Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon June 22 2015 17:10:59

Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

By: Ina Steiner

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Now we know why Alibaba laid off staff at its subsidiaries, which we reported in April - the Chinese ecommerce giant has sold its 11 Main marketplace along with its two subsidiaries that provided tools to eBay sellers, according to media reports.

But if Alibaba sold its only U.S. marketplace, does that mean it's not interested in buying eBay Marketplaces once it splits from PayPal later this year? Or could it be part of a larger strategy with the new owner of 11 Main (now partially owned by Alibaba) getting ready to make a bid for eBay?

Alibaba laid off employees at its U.S. subsidiaries Auctiva and Vendio in the spring, confirmed by spokesperson Abbygail Reyes. "We have made changes that align the organization with the needs of our business and our long-term growth strategy," she told us at the time.

Reyes' phone number is now non-working,* and we've got inquiries in to Alibaba and 11 Main's new owner to learn more about the fate of the three companies.

What may be most worrying to eBay sellers is the possible loss of eBay tools provided for free or low cost by Vendio and Auctiva.

Sellers had been initially optimistic when we reported last February on the pending launch of 11 Main, many of whom were hopeful that Alibaba could provide an alternative to eBay. But the site had an identity crisis from the beginning, and its highly selective "curation" approach proved frustrating to sellers, and the site failed to gain critical mass.

One such seller wrote to EcommerceBytes today and said sales were nonexistent on 11 Main. "Since Feb. 27, I've had exactly 6 sales out of more than 1,800 items, with 5 in April, NONE in May and 1 in June. During that time, their order numbers have increased at a rate of less than 400 a day. I have sent an email to my supposed customer rep and filed a trouble ticket with customer service and have not even received the courtesy of an acknowledgement. I think that everyone assumed that with Alibaba behind it, 11Main would make a splash, but apparently Alibaba gave them a budget of about $12 and told them to sink or swim."

If Alibaba was planning to acquire eBay, it would seem it would not sell its own marketplace to rival OpenSky. However, TechCrunch, which broke the news, said as a result of the transaction, Alibaba will become a 37 percent owner of OpenSky.

Could an OpenSky-eBay combination make sense? We honestly don't know much about OpenSky, but we can say that the 11 Main brand is not enough to guarantee it will keep the site operating separately.

We'll provide updates as we learn more. You can read the TechCrunch post here.

Update: Abbygail Reyes of 11 Main reached out to let us know her phone number is working, apparently we had a number that no longer works - we've asked for some further information and will report back.

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Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Jun 23 17:20:56 2015

Vetting can be a slippery slope.

Some country clubs do the same thing - carefully vet folks so only the 'right' ones get to join and play there.  That system is not a problem for some - yet is distasteful for others.  

Give everyone an equal opportunity.  It IS more work but if someone is a bad actor - have a system in place to show them the door.  

I agree that was eBay's fail - instead of addressing the bad actors individually - they just keep making policy that hurts all sellers across the board.

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

by: miss casual This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 17:43:05 2015

I've had a shop on 11 Main for a year or so. Sales have been very disappointing, and I've mostly found myself deleting items that have sold on other venues. From what I read of this merger and Open Sky, I'm done with them at this point.

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Jun 23 17:52:50 2015

It comes back to the site's definition of a bad seller and bad buyer. I was TRS Plus with one undeserved negative from an international buyer with 4.9 5 5 4.9 DSRs with great photos, detailed descriptions, incredible packing and fast 1 day shipping. However, as a small seller I became invisible on ebay resulting in loss of TRS+. Was I considered a bad seller with 11 Main rejecting my application? Did they, like eBay, equate small sellers to be the same as bad sellers? Seems like none of these corporate entities get it. Whether b&m or ecommerce the ''It'' is word of mouth can build a business and can destroy it as well. Unless these corporations just don't care because they are in the Bain slice & dice business. No advertising, strung out opening and too high or elitist standards of acceptance for both sellers and buyers - makes me wonder the true intent of 11 Main/Alibaba.  

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 19:04:29 2015

When I went to check out 11 Main, they lost me as soon as it was apparent that I had to JOIN FIRST, before anything else.

I sell on Etsy and they are no better than Ebay.

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 23:25:15 2015

I applied early to be part of 11main.

I was accepted right away, but had issues from day 1.

1) fraud protection was non existent. They claimed that even though I couldnt see any AVS info (being a seller) I was still responsible to vet each sale and any chargebacks (got 2 - they were cc fraud) wer my problem. A quick lawyers letter made them blink!

2) They stuck me with using Vendio (which sucks) instead of using 11mains own importing.creating system until I threatened to leave and then FINALLY they changed it.

3) They told me they would only protect me from fraud if I shipped ONLY with SIG confirmation

4) SIG confirmation never worked when printing USPS labels from 11main.

5) people where were hard to reach

6) Too many items were "rejected" for posting due to stupid things. Sometimes even when following rules for posting - items would fail. REposting them would then fix the bug/issue.

Lastly, with out the $20 coupons they handed out like candy, there wouldnt have been many sales.

Christmas wasnt bad - but after that it went downhill FAST.

@toolguy - valuations mean nothing. This isnt Shark Tank, where its the ONLY question they seem to know.

Why? With eBay selling off Paypal (cash cow)(who else can steal money for them?), selling off GIS, and having Marketplace sellers leave - where exactly will the profit(s) come from? eBay motors? half.com?

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by: sundance This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 01:48:48 2015

I have stores on both eCrater and Bonanza focusing on my original patterns.  They're doing just fine. :-)  So glad I never went with 11 Main!!    I've already pulled everything off Etsy and a couple of other sites because  I'm seeing issues I don't want to be bothered with.  No Alibaba nor eBay for me.  

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

by: digger This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 04:53:36 2015

11 Main just sent a notice to me that they will continue with their policy of no listing fees and will notify us of any changes well in advance. They make no mention of any changes in commission structure and no mention of their acquisition by OpenSky.  

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 09:06:58 2015

I think open sky is the wild card, who are the main players of open sky? If we know that it may give some insight. Maybe Donahoe and Swan own Open Sky.

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

by: The Grey Fox This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 12:11:38 2015

If 11Main is holding off on listing fees (we haven't gotten that notice yet) it will be the third time they've done that, and it tells you everything you need to know about the poor sales on the site. I suspect they know most sellers are like us and will desert the site in a flash if they implement listing fees.

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

by: The Grey Fox This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 12:31:28 2015

Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Alibaba is saying they will be laying off the U.S. market for the time being to concentrate on Asia, where they're facing growing competition. It also notes that among 11Main's problems is that it was virtually ignored by Alibaba (well, yeah). Article also says OpenSky will run 11Main as a separate entity for the time being. No one has yet mentioned if the deal includes a non-compete for Alibaba.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 25 03:45:39 2015

11 Main? Got the invitation to sell - went thru the hoops and quickly found that I didn't really need someone to tell me to wait and see if my item could be sold. After selling over 1/4 million $'s on ebay - I'm thinking I already know what the heck I'm doing. I don't need some smart ass yuppie kid to tell me how to sell product. Is there room to improve? Of course but it's not coming from a start up. You asked me to come over - I didn't ask you. You asked me for a reason then you slapped me down. Please people. Listed 10 items and could see the forest for the trees. American sellers know how to sell - get the heck out of our way and watch us grow your site - after all we did it for ebay. 11 Main was doomed from the start.

Perminate Link for Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?   Is Sale of 11 Main a Hint of Alibaba's Interest in eBay?

by: ebay-dreckfresser This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 26 00:04:12 2015

   One investing expert, Lawrence Meyers, believes Alibaba may well take over ebay after the ebay-PayPal split.  But he considers ebay to be ''a joke'' and doesn't expect Alibaba to pay a significant premium for ebay's shares:

http://etfdailynews.com/2015/06/24/ebay-inc-ebay-will-b
e-nothi
ng-after-the-paypal-spinoff/

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by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 13:03:05 2015

Why would the Chinese want to buy ebay?

Their sellers already dominate there and they have these lust discounted international shipping.

They already control it without any ownership interest as billions are exiting our country weekly and these Chinese seller pay NO taxes or import duties.. And look at all the copyright and trademarked items that they violate on top of that..

Its such a horrible situation for America...

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