Online Selling-Amazon v's Ebay v's website?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by rebecca vickery, Mar 13, 2018.

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  1. rebecca vickery

    rebecca vickery UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Hi All
    I'm looking for some advice regarding ecommerce please. I have an independent gift/homewares shop in Beverley which is fairly new (July 2017) but I'm aware that selling online is a must if I'm to make decent living. Footfall is heavily dependent on the time of year & the weather etc whereas traffic online is pretty constant so I'm looking to start selling online soon. One of my questions is which is the best platform to use as they all have their pros & cons? I do have a website however due to time constraints I've only listed certain things so far, but the biggest problem here is actually getting people onto the site. I'm considering various options such as EBay & Amazon however I'm coming up against rather a lot of issues, mostly regarding the cost of listing things and how much profit I'm left with at the end of the day. Amazon seems to be saturated with gifts and similar products to the ones I sell but people seem to be selling them at ridiculous prices that I just cant match. I a bit confused about how they're managing to sell for the prices they are doing considering the fees and shipping and wondered if I'm missing something really obvious. The benefits are that EBay and Amazon have a massive audience but there seems little point in selling on these platforms if I'm not going to make any profit. I've looked at Shopify but there are similar issues to that of my website, driving traffic to it. I just wondered if anyone has any good advice about where to start and which might be the best place to start selling? Thanks in advance!
     
    Posted: Mar 13, 2018 By: rebecca vickery Member since: Mar 13, 2018
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  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Try both sites.
    Ebay limit what you can list until you start getting some sales but payment is quick to put in your bank once buyer has paid (buyers not paying is another matter), amazon its much harder to get feedback and payment will be delayed around 4 weeks from sale before you have it to spend.
    Don't worry about other people's prices, some will be hobby sellers who don't care about profit, some will have buying capacity you cannot match. You may well come across sellers with multi million pound sales a month across sites, you just cannot match them on pricing so don't bother.
    And amazon itself is a competitor on some lines.

    Ebay is a bigger 3rd party site overall but not by much.
    You may well find some stuff sells better on one site than the other.

    Factor the cost of selling on ebay / amazon into your pricing (they are similar for your type of product).

    Just make very sure when using amazon that the product page exactly matches what you are selling. Besides amazon altering product pages you also find competitors altering product pages. A woodwick trilogy candle with one set of scents for example becomes a woodwick trilogy candle with one different scent.
     
    Posted: Mar 13, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  3. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    My advice would be dont bother and concentrate on your shop - that is where you have an edge/difference

    ecommerce is now a pretty mature business but still rapidly changing

    Early entrants with lots of experience are giving up - the easy days are over
    You will be trading against some slick set ups etc
    That are 100% ecommerce focussed and devote all their energies to it

    If you want to do it then pick Amazon or ebay and start with that - then when/if you are doing nicely on that channel and understand it well you can add the other

    Ignore your own web site - change that to drive people to your shop - if you can

    But seriously sit down and think do you really want to do it - what can you offer over other sellers with 10 years plus experience

    If you are sat bored in your shop then fine but otherwise I really would strongly advise against it unless you have some edge to your products that means you can sell them for profit online
     
    Posted: Mar 14, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
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  4. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    You're correct, and I wrote a short, free eBook that helps with the transition:
    https://www.antropy.co.uk/ecommerce-ebook/

    In terms of an order for how to do it, my advice would be:
    1. Ebay - start selling here to test the market and get a feel for how to sell online.

    2. Shopify - maybe a month or so later - it's fairly easy to set up a good looking website here.

    3. Amazon - maybe another month later - it's harder to sell on Amazon as there's more paperwork.

    4. OpenCart - once you've got fairly confident with the above, maybe 6 months to a year later, if you find Shopify is restricting you or starting to cost too much, you can switch to your own ecommerce website and the simplest platform for that is OpenCart, but you'll probably need a freelance developer or small agency.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
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  5. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    There's no denying it's hard. But are your products hand made by yourself? Or are they easy to get hold of and others are selling them online more cheaply?
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
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  6. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    And if the later do not waste your time but put your energy into your shop or something else
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
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  7. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Or indeed compete on the internet and get some sales.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  8. Scalingspace

    Scalingspace UKBF Contributor Free Member

    31 5
    i agree, start working on your shop and especially brand and branding. Create a story about yourself and try to influence your customers emotions using advertising.
    Another advice would be to try escape competition. Companies that succeed, they escape competition and the ones who are the same, don't. It is important.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: Scalingspace Member since: Mar 14, 2018
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  9. Ray272

    Ray272 UKBF Regular Free Member

    184 23
    You already have an edge. You have store front and people can collect from you easily.

    Regarding pricing - maybe you need to get some of your suppliers to lower their pricing in order to let you compete.

    Amazon is much bigger than ebay but ebay you can probably create more followers and add personality to your store and content.

    The other edge for you is keywords, you may have knowledge on items which will help them sell. "Festival" for a summer themed product for example.

    You do not always need to compete on price for ebay. I have seen a candle with a diversion safe inside which retails in 1 ebay store for £25 and another for £12. £25 has 10/1 sales ratio versus cheaper unit. Same item.

    Just beginning listing on ebay to begin. Amazon is a 2nd step imo and thry are much more fussy about how stuff is done. If your new ebay is a great start and I'd just list at the price you want and work from there. Always invite sellers to view your other listings in your listings. At the end of listings
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: Ray272 Member since: Jul 5, 2017
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  10. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Ebay are removing the personality from ebay shops. Content is going to go as well.
    Depending who creates the base info ebay use for the shared content.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  11. rebecca vickery

    rebecca vickery UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Thanks for all the help & info, its much appreciated. I've started selling a few things on eBay as it seems an awful lot simpler than Amazon, however, I have been told that people aren't willing to pay as much for items on there as they would on the latter. I have opened an account with Amazon but just looking at all the products that are on there makes it extremely difficult to make a profit as the prices are rock bottom. I haven't yet started an eBay shop but this is something that I'm considering, especially if I'm going to list more products. I agree with the comment about branding & new products as this is something I'm very interested in, my only problem is coming up with different things that haven't already been done whilst giving people what they want at the price they want. (Regarding pricing, I've had some issues recently with another shop in the area stopping one line of my supply as we sold a similar product, mine was at the recommended retail price & theirs was higher so inevitably people bought from me. They saw me as their competition and have effectively put pressure on my supplier who has closed my account. They dropped their prices to compete and then when the competition was gone they've hiked them back up again. They have another 7 retail outlets so to claim I'm the reason for their bad sales is a bit much, it's their greed that has caused the problem. I'm not naïve about business but I don't think the public should be forced to pay more for a product than its worth. This is why I wondered whether to sell on amazon as I presume its better to sell 30 items with only a small profit than 5 or 10 things at a larger profit).Its made me realise that if I made my own version of these products I could brand them myself and I'm not restricted by anything other than money and creativity. I would like to give people something different and an experience when they come into my shop which you cant get online but really to survive nowadays I think you probably have to have an online presence too.
     
    Posted: Mar 16, 2018 By: rebecca vickery Member since: Mar 13, 2018
    #11
  12. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Ignore the rock bottom prices. Sell at the price you want or outsource your profit making to your competition. Which on amazon can include amazon themselves.
     
    Posted: Mar 16, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #12
  13. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    You see - it is already swallowing up a lot of your time and energy

    I am not saying dont do it - just advising that you will learn a lot - great - you might enjoy it - great but very very probably achieve nothing but you will for sure burn up time and energy

    Plenty of shops have no online presence

    If you are putting effort into online then you are not putting it elsewhere

    Do me a favour - set an alarm for 6 months and report how you have got on and whether it was worth it
     
    Posted: Mar 17, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
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  14. Chloe Hardman

    Chloe Hardman UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    Each marketplace has its own system, its own processes and limitations and quirks. Learning to navigate those can take time you probably don’t have, so it’s best to stick to one or two marketplaces unless you know you can support more.

    Amazon
    Amazon’s Marketplace takes the sharper retail tack, and as a retailer itself Amazon provides tools to help third-party sellers become part of a seamless shopping experience for consumers.

    Some things to consider when selling on Amazon include:

    • Fulfillment by Amazon, which involves sending your inventory in bulk to Amazon and letting them handle shipping and fulfillment
    • Amazon Prime membership, which incentivizes shoppers with free 2-day shipping, along with a reputation for fast and reliable order fulfillment.
    • Seller Fulfilled Prime, get prime shipment whilst managing your own warehouse.
    • Built-in comparison shopping on Amazon (for better or for worse) pits you against other sellers.
    There is usually a monthly fee for listing your products on Amazon; referral and other fees are charged upon making a sale and vary depending on your product category (a 15% commission for most categories).
    Be sure to check out the fees for selling on Amazon and factor that into your margins when you consider selling in their marketplace.

    eBay
    eBay, on the other hand, is a massive marketplace for buying and selling items at both fixed prices and to the highest bidder through an auction system. Where Amazon focuses on the Amazon shopping experience, eBay offers seller tools and features that make it easier for you to feature your brand in an eBay store.

    Consider the following before you decide to sell on eBay:


    eBay lets you put items items you own up for auction to the highest bidder, which will attract many shoppers who are looking for used, unique, or hard-to-find items. However, the marketplace is also great for offering items at fixed prices.

    In fact, contrary to what you might think, 86% of eBay's Gross Merchandise Volume is from items sold at a fixed price and 80% of the items sold on the platform are new, not used.


    You will need to figure out shipping and fulfillment, either by doing it on your own or working with a third party fulfillment center.


    There is an insertion fee per listing, per category, but sellers get a fixed amount of "free listings" per month depending on their eBay account type. However there are also Advanced Listing options that you can pay for to spruce up your listing.


    Be sure to check out the fees for listing and selling on eBay if you're considering selling here.
     
    Posted: Mar 27, 2018 By: Chloe Hardman Member since: Mar 27, 2018
    #14
  15. Iain Hill

    Iain Hill UKBF Contributor Free Member

    59 10
    Hi,

    Appears to be lots of useful comments on here!

    In my opinion the best thing to do would be to set up your own website and promote that as best you can. You dont necessarily have to spend lots on Google ad words, you could use things like facebook to try and get customers to your website, I've also spoken to a few people who have put informative videos on youtube which has then successfully sent traffic to the website. The advantage of your website is that there are no fees like Amazon and eBay, also if Amazon/eBay change the search algorithms you won't lose sales over night. You will also be less exposed to a compeitior reducing what you can sell the items for overnight. I really believe that having a solid customer base on your own website should be the long term plan.

    With regard to other market places I come across more and more people selling on Etsy, maybe worth a look at.

    I deal with ecommerce fulfilment so if you have any questions on that just give me a shout, happy to help. Good luck with all that you are doing.

    Thanks,

    Iain
     
    Posted: Mar 29, 2018 By: Iain Hill Member since: Jun 5, 2015
    #15
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