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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 279 - January 23, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     15 of 18

Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Rubylane


By Ina & David Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com

January 23, 2011
 



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In January 2011, AuctionBytes surveyed almost 2,800 online sellers and asked them to rate the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the Sellers Choice survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, along with links to results for each of the 16 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Rubylane
Year Established: 1998
Description: Fixed price, shops; antiques, collectibles, fine art, arts and crafts
More Info

Summary:
Last year's winner RubyLane came in third this year with an overall rating of 7.4, but remains the top online antiques mall. It highest rating was for Ease of Use (7.99) and its lowest was for Profitability (6.63), though that was the third highest Profitability rating among all marketplaces.

Respondents reported doing well with high-end antiques and vintage items - "I was a Power Seller on ebay for 10 years , switched to Ruby Lane and in 2 years I sold 1,000 items. This site is the cadillac of the selling AND buying antiques to vintage on line."

A number of respondents said the site was expensive but worth it - "Despite no FVF its expensive. Clientele seems to be "richer" and more willing to pay more. Never a return or problem with a customer on RubyLane." But several said the site just didn't perform for what they were selling - "The fees are just too high and even with high end products I was barely breaking even. I thought I would find customers seeking quality but they still want something for nothing so I closed after a few months."

"Ruby Lane deals in higher quality items," wrote another respondent. Many respondents reported being long-time sellers on the site.

Maintaining quality antiques and collectibles on its marketplace keeps high-end shoppers coming back, no doubt the key to RubyLane's solid performance in this year's AuctionBytes Sellers Choice Awards.

Link to 2010 results

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
I have sold on Ruby Lane now for over 9 years, and have presently over 3,800 items in my store. This costs me under $150 per month. As they do not charge anything when I sell something, I do not expect this cost to go up substantially at any time soon. I can say nothing bad about Ruby Lane with the exception of their flagging system. I think that they should require that the flagger first email the seller to try and rectify the problem before they flag. I have recommended this site to many sellers and the ones who have taken me up on it are very happy with their results.
***
Because Ruby Lane is all that AND a bag of Chips! They have top notch customer service reps for us sellers. I can talk live to some one and if they don't have an answer then, they will get it and get back to me or forward my questions on to the right tech people to help. Glitch in my shop? Bam, taken care of. Can't find an answer in the expansive data base? Boom, I have the information I need and told where I could have looked to find it myself. And that does not include all the selling help they give us. They help to keep us legal and stay within government regulations, They help us make our photo's, the life blood of any on line shop better with tools we can use after we upload them. The list goes on and on. Best of all? Thy do not charge an arm and a leg to keep a shop open. I love Ruby Lane. In fact, I opened a shop on the new sister site Ruby Plaza and I hope to see that here in the next year or so. Thanks for listening.
***
Very low selling costs, programs to reduce costs, incredible communication. They act like they want me to succeed. Monetarily assist with my advertising. Very easy to use the site.
***
Ruby Lane is an easy to use, esthetically pleasing and easy to navigate website for both buyers and sellers. I find it is a very cost effective way to sell online and am very pleased to be a part of Ruby Lane.
***
I became a Ruby Lane seller in August of 2010. I find the site easy to navigate and the customer service for sellers is excellent and prompt. Their FAQ's for sellers usually answer any questions I have, but in the one instance where I needed more information I heard back from them within a matter of hours. The fee structure is very reasonable and well explained leading to a better profitability for my shop. Even though I am new to Ruby Lane, I am one satisfied seller! I look forward to 2011 with them.
***
I love RL. Customer service is #1 in my book! They have a lot of patience with us. Prompt/jiffy on the spot to help us. Can't beat it for customer support. I love it! Just wish there was more exposure so others would know about RL/what a great place it is to shop. Thanks
***
I rated Ruby Lane as excellent in all areas because it's easy to use, inexpensive, non-invasive regarding my communications with my customers, and when I have a question they have an answer...and fast. Ruby Lane doesn't take a percentage of my sales, they offer opportunities make money participating in programs for shop owners, and I've always gotten friendly, knowledgeable, supportive, responses to any questions or comments I may have. It's a wonderful site for starters, who may not be computer whizzes. Every step of the way they have been honest and made me feel a part of something special. The high standards of conduct that are required of shop owners keeps everyone honest. Thank you.
***
My absolute favorite sales venue! This is a great place for serious sellers and buyers of high end collectables. No feedback games, no high fees, great customer service. Great sellers and buyers!! I highly recommend this site to any serious online seller.
***
Ruby Lane makes everything simple. They have a simple fee structure. They aggressively market their website to target specifics. They are very seller savvy. They tend to be more upscale. They have fewer main categories making it easier to navigate for buyers. I have only sold on eBay and Ruby Lane, and between the two, in my opinion, Ruby Lane is far superior than eBay.
***
Extremely easy to use site for sellers and buyers with very friendly and fast Customer Service. Well regulated and easy to follow rules for different categories of selling. Excellent Returns policy, also allows individual Returns Policy. Listing Fees are low with no fees charged when items are sold. Easy to list items between Rubylane and sister store Rubyplaza. Overall a well organized, user friendly website where I have been selling successfully since 2004.
***
My husband and I have been selling on Rubylane for 7 years. When we started our shop we didn't know how to run a computer and had never sold a thing in our lives. Rubylane made it so easy to open a shop, add items, and interact with our customers, all right from our shop. Their customer service is top notch; all of our questions are answered without delay and the answer is easy to understand. As far as we are concerned, Rubylane is the best place to sell antiques and collectibles online.
***
Expensive overhead but the results tell the story: Delightful. HIGH class buyers~no hassle with management. Good Search exposure. Great internal search engine. Fabulous ease to list items. Could not be happier. I left Ruby in 2009 OOPS~and came back in 2010. Hugely successful for me, a small time seller.
***
The profitability factor is really my fault - I don't have enough time to list as much as I could on Ruby Lane right now. For sellers who are able to devote themselves to their Ruby Lane shop, they can do very well. Ruby Lane attracts a clientele eBay has long since lost, and sellers can realize better prices than on eBay. I would refer sellers of antiques and collectibles to Ruby Lane over eBay any day.
***
Ruby lane offers sellers an easy to use site. Sellers are screened before they can sell. This avoids the eBay treatment of sellers as a source of problems instead of as a business partner.
***
I LOVE Ruby Lane. Very sane place to be. they respect seller autonomy, have reasonable fees, and are altogether a great site.
***
Although I have yet to receive useful help when I ask for it, RubyLane has other sites beat hands down for profitability. They also don't nickel and dime me to death like eBay, and they have demonstrated a social conscience, something that's important to me.
***
I have been very happy with Ruby Lane and plan to take advantage of some of the sellers tools that can increase my sales.
***
While Ruby Lane was not as profitable for me as eBay, it is the best site I have ever sold on as far as customer support goes. It also has a very nice interface, and the site is closely monitored to make sure items offered are within the guidelines. I wish eBay were more like Ruby Lane in this way.
***
Their customer service number is not available on weekends and that is when I am able to use it and might need help as I work full time during the week. Great place to sell though.
***
Ruby Lane has expensive start up fee - Upfront monthly fees no matter how much you sell. They also offer extra option you need to pay for to keep your items easy to find, but saying that - its a great site for getting an honest price for high-end items. Sales have been increasing steadily. Still in process of deciding whether its one of the sites I'll stay with.
***
Ruby Lane uses a set of responses that do not always often respond directly to the communication. Ruby Lane relies on a system of "Flagging" to police the site which works well for individual items that have problems but does not deal well with sellers with many listing violating policy.
***
Rubylane started out as a viable venue for vintage and antique items. Rubylane has since moved away from its brand and its mission. Customer service is only offered as an online chat. Sellers are not allowed to contact the Rubylane office. In fact, no one answers the phone there. The fees have increased, the leadership of the company is a farce and Rubylane is now no better than eBay or any other online sales venue. My cost of doing business on Rubylane is now 33% of sales. Enough said.
***
I sold Artisan Jewelry on Ruby Lane for a few years, and the experience was overall fairly good. But the high monthly fee is quite prohibitive if you end up not selling anything for a month or more.
***
I have two large complaints about Ruby Lane, and I suppose they would fall under "customer service" which is why I only rated it a 5. My one big complaint about Ruby Lane is that they only offer ONE payment option and that is Paypal. They need to get with the times and offer Google Checkout! I and other sellers have talked about this and we just don't understand why they don't. Secondly, they do not feed our items to Google search. Even the free stores such as Ecrater send Google product feeds - for what we pay on Ruby Lane, we should get at least that. Unless you are an "exclusively on Ruby Lane" seller, your items are buried. This isn't fair - we're paying the same fees.
***
The reviewers are not open to suggestions, remarks, or anything else. They allow a lot of fakes.
***
Signed up to be a seller but couldn't figure out how to list. Wanted too much information from me as a casual seller. Tried to contact them via email several times and never got a response. I know a lot of sellers like RL, but I wasn't one of them.
***
The advertising and booth fees were too high for the volume of sales I made so I left!
***
Rubylane is too expensive and not enough traffic to realize a profit.

Sellers Choice
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the survey results or the survey itself, please feel free to post them in the AuctionBytes Blog.

____________

About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of EcommerceBytes.com and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.


You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to EcommerceBytes.com and either link to the original article or to www.EcommerceBytes.com.
All other use is prohibited.

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