Thanks for the great tips!
I've made a listing at Google.base as a trial but have not used Auctiva yet to list. Listing is very easy to sign up and listing is free. Fees come when the sale is made. Google also provides a payment system similar to Amazon's.
My disappointments with eBay is helping me explore new selling methods.
This reminds me of my early years on the internet when I used America Online as a crutch. Eventually so many people dumped AOL due to its expense & restrictions that AOL went free. Perhaps with many migrating away from eBay, they'll some day have to lighten up on sellers.
I think this topic of outside eBay marketplaces needs to be a whole separate thread. I'm going to start that thread today if it hasn't been started yet.