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Mon July 8 2013 14:50:10

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

By: Julia Wilkinson

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The results of our "On What Channels Do You Sell"? Poll are in, and we have some results that are both surprising and not-so-surprising. We also heard from almost 700 of you!
 
eBay is still the 800-pound gorilla for sales, but more and more of you are moving on to set up your own web sites. And many of you feel you must be multi-channel just to survive these days.

A majority of you said that having more potential buyers for your items was a reward of multi-channel selling, but keeping inventory straight and not selling the same item twice mistakenly on different venues was a challenge. Also, keeping up with all the rules and changes across all the sites you sell on is difficult.

Time was also an issue. "Challenges: Keeping inventory counts correct and accurate," wrote one seller. "Spending nearly DOUBLE the amount of time trying to create and maintain listings. Remembering which rules apply to which venue. I'm technically not a "multi-channel" seller, but I do rely on Amazon ads to bring additional traffic and revenue to my website. ~ It's almost like multi-channel ~ and other than the increased business, the other major benefit is that I only have to maintain one site, one database, on inventory-control database. (And I can do it all without having to use PayPal)," they wrote.

Below are the results of the poll, which also had a few write-in responses:

1. Do you sell on multiple channels online?
Yes: 84%
No: 16%

2. On which channels do you sell? (Please check all that apply)
Below, By Rank, Greatest to Smallest:
#1   eBay    81.5%
#2   Amazon    44.6%
#3   Etsy & Bonanza (a tie, at 40.8%)
#4   Your own website    37.7%
#5   Craigslist    23.1%
#6   eCrater    20.0%
#7   Ebid.net    10.8%
#8   Webstore.com    10.0%
#9   Addoway &  Half.com (a tie, at 7.7%)
#10  Ruby Lane    6.2%
#11  ArtFire    5.4%
#12   BidStart & Sears (a tie, at 4.6%)
#13   Delcampe    3.1%
#14   TIAS.com & Quicksales (a tie, at 0.8%)

Other:

blujay
abebooks & alibris
Barnes & Noble
BUY.COM + BESTBUY + UBID + NEWEGG
Gunbroker

Below, in Alphabetical Order:
Addoway    7.7%
Amazon    44.6%
ArtFire    5.4%
BidStart    4.6%
Bonanza    40.8%
Craigslist    23.1%
Delcampe    3.1%
eBay    81.5%
Ebid.net    10.8%
eCrater    20.0%
Etsy    40.8%
Half.com    7.7%
Quicksales    0.8%
Ruby Lane    6.2%
Sears Marketplace    4.6%
TIAS.com    0.8%
Webstore.com    10.0%
Your own website    37.7%

3. What do you consider your main selling channel, where you make the majority of your sales? (Please choose only one)

Below, By Rank, Greatest to Smallest:

#1   eBay    60.1%
#2   Amazon    12.2%
#3   Your own website    10.1%
#4   Etsy    5.4%
#5   Ruby Lane &  Bonanza  (a tie, at 4.1%)
#6   eCrater    2.0%
#7   ArtFire    1.4%
#8   Quicksales    0.7%
#9  All Others

Below, in Alphabetical Order:
Addoway    0.0%
Amazon    12.2%
ArtFire    1.4%
BidStart    0.0%
Bonanza    4.1%
Craigslist    0.0%
Delcampe    0.0%
eBay    60.1%
Ebid.net    0.0%
eCrater    2.0%
Etsy    5.4%
Half.com    0.0%
Quicksales    0.7%
Ruby Lane    4.1%
Sears Marketplace    0.0%
TIAS.com    0.0%
Webstore.com    0.0%
Your own website    10.1%

Here are a few other comments that jumped out at me:

"The challenge is matching the item to the marketplace. We used to be able to sell a very eclectic mix of items on eBay, but their changing policies have forced us to seek different venues for a lot of our merchandise. Higher-end items go to our "uptown branch" on Ruby Lane where they can sit and not rack up fees. We're still looking for venues for the low-end, non-vintage and media items we used to be able to sell on eBay. We haven't had a sale on half.com since we were forced to end cross-promotion on eBay on account of conflicting shipping policies."

"The rewards are obviously more sales. Being on the biggest two (eBay and Amazon) is almost a must in order for us to compete. Having our own website helps to bring
in those people who shy away from those big two. The challenges are the constant changes eBay throws at us as well as Amazon. We try to keep things simple across
all channels with the same return policy and other policies, but there are still differences in how each channel must be handled. Keep up on pricing is also a challenge as we have to make sure if we drop our price on one, we do so on another."

"Sold on eBay and Half.com. Then moved to Bonanza in 2008. Now planning on moving to Presto Store. May try eCrater also. Very sad about Bonanza's decline."

"I have sold on Ruby Lane for over 13 years. My expenses average 6 %- 8 % and can I use their programs to reduce my costs. It has taken a long time but I've built up a customer base and the public is becoming significantly more aware of Ruby Lane as a source of quality merchandise in many areas...I also sell on eBay but mostly as a way to reduce inventory or for items on which I am unsure about pricing, "let the market decide." Regardless of what venue you use, customer service is probably the most important factor to success, at least it has been for me."

"My stores have an eclectic mix of all kinds of things, including many vintage collectibles. Until lately I've been pretty happy with Etsy and I do well there. However, I have many things that are less than 20 years old and therefore unacceptable for Etsy. I'm looking for an online marketplace that has stability--doesn't change the UI every other day-- has good traffic, low fees, and will accept new or items less than 20 years old. I guess everyone out there is looking for that!!"

We will be sharing more of the poll comments and discussing them as blog posts as we go forward. We'll also continue to poll our readers about every quarter to see how this ever-changing multi-channel world continues to evolve.

What do you think of the poll results? Do they match with your expectations, and why or why not? Post a comment here!




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jul 8 17:06:47 2013

A great poll - thanks for running it.
I did not see it.
But will look out for the next one.

I was surprised at the low showing for etsy in view of its high sales figures.

I was also surprised at the high ranking for bonanza.

Good to see ebid.net up there as they hardly ever change their polices. But it would be good if the released an API to help multi channel sellers.


Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: Shopatusm This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jul 8 23:30:19 2013

I am really surprised how high Bonanza ranked!  

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: mimi51 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 8 23:56:07 2013

Bonanza never found its way.  It's lost in the woods.

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: EventHorizon1984 This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jul 9 06:44:58 2013

This poll will reach many, and they'll point to results they want to highlight.  But consider the number of participants.  

''We also heard from almost 700 of you!''  8 July 2013 EcommerceBytes

Compare that to the ''Sellers Choice 2013: Merchants Rate Top Online Marketplaces participation:
''Over 11,500 online sellers participated in the 2013 Sellers Choice survey - eclipsing last year's total by over 4,000 respondents.'' 3 February 2013 EcommerceBytes

That ''700'' represents 6% of the EcommerceBytes participating seller pool.

When you're dealing with a small sample from a diverse population, which itself is a small sample of online sellers, ''surprising'' should be replaced with ''it's a wonder anything made sense.''

/*

''They told me computers could only do arithmetic''
Grace Hopper (1952)

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 09:28:56 2013

Surprised !!!!
Found it hard to believe that ebay ranked so high. Also, Etsy and Bonanza a tie. I found that one hard to believe. Dropped Bonanza because I got tired of tweaking account and NO results. Etsy, on the other hand, provided some results. In fact more results with Etsy that ebay.

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 10:15:03 2013

I think many sellers who boast of their multichannel selling and own websites still rely on eBay--just embarrassed to say so :) It is REALLY hard to get a personal website to match eBay even on its WORST day.

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jul 9 11:12:21 2013

Considering the complaining about ebay that I see here constantly (and the majority of posts here are about ebay)I'm surprised it isn't in the basement, but it is still up there. Many are apparently not willing to let go and go elsewhere or else maybe it isn't as bad as everyone makes it sound (although I left it long ago before I got another ulcer). I use two channel selling after only using one for awhile and that is what keeps my sales numbers up currently. While for several years all my sales were generated through ecrater, once Google started messing around with their search, we seemed to lose visibility as well as other smaller sites having the same  difficulty.

I'm not sure how anyone can keep track of more than 2 venues to sell on, as a person does need time to sleep and eat. It is the multi-multi-channel sellers that drive me crazy. They do a dump of all their inventory on any free or cheap site (such as ecrater) that will let them, don't do anything else but go dump on more sites. Their store's appear unfinished, if someone does buy many times the sale is missed because they never saw the order, they end up giving ecrater and the other sites black eyes and tend to make buyers think all sellers there are just as bad. Their using so many venues backfires on them anyhow since they can't maintain keeping track of them. Better to only have a couple sites and work them well than to try to sell on 10 sites and do a very poor job of it.  

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: mysongsdesigns This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jul 9 11:52:28 2013

Did not even see an open Poll opportunity but am surprised that eBay is as high as it is.  

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: mysongsdesigns This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jul 9 11:53:54 2013

Never saw an open poll for voting. Hate I missed it. Surprised to see eBay still ranking high.  

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: GoodK9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 14:10:28 2013

Perhaps the poll should be re-opened to let others participate.  Just a thought (and yes, I did answer it the first time around).

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Jul 9 15:38:10 2013

Yes I agree, the poll needed to have much more publicity and to be open for longer.

I check in to this site every few days and I never saw it.

Perhaps they could have emailed all members?

Still 700 replies is probably enough to get a gauge on things.

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Tue Jul 9 17:24:04 2013

Hi Mysongs, Good and Digmen, not to worry...we will do the poll again soon. I agree, it could have been open longer and been better publicized. That's my bad..the next time I do this I'll plan it ahead longer.
Having said that, I thought 700 was a good number of you, and a fair sampling, but you're right..compared to the 11,500 of the Seller's Choice poll, it's not much.
Although, with Nielsen ratings-type think, a sample is supposed to represent a larger grouo. Hopefully we'll get a lot more voters in the next poll. I also forgot to include Buy.com. If any of you think other marketplaces not mentioned here should be added, pls. post a comment here or email me at julia@auctionbytes.com.

Thanks! :)

Julia

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Nolle

Wed Jul 10 08:42:32 2013

never confuse blog comments with reality.

only 700 voted, but how many write on here?  12 regularly, and maybe a handful more.  so if you were basing things on comments here, nobody is selling on ebay, and those that are, aren't selling anything.  

far from reality.  

i'd say very few sellers rely solely on their website or small sites like bonz.  almost 1/2 do this, but this isn't where most sales come from.

some use amazon very successfully, selling more there than anywhere else.  very very product dependent.

anyone selling successfully on craigs is selling the kind of stuff that has no business on ebay or most online sites to begin with. it's a local thing.

i think 95% of etsy sales are done by 5% of the sellers.  might not be true, but every time i look on there i find sellers with thousands of sales, or just a few, and all the good stuff is by the best sellers.  about 90% of the stuff on etsy is total homemade junk.

ebay is still the most hated and yet most popular site for most things.  they have lost ground in some areas to amazon, but there were things amazon always did better, like new electronics.  for better or worse, bay is still king.  

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Jul 10 14:35:36 2013

Shoot, I don't remember if I took this poll or not!

Bonanza:  Although easy to learn & list stuff on-  No sales. Crickets chirping - nothing listed there now.  I did try to learn the bells & whistles, google stuff set up & working.   I don't have time or desire to monitor any sites ''social'' pages.

eCrater:  Sales this year - 1.  I have been on that a few years with about 6 total sales. I really like eCrater, for its ease & simplicity. But that does not pay the bills. Right now I have only a few items there - because the rest all sold on eBay.


A few months back, for experiments sake - I listed the same items on all 3 places to see what happened. Well, if it was a horserace - the eBay nag would be the horse to bet on. The items sold on eBay & all I ever did was end items on the other two venues.

Now, I have different items in each venue.  At random I will end an item in eCrater and list it on eBay. It usually sells within the week if not the same day.


THAT is why sellers like myself are still on eBay.  

Sometimes the ''I can't believe you are still on eBay'' and ''why can't you see the light'' litany comes across as a put-down. The people who sell on eBay are not idiots - it is where their sales are. In looking at Julia's poll, apparently I'm not the only one with the above results.

Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results   Who Sells Where? Multi-Channel Poll Results

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
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Wed Jul 10 22:37:47 2013

I'm very surprise with Bonanzle/Bonanza, but they are very good moving people to polls. Congratulations!

For the topic as far I can tell. It is more easy do multi-channel when you have duplicates items.



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