Ecommerce Secrets, Finding The Best EBay Alternatives

Author xlxmarketing 8.6.2009. | 16:00

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There isn’t a shortage of eBay alternatives out there so it’s sometimes difficult to work out which ones to use and which ones to ignore without wasting days of your life and lots of your hard-earned cash.

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If you Google eBay alternatives you get more than 2.2 million results. While not all of those results are alternative sites to eBay our eBay alternatives page has over 80 listings and we get informed of others that we should be add every day.

So how do you remove the wheat from the chaff as it were?

In no particular order here are the things to check off when trying to decide whether or not it is worth your time listing on an eBay alternative site.

Traffic
The site can be the most beautiful, well organized site in the world. But it’s a bit like an empty corner of the mall, if you’re getting the foot traffic through then you shouldn’t waste hours/hundreds putting together a good shop.

While it can be said many of the newer alternatives to eBay haven’t had the time to build up decent levels of traffic and should be given a chance to grow you shouldn’t stick to them forever.

Measuring traffic can be done a number of ways with a number of sites including the following:

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  • Alexa alexa.com
  • Quantcast quantcast.com
  • Quarkbase quarkbase.com/
  • The Auction news sitewatch page auctionnews.org/sitewatch/index.php

While Google page rank isn’t an infallible indicator it is always handy to keep an eye on. You can see any sites’ page rank by using the firefox add on quirk search status ( quirk.biz/searchstatus/ ).

A Reliable Google Feed
According to many experienced online sellers, if your listings aren’t being sent to Google then there’s not much point in listing on that site.

Google is much more than a place to search for information and getting your products listed there is absolutely key to lifting your sales.

The end result should be that people using Google search to look for items should see your listings as individual pages and not the same page.

This is influenced by:

  • Page Title
  • Keywords in the URL
  • Page description
  • Metatags and site keywords (if the site provides that function)

These factors are up to you as much as they are up to the website so ensure that you are doing everything to optimize your listings for search engines as you possibly can.

A good way to work out whether or not a site is ‘Google friendly’ is to compare and contrast the pages on it paying attention to relative placement of seller and item pages vs. general site pages and the various page elements, as listed above. These will appear in Google and Yahoo in the following format:

  • Page Title
  • Page description – several words describing what the page is about
  • http://site-url/other_keywords_if_part_of_url – e.g http://www.bonanzle.com/booths/volume78/items/9_Inch_Touchscreen_Bluetooth_Car_DVD_Player__1_DIN Note: This is an example only, this listing doesn’t exist

Customers
Traffic and Google feeds have a strong influence on the number of customers that come your way but it also depends on what the site specializes in. You definitely need to make sure that you’re listing on sites where shoppers look for what you sell.

It wouldn’t make sense to list a car DVD player on Rubylane.com, an arts and crafts site. for example.

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Reasonable Fees
There is no point listing on a site if you will be wasting most of your sales profits on site fees. It is one of the reasons that eBay has lost it’s sheen with buyers so rapidly.

It is especially important that a site makes it cheap to list, join and have low-to-no final value fees.

Sellers shouldn’t have to worry about relisting fees in addition to listing fees.

EBay doesn’t charge for relisting ONLY if the item sells. If it doesn’t sell, a second listing fee is incurred.

Sites where there are no listing or relisting fees (of which there are many) will definitely be more attractive to sellers than those that charge to relist.

One of eBay’s favorite tricks was to lower front-end fees while keeping the sting in their tail, for when sellers finally sold something.

Some of the better options for this include a flat rate final value fee or a membership site where no final value fees to pay.

However membership sites need to be watch too, as some who have dealt with onlineauctions.com claim that the site is very reluctant to cancel memberships, even when asked.

Professional Responsible Staff And Management
One of the reasons Bonanzle has taken off in a big way is the friendliness and competence that management and staff have shown to visitors and sellers.

In the words of one member of the powersellersunite forum:

 

    • The founders/owners are involved, committed, and answer your questions personally.

 

    • Sellers are kept informed of updates, and they happen in a timely manner

 

    • Founders and members alike work hard to keep this an upbeat community.

 

    • The founder has a blog where he keeps everyone informed of changes, what’s next etc.

 

  • There is a montly newsletter, keeps us feeling like a community!”

 

 

Post a few questions to support staff and see how carefully they listen to you and how professionally they handle your issues.

Note too whether or not the site staff alert members to changes to the site in a timely and clear manner.

They Give Sellers A Voice
No other online ecomerce community has taken aboard the concepts of web 2.0 as fast as those who sell on online auction sites like eBay Amazon and other eBay alternative sites.

As a result alternatives to eBay that give sellers a genuine voice and don’t censor their comments will be far more popular with online sellers than those that don’t.

Other things to look out for include a clean and attractive front page, easy to navigate and easy to use service.

By putting eBay alternatives through their paces before putting massive amounts of time into making listings there you can save yourself time, concern and money while still increasing your visibility and income on the internet.

So get out there, go through our larger and more detailed list of eBay alternatives and start lifting your income.

And if you have anything else that you look for in an alternative to eBay let us know in the comment section below.

ebay alternatives

Author xlxmarketing 8.6.2009. | 16:00
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