|Sun Feb 9 2014 21:48:09|
Exclusive: Alibaba Subsidiary to Launch eBay Rival in U.S.
By: Ina Steiner
eBay's rival in China is backing a new marketplace set to launch soon in the U.S. Alibaba's new subsidiary 11Main.com has been onboarding third-party sellers since the fall with the help of Auctiva and Vendio, two eBay listing tools acquired by Alibaba almost 4 years ago. Through those acquisitions, Alibaba gained 250,000 eBay sellers that accounted for an estimated 5 - 10 percent of eBay listings.
Alibaba and 11 Main declined to comment for the story in tomorrow's Newsflash newsletter, but EcommerceBytes has spoken to some sellers who are participating in the pre-launch. One such seller said he was excited about the new marketplace because it could be a viable competitor to eBay, "When I hear that the biggest internet presence in China is behind this, that's an attention getter. That makes it real and different from all the other competitors. They have the money and time to make it work."
Alibaba benefits when sellers use its product sourcing marketplace to sell on eBay.com. The fact that its subsidiary has chosen this time to launch a marketplace in the U.S. may say something about how those sellers are faring on eBay, which has chosen to focus on large brands and retailers.
Smaller sellers have found it increasingly frustrating to sell on eBay as management shifts its strategy to focus on the sale of new goods by retail giants. While many eBay sellers sell on multiple channels, eBay could take it as an affront to learn that one of its largest partners, Auctiva, is helping power a rival marketplace.
The biggest challenge new marketplaces face is gaining access to shoppers. 11 Main and its merchants have an edge over most startups since they can promote the site to their existing customers.
You can read the full story in Newsflash, along with a pre-launch screenshot of the homepage. Let us know what you think of the 11 Main marketplace, which is set to launch soon in a special invitation-only preview before its official launch. Would its lower fees (3.5% including shipping & handling) entice you to try it?