Starting own marketplace as alternative to FB

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  • noitsnotme
    noitsnotme Posts: 912 Forumite
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    RFW said:

    Credit to anyone who manages it but I think the big companies have the market and anything fairly small would stay fairly small without vast investment and if they ever made it big would end up chasing profit and just be another eBay, Amazon or Etsy for people to moan about. 
    There are a few creeping in, it's often hard to tell how big they are. Temu is the big grower and spending billions on marketing.
    Channel X tends to keep up with new marketplaces and you can check out some of the older ones that dwindled away.
    I've looked at OnBuy a few times and had their hard sell but I saw no evidence that I'd ever sell anything on there.

    If you're starting from scratch it's almost impossible to get sellers and customers. There'll always be a few but they'll be disgruntled Ebayers and Amazonians, so almost by definition they'll have their own problems and will generally have poor customer service.


    I sold on OnBuy for a few years.  For early adopters they didn’t charge any listing or subscriptions fees, just final value fees.  That changed last year when they started charging subs and our sales had all but dried up so I stopped using them.  Our annual sales peaked at around £1500.  For comparison Etsy was around £25k for the same period.

    Another not so small marketplace that many people have never heard of is Fruugo.  They are U.K. based and are/were very popular in Scandinavian countries.  Our best year saw sales of around £20k but it has dwindled to not much now, mostly because other sellers based in countries we were doing best in undercut our prices and could offer cheaper shipping.
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,337 Ambassador
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    edited 28 February at 1:28PM
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    If you are looking at alternatives that are already out there for comparisons there is also of course ebid. In the UK they have been going longer than eBay, but their business model seems to be to make money on selling lifetime subscriptions rather than on sales and turnover. About 20+ years ago I paid for. Lifetime membership (it’s always half price!) but I never even sold enough to cover that outlay. I stopped using them but gave them another go last year when it was mentioned that they had started advertising. I sold absolutely nothing so after about 10 months I just pulled my listings again. 

    I sell quite a bit on Vinted, but that isn’t a like for like comparison as I can only sell my personal items on there, not my business stuff , although there is talk that they are bringing in a pro seller option at some point as this is already available on some of their other markets. It probably won’t help me though as my main sales are in categories  that Vinted don’t allow. 

    My next biggest  market(and it isn’t big)  is private forums, most on FB for very niche items . I offer something, if it sells I send my PayPal details and post it out. Stuff goes cheaply as I suspect 90% of the users in most forums are businesses themselves and we are just moving stock around the country! 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • noitsnotme
    noitsnotme Posts: 912 Forumite
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    edited 28 February at 1:44PM
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    I made one sale on ebid in all the years I had listings on there 😆. Picked up a few bargain bits of scrap silver jewellery one year though.  That seller didn’t seem to realise the value of what they were selling. Ironically if they had listed it on eBay as an auction they probably would have sold it for twice as much.
  • RFW
    RFW Posts: 10,030 Forumite
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    I sold on OnBuy for a few years.  For early adopters they didn’t charge any listing or subscriptions fees, just final value fees.  That changed last year when they started charging subs and our sales had all but dried up so I stopped using them.  Our annual sales peaked at around £1500.  For comparison Etsy was around £25k for the same period.

    Another not so small marketplace that many people have never heard of is Fruugo.  They are U.K. based and are/were very popular in Scandinavian countries.  Our best year saw sales of around £20k but it has dwindled to not much now, mostly because other sellers based in countries we were doing best in undercut our prices and could offer cheaper shipping.

    I saw OnBuy was fairly well populated it just wasn't in my area. I'm in a fairly active category on Amazon but other sites tend not to pick up on it, Fruugo included when I last looked. Presumably because it's low priced items, which in a way makes sense but low price/high volume is a gateway to a lot more customers. As a seller I don't need to put my ad spend into making someone else's website successful. I'm also in a market that's substantially bigger in the UK than most other countries so overseas marketplaces don't pick it up either.
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  • GabbaGabbaHey
    GabbaGabbaHey Posts: 1,079 Forumite
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    Hello Dragons. Tonight I'm looking for one hundred million pounds for a 5% stake in my new company, which is going to be a competitor to eBay and Amazon...
    Philip
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,337 Ambassador
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    RFW said:
    I sold on OnBuy for a few years.  For early adopters they didn’t charge any listing or subscriptions fees, just final value fees.  That changed last year when they started charging subs and our sales had all but dried up so I stopped using them.  Our annual sales peaked at around £1500.  For comparison Etsy was around £25k for the same period.

    Another not so small marketplace that many people have never heard of is Fruugo.  They are U.K. based and are/were very popular in Scandinavian countries.  Our best year saw sales of around £20k but it has dwindled to not much now, mostly because other sellers based in countries we were doing best in undercut our prices and could offer cheaper shipping.

    I saw OnBuy was fairly well populated it just wasn't in my area. I'm in a fairly active category on Amazon but other sites tend not to pick up on it, Fruugo included when I last looked. Presumably because it's low priced items, which in a way makes sense but low price/high volume is a gateway to a lot more customers. As a seller I don't need to put my ad spend into making someone else's website successful. I'm also in a market that's substantially bigger in the UK than most other countries so overseas marketplaces don't pick it up either.
    Which I think just goes to prove that different sites and business models suit different businesses. 

    What might suit me, and frankly that is still ebay, might not suit you and vice versa, so I agree with comments you have made in other threads that it is best to try and spread sales a bit rather than stick to just one site.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,692 Forumite
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    edited 29 February at 10:07AM
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    RFW said:


    A lot of site seem to operate a marketplace format, B&Q for example, but they already have the traffic and I assume they keep it limited as aside from the advertising, how are you going to handle buyer disputes? 



    There's been a growth of those but it tends to be existing large companies using companies they already deal with. For example M&S has a marketplace but you'd never know it. There are a few brands on their website that they don't stock themselves. Next does similar.
    The only other marketplace that seems to follow its own path is NotOnTheHighStreet. They're quite selective of who they allow on.
    I guess these companies don't want to mediate buyer issues so stick to trusted companies allowing them to either fill gaps in their stock offering or take a commission on existing products without having to do all the work of stocking, shipping, etc. 

    Not on the High Street requires an upfront fee (not much, £250 I think) and their commission is pretty high (25%, again I think) which creates a barrier to the "hobby" sellers and I would assume selling prices are higher due to less competition but no idea what sales are like there.

    RFW said:
     Temu is the big grower and spending billions on marketing.

    I think we are getting to the lowest common denominator of online retail with Temu, a whole host of carp that doesn't meet safety standards, violates copyright and trademarks, contains harmful chemicals, no doubt made in poor working conditions and then shipped direct from China for next to nothing with little security over personal data and people lap it up. The pinnacle of capitalism. 
  • RFW
    RFW Posts: 10,030 Forumite
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    RFW said:
     Temu is the big grower and spending billions on marketing.

    I think we are getting to the lowest common denominator of online retail with Temu, a whole host of carp that doesn't meet safety standards, violates copyright and trademarks, contains harmful chemicals, no doubt made in poor working conditions and then shipped direct from China for next to nothing with little security over personal data and people lap it up. The pinnacle of capitalism. 
    I agree on the current interpretation of Temu. They have been growing customers though, and are enticing bigger UK sellers. If they've got the customers and then get better quality sellers they can quickly turn their image around. I've not seen any signs of it yet but it's always possible.

    I'm pretty cautious on what I'll buy from China but I know my way around more than most, so I know what the bad stuff usually is and what the bargains can be. It's a minefield of garbage if you don't know what you're doing though. So a site like Temu is only an exploding light bulb away from losing all its UK customers.

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