Last week I started to look at alternative websites by way of comparison to the Goliath that is eBay.
There is no doubt that eBay has a commanding market reach, but oh, those fees!
This week I have delved deeper to come up two further contrasting websites which might be considered, if not as a replacement, then possibly as a complement to using eBay.
Background: Originating in the USA, eBid is probably the oldest and most established alternative to eBay.
Many buyers and sellers consider it to be what eBay was 10 years ago. If you miss how eBay worked in days gone by, then you might like this site.
It has satellite sites in over 20 countries, including USA, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Canada and Ireland, making it very appealing to the international market.
Speciality: Voted ‘Best eBay Alternative’ by Web User magazine. This site will appeal to eBay sellers who want a site that functions like eBay, but without the high fees and constant changes.
Over 21,000 thousand new users are reported to be moving to eBid every month.
With 3,131,194 listings and counting, eBid is now one of the largest free-to-list eBay alternative auction sites in the world.
Format: Auction and Fixed Price.
Pricing: Selling on eBid as a SELLER is great value. Lower overall fees mean much larger profit margins on all your sales.
- Their main selling point is that you can list your items FOR FREE!
- After you have joined, you will need to upgrade your account from BUYER to either SELLER (free, but card validation required). SELLER gives you access to their ‘Standard’ listing format, which is free to list with a 3% Final Value fee.
- Or SELLER+ (security subscription required) – if you upgrade to SELLER+, subscriptions can be purchased for 7, 30, 90, 365 days, with zero Final Value fees.
- A lifetime subscription (for a single one-off payment of £49.49) gives you zero listing fees and zero Final Value fees for life.
- Strong international presence. Voted ‘Best eBay Alternative’ by Web User magazine and was one of the first auction sites to be officially selected by Google as its shopping marketplace partner.
- You can import eBay and Amazon listings.
- It costs far less to sell and buy on eBid and you can still use PayPal along with other well-known payment gateways.
- Sellers have reported that customer service and ease of use are great on eBid.
- It uses ebid.net, not ebid.com, which is in this day and age seems a strange marketing stance.
- Even after over 10 years in business, it still has really low traffic numbers.
I am particularly impressed by this website, coming as I do from a background in antiques and vintage collectibles.
There is an instant feel of style and sophistication – not only the main site, but also from the individually hosted shops.
Such an elegant look to a webpage would be expensive to achieve if you were to try to create and market your own individual website.
It would be far better to be part of a ‘portal website’ such as this one, which gives you the benefit of its economies of scale to assist your marketing exposure.
Background: This is an American-founded company, hosting over 2,000 shops around the world.
As a seller, in return for your fees, you receive your own store front shop. Each shop is a business in its own right, with Ruby Lane giving you the tools to maintain your site and upload and manage your images and pricing. You must offer at least one online payment method e.g. Paypal.
Speciality: Ruby Lane specialises in the following ‘lanes’: Antiques, Vintage Collectibles, Dolls, Fine Art, Furniture & Lighting, Glass, Jewellery, Porcelain & Pottery, Silver and Vintage Fashion.
Format: Fixed Price or ‘Best Offer’.
Pricing: This site is best suited for high-end antiques and collectible sellers who have the money to pay fees up front.
Ruby Lane doesn’t charge commissions or Final Value fees like most places. Instead, its fee structure is as follows:
- $100 one-time setup fee, which includes the first 10 items and ‘Advanced Image Processing’ for first 10 items.
- Then a one-time fee of 39 cents per item, which includes ‘Advanced Image Processing’ for the first image.
- After an item has been listed, from the next month on, maintenance fees are as follows: the first 150 items is 30 cents for each item, then from 151–1,000, each item is 20 cents per item. Finally, each item over 1,000 is 1 cent per item. Minimum charge of 80 items, or $24 per month, calculated and charged on the 1st of every month. The first month’s maintenance fee waived for new shops.
- A $30 per month per shop advertising fee is levied on the 1st of every month, which is used for advertising and marketing, both online and traditional, of Ruby Lane and its shops. Every shop pays this fee.
Traffic: Its lower traffic ranking is less of a problem than it might first seem, because it’s marketing directly to affluent buyers in a very specific niche. It has a worldwide Alexa Traffic Rank of 18,964, and an UK rank of 17,621.
Pros: Live chat support, allows Skype between buyers and sellers.
Cons: Expensive to get set up and started for new sellers.