Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Feb 11 2017 17:04:29

Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

By: Ina and David Steiner

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The sellers have spoken, and Amazon is number one. That's the headline, but there's more nuance in the results of this year's Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces.

It was very close between all five of the top-rated marketplaces, and two of those are niche sites. Even Amazon itself restricts sellers in many categories.

For that reason, it's important to go beyond the overall ratings and dig into the comments that readers left for each of the venues through which they sell. In Sunday's issue of EcommerceBytes Update, we devote an article to each of the venues that made it into this year's Sellers Choice.

In the section called, "Reader Comments: The good, the bad, and the ugly," sellers get specific about the joys and pitfalls of selling online. Knowing that marketplaces pay attention to Sellers Choice, readers also share their suggestions for making the venues better for sellers.

One suggestion that is especially important in the days of Google pay-to-play exposure: do more to advertise your site. And speaking of advertising - sellers said don't run adds for off-marketplace retailers on sellers' listings.

Another challenge sellers face was typically referred to as "Chinese sellers." Readers described the challenge competing on marketplaces that provide preferential treatment to mass-manufacturers (most often from countries with cheap labor). Preferred treatment included greater exposure to shoppers while not requiring them to follow the same rules smaller sellers must follow.

While those comments are general in nature, readers also provided specific critiques for each marketplace. And because EcommerceBytes readers represent a range of sellers, from casual sellers to "powersellers" and beyond, they sometimes had different takes on the same venues. 


You can find the 2017 Sellers Choice overview in this article, which links to the results for each venue, and feel free to come back and weigh in on the results.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

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

Sat Feb 11 19:22:36 2017

I think what these ratings demonstrate is just how much these mega greedy online sales venues squeeze seller profitability. None of them received even a paltry 7 for profitability or anything else!

Every one of these venues would have zero or vastly reduced corporate profitability without us. Yet we're treated like dirt or worse.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

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

Sun Feb 12 02:15:28 2017

Each year as I read the comments of the seller survey's, especially those relating to the venues that I sell on I am amazed and wonder if we are talking about the same sites. I sell on eCRATER and have for around 9 years now. I have had to send in questions to the eCRATER team throughout that time and ALWAYS received a quick, personal, non-canned reply. Happened yet again today when I discovered an undeserved negative on my feedback. They fixed it. Granted they don't fix all, but unwarranted things they do. On Amazon I've seen seller's practically beg for a resolution. All it seems that amazon cares about is the buyers, not sellers at all. If you sell someone a computer notebook on Amazon and the buyer wants to scam you, they can send you back for a refund a 25 cent spiral bound paper notebook and the seller can only take back 50% of the selling price. Not right and not fair.  On Amazon when I send in a question it usually takes at minimum 3 emails to the CSR before they can understand what my problem is. Actually it is like by the third CSR I get one that has some brains or understands American English. Just because someone in India speaks English does not mean at all that they are any good at CS as they don't understand the idioms that we may use in writing. I have to always try to be aware of my writing so it is understandable to some that does not speak American English. Yet going through these surveys comments, so many said they got excellent customer service and I would like to know who from so I can get their CSR to help me when needed.

I frequently find problem
on product pages at Amazon and fill in the comment boxes for if we find incorrect information. I've yet to see anything fixed. On eCRATER it is taken care of. Last week I had to call a company when I noticed what appeared to be an error on their website. They were most appreciative and had the error fixed by the end of the day, so why is it so hard for Amazon to fix an incorrect title or incorrect category, etc. and a month after sending in the email no fix is shown. So you write them again and a month later still no fix. I feel like I am spinning my wheels waiting for pages to be fixed so I can use them. Now Amazon is coming out with a new policy that any new item can't have ANY comments in the comment box, which means no way to reassure a buyer about what they are buying from you! At least on eCRATER, you sink or swim according to your own descriptions and pictures.

On eCRATER I heavily participate on the forum. We get many newbies with questions that are glad for all the help we can give them while others come and complain from day one and continue to complain, won't take any advice and in some cases don't want any advice and then when they don't make any sales, they don't understand, but not their fault. If you want to sell on eCRATER, and this is something they have been very clear on since I started selling there, is you have to do your own marketing/promoting. But it is much easier to complain than it is to actually do something to fix the problem.

For all selling venues we have and will continue to have many newbie's drawn to on line selling since they heard it is fast and easy and a great way to make a buck and with less than 5 minutes notice will open a store with a few pieces of junk and then wonder why nothing sells. The other HUGE problem in the changes that Google has made in it's quest to no longer be the best search engine. NOW they want money from sellers by way of their venues to show products that are listed. If you don't pay you don't show. They also require 'attributes'. Something they keep changing the definition and which ones they want to see. It is frustrating especially since none of use have signed up to have Google as our selling venue. We have no contract with them nor do we want them interfering with our business, yet once they started putting these rules in places, smaller sites like eCRATER have been sliding down in sales. My sales since Google interfered have dropped over 50%, but I persevere. My actual eCRATER fees are a speck compared to Amazons. I have found eCRATER very easy to sell on and I feel so much less stress there, even with the Google problem. Amazon you live on tender hooks because you never know when they will pull the rug out from under you and find yourself suspended, no matter how hard you try to follow the myriad of rules or how many sales you have produced for Amazon.

I think a good question to ask on these surveys is how long the seller has been using a venue and if you have left, how long were you there.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Feb 12 11:41:00 2017

I only sell on 1 site, been selling there for almost 17 years.

I have no need to venture down the river or to visit the ranch, I don't do art so I have no need for Ruby or her Lane. . .

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 12 11:59:01 2017

Amazon is horrible. The only reason it's number one is its traffic and you actually get sales there

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Sun Feb 12 12:40:41 2017

Well, as Ming mentioned, none of the sites even received a ''7'' for any attribute.

In fact, the high scores are in the low six range. 61 or 62 percent is a D minus score, for those of us grading at home. And more than half the totals are lower than 50%.

THIS IS AN ATROCIOUS EPIC FAIL!!

If this illustrates how sellers truly think about these sites, someone with a great deal of venture capital or money in the bank could start a site which does things the correct way, and actually listens to their customers.

No, buyers who pay nothing to use these sites are NOT customers. The entire e-commerce industry needs to see these reviews and take notice!!

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 12 13:42:39 2017

@Ming:
Yes and agreed.

2eXtinctBay:
''If this illustrates how sellers truly think about these sites, someone with a great deal of venture capital or money in the bank could start a site which does things the correct way, and actually listens to their customers.''

If only......

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 12 14:02:11 2017

Ignoring the FOOLGUY since he has nothing to contribute (except weed).

The items I sell dont fit into RUby Lane or Etsy, so Ill stick to commenting on the 2 most relevant (for me) ecommerce sites.

Amazon, PERIOD has the most traffic. Its not even close.

(Whether the court jester here even understands what traffic is (and no FOOL not the rock group) is debatable - but still - the numbers DONT LIE (unless your smokin up and then the numbers form mouths and talk to you about unicorns and rainbows, and then Devin Wenig comes out of a cloud in a tutu and bakes you cookies).

Amazon is just as bad if not worse then eBay in a lot of areas, including returns. HOWEVER, selling on Amazon means playing in THEIR sandbox - their place, their rules. Personally I understand it, I dont lie the abuse - BUT THE TRAFFIC MAKES UP FOR IT (and I just buy another of what ever I got back on Amazon itself and switch it (Im not eating their garbage!).

eBay - and the FOOL missed this idea entirely, was that it was SUPPOSED to be YOUR SHOW. They were JUST A VENUE, and while there were normal limits on things, they didnt over burden you with stupidities or rules that stole from you (with their blessings).

Nothing was gated, nothing was mandated and all was fine - until the suits in San Jose decided to mimic Amazon, and then it all went to Hell in a handbasket.

eBay after all the copying, STILL is a poor #2 to Amazon and the numbers (sales volume, profit etc) are not even close.

eBay will NEVER be #1 - even if they found the magic money fairy and BOUGHT Amazon - since no one at eBay knows anything about ecommerce - they are mostly lawyers.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Feb 13 08:36:45 2017

I have often considered what it would take to launch an eBay competitor.  I always run into the same couple of problems.

1.  How do I get a critical mass of population for it to be worth buying or selling?  This is the biggest hurdle.  Although I joined when eBay was new/small and I keep an account through the trickle of sales, I've learned the hard way nor to base business decisions on personal experience.

2.  How do I enforce anything?  Let's say at a bare minimum I want 2% of every sale.  Unless I control the payment, like PayPal, I have to trust sellers.  A seller could just say over and over that they weren't paid to escape the fee.  Or they could refuse to pay it.  Sure, I can ban them, but then begins a game of whack-a-mole.  And that's _if_ all they do is cheat me.  What if they're screwing buyers left and right?

I can program the site inside of a week.  It's marketing and fraud that have me at a loss.

Perminate Link for Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One   Sellers Choice 2017: Amazon Is Number One

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Feb 13 11:07:17 2017

eBay will always be my #1

I have sales on a regular basis, day in and day out!

eBay Pays My Bills :-)



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