Using Ebay to market work? -

Using Ebay to market work?

The forum for discussion on business aspects of working with glass.

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Using Ebay to market work?

Postby gaiagirl » Wed Dec 24, 2003 8:03 pm

I have been a stained glass artist for many years and have in the past 3 or 4 years been really having fun with fusing, slumping, etc. I have run a stained glass supply shop and studio, but have recently closed that to work in my private studio... I am now exploring new ideas to create a market for my work - especially my fused glass. Would anyone care to share ideas - pro and con - on using Ebay to create some cash flow? I just listed some of my jewelry and small slumped items, thinking Christmas would be a good time... Well, I sold exactly 1 :roll: piece of jewelry... I figured there would be a bit of a learning curve, but this hasn't even begun to cover my listing fees for all the rest of the stuff... Maybe this isn't the great avenue I thought it could be...j

Any thoughts, please??? Suggestions???

Geri Comstock
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Postby Geri Comstock » Wed Dec 24, 2003 8:47 pm

This is my personal opinion only. Take it for what it's worth.

Most people shopping on ebay are looking for bargains or something they couldn't find locally or something they just couldn't find period.

In the past year using ebay, I've bought used books on CD, an antique sofa, and an antique tapestry, among other items. I bought them there because we needed or wanted them and they were cheaper than I could get them from elsewhere. Sometimes it's a convenience factor, especially with antiques... I wasn't willing to put in the footwork to find exactly what I wanted by trolling dozens of antique shops for years and years.

I suspect that many people who shop on ebay have the same motivation.

If you look at the number of jewelry listings on ebay, there are tens of thousands of them all the time. Some people are successful at selling their work on ebay because they fill a very specific market or they have people "looking" for them because they know their name.

There are a few people on this board who successfully sell beads on ebay. But I've also seen work made by well-known glass jewelers not sell on ebay, even at bargain prices. Why? Probably because there's just so MUCH jewelry. No one could possibly look at all those jewelry listings every single day and have a life. LOL.

I personally wouldn't try selling my work there because I'm simply not willing to sell my work for prices as low as I'd have to sell it to get it to move there.

However, I'm more than happy to buy things there at bargain prices.

Laughing -


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Postby Sara » Wed Dec 24, 2003 9:31 pm

Having talked to people who sell beads and fused work on ebay many say their sales are way off this year. Personally I would not count ebay as a means of bringing in dollars. Possibly you could use it as a venue to direct people to your website, your show schedule or your name. I have seen my work sold on ebay through people or galleries who have purchased at wholesale through me, some items sell at a good price and other items not at all.

About a year and a half ago I briefly used ebay as a marketing tool to introduce some new beads and website and it worked well and each time I'd do a listing my emai sign-up would spike, although I personally found it too time consuming to continue.

While experience may vary I'd not count on ebay,


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Postby Dolores » Fri Dec 26, 2003 4:28 pm

I personally started out on Ebay a little over a year ago and it did help launch me into the glass world, HOWEVER...there are some things to remember. Sara is correct in her observation of the typical Ebay shopper; They want rock bottom bargains, pure and simple! If you're lucky several people will fight it out at the end and drive up the price but there is a whole lot of glass art out there to be had for a cheaper price. I finally gave up Ebay because I found that I could ask for (and get) a much better price at art shows or the like. Also, giving one's work away for a fifth of its value was not conducive to my business goals. Glass jewelry was doing very well about a year ago than pretty much went into a slump. One artist was selling her bead/pendants for up to $150.00 in February and hasn't been able to get over $30 as of late. The one big positive out of the whole Ebay experience was the return customers making special orders at my full prices. I did round up commissions as far as England because of it and they still regularly check out my website for the newest additions. Just weigh the good with the bad before you give it a try and do check out what's already listed there. If you can improve on some of the marginal or bad art you see, you'll stand a better chance of making it successful.

Paul Tarlow
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Postby Paul Tarlow » Sun Dec 28, 2003 12:59 am

First, I agree with everything said above.

I list items almost every week on Ebay -- but not to generate a lot of revenue. I use it to build my customer base. Most of the folks who shop regularly on my site found me through Ebay.

Between Ebay and Paypal you end up paying a lot of $ to sell your wares at rock bottom prices.

- Paul

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Postby gaiagirl » Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:32 pm

Thank you, everyone who replied to my question. I suspected as much - that it doesn't necessarily generate a lot of income. I do think it may be helpful to get my name out there. Makes it very important to stop procrastinating and get my web site up and running! I have been dragging my feet on this, because I didn't know what to do... have never done a web site before... Guess I just have to try something - I can always change and improve it, huh?

This is a great forum! Glad I have discovered it!!! Will be checking it regularly!

Dennis Brady
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Postby Dennis Brady » Sun Dec 28, 2003 4:29 pm

I think if your goal is to "get your name out there" you'd be better off doing some retail craft shows where people will have a chance to see your work up close and personal. You'll sell a few things and make some contacts for commissions. You'll also make contact with store owners interested in buying wholesale. MOST importantly, you'll learn quickly what does and doesn't sell.

On any of the auction sites, it'll only sell if you're selling at giveaway prices. Personally I think all of those sites are a deadend route for selling your work. If the only way you can sell what you make is by canyon deep discounting on cheapo auction sites, you should seriously reconsider what you're making. Make something different. Something that people are willing to buy at regular prices at regular outlets. Auctions are for crappola imports. Don't demean yourself or your work by participating in them.
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