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Tue June 23 2015 11:18:05

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Yesterday I read about the top ecommerce stores as voted by the sellers: Etsy, eBay, Bonanza, etc.

Then I did a Google search for reviews of Etsy and Bonanza, and they are horrible from both sellers and buyers. I'm trying to understand why there could be such polar-opposite views.

I am trying to pick a store to sell one, but when I read such reviews, none of them sound very appealing, really.
Larry




Comments (40) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 11:34:38 2015

All of them suffer from the same problems...

Owners are more interested in the bottom line..... Therefore they is little or no advertising. With the exception of Ebay their is hardly any buyers  for all the sellers.

Customer Service is non existent or uninformed and only give you what you want to hear.

Listing or selling is mostly a nightmare with platforms that are shakey and unstable to say the least.

Fees, regardless if you think its free. IT AIN'T

Buyers run rampant with DSR'S and vicious feedback on all three sites.  Companies don't care and give the buyer the same old " It's only an opinion" garbage, but that opinion usually has a direct effect on being able to sell.

Trying to contact anyone who cares is like dialing Mars asking for ET.

All of the sites want you to list but non care to help you. They are the three eyed monster in the room and you need a strong stomach in order to stand the stuff each of the pull.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 11:38:03 2015

Also like any other business (ie Wendy's, Penny's, Nordstrom's, Mc Donald's ) if one looks long and hard enough you will find people who hate them.

These companies are no different than any of the rest.  Just that this blog is almost solely dedicated to Ebay, Bonanza, Ecrater, Etsy.

If it was dedicated to all the hamburger joints in America you would have the same upset people slamming them at ever chance.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 11:38:48 2015

You won't find the traffic on alternative sites that you have on eBay, however if recent news about traffic and sell through rates are any indication, eBay is falling way down on the job for sellers. Views are poor, search is broken, sales are pretty dismal. The relationships with alternative site sellers is, for the most part, vastly, nicer and easier. eBay causes huge amounts of friction between buyers and sellers, the other sites do not do that. They also do not interfere between buyers and sellers.

Try eCrater.com

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jun 23 11:49:17 2015

@Larry - Please try eCrater. There are no listing fees, no store subscription fees, and you only pay a FVF if a sale results from a search through the eCrater home page. Buyers can leave feedback, but any feedback that is unfair will be changed or removed (I've had a couple of negatives changed to neutrals which, unlike eBay, do not count as negatives). I don't recall reading anything negative from the people who post here who sell on eCrater.  

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 11:54:59 2015

The best venue on which to sell is largely dependent upon what type of product you are selling. Different sites have different specialties.

I sell books, magazines and comics. I sell on Ebay, Amazon, Bonanza, Half.com and Etsy.

I have been selling on Amazon and Ebay for 13 years. I still do most of my business on these two sites. Most of my book sales are on Amazon, most of my comic sales are on Ebay, but both products sell on both sites.

I have been selling on Bonanza for one year. My sales there were very slow until April of this year. Now they are much more substantial. Bonanza now accounts for about 15% of my overall e-commerce sales. Most of my Bonanza sales are comics.

I have been selling on Etsy for only three months, so I do not know how well it will work for me. I have listed 30 items there and made one sale.

In my opinion there is no reason to pursue selling on Half.com. The site is owned by Ebay and completely neglected. I used to make a few sales a month there. I have made a total of $13 there this year.

I understand craft, clothing and antique sellers do well on Etsy.

Bonanza is by far the best alternative venue for me. Sales are slower there than Amazon and Ebay, but the site is clearly growing and I like the management. It is the only site on which I receive professional and honest customer service. Fees there range from 3.5% to 16% dependent upon how the client found your items. The higher fees go to paying outside refers such as Google Shopping sales commission fees. You only pay fees when an item sells.

The best advice you will probably receive is to look at the different sites and see if they look like places people might come to find items similar to the ones you sell. Start listing on them, and see which work for you. Be patient. I made only a few hundred dollars my first six months on Bonanza, now I make that much each month. A lot of people give up on sites if they do not produce substantial sales in the first month or two.

Ebay is in terrible shape, by far the worst it has been since I joined in 2001. I would not be surprised to see the site collapse in the next year. Management behavior there is increasingly erratic and hysterical. If you see on-line selling as a long term project it is important you reduce your financial dependence on Ebay at this point.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 12:10:21 2015

One add on note, I do not mind paying fees as long as they are attached to sales.

On Amazon I pay an average of 28% of my revenue in fees. It is much too high, but since I only pay fees on sold items, I can work with this level by incorporating it into my listing prices.

On Ebay I pay 21% fee. I have no issue with Ebay's final value fee structure. The listing fees bother me much more, especially given how little exposure the site now affords my inventory.

On Bonanza I pay an average of 8% fees, and then only on sold items. I would be happy to pay higher fees on Bonanza if the money went to advertising the site. Bonanza management has publicly stated they do not believe broad advertising of the site is cost effective as this type of advertising does not directly lead to sales. I disagree with this approach, but give them huge points for being honest and open about the reasoning behind important site decisions such as this. Ebay and Amazon treat information as if they were part of the CIA. Disagreement sits much better with me than does dishonesty and evasion.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 23 13:25:59 2015

June has been my best month yet on eCrater, and I've only had my site fully up there since the beginning of the year.  You WILL get sales if you have good photos, good descriptions, and if you add Google attributes to your listings. We can easily find out products in Google search, especially when we search in Google and Bing images.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--eCrater let me run my business. Free to list and ultra low fees.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Jun 23 13:51:34 2015

JQ  makes sense about experience on different sites differs by category.

I would LIKE for ecrater or Bonanza to compete more, but while some have luck there, my selling (and buying) experience was as follows:
 

ECRATER - I have had sales there in the past but nothing for a long time.  I liked the set-up and how my page looked.  They freshened up the look a while back.  Nice easy web address to put on your business cards. Sales, when they happened were easy and uneventful.  Friendly, low cost & low frills - I like that.

Buying - communication was a bit confusing - but overall good experience.  

GRIPE: You can't filter a search for ''used'' only.  Sometimes I don't want to see ''New''.   As a seller, I also like to search ''sold'' items - can't do it here.


BONANZA - I like the look of Bonanza and it was not that hard to set up there.  
I like that you could filter by ''new'' and ''Used''

GRIPE -  I never sold anything there - I did bump up with their 'Pay to play'' type features, no help. Finally, I always felt they were a bit too cozy with eBay.



EXAMPLE searching on the 3 sites (not google) for a fairly common item:


EBAY search for ''Pottery Barn Twin Sheet Set''
Results: New(794)  Used (56)
Prices start in $10 range, SOLD items at lowest end are $15-16 range.  


ECRATER search for same wording:
Results: ZERO
Remove words ''Twin'' and ''Set'' - 4 results of all sizes, none twin. 3 full price or near.  


BONANZA
Results: (42)

The first 4 results I see: Martha Stewart and Cynthia Rowley sponsored results.  (wtf - I asked for PB!)
Then we come to 4 PB sheet sets, BUT next we are into Ralph Lauren.  Then Back to PB.  (OK, this potential buyer is PO'd by now GONE - not looking further!)

On left screen, if I am interpreting correctly - they only have 4 results ON Bonanza with the other results described as ''Related Retailer'' -  am I being directed away from Bonanza listings (if you can find them in the mix) to a retailer?  

Aaaaarrrgh.  
 


I occasionally search for items I am looking for on ecrater & Bonz, BUT am usually right back out the door  ---   zero to a few hits come up in search, the items are usually new and prices as high! While I have positive feelings about these sites, they have not resulted in steady positive income flow or search results for me.


eBay's travails and my gripes with them aside, the remaining sellers are still providing the goods and the price I am looking for.  

eBay need to learn to appreciate what positives they have and build around THAT. If eBay dies, that seller goldmine (if left intact) will be up for grabs if an entrepreneur is smart.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 18:00:53 2015

I have had pretty similar experiences as Basset on Bonanza. I would like to buy more there and try to remember to check the site when shopping. Just the same 19 times out of 20 I buy on Ebay or Amazon. In most cases those sites just have a much larger selection.

Selling on Bonanza is quite different from selling on Amazon and Ebay. Most of my sales there have either come from clients who found a specific item through an internet search and dropped right into my booth with wallet open, or from a small group of regular clients who have bookmarked my booth. Unlike Ebay and Amazon Bonanza just does not have shoppers browsing the site. There just is not yet enough merchandise listed there yet to support that type of climate. But there clearly is a lot of growth over there and I could imagine something like that happening in the next year or so if Ebay continues to implode.

Bonanza management's philosophy is that as the selling community grows more buyers will follow them, so they seem more focused on keeping sellers happy at this point instead of attracting more buyers. This strategy makes sense to me, but it is a very slow growth approach. I think it is time they started running some TV and media ads to raise public awareness of the site. I think doing so would make shoppers more comfortable clicking on items for sale on Bonanza when they saw them on Google. I suspect a lot of them pass over the Bonanza items right now because they are not familiar with the site and want to stay in their comfort zone of sites they have used in the past.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jun 23 19:42:00 2015

@JQ - Bonanza was one of the sites I looked at when I was contemplating leaving eBay. The one thing that has always stopped me from listing there is their fee structure. I have a lot of items which sell for under $10. With their FVF of 3.5% of the total sale, that would be 15 cents or more LESS than their minimum fee of 50 cents. Also I really dislike their "allowance" of $10 on shipping. I have some items that with insurance and/or signature confirmation will add up to more than $10. I've always thought that the people who would do best there are sellers of high value, lightweight items.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 23 20:09:00 2015

@jack, Weirdly enough, my average sale at Bonanza is for a much larger dollar figure than my average sale at Ebay or Amazon. I have no ideal why this is, but I guess my average Bonanza sale is around $25, and my average Ebay sale is closer to $5.

Anyway, I recognize their fee structure is not ideal for low cost items, but all sites will have their pluses and minuses, and in the grand scheme of things paying an extra 15 cents on an order once a month really does not factor into my evaluation of the site.

Regarding shipping, I use flat rate shipping of $3 to $4 per order so I was not even aware that Bonanza capped shipping rates at $10. I can see how that would be a problem for a lot of sellers.

The biggest change I would like to see Bonanza make is to give shoppers the option of looking at inventory in more of a list format that was not as dominated by photographs. I like Ebay's search display much more than Bonanza's. It just takes me much longer to go through items on Bonanza than it does on Ebay, which is an annoyance.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 08:29:19 2015

I think the problem with other sites is there needs to be both buyers and sellers that will give them a chance most sellers expect instant results as ebay had to grow most sites do, if you allow them a chance. the problem with ebay is you make sales but are they worth the grief that one has to put up with after for 6 months??there are rules by rules policies and then there is the infamous vero which is just another way to stop one from selling brand names for what ever reason. on ebay they policy themselves out of sellers and 19 levels of TRS etc etc by by ebay

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Jun 24 08:33:58 2015

Advertising is definitely needed - To go along with what many have said on this and other threads.


If others ask me about eBay, at times I bring up ecrater and Bonanza for them to check out.  Not once have I come across anyone who has heard of them. Not Once!!!
They have to write down the name because they say they won't remember it (especially ecrater).


Many people ARE using their mobile devices to shop.  Although you can access through the internet, I'm not sure how much Apps themselves are relied on.  


I personally use eBay's app, ever-changing it may be. Etsy has one.  I occasionally check to see if iStore has an ecrater or Bonanza app - I would get it if they did.  


Nothing on ecrater, but I think Bonanza may have a problem. There are already several Bonanza apps for gambling categories and I saw one with the original Ponderosa residents pictured. Purina probably owns ''Bonz''.  So, the name - which SHOULD be easily recognizable to Boomers - is sort of already taken.  Not sure what they would do in naming their app - do they still own the rights to BonanZLE?


Just thought I'd throw that out there since these days one more way to get name recognition is to have an app. for Apple and Android.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jun 24 10:17:29 2015

@Basset - I found an app for eCrater on Appszoom.com. It's only available for Android.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 10:19:39 2015

@jack, Bonanza has something they call a mobile shopping site, and I think they have a selling app.

I am one of 12 people left in the US who does not have a smart phone so I really do not know what I am talking about in these matters.

Here is a link to some information about the Bonanza mobile site:

http://www.bonanza.com/blog/main/New_Mobile_Bonanza_Helps
_Shoppers_On_The_Go

My
thoughts on Bonanza advertising, I think a campaign that highlights unique sellers on the site would be effective. Like an ad about Johnny Doe and how he sells old LPs on Bonanza and how much he likes the site because Johnny just loves the music and developing good relations with clients and is not into being a master of industry. Another ad about selling clothes, etc. Ads that fostered an image of the site as catering to niche sellers who are serious about what they do but who want to run their businesses on their own terms rather than standardize under the direction of corporate guidelines. I think that image is largely accurate of the site, and I think it would sell well to a fair slice of the public. It might help make Bonanza become the Etsy of pre-owned items.

If Bonanza built up a campaign like the above I would have no problem paying 1% higher fees to support it.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Jun 24 10:29:34 2015

That is good to know Jack!

I don't have an android but sometimes one format comes out before the other - so maybe an i-app is being developed!

I'll keep checking!

Maybe that is the same scenario with the Bonanza mobile JQ describes.    

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: queenfloraday This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 12:25:41 2015

eBay became a household word, not through paid advertising, but due to the early uniqueness of the site and the tremendous free advertising the media gave it. It would behoove these alternate sites to put on their thinking caps and find a way to get this type of attention.  

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jun 24 14:45:58 2015

Interesting that we've had the same number of items on Bonanza as long as we have had the same number of items on eCrater. Not one sale on Bonanza.

I'm not quite sure why, but I guess you know where we are putting our efforts.

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 15:57:33 2015

Honest question here about ecrater.com. I looked into it a few times but decided not to open an account there.

From what I see it attracts a third of the traffic as Bonanza, and Bonanza's core shortcoming is its lack of organic traffic.

I looked in my categories, books, comics and magazines, and the site's inventory in those areas is very low, about 30% as many books as Bonanza (and Bonanza's inventory in this area is very low to begin with). The comic inventory in the two sites are both around 75,000, which is also very low.

Those of you who have had some success at ecrater, what am I missing? Do the sales come from regular clients or does the site attract browsing traffic? What has made the site work for you?

I am very open to trying out more selling venues, but I try to be rational about how I use my time.

I have also been looking at Atomic Avenue for comic sales. Anyone have any feedback about that site?  

eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews   eBay Alternatives Get Good Ratings and Bad Reviews

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 16:09:46 2015

I like eCrater.com. I have 2 shops over there and I like what I see. Yes, there can be improvements in their searches and such. But for the most part, I do like to have my own control of my shops.

I got tired of Bonanza. I closed all 3 shops. Sales next to nothing.
The seller has to promote themselves because the $1 million budget to advertise does nothing for making Bonanza noticeable.
I was one of the earlier sellers that put up with so many glitches. Always repairing your listing because of the "great programming" causes funky stuff in your listings.
I had pictures start to rotate and gave links/reporting them to the 2 Boyz. Then you get "please send us the links so that we can see what you are talking about". (That's right, they can't read).
I still have friends there and that their are still glitches with shipping. Sometimes shipping is reverting to the cheapest (media rate). The Boyz won't tell you. You have to find out through others and we sure don't use the forums to do it, because the Boyz see it, Poof! it's gone and nobody knows what happened.
I still see fairly new sellers that have funky symbols in their listings that shouldn't be there, (but there are still those hidden glitches).
People complain that they have direct checkout and haven't received their money for 21 days. Within 4 days, the Boyz has the money and need to deposit into the sellers account as soon as they get it. (Check Braintree policy on this)
In the forums, Cindy (thank you Cindy) is answering questions that other sellers ask when the Bonz people should be. But we know they don't know their own website.
If you check the BBB, you can see how well Mark Bonz can copy and paste that they have a A rating on BBB. (Great talent he has).
The great write Bonanza did on all the achievements they did within a year and the newbies think this is so great. They got all these new features done because they had years of us older sellers telling them they need to do these things.
The Boyz will send other sellers to the old sellers to tap into their knowledge of SEO and such.
Oh, the latest that was on eCommercebyte  Bonanza Updates Help Pages to Keep Up with New Featureshttp://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y15/m06/i12/s03
This was suppose to be done more than 3 years ago when Bonz Boyz promised.

Even on glassdoors.com, it seems that communication is a problems with Bonz.
Advice to Management
Would be really helpful to understand what other team members are working on.

Believe me, I do love eCrater and my 2 other websites.  

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