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Mon Feb 6 2012 16:24:34

Ease and Speed of Listing Help Vault Amazon to Top

By: Julia Wilkinson

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With one-line descriptions, no need for uploading photos, lots of customers and a simple transaction system, Amazon jumped from 6th place and a rating of 6.1 last year to number one and an overall rating of 7.4 in the EcommerceBytes Sellers Choice Awards 2012.

Although its number for profitability stayed high, at 7.14, with its millions of users, eBay is still obviously a major force in the online selling world. But its lower numbers for Customer Service (6.35), Communication (6.31), and Ease of Use (6.58) reflect the discontent a lot of sellers feel with the "world's biggest yard sale," putting it at number 5 overall this year.

High marks for Customer Service (7.71) and Communication (7.81) helped propel Ruby Lane to the number 2 spot in the overall ranking, followed by Etsy and Bonanza at 3 and 4.

Why did Amazon top this year's list? Judging from the readers' comments, the sweet spot of a very easy and fast listing process and strong sales from its millions of buyers was the formula that pushed the venue to number one. It's quite simply where more buyers are making more money. This reflected my own experience as well, as I found it much easier to crank out high volume of listings there. "Here is where I make more profit than anyplace else," said one respondent. "Sell 10 times more every month than I ever did on eBay. Every year my % is going up per month. Customer service is very good. Excellent place to sell!"

Other things the survey takers liked about Amazon include the "Fulfillment by Amazon" (FBA) program, which frees them from having to pack and ship each individual item, and gets their items prominence on the site; no listing fees, and that Amazon staff answer questions quickly.

But sellers did not like everything about "The River," as it is sometimes dubbed in the selling community. Some complained about Amazon's UPC requirements; its heavy slant toward books and other media, precluding sellers of other types of items unless they are approved by Amazon; their "hefty fees"; the undercutting of prices by other sellers (one seller eventually "actually lost money"); lack of a good feedback system, with buyers not being encouraged to leave feedback; and buyer-centric policies, such as with returns.

How did EcommerceBytes' Sellers Choice Awards measure up against other surveys? About.com's Reader's Choice awards for 2012 results won't be out until March, but we can look at the 2011 results. Last year, Bonanza.com came in first for
Best Place to Sell Online for Antiques/Collectibles, with readers citing how "super easy" is is to set up a shop, friendly forums and no fees until your merchandise sells. It was followed by Webstore at number 2 (no. 10 in the Sellers Choice Awards), Artfire, Etsy, and Ruby Lane. Ruby Lane, Etsy and Bonanza also made the top 5 in the Sellers Choice Awards 2012.

What do you think of the Sellers Choice Awards results? Do you agree with Amazon in the top spot, and why or why not? What marketplaces would you put in the top three? Post a comment here!




Comments (2) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Ease and Speed of Listing Help Vault Amazon to Top   Ease and Speed of Listing Help Vault Amazon to Top

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Feb 6 19:16:05 2012

I did not think very much of the survey at all.
Ranking sites such as ebid and ecrater at the bottom, when they are near the top of number of listings just does not seem right.
OK sales is more important than number of listings, But people are not stupid, they do not post millions of items if something is not selling!

And a survey that ranks sites as Boocoo and Yardseller high up when they never get a mention on these and other forums is also suspect. If people were selling as lot on them, they would be getting mentioned!

Also what do you mean by "Profitability" How can sites like Amazon and ebay with high fees be more profitable than sites with no fees ?

I think you need to define profitability better for next years survey.

Ease and Speed of Listing Help Vault Amazon to Top   Ease and Speed of Listing Help Vault Amazon to Top

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Feb 7 08:42:30 2012

My observation is this:

Profitability ratings does not track with the overall ratings. Personally, my concept of profitability the the overall factor for determining the value of the platform.

Perhaps profitability should be defined or broken into two components, to wit, the net profit (per item sold) and the total net profit per platform.

That way selling 1 widget on site X for $100 with expenses of $10 and selling 10 blivets on site Y for a total of $1000 with expenses of $150 would come of different as to the total profit versus percentage.

From my perspective, site Y is more "profitable".

Peace
Al G



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