I never tried the start ups. Now you can buy seeds. And I grow about the same as onions, and I too, lose a lot, but with seeds, not a great loss. I have been growing Zebrune shallots, if you look you will see a round one at top of the shallot braid, leftover seeds from 2 years ago of Camelot shallots.
They have to be handled with kid gloves when small. Watered more, good temps outside etc. I don't so lose about 50% of the seeds. Germination is poor too, so the fact you failed is not unusual, they are hard to grow. I'm still working on it too.
Seeds are a pain but I'm used to it. I start inside, as I do with some flowers peppers and tomatoes. If the starts die quickly maybe they need acclimation to temps and sun, so handle those too with kid gloves and slowly expose to light. Increasing light over a 2 week period before planting out.