I know that sometime ago ebay sort of turned into an Amazon like place, with so much of the stuff being sold new, cheap stuff from China and other eastern locales. That was a couple of years ago, but back then there were still lots of private sellers, folks like you and I, not running a business but buying and selling items in their hobbies, stuff like shooting and fishing and musical instruments.
Since the late 90's, when I first discovered Ebay, it's been steadily chipped away at for the average Joe. As far as I know, during much of the time for change at ebay during the 2000's, things I was interested in began to be banned. Firearm parts, magazines and such were banned from Ebay around 2004 or so, and then at some point Ebay decided to ban PICTURES of guns on an auction for a holster only, and the gun in the picture would simply serve to illustrate how the holster holds the gun. Ridiculous.
Over the past couple of years, I've noticed now that private sellers are in much shorter supply than they were a few years ago, and a lot less items. I'm not a big diverse shopper on Ebay, and over the years my searches and alerts are for either fishing or shooting or musical items unless one of the family has me looking for something for them to get.
Now Mrs. El Fisho mostly goes to Amazon, because books are far cheaper there, and that's what she's normally getting online.
I know prices have increased for sellers on ebay, but having sold some extra stuff lately, I don't feel like I'm being taken advantage of. I mean, some of the stuff I've sold, although having good value, would be hard to find a buyer for locally.
In the years since Ebay banned certain firearm accessories, I've gone to some of the gun auction sites, and you can generally find what you used to find on Ebay at the gun sites, but usually for a higher price. Unlike Ebay, at the gun auction sites, you don't often find that many holsters or magazines starting at a .99 cent no reserve auction, where bidding can be fun and where you might get a huge bargain on an item.
So where have all the sellers of items gone to online? Particularly for musical gear like drums and guitars/basses and amps and the things that go with them? Or for fishing gear? Or for shooting accessories? I know a lot of the forums I frequent in different areas of interest have classified sections, but are there other sites where folks are selling mass amounts of gear in these catagories and I just have not discovered them yet?
I know many people sell their things on Craigslist, but again, so many people I know, including myself, don't. I don't care for strangers coming to the house. For over 30 years now, when I sell a car, for example, I have the prospective buyer meet me somewhere, like in the parking lot of the police station or the Sheriff's department. I always figure that this way they are not finding out where I live and that the location would scare off all but the boldest of hijackers or con men.
So I'm thinking Craigslist is not the sole force that changed Ebay, although I think it and other free online classifieds destroyed the newspaper classified ad business.
My item sales have been good on Ebay, in terms of actually selling and in terms of the selling prices I've been getting. But it's not great like it was say 6 years ago in 2005, when things were still kinda fun crazy on Ebay?
I still find bargains on Ebay, but I find sifting through the multiple dealers selling the same crap as each other that I don't want in the same catagory I'm looking in. Say for instance when I was looking at shoulder holsters recently. There's a handful of used leather Safariland and Bianchi holsters, which are what I'm looking at, and a zillion sellers who have Ebay Stores selling the same crap nylon shoulder holsters (hundreds of them, all the same, at wildly divergent pricing for the same item) clogging up the screen.
I try to shop local when I can. I try to buy products first made in Texas, then the USA, then the countries that I think are friends to us. Of course, I end up buying stuff made elsewhere too, but that's my general policy.
On Ebay, I try to buy from folks like me, the hobbyist or garage sale hunter who finds cool stuff and sells it for a reasonable price. I sometimes buy from folks who have an Ebay store, but I prefer to spend my dollars with people like me.