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Welcome To The Selling Lounge!

We are a friendly forum where sellers help sellers to help our/your online E-Commerce Business grow by having a place of resources and support along with help in promoting ourselves and each other.

I have been selling on line since 2003 in which I started out with eBay where I was doing very well as a Powerseller until all the fee hikes and changes. I then opened up my first Website almost 2 years ago and have been a member of a few very nice informative E-Commerce Forums and have learned so much about this new world of online selling that I wanted to have all my information in one place to help me succeed and by doing that helping others at the same time.

I have noticed that there is a ton of information out there on the net to help us become successful business owners and there are certain things that we must do in order to get our products out there and noticed and to get the buyers to us.

So I'm hoping that we can all share with each other "our tips" of "what works" and "what does not work".

December 17, 2008

Our Picks for Top eBay Alternatives for 2008

Our Picks for Top eBay Alternative Sites of 2008

As we look back on 2008 and eBay alternative sites, there have been many hits, misses — and surprising events. This year many alternative marketplaces, even those that do not include auction-style listings, are being seen as potential options for eBay sellers looking to either leave eBay or supplement their eBay business. All e-commerce sites that you can sell on, excluding eBay of course, now fall under the alternative label, with more established marketplaces, such as Amazon, being coined viable eBay alternatives.

In alternative trends this year, we find that the most popular and growing sites are those that actually do not offer auction-style listings. Here smaller alternative sites are looking to make the buying process easier and are moving toward fixed-price or “best offer” listings rather than auctions. The online marketplaces that tend to do the best have fees that are lower than eBay’s, naturally, and provide sellers with a community in addition to the selling platform. We’ve also noticed that the sites that have been doing well this year are all custom-developed sites that do not use common off-the-shelf PHP auction software packages.

In the first half of the year we saw more new alternative site launches than in the latter half of 2008, but keeping the site open and attracting more than a handful of sellers and buyers is a constant battle for eBay alternative site owners. While not all alternatives are poorly funded, many are, and site owners tend to invest what meager funds they have into site features and servers rather than advertising. While this is certainly an understandable strategy, advertising is something these start-ups are going to need to invest in to really have any kind of impact in the alternative space.

Despite all the challenges, as we look back on eBay alternative marketplaces for 2008, several managed to make quite an impression — and impact on the industry. Here are our top three picks for the best eBay alternatives of 2008 and the ones to keep your eye on in the coming year.

Wigix (beta) Offers Unique Price Matching System
This year we saw the launch of a new platform called Wigix (read our coverage here and here) back in April. Wigix offers users a stock-market style method for buying and selling goods. Instead of auctions, Wigix.com, the "Want It, Got It Exchange," uses a price-matching system similar to that of Nasdaq — buyers and sellers list desired prices for merchandise and the system will alert them when they match up. Or, buyers can offer an alternative price, with both parties having the option to accept or reject the bid. Wigix was launched by CEO James Chong, formerly in charge of Charles Schwab's online trading platform, and his team includes other former Schwab executives.

Since it opened for business, Wigix has gone on to add new features including Storefronts that let sellers build and brand their own customized online shops through the Wigix Web site.

In October, Wigix also rolled out a new affiliate program for Web site and blog publishers. They can earn affiliate revenue by referring new members to the Wigix site or by recommending products from Wigix members on their Web spaces. Every item listed on Wigix has an embeddable widget tied to it that makes it easy to link to products related to your site content.

In terms of 2008 milestones, Chong says that Wigix catalog entries have grown tremendously from 470,000 at beta launch (April 29, 2008) to 2 million SKUs by December, mainly due to an increase in Wigix users. The site has accumulated 23,000 sales orders since October when the Wigix Storefronts service opened.

In 2009, Chong says that Wigix plans to focus more on attracting new professional sellers by kicking off new marketing promotions in January. Also, Wigix's technical roadmap includes several major releases and additional features spread throughout 2009 to enhance the online experience on the site.

Still, Wigix hasn’t become as popular as expected. Online site ranking services, such as Compete, indicate that traffic to Wigix is quite poor, and in fact, grassroots alternative sites such as Bonanzle are pulling in higher numbers. Given this, you may be wondering why Wigix made the top of the 2008 list, but it is important to remember that the site still is in beta and only a few months old. There are marketing, incentives and funds to see this platform through to 2009 and out of its' beta stage.

Quick Facts & Stats:


Wigix: www.wigix.com
Officially Launched: No official launch in 2008 (beta launch in April 2008)
Current Numbers: (not available)
Listing Types: Catalog-based, fixed price
Seller Fees: For items that cost under $25 the listing is free. For items selling between $25.01 and $100, the Wigix fee is $1.50 for the buyer, and $1.50 for the seller. For items selling between $100.01 and $1000 an additional two percent is charged for the portion above $100; for items above $1000, an additional one percent is charged for the portion above $1000 (see Wigix fee table).
Compete.com Stats for Unique Visitors: Monthly Stats: wigix.com 30,500 (growth in the most recent month is up 1.5 percent)
Alexa Traffic Rank: 58,156 (Wigix.com)


Bonanzle: A Bright Spot for Small to Medium Sellers
Bonanzle is one of the bigger alternative highlights of 2008 (read our coverage here and here). From out of seemingly nowhere, this site, which does not offer auction-style listings, quietly announced a beta marketplace back in June. Bonanzle carries the title of the fastest growing alternative ever, and every month since July, Bonanzle's traffic has either doubled or nearly doubled. The Bonanzle platform provides a social atmosphere for its community of buyers and sellers, letting all members instantly connect right from a Bonanzle store window to discuss items and transaction details — something no other online marketplace has been able to do quite so well.

Also adding a boost to Bonanzle's success is its almost fanatic community. Bonanzle is getting great coverage in newspapers, on radio shows, Web sites and blogs, thanks in part to a hardcore group of sellers who pitch this site and its features. Bonanzle also has its own team of sellers working to promote the site (called the Bonanzle Action Club) and Bonanzle sellers participate in a dedicated weekly show on TalkShoe (hosted by AuctionWally) that discusses how to market and grow your Bonanzle business. As far as we know, Bonanzle is the only alternative to successfully implement an optional paid membership fee for sellers in which sellers actually choose to pay fees rather than revolt against them. Part of the success is due to the charismatic and ambitious founder, Bill Harding, whose enthusiasm for the potential of the site appears to be contagious.

Harding says that in 2008 Bonanzle's main focus was on making life simple for the seller, but that 2009 will be the “year of the buyer.” On tap is improved browsability of the site, designed to drive more traffic and sales. Next year Harding also plans to launch an affiliate program as well as several community-centric features that will help Bonanzle members meet , communicate and maintain online friendships.

Bonanzle also has plans to incorporate some very popular social networking features, again keeping the focus on making the Bonanzle community of users even more engaged. Topping it off, Harding says that the team will continue to add as much functionality to the API as possible and next year we may see Bonanzle offering third-party developers a way to list and edit Bonanzle booth items from their own interface.

Aside from platform updates keeping Bonanzle going strong, the community is really the heart of Bonanzle. This site launched at a time when small to mid-sized online sellers were looking for a community-driven marketplace, and sellers have latched on to this marketplace like no other, except perhaps Etsy. The difference here is that Bonanzle's success is a result of the site being officially launched only four months ago, compared to Etsy, which has been online for several years.

Quick Facts & Stats:


Bonanzle: www.bonanzle.com
Officially Launched: Sept. 1, 2008 (beta launched in June 2008)
Current Numbers: More than 14,000 members, over 3 million page views for November
Listing Types: Fixed Price or Negotiable (best offer) price formats
Seller Fees: Cash-based transactions are free. For transactions on Bonanzle that are closed through other forms of payment, such as PayPal, money order and Google Checkout, pricing through to 2010 is very reasonable. For a Final Offer Value less than $10, the fee is 50 cents, for items less than $50 the fee is $1, less than $100 the fee is $3, less than $1000 is a $5 fee and $1000 or more is a $10 fee (see Bonanzle fee table).
Compete.com Stats for Unique Visitors: Monthly Stats: bonanzle.com.com 99,621 (growth in the most recent month is up 64.8 percent)
Alexa Traffic Rank: 47, 013 (Bonanzle.com)


http://www.ecommerce-guide.com/essentials/ebay/article.php/3791821


2 comments:

Debbie @ reallysmartdeals.com said...

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Keep up the great work.

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Fortune Park Hotels Ltd said...

Alexa is a very important benchmark to determine the rankings and traffic of sites. Google is placed at the 2nd position as per Alexa rankings and traffic rankings and is facing tough competition from Live.com and of course Yahoo.