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Tue Nov 23 2010 23:32:17

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

ToysRUs has opened a store on eBay, one of a growing number of branded retailers eBay has attracted as part of its move away from its flea market image to a more "Amazon" approach. The ToysRUs item pages feature a sleek design that allows the toy retailer to freely promote its brand.

Underneath the standard eBay template at the top, the item page looks like a mini-version of the ToysRUs website; here's a listing page on eBay for a Fisher-Price TRIO Batman Vehicle Set - Joker-Bot, and here's the page on the ToysRUs.com website.

Not only does eBay allow large merchants like ToysRUs, Calvin Klein and Brooks Brothers to promote their brands on their eBay pages, eBay actively promotes the brands by directing shoppers to their stores in search results and in marketing promotions, a practice that has small, longtime eBay sellers balking. But the tide has been flowing both ways for some time - longtime eBay sellers have increasingly turned multi-channel, selling on Amazon.com, alternative sites, and launching their own ecommerce websites.

eBay has not been able to move as quickly as it would have liked in attracting large merchants, however, as I pointed out in September. One of the biggest challenges it has faced has been its checkout system. On eBay, buyers pay sellers directly, unlike other marketplaces that process the payments on behalf of third-party sellers. eBay has yet to roll out a unified checkout in which a buyer can place items from multiple sellers into a single shopping cart and pay once, with the system taking into account multiple-item discounts and advanced tax calculations.

By having eliminated paper payments along with next year's elimination of third-party checkout, and a more advanced sales tax calculator on the way, eBay will be more attractive to larger merchants. In the first quarter of 2011, all sellers who currently work with a Certified Provider will have access to a new premium sales tax calculator that is currently being piloted with a small group of sellers.

Small toy sellers are bound to groan when they see ToysRUs on eBay (and its BabiesRUs counterpart), in part because Amazon.com restricts many of its third-party sellers from selling in Toys & Games during the holiday shopping season. With eBay a more important channel for them this time of year, competition from one of the largest toy retailers in the country will not be welcome on eBay.

It's especially interesting to see ToysRUs on eBay for another reason. Eleven years ago, ToysRUs entered into an exclusive 10-year agreement with Amazon.com, which powered its online site. But as Amazon began allowing other toy sellers on to its site, ToysRUs sued Amazon in 2004. In 2009, Amazon.com made a one-time payment of $51 million to Toys "R" Us for dismissal of all claims and counterclaims and mutual releases.

A number of players are helping merchants launch on eBay, including ChannelAdvisor and Mercent. ToysRUs uses ChannelAdvisor, TrueAction (GSI Commerce) and Frooition in design, marketing and inventory management.




Comments (94) | Permalink

Readers Comments

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Rick1313

Wed Nov 24 00:16:13 2010

Um...Ina, why do you say, quote ''By having eliminating paper payments...''

This is not the case. Any seller can accept a paper payment method if they so wish.

It is only the 41-club that can (officially) say it in their listings.

The other sellers need buyers to ask if they accept paper payments (even though eBay,inc. allows some of these ''other sellers'' to break the policy).

I do not believe paper payments methods has anything to do with these sizable merchant accounts.

Even before the implementation of the current bad faith Accepted Payments Policy, any seller could refuse or state that they did not take cheques, money orders, etc.

As we are not privy to the details of the ToyRUs/eBay,inc. relationship, there was probably a trade off in fee reductions if ToysRUs only took PayPal and required immediate payment (even ToysRUs would probably not want to get into UPI claims. Public relations and all that rot, wot).

I see an interesting section in ToysRUs listings, but I have to check up on something before making comment.

Meanwhile, when will someone come up with a PC keyboard that can have someone reverse the letter R (caps reversed)? Or does it exist? These days, who can keep up with whats out there.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: eBays Angels Local 51

Wed Nov 24 01:17:42 2010

When these big retailers pack up and leave, like others before them (Zappos, GM), who will be left on eBay?

Perhaps eBay will look like a devastated downtown where Walmart has opened up near the Interstate.

The small retailers that give character will disappear.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Wed Nov 24 05:43:49 2010


Toys R US is partially owned by Bain Capital Partners. Bain Caiptal Partners was founded by Bain $ Company. John Donahoe was at Bain & Company when Toys R Us sued Amazon. Can you connect the dots?

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: cool

Wed Nov 24 06:41:08 2010

Ebays new slogan....IF you can find it a Walmart you can find it on Ebay for a little more plus shipping.

Ought to be a success story like no other.

Toysrus.com is so far away from ebay.com it takes too long to drive there for me. Oh wait, they're just a click away from Amazon.com or Walmart.com or Target.com ect. ect. ect.

Only a Donoloser would see future potential into going head to head with well established retailers who will siphon it's unique users off Ebay and onto it's own site leaving Ebay left with declining traffic and no more unique sellers of the hard to find merchandise.

Donoloser doesn't know what he had.

Why is Etsy doing so well?
Because it's unique and Walmart.com nor Amazon.com nor Target.com have any of the Etsy.com merchandise.

Donoloser is pissing off the unique long time sellers and leaving himself with only one option....real world retail competition which isn't as easy when you're far from the only retailer online and all of them have the same merchandise.

There's always a front row parking space when you're shopping online. If you don't have anything special nobody else has, then there will be no use in coming to a middleman site like Ebay.

Donoloser should try selling coffee from his lunchbox thermos inside a Starbucks at Starbucks prices.
He may have a better shot at success if he brews a good pot someday!

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Rupert Pupkin
Web Site

Wed Nov 24 09:49:45 2010

Interesting feedback.
Score is 2+ at this moment
One buyer gets item virtually overnight and the other obligingly leaves a glowing positive before he/she even receives their purchase.

Hmmmm.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Karma

Wed Nov 24 09:51:30 2010

So ... when I first read this ... I panicked ... again - changes for the worse for us "small, long time sellers".

Than I took a deep breath and decided that nothing is either good or bad but the way you look at it.

So I refuse - for today, right now - to see it as a negative.

I will see it as a positive!

Hey, it will bring in a handful of new potential buyers that, by "accident", see one of my items and will buy something from me.

As long as I make a profit on ebay that I am comfortable with, I will be selling there.

The only constant thing in life is change!

Once my profits are gone - I will be gone. No big deal - there is life after ebay :)

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Wed Nov 24 10:09:30 2010

"The only constant thing in life is change!"

I totally agree. That's why people should change the way they sell.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Ron

Wed Nov 24 10:18:53 2010

@cool

You're so right! Donahoe will go down in history as one of the worst business strategists ever.

He's also one of the luckiest - if it weren't for PayPal, eBay's stock price would be in the dumps.

Instead of further exploiting the potential of small sellers, he's decided to go competitively against other big players by offering the same items.  The problem is that eBay doesn't bring anything advantageous to the table, other than the brand and the mass presence that they've cultivated on the internet, a presence that was acquired through the efforts of small sellers.

Only time will tell how eBay does in the long run, and that will depend on future actions, because as it is now, if nothing else changes, they will fail.  But, one thing is for sure, a whole bunch of people have been hurt by Donahoe's flawed strategy.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Ron

Wed Nov 24 11:48:14 2010

Over 29000 listings and can only muster up 3 sales and the profits from those even the Chinese wouldn't work for those wages..

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Wed Nov 24 12:05:41 2010

You know whats funny. Orders on the Toysrus website has free shipping for items over $49. For the same items on Ebay, you have to pay for shipping.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Feehike

Wed Nov 24 12:25:52 2010

@ Ina

Once a "level playing field" for all sellers, eBay changed its philosophy in 2008 when John Donahoe took over as CEO from Meg Whitman. eBay now promotes branded retailers through email marketing, increased exposure on the site through banners, directing shoppers to the branded stores in search results and coupon promotions

Small to medium sellers get to pay more & more for a second rate service. Paying to have their items buried furthur down the searches, (assumming their item can be found in the searches) Less & Less peomotion of the sellers items.

John Donahue is well on the way to having the Retail Internet Mall he wants ebay to become with the end of the Flea Market sellers. But ebay will contiue to use / take the small sellers money until the sellers give up hope of ebay going back to what it used to be, moves on elsewhere.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Karma

Wed Nov 24 12:38:32 2010

@ My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Correct!
I changed the way I sell (adjusted to all the crazy changes).

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Ooops I'm Naru'd Again

Wed Nov 24 12:45:08 2010

This is why I'll never be successful in business.

I don't understand why a major retailer like this would team up with eBay.  They have huge retail stores, their own website, they do their own print advertising, television, and even get free advertising like when shaq was on the news doing some shopping for toy mountain a week or so ago...

So what's the draw?   What's in it for Toys R Us?  Maybe if they were getting free listings I could see them doing it and let eBay get the take from Paypal....but we know eBay would never offer that!

Are things really that bad in toy world that they have to depend on others for sales?  It's not like their brand isn't recognized.
 

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: simply

Wed Nov 24 13:34:29 2010

to Ooops I'm Naru'd Again:

Its simple, its another form of free advertising for toy r' us.
And if its free why not exploit it?.
The more presence you have out there the more people will see you.
It doesnt matter how much your selling, you putting your name in peoples faces and unlike paid advertising this cost TR'U nothing in listing fees.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Ron

Wed Nov 24 13:46:25 2010

I agree.  There's probably very little downside for Toys R Us and a lot of upside in terms of exposure and some sales.

There is a large downside for eBay in terms of lost opportunity costs.  The more that they promote customers with free listings and poor sell through, the less that the paying customers sell losing eBay profits on listings and final value fees.

BTW, I'm not the Ron who wrote previously with the 29,000 listings - I don't know who that is, but I wouldn't want to be him.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Wed Nov 24 14:19:37 2010

Surely "29000 Ron" was talking about Toys-R-Us, not himself ...

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Wed Nov 24 14:34:14 2010

Even less impressive than the only three sales on their first day is their "completed listings": 4616 items have been passed by unsold (so much for "WorstMatch"); that's a STR of 0.06%. I wonder how long Toys-R-Us will waste their time with eBay at that STR?

eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: Ron

Wed Nov 24 14:41:49 2010

@Phil,

re: 29000 listings.

Yes, of course.  Thanks for pointing that out to me, I don't know what I was thinking

Cheers

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

by: nintygaming

Wed Nov 24 15:04:10 2010

Can anyone tell me if ToysRUs has to pay listing fees, final value fees, paypal fees, and ...........

Do they also have to worry about DSR's and negatives forcing them off eBay? Or are they exempt?

ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers   ToysRUs Launch Shows eBay Makes Inroads with Branded Retailers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Wed Nov 24 15:43:08 2010

Revised comment:

Even more telling than the three feedbacks on the same day as the items sold on Toys-R-Us first day on eBay is their "completed listings": of the 1000  items I perused only 13 had sold (so much for exposure by "WorstMatch"); that's a STR of 1.3%.

Even with “most favored seller” status and all that implies, I wonder how long Toys-R-Us will waste their time with eBay at this STR? And what’s in it for eBay: all these undoubted free listings and so few FVFs?

Still, the future performance of Toys-R-Us should be a good barometer of just how much damage the Chief Headless Turkey, Donahoe, has really done to the eBay Marketplace.

eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

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