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Has Amazon & eBay put you out of business?

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  • Has Amazon & eBay put you out of business?

    We started in 2006 and had a modest beginning, then our website peaked in 2007, with sales approaching a quarter million dollars. We thought, wow, if this keeps up, we can quit the day job in a few years. However, our web sales started to tank in 2009 (guess why) and now are a quarter of what they were, sinking to a tenth of our peak in 2007. We now gross about 50k and it's nearly time to hang it up. Any others with a similar story? The only reason we still have a store is that we have a niche market where some of our products are not available anywhere else online, and those are our ONLY sales.......

  • #2
    I'm sorry to hear about your business! Do you also sell on Amazon or just from your own site? Most store owners I know started to decline around 2012 with all the Google algorithm updates. The world is different now and gone are the good old days when simple SEO did the trick. Today's world is basically "if you want to sell you have to pay".
    Yes, particularly Amazon created a lot of problems for small business owners and this might just be the beginning. I experience the Amazon Syndrome almost every day when customer ask for: free shipping - free returns - etc. You mentioned "niche products", this is probably the only way small businesses can stay alive.
    Not sure about your nice products in terms of search/sales volume but before drawing the towel I would only focus on that product (s).


    • #3
      It is increasingly difficult to compete against eBay and Amazon. Having niche products is the only way I can compete. It is getting harder to make a living online when one is competing with much bigger sellers. The Google requirements that are constantly changing don't help either. It is getting increasingly difficult to market against the sellers with "deep pockets" and teams of people doing the jobs a small store does by itself. Yet with the right products and good SEO/SEM, it can be done.


      • #4
        We sell only unique products, and most are patented, but it still seems there is a need to figure out amazon.


        • #5
          There is no doubt that online selling is moving to selling via these channels. And so if you can not beat them, join them. We have lost some web site sales, we gained Amazon sales. The person who commented that if you want to sell, you are gonna have to pay ( ebay / amazon commissions) to do so is right on.
          That is the way the game is played now.

          AT Cross Personalized Pens