Erika Garnica, eBay PowerSeller and ex eBay Top Seller account manager, reviews Addoway, a new ecommerce alternative for online sellers.
After being so familiar with eBay for the past 8+ years, I admit that it has been difficult for me to overcome my resistance towards learning about and/or getting involved with other websites similar to eBay.
It’s not that I have any great loyalty to eBay, or that I’m so arrogant to think that none of these other sites will ever come close to eBay in terms of quality or popularity. It’s just a matter of my being more comfortable with eBay and more adept at navigating it than I am with any other similar ecommerce sites.
Still, I must say that I’ve been very interested in and intrigued by many of these other websites, and it has often been in the back of my mind to soon begin learning about them and trying them out. The only thing holding me back from doing so has been time.
So you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to register on Addoway and learn about it for the benefit of Salehoo members who may be interested in using the site. And I was pleasantly surprised to see how beneficial and profitable it appears to be, and what unique features it offers.
The first thing that struck me when visiting the Addoway site is that part of its logo includes the words “social ecommerce”, which is actually quite a new concept among most ecommerce sites.
There have been few companies/websites who have tried taking on both ecommerce and social networking, and none who have yet succeeded at doing both very well. But Addoway makes no secret about the fact that this is their intent, to fill the gap between social media and ecommerce. They want their site to be the “intersection of social media and ecommerce, where buyers connect with sellers they know and trust -- rather than shopping from strangers with nothing more than a user ID or feedback score to back up their reputation.” It’s a valid point.
Like many newer ecommerce sites, Addoway charges no fees to list and sell items on their website. And with the integration of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, sellers are able to provide a much greater amount of information about themselves, as well as establish possible connections with buyers and other sellers based on their relationships on Facebook and other social networking sites, designed ideally to increase the level of trust between buyers and sellers.
Additionally, Addoway allows sellers to import their eBay listings quickly and easily, which could be a huge draw to eBay sellers looking to expand their reach and integrate other sales channels into their business plans.
From a usability standpoint, for the most part, it’s extremely easy to set up an Addoway account and profile. You’re given a “My Addoway” page (similar to a My eBay page) with just about every Addoway feature accessible from the left column of that page.
The only difficulty I experienced was in trying to register on the site initially by connecting to my Facebook account, and in connecting with my Facebook account after I was registered. There were some technical difficulties that prevented me from connecting to Facebook the first few times I tried. So one thing I had to do was to use the regular registration form to set up my Addoway account, and it took me a few tries to successfully link my Facebook account with my Addoway profile.
Besides being able to link up with most of the main social networking sites, you’re also allowed to provide URL addresses to your website and blog (if any), and you’re allowed to accept Google Checkout for payment as well as PayPal.
Addoway’s main category list is almost identical to eBay’s, with a few exceptions:
eBay categories not found on Addoway - Cell Phones & PDAs; Entertainment; Musical Instruments; Pottery & Glass; Specialty Services; Sports Memorabilia, Cards & Fan Shop; Everything Else
Addoway categories not found on eBay - Food, Drink & Perishables; Furniture; Office Supplies; Virtual Goods & iPhone Applications; Website Domains; Other
To be clear, both sites contain basically the same products, but some of them are grouped into different categories with different names.
The biggest drawback to Addoway when compared with eBay is probably what you’re already thinking -- the level of popularity and exposure, which directly determines how many sales you can expect. This is the same huge obstacle faced by just about all of the other websites who have ever attempted to compete with eBay (other than Amazon), but considering that Addoway offers the unique feature of integrating social networking, perhaps it will fare better than the others that have gone before. Only time will tell.
At this point, Addoway’s Google page rank of 3 pales in comparison to eBay’s rank of 8, but most newer websites have similarly lower page ranks. Obviously, it takes time to boost your page rank, so that may not be anything that should concern you or prevent you from pursuing Addoway.
Along the same lines, it doesn’t appear that many sellers are having much success on Addoway yet. There are 10 seller testimonials on Addoway’s “What Users Are Saying” page, and not one of them says that they’ve had any success selling anything on Addoway yet.
In short, although I recommend at least signing up with Addoway at this point, I wouldn’t expect to make any money on the site yet. Although Addoway may end up becoming extremely popular, and it definitely has a promising value proposition, it has a long way to go towards offering online sellers any profits.
eBay User ID theauctionguru
eBay Powerseller and Top-Rated Seller
Former eBay Top Seller Account Manager