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Any Thoughts On HipStamp?

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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
2014 Posts
Posted 11/18/2018   03:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add jimjamtwo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm thinking of giving up on eBay entirely, so I'm looking for an alternative. The Stamps category seems to have collapsed since they put GST on overseas purchases this year. I'm assuming that most Australians are unhappy about paying the extra 10% and are avoiding the site entirely now, which is affecting domestic sellers like me.

Offerings on Hipstamp seem to appear in Google results quite often so I'm intrigued. Does anyone have a Hipstamp store? If so, how is it going?
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Australia
137 Posts
Posted 11/18/2018   06:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add koalastamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi from KoalaStamps (in Australia).

From my perspective there has absolutely been no collapse of the stamp market on eBay, quite the opposite!

eBay sales continue rising 30% year on year and Hipstamp 5%.

eBay sales surpass HipStamp 100 to 1 and are about 50% domestic, 50% overseas.

eBay is not the problem, GST is not the problem, and HipStamp is a very tiny market compared to eBay.

You would be better to also open a store on HipStamp and selling on both venues. HipStamp has an eBay sync feature which means all of your eBay listings can be automatically listed there and sales on one venue are reflected on the other. So no extra work needed to maintain both.

Cheers,
Rod

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Posted 11/18/2018   06:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'm assuming that most Australians are unhappy about paying the extra 10% and are avoiding the site entirely now, which is affecting domestic sellers like me.


For 10 years I have bought from North America, I no longer do, just cannot see value anymore. I can afford it, just, but buying and feeling of poor value there's no longer satisfaction.

The prices I see on my eBay, and a Tasmanian Auction I viewed, the prices fetched were staggering, I feel Aussies are now buying at home, avoiding postal rates and GST.
A fairly ordinary page of Cinderellas sold today for $22 + ship. Just amazing.

I bought a swag of MNH Turkey Northern Cyprus below cost from US some time ago, and the Hipstamp service from the dealer was fast and professional. Not sure how you'll go with mid range stuff, I get daily emails from Hipstamp offering something like " 500,000 stamps now discounted"

(That does not encourage me to buy, rather the opposite, suggests a lot are overpriced)

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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
2014 Posts
Posted 11/18/2018   06:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jimjamtwo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi koalastamps! I'm glad to hear that but I must admit to being very surprised by what you write. I sell an item a week if I'm lucky (no sales at all this weekend) and it's ages since I've had more than 1 watcher for an item or a competitive auction. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I just listed a RRRR NSW numeral postmark today for $1 start and only one person has even looked at the listing (probably eBay staff). Two or three years ago there would be 8 or 9 watchers by now and already a couple of bids.

I certainly won't be buying much stuff from overseas now on account of the GST and postage charges, which are often ridiculous. Thanks rod for the observations
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Edited by jimjamtwo - 11/18/2018 06:17 am
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Posted 11/18/2018   06:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

JJ, have faith, let it re-list.

This pair of Cinderellas, I let go a few weeks ago, I only wanted the left hand Kangaroo, I already had the RH piece.
It was unsold at $5.59 reserve on eBay.

Sold today (after a re list) at $12.02

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Australia
2014 Posts
Posted 11/18/2018   06:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jimjamtwo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
rod, I just changed it to a $50 start - I'm not keen on having to let it go for $1 if there's just one bidder.
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Australia
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Posted 11/18/2018   07:36 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add koalastamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Forgot to say I never do auctions, always 30 day fixed price.

Interestingly, the trend on eBay is mainly fixed price.

Of the 9.5 million stamp listings, just 679,000 are auction.

You also have specialised material, maybe that market has shrunk, whereas mine is more general, which may account for our differing results.

I also try to avoid buying from overseas on eBay, often finding the seller has their own store with lower prices, and of course, no GST.
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Australia
2014 Posts
Posted 11/18/2018   08:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jimjamtwo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the thoughts, koalastamps. I'd agree that there may be less interest in specialised material. When I started on eBay, all the different European eBay sites didn't exist yet, so I could sell material from countries all over the world. Now, for example, I can't sell Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, or Italy, because they all have their own eBay sites. I also can't sell Scandinavia because most people in that region use Tradera.
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Edited by jimjamtwo - 11/18/2018 08:10 am
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Posted 11/18/2018   08:19 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...Interestingly, the trend on eBay is mainly fixed price...

In my opinion the days of the 'old' eBay are over, they are evolving their Terms and Conditions to complete with Amazon. By favoring sellers of new consumer items at a fixed price they are lowering the 'cost per transaction' and 'support' costs. This only makes sense for eBay who is losing ground to Amazon every week. Why would they want to encourage low value listings of used items? The cost per transaction math...

1000 x .10 transactions = $100.00 ( eBay gets paid $10.00)
10 x 10.00 transactions = $100.00 ( eBay gets paid $10.00)

'Support' and the 'infrastructure' cost per transaction is the same for both of the above. The frequency and scope of costly mediations and other support issues is driving the changes in their Terms and Conditions.

For many years our hobby has enjoyed the 'old' eBay business model but we have to come to grips that no company is going to want a 'high cost per transaction' model when we want to list and sell inexpensive stamps. eBay is not going to compete with Amazon by catering to stamp sellers.

We now have worse-case scenario; it would be better for eBay to run off all the stamp listings and drive all the traffic to the Hip Stamps of the world. But by 'kind of' still supporting inexpensive listings eBay continues to choke the specialized venues like Hip Stamps.
Don
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Posted 11/18/2018   08:38 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Amazon has captured just over 49% of all online sales whereas eBay is only at 6.6% of all online retail sales. I really wish eBay didn't try to compete with Amazon as it won't win given Amazon's predatory practice models (they even prey on their 3rd party sellers). It should have focused more on auctions, used items and item that are unique without UPC codes. eBay is just setting itself up for complete failure if it thinks it can compete with new consumer items. Amazon will crush them.
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Edited by Battlestamps - 11/18/2018 08:43 am
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Posted 11/18/2018   08:48 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Agreed. But understand that eBay was the ecommerce giant in the beginning and then they had to watch as Amazon zoomed past them like they were standing still. eBay shareholders and executives (who need shareholder support) could not just sit there while they lost more and more market share, they felt the need to change.

Don
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Posted 11/18/2018   09:03 am  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Amazon zoomed past all the competition by losing money - predatory pricing to put competition under. The funny thing now is that Amazon doesn't even make most of it's money from retail sales anymore. Amazon Web Services is the main money maker for Amazon these days - over 3 billion per year. It can take that mass of money to subsidize the lower retail prices. If eBay changes more and more into Amazon 2.0 JR there really won't be a place for stamps aside from catalogs, albums, supplies and other like items. That's pretty much all you can find on Amazon aside from some mint stamps that have worse pricing than Mystic. It's too late for eBay. Maybe they can spin off of the collectibles market and they probably will when they become the "online Sears".


As for HipStamp - I looked at it and really didn't care for their interface. It's very annoying and cumbersome.


p.s. The original name for Amazon was going to be Relentless. If you try to go to www.relentless.com it just redirects it back to the river.
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Edited by Battlestamps - 11/18/2018 09:07 am
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Posted 11/18/2018   09:18 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Agreed again. But many online companies have used the 'loss leader' approach (i.e Photobucket, SANS, etc.); the thinking is that the first priority is to build traffic.

But at the end of the day 'cost per transaction' will always matter. A business plan that reads like 'we want to spend millions of dollars building an infrastructure so we can support a lot of tiny, inexpensive transactions' is not very attractive to investors. The obvious thing to do is support larger transactions and cut support costs. It takes just as long and the cost is the same to mediate and resolve a 'item not delivered' transaction that is $1 as one that is $100.
Don
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Posted 11/18/2018   11:57 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with Don and others that eBay is encouraging the move to more product-like offerings, but I'm not seeing any real impact on my ability to sell there. I'm selling as I have the last few years with no real issues. I have just a basic store which brings the fees down. I'm low on inventory at the moment, but that's another problem.
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Posted 11/19/2018   12:03 am  Show Profile Check docgfd's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add docgfd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've never has an eBay store, although I've been listing there for years. I take advantage of their free listings specials which allow me to have anywhere from 100 to 300 items for sale at any given time without monthly store fees (I sell strictly for extra $'s with which to feed my collections).
The old StampWants site (now HipStamps) at $5.00 per month for a store is a bargain so I've maintained a store there for several years, especially since there are no listing fees for BIN items.
The way I've been playing it is, I first list any new items on eBay as an auction. This way, the market determines the price for my offerings (and I start nothing at 99-cents...all items are started at the minimum I'd be willing to accept). Those items that don't sell, get moved over to eBay BIN listings, and at the same time, as BIN items on HipStamp. This way, my larger inventory is always available on HipStamp while on eBay, by necessity, items "expire" due to free listing constraints and my rotating in new items.
Most of my items are covers, primarily US with GB and Germany added in. Cover sales have historically been meager on StampWants/HipStamp, but over the last 12-months or so, sales have picked up dramatically with many multiple item sales. Cover sales on eBay have been strong right along.
I should also mention that support on HipStamp is incredibly responsive, and that there is a tight knit group of sellers and collectors on the site (visit the chat room to see). IMO, this will eventually be the go-to site for buying and selling stamps.
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Posted 11/19/2018   02:07 am  Show Profile Check KGV Collector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KGV Collector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The end of eBay being a store for me with 1,500 listings per week died when they lifted, the price a couple of years ago, for an Anchor Store to $549.95 month up from $249 if my memory serves me correctly.

A Featured Store package $54.95 month with only 1,500 fixed price listings per month left me 4,500 listing per month short.

Still buying and growing plants. What to do with the large amount of stamp stock...
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