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Thu May 22 2008 09:53:47

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

By: Julia Wilkinson

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Julia Wilkinson is a blogger, freelance writer, and the author of several books including "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6); Her latest ebook, "Over 500 Books that Sell for $50-$5000 on eBay," is available on her website.


Sellers in Australia have a new site on which to list: Bang4Bucks, at auctionia.com.au. I recently ran a few questions past co-founder Gary Breit, including why he and Debbie Williams decided to start this site; what makes it different from Aussie site OZtion.com, and eBay's Australian site; and the new, controversial PayPal-only payment policy on the latter.

Q: Why did you and Debbie decide to found your own site, rather than just using the OZtion auction site in Australia?

A: Debbie had tried selling on OZtion many times herself but found it had to make sales on OZtion consistently. The main time there was action there was when there was fallout with changes on eBay, and then when the dust settled it would go very quiet.

Debbie was involved with approximately 60 powersellers from eBay where they were advertising their eBay stores on an independent web site to drive traffic back to their eBay stores. In Australia on eBay we have no visible link for stores to be found, and once store items were removed from being visible, store sales dropped, so they formed a group and started advertising their eBay stores. After discussion and contact with eBay we were given the impression eBay would support them, which they didn't.

eBay use to be fun and you got to the stage where it was so much a part of your life and knew so many sellers personally, but with all the changes in Australia, it became a chore and the independence of running your own business was lost.

Q: What are the differences between Bang4Bucks, OZtion, and eBay -- what are the advantages of Bang4Bucks for sellers (I see you mention they can have a visible store presence that shows up the same as auction listings in search results?)

A: 1) Bang4bucks is run by powersellers, which is a great advantage; who knows better than powersellers what was lacking at eBay? Our customer support is (made up of) powersellers and ex-powersellers, and our emails and forum and are monitored by staff from 7 am to 11 pm 7 days a week.

2) Our stores are a feature on our site where sellers can run with a store alone and be visible, or run auctions and store/buy now products. A seller has a choice to show store products in with auction products or to just have a store presence.

3) NO listing fees for a standard listing.

4) Lower FVF (final value fees).

5) Three free gallery pictures allowed.

6) Media upload available on a listing.

7) Sellers can accept all payment methods.

8) Auto relist, which if (they have) a stock line, they can run (auctions for) them for a year in their store or auction searches.

9) Australia-only sellers.

10) Sellers can set up their own banner advertising to run on top of each category page.

Q: To what extent did the new eBay PayPal-only policy news (whereby eBay Australia sellers can now only accept PayPal as a payment method) contribute to your decision to build a siteā€¦or did sellers' dissatisfaction with the payment system have anything to do with it?

A: Seller dissatisfaction is where it started; the PP policy was the final push to get it finished and live. Lack of customer support and not knowing what was going to happen next (were factors). Also for Debbie personally, when eBay Australia took away the dedicated Plus-size clothing category, (there) was a big downturn in sales.

Q: How did you get the funding for the site - is it totally self-funded? Did you have investors, how are you getting the word out, and how are sellers receiving it there?

A: My company, Advantedge marketing, and Debbie have funded the project up to date; we are currently in talks with two investors who want to get involved and see an opportunity.

We are currently running a three-radio campaign which has been amazing; we have people in each state now doing a leaflet drop. Two Australia-wide magazines are running advertising next month. Our aim is to publicly advertise for two weeks of every month to keep building the site.

Q: How can people get to your site now? Bang4bucks.com.au or auctionia.com.au?

A: You can still view and use at www.auctionia.com.au; after three weeks up and running we are in the process of shifting to a larger dedicated server. Our traffic was peaking at 63,000 hits per day with advertising and our current server didn't handle the traffic flow so well. We weren't expecting such a large amount of traffic so early.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

A: Adding a little more to this story. Bang4bucks is a passion for Debbie, who has been in business and running her own companies on her own since 20 years of age. It isn't about making money; it is to get back independence and to support Australian businesses and the challenge to make it work. We originally had meetings with investors who were willing to throw large dollars at the project and Debbie knocked them back because they couldn't get a grasp on what she was saying about fees, and could see the direction of the site heading toward corporate greed, so to speak. I myself don't quite get the chain of thought but trust Debbie to know what she is doing.

The atmosphere on the site has been very welcoming from sellers and buyers; the stress seems to be taken out of online sales for the sellers and our aim is to keep it that way. We know after three weeks (we) have 360 verified sellers on the site, which is amazing.

 




Comments (13) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Lars

Thu May 22 10:44:44 2008

Nice auction site and you have your customer in mind through the entire process.

One thing I did catch and it rang home for me personally is that we have lost our business independence on Ebay. Entrepreneurs are passionate about their independence and will only give somebody so many chances before they move on.

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Kal

Thu May 22 11:14:00 2008

I wish them the best of luck. Success!

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Lisa

Thu May 22 11:19:37 2008

Hooray for them!! I hope the US and other countries can get something like that going and be successful. How about Flea-Bay??

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Henrietta

Thu May 22 21:44:14 2008

All the Best!

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Deb

Thu May 22 22:21:22 2008

Hi, Just wanted to thank Auctionbytes for publishing our article and for the best wishes from people.Tonight on Channel 7 we have a great announcement which will be a great boost for the site and for seller's and buyers.
We have a article on or home page about it and about.
The only thing to make a site successful is seller's and buyers, with advertising and word of mouth we are confident to build the site up ao Australian's can have another venure to sell on
Deb
bang4bucks

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Denise

Thu May 22 23:26:59 2008

I have shifted my listings onto the site and are having consistent sales I do notice more and more questions coming on auctions now and another thing I notice is the buyers seem to be very nice, maybe fresh start no aggression not sure.I will be supporting you and pushing it with my existing data base.It is very important for Australian seller's to have another venue to sell on.
bang4bucks will get the support of Australians im sure.

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Frequent Ebayer

Fri May 23 02:56:15 2008

Another eBay cry baby, who cant make a buck on eBay or Oztion and has decided to try it elsewhere by crying foul of the systems that are already available.
Good luck you will need it

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Wendy

Fri May 23 06:49:58 2008

Bang4 bucks is a really worthwile site to be part of, some of the best sellers ever, exist there, caring sellers means happy buyers, you can not do better than to shop there with the knowledge that the seller has your best interest at heart, come on aussies, give it a go, you will love the service and expertise provided.
A very relaxed and enjoyable transaction will be experienced.

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: pjsaid

Fri May 23 09:16:16 2008

Hi Frequent Ebayer
Thanks for the Good luck for Bang4bucks, all business needs it in today's economy. I became a member/seller at Bang4bucks a month ago to find out for myself and was surprised by its openness, lower final value fees and free listings.  Sellers & Forums at Bang4bucks are all very friendly which is a refreshing change, nice to leave behind all the negative talk at eBay - like the real world if not happy with something, don't just complain - do something about it and the people behind Bang4bucks have done just that.  As an eBay Powerseller myself I welcome the opportunity to be able to take advantage of their service and sell more products if I can.  Competition is great for business, buyers and sellers.

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: George

Fri May 23 20:16:06 2008

pj well written, we shifted over to b4b also and sales are picking up each week, the pensioner charity auctions is FANTASTIC and is helping Australians and bringing traffic to the site. I wish all people seller's and buyer's the best of luck and im sure we can all make it work.

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Luke

Fri May 23 22:38:21 2008

Hey guys,

Check out this new aussie online auction site.

http://www.xoobie.com.au

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: Snoop-E

Mon May 26 05:36:31 2008

This site won't last. A friend of mine registered and her email address was spammed a short time later.
She complained to the site, and someone named Alan threatend her to be careful what she said.

Great way to start a site, but given those behind the scenes there, abuse will be the least you can expect.

There has been some long term plans gone into this by some well meaning people, they just need to be careful of those they trust to handle the day to day business..

Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options   Bang4Bucks Gives Aussies New Selling Options

by: pjsaid

Fri May 30 07:56:05 2008

Dont think Snoop-E has given the whole story here.  I have had a few dealings via Email and in the Forums with Allan and other Admin from Bang4bucks and found them all to be only helpful.



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