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Bonanza, Etsy, eBay and Amazon Top 2014 Sellers Choice Awards

Bonanza topped this year’s Seller’s Choice Awards for the first time, followed by Etsy in the number two spot. Over 12,000 sellers rated the online marketplaces on which they sell – this is the fifth annual Sellers Choice Awards for Marketplaces. eBay came in third, seeing improvements over previous years. Amazon came in fourth, and Ruby Lane came in fifth place.

Readers chose the final 16 marketplaces in a nomination process, and then rated the finalists in four key areas – profitability, customer service, communication and ease of use. Respondents were also asked how likely they were to recommend each marketplace as a selling venue to a friend or colleague.

For the first time, EcommerceBytes opened up Sellers Choice nominations to social networking platforms to see if sellers were using them as an ecommerce channel. Pinterest and Facebook (but not Twitter) received enough nominations from readers to make it into the final 16.

While not a marketplace, social networking site Pinterest is a channel on which sellers promote their product listings, and the company and third-party developers are exploring ways to monetize the site. Overall sellers seemed eager to learn how they could leverage Pinterest more directly as a sales driver.

Various developers and merchants have built ecommerce tools and apps to create storefronts on Facebook, the majority of which send shoppers to another site to complete the transaction (Payvment, acquired by Ecwid, being a notable exception).

Many respondents use Facebook as a marketing vehicle but have difficulty tracking the results of their efforts. And many sellers expressed frustration over the site’s push towards pay for exposure through advertising, seeing it as a roadblock rather than an opportunity.

At this point, many sellers use Facebook and Pinterest solely as a way to drive traffic to product listings on other platforms.

New to Sellers Choice this year is a small niche specialty site, Aquabid; and a marketplace called Zibbet that capitalized on Etsy’s controversial policy change last fall by attracting Etsy artisans.

Each year, sellers share comments about the marketplaces that provide a picture of what it’s like to sell on these venues – the only place you’ll find such insight from sellers. Their comments are extremely helpful not only to other sellers, but to the marketplaces themselves. Comments are included on the individual marketplace rating pages.

See the full results on EcommerceBytes.com and comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.