|Thu Oct 3 2013 12:46:00|
Are eBay and Etsy Merchants Angrier than Amazon Merchants?
By: Ina Steiner
I was speaking today with a journalist from a major publication who was interested in the relationship that online sellers (primarily eBay, Etsy and Amazon) have with the marketplaces on which they sell. One of the questions he asked was why - in his opinion - eBay and Etsy merchants tend to be so vocal, and Amazon merchants don't publicly complain as much about that marketplace (actually, "bash" was the word he used).
I replied that that wasn't necessarily true - we have heard many times from Amazon merchants who were upset with changes to that platform, (search the blogs if you're curious) but there does seem to be a fundamental difference in how merchants view eBay/Etsy vs Amazon.
In my own opinion, a major difference may lie in the fact that eBay/Etsy don't, in and of themselves, sell product. They are simply marketplaces. Amazon was a successful retailer long before they opened their platform up to 3rd party sellers. eBay and Etsy merchants feel that they built those marketplaces in the early day by taking ownership of them, and making them the vital destinations that they are. They also handled the bulk of the viral marketing by attracting other merchants as well as buyers to the sites.
Amazon merchants, I believe, understand that they share the marketplace with Amazon. I think that makes a fundamental difference in how merchants react to the changes that take place on all three venues.
eBay began with the promise of a level playing field and "perfect marketplace" where seller/buyer came together, transacted business autonomously, then paid a percentage of the sale to eBay. Etsy started as a "handmade" marketplace and was dedicated to artisans who produced original product. Both marketplaces have undergone huge paradigm shifts and some might say those early mission statements are distant memories. Amazon, in contrast, has stayed relatively true to the original proposition.
The questions on the table: Are Etsy and eBay sellers angrier than Amazon sellers? If so, why?
I feel sellers should speak for themselves, so I've pointed the reporter to this blog post. Feel free to enlighten him (and us)!