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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2733 - February 06, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 4

Amazon Takes Top Spot in Third Annual Sellers Choice Awards

By Ina Steiner
February 06, 2012

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Amazon.com was the most highly rated marketplace overall in this year's Sellers Choice Awards, followed by Ruby Lane, Etsy, Bonanza and eBay. A record 7,200 online sellers voted in the third annual EcommerceBytes awards in January 2012, and they also shared their experiences by leaving comments for each of the marketplaces they used.

Sellers rated the 16 marketplaces on a number of criteria; Amazon was the most highly rated for profitability, followed by eBay. For both customer service and communication, Ruby Lane was the most highly rated, followed by Amazon. Online marketplace Bonanza received the highest ratings for ease of use, followed by Craigslist and Etsy.

eBay received the most total votes of all 16 marketplaces, with 71% of respondents submitting a rating for the marketplace. Number two was Craigslist (48%), followed by Bonanza (40%), Amazon (29%) and Etsy (28%). Note that these numbers simply reflect whether survey respondents had experience selling on a particular marketplace.

Sellers were also asked to indicate how likely they were to recommend each marketplace as a selling venue to a friend or colleague. The four most highly rated marketplaces for this criterion were Amazon, Bonanza, Ruby Lane and Etsy.

Behind the Ratings
Despite being the most highly rated marketplace overall, Amazon had room for improvement - sellers' top concerns were fees and the high cost of shipping, and some merchants expressed concern about low selling prices.

This is the first year eBay made it into the top-five list in overall rankings of the Sellers Choice Awards, coming in at fifth place with an overall rating of 6.5, up from 4.2 in 2011. Despite the improvement in ratings, sellers stated in the comments that eBay's fees were too high, its policies unfriendly to sellers, and its feedback one-sided. They also said that eBay's decision this year to charge fees on shipping & handling costs was a big negative.

Etsy was the third most highly rated marketplace in 2012 - many sellers cited overall satisfaction, and suggestions for improvement included better listing tools and features; better search and more choice in payments. Many respondents also complained about the problem of resellers.

Ruby Lane is an established online antiques mall, and both it and the much smaller and newer marketplace Bonanza both made it onto the top-five marketplaces for three years running, with Ruby Lane second and Bonanza fourth. Sellers describe Ruby Lane as being best for selling high-end antiques and collectibles, and said Bonanza needed to advertise its site, reporting that Bonanza's biggest problem was not enough traffic to the site.

About Sellers Choice Awards
EcommerceBytes readers nominated their favorite marketplaces in January, and then rated the top 16 marketplaces with which they had experience using. New to the list this year were Addoway, Boocoo Half.com and YardSellr, replacing Blujay, iOffer, OZtion and Zibbett.

Many respondents used the comments section of Sellers Choice to recommend features they would like to see added or to indicate where marketplaces needed improvement. Many cited the need for more advertising to drive buyer traffic to the site and to their listings on almost all of the marketplaces, especially the newer or smaller ones.

The ratings for all 16 marketplaces are available on the EcommerceBytes website along with a selection of detailed comments from sellers. The summary of Sellers Choice Awards and an index to the results for each marketplace can be found in the February 5th issue of EcommerceBytes Update.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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