Avoiding eBay? Here Are Five Sites You Need to Know About

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Angry sellers loudly booed the bigwigs at the annual eBay (EBAY) conference last week over recent changes to the auction site.

Why are sellers so peeved? The company is offering a 5% discount to many of their so-called “power sellers,” who consistently generate a high volume of revenue. This is infuriating the typically smaller “mom-and-pop” online auctioneers, who also generate revenue but aren’t getting a discount.

Further drama took place at June 19 – 21's “EBay Live!,” the first eBay conference since the company changed its feedback system and search processes last February. One of the biggest changes is that now only shoppers rate their experiences with sellers, which The Wall Street Journal [NWS] reports is ticking sellers off.

The reason for the change? Shoppers were supposedly leaving the site because of the “retaliatory feedback” from unhappy sellers. Now, according to published reports, only the positive feedback from purchase makers is permitted (what is considered “positive” will be determined by eBay itself).

Are you irked by eBay’s recent changes? Here are five alternate places where you can sell your junk, or your treasure, online:

BOND & BOWERY
What it sells: High quality antiques, fine furnishings and art. Named after two intersecting streets in New York City's East Village, this site is perfect if you are in the market for an 18th century writing table, a Victorian chair, or a gilded mirror.
Why we like it: The site is simple to use and features elegant merchandise. Registered users enjoy the benefit of the Advanced Search Function as well as My Portfolio, a personal management system accessible exclusively by the user that contains objects of their desire. Dealers can easily post, describe and submit entries of inventory items and may set up an online storefront using the same web engine powering the site.

CHRISTABELLE'S CLOSET
What it sells: Fashionable clothes and accessories. Christabelle’s Closet is the place for those dreaming of Louis Vuitton, or those hoping to dispose of that ‘so last season’ Prada. If you are the latter, the site is the perfect way to consolidate your untouched wardrobe and make others look fabulous.
Why we like it: Christabelle’s aids the environment by recycling unwanted items through consignment shopping. The site provides a 50/50 split of profits to consigners. Also, by shopping at Christabelle’s Clearance Closet, shoppers help raise money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. (Half of the proceeds from each Clearance Closet purchase are donated to the foundation.)

OODLE
What it sells: Oodle bills itself as the largest classified site for used cars and motorcycles, homes and apartments as well as other merchandise, including sports and concert tickets. The site promotes transactions through online classifieds: Browse some 40 million listings from more than 80,000 sources. Users may also sign up for email alerts and be contacted with new listings.
Why we like it: If you’re a seller, you post for free. You can also increase clicks by participating in the Paid Inclusion Program: As a paying advertising partner, your listings may be featured at the top of search results pages and your banner ads will be targeted locally to buyers. The site also provides important information on pricing and fraud detection.

TECHFORWARD
What it buys: Although not a seller's market, like other sites mentioned here, this site does pay for used technology devices such as laptops, flat-screen TVs, and GPS devices.
Why we like it: If you’re looking to sell your gadgets, TechForward’s Guarantee Buyback system allows you to pay a sliding service fee which allows you to lock in a buy-back price months, or even years, in advance (provided the item arrives in good condition). For example: The owner of a Sony Blu-ray Disc Player can pay a $19 service fee to lock in a buyback price that depends on how long they keep the item. Send the player to TechForward by December 29 of this year, and you will get $130 in return. Keep it until December 29, 2009, and that buyback prices settles in at $60.

ZWAGGLE
What it trades:
Gently used baby and children's items.
Why we like it: Zwaggle users trade items for free – money is never exchanged. Members assign point values (Zoints) to items posted; they receive 50 Zoints upon joining and accumulate Zoints for each item traded. Zwaggle also allows families to donate their Zoints to charities in return for a tax write-off: The charities then use the points to obtain items for those in need.

Happy bidding!

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