Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Feb 23 2016 17:46:21

Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

A seller on the Best Buy Marketplace was surprised to learn today that the retailer is closing its marketplace to third-party sellers. The Best Buy letter to sellers began with the following: 

"As of February 24, 2016, we have discontinued our Marketplace business and removed all third party seller listings. We believe we can continue to provide a positive customer experience on our site through other product sourcing methods."

Best Buy first opened its marketplace to third-party sellers in September 2011.

The Star Tribune reported on Monday that Best Buy laid off a few dozen corporate employees in recent weeks. The company told the newspaper it was also hiring in other strategic areas. "Still, the newspaper wrote, "the reductions come after a difficult holiday season for the retailer, which had been making strides in the last couple of years to stabilize its business under Chief Executive Hubert Joly."

A seller who was impacted by the closure said sales on Best Buy Marketplace came in third after Amazon and eBay. He did not want to be identified, believing it was possible that Best Buy could invite some sellers back to a new approach. "I say this as this decision (ending 3rd party marketplaces) makes no sense from a business standpoint. Not sure what the number is but I'd guess they'll lose half or more of their skus." (See update below.)

He sent a screenshot of the letter from Best Buy, signed by Mary Lou Kelley, President of eCommerce. He said the letter is available on the seller portal and was not sent via email.

We are awaiting confirmation from Best Buy about the marketplace closure. Stay tuned as we update this story.

UPDATE: Received confirmation from Best Buy about marketplace closure - they took issue with estimate on the part of the seller that half of skus came from 3P sellers. About 70% of marketplace items overlap, rest are largely refurbs, company said. Much more to come in Newsflash, stay tuned. Company spokesperson Jeff Shelman also said the move impacts only the US marketplace on BestBuy.com.

UPDATE: See story in Wednesday's Newsflash available now.




Comments (17) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Feb 23 19:48:40 2016

So they gave their 3P sellers one day's notice of the closure? Not very fair to those sellers that don't have a presence on any other marketplace.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 23 20:04:01 2016

I agree with iheartjacksparrow. That's just wrong.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 23 22:17:27 2016

I spoke to 2 different sellers, both said that BB was cutting them out of the marketplace slowly anyway, and that it didnt make a big difference to them monetarily.

BB is spending its time and effort on Cowboom instead and giving the spaces that the 3p sellers took - to Cowboom - which its its own company.

Lets see how long this lasts before they come back hat in hand.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 24 05:05:25 2016

I went to Cowboom (never heard of it) and indeed I can see why they would shift their online business to that site.  Good prices.  Competitive to Newegg.
BB is also closing stores.  In Chicago, the one down the street is closing.
Honestly, I can say that I order more and more electronic gizmos online.  But, I will miss the ability to pickup in store.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Feb 24 06:59:03 2016

pace says "both said that BB was cutting them out of the marketplace slowly anyway"

Sounds just like eBay doesn't it? Although on eBay, especially lately, it has been a lot more quickly (than slowly), all the while telling us that they are re-connecting with small sellers.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Wed Feb 24 09:43:32 2016

Didn't Barnes & Noble do a very similar thing to it's Marketplace Sellers?  I don't remember if it was permanent at B&N.

Seems that anyone interested in being part of a Marketplace 'partnered' with these large corporations (or currently part of one) should take note of the precedent set by these two companies.  They are scrambling to be relevant.  One can get hurt under these circumstances.

They know small 3rd party Sellers cannot afford litigation so be prepared to be treated as disposable with no notice.  I write that as if there were ANY terms slanted toward the small seller in any TOS or User Agreements, actionable or not! You know what I mean tho'.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 24 10:18:05 2016

The handwriting is on the wall. Next will be Sears and Walmart.

I go to Sears site and most of the items listed are from 3P sellers, where what I want is to research something to buy or pickup in store. It makes both Sears and Walmart's websites very hard to use. Mostly useless.
All these guys were trying to jump on Amazon's bandwagon.

Amazon has done pretty well with their 3P marketplace, but they do compete directly when they can, differentiating themselves with free Prime shipping.

That's one thing ebay doesn't try to do, compete directly. Ebay is a data processing and website hosting service. If they hadn't gotten all into everyone's businesses so deep it would be great, like it used to be.  

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Feb 24 10:41:41 2016

I like Best Buy, I go there for most of my electronic needs. But my eBay items wouldn't fit well on their site.

By the way, eBay has been working very well for me this past week with 45 sales.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 24 10:46:24 2016

IDK :) yes - B&N did the same thing. As does Amazon.

All these companies use 3p sellers to enhance the amounts and kinds of inventory they carry.

The screen sellers to make sure that they are usefull ie they carry what the site cant/doesnt/wont.

Amazon doesnt need more people selling shoes and therefore is VERY picky on whom they allow to sell in those categories.

Walmart is doing it as well. They only will take specific sellers who sell things in areas they are weak in. Some of the people I know they just let in (Walmart) were in the baby and car stereo categories - both areas Walmart "needed help in".

That was (used to be) the brilliance of eBay - you could sell ANYTHING. Since there was always someone somewhere that needed what you had - it didnt matter how many others were there - just if you had the best item, best service and best price.

B&N found out that running a site with 3p sellers causes headaches and slowly stopped it. Not that they are doing so well themselves - but they bit off more then they could chew. The slimy eBay buyers that we all experience and speak about here, went there and caused them all kinds of issues - chargebacks, fraud, and complaints. At the end, it just wasnt worth it, so they canned the whole program.

Best Buy decided to go it alone after trying it as well. They opted to get manufacturers behind them directly instead of "playing" with the 3P sellers. Cowboom also helps them dump old goods, trade ins and other things into the market - so for them its win/win.

The question going forward (for me anyway) is what does this what does this say for 3p sellers as its one less marketplace to sell on - and it gives eBay more "juice" since they know this as well.

No one I know got "rich" off BB's 3p marketplace - it was Sears +, and not Amazon Lite to begin with. It was just another alternative and a place to sell - its not the end of the world.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Wed Feb 24 10:51:56 2016

Yet another reason to build and market your OWN websites! Relying on ANY of these 3P marketplaces is a fool's errand!

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Wed Feb 24 10:52:58 2016

Not vouching for or against Cowboom but it does have a LOT of consumer complaints posted against it on line.

As for "Best Buy" I stopped reading their ads and shopping there after a store manager at the service counter said "What do you expect shopping in a place like this?" Enuf said.

I've seen the bins of returns that Best Buy auctions off to 3rd parties and it doesn't speak well for the quality of their initial retail offerings.  

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Feb 24 11:37:47 2016

More or less what I said about the Walmart site, isn't it?

The big boxes are becoming increasingly irrelevant primarily because they're a big box of nothing.  No selection, no service, no reason to exist.  When they finally collapse under their own hubris, how badly they've scorched the earth will be on display for all to see.

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Wed Feb 24 13:37:11 2016

RKTOYS says ''big box of nothing''.  that says it all, no doubt!  

The big boxes have been irrelevant for soooo long...that is how eCommerce came into being in the first place.  Instead of learning anything from their experience or listening to their customers over the last decade and a half, they proceed to try and sell the same cheap crap in the same limited selection online and are finding themselves in the same boat on the uncharted cyber seas.  Insert definition of insane here.

What gets me fired up is their whining to the states & the feds about sales tax and how eCommerce is killing them.  Not.  They killed themselves.  Now they want the gov't to bail them out, like the auto and banking industries, in the form of internet tax reforms.  This after they killed off all the Mom & Pop stores and started acting like they were Cock of the Walk.  It bites them and they cry about it.  No sympathy here; far as I am concerned they can find sympathy between sh*t and syphilis in the dictionary (thanks Grandpa).

SMH, pretty sad when the consumer votes with their wallet & they won't listen 'cause it isn't fair....whaaaaa...whaaaaa. Big cry babies.

Hopping off soapbox....    

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Wed Feb 24 13:43:14 2016

...and back up there again for a sec...

These Cry Babies are the same bada$$es that said it was ''nothing personal, just business'' when they killed off Mom & Pop's.  It is always just business when one is not on the receiving end and is always personal when you are.  

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 25 18:21:52 2016

Barnes and Noble Marketplace went down last June while they revamped their website and the had lots of problems even a month-month and a half later but it's been back up for quite sometime 7+ months anyways.  Best Buys Marketplace has always been crap, if they would have done a better job at integrating into their site and a better design it could have been a good site.. hell, Walmart, Sears, any of them could be a ''good site'' if they would keep them integrated but still separated.. If someone with half a brain came along and figured it out we could have a great competitor to Amazon/Ebay with built in traffic.. alas, ignorant corporate stooges will keep that from happening.  I could care less about Bestbuy's closure the part that pisses me off for sellers is this: ''We may hold up to two weeks of seller payments attributable to your account for 90 days plus the time permitted for customer returns of seller product''  Keeping hold of their funds without interest being paid for any reason should be illegal especially for sellers who were in good standings and provided excellent products and service..  

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Fri Feb 26 11:35:48 2016

Best Buys is more like a "Big Box of NOISE" with that loud racket reverberating off empty shelves and bare floor space. I mistakenly asked a Best Buy smocked clerk for some info about a camera lens advertised in their weekly flyer. She claimed that they were out-of-stock even though 5 retail boxes of that lens were stacked in the locked showcase. Then she told me that I couldn't test the lens with my camera for a fit etc. but I could buy it, take it home, use it, and bring it back for a refund. So I suppose that she was just there to help identify shoplifters if they ever stocked anything worth risking time in jail for? Maybe if BB hired some competent sales help its sales revenue would increase? Nah!  

Perminate Link for Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow   Best Buy to Close Third Party Marketplace Tomorrow

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

Fri Feb 26 14:39:54 2016

I have to agree with iheartjacksparrow. Whatever happen to basic common courtesy in business?  



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.