I actually had three options:
- I could sell my business for whatever I could get. It made sense to put my sales on top of a lower cost structure and my brand was one of the best on eBay. I actually had a buyer, but the deal fell through at the last moment.
- I could restructure and try it one more time, hoping I could stop the bleeding and grow my website. The problem with this, was I was upside down in the business and didn't see any way I could turn it around in less than 2 years. I looked down the road 2 years and saw no future as a media seller, so I asked myself, why would I work that hard and for free just to be in the same place 2 years later - but that crack (cash flow) was real tempting.
- I could shutdown and try my hardest to keep the damage to a minimum. Had I actually seen a future selling "new" media items online, I would certainly not have shut down.
Well, if you know my story at all, you know what decision I made.
Now 2 1/2 years later I'm seeing fellow sellers in the same predicament as I was. Many of them have restructured their business once already and tried to ween themselves from the "crack pipe" called eBay. You can't just turn the cash flow off without repercussions, restructuring sucks and it effects not only you and your family, but your employees and vendors. The eBay high is no longer there but you just can't turn it off.
Many have tried to ween themselves off and been successful; there are so many more options available today then when I shut down. Many sellers are still smoking the crack, thinking that somehow this is all going to get better, denial seems to be rampant. They say I am not an addict.
Many are still making it work but can't grow and they are fine with that. After all the crack (cash flow) is for recreational use only.
Over the past 3 years, I'm guessing, there have been tens of thousands of "come to Jesus" moments, when sellers had to address their eBay addiction and make a decision. Maybe what is needed is an intervention to shake them up to the realization.
I made my decision in Dec of 2005 and though it was the most painful decision I've ever made in my life, it was the best decision I ever made.
Online selling is not the problem, but reliance on a marketplace is. IMO, sellers need to take stock of their eBay business, admit they are addicted and begin a program to get of the "crack".
Maybe "Cold Turkey" is not the way to go, but sellers need to take a long hard look at their business and see if they can break free of the eBay addiction. Maybe what's needed is ESA or "eBay Sellers Anonymous" where they can stand up with other eBay addicts and say "I am an eBay addict", I need help.
Just my 12%