OnBuy lay out plans for July 2015 relaunch
It’s been a while since we wrote about OnBuy, the marketplace which soft launched in November 2013 and then went back into development. Today we received an email signed by OnBuy’s MD, Cas Paton which lays out his plans for the future.
OnBuy have the normal problem that all start up online marketplaces have – “Where do we get the buyers from and if we’ve got no buyers how do we convince sellers to sign up?” Cas addresses this pretty honestly in his email.
Our advice is do absolutely nothing at the moment. Christmas is fast approaching and you shouldn’t be wasting a minute of your time on a marketplace which isn’t scheduled to launch until the middle of next year.
After the Christmas rush take a look at OnBuy and decide if it’s for you. Do you want to wait until you see others having success on OnBuy or do you want to get in early on day 1?
The only measure of success that OnBuy needs to deliver is sales and profits for sellers. Assuming that listing will be as easy as uploading a CSV of your inventory or clicking a link in your multichannel management solution, if you can make more profit than the cost in fees the marketplace is worth sticking with.
No one expects OnBuy to be as successful as eBay or Amazon the day they open for business. What we at Tamebay will be looking for however is within a couple of months are sellers making enough profit to cover the monthly fee plus sales commission plus a bit left over? If the answer is yes then OnBuy will be worth growing with.
Here’s the email in full:
Important OnBuy Update
I wanted to update you about the status of OnBuy and how you can get involved, to help launch the UK’s first major Amazon rival, the OnBuy Marketplace.
As you may already know, OnBuy was acquired by myself, Cas Paton, after a rocky start to the project and the deterioration of the relationship between the three principle shareholders of the original business.
The rocky start of OnBuy last year had nothing to do with the business itself, the project viability, or finances. To put it bluntly, the project suffered from three different opinions for the future growth of OnBuy and this led to a deadlock for the business.
I purchased OnBuy in July 2014 after several months of negotiation. OnBuy is currently back in development and is expected to launch to the public on 1st July 2015, with exciting new fees and a significant marketing investment.
We have a dedicated development team working flat-out to deliver a much improved solution to market.
We really want you on-board with OnBuy.
New OnBuy Fees
It was always my opinion that OnBuy should offer a better deal to UK businesses over the competition; Rather than to simply “compete” with them on fees, we want to blow them out of the water while still being able to effectively employ a viable business model.
On this basis, the first thing that I have done since acquiring OnBuy is drive the sales fee down to 7% across all categories on the marketplace. This will make OnBuy the cheapest cost-per-sale marketplace on the internet, while still being a viable business.
Secondly, I decided that OnBuy needed an edge in the market, to help drive the business over the first two years of trading and to secure sellers like you with OnBuy even at the start of our project, when sales numbers are growing but obviously not as great as they will be.
I’ve decided to give sellers the lowest possible affordable cost initially, which also helps to secure the best prices possible for OnBuy. I have agreed to launch OnBuy at 3.5% for the first two years. That’s unheard of in our industry.
Those fees includes transaction processing costs.
Sellers subscriptions are simple too, £50 per month for a normal seller account and £100 per month for a managed sellers account, featuring a dedicated account management team to help with all kinds of activities, including: listing assistance, marketing assistance, marketing opportunities, API support and much more. We are also offering some additional tools for managed sellers, such as auto-repricing, pre-ordering and more.
Subscriptions vs. Sales
The first thing that I’m often asked is whether OnBuy is viable for a seller at the start of our initial trading, when being asked to pay £50 per month to list on a marketplace that has only just started marketing themselves, with limited traffic.
Obviously I understand this conundrum, but the truth is that OnBuy will work very hard from day one of trading to ensure that we invest in as much marketing as possible and as quickly as possible. That being said, admittedly, it will still take some time for the sales numbers to increase.
OnBuy will be advertising on TV, radio and magazines to ensure maximum exposure. During the run up to Christmas 2015 this should be in full-swing. Every penny we generate will be invested for several years.
Getting listed on OnBuy at the beginning of our journey will mean more exposure for your listings, with less competition. This has to be worth its weight in gold to all sellers in this competitive online space.
The prospect of OnBuy may actually be worth your investment for a few months; the result of OnBuy’s success will be a more affordable, approachable and honest marketplace, which has the added benefit of being British.
Also, remember that OnBuy is not a retailer (unlike others), so our intention is to launch a viable marketplace that will never compete with you, never use our sales data to gain a competitive edge, but instead fairly operate as an honest platform while trying to maximise your margins as much as possible and also increasing your exposure as much as we can.
We at OnBuy want you on-board. We want your support.
If you want to sign up for OnBuy, please complete the OnBuy interest form on www.onbuy.co.uk – If you have done so already you don’t need to repeat this exercise, we have your details safe and will be in-touch later this year.
If you have any questions please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our new business team will respond as fast as we can.
£50 a month?!!!
They are having a laugh.
For clarification, give me 7% fee from Day 1 instead with no monthly fee. That way, you will succeed as I succeed. I can’t “punt” 50 quid a month on a completely unproven platform. Granted, there may be less competition in the early days, but likewise there will be less buyers too.
I’m all for alternatives to eBay, but not convinced I should be expected to finance it via a monthly subscription!
They need to waive the monthly subscription (at least initially) if they want sellers to get onboard.
Hi Tamebay sellers,
We understand your concerns regarding the subscription at £50 per month and ask you to revisit in 2015 keeping an eye on any introductory offers that might be available then.
Offers will only be available to sellers who have registered an interest on http://www.onbuy.co.uk
Enjoy the rest of you 2014 and your busy Christmas period, and we look forward to speaking with some of you in 2015.
I really think that all promoters of New Market Places need to think about a typical Seller before they make any announcements. The vast majority of sellers with the exception of the small number of very large sellers are small to medium. They all have tight budgets and need to get value for money.
The idea of a £50 per month fee must kill the vast majority of interest stone dead. Possible promises of ‘Introductory Offers’ does little or nothing to stimulate any interest in me and I would guess many others. After all if there are not ‘Introductory Offers’ then the promoters really are negligent.
Might I suggest that the £50 per month is scrapped formally now. If there has to be a monthly fee might I suggest a £10 per month guaranteed for the first 3 years of trading.
After all OnBuy needs sellers to flock to it. Indeed OnBuy probably needs Sellers more than Sellers need OnBuy, certainly in the start up period. After all Buyers are not going to stay if there is nothing to buy.
Also of course Sellers can get the word around in their normal publicity that there is a New Site in Town. The old Word of Mouth advertising is far more effective than adverts on TV when everybody goes to the loo or goes to make a cup of tea.
So OnBuy think again. Come back with a package of fees that will attract the Sellers you desperately need. Otherwise you could find yourself with a New Market Place and little or nothing on it.
Thank you for your comments Chris T
Your opinions are appreciated but some of your assumptions are somewhat incorrect and we hope to correct them slightly, albeit that we don’t expect you to change your opinion:
1. We have opted to reduce the selling fees down to a margin so-low that there is no profit what-so-ever for OnBuy initially, in order to secure ultra-competitive pricing on OnBuy which will enable OnBuy to build a fantastic relationship with buyers, and help this word of mouth that you speak so highly of. But, for the record, word of mouth won’t work until we’ve had our airtime on TV and other media, otherwise the “snowball rolling down the hill” will take a very long time to turn into a snowman!
2. OnBuy does need sellers, of-course. Having said that, those sellers who sign-up with OnBuy initially will benefit more exposure than in the future, as OnBuy will not be saturated with sellers, enabling them to have a bigger slice of smaller action, but essentially excellent placement.
3. OnBuy has significant investment and does not “need” the sellers in order to work as a business, having said that the subscription will enable OnBuy to rapidly accelerate the marketing that will be required for Christmas 2015, so arguably you might see this as “investing” in OnBuy, but you would also be investing in your brand and product placement as OnBuy grows – maximising your initial exposure. Our plan is not to simply operate as a steady business, but to directly market very quickly and aggressively into a much stronger position.
4. Everybody knows of the “auction site that rivals eBay that never took off” (We can’t say who) – The problem there is revenue. We could not cap your fees at £10 for 3 years otherwise the growth of the project would be limited (albeit not as bad as the site we speak of). Similarly, the concept of you continuing to pay £10 per month on a site that is not selling very well is far worse than a site that asks you to pay £50 but is actively marketing, which is more sustainable long-term than a continuing £10 drip.
5. OnBuy has a large number of sellers who will come on-board initially, agree to the subscription fees and benefit from the placement of their brand. This means that OnBuy has already secured it’s future and nothing will stop OnBuy from launching next year. We are asking for you to be part of the marketplace to benefit from the marketplace and work with OnBuy for the long-term, but if the time is not right for you, in our infancy, in your opinion, then that’s totally fine – and we will welcome you with open arms to the marketplace once you feel that time is right.
We’re offering the opportunity to get involved with OnBuy from the first stages of our growth, but if it doesn’t work for you, then it’s not a hard sale – we understand that every business is different and seriously welcome you to contact us once you see your competitors preforming well and you want to be part of OnBuy – in our later stages. We don’t expect every business to work with us at day #1 – in-fact it would become quite unmanageable.
Presumably the £50 a month sub includes unlimited free listings?
Hi Simon M
Indeed, OnBuy works more like Amazon than eBay – we have no listing fees, fees for extra data or fees for highlighted listings etc.
OnBuy will ONLY charge a subscription (of two tiers) and a selling fee – the only other known fee is a refund fee, which is yet to be announced, but we expect this to be around £0.50 per refund, as a guide.
Later this year we will launch a factual informational seller section on http://www.onbuy.co.uk that will include an FAQ and a help section, so you can get all of this information and much more.
Thank you for your reply. There are some important points in your reply so I hope that many Sellers will consider then fully. However there are a few points that I would like to make:-
a) It is normal for a New Business to run on no or minimal profits for the initial start-up period. After all it is difficult and expensive to start up any business and every penny that comes into a new business usually has several expences calling for it to be spent in this or that direction. We all know about this because almost every Seller has gone through that period in the history of their enterprise. But I get the impression from your reply 1) that you have actually budgeted for a profit literally from day 1. So if your start-up does not go with a Bang you could find yourself in real trouble especially if you have obtained loans from the Banks or Investment from outside on the strength of your assurances of profits from day 1.
If this is correct and your fees to Sellers is where you expect to get those ‘Profits’ then you could be strangling the goose that will lay the golden eggs in the long term with your short term need for immediate profits.
b) You need Sellers. Your answer 2) seems to give the impression that you only need a few sellers. But if you do not have a reasonably comprehensive spread of items for sale your site will just not be attractive to Buyers.
The average buyer does not want a choice of one or two items. They want a spread of items. If OnBuy cannot provide a reasonably broad spread of items the Buyers will not be back.
c) 3 sounds very good but in reality means nothing. If you do not have a comprehensive spread of Sellers OnBuy will fail.
d) Your answer 4 gives the impression that the £50 literally guarantees success. It does not. What will guarantee success is large numbers of Buyers and Sellers working hard together to make it all work. The Sellers providing long lists of quality items and the Buyers searching through the lists and buying large numbers of items.
The £50 per month is likely to stop a very large number of potential Sellers because they are afraid of spending £50 per month and getting little or nothing back for it. In the early days while OnBuy has no track record it is a leap of faith for every Seller who signs up.
e) Your answer 5 gives the impression that you have already signed up a number of Sellers. This can only mean that you have signed up the very large traders who are often complained about in Tamebay by ordinary Sellers.
If this is true that you have signed up the vary large corporate sellers than it is likely that many ordinary Sellers might stand back and have a good think before committing themselves to OnBuy. After all many of the problems with ebay got much worse when ebay sold its soul to the large corporate sellers. Perhaps if the large corporate sellers were to move to OnBuy and left ebay then ebay might be forced to become much more user friendly.
“It is normal for a New Business to run on no or minimal profits for the initial start-up period. After all it is difficult and expensive to start up any business and every penny that comes into a new business usually has several expenses calling for it to be spent in this or that direction. We all know about this because almost every Seller has gone through that period in the history of their enterprise. But I get the impression from your reply 1) that you have actually budgeted for a profit literally from day 1. So if your start-up does not go with a Bang you could find yourself in real trouble especially if you have obtained loans from the Banks or Investment from outside on the strength of your assurances of profits from day 1.”
We understand the hardship of starting a business. Profit is an incorrect assumption; OnBuy has significant investments to undertake and has the funding to do so. OnBuy will not be into ‘profit’ for several years. What we are saying is that the overheads of OnBuy are covered by the investments made into the business, so is the majority of OnBuy’s marketing.
The sellers subscriptions will be used to increase the level of that marketing, therefore sellers subscriptions will directly contribute to OnBuy’s exposure, but are not fundamentally necessary to get the business trading. Our plan isn’t to tick along but to grow as fast as possible, and this is where the subscriptions will help and allow us to focus additional investment into particular areas of marketing.
We cannot give away our actual marketing strategy, but we can say everything has been considered with a range of expert marketing companies and experts.
“If this is correct and your fees to Sellers is where you expect to get those ‘Profits’ then you could be strangling the goose that will lay the golden eggs in the long term with your short term need for immediate profits.”
This is incorrect.
“b) You need Sellers. Your answer 2) seems to give the impression that you only need a few sellers. But if you do not have a reasonably comprehensive spread of items for sale your site will just not be attractive to Buyers.”
We’re focusing on building OnBuy category by category. We understand the need for sellers, and product. Your doubts about our ability to secure sellers is something that we cannot change at this stage and we suggest that you wait until next year and make your decision in Q3 or Q4 to come on board for Christmas, or not.
OnBuy will be investing heavily in those categories and storefronts that are on-board before Q4, obviously.
“The average buyer does not want a choice of one or two items. They want a spread of items. If OnBuy cannot provide a reasonably broad spread of items the Buyers will not be back.”
We are aware of the conundrum of marketplace, the balance of seller and product and what buyers expect from OnBuy. We are very confident that OnBuy will have several categories of product that are fit for buyers.
“c) 3 sounds very good but in reality means nothing. If you do not have a comprehensive spread of Sellers OnBuy will fail.”
We understand your point. We believe that we have considered everything properly.
“d) Your answer 4 gives the impression that the £50 literally guarantees success. It does not. What will guarantee success is large numbers of Buyers and Sellers working hard together to make it all work. The Sellers providing long lists of quality items and the Buyers searching through the lists and buying large numbers of items.”
There are no guarantees in life, but OnBuy will work over time whether you choose to sign up now or later, albeit OnBuy may be stronger in selective categories initially.
“The £50 per month is likely to stop a very large number of potential Sellers because they are afraid of spending £50 per month and getting little or nothing back for it. In the early days while OnBuy has no track record it is a leap of faith for every Seller who signs up.”
Sellers who see the potential in OnBuy can sign up early on and will benefit from our loyalty to them. Sellers who don’t want to jump in now can wait a while, and come on later. We are not had selling OnBuy at all.
“e) Your answer 5 gives the impression that you have already signed up a number of Sellers. This can only mean that you have signed up the very large traders who are often complained about in Tamebay by ordinary Sellers.”
This is a ridiculous assumption, and totally incorrect.
“If this is true that you have signed up the vary large corporate sellers than it is likely that many ordinary Sellers might stand back and have a good think before committing themselves to OnBuy. After all many of the problems with eBay got much worse when eBay sold its soul to the large corporate sellers. Perhaps if the large corporate sellers were to move to OnBuy and left eBay then eBay might be forced to become much more user friendly.”
OnBuy is not particularly focused on the larger single vendors; while we have been approached and will work with some vendors that add value to the platform, in particular product ranges, our intention is to operate as an open marketplace.
We are not simply focused on price and have tried to create more of a comparison of vendor, than simply a price focused eCommerce site. We can’t say much more at this time, you’ll have to wait and see for yourself.
Thank you for your comments.
“The idea of a £50 per month fee must kill the vast majority of interest stone dead. Possible promises of ‘Introductory Offers’ does little or nothing to stimulate any interest in me and I would guess many others”
Speak for yourself mate. If the £50 a month fee is too much then I really think you are not turning over enough to even be exploring new marketplaces.
As always you can vote with your wallet. If you do not see any action then simply leave. However as online retailers I think any new marketplace should be given serious consideration. If it does go well and you are onboard early you are well positioned to profit. If not a few months of £50 should hardly break the bank.
Remember people be smart. Marketplaces are business’s just like us and want to make money. Changes are introduced that we like and also hate, that’s the nature of trading on someone else’s platform. If you can make it work for you great. If not there is no need to moan, just find another way to make it work for you.
Well said; we’re not a hard sell. We’re saying, “choose to join us now, choose to join us later, or choose not to join us”.
The decision is simply a commercial one.
However, we promise to be fair, open, honest and approachable as a new British marketplace.
We’d love to work with all sellers, but on the same token if 10,000 sellers wanted to be live on Day #1 that would not be a possibility. We expect the project to develop over time and that includes the number of sellers and products.
What is important is that we are committed, we are launching, we are genuine and we are very happy to start building relationships with sellers now – so feel free to register your interest on http://www.onbuy.co.uk
Having a built-in auto-repricing feature freaks me out far more than the subscription charge! Surely this will just mean the same Race to the Gutter you get on Amazon so no competing seller actually makes any margin? Auto-repricing only makes sense if you are the only seller using it!
The Acorn Emporium
We understand your concern here; our auto-re-price feature is NOT designed to cause a “race to bottom” of pricing.
The feature will be fully explained on launch, but fundamentally will be a valuable tool for sellers who use our panel or API, which will enable a seller to reduce his price to compete with another seller, but set a target price when doing-so, so that should that other seller “disappear” his price will “go back up” to the target value.
The goal is to allow the seller to maximise his margin if there is no need to continue competing.
This way, the competing seller doesn’t accidently keep his price too low.
The cheapest? What about eBid, they are free to use once you pay the initial £49.99. Or if you want to you can pay a small percentage (1-3%) for various upgrades. And to agree with other sellers, £50 upfront a month, you will get virtually no one interested, so scrap that before you start. You cannot ask for money upfront with no track record whatever spiel you spout, only results count.
We feel that OnBuy is the cheapest viable rival to Amazon.
At £49.99 per lifespan, we couldn’t afford to market OnBuy sufficiently to be a real contender for 5-10% Amazon marketshare within three years.
In-fact, at £49.99 for life, on a rough calculation we’d need 1500 sellers per month to sign up to that offer simply to pay the administration and development teams.
We’d then need another 1500 per month to market OnBuy in the first stages, more later.
While this obviously works for eBid, and eBid is a profitable and reputable auction project, the truth is that if OnBuy were to operate on this model now, it would take us many years to even get our sales numbers high enough to repair the damage caused by years of miserable sales, because;
1. We wouldn’t be able to achieve the sales that we want, for many years, because of an inability to market efficiently,
2. We’d be losing sellers left right and centre because of this #1
Then it’s much hard to convert sellers back after many years of listing products, and lost time and efforts that sellers would have invested into optimising listings etc. yet achieving minimal sales.
Likewise, we could launch OnBuy for free, with no sales fee and no subscription, and while “cheap” the problem would be that OnBuy would never sell a thing.
This is certainly not the OnBuy business plan, and as far as we are concerned we are the cheapest viable marketplace.
eBid have been online for a long time, and over time they have earned positions in search engines, brand recognition and loyalty. This would have built up over time, and hats off to them.
The OnBuy model is completely different.
I have to say that whilst as a retailer I would be wary of signing up to any marketplace that was unproven, I’d be even more wary of signing up to a marketplace that says “£50 up front and nothing to pay for the rest of your life”.
£50 doesn’t buy much marketing in a year, let alone a lifetime and without income how cay a marketplace afford to buy traffic and provide buyers? I mean compare it to Google Adwords – most of the time you can get a £50 voucher when you open an adwords account so how much will that cost you on an ongoing basis?
It’s interesting to read everyone’s comments. No business decision is without risk or up-front investment, so personally £50 per month, no listing fees and very very low commission for 2+ years sounds worth a look to me….
Thank you – you are one of a healthy number of sellers that see the concept the way we do; a minimal risk vs. potentially high reward.
We are committed to seeing the project through to success, and we are confident that many sellers who feel that the risk is too high now will consider OnBuy as viable proposition in 2016. All will work out over time.
We look forward to working with you, please ensure that you have registered your interest on http://www.onbuy.co.uk
After Play.com I would be very reluctant to spend the time on an unproven platform especially with a £50 a month subscription. The sensible option seems to be wait and see rather than going in from day one, let other sellers subsidise the platform launch. If the marketplace manages to attract sufficient customers and traffic it might be worth a look again in 2016.
>> let other sellers subsidise the platform launch.
I think you’ve nailed their main barrier to success. If *everyone* waits to see how the platform performs, then *no-one* will jump on (give or take a handful of sellers).
This is why I feel they should offer an initial sub-free period, to get the market-place thriving.
Very interested to know the background of the founders, and what experience of selling and marketplaces they bring to the table.
Hi Simon M
We do understand your logic here, no sellers = no products.
The assumption that only a handful of sellers will come on-board is flawed, however, as we are confident that our initial sellers will be more than a handful, and as we begin to market the solution this will drive more sellers on-board.
We’ll be in-touch with Tamebay during our initial stages of launch, so you can get a feel for OnBuy. This barrier you speak of should be broken very quickly indeed.
I am very interested to hear that a new rival to eBay is coming to town! I sell vintage costume jewellery, vintage handbags, accessories and homeware. Will I be able to sell these sort of items on OnBuy along with other second hand and collectable items?
Will I also be able to sell my own range of hand made up-cycled costume jewellery?
I just hope that OnBuy is just not for NEW goods only that need bar codes, like Amazon. Please tell me you are going to welcome the niche sellers of unusual, one-off items that eBay is driving away at the moment.
Hope to hear from you soon.
A strength of the eBay model is that buyers can also be sellers, and so visit the site on a regular basis, during which time they might well buy something also.
This is also true of Amazon to a lesser extent, with it’s marketplace, though this largely means media items for the private seller.
It does indeed sound like OnBuy is new goods only and will lack this buyer / seller factor.
Why does it sound like OnBuy will be new goods only?
OnBuy is yet to announce the exact way that listings work, because it isn’t a clean-cut answer.
What we can say (in-short) is that OnBuy supports New, Used and Refurbished items.
The OnBuy concept will allow sellers to list off-catalogue (their own listings) and in-catalogue (barcoded only).
This way, custom items, jewellery, collectibles, crafts, and indeed vintage products, can all be listed with independent listings.
Similarly, barcoded items can be listed individually. But additionally, barcoded items can be combined (out of choice of the seller) to “group” listings (like Amazon).
The concept allows for the best of eBay and Amazon on a single project.
We will showcase this concept as it sounds much more complicated than it actually is.
At present, it’s businesses sellers only.
OnBuy also do allow seller accounts to operate as buyers, but not in the community sense of eBay – buyers are not reviewed, as they will have already paid by the time a seller is aware of the transaction. Buyers also cannot simply sell, as our sellers must be registered businesses.
Once OnBuy is online we’ll be able to demonstrate the whole process.
Wonderful! Music to my ears! You have answered my prayers! This is just what I need. A viable, professional, well marketed, UK based alternative platform to eBay.
I will certainly sign up and see how it goes. £50 a month is quite reasonable when you think what you would pay to rent a market stall or shelf space somewhere. Not to mention doing your own advertising etc.
Everyone has been moaning all over the eBay forums about that lack of a real viable alternative to eBay. Well, it sounds like we are getting one! Stop moaning and start supporting!!
Get behind OnBuy people! Its British! People on eBay keep moaning about everything being Chinese. Well this ISN’T!!!
If we all support it and we all join and all buy there. We can all help launch with a huge fanfare of success.
I am very enthused about this. Roll on July!
We like being music to your ears. If only everyone was so supportive of our concept.
We are investing to launch a viable alternative to Amazon/eBay, everyone seems to want one, and when one comes with a proposition that might be a tad different, but viable, we get criticised!
We’re coming, get on-board!
Well my perception just from reading your responses on this board is that you are not really a very professional outfit. If you can afford to compete perhaps you should share some of your budget on getting some PR help.
What makes you think “everyone” seems to want an alternative have you done much market research?
I think they sound like a very professional and responsive outlet. I cannot see how you have formed such a norrow minded opinion. Give them a chance! You’re shooting them down before they’ve even got going.
>> and when one comes with a proposition that might be a tad different, but viable, we get criticised!
If you market yourselves on a business forum frequented by thousands of sellers of all sizes, you’re going to get criticism from a proportion of them! In fact, be flattered – my own (constructive, I might add) criticism originated from a desire to be part of your platform, but unable to because you’ve priced me out.
Hi Simon M
We take your point here being part-time with smaller volumes.
This is something that we will have to consider, but since we wouldn’t want to penalise you in the terms of sales percentage (as we want it to be flat for all vendors), we’d have to consider the possibility of a starter account in the future, maybe limiting the number of products? or a fee per product per month (eg. 20p per product per month)?
This is something that we shall pass up the chain back to Cas, because while you’re not our primary target seller, we certainly don’t want to rule you out because you can still add significant volume to our marketplace long-term.
No promises, but maybe this is a topic of debate. I suggest you email email@example.com FAO Cas Paton on this subject as this isn’t something that will be discussed publicly at this point, other than our little hypothetical example!
That being said, hypothetically,
£50? To a substantial operation with range and depth of inventory that would not be seen as any barrier to entry at all. The offer would be the deciding factor.
£50 will however keep away many of the small scale traders that abound on eBay. And that can be seen as either a good thing or a bad thing dependent upon your standpoint!
The comments on Tamebay were brought to my attention this AM by our marketing team, and I have just responded to one comment but I don’t have time to monitor the site continuously, so thought I’d make a comment of my own!
The OnBuy project is to launch next year and we will be able to showcase everything then, so you have a sound understanding of exactly how the project works.
However, I invite you to contact OnBuy with your individual questions as our marketing team can only say so much on a forum. I will personally invest time with any seller who is interested in OnBuy and has concerns about our functions or features, our mission, our objectives or our limitations.
I currently don’t have the free time to discuss fees and rates, I think this has been covered already.
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and mark the email FAO Cas Paton if you would like to ask me something personally.
I look forward to welcoming many of you onto OnBuy in due course.
Have a great weekend.
looks like an excellent offering from our perspective.
i dont feel £50 per month is that prohibitive, in fact we’d probably go for the managed account, give it a few months, and if its not possible to recoup the £100 each month then its not worth trading.
as much as i like the idea of “investing” in an alternative to eBay, the real investment is the time it takes, time that could be spent increasing sales on other platforms, subscription fees are less of a concern.
– for me, if you could make the CSV upload able to accept (with minimal editiing) eBay or amazon format files, i could have thousands of products available in a matter of minutes. then its all down to how many customers OnBuy can attract for my £100, and whether the sales are enough to recoup the costs.
-failing that, sort out a “migrate your listings” tool.
considering the FVF’s are approximately half the price, with no addtional charges, you’re only looking at around ~£800 worth of sales each month to cover the £50 monthly fee, anything above that and you’re already getting a better return than eBay.
if they rivalled the sales on eBay (i know they wont straight away, its an ‘if’ ), we’d recoup the £100 on the first day and be 50% better off the rest of the month.
Nice to see the £50 put into perspective. Have to say it’s pretty much the same as having a featured shop on eBay and not too many people sniff at having to pay that.
As you say it’s all about listing ease and sales and £800 doesn’t seem a very high target to break even.
>> As you say it’s all about listing ease and sales and £800 doesn’t seem a very high target to break even.
“Perspective” is indeed key here – £800 represents a large target for me, sometimes representing 2-3 weeks’ turnover (mine is a part-time business, and I’m far, far from alone).
So clearly I’m not OnBuy’s target customer, and that’s fine (I’m not offended!). But I do maintain that it’s not a direct competitor to eBay or Amazon because of the above reason (and as a result of the monthly sub).
I genuinely wish OnBuy every success in the world.
But the ebay model allows you to start with no shop, then progress through Basic to Featured onto Anchor if volumes warrant it.
If the only thing ebay had offered from Day 1 was featured, would it have attracted sellers?
Thanks for joining-in!
eBays history is almost incomparable to OnBuy; eBay was a C2C auction platform, which has slowly morphed into a confused B2C marketplace that has auctions and consumers selling. OnBuy is a B2C platform, with no consumers selling anything at all. The quality will generally be higher that many eBay listings.
While eBay does offer a “no subscription” way to sell, for even the smallest professional seller, this would not have been cheap at the start of eBay, even images cost money back then, and the average listing cost was over 50pence.
100 products per month would have been £50+ per month.
Even now the non-subscription accounts at eBay would be too expensive for a professional seller of any reasonable size.
OnBuy does not want to limit the number of product nor do we want to impact on the quality of a listing. Similarly, our sales fees will be second-to-none (bar eBid, as already discussed…) – This means sellers could list products for sale on OnBuy at a price slightly less that Amazon and eBay, and still make more money. This is important to us, and will help OnBuy when marketing to buyers, which will speed up the growth of the site.
However, a debate has just started in the OnBuy office regarding a starter account and a limited number of products. This might help smaller vendors to “get going” with OnBuy. No API, No Feeds, but a nice easy panel and a limit on the number of products, something like that. This will take some time to formalise.
“£800 doesn’t seem a very high target” I wonder how many eBid sellers Make £800 annual profit?
I’ve been following OnBuy for a long time now, I was pretty excited about the fees until I read about the £50 subscription fee. It is a fair amount at £600 for a year and a significant time investment for the sellers.
If OnBuy expects buyers then why not charge the seller higher fees and zero subscription that way the seller only pays when they make a sale limiting the sellers risk and enabling more sellers to test the waters. Since OnBuy is so confident with sales early on they’ll make plenty from the fees for marketing? £50 per seller for advertising doesn’t seem like much at all. Personally I think a much higher fee but no subscription fee to start off will attract a lot more listings.
I really hope we will have an alternative.
It’s a catch 22. OnBuy has a substantial marketing budget, but seller subscriptions will aid that budget considerably; 1500 sellers paying £50 per month (for example) is a nice additional supporting revenue to throw into category based marketing.
The idea for OnBuy is that the first Christmas will be our real break-through.
It’s the balance between long-term placement vs. short term invasion. OnBuy has to push it’s way into the market, and continue to grow strongly over the first 3-5 years.
This way, the British marketplace stands a chance at pushing the bigger players out of the way in certain areas. Without this, OnBuy will always be the “company that could never quite get there” and will trickle along growing slowly but never really delivering the results that sellers need to stay on OnBuy long-term.
Hi, are there any plans to integrate with any of the multi channel providers e.g eSellerPro, to simplify inventory and order management.
I do wish people would stop complaining about the £50 fee. Everyone moans about how rubbish ebid is as an alternative to ebay.
It is rubbish because there are no buyers.
There are no buyers because no one has heard of it.
No one has heard of it because it is not widely advertised.
It is not widely advertised because ebid do not have enough money to pay for marketing and PR.
Ebid do not have enough money to pay for marketing and PR because they don’t make a big enough profit.
Ebid don’t make enough profit because their fees are TOO LOW.
Simple as that…ebid do not charge their sellers enough to sell on their marketplace. Consequently, they cannot afford to prmote their marketplace to attract the buyers they so desperately need.
If you want cheap fees – go to ebid. You’ll not sell a great deal though.
If you want sell on a marketplace filled with hungry customers – be prepared to pay decent fees to be there. Think of the Trafford Centre in Manchester, Blue Water in Kent, and Meadowhall in Sheffield. Shop rents are mega expensive in places like that. Why? Because they attract millions of shoppers eager to spend their cash morning, noon, and night.
Think about it? You get what you pay for. Buy cheap, buy twice.
blimey onbuy need to employ you as head of pr you’re doing such a good job. btw i do agree with what you are saying
I’m glad you agree with me. It really is quite simple when you think of it in terms of the big shopping complexes like the Trafford Centre and Blue Water. These places are packed every day from morning until night. The tills are ringing constantly. But….to sell there, you need to pay a price.
OnBuy are not asking us to pay Blue Water type mega rents, just a reasonable monthly fee to enable them to do their best for us in terms of getting the punters in. This is the major thing that ebid has failed at due to lack of finance and it is too late now. They can’t suddenly start charging sellers £50 per month, but I bet they wish they could. However, OnBuy can and they will. They can take the best of ebay, Amazon, and Ebid put together, and ditch a lot of the bad things that we all complain about.
I think we should all just give it a chance, even if it is just for a few months. We have been waiting for this for so long and so many people are desperate to wave goodbye to ebay forever. We want a new company that listens and respects its sellers, not one that just imposes rule after rule with no consultation or way of appeal.
I bet your monthly ebay fees are more than £50. Mine certainly are!
Well my eBay fees are certainly more than £50 – but that does include “final value fees”!
My featured eBay shop costs a basic £59.99 but the crucial factor for me is actually the access to international markets (500 zero insertion fee listings on the US site for example, plus access to regular promotions)
More than half of what I dispatched was to overseas destinations, it doesn’t appear that OnBuy offers access to these markets?
eBid certainly has more buyers than OnBuy.
Although it is good to see another potential channel arrive here in the UK we shall proceed with caution.
Whilst £50pm is not a lot for many sellers the time needed to load product & pricing and then manage same via our systems simply dwarfs that recurring cost and when opportunity costs are included we have to be sure serious volumes are potentially available via this channel.
Much more attractive to simply expand our existing channel product offers and into overseas markets plus increase our adspend to generate hard sales.
We have already seen similar nonsense with Play where only a few sellers seem to prosper and to be successful even they have to be running permanent promotions via the main splash pages it would seem.
If OnBuy are serious then we would expect then to subsidise key anchor merchants for 3 to 6 months completely free and also offer serious rebates to the initial intake of sellers to drive both consumer choice and bolster their credibility during start-up.
The idea that many sellers are going to pay £50pm plus all the other serious costs to a completely unproven sales channel with no sales history or market presence is an interesting proposition but far from compelling.
We are still waiting for ‘bubbles’ to even register with consumers and the flubit brokerage business model is probably unsustainable given the likely trading margins.
For many sellers the risk to reward ratio is far from proven with a new channel like this.
Our advice – wait and watch to see if they deliver serious customers who will spend money via their marketplace by Q3/4 next year.
In the meantime perhaps better to prepare for Q4 this year!
£50.00 a month on ebay offer’s me worldwide sales options.
Amazon £25.00 Pm offers a known & respected platform to sell from.
You have neither and where are the buyers coming from??????
Well I have registered my interest and I am not to concerned about punting a few hundred quid in the build up to Christmas 2015. What always bothers me more with such ventures is the time and effort investment – ie ar$ing around with buggy platforms. So I would probably go for the £100 a month managed account
My earlier postings have been taken to mean that I am against the concept of OnBuy. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. I welcome the bringing to fruition of an alternative to ebay and Amazon. However I feel that it is very important to ask the questions now and to get answers where possible. Also of course we might ask questions that cause OnBuy to think about the problems that we face that might be eased by changes that OnBuy might make.
I hope that OnBuy turns into a raging success. Although whether or not I am on it will depend on decisions I make as the site develops. After all we are not talking about it going live next week. Its launch is still months away. So there will be many more announcements in the months ahead.
However there was a point made earlier about the numbers of Traders than OnBuy could cope with in the earlier stages. Obviously at the start OnBuy needs to have a good range of goods listed. That means Sellers. But if OnBuy can only cope with a relatively limited number of Traders on Day One this will necessarily mean a limited number of items.
As an example I sell Books. British Books in Print(BBIP) lists about 600,000 Books in Print in the UK. If there are only a handful of Booksellers then only a very limited proportion of the Books listed in BBIP will be on OnBuy.
So if I was a Book Buyer and I tapped in a particular title I was looking for and OnBuys search came up that it was not listed. Or indeed if I just wanted to look at Books and there was only say 25 listed I would not be impressed.
The same would go for buyers in just about every category. If I was looking for Mens Shoes and there was only a handful listed. I have size 13 feet. If I taped in Mens Size 13 Shoes and search came up with only 2 pairs I would not be impressed.
So just how many Traders can OnBuy cope with on Launch Day? How many Listed Items?