EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 399 - February 12, 2017 - ISSN 1528-6703     2 of 12

Sellers Choice 2017: Merchants Rate Top Online Marketplaces

By Ina & David Steiner

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This year marks the 8th year of Sellers Choice, and over 10,000 sellers participated in the 2017 awards. In the initial nomination process, EcommerceBytes readers chose 10 finalists. Readers then rated the finalists in four key areas - profitability, customer service, communication and ease of use. Respondents were also asked how likely they were to recommend each marketplace as a selling venue to a friend or colleague.

Sellers also supplied comments about the marketplaces, revealing details about the rewards and challenges of selling on each marketplace - the kind of inside information you won't find anyplace else. This annual process gives both merchants and site owners alike an unfiltered glimpse into what each marketplace is doing right, and what they could be doing better.

The Results
Amazon took first place overall taking into account four key areas - profitability, customer service, communication and ease of use. But all 5 of the top marketplaces came in very close again this year, and Etsy, which took second place overall, took the first place when it came to top recommended marketplace.

eBay and vintage and antiques site Ruby Lane came in a close third and fourth place, respectively.

eBay took first place for Profitability for the fourth consecutive year, and Ruby Lane took first place for Customer Service for the second consecutive year. Bonanza took first place for Communication, and Etsy took top spot for Ease of Use - the fourth consecutive year for both marketplaces.

How It Breaks Down - Profitability
We asked sellers, "How would you rate your profitability as a seller on (marketplace name)?" eBay topped the list for Profitability, followed by Amazon, Etsy, and Ruby Lane.

How It Breaks Down - Customer Service
We asked sellers, "How would you rate the customer service (marketplace name) provides to sellers?" Ruby Lane topped the list for Customer Service, followed by Bonanza, Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.

How It Breaks Down - Communication
We asked sellers, "How would you rate (marketplace name)'s communication with you as a seller?" Bonanza topped the list for Communication again this year, followed by Ruby Lane, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

How It Breaks Down - Ease of Use
We asked sellers, "How would you rate (marketplace name)'s ease of use as a seller?" Etsy topped the list for Ease of Use again this year, followed by Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and Bonanza.

How It Breaks Down - Recommended Selling Venue
We asked sellers, "How likely are you to recommend (marketplace name) as a Selling venue to a friend or colleague? Etsy scored highest on Recommended Selling Venue, followed by Bonanza, eBay, Amazon, and Ruby Lane.

This Year's Results
As was the case last year, it was a close race when it came to the top-five Sellers Choice. While eBay and Amazon were rated the two most profitable marketplaces, Etsy was the winner when it came to willingness to recommend a marketplace as place to sell to a friend or colleague. However, Etsy restricts sellers to listing Handmade, Vintage, and Supplies.

Likewise, Ruby Lane, a perennial favorite that came in fourth place, is also a niche player, carving out a spot for shoppers of vintage and antique goods.

And while the biggest marketplaces earned the top spots for profitability, some sellers noted in the comments that it was also extremely competitive to sell on eBay and Amazon. It's also interesting to note that some of the smaller sites received the most detailed comments - our conclusion: sellers are rooting for those sites and want them to improve.

As for the two social networking sites that made it through the nomination process: while Facebook is working on ecommerce solutions, it was Pinterest that proved more helpful in generating sales by driving traffic to listings.

Comments: Insider Information
Each year, sellers share comments about the marketplaces that provide a picture of what it's like to sell on these online marketplaces. With thousands of responses, it's impossible to include every comment each marketplace received, but we include the most representative comments and the ones most interesting or useful to readers. Note that the number of comments left for a marketplace doesn't necessarily indicate its placement in the rankings.

As we note each year, it's important to keep in mind that these are not one-size-fits-all comments. It's likely that a seller of handmade goods will have a different experience than that of a seller of vintage goods on the same marketplace.

Respondents took the time to share their thoughts about the venues on which they have had experience selling, and those comments are extremely helpful not only to other sellers, but to the marketplaces themselves. Comments are included on the individual marketplace rating pages.

Individual Online Marketplace Ratings
You can find each marketplace with the results of the Sellers Choice survey on the following pages.

Page 1 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Amazon

Page 2 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Etsy

Page 3 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: eBay

Page 4 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Ruby Lane

Page 5 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Bonanza

Page 6 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: eCrater

Page 7 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: craigslist

Page 8 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Pinterest

Page 9 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: eBid

Page 10 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Facebook

Leave Your Comments about the Sellers Choice Results
We have more thoughts about the 2017 Sellers Choice Awards on the EcommerceBytes Blog, and please leave your own comments about this year's ratings.

About the author:

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

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