Why are sellers on eBay seeking out alternatives?

There are many people out there who have sworn off eBay for one reason or another and swear they will never return. It usually centers around some of the many policy changes that roll out every so often or because of the fees charged for listing and selling your goods on their website. Below is a list of some major reasons people have decided to leave eBay.

Paypal Monopoly - If you want to do your business on eBay it is highly recommended (by them) that you accept Paypal as a way for your customers to complete their transactions. They are one of the most widely used payment systems in the world and even giant retailers like Walmart accept Paypal.

So what is the problem with Paypal?

The majority of users who abide by their user agreement never have any problems. However, there are many people who unknowingly violated their massive user agreement and had their accounts suspended or put in a perpetual state of limbo. This leaves the account holder never really knowing if they will ever see their money again. If you do a Google search of the term Paypal horror stories you will find a long list of disgruntled ex-Paypal users, anti-Paypal websites and a host of current and past lawsuits that people have brought against them. It is pretty clear that if you violate any of Paypal’s terms you will pay the price.

One of the main complaints that sellers on eBay have is the lack of accepted payment methods. Your buyers are very limited (see below) in how they can pay for what they purchase. They also have a large list of restricted and banned payment methods that are usually accepted on other sites.

ebay accepted, restricted and banned payment methods

Accepted Payment methods on eBay:

  • Paypal
  • Propay
  • Skrill
  • Credit card or Debit card processed through seller
  • Bill Me Later

Restricted payment methods on Paypal:

  • bank-to-bank transfers
  • Checks
  • Money orders
  • Most online payment services other than Paypal

Banned payment methods:

  • Sending cash through the mail
  • Mailing checks or money orders in most cases
  • Asking buyers to contact you for payment instructions
  • Offering payment methods to some and not to others
  • Using payment methods not specifically permitted

Years ago they had much more flexibility in what payment methods sellers could use. Sellers could accept checks, money orders or even get a little creative with how they could get paid. That was before eBay bought Paypal and has since been trying to get the vast majority of all payment transactions to flow through Paypal and increase their profits.

How much does Paypal make per transaction?

Paypal fees usually run about 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction for anyone who is selling something. If you pair that together with the 10% final value fee that eBay usually charges, it gives you an approximate total of 12.9% plus $0.30 per sale. You can get those fees down to as low as 2.2% per transaction if you are a high volume seller.

Some sellers have a very difficult time giving up to 12.9% of their sales. I for one don’t think that their fees are unreasonable because of the platform they are providing to sellers. For example, if you are attempting to sell a popular item, it is almost guaranteed that your item will get some traffic. You would not be able to say the same thing if you were attempting to sell the same item in your very own brick and mortar store.

You would also have other expenses such as electricity, employee costs and rent. My main problem with them is how they have handled the countless people who have had their Paypal accounts suspended for various reasons and the difficulty in getting issues with them resolved. Perhaps if they didn’t have a need to have massive profits for their shareholders, customer service wouldn’t take such a back seat.

Is Listia a viable alternative to eBay?

Those who have had enough of the large fees associated with eBay and Paypal will undoubtedly seek out alternative places to sell their wares. One such site is called Listia. If you have never heard of Listia, you shouldn’t feel bad because they are a much smaller auction site than eBay. Many people have never heard of them. They also operate a bit differently than eBay and most other similar auction sites. Instead of bidding with currency, you bid on items using credits.

Since you are bidding on listings with credits instead of money, you have to actually have the credits on your account before you can bid. You can get the credits by listing items, doing tasks such as posting auctions on Facebook, signing up for things, referring friends or purchasing the coins outright.

Listia does allow auctions of digitally delivered items such as Amazon gift cards and Coke Rewards Points so that is a plus that they have over ebay. The way that ebay has their Paypal payment system set up, they only cover items that are physically shipped to a buyer and do not allow digitally delivered items

Listia doesn’t allow members to directly sell credits to other members but they do allow you cash them out at their rewards store. The store offers items such as high end headphones, video games, video game consoles, kitchen items, movies and a ton more items. They also have daily auctions of several Amazon gift cards that you can bid on if you want to cash out your credits.

Some points to remember about selling on Llista

  • You sell your items for credits instead of cash.
  • Most people expect you to sell your item with free shipping.
  • You to sell items or buy credits before you can bid on items.
  • You are allowed to sell email delivered items such as amazon gift cards.
  • You can’t sell your credits for cash.
  • You can use your credits in the members rewards store.
  • You can use your credits to bid on daily Amazon gift card auction.
  • If you wish, you can sell Amazon gift cards yourself.
  • You can get free credits for doing various tasks.
  • You can’t sell virtual currency such as Devcoins.
  • You can charge shipping for items but the amount you can charge is preset.
  • Most people expect you to sell your products with free shipping.
  • Every listing can easily be posted on Facebook and Twitter with site integration.
  • Each of your listings has a section at the bottom where bidders can ask questions and you can answer them.
  • New sellers will have to wait up to 10 days before getting their credits after an item has been sold. They have a feature that allows buyers to click on a button on a listing saying that they have received the product. Once you are an established seller, you will get your credits instantly after your item has sold.
  • Since you purchase items from the member rewards store in credits, you don’t have to pay for tax or shipping and handling.
  • The value of 1000 credits has been established by the Listia community at roughly $1.00. This is based on the fact that they used to sell gift cards in the rewards store for face value of the card multiplied by 1000. So a $25 Amazon gift card would sell for 25,000 credits or a $50 Petsmart gift card would sell for 50,000 credits. They no longer sell gift cards (they are auction only now) but the value pretty much translates over to other items in the rewards store.

So, is Lista a viable alternative to ebay? The short answer is simply…no. Since they don’t allow members to sell items for cash, it makes it very difficult to do anything on a large scale. The site could have its place alongside ebay for sellers who want to find a new pool of people to sell items to but the lack of an option to sell items for cash will always limit what sellers can do. You could sell items for credits and then redeem them in the rewards store and possibly resell those items on ebay, but that is getting into more steps than most sellers want to take. I enjoy selling on Listia and will continue to do so, but it isn’t for everyone.

Some other ebay alternatives


  • Amazon - If you weren’t aware Amazon allows people to sell their products at fixed prices just as you would on ebay. They have fees very similar to those on ebay and if you don’t sell very carefully, they could eat up even more of your profits than on ebay. You have to pay a listing fee, variable closing fee, per item fee as well as others such as a stocking fee if you choose to allow Amazon to store your wares. If you choose the fulfillment by Amazon option, you get the added bonus of allowing regular customers on Amazon to add your product to their order over $25.00 without any additional shipping costs to them. Although, as a seller you will have to pay additional fees for this service.

Selling on Amazon

  • They are one of the most popular websites in the world and you product will probably get some looks.
  • They have fees very similar to ebay and they can get expensive.
  • You can allow Amazon to warehouse your products and sell them using Fulfillment by Amazon but it is going to cost you.
  • They have set amounts that you can charge and get reimbursed for shipping.
  • They pay millions in referral fees every year and have to recoup that by charging many different selling fees.
  • There are many very successful sellers out there who only sell on Amazon.This means that you to could be a successful seller but you should do your research and find out what products are going to sell before attempting to sell anything.
  • You should always remember to provide very detailed product descriptions and several high quality pics of the items you are selling, just as you would on ebay.


  • Craigslist - Are you sick of paying selling fees to ebay and Amazon but want to still sell items on the internet? Craigslist could be for you. The vast majority of people who sell items on Craigslist never have to pay any fees whatsoever. The only catch is that most of the sales will have to be pretty close to where you live. They don’t have an integrated payment system so almost all transactions will have to be completed in person. This means that you will have to meet your buyer in person, if you are going to meet your buyer in person, you should take a few points into consideration.

Meeting your Craigslist buyers

  • Arrange a meeting place that is in the open and has lots of people around. I would recommend a supermarket or mall parking lot.
  • Arrange a time to meet your buyer. Once the time has been set, you should probably stick with it.
  • Do not change the price or product that you and your buyer have agreed to.
  • If you arrive at your predetermined meeting place and something doesn’t seem right, you should leave the location. There have been many stories in the news of people getting into bad situations during Craigslist meetings.
  • Never get into the buyers vehicle if the buyer says that he/she forgot the cash or needs to get the money off of someone. You should always remember that you are dealing with a stranger and you never know what can happen.
  • Don’t allow your buyers to change the deal when you meet in person. If you have previously agreed on a price, you should stick to that price.
  • You should always provide good, high quality pictures of what you are trying to sell. If you list an item that looks to be in perfect condition and there is an unseen crack on the back of it, your potential buyers will not be very happy and it could jeopardize the deal.

There are many alternatives out there to ebay but none of them can offer what ebay does.Ebay offers the largest auction style selling platform in the world and that platform should provide you many people looking at what you are trying to sell. I am not saying that you can’t do well selling on Amazon and Craigslist because many people do. What I am saying is that no matter how many people leave ebay due to what are perceived as high selling fees or having a heavy handed payment processor, there will always be two people to take his/her place and start selling themselves.

Business | Selling online | ebay

QR Code
QR Code are_there_viable_alternatives_to_ebay (generated for current page)