EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 304 - February 05, 2012 - ISSN 1528-6703     4 of 18

Sellers Choice 2012 Marketplace Ratings: Ruby Lane

By Ina & David Steiner

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In January 2012, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 7,200 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.


Customer Service:


Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Year Established: 1998
Description: Fixed price, shops; antiques, collectibles, fine art, arts and crafts
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Ruby Lane came in second place in this year's EcommerceBytes Seller's Choice Awards, up from third place last year. It attained overall ratings of 7.35, only slightly behind first-place marketplace The antiques site improved in all categories this year except for ease of use, where it slipped slightly.

Sellers describe the site as being best for high-end goods - sellers with lower end collectibles appear to find it difficult to be profitable - but according to long time sellers, that's what attracts serious collectors to the site.

Showing amazing consistency, Ruby Lane is the only marketplace that has ranked among the top three each year that the Sellers Choice awards have been handed out, finishing first in 2010, third in 2011, and second this year.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
For online sales Ruby Lane is really great. Serious collectors go here to buy!! This is my top spot for high end collectibles!!
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Would recommend to others & do recommend to others. Customer service is the absolute best. Always responds quickly; communicates well. Classy atmosphere that brings in excellent customers. Items sell well for very nice profit, though still working on building up our personal client base. Fees are wonderfully low. They advertise their site well. They help shopkeepers with everything, even personal improvement. They take their site seriously and treat both shopkeepers & customers with the highest respect. Awesome site. Highly recommend.
This site has nominal fees, clean professional site, great communication and seller support, items and site closely scrutinized by staff for quality, allows sellers to "flag" other seller's items if they are incorrectly described, etc. I have helped 2 friends open shops on RL in the past year and they love it too. A much nicer, friendlier, reliable clientele than Ebay overall.
Thank God for Ruby Lane!!! And I really mean it.
I use this site for my shop and I love it....Excellent place to sell and shop.
I have been selling on Ruby Lane for over 7 years, and have always done well. Communications, ease of listing, and quality of items listed are great. I have also bought from other dealers on Ruby Lane, and have never been dissatisfied, and had great communication with them!
We sell on Ruby Lane and it is very easy to run a shop and sell on Rubylane. The traffic in our shop has gone up yearly. They are always on top of all the latest updates of selling. We have been selling since 2003 and have enjoyed every minute of it.
Competitively priced to other sites, no backend fees after the sale, customers are WONDERFUL as well as the management's support of their sellers. This is a great site!
I am so impressed with this venue that I often tell total strangers about the site. I just did that at an outdoor show last weekend. They bend over backwards to make the experience a good one.
I love Ruby Lane. My only real quarrel with it is that I don't have that many items that are "Ruby Lane-able." The bulk of what I sell is mid-market vintage costume jewelry and I only put my BEST pieces on RL. Sales can be slow if you don't constantly tweak your inventory, otherwise it's great.
Ruby Lane is a classy site. Easy to sell on, and fees are reasonable. Not as profitable for me as eBay.
When I sell something on Ruby Lane, the dollar amount is ALL mine, no commission. Fees are okay, although I'm a charter shop so I pay a little less than others. Ruby Lane, however, is quick to make you remove flagged items, even if there are lots more on the site from other sellers.
I do like Ruby Lane - but with the downtrends in the economy, it became too expensive for me to maintain. Sales were slow, but I think it's a great site.
Ruby Lane changed their ISP during the holiday selling season. It was a disaster, and the problems for shop owners continued for weeks and weeks. Many clients called in frustration, saying they couldn't complete a sale. I feel, as do many Ruby Lane shop owners, that I lost considerable income at the busiest time of year, and I blame Ruby Lane for this. Their customer service during all this left much to be desired. Therefore, I am giving Ruby Lane much lower marks this year than I have in the last two surveys. That said, I believe it is still the best online option for selling antiques and vintage. Another thing I find disturbing is the changes that Ruby Lane makes and implements, always without notifying shop owners first, and often without thinking things through, so that a "fix" is required. Privately held companies can do that, I suppose.
Very expensive to get started. Very restrictive on what you can sell and how you describe your item. They have to approve your description before you can list. Too much of a hassle. Unless you sell high priced items, the monthly fees eat the profit since sales are few and far between.
I'm fairly new to RL and find the site hard to navigate. My sales have been pretty good but only because I list each day, otherwise you wouldn't be seen. They are costly to list on, and even more so to advertise on.
Too expensive. Also Help Desk gives clear answers but is NOT helpful regarding getting around system limitations. Also, I sold less than 10 reasonably priced and desirable items after using RL for an entire year.
Ruby Lane has deteriorated drastically in the past 2 years. I believe Ruby Plaza has something to do with this. I also believe that Ruby Lane does not care at all about seller's profits. I think they have lost the edge that they used to have. Plus I think it is hard for sellers to be found on Ruby Lane now.
Not easy to get set up. Tried it out and found that it is very expensive unless you have high priced items that sell often. Not a profitable place if selling mostly under the $20 to $25 range.

Sellers Choice Awards
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 EcommerceBytes Blog.

About the author:

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

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