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OnBuy “British” marketplace launches 1st Nov

By Chris Dawson October 21, 2013 - 6:58 am

OnBuy HomeIs there room for another marketplace in the UK? One that’s decidedly British and yet aims to compete with the likes of eBay, Amazon and Play.com? OnBuy certainly thinks so.

We’ve seen so many new marketplaces come and go, way back in the archives of Tamebay when we first wrote about Tazbar, which although they invested heavily in TV advertising ,only lasted a couple of years. Mostly marketplaces suffer from exactly the same problem as eBid, they have no shortage of sellers fed up with selling on eBay and desperate for an alternative, but the marketplace has an acute shortage of buyers.

Buyers are the one thing that eBay, Amazon, and to a more limited extent Rakuten’s Play.com supply buyers in droves. No new marketplace will thrive without a goodly supply of buyers.

So what do OnBuy have to offer? Well firstly become a Centerprise International Group Company, after the Hampshire based leading IT provider invested a “significant amount”. Centerprise International are established IT providers in the UK who deliver large scale IT projects within the Corporate, Education, Government and Reseller sectors. Money is the first thing a new marketplace needs, bucket loads of it to buy awareness and drive traffic.

The second thing a marketplace needs is sellers and seller’s inventory. OnBuy are open for business, but currently only to sellers, their public launch to buyers will be the 1st of November.

Fees are only charge for successful sales at vary from 7.8% to 14.4% including VAT. There’s also a seller subscription based on a rolling monthly fee of £26.40 once the site goes live. There are also no payment processing fees – payments will be made direct through the OnBuy platform.

For professional sellers OnBuy offer account management and tools such as a bulk product upload system to get started. We’ve not seen the tools so honestly can’t tell you how good they are.

Marketplaces with something unique to offer such as NotOnTheHighStreet.com have carved out a niche for themselves by being different, it’s precisely because they’ve carved out a niche for themselves that they’re succeeding. OnBuy aim to be a general marketplace and cracking the mass market is another matter entirely.

So over to you – what do you think? Can well a well funded marketplace make it in Britain, or is even “well funded” far too little? Is it too late with eBay, Amazon and Play.com too well established to be caught?

If you’re interested in becoming an OnBuy seller you can sign up on their website ready for the launch on the 1st of November.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    british only is the killer your instantly excluding billions of buyers

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      plus even though I could sometimes stamp on ebay tonys glasses, buyers would be daft to go elsewhere with such a guarantee

    • Alex
      3 years ago

      Just had a call from OnBuy. This is what they told me:

      1) Up to 10% FVF (most areas at 10%, a few are lower)
      2) 12% fee on shipping charges (actually higher than eBay) – absolute outrage when many sellers currently lose £ on shipping.
      3) After trial £22 p/month membership
      4) Site DOES NOT ACCEPT PayPal – major issue for UK and European sellers.
      6) Full personal and bank details required (even though its a “free Trial”) so they can bill you fees and after trial the £22 p/month.
      5) Only a few hundred companies so far signed up so its looking VERY small.

      They constantly talk about transpanancy. Aside from the free trial NONE OF THE ABOVE POINTS WERE MENTIONED UNTIL I ACTUALLY ASKED. Transparancy???

      PRIDICTION: Will remain a low level eCommerce site. After a few years when its built up a bit and after the economy picks up will they will then sell out to eBay or Amazon and someone will pocket a few million. (Typical business model but its only my opinion and they probably will not confirm if asked)

      Personally I see very little value in their offer.

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      ,
      WE IMPORT MANY ITEMS FROM SUPPLIERS IN THE EU, where those suppliers source from is another matter…..

      In our case, 90%+ are UK buyers.

  • Carl
    3 years ago

    OnBuy have no chance

  • Hereford United fan
    3 years ago

    I am surprised you have even mentioned play.com!

    • 3 years ago

      Catching Play.com should by OnBuy’s first target…. if they can even get close to Play (with Play’s much reduced traffic since they stopped selling their own products) then OnBuy have a chance, if they can’t they’ll fail.

  • 3 years ago

    Had a look at OnBuy and it seems to be little more than an idea. Just about everything is under construction with little showing any signs of being ready. Also when you add it up and take into account the almost negligible sales that it is likely to generate for the first few months I was surprised that there does not seem to be any special offers such as No Monthly Fees for the first 6 months and reduced charges for the first 12 months. Also it appears that the monies from sales will not go to Paypal etc but to OnBuy for them to distribute later. For a New Company on Launch with possible tight financing this must be a risk if it was to go pear shaped.

    Not Impressed.

    • Cambridge_Blue
      3 years ago

      Spot on the money – we wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole until we saw some serious initial offers/discounts to sellers and/or traffic levels that will actually drive decent sales.
      Any business that starts it marketing effort with using the ‘british’ tag online for this type of site is just plain daft.
      Avoid!

  • Hereford United fan
    3 years ago

    I had the same discussion when play called me. I said ‘if you are so confident that I will sell loads, why not offer me a 6-12 month period where I do not need to pay the monthly charge?’

    They said they could not do that.

    • Mike
      3 years ago

      I got them to call me because I wanted to see what they would offer in terms of free months (onbuy that is) and they are offering the subscription for nothing for 6 months. Thought, if it costs me nothing, so what the heck – I’m going to see what happens.

    • Carl
      3 years ago

      I am sorry to hear that you think your time is worthless

    • 3 years ago

      Off course the nice thing about a 6 months free membership is that it covers Christmas. So working on it managing to have a “Big Launch” it could be very worthwhile.

    • 3 years ago

      Or to put it another way…. in the run up to Christmas when you’re flat out anyway to invest time in a new marketplace?

      Spend a lot of time get nothing or little, don’t bother and potentially miss out on a bit of a bump in business when you’re hopefully stretched to the limit anyway…

    • Cambridge_Blue
      3 years ago

      We had the same discussion about upgrading to the new store level but we wanted 6 months free to prove it was worthwhile to invest longer term.
      They said no and from what we can see Play are struggling apart from a few segnments where some sellers appear to prosper.
      You cannot even update or add new products to the site unless you pay hundreds of pounds upfront for a so called ‘store’.
      Absolute madness and the site is dying on its feet across several categories.
      We give Play less than 12 months before Rakuten will have to make major changes to their business model in the UK.

  • daver
    3 years ago

    Hi
    If possible can you refrain from mentioning Ebid on a Monday morning,still cant believe I was suckered into paying for a lifetime membership !
    Agree with comments above, this has no chance,if you have any time available invest in your own website

    • Charlie
      3 years ago

      Yup I too was suckered into a life time subscription on ebid. To date the sales haven’t even covered that over 2 years latter.

    • 3 years ago

      I too was suckered into paying ebid. But even worse I had all sorts of problems trying to post my items. So I emailed them in case I was doing something wrong only to be told by ebid to stick with ebay. I have tried and tried since to try to sort out what the problem is but they just will not answer emails. So I have asked for my money back and no joy there either. So my suggestion would be to avoid ebid like the plague.

    • Peter King
      3 years ago

      lol, so you paid eBid for a life time membership,
      You sell books you bought in a previous business.
      You know enough to know you have to report the P/L of these books on your self assessment tax return, either as a profit or a loss against your purchase price.
      But you still claim you don’t run a business on ebay ?

      To be fair I appreciate your problems, you clearly want to retire, I just can’t understand why you do everything in your power to avoid sales.

      Why don’t you find a local train spotter to set up your stall at some steam rally.
      Or list everything on eBay (selling remaindered books on free listing days doesn’t count).
      Or sell it to a wholesaler.
      Are you even selling your books on Amazon ?

    • 3 years ago

      How many times have I got to say that I have a very thick file with HMRC because I declare everything and have done for something like 30 years. As far as other comments on my life might I suggest that you spend more time worrying about your own business and less worrying about my health problems and the impact that they have on my Bookselling.

    • Jason
      3 years ago

      How much was lifetime membership?

    • Caz
      3 years ago

      Someone should investigate ebid for misleading sellers. I fell for their half price seller lifetime rubbish, rushed into it as offer due to end. Never made my money back and have given up wasting time on it. Reported to trading standards but heard nothing back yet, probably won’t be able to do anything. I didn’t think that you were allowed to continually offer a sale price without having had it at the higher price for a certain time length and then have to have an end to the sale. I don’t believe ebid ever charged £100, they always have it at half price when I look.

    • 3 years ago

      I must say that I wonder if Trading Standards are the right organisation. After all the ebid con is not like a backstreet garage conning the locals. ebid is conning from right across the Country. So perhaps the Office of Fair Trading would be more appropriate?

  • Helen Hudson
    3 years ago

    Any rival to eBay I wish the best of British luck, but I hope they have deep pockets.

  • 3 years ago

    Hello Everyone,

    We wanted to thank you all for the discussion that has sparked here and, on behalf of the OnBuy Team, we would like to answer some of the questions you have. It’s best to start is from the top! –

    Northumbrian, Hi! OnBuy does not wish to imply that we’re excluding anyone from our marketplace, and you certainly have our apologies for not explaining our tagline in more detail – we are very proud to be Brits, and hope to benefit the economy as we grow over the years. The platform will grow across Europe and eventually span the globe. This of course will take several years, but we welcome everyone from everywhere on day one.

    Hi Chris Dawson – Thank you for the feature here, we’re grateful for the interest you have shown, especially so close to the OnBuy launch. Our first aims are to gather sustainable momentum, enough to ensure we collect 5% market share in comparison to Amazons in 5 years. We know that each and every year counts. We will be here for the long haul; making the right decisions for our sellers and helping customers buy from a safe, rewarding and convenient platform.

    Chris T – Hi Chris and thank you for your observations – we do speak to sellers who wonder how long we have been planning the launch – the development of OnBuy started over 5 years ago, and we’re very excited that it has come to a point where it is ready to be introduced to the public. OnBuy.co.uk is currently in a demo state, so our sellers can become familiar with the platform, before we go live in November.

    Hi Cambridge Blue – thanks for the interest you have shown – Our sellers can currently get 6 months free; this gives everyone a good chance to test the water and see how they enjoy OnBuy. Our Account Management Team has been issuing this special offer to those who initially show an interest in the platform, and wish to sign up. Joining before the end of this month will ensure you are included in that offer, and we wish to welcome everyone who wants to take advantage of this. We’re sure to conduct special and promotional offers in the future, so welcome you at these points too, should you decide now is not the best time for you.

    Hello Mike – thank you for signing up, we’re happy to have you on board! As you have said, the free subscription period will get you 6 free months. Our low fees ensure that any sales you make with OnBuy will require less commission than selling with other platforms, so there is nothing to lose – only to gain. We hope you enjoy OnBuy, come November, and welcome your feedback once we get started!

    Just to cover a few other points that have been raised, we would like to explain that unlike other marketplaces, we allow our sellers to upload unlimited product listings at no extra cost, you will have control over your Shop Window (this feature will be unveiled after the Christmas push, and will allow sellers to ‘decorate’ as they wish) at no extra cost, and there are no minimum subscription boundaries set or ‘lifetime’ subscriptions to get tied in to.

    We have a very clear and basic ethos we think most businesses forget: fairness and openness. Our fees are the most transparent and the most competitive on the market today. We (The Team) believe in the plans for OnBuy and are confident that they’ll come to fruition just as abundantly as we have conceptualised. We’re very happy for the support those of you have shown and wish to encourage those who are unsure, to try the OnBuy marketplace and let us know what you think.

    Kind Regards to All!

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    “The platform will grow across Europe and eventually span the globe. This of course will take several years, ”

    ok thats whenwe sign up? untll then we have bills to pay

    • 3 years ago

      Hello Northumbrian,

      Yes, please join us when you’re ready – if you are concerned about the cost, you may want to consider the promotion new have currently; if you already sell on other platforms, the promotion will allow you to make more sales on top (of what you already sell) and create a greater profit margin – no loss, only gain – without you having to worry about the subscription fee for a full 6 months.

      Of course, we understand if you would like to wait – we would very much like to invite you to sell with us in either case!

      Kindest Regards,
      The OnBuy Team

  • bigtimetrader
    3 years ago

    good luck to you!

    question: who are your customers going to be? the seller or the buyer?

    question: do you retail yourself?

    Keep Chris @ tamebay updated so it can be relayed back to us all.

    • 3 years ago

      Hello Bigtimetrader,

      Thank you! We’re very excited about the launch.
      Our customers are the sellers. The OnBuy is a marketplace will never compete to sell against its own sellers – that’s a promise. We found this to be the reason a lot of sellers have contacted us. Everyone would prefer a marketplace that does not monopolise sales for themselves, especially on products that sell well.

      We will certainly keep everyone updated. Thank you for your interest ; we hope to work with you in the future Bigtimetrader.

      Kindest Regards,
      The OnBuy Team

    • bigtimetrader
      3 years ago

      Interesting, Amazon customers are the buyers. eBay customers are sellers and buyers. I think the playing field needs a marketplace where the customers are sellers.

      (without compromising legal requirements, i.e. all sellers must conform with distance selling regulations, etc etc – a level of customer service must be maintained!)

      Bye.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    our customers are buyers, we need buyers not sellers,

  • 3 years ago

    I spoke with onbuy today. The big question in my mind was not whether they are a retailer or even what the fees are but if they are catalogue based or as eBay are still predominantly listing based. They will be catalogue based so price focused as opposed to value/service based. Another race to be the cheapest. They may gain buyers looking for lowest cost but these are not the buyers we want. John

  • Alexander Collins
    3 years ago

    Just had a call from OnBuy. This is what they told me:

    1) Up to 10% FVF (most areas at 10%, a few are lower)
    2) 12% fee on shipping charges (actually higher than eBay) – absolute outrage when many sellers currently lose £ on shipping.
    3) After trial £22 p/month membership
    4) Site DOES NOT ACCEPT PayPal – major issue for UK and European sellers.
    6) Full personal and bank details required (even though its a “free Trial”) so they can bill you fees and after trial the £22 p/month.
    5) Only a few hundred companies so far signed up so its looking VERY small.

    They constantly talk about transpanancy. Aside from the free trial NONE OF THE ABOVE POINTS WERE MENTIONED UNTIL I ACTUALLY ASKED. Transparancy???

    PRIDICTION: Will remain a low level eCommerce site. After a few years when its built up a bit and after the economy picks up will they will then sell out to eBay or Amazon and someone will pocket a few million. (Typical business model but its only my opinion and they probably will not confirm if asked)

    Personally I see very little value in their offer.

  • Lynne
    3 years ago

    I have the application form and was about to complete and return but I don’t like credit checks done on my name when I really don’t know if this would be a good selling platform or be successful for me. I am happy to give my Bank details as I have with Ebay and Pay pal but a credit check is for what purpose please? maybe Onbuy can answer this .

  • OnBuy
    3 years ago

    Hello Everyone,

    Thank you for adding to this discussion, we’re really grateful for the feedback.

    Hello again Northumbrian, thank you for getting back to us. We understand sellers want buyers but know very much that sellers can become frustrated with the platforms dominating the market, and wanted to focus on getting this right. The buyers will gather where the best prices and good sellers are naturally. That is not to say we have no marketing plans or current activity to attract customers to our sellers, of course.

    Hi Alexander – Our fees are listed here: http://www.onbuy.co.uk/sell-with-onbuy/our-fees.html.

    Everyone can use this link to see our sales fees – including the subscription fee.

    Our shipping percentage is used as a regulator of the product price – this means we can make sure sellers do not put very high prices on shipping goods and a very low fee on the goods themselves.

    We do not force sellers to have shipping fees however, and allow any seller to provide free shipping to customers, should they wish it. This fee is detailed within our terms and conditions.

    We do not accept Paypal – we work with WorldPay. This system allows us to have excellent control over the Order Dispute System we have developed. This would not cause a problem for sellers in Europe or the UK, it is only a different method of transaction – furthermore, sellers don’t have any costs associated with transactions through OnBuy and WorldPay, unlike the Paypal model which charges for each transaction.

    We are delighted to say we have several thousand enquiries to become a seller with OnBuy and are in the processes of setting up some excellent long term business plans with some great sellers.

    Our sellers are of the highest calibre and offer a selection in excess of 2 million products so far – doubling our initial aim – Mr. Collins, an Account Manager will only see the selection of sellers for their category. The Account Manager you spoke to may be referring to the section they work within. Our Account Managers do not see the other categories, so this may be where some misunderstanding has arisen.

    Hi Lynne, thank you for getting in touch. We only ask for company bank details to set up your OnBuy account – similarly OnBuy collect a short reference for your business – this is a standard procedure for all our companies. Just for clarity, you can be sure we will not perform a personal credit check. OnBuy is a sales platform for businesses, not for individuals – this may be what has caused some confusion in this area. We hope this has helped to answer your question for you Lynne.

    Just to reiterate our aims for the future, OnBuy is here to stay. We intend to provide an improved marketplace for traders, who do not compete and provide a high level of customer service to sellers. We want customers to feel they are in a safe, rewarding and convenient place to shop for anything they desire for a competitive price. We will always detail everything we intend to do, and fees we charge to sell, unlike other marketplaces – this honesty and transparency will help to ultimately provide you with a great online marketplace.

    Kind Regards to All!

    • 3 years ago

      “OnBuy is a sales platform for businesses, not for individuals”

      Bit short sighted…. How many of us here are sole traders (i.e. businesses) and hence any credit checks would be on the individual rather than a limited company?

      Strange if OnBuy decided only to deal with limited companies – be a lot of traders wiped out from the start

    • 3 years ago

      “The buyers will gather where the best prices and good sellers are naturally”

      I think the truth is that buyers are creatures of habit and if you want to get them to buy in a new venue it’s going to take a lot of hard work and marketing to get them to change their ways… but I look forward to seeing the results.

    • OnBuy
      3 years ago

      Hi Chris,

      Where we say ‘businesses’ we include Sole Traders, but not individuals with no registered entity. We are not an ‘eBay’ for the Consumer to sell products; this is not our focus and we will remain a B2C marketplace.

      We do not use personal credit reference agencies, this is a miss-conception. We mainly rely on OnBuy Selling Limits to mitigate any risks associated with new/unknown sellers. Selling Limits allow OnBuy to set a cap on the volume that a business can sell in a given period, and until the account statistics show otherwise, the limit cannot be increased. As a seller’s account performance improves, the selling limit can be increased.

      We do not limit ourselves to Ltd. companies, but we do employ an additional level of checks on registered businesses, using information from companies house, which can help them to have a higher selling limit from the start of them trading with OnBuy.

      I hope that this clarifies that we are willing to support any registered business, whether Sole Trader, Limited Company, Limited Partnership, Public Limited Company and an overseas registered business entity.

      We are fully aware and committed to the marketing exposure necessary to launch a marketplace, and OnBuy has employed a number of marketing programmes at significant cost, to enable OnBuy to be publicly seen by the masses. With considerable investment from Centerprise International, OnBuy is well-funded, well structured, and committed to achieving a significant and positive public response.

      We will be announcing our future marketing activities soon, so that our sellers are aware of important OnBuy milestones, and when to expect traffic to improve. Transparency is still our ultimate goal, which is why we have put all of this information out to the public domain.

      Kind Regards,
      The OnBuy Team

    • PayPalUser
      3 years ago

      I am quite interested in OnBuy, but I do not want you to contact my bank, no matter what reasons you give.

  • 3 years ago

    Dear PayPalUser,

    We would never contact your bank, under any circumstances.

    Please contact us directly with any of your queries.

    Kind Regards,
    The OnBuy Team

    • PayPalUser
      3 years ago

      What do you mean when you state “similarly OnBuy collect a short reference for your business ” ?

    • 3 years ago

      Dear PayPalUser,

      We would rely on information from companies house, only for businesses that are registered with companies house.

      We would never contact your bank nor use personal credit reference agencies.

      Kind Regards,
      The OnBuy Team

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