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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Feb 1 2014 19:43:29

The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Thanks to everyone who took the time to nominate and rate online marketplaces for this year's Sellers Choice Awards. This is the fifth year you've been able to provide feedback to the venues on which you sell, and it was no holds barred as usual. Here is a summary of the top 5 marketplaces for the past five years.


The best part of Sellers Choice is the comment section where sellers provide context about their ratings. For instance, here's a tip for marketplaces: make sure you have a good shipping calculator!

This year, we let sellers nominate social networking sites to see if sellers were using them as an ecommerce channel. Pinterest and Facebook (but not Twitter) received enough nominations from readers to make it into the final 16. Sellers expressed an eagerness to learn how they might use Pinterest to help them sell, and frustration for Facebook's push to charge them for exposure through its ad platform.

Last year proved to be a challenging year thanks in part to the "Google effect." Whereas Google had previously allowed product listings to display in Google Shopping for free (and more or less democratically), it's now a pay-for-play model.

This means a search for an antique on Google might have come back with listings from Ruby Lane, eBay, eBid, eCrater, Bonanza, etc., in the Google Shopping "One Box" on the search results page. Now, however, Google Shopping will only show such results for listings that marketplaces or merchants have paid to appear.

The Google effect actually favors the larger marketplaces that can afford the resources to manage Google Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns, or where shoppers may go to directly to search for items.

From search engines to social networking sites, companies are trying to monetize traffic especially from visitors who are shopping online. Smaller marketplaces in particular need to get savvy about how to drive traffic to sellers' listings.

You can read the results of this year's Sellers Choice Awards for online marketplaces with more thoughts about social ecommerce in Sunday's EcommerceBytes Update newsletter. Let us know what you think of the results.



Comments (38) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sat Feb 1 20:03:01 2014
Forgive me, David and Ina, but I'm not sure I can take the poll results seriously.
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
This user has validated their user name. by: ebayisajoke
       Web Site
Sat Feb 1 20:42:11 2014
I hold awards in my Neighborhood for the best looking dog. The "Collie" wins it every time over the pitbull.
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Sat Feb 1 22:27:36 2014
Well, the paid eBay shills aren't doing too badly, they managed to get eBay into third place ...

Hopefully for this poll they used their home computers to do the voting ...

But seriously, if eBay can't beat Bonanza and Etsy, Johnny Ho really has got his work cut out for him ...

Ho, Ho, Ho, it really is long past time for you to go ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: RCL This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Feb 1 22:37:15 2014
I'm really surprised that sellers still rate Bay as highly as indicated. In the past year especially eBay has become a very seller-hostile "venue". Like big flea market management... hate the hands that feed them.
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sat Feb 1 22:59:13 2014
Non-scientific, I presume.
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 2 00:18:28 2014
eBay over Amazon ???? ..... I really need to see that raw data!

Theres NO possible way that can happen ... in EVERY area Amazon outshines eBay.

eBay despite their billions is a blip on the radar screens of "the industry".

They didnt even show up to CES - not that I blame them - they got their @$$ kicked the last time (after having a small booth and barking out like a carnival barker for manufactorers to PLEASE allow sellers to sell on eBay! Guess what? no one took them seriously. TWICE doesnt, the buying groups dont, and most manufactorers dont.

The manufactorers on eBay are there ONLY to stop unauthorized sellers from getting any traction selling their items. Do you see them on Amazon? NO.

Skullcandy etc HATES people selling their goods on eBay and will do ANYTHING to stop it - having a platinum store and racking up sales selling goods belowe dealer cost is nothing for them.

On Amazon you DONT have any of eBay diseases:

VERO
Paypal holds
Listing manipulations
Favorite Large accounts
and many others.

NOT that Amazon is all roses - its not. They are acutally tougher on 3p sellers then eBay - its just they dont lie about it.

You get english speaking people who will call you and genuinely care about you - when you call eBay they just laugh.

I had a customer case SNAD that was opened AFTER I received a positive feedback from the guy 10 days before that. I asked how could you open a case where hes had the item for a month, admitted in his email that he "adjusted it himself" and left a positive feedback ... and all I got back was nonesence .. "well we cant stop buyers from opening cases even if they are wrong". The case btw, is STILL open!

NONE of these sites are your partners. I used to think nthat they were - way back when I started. I learned quickly that 3p sellers are used and discarded at a moments notice - and "they just dont care" what the facts are, what the truth is, what US trade laws re ... zero. What ever is best for them is whats done. eBay especially - violates US trade laws, money tansmitter laws, local and state commerce rules and anything else they can - thinking that because they are an 800 pound elephant, YUO are powerless to stop them.

Sheer arrogance is why people like TWICE dont even list them in thier magazine!

3rd place? BS!  
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: JenniferL This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 2 09:45:32 2014
I wish I could take the results seriously, but I'm reading from a Bonanza seller that they were offered reward points to take the survey.  
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: Sherie This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 2 09:48:49 2014
Clearly the first place winner has a low overall score (which all the selling sites did) making it appear as though sellers across the internet are having a tough time of finding a place to sell and feel confident at. I do hope that every one of these selling sites takes note of their low overall scores.
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: vintagegoodness This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sun Feb 2 10:20:31 2014
Sherie beat me to my comment - I'm looking more at how low the overall scores are for every marketplace rather than the order they placed in, and it's kind of sad. Only a couple scored over a 7 in any category, and not by much. Sherie is right, they should definitely take note of how unsatisfied their sellers are this year!
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: 1beck3 This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 2 10:30:32 2014
@JenniferL

Can you elaborate, please?
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 2 10:40:13 2014
It's not surprising that ebay came in third.  Why do we still list on ebay? It works better than anything else for us.  

As slow as ebay is now, and as hostile to sellers and our business they have become, they are still the only game in town for selling our used technical and IT items.

We don't sell handcrafted items so etsy is not right for us. We don't sell books or common items so Amazon is not right for us.

Ebay is about it.  As unsatisfactory as it is, that's the only channel we have right now.

Googlauctions.com where are you?

Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 2 11:46:14 2014
Bonanza? give me a break, there must be a lot of shills taking the "survey"  
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: baconsdozen This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sun Feb 2 12:36:07 2014
Ebay most profitable?
Where ever did they find these people?
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Feb 2 13:57:03 2014
Did the new wave of ex-eBayers give Bonanza a high rating since they could quickly set up booths.

**From Bonanza survey detail : Bonanza has undergone many changes over the past two years or so, and long time sellers are not always enamored of the changes - those made to community and social features in particular. In addition, Bonanza began running ads for Amazon listings on search results pages last year, a practice some respondents objected to, and apparently it has expanded to running the ads in listing pages for sellers with free accounts. ''Used to have decent sales until over a year ago. They've forsaken sellers to become an Amazon affiliate,'' said one seller. ***
Yes the older and experience sellers have a beef with the Bonz Boyz. Bonanza wouldn't listen to these great sellers to the problems and glitches of this site. Sure, they are quick to respond to your problems with ''Canned Responses'' and there are those that just accept the non-sense and that they thank you for bringing the problems to their attention. Then just walk away, giggling their butts off at us.

If they really don't want you there, without notice, they shut down your shop and your ISP is denied to ever have another account there. (PS. your shop is closed but all the linking to Amazon of your sold items are there bringing in the pay per click money) Again, the Bonz Boyz are giggling behind the scenes. They want you to link your website to your booth/Bonanza and you get free fees for a period of time. Little do you know that you are creating new problems to your own website.

There are those of us that are making our own ecommerce websites and our computer techs are detecting the linking on Bonanza and how they interfering with our own Google feed. DO NOT copy paste your items into your website, start from scratch.

I have notice that when Auctionbytes has articles on Bonanza that there is no Blog so that we can make the comments. But sometimes there are links to Bonanza Blogs and to see the comments, you have to be a Bonanza member. (PS. you won't see important comments there because those that still sell there don't want to be all of a sudden banished)
NOTE: Auctionbyte please leave a link to blogs with Bonanza has article written about them.

Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       Web Site
Sun Feb 2 23:29:23 2014
I'm very surprise with Bonanza as #1. I will not be surprise that a potential import of ex-ebayers gave the boost. Let see next year if Bonz doesn't get real traffic after all that strange move. If they get the votes. Also even when the Bonz owners take down the old forum there is still a lot of sellers following their boards just as readers. Not sure if they promote some voting campaign.

eBay getting votes is simple. Not all sellers runs their business based on heart, politics, fanatism, radical ideas, etc. They run their stuff with maths. Any seller using eBay and other ''Alternative'' site can see difference in traffic.

As buyer. I saw a seller moving from eBay to Bonanza. Then some time later return to eBay. In all its time in Bonz, the seller made less than 100 recorded transactions. In eBay, he can do the same in a week or less than a month. So eBay has the traffic. So eBay even with its hostile atmosphere is still a better option and profitable.

As seller. eBay over Amazon. It is easy. Not all categories and items moves well in Amazon. Example collectibles and low price items. Also the Amazon payment for sellers is more restrictive to set up than PayPal.
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sun Feb 2 23:29:41 2014
Sadly, I think this annual survey has outlived its usefulness for rather obvious reasons unless it's another tool to measure the dishonesty quotient of marketplaces that either bribe or pay sellers, employees, or internet reputation/moderation service providers to take the survey.
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       
Mon Feb 3 00:03:52 2014
I read different forums. People move a lot between eBay and Amazon. Etsy a good niche site for handmade. Long time I don't read nothing about Ruby Lane. But if you can beat eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. It means anyone can get at least a sale weekly.

Now looking the 5 years table. It is obvious what sites where just a momentary fever and the ones just focus to use the survey as promotion.  
Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       
Mon Feb 3 00:09:46 2014
I forget one thing. The point or hypothesis of new ex-ebayers giving the boost can be supported with the comments of people suggesting ''USPS postage labels'' for Bonz.

I sold in different marketplaces. I never see have the ability to print postage labels in the marketplace as important issue. In special if the site has a lack of traffic, or glitches, or any issue directly related to performance and experience.  

Perminate Link for The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces   The Results Are In: Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces
by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Feb 3 01:00:40 2014
I was surprised to see some of the comments about Pinterest with it's first time on the list. Not that I expected it to have a good ranking as a selling power as it isn't there yet, if it will ever be. Pinterest however is a great place, yet again depending on what you sell, to promote your goods. It is not difficult to figure out how to use and there are plenty of sites, books, etc. to help you learn if you can't figure it out from the site itself. I use it to promote my store and also my personal hobbies and things that interest me. It helps that what I sell goes hand in hand with my hobbies and perhaps that is why my Pinterest account gained 1800 followers in the last 13 months. I have interesting content that gets pinned and repinned. It is definitely a good place for many to promote what they sell although you may have to put on your thinking cap to figure the best way to use it. Pinterest pins are indexed by the search engines, so even if you aren't showing up very highly from your store or venue, you might show up with a Pinterest link, assuming you bother to fill in a blurb about the picture.

As to how the venues stack up, I've never heard of ANY seller making anything but peanuts if that on Bonanza.

As to Amazon and people's complaints of selling there being a race to the bottom, hardly. There is no reason to have the lowest prices to sell on Amazon. Many times after selling something on Amazon I check immediately to see what the listing looks like and many if not most of the time, my item is the highest priced item there before it sold. But then I took the time to write a description about what I was selling instead of inserting a generic blurb that is used by stores for everyone of their thousands of listings. I'd rather take the extra minute or two to write a description and sell something for $10-20 than put in a generic blurb and sell it for $1-2. Your choice on how to run your business.  
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by: KathleenJohnson This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Feb 3 05:57:20 2014
After all was said and done - tell me how eBay ended up being the "most profitable"? If Bonanza was the #1 Selling site - then, how was it not the most profitable site for the Seller?

How is "profit" gauged? By the number of sales? By the percentage of fees?

Something is very amiss in the data.

And, if it is true that Bonanza offered any reward incentive for their users to take the survey - then I have to ask if "paying for votes" is an acceptable practice? And, if no, it negates the credibility of the entire survey.

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