Change Happens: Learning to Evolve with Your Business
By: Danni Ackerman
Changes…they happen in every business, yet it seems they are particularly painful for eBay sellers even when the change is for the better! I’ve been on eBay (Udderlygoodstuff) almost since it’s inception. Thirteen years ago I dove into this wonderful new web experience as a novice. Many people talk about the good old days of eBay, let me see if I remember this right.
- Write up your listing on the eBay site
- Add pictures – oh wait
- First take pictures with your film camera
- Wait till you are finished with the whole roll of film then take to processor
- In about 3 days pick up your photos, pay for the development, take home and add to listing
- Scan the photos (granted there are enough good ones for the item)
- Add photos to the item and launch your listing
- Uh oh server crash…didn’t see that coming. Only 6 hours till my item closes- oh no!
- Ok back up, item gets bids and sells. Yippee!
- Wait 5-7 days for a check or money order to arrive
- Make a trip to the bank to cash check or money order
- Print out shipping label – actually, you can’t do that yet. Hand write shipping label, now your package is ready to be mailed
- Another trip into town to the post office, stand in line with all the other excited new online sellers. Pay postage and your package is on it’s way
Oh yes certainly the better way to do things (that was sarcasm in case you didn’t catch it).
There has never been anything like eBay. It was built from the idea of one man and developed into something that has changed the lives of so many people. Not only does eBay employ over 17,000 people, but there are 1.3 million people making a full time job of selling on eBay, that doesn’t even account for the hobby sellers.
Through those years this company has had to evolve, grow and change to accommodate the ever morphing world of e-commerce, not an easy task. Sometimes I have found these changes painful, and many of you know I was not quiet about my discontent. What I have found is that evolving my thinking into more of a business mode and working with the inevitable changes and growth of the company I call home base, has helped me become better equipped to evolve my business to accommodate the changes.
There is a certain amount of trust you must put into the company as well. Trust that when they say the consumer wants free shipping, they have done the market research. When they say auctions are not the format of choice for most items, they have done the market research. It is their goal to grow and make more money also. I think some sellers believe that is unreasonable, but they grow, we grow, it’s a win-win.
By this point many of you may be thinking I’m just drinking the eBay Kool-aid. That’s fine but believe me, the change in my thinking did not come easy. Don’t get me wrong, things still frustrate me and even anger me at times. Although dwelling on what I have no power to change does no good and is actually a loss in time and money. I instead have turned to problem solving, figuring out how I can make the changes work to grow my own business, and there always seems to be a way to do so!
Udderlygoodstuff is doing better then ever. I sell antiques and collectibles, as well as toys, clothing and household items. I understand not all categories are created equal, but one thing we can all do is work on solutions instead of obsessing on the problems.
About the Author
Danni Ackerman is an eBay Ink Social Media Seller. Joining the eBay community in 1998, Danni sells antiques, collectibles, toys and more at Udderly Good Stuff. You can find her on Twitter at @Udderlygoodstuf.