£1 for free ebay

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Jason_Lee, Sep 26, 2006.

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  1. Jason_Lee

    Jason_Lee UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I am looking to set up an auction site similar to ebay but specifically on clothing and accessories. Do you think i could get people to invest £1 to get this business set up? I would offer the service for free with no listing fees etc, i would make the money by asking for investment of £1 to start with. Spend the investment on the website business and what is left over would be my profit. I would then run the site for free and make money from business advertising etc.

    Please let me know what you think, if its a good idea how would i gain then investment? Just an idea.

    Look forward to your input.
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: Jason_Lee Member since: Jan 5, 2006
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  2. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    I highly doubt it would work to be honest. Getting a website of Ebay complexity developed will cost tens of thousands of pounds and I can almost guarentee you will not find 20/30/40/50 thousand people all wanting to give you a quid to sell some clothes when they can already do it on Ebay (which will probably turn out better for them in the long run, your idea isn't based on a niche at all).

    It's like me saying I want to open up a Superstore chain to compete with Tescos which just sells a huge variety of beans and nothing else.
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
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  3. Jason_Lee

    Jason_Lee UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Ok, if i invested my own money and created this business. There are over 1million listings for clothing alone on ebay. If i advertised this well and just focused on clothing. Also keeping it UK based etc. Do you think this could be viable. I sell clothing retail and believe something like this with fantastic customer service would work.

    What are your thoughts?

    Ebay has the money and the advertising but i feel it lacks personal customer service. I think specialising in clothing and providing a warm and friendly service would really explode.

    All opinions really helpful.
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: Jason_Lee Member since: Jan 5, 2006
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  4. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    Like I said before it could end up costing up to £50,000 (possibly much more) for the website development alone. It's unbelievably complex and you would need experts to run it, period. Good marketing could even double that figure.

    There are 1 million listings because people want to sell clothes on ebay. It provides a good service, it's cheap and most importantly it has a HUGE buyer base so theres a high chance something will be bought. No one really cares about customer service much to be honest unless their is a problem. Also lets be realistic. Say for example people did want customer service - you would have already spent over £50,000 on development and you would be spending thousands every month just keeping the website up. To make a decent return you would need thousands or even tens of thousands of listings every month, how are you going to provide good customer service to even a few hundred of them nevermind thousands?

    Yes you could set it up, yes you may yet a few hundred listings over time (it would never be a success no matter how much money anyone had, in my opinion). My point is with all the costs, time and work involved it would be near impossible to break-even nevermind make a profit (bearing in mind at this point that people have a better chance of selling clothes on Ebay compared to your site with the colossal difference in buyer numbers).

    It's an absolutely massive project and it's 100% not viable in your circumstances. Sorry if I sound blunt but I'm just giving you the honest advice.

    PS: Check out this thread if you want more opinions on the general concept of your idea, http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=11784 (dont post in it though, it's a very old thread).
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
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  5. garyk

    garyk UKBF Legend Full Member

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    Yep as Scott says you arent offering anything unique and there are other ones out there, ebid for example who seem well funded and are global but they are not making a dent in ebay at all. You'll be in a vicious circle, you cant attract punters because there is nothing on there to buy and no-one will list anything becuase the audience is too small. This is exactly what happens on ebid.

    Gary
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: garyk Member since: Jun 14, 2006
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  6. Jason_Lee

    Jason_Lee UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thankyou for your advice.

    My idea was just to have a retail website selling designer clothing with an auction area dedicated to the site. I thought it would attract more people as they were specifically looking for clothing etc.

    Thankyou very much
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: Jason_Lee Member since: Jan 5, 2006
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  7. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    To be honest you would be better off selling designer clothing on your own website/e-commerce setup. If you sell some unique clothing with good prices coupled with an intensive marketing campaign you could probably make some good money (and the costs would be right down).
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
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  8. bmedia

    bmedia UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    If you want an auction script buy http://www.phpprobid.com/ then have it hacked to your spec. This will mean low start up costs etc but in my opinion I would think long and hard before you decide to set this site up
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: bmedia Member since: Aug 18, 2006
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  9. Eagle

    Eagle UKBF Legend Free Member

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    I agree with the above - you'll be wasting a monumental amount of time, effort and money going up against eBay.

    Let the Wookie win.... ;)
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: Eagle Member since: Oct 3, 2004
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  10. Ruthierhyme

    Ruthierhyme UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    and I say .. Never say Never :)

    If you have an idea YOU feel is worthwhile exploring, do so without investing any money .. get out there and find out if people would be interested .. start small and ask locally ~ be it your local youth group or Gulf club .. grow your network outwards & upwards ....

    Remember you'll always get *the doubting thomas types and those critical of your ideas because something bigger and more established exists ... but even they started somewhere ~ don't give up, you could be buying them out in a few years time !

    Good luck * thumbs up :)
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: Ruthierhyme Member since: Jan 6, 2006
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  11. pdecaux

    pdecaux UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    The only thing about going head-to-head with the likes of eBay is that they tend to protect their market share (I know better than to say "monopoly"!) with all means possible. What you want to try to do is find either a niche area or a gap in eBay's scope (there must be at least one).

    Don't give up hope, though! If you can design a free version of eBay, then I suspect it would be popular. How about an annual membership fee?

    All the best
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2006 By: pdecaux Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #11
  12. Malcolm Cooper

    Malcolm Cooper UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I agree with the recommendation of http://www.phpprobid.com/

    I'm not negative but you really can't take on eBay. There's a lot of bad stuff to say about it but respect is due. It's the fifth largest economy in the world!

    To be positive though I do believe that you can be successful with your own auction site if you target a highly specific niche market. There are some big niche markets out there. I know of 2, scrapbooking is one and dolls house miniatures is another.

    If you focus right in on a particular niche you might stand a chance.
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: Malcolm Cooper Member since: Sep 23, 2006
    #12
  13. Jason_Lee

    Jason_Lee UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thankyou for all your advice. I have a 3 year plan for this auction site and have researched what area of auction i want to go in and believe it will work.

    WATCH THIS SPACE! - I'll keep you updated.

    Thanks again for you input, its always nice to have other peoples opinions.
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: Jason_Lee Member since: Jan 5, 2006
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  14. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    Waste of time and money.



    However, good luck.
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
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  15. ebaby

    ebaby UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi Jason,

    I know exactly how difficult it is to have an idea and to believe in it completely... however, ask yourself this question...

    Why exactly would people want to put their items on your site and not on eBay? In my opinion you need to have more on offer than an auction site. I have just recently launched a website where I offer people free listing for their baby stuff (no cost to list and no commission). However have been met with a surprising reluctance for people to place ads for their stuff.

    Give it plenty of thought and try be objective about it. Too many mistakes are made when one becomes emotionally attached to a project.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: ebaby Member since: Sep 11, 2006
    #15
  16. JamieM

    JamieM UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I genuinely wish you good luck with this but believe you will need a barrel load of it.

    Loads of people have tried similar sites and failed. Some sites which should be of interest to you have had (very) limited success.

    Ebid
    QXL
    Nochex Classified

    The Nochex one speaks volumes for me.

    FREE listing is of no appeal if there are no buyers.

    Do plenty of research before you spend any money on it.
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: JamieM Member since: Mar 22, 2006
    #16
  17. Jason_Lee

    Jason_Lee UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    What would be the best way to research this idea and advertise it? I have a few ideas of how to advertise this venture but all input would be more than welcome.

    All input extremely valuable.
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: Jason_Lee Member since: Jan 5, 2006
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  18. Scott-Copywriter

    Scott-Copywriter UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    Just to build upon someones point before what would your answer be -

    Why would people use your website instead of Ebay?
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: Scott-Copywriter Member since: May 10, 2006
    #18
  19. Jason_Lee

    Jason_Lee UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    208 1
    The website would be dedicated to clothing. All people on the site would either be buying or selling clothing, nothing else. It will be UK based. There will be shops for local clothing businesses to advertise all their stock instead of setting up their own website which is quite expensive. I feel that with the right marketing people would use this website rather than ebay, or maybe aswell as ebay. Taking a very small percentage of ebays customers would be very financially rewarding! Im not talking about making millions like ebay. I talking about making a successful business in my own rights.

    There will be a retail area to the the website where i will be selling my stock. I have other people already waiting to sell their stock on my site (local, quite large companies). I feel that if i can advertise well and get quite abit of stock on my site to start with then that will generate alot of customers.
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: Jason_Lee Member since: Jan 5, 2006
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  20. Matt1959

    Matt1959 UKBF Legend Free Member

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    One thing about Ebay and that is its huge huge huge and often items for sale get buried beneath the sheer volume of repetitive rubbish. Also Ebay is good for cheap - if its not cheap it probally won't sell. Personally I love Ebay BUT I can see its disadvantages! So as long as you don't compete with Ebay and don't want to be as big as Ebay (obviously!) maybe the comparisons an unfair one to make?
     
    Posted: Sep 27, 2006 By: Matt1959 Member since: Sep 8, 2006
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