Merchandise: Vintage lingerie and clothing
Date of last eBay sale: Oct. 2007
Where she sells now: eCrater.com
Lingerie merchant Raia thought she'd be celebrating her 10-year anniversary on eBay this month with a set of blowout auction specials. Instead, she's celebrating her decision last year to pull up stakes and actively seek other selling grounds.
EBay's ever-increasing fees and bureaucracy drove her decision to move. Raia (who doesn't use a last name - "I pulled a Cher and stopped using a last name after my divorce," she quips) worked to cushion the impact of her relocation with a marketing blitz. She ran banner and link exchanges with other merchants, joined groups where she could chat and insert links to her store, and submitted to every search engine she could find.
Her income took a hit for the first week she spent away from eBay - a drop Raia attributes to the time she spent setting up her new store on eCrater.com. After it launched, she hustled to make ends meet while rebuilding her core lingerie sales, doing temporary e-commerce jobs like selling miscellaneous items on Craigslist for friends and family.
"I'm actually thrilled to be a part of building new venues again," she says. "Doing it with and for several sites will eliminate the monopoly situation that sadly came to bite us in the backside."