Is eBay still relevant?

Is eBay still relevant?

Sep 5, 2021, 6:56:56 PM Business

eBay is still very much alive and well! First and foremost, it is the "internet's junk/antique merchant," and I don't mean that negatively. It is the go-to site for people who collect used items - and, of course, for people who have items they no longer want but want to recover any value they may have. It's also where you may purchase and trade used items that aren't necessarily collectibles but are no longer available new, such as replacement parts. In contrast to Craigslist, it essentially functions as a "global classifieds page" with built-in security.

It's also a venue for small-scale new-goods traders (mostly from China) to specialize on a specific product. For example, I once required some really fine sandpaper, which was unavailable at Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Amazon, or the local hardware store. Never fear; there's a sandpaper specialist on eBay, so I've got a source (I think I got something at 8000 grit!) It's also a location where someone can offer items that are available on Amazon but that this vendor got a good price on, such as an individualized Overstock.com.

Even Chinese producers are getting in on the action by bypassing the eBay country-of-purchase vendor. Of course, this necessitates extremely low shipping costs, such as $1.30 for a light package shipped from China to the United States, which is far less than what the USPS would charge for the identical box delivered from the United States to the United States. President Trump, it appears, wants the USPS to start charging more for these Chinese delivery. As for me, because of the long shipping times, I will always choose a domestic vendor, even if it is more expensive (both in terms of shipping and in terms of middleman profit), as my package (which was only about a $5 purchase) once seemed to get “lost”; however, I have had a lot of successful purchases from China, so go figure.

There are also small-scale American producers who produce items similar to those sold on Etsy. Some people produce remanufactured circuit boards (they look at the current schematic and use a pick-and-poke machine to make the board) and then sell them on eBay, taking out the middleman. (I'm familiar with this type of company because I buy circuit boards for my collection of vintage pinball machines.)

Published by Hope Sparks

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