EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 279 - January 23, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     16 of 18

Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: TIAS.com

By Ina & David Steiner

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In January 2011, AuctionBytes surveyed almost 2,800 online sellers and asked them to rate the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the Sellers Choice survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, along with links to results for each of the 16 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

TIAS.com
Year Established: 1995
Description: Fixed price; antiques, collectibles, arts & crafts, jewelry
More Info

Summary:
Tias.com came in twelfth with an overall score of 5.16 Its highest marks were for Ease of Use (5.16) and its lowest marks were for Profitability (4.18). TIAS.com is one of the oldest marketplaces, having started at the same time as eBay in 1995, and is an online antiques mall.

The site has fans - "Absolutely wonderful customer service to their dealers," said one, but it slid from last year both in terms of ratings and comments. A couple of respondents said they use it to look up items: "Great source for research," wrote one.

Link to 2010 results

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
Have been a longtime dealer here ... appreciate the helpfulness and expertise of staff. Easy to list, easy to sell here!
***
Been there since 2002 and it is my home base. Good start for newbies IMHO.
***
1, Very easy to use system to add inventory. 2, Comprehensive Sellers reports feature.
***
The cost of service is righton and the customer service is great.
***
I love TIAS. Fees are reasonable, they do a good job attracting customers without trying to compete on price. My gripe with TIAS is that you have limited ability to customize some aspects of the buying experience. For example, I can't customize the newsletter confirmation messages or the buyer's check out page. They don't have any place for guides or information that is not related to a specific listing. That said, I've increased my sales on TIAS steadily. The customer service is excellent, they are responsive and helpful.
***
Due to the policing of the posts, I find that credibility helps sales... people are willing to pay true prices for items so the sellers do not have a need to overprice.
***
Until you get used to the system, it can be a hassle trying to figure everything out. As tias progresses through the year they have added many short cuts to make it much easier to set up your site.
***
Liked this site and made many sales but when we had a slow period...I couldn't make the fees in sales.
***
I used to sell on TIAS but stopped because I did not see the traffic that I expected on the site. In addition, nice real antiques and collectibles are lost on TIAS because there is no policing to keep reproductions and cheap Chinese imports off of the site. The site is big and you have to sift through junk to find good items. I think that this is a problem for this site and I left it for a juried site that tries hard to police the site and keep repro's and junk off.
***
TIAS is a little hard to figure out when setting up to sell an item and the follow through when an item is sold is a little difficult.
***
This is my second go round with Tias in 5 years. I am closing my account later this month. They made a lot of changes over 2010, some good and some bad in my opinion. Basically I break even every month, so whatever profits made are miniscule.

Sellers Choice
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the survey results or the survey itself, please feel free to post them in the AuctionBytes Blog.

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About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of EcommerceBytes.com and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.


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