eBay has long been the undisputed king of online auction sites. It is certainly the standard by which all other online auctions are measured. Unfortunately, as of late eBay is drawing some disgruntled comments from sellers.
More and more people are being put off by eBay and are looking for reasonable alternatives where they can list their products. One of the big names thrown about on a consistent basis is eBid.
Today, we'll take a look at what makes eBid an attractive eBay alternative, where it comes up lacking, and what the best course of action for online sellers is.
The most common complaints about eBay all revolve around the abundance of fees embedded with each transaction. Up to 10 percent of each purchase goes straight into eBay's corporate coffers.
Not only that, but the competition for almost every category is quite crowded. To make matters worse, the rules, fee structures and overall landscape is in a state of near-constant flux, making it difficult for all but the most dedicated sellers to keep track.
It's a frustrating situation, and it has therefore produced a greater demand for a viable eBay alternative.
eBid is a British company created in 1998. It markets and positions itself as an eBay competitor with the main difference being the vast difference in fees charged to sellers.
The marketplace consistently rates among the top 5 online auction sites in the world, but the question remains: is it a reasonable eBay alternative?
Let's take a look at how the two compare.
One of the major differences between the two online auction sites is in traffic. eBid.net has a monthly average of 8 million page impressions, and a daily traffic volume of around 60,000 visitors. The marketplace also averages out to about 15 million unique visitors per year.
There are more than 3.8 million live listings in more than 12,000 categories with a gross value of more than USD $6 billion. Moreover, the site is very popular on social media as well, garnering 13,293 likes on Facebook alone.
While these stats might sound quite impressive in isolation, they are only a fraction of the business eBay does in a single day.
As of January 2013, eBay receives more than 1,520,000 unique visitors every day. This makes it the 23rd most-visited website in the world. If that weren't impressive enough, eBay users sell approximately $1,640 worth of goods — wait for it — per second!
Just take a look at some of it's impressive daily stats over time:
So the difference is quite clear. The buyers are clearly giving eBay some love, and eBay in turn is leveraging its widespread branding to add more zeroes to it's bottom line, and doing so very effectively.
So where exactly is the advantage in using eBid?
First of all, eBid is extremely easy to use. Because the rules and regulations stay consistent, there isn't a lot to deal with in maintaining a store on the site. The support and customer service ratings for eBid are also among the highest it its category.
Secondly, the fee structure is far more friendly to sellers. There are no listing fees for putting your inventory on display as there are with eBay, and there is a 3 percent cap on the Final Value Fee (FVF) that a seller would pay per transaction.
That means that eBid charges a transactional fee of no more than 3 percent of the total selling price for a listing. For example, if you listed a pair of Batman pajamas for USD $7.88 on eBid, you would pay 24 cents to eBid upon that sale's completion.
Compare that to the 10 percent fee you'd be paying on eBay in addition to your initial listing fee: It'll cut into your overhead very quickly.
Finally, any products you list on eBid are also uploaded to Google Shopping. Though it doesn't completely make up for the difference in exposure with eBay, it does level the playing field somewhat.
The disadvantages are, of course, the fractional amount of traffic and activity it receives in comparison to eBay, and the resulting time lag in sales. On average, you can expect a listing on eBid to last much longer before completion than on eBay.
Additionally, though eBid is an online auction site, people seem to prefer the buy it now option in large quantities. That means bidding wars are few and far between on eBid. If you want full value for your inventory, it's better to list the starting price as your desired sale price to begin with.
Though the lower fees and Google Shopping uploads would seemingly do plenty to boost merchant confidence, there is a disturbing trend of declining interest in eBid. This trend is notably quantifiable in search volume and search ranking.
As you can see from these stats compiled courtesy of Alexa.com, the site's popularity has been petering out in recent years, though there isn't necessarily reason to jump ship just yet.
Here we see that there was a boom period for unique visits in the early summer of 2013 and then a significant drop off. Things do seem to be looking up though, with the metric making a slight rebound in the early part of this year.
This data does raise questions about the viability of eBid as an eBay alternative. The fact is, it definitely can be. However, it shouldn't be the basket in which you stack all of your eggs.
eBid won't be a cure all to your online retail complaints with eBay. You won't be able to quickly offload inventory there, but you should instead expect to wait for a considerable amount of time to receive fair value for your sales.
Your best option is most likely a diversification of your sales channels. You can experiment both with eBay and eBid to see which will better suit your niche needs. It's highly recommended that you start your own online store so that you can better control the traffic you attract, and the fortunes that you accrue.
You may find that this is more effective than all other online shopping outlets put together. If that ends up being the case, you should dedicate all of your inventory to your own online store so that you won't spread your resources too thin.
Have you sold any products on eBid? Share your experiences with us in the comment section.
Also check this massive list of other eBay Alternatives we've compiled.