The bad news first. OK, here's the deal. eBay are fast becoming rubbish. I don't say that lightly as I've sold around £50,000 worth of items over the past few years and I'm grateful for it. I seem to have built a reputation for good, honest service with a fast turnaround and much of my feedback has been very personal as opposed to "great" or "OK". I get a lot of repeat custom so I must be doing something right. But through no particular fault of my own the visitor numbers to Curio Gifts dropped overnight a few weeks back by 90% to barely a trickle. Where once I was getting 450-600 unique visitors a day, in some cases it's down to 30. It has rallied slightly but it's still not a living. eBay have no idea why - all they can come up with was "well, your shopfront looks a bit tired". It may well do and yes, I freely admit that it's pretty rubbish but the punters didn't decide that in 24 hours. Very few actually landed on it anyway so the theory is a sinker. I pay eBay a vast amount to get my listings visible and to be honest, I feel I'm being ripped off. Things really don't change that drastically overnight (I wish I could screenshot the graph but this week they've even dumped their stats company, so it's disappeared). Total costs per month for listing and charges from eBay and Paypal are around £450-500 and it is no longer sustainable.
I have therefore taken the decision to migrate a lot of the vintage fixed price items over to Etsy, which is far better value for money if not quite so versatile. Etsy's policy is craft and arts based with an emphasis on self-made.
There is though a flourishing vintage and antique market where second
hand items over 20 years old can be sold and that fits in well with my stock and my market. I'm working on a new shopfront and have already got a few listings up. It's a pretty labourious task but I'll get there in good time. The shop there is called Pots and Crocks, or rather 'potsandcrocks'and you can see it here.
I will still be putting items into auction on eBay and the shop will still run - indeed, 99% of the stock will pass through eBay at one point, so don't run away yet. Certain items I can't sell on Etsy, such as newer pottery and clothing but please pay a visit to the new venue to get me visible!