Flubit re-focus on beating Amazon prices
Flubit have announced that from today they will only accept user ‘Demands’ with an amazon.co.uk URL.
Flubit’s decision is in response to an Amazon URL being used for the majority of the 100,000+ Demands they have ever received. By streamlining their service to solely beat Amazon prices, they will be able to send offers back to users much quicker and significantly increase the volume of Demands the site can handle.
Since launching last September, Flubit have hosted over £1m GMV of transactions. These have effectively been diverted from other ecommerce sites to their own platform and merchants.
This success has come from offering online shoppers a unique and addictive service (their average customer has already placed 3.5 orders).
Buying on Flubit requires users to state the product they want by creating a Demand. This is done by copying & pasting the link of a product page from any online store, or using the recently launched bookmarklet. Flubit then match this to a product in their 3m+ catalogue, create the user a private offer from one of their merchants and host the resulting transaction.
Flubit’s catalogue already has exceptional overlap with Amazon’s because most of their merchants are Amazon sellers. The strategy change allows Flubit to get the most out of this catalogue, and take advantage of the lower prices merchants send them.
What this mean for Flubit sellers?
If you sell on Flubit, there will be no operational impact for you and their 0% up-front fee structure remains the same. The only difference is that all future Flubit orders will have been diverted from Amazon, and users won’t be able to Demand using a URL from your site. If you send Flubit inventory that isn’t listed on Amazon, this can no longer be sold on Flubit but you don’t need to remove it from your feed.
If you’d like to sell on Flubit or learn more, register your interest at weflubit.com.
I’m obviously missing something:
If you sell on Amazon, you are not allowed to offer better prices elsewhere on-line. So how can you be both an Amazon seller and undercut the best Amazon price?
Difference is you’re not advertising the price on Flubit – each time it’s an offer to a single consumer. However if you’re not paying marketplace final value fees you’ve probably a little leeway to play with on price.
I’m not saying Amazon will like it, but there’s probably little they can do to prevent it.
Not exactly on subject but a few months ago “Bubbles” was mentioned several times on Tamebay. Whatever happened to “Bubbles”?
It’s still out there. Not sure we’ve heard any “news” from them.
Lookupbubbles.com is very much alive. We’ve been very busy with a major update that is literally around the corner.
We will have lots of news to share including many new features and other developments with the website, plus some great offers for retailers – all coming soon.
Chris, I know you are always understandably hard on alternative marketplaces like eBid but do you happen to know how Flubit compares to them or other small marketplaces in terms of GMV?
Also if most of the sellers on Flubit are Amazon sellers, Flubit only accept Amazon products, prices are lower on Flubit, and sales are being diverted from Amazon does this mean price parity went out the window?
I’d love to compare Flubit’s £1m GMV of transactions since they launched with eBid, but sadly eBid don’t appear to release any hard sales numbers. Also to be fair Flubit are still new, they’ve not been around for over a decade yet.
As I said above I’m not so sure Amazon will be delighted with Flubit but I’m not sure what they can do to counteract them.
Over the years ebay Customer Support has often been critisised. But last year I signed up for ebid. I paid my money. Then when I tried to list items on ebid I hit a problem. It would not accept my listings. Now this could be something simple or perhaps something serious. Anyway I emailed ebid. The answer I got was basically “Stick with ebay”.
I have been trying ever since to find out from ebid what the problem is or failing that to get my money back. But ebid just does not reply to emails and has not refunded the money.
So while I sell on ebay I have to report that my attempt to expand my sales to ebid has been a total failure. Obviously if you are thinking about expand your activities then first you have to get onto the site. With ebid that appears to be a major problem. Also if the problem is minor or indeed major makes no difference because ebids communication is abysmal.
So while I would like to report that ebid is user friendly I cannot because it is anything but. I would like to report that my Sales on ebid were reasonable and growing steadily I cannot. Indeed I would like to report that ebid attracts a better class of customer I cannot because as I said above all my efforts to start listing on ebid have been obstructed.
So I must admit that I do not know what the problem is. I have not completely given up on ebid. I still hope that they will answer my emails and tell me what the problem is so I can start to list my stock on ebid. Obviously if there is a change in the circumstances I will inform Tamebay. But so far I have proved to my own satisfaction that ebid is a waste of time.
I am still looking for an alternative to ebay.
Basically you are pricing within the margin available between Amazon and Flubit which will possibly be up to 10%.
However how much Flubit actually charge their sellers for each transaction seems very opaque indeed – anybody have a worked example?
There seem to be several different pricing models on the table for sellers based on the T&Cs.
As for Amazon it is quite simple to predict – if Flubit start to materially affect the Amazon sales machine they WILL react.
Be prepared to bail out or face the wrath of Bezos….
I am not convinced at this strategy.
Most Amazon customers shop there as they have bought in to Amazon’s eco system. For example:
i) They are used to navigating the site
ii) Know there is a vast range of products available
iii) Can find what they are looking for
iv) Credit card info is already stored
v) 1-click purchasing & Amazon prime for faster checkouts and deliveries
vi) Good customer service on the whole
Most Amazon customers do not shop around to hunt for the best prices. So why would they:
i) Go to the trouble of signing up with Flubit who is relatively unknown
ii) Have to wait for a demand to be met if at all before their order is shipped
I just don’t really get it. For the record, we have approached them for more information so we can consider trialling it (awaiting response our acknowledgement). However I do have serious doubts whether this is a viable and sustainable business model.
They say the reason for restricting it to Amazon is because that is where the majority of their demands come from. I am surprised as there are often cheaper offerings for many products elsewhere on the web for many products.
You are probably correct Steve and many people will stay with Amazon because they are both familiar and comfortable with it and they find the prices acceptable.
However never under-estimate the liking of the British consumer to think they have ‘got a bargain’.
Whether Flubit will gain sufficient traction to grow and become a significant player is open to question but we welcome competition to the established channels from new players like them if the sums add up for us.
The Best thing to do when we hear about new marketplace is to give it a go. Few years back I was trading Beauty and Toiletries on eBay. Din’t believe I would be selling on Toothbrush, Toothpaste or Soap on Amazon. Now I am getting more sales through Amazon compared to that of eBay.
You won’t know until you try !
I think a little research goes a long way with this, there are many smaller marketplaces in the UK, most are a complete waste of time by the time you have completed all the necessary admin and automation work however never be put off by something that is new or different, just do your homework first!
I agree Clarky. I don’t think we will even talk about the ones that is not worth talking in Tamebay as they do some research before mentioning here. For example, Chris only mentioned about eBid when one seller came up with a figure that worth talking about.