When speaking with would-be wholesale supply reps about products to sell online, what do they think about selling on eBay? To some wholesale suppliers, eBay is a retail scourge.
I was reminded of this yesterday after I found a great niche product that would have done well on eBay. I spoke with the rep and had him send me the setup paperwork, terms, and order form. But when I got his paperwork in my email, there was this single simple statement at the bottom of the terms: “No eBay pricing below $249.00 permitted”.
I’ve seen this type of thing before and I seem to be seeing it a lot more lately. Usually it’s woven into a more complex set of terms and conditions using “auction websites” as a general term, but this one just went to the point — short and sweet.
Nothing in this supplier’s terms said anything about selling it elsewhere for whatever price. The only thing they’re worried about is eBay. This means there is still opportunity to sell the product, I’ll just have to approach it differently.
eBay is a such a pervasive force in the online marketplace that some suppliers are driven to control eBay pricing. Suppliers do this to protect their pricing structures. It works to some extent because if you want to establish a lasting relationship with a supplier, you must play by their rules or they won’t supply you with the product.
On eBay, there will always be rogue sellers with whom such policies can’t be enforced. But if you’re selling products on eBay as your home-based business, long term supplier relationships are almost as important as long term customer relationships. I guess we have to find a way to work within their ‘eBay parameters’ if we want to work with them.