eBay Alternatives See Traffic Growth as They Gain Traction
By Ina Steiner
With eBay in turmoil over radical changes taking place on the site this year, from a ban on checks and money orders to disruptive feedback changes - and with eBay bringing on large retail merchants - longtime sellers have been diversifying, and eBay alternative sites are reaping some rewards.
Bill Harding launched Bonanzle earlier this year, and the site is tiny compared to auction-giant eBay - Bonanzle heralded its 10,000th registered user on November 23, 2008 - but it has been growing quickly. From November 30th through December 4, Bonanzle had more than 10,000 unique visitors per day every day. Between the same period last month (October 31 - November 4), it averaged about 5,000 unique visitors per day.
Harding would not release Bonanzle's GMV (gross value of all items sold), but said it was 283% higher (comparing the same two 5-day periods). "Since we don't have a lot of historical precedent to compare to, it's hard to be able to give these numbers a lot of context, but from the relative context we can put them in, it certainly seems like buyers are not nearly as discouraged by the economy this year as some of the news outlets would like to have us believe," Harding said.
Harding said he saw a different shopping pattern on his auction marketplace than those of mainstream online retailers. "There wasn't a huge difference between Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the surrounding days. Our highest sales days so far were actually Saturday and Sunday (when most of our "Bonanzas" happen), with Monday and Friday trailing close behind."
Harding believes the difference in traffic trends is due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers looking for highly advertised, highly discounted items. This means an "emphasis on marketplaces like Amazon where there is one unified discounting effort," he said, "rather than smaller marketplaces like ours that are comprised of a collection of sellers where some will offer discounts and some won't."
Meanwhile, the more established, international auction site eBid celebrated its 2-millionth listing, it announced on Saturday. The company awarded $2,500 to "Huddylion" for helping eBid reach the milestone.
And finally, fixed-price marketplace eCrater, popular with eBay sellers, said its December 1st traffic broke previous records at 112,000 unique visitors for the day. Founder Dimitar Slavov said sales for November 2008 were 48% up compare to the sales of November 2007, and sales for November 2008 were up 5 percent compared to October 2008 sales.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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