Don Heiden, aka the Auction Professor, is back with a rundown on the pros and cons of going multi-channel. Here are the factors you should consider when exploring selling on multiple marketplaces.
When first starting out on a reselling adventure, most people will be exclusively selling on a single website, which makes the most sense in the beginning of your journey. It takes time for anyone to learn all the ins and outs of the platform they plan on using.
Every site has rules and procedures that one must know before you ever list a single item up for sale. Some items cannot even be listed on a site, due in part to laws or site wide regulations. In other cases, there may be certain steps needed to be fulfilled to list a specific item.
There are so many factors and guidelines that you must understand and follow just to keep yourself out of trouble from the platform itself. This does not even take into account any legal aspects of reselling, such as illegal or banned items.
For most people, this learning curve may take a lot of time and effort to get past. So why would anyone want to take on two or more reselling platforms at the very same time? The proverbial old adage “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” always comes to mind when that question comes up.
Most businesses will want to expand and grow over time, and will not want to be totally relying on one single revenue stream. If your main platform shuts down, or you are banned from the site for any reason, your business would be over. That is always a risk for those only selling on one platform.
But this may not be the case for some reselling businesses. For some sellers, there may only be one ideal site to sell on, and expanding to another site may be a total waste of time. Your time is valuable; wasting time trying to learn a whole new platform can be costly, especially if you get very little to no return on that investment.
The problem here can come down to the other site’s traffic or their bounce rate. If a potential buyer only views one page on a specific site before bouncing off the platform, the chances of them seeing your items are very slim. It would be like trying to sell antique pianos on WalMart.com, which would be a total waste of your time.
If the site has little to no traffic that would also be a waste of time. Your time is your most valuable asset so you must use it wisely. The time you wasted may have made you a large amount of revenue had it been used elsewhere. You could have listed more items and purchase better inventory in that time. And once that time is gone you can never get it back.
I always would recommend before anyone branches out that they investigate the website they plan on using. Does the site have enough traffic to warrant your investment of your time into learning how to use it? That time spent is an investment, and not getting a return on it will be a financial loss to your business.
Having tried most reselling sites out there, I can tell you (without a doubt) that some sites will not be worth your time, regardless of what you are selling. Some sites are only designed for selling very specific items, and if you do not sell those sorts of items, there would be no reason to be on the site to begin with.
What you sell will have the greatest impact on how you expand your business. Rare and scarce items may get you the highest return on your investments most of the time, but they do have some drawbacks. If you are selling more common or everyday items, there will be far more platform options to choose from.
If you are selling in a small niche market your choices may be very limited. Some sellers in that situation may have to create their own webpage to expand their reach. These days, luckily the creation of a webpage is pretty easy; it is gaining the traffic needed to get sales that is the hard part.
As a business (at some point) you more than likely will want to, or maybe rather need to, expand in order to grow your business. There are many options to do so. You just need to do that wisely, and consider the pros and cons of the decisions you make.
Share your thoughts about the platforms on which you sell and your approach to multi-channel reselling in the comments below!