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Mon Apr 23 2018 16:53:25

eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

By: Ina Steiner

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Another alternative to eBay is closing. Addoway is an online marketplace launched by two college students in 2010 and is shutting down in May. 

Fredrick Nijm and Anthony Saia launched Addoway while attending Arizona State University with the idea that social networking activity could provide buyers with an indicator of trustworthiness

In a letter to users on Facebook, Nijm wrote, "We hate to have to do this, but after Anthony and I have spent all of our time and resources building Addoway over the last 13 years, we have unfortunately come to a point where Addoway is no longer self-sustainable."

While sellers are hungry for alternatives, for buyers, not so much. It's harder to woo shoppers to small marketplaces. And while Google once helped provide exposure to micro sellers on smaller platforms, it changed to a pay-to-play model that helps larger sites like eBay, Amazon, and even Etsy dominate results on its popular search engine.

We asked Fredrick Nijm for his thoughts as he and his cofounder prepared to shut down Addoway.
 
In 2011, a year after launching, you had 1 million listings and 10,000 members - with 5% of those paying for Pro membership. What are those metrics today as you prepare to close the site? 

Fredrick Nijm: We have over 55,000 members and helped facilitate over 30,000 orders on our platform. The total revenue of all ads on our platform now is over $3B. 

What led to the decision to close the site? 

Fredrick Nijm: It just wasn't feasible to focus full time on the site and also just outsource it to another company to handle for us. Can't just ignore something you built and think sellers are going to run a business but you're not going to put in the time to evolve and keep the site functional. It wasn't fair to our users. Sometimes you have to walk away from one dream to get to another. 

What were the factors that made it most difficult for Addoway? 

Fredrick Nijm: Low profit margins because we wanted to make it affordable to sell and Advertising on Google shopping. If we aren't bringing enough in to cover we can't send the listings to Google and they won't get the hits they need to drive sales. It's one of the most difficult tasks to do to start a company but rely on another for your success. You need great sellers, but they won't come unless there are buyers and they won't come unless there is great product from great sellers lol. 

Which companies had expressed an interest in acquiring Addoway? 

Fredrick Nijm: There were a few we had partnerships with and one discussion led to the next but we aren't going to disclose that for the sake of privacy for the other parties involved. 

If you were a typical Addoway seller, where would you turn now to sell? 

Fredrick Nijm: I would go to Bonanza. Bill and Mark are stand up guys and they have a solid team behind the scenes. Some of the best engineers always building something great for their users. Etsy is also another great site. My wife shops on both actually :) 

As you look out at the ecommerce landscape, what are your thoughts? 

Fredrick Nijm: It's only going to get more and more competitive to a point where the individual seller is going to find it so difficult to compete with the larger merchant. Amazon is taking over the world. It's not going to be eBay that pushes anyone out, but rather Amazon. It's very scary to be honest.

Who's doing a good job for buyers and sellers, and what do marketplaces need to do better?

Fredrick Nijm: Unfortunately if I had the answer to this one Addoway would probably have grown faster. Marketplaces need to invest in marketing. Chicken and the egg is always going to be the problem. Doesn't matter if you have the best features and the best support. If no one knows you exist, does it really matter?




Comments (14) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 23 18:13:57 2018

The ecommerce is and always will be tilted towards the big guy. Thats one of the reasons that ebay will be around for a very long time dispite what sellers want Ebay isn't going to change. Its all about the bottom line,

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Mon Apr 23 18:39:12 2018

Great read.  Hate to admit I'd never heard of addoway, but obviously bright and talented founders have learned a lot to take with them to their next endeavor.

I'll reiterate a point from the Target stores dumping eBay thread, "It’s not just about ‘having a website’ or everyone would be billionaires.  Despite their broken systems, infrastructure, communications, and product, eBay owns the traffic.  I would like to see competitors with better tech invest in marketing to garner significant organic traffic and not just Google shopping referrals (I’m looking at you Bonanza)."

There's a reason eBay spent $1.3 BILLION in advertising in 2017.  

If the crunchbase numbers are correct, I'm surprised they didn't pursue additional funding (or perhaps they attempted to) in order to grow.

Good luck fellas!

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Apr 23 22:07:00 2018

Mr. Nijm - If you're reading the comments, tell your wife to check out eCrater. It's a great eBay alternative and lots of awesome items can be found there.

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: zenbreeze This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 00:12:24 2018

I'm sorry to read this.  Addoway was a lovely site.  Time constraints for me were such that I had to focus on the sites that were bringing in sales and couldn't maintain addoway.  I wish it had been otherwise and I hope the founders go on to even greater things.

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 00:44:11 2018

I loved Addoway. When I took the time to keep my synchs current, I'd get sales from the site. I'll miss it.  As for Bonanza, are they advertising for buyers yet?

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

This user has validated their user name. by: tanzi

Thu Apr 26 00:51:21 2018

I believe i still have items up on Addoway. not many sales, but was a nice site. Good advice about Bonanza, Bill and Mark are awesome. and the community is great. I have been on Bonanza many years now.....Best of luck to the founders of Addoway.  

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 01:19:46 2018

I had a sale on addoway recently. Not many over the years but sad to see you go! Good luck in your future endeavors!

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 06:37:31 2018

@Val25:  " As for Bonanza, are they advertising for buyers yet?"
LMAO
Surprised that those guys reco'd Bonanza.

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Apr 26 11:23:33 2018

The name and site design did not help much. I wish them the very best, and a big thank you for at least trying to build something to help small sellers. We are launching a platform in 2019, we'll keep you posted. By the way fellows, use http://pricesearcher.com to upload your feeds, is a great alternative to Bing and Google. We started to use them and so far shows great leads.
I like Bonanza but also, they could so much better site design and promos. We use them also, hopefully they will learn about what happened with Addoway and begin to work on better ways to promote Bonanza. Good Luck!

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 13:44:26 2018

@thehost:  Is Bonanza working for you; if yes, how?

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 26 14:16:46 2018

Bonanza ripped me off so unless you are going with the free site, I do not consider it a good deal.
I paid for increased visibility, my sales tanked as I got no visibilty at all. Kept telling them something was wrong and they ignored my emails entirely. Posted on a community that it was an issue and they banned me after Mark came on there and said he would get on it right away, he did nothing.
Went from 1000 or more a month to about 30.00. Stuck with it through 9 months as sales evaporated due to Mark wanted to steal the money rather than fix his site.
Never pay them for anything.

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: GameItWorks This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 29 02:30:47 2018

I sell online, but I'm also a covert marketplace researcher who influences the marketplace decisions of where several thousands sellers decide to sell.  Been doing research and marketplace promotion since 2009 and I never heard of Addoway before, and never came across it while doing any on my indepth deep searches actually looking for marketplaces to research and review.

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: Ispectraboutique This user has validated their user name.
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Sun May 20 18:13:08 2018

Gentlemen thank you for the succinct explanation, and great job overall. Unfortunately, shopping and selling on Ebay continues to be the goto site, the mainstay for the huddle masses.  What does not get listed on Ebay goes on Etsy.  Then there's Amazon which if you aren't a distributor of sorts or have something really unique to sell, one is limited by category restrictions.  I suspect Addoway had it's best months during the holiday season which for Bonanza is most certainly the case too. I tried setting up shop there though with several accounts and multiple stores, it just couldn't sync all the product flawlessly.  I'd sell something on Ebay only to discover it was still listed on Bonanza; then like coincidence, the item would sell there too, leaving me to issue refunds. It's a terrible inconvenience to the buyers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May   eBay Alternative Addoway to Shut Down in May

by: TheCuriousPhoenix This user has validated their user name.
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Sat Jun 30 15:14:47 2018

I sold on Addoway for about a year. Found it very clunky and difficult to navigate. Kept hoping it would improve but changes made were not substantial enough and did not seem to help the overall performance. I left, but I cheered on those who listed there rather than on eBay.

However, I would NOT suggest to even my worst enemy to list on Bonanza.

I sold on Bonanza, after having been a Top Seller on eBay and having my items suddenly not being seen there when I started making a good deal of sales and money.

Being a seller on Bonanza was one of the biggest business mistakes I've ever made. Questions went unanswered, requests for glitch fixes were very slow in getting a response. There was soooo much more, but I don't think anyone wants to read a rehash of the really ugly events that occurred there.

I'd rather focus on the positive.

I opened a new store that costs me $30 a month, flat fee, no other fees other than PayPal. Then I started working on helping other sellers out of Bonanza who also had been treated badly and not had their questions answered. Some simply wanted an alternative in case what was done to me was done to them.

My buyers pay through PayPal. And yes, it all depends on my promoting my store but in exchange, I don't have to jump through hoops, protect my listings, pay while my listings are not being seen by shoppers, I have my own storefront, and I am the owner of my own .com...where only I make the rules. Soooooo much less stress! Oh, and I have unlimited listings and photos for no extra charge. If you would like to see my store, go to thecuriousphoenx.com and for information about starting your own store, go to http://www.prestostore.com/rf.php/TheCuriousPhoenix



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