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".

March 12, 2009

Something eBay Would Do

Something eBay Would Do

March 11, 2009

During Bonanzle's exciting ride up the ecommerce ladder, we've come to realize that, to many who sell on eBay alternative marketplaces, affixing the adjective "eBay-esque" to any given idea or concept is reserved as a special type of pejorative. This group characterizes features or policies implemented by eBay alternatives as "eBay-esque" when they find them particularly heinous. In building a marketplace, the constant question for the founding team quickly becomes, "What can we do to avoid the dreaded 'that sounds like something eBay would do' accusation?"

Whose logo were you expecting us to use?

Whenever I hear this accusation used, I think back to a famous chain email that circulated about 10 years ago, originally written by Dave Barry. The email promised a surefire way to win any argument was to casually interject, "You know, that sounds a lot like something Hitler would say" just when it appeared you were beat in the argument. I continue to employ the technique to this day (with great results, I might add). But I digress.

For our part, we don't think eBay is "evil." I'd even hesitate to say they've "lost their focus," because I think they are acting on a clear focus they've defined -- to build a marketplace that competes with Amazon, and to wring out as much profit as possible while doing so. I think that much of the tension between eBay and its smaller sellers has resulted because eBay's top objectives don't align with the objectives of many smaller sellers as well as they used to. This is not to say that eBay is "evil" to change its objectives, any more than these sellers are "evil" for exploring new marketplaces that are more aligned with their best interests.

What are the practical implications of this anti-eBay sentiment? Arguments like this: "Because eBay keeps changing policies / raising prices / giving larger merchants a competitive advantage in search and listing fees, they are evil. Because they are evil, competing sites should be different from them in every way possible." For the sake of brevity, I oversimplify the number of reasons used by those who have decided they don't like eBay (full list is available), but the gist is that people who arrive at an alternative marketplace in search of "ANYTHING BUT FEEBAY" are at a pronounced risk to favor policy that is different from eBay, simply for the sake of being different than eBay. Good intention... questionable results.

Of course, regular Bonanzlers understand that Bonanzle is different from eBay in most ways: we're more socially focused, and we solicit direct input from our community on our direction. While eBay focuses on improving the experience of buying generic items, we focus on improving the experience of buying everything but the ordinary. eBay makes no specific mention of Abe Vigoda in any page I have come across to this point, Bonanzle proudly celebrates his every living moment.

The bottom line is that the buyers & sellers who will still be at Bonanzle in 3-5 years aren't the ones who currently stay at Bonanzle out of frustration with other choices. It's going to be the pragmatic buyers who realize the opportunity Bonanzle affords them to find and buy non-commodity items, and the sellers who see the value of using our many Bonanzle-first tools to maximize their ecommerce footprint, sales, and dare we say... fun. These are the buyers and sellers we are most interested in appealing to.

Unfortunately, we realize that many (in particular, the media) are going to continue to compare eBay and Bonanzle for the foreseeable future. And there will probably continue to be voices here and elsewhere that choose to demonize policies & features they disagree with as "eBay-esque." And just as surely, there will continue to be marketplaces that take this sentiment quite seriously, and make decisions based on whatever will help them avoid these dire charges.

But we'll pass. While there's a lot to be learned from the missteps that the venerable giant has made in recent years, there's even more to be learned by gathering data, analyzing market opportunities, and listening to the practical insights of our community... where the breadth of wisdom is truly infinite.

No comments: