Sunday, January 03, 2010

Marketplace Options for 2010

While I do work for one of the fastest growing marketplaces on the web, I figured I would do a post on the current landscape for all online marketplaces. Some of these sites may be options for your business in 2010.

One thing to take notice of when assessing each marketplace, is to consider their demographics. Each of these sites has a specific customer base that in many ways is unique to them. The only way to get access to those customers is by selling on their marketplace. One very good tool for determining each marketplace demographic is www.quantcast.com. SO check it out when you are considering a new marketplace channel for your business.

The 800 lb Gorillas:
  1. Amazon.com - Not much needs to be said about this marketplace, except they seem to be firing on all cylinders. If you are not selling on Amazon.com currently you should consider it. Not ideal for vintage or collectible product and some categories are closed or invitation only (Jewelry, Apparel, Cell Phones)

  2. eBay.com - eBay used to be the only marketplace in town and has gone through a number of changes since 2006, but they still get a ton of traffic and are the best place to sell collectibles and vintage product. Sellers of New In-Season and Secondary market product may see them as an incremental sales channel. eBay is still a "high maintenance" marketplace so go in with your eyes wide open.

    Note: Buy.com sells on Amazon as well as eBay because we get access to a customer that doesn't generally shop on Buy.com and they are great incremental sales channels.
Up and Comers and Niche Sites:

  1. Etsy.com is a great site for Handmade, Vintage and Crafting Supplies but they are not open to any other categories, so if you sell vintage items or product you make by hand make sure to check out Etsy.com

  2. Buy.com - (Full Disclosure, I work for Buy.com) The Buy.com marketplace had a tremendous year in 2009 with 150% year over year growth and we are looking to keep the momentum going. We are expanding categories in 2010 to add Pet Supplies, Musical Instruments and Personal Care. We do have several gated categories (Jewelry, Sports, Cell Phones) and we require a verifiable online sales history. We hope to add more categories as the year progresses.

  3. Overstock.com While I don't consider Overstock a marketplace, it is a sales option for 3P merchants. Merchants actually serve as drop shippers and are not the merchant of record on Overstock so there isn't an opportunity to display your brand like at eBay, Amazon, Buy.coma and Etsy.

  4. Alibris.com is a great marketplace for online media sellers and they get expanded reach for your product by selling on eBay, Amazon, Half.com and now Buy.com among other sites.

  5. Half.com - the "red-haired step child" of the eBay corporation for sellers of Books, Textbooks, CDs, DVD and Video Games.

  6. StubHub.com is another eBay marketplace specifically for Ticket sales. If you have tickets to sell, StubHub is the online leader.

  7. WalMart.com launched a new marketplace in 2010 and wants to be one of those 800 lb. gorillas in the first section. In its current form I don't consider it a marketplace because they are not bringing on competing offerings, but it would not be wise to under-estimate the online arm of the #1 retailer in the world.

  8. Sears.com - another new addition to the marketplace field. The Sears.com marketplace is still in it's infancy, so time will tell how viable it is as a marketplace.

  9. NewEggMall.com the marketplace of Newegg.com
The Small Guys (but growing in viability):
  1. Bonanzle.com - They are positioning themselves as a marketplace for "find everything buy the ordinary" So if that is the type of product you sell, you should consider Bonanzle.com. Don't wait for eBay to spin-off the old eBay as eBay Classic. Bonanzle.com hopes to fill that void.

  2. eCrater.com is really what eBay stores should have been (sorry for all the eBay references). If you are looking for your own online presence without creating a website on your own then eCrater.com should be considered.

Auction Options:

eBay isn't the only auction site on the web, though they are still the leader. Here are two options to consider.
  1. eBid.net is the #2 auction site in the UK and has a US auction website as well.

  2. Bidtopia.com is a new auction site developed by a former eBay seller and may be an option for your business.

There are sure to be more additions to this list as the year progresses, and having so many viable options is a good thing for online sellers.

Just my 15%

26 comments:

Henrietta said...

Smoochies!

Great to see you back in the groove, off to add you into my blogroll again!

Anonymous said...

I think you have a typo about the slogan for Bonanzle.com. Your post says "everything buy the ordinary" while the Bonanzle site says "Find everything but the ordinary". buy => but

KathyF

Anonymous said...

On the shipping times. I'm an eBay seller and ship within 2 business days. But I suspect that it doesn't show up on eBay statistics as 2 business days for a few reasons.
- I don't use eBay/PayPal for shipping so eBay doesn't know when I pay for postage.
- The rythm of my shipping days is such that I don't mark the items as shipped until much later in the day and previously sometimes the next day. I do send my customers an email message (via the eBay message system) stating when I shipped their order.

Now those 2 things and time zone differences for when my customers pay me might make it harder for eBay to really know when I ship.

Do sites like Buy.com require the seller to use them for postage and such so they will know that the seller is shipping within 2 business days? In other words, how do you ensure that your sellers are adhering to your 2-day shipping requirement?

KathyF

Renagade said...

Happy New Year!

Thanks for the list, there are some I am thinking about giving a harder look at.

Although already on Bonanzle, Amazon and using eBay for auctions and fixed price listings, as well as my own site, my list of Indie Bands CDs is growing and getting their CDs into the hands of the public many require more venues.

Thanks as always for a great post!

Randy Smythe said...

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for catching the Bonanzle slogan. As for Buy.com we handle the payment and don't charge the customers until the seller has shipped (except in the case of PayPal)

Sellers are required to confirm shipment and provide tracking within 2 business days. We track how frequently they meet this shipping goal with a metric called "fulfillment rate", which is a percentage of how often they meet the goal. We like to see that 95% of the time the seller ships in two business days.

Randy Smythe said...

Hey Ren and Henrietta!

Hopefully I will post as often as there is something interesting to write about.

2011 or Bust said...

Randy -- where can we go to learn more about selling on Buy.com? Specifically we sell in one of the categories Buy will adding this year per your post.

We have UPCs for our products but most of them we import and brand ourselves. We sell with amazing feedback on eBay and Amazon already (TRS/PowerSeller/thousandss of FBs, etc.)

Any info would be great. Thanks!

Randy Smythe said...

2011 - Best bet is to email me directly. To get the special guy treatment.

You can go to http://www.buy.com/sell for the details.

randys at buy

KingBono said...

I've been thinking about joining the buy.com marketplace for quite some time. We sell costume jewelry and frankly I'm concerned about how our sales might be on such a tech heavy site. It's a lot of time/work to properly integrate with a partner and I want to make sure we are making the right investment.

Do you have any insight on how jewelry is doing on buy.com?

Randy Smythe said...

KingBono,

Actually Jewelry is doing quite well on our site but it is also a closed category.

The reason it is closed is because if we kept it open we would have way more supply then demand and it would be very difficult to merchandise. In some cases too much selection is not a good thing.

Because we have about a 10th of the monthly traffic (Unique Visitors) of Amazon or eBay we have to manage the supply side of the equation.

When you only make money if an item sells, you want to manage a category as effectively as possible.

HE CONSULTING said...

I'm one of your relatively new followers. I actually attempted to open a seller account on buy.com recently but was rejected. They sent me a very nice note informing me that I didn't qualify. I've been selling on Eby and Amazon for about 5 years now so I'm not sure what they
are looking for. But they told me I was welcome to use my buy.com account to shop online. Yeah ok.

Randy Smythe said...

HE Consulting.

Some times accounts are denied because we didn't get any links to their selling history.

We need a link to your Amazon or eBay feedback page so we can gauge how much business you've done online and what customers thought.

If you have an extensive sales history online and provide us links to the history you will almost always get approved.

Anonymous said...

Randy - good to see you back. Nice article BUT you forgot to mention Overstock's auctions. I say that because I've been doing better with auction sales there then on Ebay so in my book it deserves mention!

Ms.Pat said...

Anonymous is me....Ms.Pat don't know why it did that.

HE CONSULTING said...

just curious is anybody using grapewom of facebook?

ms.pat said...

Nobody mentions Overstock's auctions (even Overstock doesn't mention it) yet I did very well there last year. If only they would include a line about auctions in their ads that section would easily take off. I've always wondered about that.

Mary said...

Remember eBay in 2000? Well, we've decided to bring it back with a new way to buy and sell online.

It's called Yardsellr - it's an easy way to buy and sell online. By connecting to your social networking sites, Yardsellr makes buying and selling online an easy, quick and fun process. The URL is http://yardsellr.com/F2s

Check it out or follow Yardsellr on Twitter!

Shoelaces & More said...

Great article! I am an ecrater seller. Ecrater is a free online marketin place and there are never any fees.

Shoelaces & More said...

Great article! I am an ecrater seller. Ecrater is a free online marketin place and there are never any fees.

Shoelaces said...

Sorry - used an ampersand in the last post and that messed it up. Just wanted to say I enjoyed your article and I love selling on ecrater.

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Online Jewelry Store said...

Your post says "everything buy the ordinary. It back with a new way to buy and sell online. Thanks for the list, there are some I am thinking about giving a harder look at.

spynetwork21 said...

Thank you for the great marketplace options. I've been using E-bay for years. I think I'll try eBid.net to get better deals.

small business philippines

spynetwork21 said...

Thank you for the great marketplace options. I've been using E-bay for years. I think I'll try eBid.net to get better deals.

small business philippines

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