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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Feb 5 2012 00:06:12

Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
The results of the third annual Sellers Choice Awards are now available in the February 5th issue of EcommerceBytes Update email newsletter. Over 7,200 online sellers rated the 16 marketplaces on which they had experience selling. You can see an overview of this year's Sellers Choice Awards on this page.

The following chart is particularly interesting, as it displays the top five marketplaces for the past three years.


Note that these are not the top five marketplaces in terms of size, sales or traffic - instead, they are the top five rated marketplaces based on four criteria: Profitability, Customer Service, Communication and Ease of Use, as well as how likely sellers were to recommend each marketplaces as a selling venue to a friend or colleague.

In past years, some pretty small sites made it onto the top list (for example, Atomic Mall in 2010, and Artfire and Webstore.com in 2011). This year, the top rated list is mostly made up of established marketplaces including Amazon.com and eBay. Are the large sites actually improving, are sellers getting disillusioned with smaller sites, or is it a combination of the two? Some answers can be found in the comments section of this year's top marketplaces.

I hope you enjoy perusing the results of this year's Sellers Choice Awards, and thanks to all of you who participated in the nomination process and final voting!



Comments (19) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards   Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       
Sun Feb 5 01:17:36 2012
“eBay, which came in 14th place overall last year with a rating of 4.2, improved nine places to finish 5th this year with a rating of 6.5.”

How could eBay possibly improve so greatly? Well, because the people contributing to the survey are not randomly selected; the survey is therefore open to being manipulated by the weight of employees from those businesses that are being assessed, and the bigger, more desperate and unscrupulous is one of the businesses that is being assessed, the more likely will such manipulation be in play.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       
Sun Feb 5 01:35:48 2012
“Rate and Review Ecommerce Industry Services”

There is not a lot of point showing average ratings if the number of people doing the rating is not displayed. One person only supplying a particular rating carries only 1/50 of the weight of 50 people contributing to the rating.
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This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       Web Site
Sun Feb 5 01:58:25 2012
I forget to vote in the finals! Jajajaja!

@Philip Cohen to be fair. I believe eBay is there because the rest of the sites were over it thanks the ''gold fever'' for the Alternatives. I saw it in PSU and the eCrater forum. A lot of sellers trying to escape from eBay's terror, but after some days are just asking where are the sales. In some cases less than a month and they flee back to eBay. For example I bought an item from a seller of eBay in Bonanza. Some time later I checked. He close his booth and was back in eBay. I looking his Bonz feedback. He spent more than a year in Bonz to have only 75 transactions. I look in eBay. He has more than 75 feedback by month. And in these days if you are a seller. You know that buyers don't care anymore to write feedback.

eBay never will accept it, but the ''free'' promos aren't just only to have the stock guys happy or get traffic. It is also to stop the exodus to the Alternatives.

I'm a part time seller and just using only the free and penny promos of 2011 manage to make more sales than all of my Alternatives history together.

Seriously. Congratulations to Bonanza. Even with all their problems they manage to stay in the Top 5.

Artfire, it is clear that was part of what I call the ''gold fever'' of the Alternatives and that ''stranger'' fees than eBay aren't good idea.

Also the ''gold fever'' affected Webstore, eCrater, and eBid.
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by: craftstation This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 5 07:06:26 2012
Agree that the self-selected participation in the survey makes the results suspect but even more important, are the named companies listening?  I seriously doubt it; most of them stopped listening to ''their sellers'' years ago.  eBay & Etsy are suffering from the FB-effect and go top speed for non-seller friendly gimmicks that benefit their bottom line by appearing to cater to their ''sellers'' when they cater to high volume sellers, a distinctly different strata in the retail supply chain.  None of these sites are for or about small sellers.  None of them market or advertise their small sellers.  They don't spend a dime on advertising despite their mature ages.  They also put pressure on their sellers to tow the big box mantra for ''free shipping'' and ''big discounts'' which means certain death for most small sellers.  Instead of marketing the small seller as a unique and valuable commodity, they smoosh it into a mass produced product and ignore their special needs.   What I've never understood is the attitudes these companies, most notably their CEO's and ''Customer Service Reps'' have towards sellers.  They are increasingly arrogant, ignore help requests and often make it quite clear that they don't like 90% of their sellers much at all.  Their public comments are often rude, rarely address the issue, and are openly hostile.    
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This user has validated their user name. by: Pete
       
Sun Feb 5 09:29:23 2012
I think it's pretty interesting that Bonanza paid members to vote for them, and they couldn't do any better than last year. In fact, they have fallen in the rankings since 2010.

Artfire basically cut their own throats with their new fees.  
Perminate Link for Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards   Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards
by: pc_seller This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 5 12:51:58 2012
I'll tell you what it shows - that the days of the part-time "seller" who thinks that they're conducting business by sitting in a forum all day and bitching about how unfair the large sites are O-V-E-R. And thank God!

These marketplaces-du-jour are not viable to someone like me who does over $1 mil annually on eBay and Amazon. I need a serious marketplace, not a diversion from soap operas and afternoon talk shows. Yeah you can count me as an eBay and Amazon cheerleader, but I'm a SUCCESSFUL one. Not someone who wastes their retirement chasing down imaginary shill bidders or a nomad who endlessly searches for an other site to sell, because I was slighted by eBay for not following the rules. Ecommerce is for sellers who want to succeed!
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by: Hunter This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sun Feb 5 15:57:01 2012
Phillip Cohen [There is not a lot of point showing average ratings if the number of people doing the rating is not displayed.]

Yes.  
Without numbers, percentages are meaningless.

@ pc_seller

I'll tell you what it shows - a ''$1 mil annually'' seller afraid to show their business links.

You the new EBAY PAYS MY BILLS or anonymous and his imaginary ''SUCCESSFUL'' business?
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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sun Feb 5 19:22:45 2012
Right on, Phillip! Honest survey; likely respondent rigged results.

This is the voter fraud the Republicans ought to be investigating :-)

It would be so much fun to get our hands on the comfidential internal ebay emails and emails to Lieworld trolls that were sent regarding the manipulation of this survey.

Maybe Griff and RBH would kind enough to share them with us addicted soap operas viewers.

After all they live in Another World, and I only have One Life to Live struggling to feed All My Children on declining ebay sales.

Haven't been the same since Oprah and Regis left.

Cheers!
Perminate Link for Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards   Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards
by: pc_seller This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 5 22:27:51 2012
I'm not sure you're understanding, Hunter, I'm a business person, so I look for the most viable channels available for my merchandise. For a hint at what I sell, check my user name :-)

So I look at the top 5 sites on this survey, and two that I use successfully are there. I don't sell crafts or antiques, so I can't tell you much about the other sites . I took a quick peek at some of the other sites listed (6-16) in this survey and was not impressed. I had actually tried eBid once, and left within a couple of weeks.

There is a WORLD of difference between a professionally-run site and the also-rans that sellers waste their time with. Don't take it personally that I don't like your little sites, but as I said, I'm in this to make money, and evidently when a person who sells successfully on eBay or Amazon comes here, it seems to disrupt the fantasy of some disgruntled sellers  that they are evil. Nah - I use them just like everyone else, its just I don't take every little slight personally. Like Sonny Corleone said, it's business.
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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       
Sun Feb 5 23:42:42 2012
I don't know what restrictions were placed on voting on this survey (IP, valid email address) but eBay has a lot more employees than any of the competitors (sans Amazon) could possibly have, and I imagine an eBay user ID is probably automatically issued to new employees—and still they could only achieve fifth place.

Methinks the “eBafia Don” is having trouble motivating his crew—they are undoubtedly as pissed off as most eBay users. The real question is, how many times is the eBay BoD going to allow their idiot Captain Queeg to keep cutting his own tow line.

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
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by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Feb 6 03:19:10 2012
Ina
I nrver quite understand what you by "Profitabilty" in your survey.
Is it the total dollars a seller makes in a year on a site less fees etc. Or is it the profit % they make on each sale.

Eg a seller can sell one item on a site with no fees and that is VERY profitable. Or they can sell 100 items on a site with high fees and make more profit, but not be so profitable.

So I really think that question is Flawed and needs to be reworded next year.

(Also I think it will need to be by invitation to stop all the cheerleaders, paid and otherwise)

Perminate Link for Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards   Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Mon Feb 6 08:30:59 2012
I'm surprised at ArtFire's low placement. It's my 2nd best sales site after eBay. And I don't trust the Bonanza results. I've been there since the beginning and have all of 2 sales to show for it (I don't spend all day playing games and hanging around in forums). Likewise, Atomic Mall is my 3rd best site, so I'm surprised it placed so low.

I suppose, though, that different kinds of sellers have different needs. Sellers of new goods likely won't sell much on crafty sites like ArtFire or Etsy, unless they're selling craft supplies. And vintage sellers probably don't do much business on Amazon. So I think the results can vary based on the type of seller you are.
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by: Susan Averello This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Feb 6 09:09:18 2012
Philip says:
I imagine an eBay user ID is probably automatically issued to new employees—and still they could only achieve fifth place

But the thing is you DON'T need any ID. As you take the survey, one site after another comes up and says to vote if you have experience selling there or click next. Anyone could give 1 site all 10s and the rest all 1s even if they never even heard of a site. Agreed without numbers or proof that you sell on that site, it means nothing.

Speaking of that, how did they choose which sites got listed?

@pc_seller  since when has Ebay been ''professional'' they still haven't figured out a straight forward way to combine shipping? Still need to contact to the seller for an updated unvoice. That's professional? not quite. But even you know play by their rules or get bumped. So you hide.

I'm a craft seller, not in it to make a million but at least I don't have to be afraid to post my shop link or name
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by: Dean62TX This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Feb 6 11:47:30 2012
Hello,
This is my first post here and I'm excited to be part of this site. OK, Concerning the Sellers Choice results, Due to my recent unemployment,(2 yrs), I've decided to finally join the millions of folks who are tapping into eCommerce to make a living. I've been wanting to this for awhile but working a full time job didn't allow me much time to pursue this avenue until I was forced into it,(with open arms), through my recent job loss. I've sold off & on over the years on Ebay & Craigslist, which is everyone's first starting places and had pretty good luck with them. Then I found out about Webstore.com & I instantly fell in love with their setup because it's 100% FREE to do business on and when you are starting out with a limited budget, FREE is always good.

However, truth be told, in the two years I've been selling at Webstore, I've only made two sales in two years only because I used Ebay's traffic through my ''ME'' page to promote my store at Webstore,(and also because I'm still learning the proper methods to generate traffic). Webstore's ad & marketing campaigns are very poor and they get very little overall exposure. No one really seems to know of them. I've see no ads of any kind here in Dallas,TX. So I'm not surprised that they fell to 10th place. I hope that the folks at Webstore after seeing the results will take aggressive action to better promote their site. This should be a wake up call for them. So, other then this issue, Webstore is a great alternative to Ebay for beginners & hobbyist alike. I will remain selling on Webstore in hopes things will improve and re-evaluate my situation at the end of the year. I now have my sites on Amazon's FBA program which seems to get very high marks from sellers.
Thank You.  
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by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Feb 6 13:19:17 2012
@Dean62TX
That s what happens when you have a free site.
They don't have any money to promote their site.
People need to realise that they need to go for a site that makes money so that they can build up their site.
If you have a free site, then suddenly bring in charges you upset people like Artfire.


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by: KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON THEM ALL! This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Tue Feb 7 05:58:29 2012
Re: pc seller

Nothing personal but YOU are exactly the 'type' of seller (over 1M a year and willing to sit back and take any crap they choose to foist upon you)  that empowers and enables (AND encourages) ebay to treat smaller normal everyday sellers as crappy as they do.

Sellers such as yourself that are willing to say:

"Well, I'm making money so go right ahead and bend me over, steal from me - force me to tolorate unfair parctices and outrageous fees, arbitrary rules and out and out illegal actions against me... I'll just sit here and take it - I'm making money so I'll look the other way and let you abuse me."

It's exactly that type of attitude that is empowering ebay to be the scummy, underhaded, theiving orgization it is these days -YOU CAN HAVE IT and I hope you two are very happy together destroying that venue for the rest of the poor souls too stupid to get off there.  
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by: edwatt This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Feb 7 06:29:17 2012
Are you planning on listing results of the survey for web hosting companies.  With so many people looking for an eBay alternative, I would be very interested in your results.
Perminate Link for Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards   Looking at the Top Rated Marketplaces in Sellers Choice Awards
by: pc_seller This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Feb 7 10:40:02 2012
Close Eye, I'm not sure where you're reading that I feel that eBay or Amazon has ''bent me over'' or ''stolen'' or ''abused'' me. That's not in any of my posts, and not sure where that's coming from. Probably would be something for you and your therapist to determine.

Ecommerce=Business. In business, adaptable, strong merchants survive. That's the plain truth. You think that doesn't apply to off-line retail as well? The rules change constantly. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that if any of these cute little alternative sites should somehow magically catch lightning in a bottle and become a success, that the rules will change immediately for sellers. That's how  it works. Read the post about Etsy above this one - proves my point perfectly.

If you're waiting for some altruistic venue to come along and somehow elevate lazy and underperforming sellers, then you're going to have a long wait. And while you're waiting, I'll be making sales. Lots of them.
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by: carolstomatoes This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Fri Feb 10 09:56:33 2012
If you read some of the comments, it's fairly clear many people are confusing sales with profitability.

Just because you make more sales at a certain site doesn't really mean that site is PROFITABLE for you.

I mean HOW can a site that charges rather high fees be more profitable than a FREE site ???

It's probable that the survey question should have been changed or perhaps another question added for "where do you make the most sales?".

Obviously eBay and Amazon would probably be tops in that question. In the last couple of years I've seen several long time eBay users mention that sales there have dropped and Amazon sales have soared.

I would also like to see some kind of comparison added for "your own web site" for the sellers that ALSO sell on their own site.

Personally I have sold on my own site, eBay, eCrater, Bonanza, CraigsList, and numerous sites that no longer exist. Even at it's best sales for me when stores were in search in March 06, I actually sold a little bit MORE at my own site and didn't have all the fees I had at eBay. That 1 month fee was more than I pay for the whole year for my web site.

Currently I sell on my own site, eCrater and Bonanza. And that is the order of most sales. But because I do have a yearly fee for my web site, the sales I make on eCrater have more profit. Just not nearly as many sales.

JMO,
Carol



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