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Selling On Ebay Vs HipStamp - A 3 Month Analysis

 
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Posted 06/30/2020   11:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add pnjstamps to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm trying to assess the current online stamp selling market and thought others might be interested in my results.

First, a little background: I've been selling stamps on Ebay since 1997 so I've witnessed the evolution of the online marketplace. Back in 2012 when Bidstart was gaining traction as an Ebay alternative for stamp sellers I set up an account there and had mediocre success. Over the 3 years I ran a Bidstart store in parallel with Ebay it generated about 40% of the sales that ebay did. Towards the end in 2015 though, traffic had become almost non-existent on Bidstart so I walked away. In 2017-8 I revisited the re-branded Bidstart site (now Hipstamp) and tried them again. During that period, Hipstamp sales were only about 17% of my sales on ebay and towards the end I had a couple months with zero sales on Hipstamp, so again I walked away.

Now to the current trial: Due to a quarantine, I had a little bit more time on my hands so I thought I'd give Hipstamp a try again. I got an introductory offer that waived store subscription fees while I got set up. So, for April-June I've had a store on both Ebay and Hipstamp.

Results:
For the 3 full months (Apr-Jun) of selling on Ebay I had 368 items sell for a gross sales of ~$4,250.
During that same period on Hipstamp I had 795 items sell for a gross sales of ~$4,675

My fees on Hipstamp were ~12.6% (13.6% if I add back in the waived store subscription fees)
My fees on Ebay were 13.3%

Caveats:
The 3-month timeframe was taken from the middle of an ongoing business on Ebay while it represents a start up phase on Hipstamp. This means some of the April Ebay sales and fees were for items listed in March) while early April sales/fees on Hipstamp represent starting from zero.

My Ebay store was a 'Premium' Store which meant more fees but may also have improved the positioning of my items in searches.

Almost 20% of my Ebay sales were from non-stamp categories. Which is good as it allows for non-stamp items to sell but final value fees are higher in those categories than in stamp categories.

Bottom Line:
For the items I sell, during the Apr-June, 2020 time frame I sold many more items with slightly more gross sales amount on Hipstamp than on Ebay.

The stamp collector traffic on Hipstamp now seems to rival that on Ebay.

Selling fees on Hipstamp are slightly higher than Ebay but increased sales may be worth the increased fees.

I think that's it. Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to clarify anything I can.

Joe

PNJSTAMPS - On Hipstamp and Ebay
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Posted 06/30/2020   12:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
results from auctions? or buy it nows?
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Posted 06/30/2020   12:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pnjstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A combination of auctions and fixed price store items.

Running with about 800-900 items in the stores and then supplementing with about 100 auctions per month.

Joe
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Edited by pnjstamps - 06/30/2020 1:44 pm
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Canada
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Posted 06/30/2020   2:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PMStamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting comparison and something I was trying to compare as well, but with less of a volume. One thing I have noticed is that selling bulky items such as catalogues, binders, etc. has next to no success on Hipstamp, but good success on eBay. I have also noted that for a Basic store on Hipstamp I get limited success, but the minute I put the same items on Hipstamp auction I get almost immediate success. So it is not people searching for items that seems to trigger the majority of the sales.
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Posted 06/30/2020   3:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
FWIW, as a buyer I am now looking much more at HipStamp than I did before ebay started collecting state tax.
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Posted 06/30/2020   3:40 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To make it apples to apples then the listed items would have had to be very similar. In other words the same countries, topics, listing values, etc.

It is also important to know what the average list value was between the venues. You are reporting a large difference in average sale; $11.54 eBay vs. $5.88 Hipstamp. If you had very equal listings on each venue to start and the amount of time to list items on each venue was equal, then the large difference in average sale ($11.54 vs. $5.88) means it is more profitable to sell on eBay.

Another possible influencer was that you were a new seller on one venue but not the other.
Don

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Posted 06/30/2020   4:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The sales tax issue has done a lot of damage to ebay sellers. Actually, its PayPal; not eBay.

Jack Kelley
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Posted 06/30/2020   5:18 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I sell mostly postal history, under two different ebay IDs. I have a hipstamp mirror of my primary account.

I've sold maybe 350-400 items on eBay this month. I've sold precisely one $15 item on hipstamp.
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Posted 06/30/2020   5:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pnjstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So, most of my sales have been US mint sheets although I have been known to throw some worldwide stamps or postal history in the mix. The make up of the auction items between the two sites has been predominately the same. The one difference (to 51Studebaker's point about average price) is that the Hipstamp store has been 'diluted' with a bunch of plate blocks that I couldn't be bothered to put on ebay but thought they would help fill out my store on Hipstamp. And wouldn't you know it, they've been selling...

There is no rhyme nor reason to the sales out of the stores, or the mint sheet auctions. I'll have a sheet go unsold at auction on either site and then get purchased from either store at a higher price. Likewise I have mint sheet auctions that sell for the opening bid on one site and then a similar sheet gets into a bidding war on the other site.

Like paperhistory, I have noticed that postal history does sell a little better on ebay.

In the end, there is no prediction on how things will sell online. The marketplace is extremely fluid. But I, for one, was happy to see reasonable business at Hipstamp.

Like most other ebay sellers I cringe everytime I see a 'Seller Update' coming so it is nice to know there is a viable alternative that is a more focused on stamp collectors.

Joe
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Posted 06/30/2020   6:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The sales tax issue has done a lot of damage to ebay sellers. Actually, its PayPal; not eBay.


Jack, quite right. Thanks for the correction.
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Posted 06/30/2020   7:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From a buyers perspective, I use both sites. Typically I search and sort by Newly Listed each day on ebay, and remember the last few stamps I looked at in my subcategory on my phone. Anything I am interested in, I click watch or I make a min bid as a placeholder, many times with no expectation to buy it unless I got it at that price. Sometimes sellers offer me a discount for watching.

On Hipstamp, I get an email daily for 2 things - a saved search which I click on each day, and a list of new items from some sellers I follow. There is nothing that steers me from one site to the other, except the literal content.

There are some shenanigans like ebay points, credit card points, that may drive me to Ebay, but if you are patient, HipStamp has decent promotions of its own.

I would say the filtering for single stamps is more granular on hipstamp, and lends itself towards catalog listing of individual stamps. I feel ebay is more serendipitous and could be driving covers sales better. I also feel like some sellers try to rig this, and relist the same stamps as new every day/other day. I don't think people are biting at those, because those don't seem to turnover.

FWIW, this is anecdotal and not metric driven.

The other final thought here - hipstamp doesn't have a mobile app. This is a major drawback for mobile experiences and I have been known to impulse buy way more on my phone when I am bored and want a delivery in quarantine.




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Posted 06/30/2020   11:43 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One thing that I've noticed since I started using hipstamp again about 3 (?) months ago is that the offers I get on hipstamp are much more reasonable than on eBay. Fewer lowballers.

I've been pleasantly surprised thus far. The volume of sales is still a small fraction of what I sell on eBay, but it's at least been worthwhile from a cost perspective, given how (comparatively) cheap a store subscription is on hipstamp vs. eBay.
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Posted 07/02/2020   06:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NumOnes to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
pnjstamp, the % fees you listed are those strictly HIP and EBay or did that include PayPal? I have been looking at the to decide where to start. Looked at doing APS stamp store or circuits also (fees certainly higher there but less work on my end).
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Posted 07/02/2020   06:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pnjstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The fees I listed are just Hipstamp and EBay. The PayPal fees are on top of this and fairly equal across the two selling platforms. Although Hipstamp does allow good old fashioned cash/check payments which of course avoids the PayPal fees.

Joe
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