. When in reality all of us are both in varying proportions, and would be more fortunate to think of it as creator and audience, or provider and receiver. Instead, we have a generation (or two almost) who thinks all created work and service on the internet must be "free", but it isn't. You pay with your data, you pay with your mesmerized attention and time, you pay with making bad decisions based on (often willingly manipulated) bad information. And we all pay in the end even if we don't use the medum at all. In the end it's not dollars and cents you see leaving your wallet, but decreased life quality and maybe an even worse future.
 
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RetroNinja

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For fun read Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling. Either great creep-ification humor or sad for-telling of where we're headed.

You can also help the fediverse by joining/serving Mastodon server/services. For tech speak they're cool but some can be a useless echo-chambers if you're looking at political issues.

Linux is a great OS for keeping some privacy. No real difference between that and Windows these days. Unfortunately most helpful services are web based. As soon as you start using Chrome/Gmail/Facebook/X/whatever you become an algorithm commodity.
 

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Could it be that yet another outlet for random crap, with misleading shipping times and no quality or real safeguards, is not what people hoping to find unique items at auction were hoping for? Sure eBay is in decline but I don't think it says anything about interest in nostalgia.
 

miggymad

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In the UK, nothing beats your local car boot sale (flea market).

Get up early on a Sunday, dressed and out the door 20 minutes before the sale opens (usually held in a farmer's field). You gain entry, head straight for the food van and order a breakfast roll with a large coffee then begin to browse the stalls.

If you were lucky (like I was one time) you will find a smorgasbord of electronics, computers, etc all at prices ebay can only dream of. If the price of the item you want seems a bit steep, there's always the haggle or "what's your best price?"

I purchased a hi-fi (still working and used to this day), a Spectrum +2 and games, a breadbin c64 and games plus an old Philips CM8833-II with a dodgy flyback. Not many UK pounds changed hands for the entire lot - IIRC my breakfast cost more than the Spectrum +2 lol

You never know what you will find at these venues so why not check out your local one?
 
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qz3fwd

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If you dont like ebay or Amazon, dont use them. Vote by taking your business elsewhere. Bitching about it on a forum is not likely to change anything. Nobody is forcing anyone to use either service.
 

YouKnowWho

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@tbtorro - the world we live in, we're all pushed to being consumers. I wonder if this appetite to consume will slow. Consider that these waves of nostalgia for hardware won't be possible in the future. These devices don't lend themselves to preservation for one. Software obsolescence is another, driven by need for online validation, updates, etc. Games that need servers.

@RetroNinja - I have been thinking about Linux as an alternative OS. I'm tired of the Windows forced updates for example, as well as data harvesting and marketing push. MacOS...is my current choice.

@Aeberbach - I don't know if that's the case. There are other hobbies I enjoy, like audio, and I'm seeing that hobby activity dry out significantly. Some vinyl holdouts, from which high dollars are being extracted, but what will happen after this latest vinyl record sales spike? Cars of certain vintage are already dropping in price, as there is no nostalgia to justify demand and hold prices. It's just how these things play out.

@miggymad - old school always works!

@qz3fwd - We have voted with Ebay. I'm just highlighting our votes appear to have worked. Amazon...they sell laziness, and that's a hard to overcome. Personally, I make it a point to not buy anything there but I'm clearly a minority.
 

tbtorro

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In the UK, nothing beats your local car boot sale (flea market).

Get up early on a Sunday, dressed and out the door 20 minutes before the sale opens (usually held in a farmer's field). You gain entry, head straight for the food van and order a breakfast roll with a large coffee then begin to browse the stalls.

If you were lucky (like I was one time) you will find a smorgasbord of electronics, computers, etc all at prices ebay can only dream of. If the price of the item you want seems a bit steep, there's always the haggle or "what's your best price?"

I purchased a hi-fi (still working and used to this day), a Spectrum +2 and games, a breadbin c64 and games plus an old Philips CM8833-II with a dodgy flyback. Not many UK pounds changed hands for the entire lot - IIRC my breakfast cost more than the Spectrum +2 lol

You never know what you will find at these venues so why not check out your local one?
Added to which: in the UK - nobody has to be genius to firgure this out..

You have to remember that only in large countries where population density is high, and the income levels vary a lot you will have good finds, and have it regulary. Countries like UK, Germany, Japan, US.

For example in DK (and I think in Scandinavia as a whole) this doesn't work because there will be no selection or quantity of electronics items on these markets. Living standard is generally high, people can't be bothered to list electronics, let alone use their precious time to sell things at boot sales. They just chuck everything to recycle. In fact the best place to score electronics is your building blocks recycle depot. I used to live in one upscale(ish) block, and I often found, full PCs (even modern usable ones), few years old gaming graphics cards, entire 50" LCD screens etc.. all working fine. Heck I even sold a bunch of stuff, just listed in classified for say 20€ untested and someone came and picked it up. All I had to do is move it from the basement (elevator) to my flat. But then again it was a very limited source. If I had a key to every recycle room in every building block in Copenhagen I would be swimming in electronics/retro gear.

Some years back, as a test, I used to make a schedule and went (bright an early to be first) to EVERY boot sale every morning on every weekend for months. Very slim pickings in electronics, almost none retro computing/gaming, and certainly no Amiga stuff. I think in 3-4 months the only relevant find I had was a beaten down C64 with no PSU. Then I gave up because the time and gas I used was not worth it.
 
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Templar

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The "other" bay as we used to call it. Last time I used it was 3 years ago already... But there is nothing really to be found there (regarding retro stuff I'm after). Oh, and the auto-translation was hilarious at the beginning, but very annoying now (searching for Amiga Kickstart ROM... well... you've got Kickstart Rome, probably made in Italy!). :LOL:
 

Moggsie

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The "other" bay still occasionally has it's uses. A lot of lower end stuff can still be fairly cheap compared to Amazon as it relies on people paying more for goods just so they can get it next day with Prime.

I'm aware a lot of people now won't touch eBay with a barge pole because of the rampant fraud. Heard a story last week of a seller who sold a fairly low priced item. Shipped it using one of eBay's own tracked services. Week after delivery, buyer opens a dispute claiming the item was not delivered. Seller responds and provides information proving delivery and eBay closes the dispute in the sellers favour. Another week goes by and the seller gets an email saying the original decision has been overturned and they've refunded the buyer. The seller is now refusing to pay eBay back and said they're willing to go to court over it.

I sometimes sell the odd item on eBay if it's not suitable for this place or because I know it won't get enough eyes on it. Touch wood, no bad experiences (yet).
 

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To add my experience. I used to buy/sell on ebay a lot (member since 1997). It was my go to place for my Amiga addiction.
However, as others have mentioned, with their constant fee increases and double fee billing (ebay fee + paypal fee), it became really expensive to sell stuff. However, no other platform gave you such global exposure, so I stayed there. Turning point for me was their buyer protection program which almost always ends up in buyer's favor regardless of the actual circumstances. That was not the risk I was willing to take, so I stopped selling there some 15 years ago.
Lately, they also messed up the buying experience too with their Global VAT and Global Shipping programs. As a person who lives in Europe, but not in EU, my country is not listed under Global shipping countries by default. Yes, sellers can add it manually, but they rarely bother to accomodate my polite requests (which sometimes get flagged as an attempt to bypass ebay). And even if they do add it, all these automatic fees really add up, even though most of my purchases are below our VAT/import fees limit (150 EUR). As a result, I rarely visit ebay nowadays, even though they still have the largest global selection of retro stuff. :-(

Anyway, their corporate greed got them in the end. If the quarterly results are this bad, they will most likely go for the quick fixes (fees increases) to appease the investors without looking at how they got into this position in the first place. Hope places like Amibay use this opportunity and get more exposure in the retro community.
 

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@Templar @Moggsie - Ebay for me has become a China connection. LED VU meter? $3.99 from China, FREE SHIPPING! VGA-VGA 1 foot cable to go from board to board with at the back of the Amiga, $4.99 from China, FREE SHIPPING! LEDs - bonanza! Any weird component stuff is often listed there from China, cheap, and FREE SHIPPING! Clearly subsidized by China Post to capture all business and have eBay become their distributor world-wide. I once was asked to ship something back, it was $30 to ship back this $3 item, needless to say, I didn't.

@damiraga - yeah, they have really pushed sellers off. It was clearly a business strategy to get more dedicated sellers and push off the hobbyists. But it was the hobbyists who made eBay. Now it is the hobbyists who are taking it down...more and more they have said to eBay...F-Bay!
 
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