Is eBay Still a Viable Sales Channel in 2024? An In-Depth Look for Entrepreneurs

As an e-commerce consultant who has advised hundreds of small businesses, one question I often get asked is: With all the new platforms out there, is eBay still worth selling on in 2024?

This is an important question for entrepreneurs trying to launch or expand an online store. Marketplaces like eBay provide built-in audiences of buyers, but they aren’t the only game in town anymore.

In this in-depth guide, I’ll analyze eBay’s current user base, competition, market trends, and opportunities to help you determine if it’s still a viable sales channel for your small business.

eBay by the Numbers in 2024 – A Look at Key User Statistics

eBay may not be the dominant force it was in the early 2000s, but the platform still boasts impressive user numbers today:

  • 147 million global active users
  • 85 million U.S. buyers
  • 1.5 billion live listings
  • 500 million monthly visits

Importantly for entrepreneurs, over 175 million shoppers make a purchase on eBay every month. And niche and one-of-a-kind items still make up a major share of eBay‘s Gross Merchandise Volume.

What do these stats mean? For starters, eBay provides access to millions of buyers actively making purchases. While not as massive as Amazon’s audience, 175 million monthly buyers is still a huge market for small businesses to tap into.

eBay’s Enduring Appeal for Rare and Niche Items

In my experience advising e-commerce sellers, one area where eBay continues to stand out is for niche, rare, and specialty products.

Some examples I’ve seen done successfully by the entrepreneurs I work with:

  • Vintage electronics – old cameras, turntables, gaming systems
  • Trading cards and collectibles – Pokémon cards, signed sports memorabilia
  • Used auto parts – vintage car and motorcycle parts
  • Musical instruments – guitars, drums, amps

For these types of niche items, eBay provides sellers access to a targeted audience of collectors and enthusiasts willing to pay premium prices.

And eBay‘s auction model helps properly value rare and one-of-a-kind finds. This makes it a go-to marketplace for "long tail" niche products ignored by Amazon and big box retailers.

Strategic Tips for Successfully Selling on eBay as a Small Business

While opportunity exists, effectively tapping into eBay’s audience takes preparation and effort. Here are some key strategies I recommend entrepreneurs follow to find success on eBay:

Research Popular Niches and Assess Competition

I always advise clients to use eBay‘s own data to identify growth markets with demand. The eBay Search Trends tool provides insight into rising searches and opportunities.

Equally important is researching competitor saturation in a niche before jumping in. Leverage eBay search and Terapeak to analyze competing sellers, listings, pricing data, and historical performance.

Choose categories with demand but limited competition for the best odds of standing out.

Optimize SEO and Promoted Listings

With so much competition, optimizing discoverability is crucial. Ensure titles, descriptions, backend keywords and imagery are on point.

Promoted Listings ads can significantly boost visibility and sales. I recommend most eBay sellers allocate 5-10% of revenue into ads. The incremental sales outweigh the costs.

Price Competitively Using Analytics

Finding the optimal pricing strategy for maximum conversions and revenue is tricky without data. Use historical price trend data to price competitively.

eBay analytics tools like Terapeak and SellerHub provide pricing guidance tailored to each product. This helps you land on the pricing sweet spot.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Exceeding buyer expectations with fast shipping, proactive communication, and stellar service increases positive reviews and repeat business. This boosts sales velocity long-term.

eBay Continues to Evolve – What‘s New in 2024?

Another positive for entrepreneurs – eBay is investing heavily in improving buyer experiences.

Recent changes include:

  • Easier listings management via QR codes and bulk uploading
  • More payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Bigger focus on new, not just used, inventory
  • Visual search using image recognition and AI
  • Performance metrics dashboard for sellers
  • Expanded delivery and fulfillment services like UPS and FedEx integrations

My clients consistently share positive feedback on these updates making selling more efficient.

eBay’s willingness to adapt positions them well against younger marketplaces going forward.

The Bottom Line – eBay is Still a Profitable Sales Channel for Entrepreneurs

Given the data and trends I’ve analyzed here, my verdict is yes – eBay remains a viable and profitable sales channel for entrepreneurs in 2024.

The key is identifying your niche, optimizing listings for discovery, providing excellent customer experiences, and taking advantage of eBay‘s evolving features and audience reach.

With strategic preparation and effort, eBay can still drive strong revenue for new and established e-commerce businesses. The buyers and opportunity are there.

I hope this in-depth look provides a clearer picture of eBay‘s current landscape and opportunities. Please reach out if you need any guidance launching or growing your eBay business. I‘m always happy to advise fellow entrepreneurs!