EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 279 - January 23, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 18

From the Editor

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Welcome to a special edition of the AuctionBytes Update newsletter containing the results of the 2011 Sellers Choice Awards. One year ago, we debuted the Sellers Choice Awards to let you, online sellers, rate the marketplaces you've used. Last year, over 1,400 online sellers rated 15 ecommerce sites, including eBay, Amazon, Bonanzle, Craigslist and more, and Sellers Choice became one of our most popular features.

This year, we let you nominate the marketplaces and then opened the polls to let you rate the top 16 finalists. Nearly 2,800 of you participated, rating each of the marketplaces you've used on profitability, customer service, communication and ease of use, and reporting how likely you were to recommend them to friends and colleagues.

Sellers Choice results make it clear that selling online is not a piece of cake, and profits are not easy to come by. Webstore, a small, free online marketplace that offers an auction format, received the highest mark for profitability - 7.06 out of ten. And while eBay had the most number of respondents reporting they use or had used it, respondents reported high fees and low selling prices, hurting eBay's profitability score.

My favorite part of the Sellers Choice Awards is the opportunity to read what you have to say about the marketplaces. Respondents generously opened up about their experiences selling on various venues, and this insider information is unique in all of ecommerce. You reported the good, the bad, and the ugly, giving us insight into the trenches of online selling. In the near future, we'll be extending the Sellers Choice awards to other areas, such as Payment Services, Shipping Services, Shopping Carts and more. Stay tuned.

David and I want to thank everyone who took the time to first nominate the marketplaces and then complete the survey. We're again very excited to share the results with you in today's issue.

eBay announced fourth-quarter earnings last week - you can see the coverage in this article ("eBay US Marketplaces GMV Grows 5% in Fourth Quarter") and comment on the AuctionBytes Blog ("eBay Announces Fourth Quarter 2010 Earnings").

During a conference call with Wall Street analysts after the earnings release, eBay CEO John Donahoe was specifically asked about the Marketplaces turnaround strategy he had first mentioned at an analyst day in 2009. He said that in 2010, eBay grew global marketplace revenue 9% on an FX-neutral basis and GMV 11%, "roughly in line with the markets in which we participate in." He said he was confident and optimistic eBay would make continued progress into 2011, "and our goal is still to grow at or faster than the market."

We'll hear more about that soon when eBay's CEO holds his second Analyst Day in February. is scheduled to report its earnings on Thursday, and for those of you tracking Etsy's financial performance, I reported recently that its 2010 GMV was up 74% in 2010. Etsy has found itself in the middle of several controversies lately, the latest being late last week when it announced a forum migration plan, as I reported on Friday.

The first article in today's issue is an introduction to the 2011 Sellers Choice Awards, and the remaining articles contain the detailed results for each marketplace. We've also set up a Blog post where you can leave your feedback about the survey results. We'll be back next month with our regular features.

Thanks for reading.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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