Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Feb 15 2020 17:04:00

Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

The results of the 11th annual Sellers Choice awards are in! This is an insider's look at the joys and pitfalls of online selling, far from the carefully crafted messaging from the marketplaces themselves.

eBay came in first place in the 2020 Sellers Choice awards. In fact, in six out of the last 7 years, eBay has placed in the top-three.

eBay has a low barrier of entry and high traffic, but sellers have a long list of critiques. To gain a better understanding of the forces at play, it's helpful to look at the alternatives from which sellers have to choose.

Amazon is the only venue that can give eBay a run for the money in terms of volume of sales, but Amazon is a less forgiving marketplace for sellers with far greater restrictions, including brand-gating.

One respondent summed up how sellers feel in general when he wrote of eBay, "Despite all the issues it is still in my opinion the best game in town. My bread and butter. It's a love hate relationship."

As it does each year, Sellers Choice gives sellers the ability to rate marketplaces on four criteria: profitability, customer service, communication and ease of use, as well as asking how likely they are to recommend it to a friend or colleague.

Sellers also submit comments - the good, the bad, and the ugly, giving readers an idea of what it's like to sell on marketplaces they have yet to try, as well as giving marketplaces information about what's working well, and what's not working on their platforms.

The following chart shows the top-five marketplaces going back to 2010, providing an interesting look at the top players over the past 11 years..



This year, we thought it would be interesting to calculate a "Satisfaction Index" to see how satisfied sellers are with the top marketplaces. We took the overall scores of all the marketplaces in Sellers Choice and calculated the average for each year, which follows:

2020: 5.61
2019: 5.88
2018: 5.52
2017: 5.31
2016: 5.46
2015: 5.39
2014: 5.14
2013: 5.51
2012: 6.15
2011: 5.83

What jumps out is that, in sellers' minds, the top 10 marketplaces leave a lot to be desired, though it's important to keep in mind that the list includes venues like Craigslist that don't necessarily charge fees or offer the kinds of features that top ecommerce sites offer, which can bring down the average score. Nevertheless, we don't recall a year when top sites garnered ratings of 8s, 9s, or 10s across the board.

David and I thank everyone who took the time to participate and for helping to spread the word to colleagues. It's one more way EcommerceBytes gives sellers a voice.

As we've said in previous years, our hope is that sellers can benefit by thoughtfully reading all of the ratings and comments to learn what sellers think of these venues, and that the marketplaces themselves will take an honest look at their sites and listen to their customers' feedback.

Comments (35) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: industrystones This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 15 18:40:27 2020

Yeah.  .   .  .   .   OK.

Who makes this garbage up anyways?

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Sat Feb 15 19:38:29 2020

Kind of like ranking phone company monopolies. Which one is the best of the worst.

A bit surprised ebay came out on top. Their GMV would indicate otherwise.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: Lois This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 04:31:48 2020

It is ridiculous to imagine any real person saying Bonanza is profitable. It is not. Insane to say staff are helpful. They are not. They are so busy being "Directors of Happiness" that they really are absolutely useless. Communication is a joke, They have no telephone assistance, and rely primarily of other users -w ho, by the way, are not paid - to respond to questions.In actually, they are absolutely useless.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Feb 16 09:02:10 2020

I didn't even fill out the survey this year.  Neither eCrater nor Bonanza delivered a single sale and eBay delivered an embarrassing $50 per month.  Live sales have never been spectacular but they mopped the floor with online marketplaces this year.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 10:38:33 2020

This must be another round of eBay smoke and mirrors. How many armies of trolls did they send here to vote for them? That's exactly something eBay would do. Bonanza being 2nd is also an absolute joke. Seems to be more anti-Amazon voting than anything, but that's just plain stupid. If you actually want to SELL and get SALES, Amazon is the clear winner. Also Amazon being rated lower than the likes of eBay customer service (disgrace) or Bonanza (non-existent) is laughable. But the thing is, Amazon isn't sending cheerleaders here to vote for them. That's something eBay and the other smaller platforms would do.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Feb 16 11:23:38 2020

@thievesBay

"If you actually want to SELL and get SALES, Amazon is the clear winner."

1st off Amazon wants $40 a month just to sell there!

The they don't allow used tools to be sold on the site.

For MOST eBay sellers Amazon is not a good fit (unless you sell chinese stuff)

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 11:26:59 2020

Well I think it's sad that this once relevant survey has gone the way of the dodo bird. Here in town we run something similar - the local newspaper has a voting best  system as well.  What happens in reality is the business that gave them the most money for advertising thru out the year get the title of "Best"  

How in the world Bonanza came in 2nd is ridiculous - I stayed for 8 danged years - you could count my sales each year on one hand. They single handily invented promoted listings way before ebay came up with that scheme. Pay to play pure and simple.  

Like thievesBay stated I'm quite sure every ebay employee was nearly flogged if they didn't fill the questionnaire out - and like RK stated I don't remember but I'm pretty sure I didn't vote either - I'm so disgusted with ebay I didn't bother.  

David and Ina - you are the darling of eCommerce information for alot of us but this survey has run it's course - way too much leeway for manipulation.  The sellers know from the money their not making anymore the real deal.  To steer anyone in one direction or another is just not right.  Not saying your doing anything wrong at all.  You have lots and lots of posters here that are painfully aware of the situation.

We rarely discuss politics here but here's the deal - the "Trickle" down deal isn't working - it didn't work for Reagan and it's not working for Trump. The common man is broke while the fat cats keep lining their pockets with gold. The economy isn't going to get better it's just getting worse.  

And for all those people that think it's better - where the heck do you live? I wanna move there.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 11:30:58 2020

Tool: Amazon LOVES the Chinese - I secretly think the Chinese actually own eBay - oops I mean Amazon.  Until Americans learn that making billionaires in foreign countries while they apply for food stamps isn't working and learn to support fellow Americans we will keep slipping into that 3rd world status

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Feb 16 11:37:46 2020

@Whatever


I DON'T buy or sell on Amazon and I DON'T collect food stamps!

Oh which I could do both but have more National Pride then to do so!

I don't expect the good people of America to support my lazy butt, not now, not in the past and not in the future!

I only want what they owe me, and in 13 months that'll be my Social Security check. . . .

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 12:09:52 2020

Not hard to believe ebay is still the best, for sellers anyway. But what about buyers?
This is the problem with ebay! It is no longer the best place for buyers to get the best deal, or find the "hard to find". Now you pay more for most items on ebay than you would on Amazon, and it takes longer to get it delivered.

Like I said before. I hate that they put my calculated items at a disadvantage to free shipping. It takes my customers several different items to complete their project. So if I do calculated, I loose. If I put free I loose. Wake up ebay!

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 12:15:44 2020

@toolguy And what? Yeah to be a Professional seller on Amazon there's a monthy fee. An individual seller pays no monthly fee. But if you sell enough (only 40 items a month) and list enough, Professional is going to be much cheaper. Do tell what are the fees for eBay stores? Did you forget that? Of course you did. eBay, PayPal/Managed Payments, Promoted Listings, GTC scam, and schemes which lead to more stealth fees can EASILY end up being much more than Amazon overall on the same sales. Amazon fees are upfront, they don't do updates and mess around with everything 10 times a year. There aren't daily site errors and checkout problems. Unlike eBay whose only goal is to cause confusion for profit with all their constant shuffling and a joke of a site operation. If your items can be sold on Amazon, you're likely going to sell 10x more than on eBay and can even get more per item. Thus, more take home profit. eBay seems to be only for bottom feeders that don't wanna pay what an item is worth. That's eBay's target buyer audience and it's what kind of buyer they've groomed for years. eBay's claims that they have the cheapest prices on everything is BS, and if in fact some items on eBay are cheaper it's because of seller desperation. No sales and sellers keep dropping prices more. Bottom feeder mentality all around on eBay. Pathetic.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 12:23:56 2020

@thievesBay

You forgot to list Growth recommendations on ebay's seller hub. You know, the list of the items they hide form buyers to get you to lower the price on. Thats ebay's MO. Get sellers to lower their prices, and we will attract buyers that way.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Feb 16 12:44:00 2020

@theivesbay

I don't use "promoted" listings, GTC doesn't cost me anything.

Paypal or managed payments cost, so does Amazon Pay!

10X ? ROTFLMAO

Sounds good, but it's far from the truth

Amazon's sales aren't 10x what eBay sales are!

Do you make 10x on Amazon then you do eBay?

Pace306, do you make 10x on Amazon then you do eBay?

How about anyone else here?

If anyone sold 10x the amount on Amazon then they do on eBay they would NOT be selling on eBay!

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Feb 16 12:56:50 2020

@thievesBay

More then less of the time the item I am seeking online Amazon doesn't carry!

Most of the items I seek are used, out of production made in the USA.

For common items Walmart is just a few miles down the road. . . .

PS: More then less of the items I sell you can't buy on Amazon!

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Feb 16 14:10:09 2020

I'm shocked that eCrater came in tenth, while Bonanza came in second. Were there hanging chads that messed up the voting? I never hear anyone talking about Bonanza and yet it's second in the Recommend category? I demand a recount!

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Feb 16 14:15:24 2020

toolguy writes: "... and I DON'T collect food stamps!"

Gee, then how come every few weeks you're threatening to do exactly that?

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Sun Feb 16 15:05:02 2020

Even more surprising about Bonanza is their profitability is the second to the worst among the 10 companies, only ahead of ecrater. Yet came in second overall.

Conclusions drawn by this are obvious and really telling about the priorities of online selling or the validity of the survey.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 15:26:23 2020

@toolguy As if nobody has ever read or heard anything about sellers with the same listings comparing sales on both eBay and Amazon. 10x more on Amazon is probably too low of an estimate. Hell, even many of the smaller platforms sales beat eBay. Depends on what you sell of course. The fact is sellers and their buyers with them are leaving eBay or at the very least always looking for an alternative. We don't need to hear more about how you're such an eBay expert and all the exclusive items you can't sell or buy on Amazon and have to use eBay. Nobody cares.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 16 18:08:47 2020

Pace306, do you make 10x on Amazon then you do eBay?

Tool - I hesitate to reply - because it always turns into you trying to bait me and get me to say something that Ina doesnt like - lord knows she hides enough of my posts at times - but Im glad to try and explain it to you.

You dont need to respond, you dont need to challenge me - its not a contest - so there are no winner or losers - just opinions.

If you sell mainstream/common/popular items, then Amazon will afford you 10 to 1 sales over eBay, period.

Its not about you, me or anyone else here - its simply that Amazon is MAGNITUDES larger then eBay in volume, traffic, logistics and more AND THOSE THINGS contribute to greater sales volumes.

Thats not to say that Amazon doesnt have issues,limitations or problems - they do - but this is not the topic at hand.

If you sell NICHE items like you do - or others here - theres abit of handholding/expertise thats needed for those items. Its not Chinese vs American made. Its popular/common vs unique.

Your items need an explanation. They need a complete description - they are NOT iphones etc.

Look at the stores around you and the items they sell - they are all made overseas (even my OJ has oranges from Brazil) - its the way commerce works. Prices go down when the cost of goods goes down and that means lower labor costs aka China.

Nikon, Sony etc ALL make goods overseas (China, Korea etc) its how life is ATM.

If you sold (as an example) a Tickle Me Elmo doll (yes its an old toy). Amazon (back then) they like Walmat and Kmart bought THOUSANDS - containers full - they sold them for X% above cost and that was it - and they moved them all because "all the children" wanted them. Who on eBay is doing that ????? The ONLY one that could have tried - back then- was Toys R US.

How many people buy aircraft tools? How many people (none that I know) even own planes? But how many people buy iphones, or car parts, or sneakers - MILLIONS.

As for the companies - Amazon owns planes, trucks and 20+ or so warehouses ... eBay owns .... ? nothing (except the Mountain Dew in the vending machine near Sleeping Griffs office).

People know this, they understand it - if you want a common item - go to Amazon, its cheap, its fast and its free shipping (most times). If you need a part for your 1997 Hoover vacuum - go to eBay.

Even the toys I collect are made OVERSEAS (the UK) - its just how life is.

If you think its all BS - fine - buy something with a good Amazon ranking, and post 10 on eBay and 10 on Amazon (a good Amazon ranking 100,000 or below will do) insures that you know "its a mover" and watch sales - its not rocket science (it would be abit surprising if eBay blinded ME with science)(but I digress).

Tool - Ive been selling/buying since 1984 and an online seller since 1998 - im not new to this, Ive worked for large companies that have and still do this, Im not in the habit of making cr@p up.

Buy an item, and try it - you will see for yourself.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces   Sellers Choice 2020 Pulls Back the Curtain on Marketplaces

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

Mon Feb 17 02:01:44 2020

Well, eBay was the top sellers choice. That would disappoint all the trolls and eBay haters on these boards. I read the comments posted here now and then and they have given some useful advice over the years.

However, the hatred, negativity and vitriol directed at eBay here is just staggering.
There are many like me, probably the silent majority, who are happy with selling on eBay. That shows in their award as No 1 seller's choice.

When I first started selling on eBay 20 years ago, I was close to flat broke.
20 years later I own a nice house outright and a second house as well, have plenty of money in the bank, superannuation too, as well and own all my business stock. Plus have handed out many low or no interest loans to the university educated idiots in my family who can't handle money. I am not yet 60 and could retire tomorrow with no help from social security ever, if I wanted.

In 20 years I have sold over 4 million dollars of product on eBay.

Sure, their fees have gone up and they have given plenty of hoops to jump, but overall, it has been great. Their fees are nearly HALF what Amazon charge. For $50 a month I get 1500 listings and an 8.5% FVF. Throw in Paypal etc and the overall fee is about 12% which is quite manageable and much cheaper than auction houses, with usually a higher selling price.

GTC did not worry me at all. I spend my time listing and SELLING things and always listed GTC. I have NO TIME to worry about listings once they are listed. If they don't sell after a few years, I will drop the price, where possible to move them on. Sometimes, like most sellers, I have made mistakes when buying, so now and then I just let stuff go for the cost price plus 12% to move it on.

I have my own website (since 1999) and do some shows which generates about half my income. eBay provides the other half and working from home has been a godsend, I love it as I loathed having to go out to work each day.

No managed payments for coin dealers? They will come up with something as we generate a lot of sales, if not, I assume there is still Paypal which everyone has gotten used to.

I have few returns, so their return policies don't affect me. This is partly because I try to grade and price fairly and have many happy customers, with the occasional non payer or problem buyer, like anyone who sells a high volume. Selling o/s was a pain, once I dropped that, very few problems.

One can only go by their own experiences. Overall, eBay has been great for me and I am now in the position that I could not sell on eBay any more and it would not be a problem. They are my number 1 selling choice. Etsy, I have stuff listed there and the last time I made a sale was 4 months ago. Just a joke.

Yes, eBay could be better in many ways, but it has provided an excellent selling platform for many years and helped me out a lot. Long live eBay!

No, I am not an eBay employee, just overall, a very happy customer.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.