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Tue Dec 16 2008 12:58:59

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

By: Ina Steiner

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We are conducting a survey of AuctionBytes and EcommerceBytes readers and EveryPlaceISell.com merchants to gather information about multi-channel selling behavior. The results will be published in the aggregate by AuctionBytes.com. (As always, your individual answers will remain private.)

One of our questions has to do with pricing strategies. Do you have different prices for your products on different venues, or is your pricing consistent?

Please take a few moments to complete the survey. You'll be redirected to this post, where you can leave comments and tell us more about the "why"s of your strategies.

Update January 5, 2009: See results of the survey published in AuctionBytes Newsflash. The majority of respondents had different pricing strategies across the venues on which they sell; sellers are more likely to sell items at a higher price on Amazon and eBay, and at a lower price on their own website, online storefront or offline venue. (Since sellers do not have to pay commissions on their own sites, it's not surprising they can offer lower prices on their own online Stores.)






Comments (39) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: Henrietta

Tue Dec 16 14:38:26 2008

My last full year on eBay was 2007. My ASP was $2.49 and eBay and PayPal's take ran approximately 29% of my gross. Sell through rate on auctions was 56%. Often their take was higher than my pre-tax profit.

This year to date my gross sales are down 32% over 2007, to my surprise and our accountant's amusement my profits are up. I am no longer listing on eBay and I save 33% over PayPal on each transaction processed through Google Checkout.

I spend less than 25% in hosting costs for my website than I did per month for my eBay store and I pay no listing fees whatsoever. My inventory submissions to Google Base are automated, and free.

I learned my trade on eBay, and what I learned transferred to running my business off eBay. I will not look back, it is pointless, what was, is gone.

Because I no longer 'go there' I don't buy there, I was saving money, until Bonanzle started filling up with sellers!

Looking forward, despite the rotten economy I will bet on increased gross sales for 2009. Free of the eBay burden I have been able to absorb wholesale cost increases and keep my product at a price point crafters can rationalize, it is a small temptation.

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: Harriet

Tue Dec 16 17:18:51 2008

I am finding out, much to my surprise, that selling on other sites is starting to work very well. It took a little while to get going, and I have many, many items listed on the other sites (around 400, a lot for me, as a small seller), which helps to draw buyers.

I very much look forward to next year and increased sales from these sites.

I sell on eCrater, Bonanzle and Etsy. So far, it has been a very pleasant experience, and Google Checkout is the preferred method of payment, which also surprised me.

I will still sell on eBay, but with extremely limited items. Frankly it scares me to sell there now. You never know what horrible thing is going to jump up and bite you. I have a great record and do not want to ruin it with something that happens selling on eBay.

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: floatafloat

Tue Dec 16 19:00:43 2008

I am still doing well on eBay, which is probably about 70% of my online sales business (Amazon and Craigslist round it out) and I like to be able to have multiple platforms to sell on.

Craigslist is the dumping ground, in a sense, Amazon is the growing concern (though they have more listing constraints) and it's just 'easy' there--and ol' eBay...well...ol' eBay.

Let's just say that there's a growing percentage of my business that I get from eBay which is in direct violations of their policies. Customers shop there and use it as a big inventory base, then purchase it from me directly so they save a little and I save on the fees.

Yah, well eBay hasn't done anything to engender any loyalty to them from me recently--so I'm continuing on with plans to open my own site, marketing, etc.

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: Jackie

Wed Dec 17 00:34:03 2008

While slow to start I have kept at it and im listing like it was my own website on bang4bucks.com.au while there isnt the taffic there as ebay the listing is easy,the automatic relists keep my products online and im now promoting my b4b store like I would my own website, once I have all products listed that are stock lines it is free to list and small FVF.
I notice one seller has just on 600 feedback so it shows that buyers will follow their best sellers so I will be putting in discount vouchers with my ebay parcels to draw the buyers over.
Scrapbooking products are expensive to sell on ebay so there is no harm to try elsewhere.
ebay havent been loyal to us in Australia so why should I be loyal to them, every buyer I can drag away I will.I cant compete with big business on ebay and bang4bucks seems very female related products so hopefully my sales will start increasing on there.

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: DonC

Wed Dec 17 00:50:00 2008

I started out with eBay. Fortunately eBay seemed to do everything they could think of to drive me away. This motivated me to try other venues. I opened a Yahoo store two years ago: http://donscycleware.com Due to lower overhead I am able to offer my motorcycle gear there at a lower price than eBay.

I have also started listing on Amazon and Ebid sales are growing nicely.

eBay sales are now roughly 50% or less of my total revenue. They will probably total about 40% of my profit for 2008. I'll probably drop them all together by 2010. When selling on eBay you never know when they are going to pull the plug on your listings. Who needs that?

Don

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: Patricia

Wed Dec 17 01:20:27 2008

Listing most anything on Ebay these days ends up in the loss of a listing fee and no sales.  At least for me and most of the artists I know.  I have my own website and, while it doesn't readily sell from the 200+ items listed on it I do get many commissions after people browse thru my work.  I'm listing on Bonanzle, Etsy and Art by Us.  Bonanzle is free to list with a small FVF when you sell, Etsy is only 20 cents to list for 4 months and a small FVF, Art by Us is totally free to list and to sell.  All combined come pretty near what I made on Ebay last year...proving to me there is life after Ebay ;-)

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: otto

Wed Dec 17 09:03:15 2008

eBay is the only place I sell, and continues to be the only place I can sell. I sell small time, low quantity. Items found at the occasional garage, yard, or estate sale. I have tried the other venues, and they are still worthless after one year. No sales, pathetic hits. Buyers are just ''not there yet'' looking for the unique one-of-a-kind things and oddities that made eBay what it was. eBay still allows me to get sales and decent looks. When you have the only item, or perhaps a few similar items from other sellers on the site, it's impossible to get buried by best match. Best match only becomes ''worst match'' for commodity sellers or sellers who list items of which there are 1000 others listed. I mean if you and 5 other sellers have the same item, everyone is on page one. Then it's just a matter price and condition competition.

I don't like the fact that I still have to use eBay. I think the company sucks. I pay way too much in fees for the service. I don't think they are trying to ''drive small sellers away'' because that makes no sense, and small sellers such as myself still get sales (decent sometimes too), and I pay my piddly fees every month. If I left, they'd never know it.

The other sites just don't offer me a viable option yet - fees or no fees, you still need someone to buy. My own web site would be useless for the low quantity on-and-off type selling I do.

Admittedly, not everything I list sells the first or second time. So I loose money on listing fees. The slight reduction in listing fees over the past year means I loose a little less (the ''lower risk of entry'' that eBay likes to tout), but I'm still paying.

We'll see how 2009 goes...

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: L

Wed Dec 17 09:46:30 2008

Over 90% of my sales are on eBay, but IOffer & eCrater sales are increasing more every month (my eCrater items seem to rank much higher in Google searches, than my identical IOffer listings . . . I don't know why that is, but it would explain why my eCrater hits & sales are accelerating a a more rapid pace than IOffer.)

I might add that my eCrater listings almost always rank higher in Google searches than my same eBay listings.

I am a Silver PowerSeller with a 100% positive rating, and DSR scores of 5.0, 4.9, 4.9, 4.9 . . . but I can't wait to migrate sales as much as possible off of FeePay, because I never know what new erratic shoot-from-the hip policy change of theirs might hit me next . .
It really makes me nervous . . . never in my long management career in the corporate world have I seen such clueless incompetence as I have witnessed and lived through over the past 2 years.

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: Robert

Wed Dec 17 10:11:25 2008

@L


Ecrater has a good RSS Google feed setup, so google will detect your listings from ecraters google feed webcrawlers, which is one of the main reason ecrater site traffic is substantially higher than most other lesser known buy/sell platforms.

Ioffer doesnt have RSS google feed (or at least not an effective one), so sellers at Ioffer MUST manually upload their listings into google's data base, and regularly update them if you want any real exposure of your Ioffer listings in google searches.  I was totally unaware of this when I set up a storefront on Ioffer a few months back and was diappointed with sales initially. Once I uploaded my Ioffer listings to google data base, page views and sales have been on the rise ever since.





Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: Robert

Wed Dec 17 10:28:52 2008

@L,
Quite frankly, I'm rather surprised you can even find your ebay listings in search.

For years our jewelry listings and our ebay store along with our competitor's listings and ebay storefronts were ALWAYS up on top few pages in google doing keyword searches along with many ebay affiliate pages that were advertising our listings in google.

That all changed this year once Donahoe took over and made radical changes to investing in search engine advertising. Now, aside from a couple of ebay stores that are paying for ebay's new adcommerce advertising program...majority of listings that once dominated ebay searches are nowhere to be found no matter how many pages I sift through on google searches.

The high google exposure ebay sellers once enjoyed on google is a thing of the past now. Sellers now pay more for ebay's services and are getting less and less in return!

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: loving ecrater

Wed Dec 17 14:36:23 2008

Between ecrater and Amazon, they have generated at least half my sales this month. Sales on ebay are absolutely pathetic and with the new changes to the pages shown to buyers, no longer can they see all the other categories of items that I have for sale. I am loving ecrater and the lack of fees. Every time someone pays with Google I am even happier as they are less than Paypal. Had a $70+ order on ecrater two days ago and paid less than $2 for the Google checkout fees. Ebay and PP would have scooped up well over $12 for the same transaction!

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: 4-sillylittlegems

Wed Dec 17 14:52:42 2008

Shop Bonanzle and blujay.com

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: RatherRuss

Wed Dec 17 15:24:07 2008

Like many others, I was once a power seller on ebay, then the May collapse at ebay drove me off.  I have tried everything, my own website, lots of hits, no sales, same with Bonanzle, ecrater, ioffer, bluejay and even Gemm a music site....I list 15k CDS and albums, and unless I am on ebay, my sales are so minimal compared to the work of molding my database to fit each different site, and getting  no sales for the work, I am back in a small way at ebay, but am quickly becoming totally unenamored of internet commerce.  Basically it is a waste of time and money outside the old ebay model that worked before Donohue....of all I like the folks at Bonanzle best, and wish all of them and all the sellers good luck, but more and more will be done off the internet....Happy Holidays, Russ

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: MetzyMom

Wed Dec 17 15:47:35 2008

Like many others, I have found that without the eBay/Paypal cut, I am actually turning a better profit, although not as many 'hits'.  I also find that while 'sell through ratios' are still seemingly lower on OnlineAuction.com, most who look actually buy.  So I'm making more, paying less, and fewer 'lookie-lous' vs sales.  It works for me!!!

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: bab

Wed Dec 17 18:34:37 2008

Chased off the bay by wierdness previously stated by others.  Sold on ecrater, buyitsellit, ioffer and now OnlineAuction.com. and Craigs list.  Sales?  You've got sales?...... ;)

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: Grab it, Shake it, Repeat

Wed Dec 17 18:35:32 2008

Harriet Said:
"
I sell on eCrater, Bonanzle and Etsy. So far, it has been a very pleasant experience, and Google Checkout is the preferred method of payment, which also surprised me.

I will still sell on eBay, but with extremely limited items. Frankly it scares me to sell there now. You never know what horrible thing is going to jump up and bite you. I have a great record and do not want to ruin it with something that happens selling on eBay."

...and took the words right out of my mouth! E-Crater is my favorite though because of the ability to add Ecrater to Google Shopping!
Google Checkout is different from PayPal and takes a bit of learning, however the nicest thing about Google Checkout is as soon as you mark the item send, the transfer into your bank account begins immediately. None of this waiting three days and hoping nothing "glitches" in the interim.

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: patricia Grant

Wed Dec 17 19:25:59 2008

I have been selling online for over 10 years. I branched out from Ebay back in 2005 when I joined Overstock auctions. I did both sites for the last 3 years or so. I quit the O for awhile in 2007 and went back early this year at the same time I joined OLA (onlineauction.com).

I was doing 3 sites. Then I joined buyitsellit.com. that is my web site store front for FP items. I have since quit Ebay and closed up my Ebay store. I am currently selling on OLA both classic and FP auctions, on Overstock all auctions, and mybisi for FP items. That way I have it covered for both styles. I am making alot more money now without Ebay, and their outrageous fees. I sold a 400 dollar ring and between ebay and PP they got more then 50 bucks off me. Thats alot. I really like Google for payment services, and will probably close up with PP as well as Ebay. They are no longer a viable place for me to sell at. There is life after Ebay.Very much so. I am so much happpier now Merry Christmas and Happy Sales to everyone.

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: nora

Wed Dec 17 19:40:08 2008

I want to branch out from eBay and I want to try out a couple of sites to sell my items. Do you think there is any problem listing the same items on both sites to see which on gets the most exposer and sales.

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

by: Robert

Wed Dec 17 20:20:01 2008

@Nora,
I would encourage you to find SEVERAL sites to list and try them. Based on my observations, those sellers that are migrating to other online buy/sell venues are establishing root on more than one site. Some items may sell very well on one site and not get any interest at another site.

I think a big key to generating steady sales on any of the lesser known sites is first determining whether or not your products fit the type of buyers that typically visit the site.

I also think it's very important to make sure your listings get exposure in at least one major search engine. Most smaller, lesser known sites dont get a large ammount of daily traffic flow, so in order to acheive any real level of selling success on any other site but Amazon or ebay, you'll have to find as many low cost means as you can to promote your business to drive potential buyers to your online store.

In addition to search engine exposure, some effective ways I have found to promote your business is networking on myspace, facebook and other similar heavily used social networks, making a you tube video/slideshow of some of your products and links on how to find your storefront, and exchanger ad banners with other online merchants that cater to a similar target market.

powersellersunite.com has an extensive list of online buy/sell venues, along with a massive number of discussion forums where even a seasoned online merchant can pick up some good advise.

hope that helps!

Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior   Survey: Multi-Channel Selling Behavior

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Dec 17 20:23:03 2008

I left ebay for onlineauction.com and got ripped off for $196.00.

Despite numerous promises the management has forgone Google placement for an Affiliate Pyramid Scheme and a tour bus. Too many lies, nasty cliques and a cult-like environment on ola.com make it cheaper than ebay, without any sales.

You need Google feeds if you move away. Any place without feeds is stuck in the 20th century.

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