Why I Left eBay


I continue to get questions from readers about Why I left eBay and am no longer writing books and newsletters about it.  Here are a few of my opinions:

  • Amazon now outsells eBay by almost 10 to 1
  • Most of my regular readers and those who find me on the web tend to be new online sellers.  Over the past couple of years, eBay has taken steps to discourage new sellers with onerous rules and policies
  • eBay and PayPal are parting ways leaving several million PayPal members without the ability to pay for eBay purchases
  • eBay has downsized their US workforce and now experiences almost constant technical  and platform issues that affect both buyers and sellers
  • eBay is setting up their own Payment system.  The last time they tried this it was a total disaster and I do not have any faith in them doing so again
  • eBay’s return & refund policies do not lend themselves to the eBay style of doing business.  They are trying to copy Amazon, but the Amazon platform works in an entirely different way.
  • Constant policy and operational changes that rarely benefit sellers –many of them just happen without any warning or pre-announcement

These are just a few of my reasons –and of course, these are based on my opinions formed by selling on eBay for almost 20-years.

Skip McGrath


  1. But I currently sell vintage paperback books (not a good seller on Amazon) and lots of 10-15 used paperback books by genre (again really possible to sell on Amazon). And yesterday I was searching for an Elysee fountain pen from the 1980s to replace the one I currently use (it leaks). I don’t think I’m going to find one of those on Amazon.

    So eBay, despite its flaws, still has some life to it.

    I agree with you. eBay is not Amazon, and I wish the powers that be at eBay would once again realize that.

    Wayne Stoler
    wstoler on eBay

    1. Sorry, that word about “really possible to sell on Amazon” should have read “really impossible to sell on Amazon.”

      Wayne Stoler
      wstoler on eBay

    2. Author

      As much as I have come to dislike eBay, I must admit they are still the best place to sell used and vintage items, although Etsy is coming on strong.

  2. 10 to 1, wow. Amazon here I come.
    Ebay is starting to collect sales tax from buyers now but they are handling it, not the sellers. Semi-good news.

    1. Author

      Both eBay & Amazon will start collecting and paying taxes for sellers in more states which is good news.

  3. Hi Skip:
    Besides Amazon and ebay, are there any other sites that you would recommend? Maybe Bonanza? I don’t hear much about this site. I’m wondering why it has never really taken off,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge all these years!

    1. Author

      Bonanza is OK but I think you may have more luck with Etsy.com

    2. Bonanza is easy to start with if you already sell on Ebay but I rarely get a sale on their site. They want you to upgrade your account, (spend money) in order to get more views, sales on Bonanza.

  4. What other options are there for used items?

    1. Author

      There are a few other options for used items nut eBay is probably the largest although Etsy.com is gaining fast.

  5. Always appreciate your honesty and insight Skip!

  6. Skip I am a bit surprised that no mention of the new GTC policy was voiced. Like you have been on eBay for over 20 years but still a very small seller. My comment would be that the marketing gurus (idiots?) at eBay can’t EVER seem to understand the nature of IMPULSE BUYERS which they have now lost entirely! We have now added our listings to Bonanza & will try Etsy again, Thanks Skip always good to hear from you!

    1. Author

      I should have put the new GTC policy on that list, but I did a special post on that when it was announced a short while ago.

  7. I sell used toys. Other used items. I don’t believe that Amazon is a great site for used, small lot (one or two) toy items. I could be wrong.
    I am on etsy and my impression is that that site is almost exclusively arts & crafts type things. Homemade, homespun. At least it was a while back (a few years now that I think about it) when last I looked.

    1. Author

      Actually used toys do OK on both Amazon & Etsy as long as they are in really good condition. I am seeing more and more used items of all kinds on Amazon.
      It used to be known as a site for new items –but that is changing
      Last year I sold a large collection of Fisher Price toys on Amazon and realized very good prices.

  8. Most of us are gated on Amazon for music (LPs and CDs) as well as movies. What’s the second-best marketplace for that?

    1. Author

      Probabyy a shopify site if they are niche items.

  9. Cannot sell my niche/vintage items on Amazon. Not even a market. I bought 50 used quilt books at an estate sale. Dollar for dollar, Ebay’s selling prices were less. Buyers are savvy and check the best price and buy there. I sell items in lots also that don’t move on Amazon. Amazon doesn’t have a Completed Sales feature to check what items are selling for. I have hundreds of followers on EBay who contact me and watch to see what I list. Yes, everything you say about fees and policies is true. I’ve been on EBay for 20 years too – have paid for children’s college educations, weddings, medical expenses, luxury vacations through the years and more. At my age, I hate to retire – the money is still there to be made and keeps us from using savings. It’s fun, it’s interesting – I don’t want to do FBA. It’s the USPS now who has changed the marketplace. Outrageous shipping charges are driving buyers away and sellers are making less with free shipping. Anyway, Amazon is not for everyone and I just want to state a different viewpoint.

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