Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Sept 28 2015 20:24:10

OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

By: Ina Steiner

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In June, OpenSky acquired online marketplace 11 Main from Alibaba Group (which acquired a 37 percent stake in OpenSky as part of the deal), and merchants have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. A message at the top of 11Main.com now reads, "11 Main will soon move to OpenSky.com! Shop from some of your favorite 11 Main merchants and more. Shop OpenSky."

Despite the fact 11 Main shoppers - and merchants - are sent to OpenSky, founder and CEO of OpenSky John Caplan told EcommerceBytes on Monday, "there aren't plans to shut 11main." He said  of the messaging, "We're testing cross promoting between all of our platforms with emails and on our sites. We do the same with merchants as well." 

Caplan didn't answer any questions about whether 11 Main was marketing the site to shoppers, but in addition to the mass layoff at 11 Main in July, there has been no social media activity on 11 Main accounts since July 9th.

But Caplan had plenty to say about the benefits of OpenSky in helping sellers grow. However, merchants must open an OpenSky shop to participate in the company's OpenSky copilot program. One seller who set up a shop on 11 Main said that after the acquisition, they had been inundated with promotional emails from OpenSky.

While Caplan had nothing specific to say about 11 Main other than to say it was not closing, he was enthusiastic about the other properties that came along with 11 Main, telling EcommerceBytes OpenSky was "doubling down" and investing in Vendio, Auctiva, and Singlefeed.

Interestingly, Jeff Schlicht and Mike Effle of Auctiva and Vendio, respectively, still work at OpenSky, Caplan said, though he would not reveal exactly what they were working on.

We've got more on this story in Tuesday's Newsflash. If you're an 11 Main merchant, let us know what's going on from your perspective.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Mon Sep 28 20:53:22 2015

I did fairly well on 11 Main last year at holiday time, but since then-crickets. i get a sale once in a blue moon. I have not migrated to open sky.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Sep 29 02:35:16 2015

I told you so. The whole idea was stupid. Egg on their faces. Waste of time. Euthanize it.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 04:55:03 2015

Sounds to me like another heavy-handed venue that is not seller friendly. I think we have enough of those already.  

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue Sep 29 06:06:54 2015

Very Similar to Other Sites with Chinese Influence. I do think Etsy uses 11 main and Alibaba as a role model for their new business model and the Etsy BOD has a few of Walmart's BOD on its team.

Alibaba stock is not doing so well these days but I think that is the Chinese economy talking to them.The Chinese Economy looks pretty gloomy in the future.

I think China would do well to go to utube and study the Cat Herding Video from a few years back. The American sellers do not herd very well. :-) And Etsy should pick a better role model than Alibaba and 11 main.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Sep 29 06:41:25 2015

OpenSky is the biggest online load of useless Chinese crap I've ever seen.
Unbelievable.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Sep 29 06:43:32 2015

No tears for 11Main here.  They were so picky about who could sell there and who couldn't, as if it was some sort of privilege to sell there. I think that they thought that they were the country club of ecommerce.  

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue Sep 29 08:57:21 2015

I seriously think the 11 main sale was an attempt to save face by Alibaba. Much better to sell than to admit defeat and close it. Then there is Auctiva and Vendio. another story. Good to hear they are working on something new?

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 09:27:34 2015

"11 Main will soon move to OpenSky.com".  If that sentence is an attempt to "cross-promote" then it fails utterly as anyone reading it will see it as a statement of fact. How can it be taken to mean anything else???

I was an 11 Main merchant (very few sales), but got so irritated with the constant stream of e-mails telling me to move to OpenSky that I closed my store.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue Sep 29 10:16:27 2015

these venue CEO's think it is totally OK to lie to your face. I assume they think everyone is completely stupid except them? I think they learned it from Etsy? one option in a lie is to redefine the dictionary Like dickerson did on the meaning of handmade :-) when he was done. it included mass factory production in China.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 10:23:49 2015

Just a warning, just a simple visit to OpenSky means you start getting endless spam emails multiple times a day.

In the header emails don't even say 'OpenSky', so they're hard to block effectively.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 12:08:07 2015

I had sales there daily until the opensky announcement. Not one sale since that day. It may not be closed but to me, it is dead.
Opensky is only going to have useless junk. You need to give them 500 upfront so they can promote 1 item for you. So to do that you have to have 500 of 1 item.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

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

Tue Sep 29 13:20:54 2015

Well, that's a whole bunch of nothing -- doublespeak and deflection, with no real plan in place.

After waiting months for news on what the plan was for 11 Main, including emails and phone calls that all netted the response "We're still studying that," I closed my 11 Main store. Besides lack of sales (one sale out of 1,800 items in six months) and their mistreatment of sellers through lack of information, I quit because 1) they have killed the 11 Main brand and there is no way it can recover, and 2) with their banner across the top of 11 Main pages it is abundantly clear they plan to fold 11 Main into Open Sky, either as straight absorption or a sub-site of Open Sky.

Anyone who has looked at Open Sky can see it is mostly just a mismash of import junk you can buy anywhere. It is difficult to navigate and the search function stinks. We mostly sell collectibles and Open Sky has no collectibles categories -- everything is new junk -- so there is no reason to migrate to the site.

Open Sky is desperately trying to get people to the site with big credits and discounts, which is a sure tipoff to how poorly they are doing. We've been doing e-commerce for nearly 20 years and there is nothing about Open Sky that is remotely attractive as a buyer or seller.

My only hope is that they don't screw up Auctiva.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Sep 29 14:05:39 2015


Early days, at one point I opened the site to try to take a look around for a gift I needed to buy. I left and never went back when I found that I could not look around without giving them my life history.

Besides, the info be redundant.  I'm sure China already has my life history based on the news stories about the large scale hacks they get credit for.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

by: JewelrySeller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 14:14:08 2015

We were doing just ok on 11Main, a few sales a month until the site was sold. Not a single sale since then, only copious amounts of spam from Opensky as others have mentioned. Too bad, as I liked the look and feel of 11Main much better than Opensky.
I got some offers from other marketplaces to join theirs based off of 11Main. That has certainly never happened off my eBay store.

I was able to turn off the junk mail by opting out. I may still move the shop over to Opensky but it is a low priority.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Sep 29 16:35:13 2015

Contrary to how others here might feel, I think 11 Main began with an excellent paradigm.

Even though they were Chinese owned, they allowed no international sellers and NO junk.

They worked hard to prevent bad ebafia sellers from becoming bad 11 Main sellers, but in the process may have eliminated some good sellers as well.

Having said that, had they advertised in the manner they initially promised, they could have been successful.

Their customer service was outstanding!

Venues pursuing monetization that expect sellers to do their advertising fail.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Tue Sep 29 16:56:01 2015

I couldn't get passed their interface and horrible web/shop site.  Never bothered after that.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 29 17:50:17 2015

Sales Have been slow on most all sites I do. Been a decline , all have little traffic. Im limited where I can sell. I sell a very wide variety of collectables , antiques , & general merchandise.
Different things sell differently on different sites. I move things
around. Its hard to get used to the multi- change, on 5 sites.

    Getting A fair market value, has been near impossible. Making a profit is difficult. Finding a fair market seems impossible. It all feels like catch 22.

    11Main is dead. ecrater is dead. ebay is dead.(deadbay)

    Dang companys just wont leave well enough alone. Im sure glad winter is almost here , sell off the stock at the swapmeet. Time to lighten the load & beat feet.  

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Tue Sep 29 18:19:32 2015

11Main can shove it !

With almost 20,000 Feedbacks, and almost 20 years experience selling online, and being a Top Rated Seller at the time, they told me that I could not join, to comeback again someday in the future !

Well I did not, will not, and I do not buy there either !

Uppity clubs can have there few select !

Who would want to sell there anyhow ? I have never come across one person, that has bought on, or even heard of 11main

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 30 06:39:55 2015

I took a look at opensky.com, selected "Cameras" from their "Tech" category.  Got infinite scrolling listings of camera straps with crepe-paper flowers glued to them.  Are these people effin' kidding?

I still maintain this is all preparatory to an ebay acquisition by The Ho's Chinese buddies.

Perminate Link for OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes   OpenSky Is Drawn to eBay Tools while 11 Main Languishes

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 30 10:30:50 2015

I have to agree with MING on this one.

As an early participant in 11main - for me it was smooth and I was accepted right away.

*MY* issues started because there was NO SELLER PROTECTION at all.

While its easy to rail against Paypal (and I do it myself often) at least theres SOME KIND of seller protection (delivered to the correct address with tracking = protection from non delivery complaints).

I had to GENLTY pressure them to make me "whole" after 3 issues - but to their credit - they did.

As far as marketing, without their %20 or $20 off coupon, there was no marketing that I could see. That promo got me 3-4 sales a week, more during the holiday season.

As of Feb of this year it totally died. No sales, no support, nothing was going on.

Now theres the Opensky mess.

DONT DO IT.

Its s scam and a waste of time. Opensky bought 11main to mine its sellers for their "services".

The site is useless and I wouldnt give them a PENNY, if you do - you wont see any return on your investment.

11main is now functionally DEAD, and unless they are bought by someone, they will stay that way.

Its s shame they didnt turn out to be the eBay killer we were all hoping it would be ......

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