Daily Telegraph: ditch eBay for smartphone selling apps

What do you reckon of this article in the Telegraph on Sunday called: “Avoid eBay pitfalls: sell on smartphone apps.”

As Kate Palmer says: “more and more sellers, whether they are an individual or a business, are shunning online marketplaces altogether – and instead selling their wares directly via people’s phones. They may be less well-known, but apps such as Depop, Foap and Instagram charge similar commission – or none at all.”

The article makes some understandable claims. (Few eBay sellers will argue that when it comes to protection claims that eBay seems to side often unfairly with the buyer, for instance.) But I’m less convinced by some of the comparisons regarding fees and traffic and potential.

And the notion that eBay isn’t an active player in the mobile shopping arena is demonstrably incorrect. One thing that eBay actually does remarkably well is offer items an easy in on smartphone shopping. (Even if the selling side of the app is less good.)

Clearly Etsy has a commanding lead in some particular marketplace niches but it’s limited in its range compared to eBay. The success story cited, Mr Normal, doesn’t seem to have sold on eBay at all but is using Instagram successfully and we must applaud him. But without knowing his margins a £120k annual turnover we can’t say whether that equals a living. The article also notes that Instagram itself doesn’t have an ecommerce function.

There can be no doubt that social shopping is on the up. The ecommerce field is broadening and that’s a good thing but I’m not sure this article is quite on the money.

How about you?