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Sat Jan 22 2011 22:19:21

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

The results of the AuctionBytes second annual Sellers Choice Awards are in, and there are plenty of surprises and lots of grist for the discussion mill.

Last year we debuted Sellers Choice to let merchants rate the marketplaces where they sell or have sold. This year, we again invited readers to rate the ecommerce marketplaces, but instead of choosing which venues to include ourselves, we let merchants select the final 16 in a two-month long nomination process. We are publishing the full results in the January 23, 2011 issue of AuctionBytes Update.

Last year, no site ranked higher than an 8.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. This year's first-place marketplace, ArtFire, ranked 8.2 overall. In terms of profitability, the highest score was for Webstore, a free ad-supported marketplace.

You can see how the marketplaces rated this year and last year in the following table.

AuctionBytes Sellers Choice Ratings
    2010-2011 Comparison Chart

Marketplace

Overall Rating 2010

Overall    Rating 2011

Amazon

6.7

6.1arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

Artfire

N/A

8.2     

Atomic    Mall

6.8

5.9arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

Blujay

4.3

3.8arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

Bonanza

6.9

7.0arrow_up.jpg (3095 bytes)

Craigslist

5.5

5.3arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

eBay

4.1

4.2arrow_up.jpg (3095 bytes)

eBid.net

6.4

6.8arrow_up.jpg (3095 bytes)

eCrater

5.9

5.8arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

Etsy

6.5

5.4arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

iOffer

3.8

3.6arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

Oztion

N/A

6.1     

Rubylane

8.0

7.4arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

Tias.com

5.9

4.8arrow_down.jpg (3131 bytes)

Webstore.com

N/A

8.1     

Zibbet.com

N/A

4.8     

Respondents' comments were enlightening (what I call, "the good, the bad, and the ugly,") and we published a representative of them in Sunday's newsletter for each marketplace.

Thanks for taking the survey, and for helping to spread the word to your colleagues (we appreciate all those Tweets and Facebook Likes!). Sellers can benefit by thoughtfully reading all of the ratings and comments to learn what sellers think of these venues, and the marketplaces themselves should take an honest look at their sites and listen to their customers' feedback.

We'll be expanding Sellers Choice to other services, so if you don't subscribe to our free email newsletters, please do so now so you won't miss out on the next voting - plus you'll receive news and information about online selling you can use throughout the year.

Now on to the results! Click here.




Comments (42) | Permalink

Readers Comments

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Jan 22 22:39:04 2011

Haven't read the comments yet, but at first blush it looks as if the usual suspects stuffed the ballot box.

NO WAY ebay improved!

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: epicetera
Web Site

Sun Jan 23 02:38:20 2011

ArtFire ROCKS! Etsy needs to learn a few things from them on how to treat their sellers.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Digby
Web Site

Sun Jan 23 03:07:18 2011

Not very impressed with the survey's results.

You rated Artfire and Webstore no 1 and no 2.
Yet on reading the comments it seems most of them are new to the site and enthuistic, but have made very few sales.
And Webstore has a very low Alexa rating, so how can it be doing well?
My prediction for next year is that those top two sites will be way down the bottom. Just like Atomic Mall is this year down from number 3 last year.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Digby
Web Site

Sun Jan 23 03:27:10 2011

Dear Ina,
Sorry to have been a bit tough on you, as I know you have put a lot of work into this, and it should be a useful resource for sellers.
But I feel that it is important that sellers get a good ''feel'' for what is a good site to go to.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Feehike

Sun Jan 23 06:37:21 2011

@Ming the Merciless

I have to agree.
I can not see how ebay improved.
You only have to read the ebay discussion boards to see what some ebay sellers opinions are on ebay.

Best  Match manipulation in favour of Some sellers ( big Retailers) over other good smaller sellers.

Big advertising / promotion for the Big Retailers.

Geographic sales for some sellers. Items not showing in searches, or can only be found by potential buyers in certain parts of a country.

No Worldwide Visibility due to this criteria & that criteria.

DSR manipulation for TRS due to the extreme weather condition but not for Non TRS.

Maybe only ebay staff who are also sellers & Big retailers staff voted in favour of ebay?.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Macybooks

Sun Jan 23 09:01:00 2011

Am I missing this but I don't see which site has the most buyers.  It can be the best site in the world but if it has no buyers what does it matter?  That's why eBay and Amazon are still the big dogs.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sun Jan 23 09:16:32 2011

''NO WAY ebay improved!''

It's rather amusing when you consider with ALL the ''ballot stuffing'' that likely occurred, they only managed to pull out a 1/10th of a point ''improvement''.

This tells me that they without their poll-rigging efforts, eBay's drop in this survey would have been *staggering*... just like in real life.

When you consider that eBay (and their cheerleaders) thinks that AuctionBytes is ''irrelevant'' (are you reading PowerSellerMom?) isn't it odd how much effort they put into monitoring what's said here... and that they make a Herculean effort in ballot-stuffing.

The truth hurts, doesn't it? eBay is in a free-fall!

It makes one wonder WHY they make such a grand effort in these PR stunts (and engaging in half-assed ''damage control'') *INSTEAD OF* putting their efforts into actually addressing and FIXING the problems and making eBay a BETTER place.

Oh, wait... never mind... I know the answer to that one: ARROGANCE.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Gail
Web Site

Sun Jan 23 11:08:04 2011

Wish some people would understand that this poll wasn't about just ebay!

I'm a long term seller at this point on ecrater after escaping the clutches of ebay several years ago. I should say I'm a profitable seller on ecrater and reading the remarks that came with the survey shows exactly the same thing we see at the ecrater forums. Some people want everything spoon fed to them, they won't read the FAQ wich tells them everything they need to know about setting up their stores. They don't want to do the work of promoting their stores, they are functionally illiterate and their store listings show that, they have no business sense or knowledge and if you try to encourage them in a better direction, they shrug off suggestions at times by saying it is just a 'hobby' or that is just the way they do things, or any excuse to take the problem off of them. For a hard working seller that isn't afraid to step out in a different direction, ecrater is a wonderful venue. The opening of the UK site has brought in many sales for our store along with the sales from the US site, our income is going up. The key thing is, you have to promote your store, you need passion about what you are selling (which I think goes along with any seller anywhere), you have to be willing to open your mind to the possibilities. I suppose this is true of any site, but with ecrater being 100% free and growing, there are a lot of sellers making money here with a good bunch of folks on the forums that are willing to help newbies (especially if the newbies have helped themselves by reading the 'How to set up your store' thread). To say you can't contact ecrater and there is no place to go to learn the ropes is ridiculous. I will admit to people having problems with the shipping portion of ecrater although it works marvelously for me and I wouldn't want to change a thing!

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Barbara
Web Site

Sun Jan 23 11:19:45 2011

I would like to see buyer volume information as well as some analytics.  We are all looking for ways to improve our online businesses.  This info would really help.  Although I love the idea of alternative market places, knowing the liklihood of making sales is important.  

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Its a good survey.

Sun Jan 23 11:29:03 2011

Look at ebay's standing in the poll. It's very low! Can you imagine in 2005 if ebay had been ranked this low? We would have thought it was rigged. Ebay is very low in this poll even though the sell through rate as low as it is,  still it is probably close to other sites with equal effort made on each site.
The ranking has been way down for a long time. That's why there is no sudden drop.

If I had been asked in 2006 how I would rank eBay it would have been at least 10 points above all others.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: buck efay

Sun Jan 23 11:49:34 2011

I can't see why Amazon dropped asnd Ebay gained unless we are in Bizarro world.

Stop telling US we have to do all the work to promote YOUR sites like Ecrater! I promote MY site first & foremost. I have no time to waste doing the venue's job of promoting. We promoted one venue hard for years & they turned around & screwed us with ridiculous fees & no search. I have no desire to do all the advertising work for Bonanza/ Ecrater so they can turn around & screw us too.

And Ebay? They are truly scum. Every move they make hurts the real sellers. John Donahoe should just change his name to Fong Donafu for all his Chinese butt kissing! Keep the pressure on your legislators to see Paypal has to abide by the new credit card consumer protection overcharging on fees laws!

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Sue

Sun Jan 23 11:56:29 2011

Interesting results! I've read all 16 reviews, and think this is a great snapshot of seller sentiment. It's also good to see how the sites ranked last year, and if the comments are consistent. I've sold on both Etsy and Artfire and think the comments are accurate.

I'm impressed with the write-ups and the number of responses. Having worked in a former life in market research, if we could get 100 responses to a survey, we'd be slapping eachother on the back. 2800 is almost 3x more responses than most polls use to call a presidential race! :)

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Momspennies This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Jan 23 13:02:05 2011

I appreciate the fact that this survey is conducted, but I am dismayed that my comment which was left when I voted, was not included.
So I would like to do so here. This was my Opening Post from a thread began because of a great holiday sales season, titled: Wow! I just opened my Bonanza Bill for December!:


I Had to do a double take,
cuz my bill has never been that high!
Couldn't help but do the happy dance,
it means sales were great!

*$72.00 for 87 transactions.*
Phew! I've got some serious challenges ahead of me, as every month, I pit against the month before. I'm not happy when I don't meet my expectations.

In addition, I was asked what's the secret? And that's the problem...I think it is applicable on any venue that does not have a massive source of internal traffic. Many people leave these huge sites and don't realize they have to learn how to sell in a different way than what they've been accustomed to. It's not just about your prices and your set up, or the inventory you list. It's knowing how to get Google to notice you. And it's something that most sellers have to learn how to do. What makes Bonanza so great is the community that share's all this priceless knowledge, including the formatting for those who aren't computer savvy. But there are those who poo-poo the information and expect the site to bring them the sales. Nothing worth anything in this business is free, and if you want sales you have to work for them. Forget about the past and the riches the internet brought to many of us. Everything changes, and we certainly have had our share because of the economy. But I know that we can overcome that if we work for it and stay abreast of the changes.

But I wish AB had included my comment to show that sales DO happen on Bonanza. And there are others who sell well too...they are so busy they don't have time to hang out in the forums or post here.  

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Joseph King
Web Site

Sun Jan 23 13:32:26 2011

This looks to be more of the continuing whiplash as the established markets move to "coddle" the buyers at the expense of the sellers.

Newer venues do better because they need to attract sellers to be relevant. To attract sellers they have to have seller friendly policies. (Some) buyers come due to sellers advertising to their existing buyerbase asking them to find them on their new site, and because prices tend to be lower due to less competition.

Venues like eBay and Amazon whose standing / ranking / revenues are all about the large number of buyers have buyer friendly policies that expect the sellers to take the loss for the privilege of having access to so large a number of customers.

So, newer venues will tend to be ranked better by sellers - because they have seller interests in mind...

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Sun Jan 23 13:47:13 2011

Thank you to AuctionBytes for this interesting look inside all of these venues. It's great to hear from the sellers who actually use these venues.

I have to agree with Gail. Listing on sites that are completely free, like ecrater, you get what you pay for. Yes, eBay has more traffic, but you're paying for that with fees. On a free site, you'll have to put in more marketing efforts yourself. Some sites will be easier to use than others, but that doesn't necessarily make them better from a sales point of view. All the ease of use in the world won't help you if there are no buyers. The same goes for the "friendliness" of a site.

For me, I could care less if the forums are friendly or the listing processes are easy to use. My criteria are weighed more in the direction of the venue's technical performance and the marketing features. Customers won't hang around if a site loads slowly, has a lousy search, or makes it too difficult to make a payment.

In the end, it's up to you to weigh each venue against your own criteria. We're all different. We sell different things and have different needs from our selling venues. We likely have different results from these venues, as you can see by the different comments posted about each site.

A survey like this gives us some valuable insight as to whether a particular venue might be worth a try. I'm thankful to the AuctionBytes crew for their efforts in providing this information.

@Ming: I have to say that my eBay sales did improve last year. So did my profitability, though that was only due to the free any-price auction listings. Can't say the same without those promotions, however.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: say-no-to-ebatty

Sun Jan 23 13:56:42 2011

To those who commented here (and on the survey) about 'not enough traffic' or 'how much traffic do they get?' I say, who cares?!

Use sites like Bonanza as your own website and the traffic comes from Google. Last time I checked, Google has more traffic that eBatty.

Don't sit around waiting for eBay to bring the traffic to you (which they don't do so well anymore, in many cases.) Bring Google's traffic to you! It's not that hard but it takes a little effort. If you don't want to make the effort, then stay or go back to eBatty and deal with all the cr*p there.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: smallvillenw

Sun Jan 23 14:05:58 2011

Webstore.com: Another decent-looking new venue with "low velocity." The venue pie is getting sliced thinner and thinner with the existing veterans losing their mojo. How many sites are needed to sell pretty much the same stuff everywhere? My head hurts just thinking of the prospect of learning the nuances of yet another venue that probably will never gain enough traction to provide more than an infrequent sale. I need a plan, Stan. Maybe just view the whole sheebang as an unpredicatable part-time job/hobby/fun-fest.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Mike Online Auctions
Web Site

Sun Jan 23 14:34:22 2011

With more competition with online auctions, I think a lot of these sites will be decreasing.

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

by: Rate This

Sun Jan 23 15:16:43 2011

@ Ming the Merciless
the usual suspects stuffed the ballot box.

Here is one.

Sellers Choice 2011: Merchants Rate Ecommerce Marketplaces
http://tinyurl.com/4ndcjy8

ebay_miner

2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey   2,800 Sellers Rate Online Marketplaces in Independent Survey

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Jan 23 15:23:10 2011

It's a great that a small percentage of ebafia saw greater profitability in 2010 considering how hard ebafia tried to make you fail.

However, I believe sellers like Tula are in a tiny minority and that the lying LieWorld liar trolls and ebay employees who sell are grossly overrepresented in the survey results as evidenced by the Ebay and Amazon numbers.

I also believe cheerleaders/management from other sites voted here as well.

So while I think the concept of this type of poll is a good one and thank the Steiners for taking the not inconsiderable amout of time to conceive, implement, and compile the results, THIS YEAR'S results should be taken with a grain of salt OR LESS.

IMO, the poll simply doesn't accurately reflect seller sentiment.

Don't forget that Lieworld's mission is to socially engineer a brand to a favorable position ANYWHERE on the internet, and we'd be dangerously naive to think their manipulation doesn't include polls.

Their intervention was a considerably less heavy handed than usual but nevertheless detectable.

LieWorld's mission is to stuff the ballot box of public opinion by interfering wherever necessary whenever necessary using any means necessary to achieve their goal just like the presidential elections in 2000 and 2004.

I prefer to trust our collective instincts and experience, not an easily tampered with poll.

Go home, lying Lieworld liar trolls.

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