Thursday, January 01, 2009

A New Year, a New Direction

I can't believe I'm doing this to myself....

I have decided, due to various factors including eBay's crazy changing of rules all the time, that what I need to do is take all of my single cards down off of my eBay store and move them to the "branch store" at instead.

I am staring down the barrel of another great "culling" by eBay of my inventory. As you may recall, last year (October?) I lost about half of my inventory as eBay took down any items that were listed at under $1. Well, eBay's latest policy change is that personal checks and money orders (in short, non-electronic payments) are no longer acceptable for eBay transactions.

The problem is that for the last who knows how long, my boilerplate "checkout message" has said that PayPal is preferred, but that checks & money orders would be accepted. If eBay lives up to their promise, then come January 16th any of my items with this wording will be taken down, and I'd have to relist them all at that point.

My only other option would be to edit 3000+ items one at a time, because the checkout instruction message is not one of the things you can edit by a bulk edit. And even if I could, I would be unable to edit the message on any item where even one of them had sold (you may recall me hitting that problem last year when the USPS got rid of "Air Mail Letter" and replaced it with "First Class International").

So, essentially, I have finally had it with eBay as far as having a massive inventory over there is concerned. I will still leave up my booster packs and complete common sets as they are more easily dealt with over there. But the bulk of my inventory will move to the "branch store". The big pluses include:
  • Easier to control inventory (adding/subtracting cards)
  • Easier to bulk edit if need be (I can download my inventory as a spreadsheet, do a massive "Find/Replace" and upload the file back up and there you go!)
  • I can still move selected items over to eBay, but if purchased they will be taken to my branch store's checkout, and may then go further shopping over there
  • Fees on successful sales MUCH lower through ProStores than at eBay (or as some have taken to calling it, "feeBay")

This decisions brings with it some pains in the butt, however:

  • The branch store's website needs some revamping to make it more attractive and user-friendly to encourage more people to buy there
  • I have 3000+ items that need to be moved (UGH!) - which means modifying the old photos to the "branch store" standard, typing the descriptions, etc.
  • I need to increase advertising and the like to bring customers to the branch store, because it doesn't have as many purchases as I need to justify it

All in all, I now have my work cut out for me again. And to think I was wondering what I was going to do with my free time now that I finally got all my English cards up!

I'll try to make regular updates as I can to let you loyal readers (all 2 of you!) know how things are progressing. Hopefully I can get a large number of cards moved over before the forced purge from eBay later this month.

No comments: