OnBuy marketplace start mainstream TV advertising

By Chris Dawson June 5, 2017 - 7:00 am

OnBuy have migrated to a brand-new hybrid cloud solution with UKFast. They are now working on optimising this, making performance changes and working to ensure that they deliver the best possible solution. We had a couple of emails last week due to OnBuy down time and this is why it occured.

TV Advertising

Due to the new server platform, OnBuy say that they are ready to push OnBuy out to a wider audience and so have launched their TV advertising on ITV channels, currently airing on ITV2.

Building the number of listings

OnBuy say that they’re working with some major multi-national brands, as well as some huge online sellers, to deliver a very healthy number of products onto OnBuy over the next three months. This will help to raise exposure and credibility of the site, before they market on ITV1.

This makes sense, I had a quick browse of the site for men’s shoes and at the time of writing they don’t have any listed (They have one pair of boots and one pair of gaiters). Frankly no site is going to survive when they don’t have inventory in major categories so it’s good to hear they’re working to bring more sellers on board.

There are two ways of looking at the lack of inventory – either as a huge downside and an indication to hold of listing until the site matures, or as an opportunity to sell on a site which is advertising on TV where there is very little competition so however many sales there are you’re likely to get them all.

It’s also fair to say that if you’re in at the start then your products are much more likely to feature in OnBuy advertising.


OnBuy have partnered with Parcelforce and working very closely with Royal Mail to integrate Click & Drop in the coming weeks.

The marketplace is also currently integrating with Linnworks, ChannelAdvisor and StoreFeeder to make managing the channel virtually seamless for retailers who use these solutions.


OnBuy say that in the first few days of June they are already seeing a huge spike and orders are going up. As more of their TV adverts are aired, they expect this upward trend to continue. They will also start investing on YouTube, Facebook, and other marketing partners as well as investing heavily in Google marketing from 8th June.

Are you listing on OnBuy or have you purchased anything from the new marketplace yet? If so we’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • northumbrian
    2 years ago

    whats with the little competition line
    just because it has an advert on Itv 2
    ebay amazon etsy etall are still there

    on buy are doomed if they think they have a marketing advantage excluding acess to rest of the world

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Northumbrian, long time no hear, we hope you are well?

      This “little competition”, we feel, refers to the competition on rather than in the market; the idea that there is less competition for you if you join now – which we would love for you to do.

      OnBuy will shortly be opening to all of the world, so you have nothing to fear on that front 🙂

      Get in-touch! We’d love to hear from you!

    • northumbrian
      2 years ago

      we sincerely and desperately want you to succeed
      when ebay uk first launched they gave us totally free listings that included final value fees for the first 6 months
      they even sent us champagne to celebrate the millennium

      any Chance ?

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Northumbrian

      Thank you for the reply. That might be more than we can offer, sadly we don’t quite have the same deep pockets as eBay have to be giving away the whole business for 6 months, but I’m sure it’s worth reaching out to our seller team.

      After all, we have some bottles of fizzy water and I’m sure we can tempt you on with a jammy dodger?

      All joking aside, please do reach out, I’m sure we can find a mutually beneficial way forward. We are all working very hard to deliver OnBuy to a mass market. We’re putting the money where our mouth is to drive customers to the site, and all we’re really asking for is to give OnBuy a shot.

      Many sellers wanted traffic before committing querying our traffic et. which is a chicken and egg situation, so we’ve decided to start marketing without lots of products to help alleviate the concern, and use that traffic to help convince sellers to give OnBuy a shot. We have a whole team here happy to help you to get live.

      It would be great to list as many products as possible, so get in-touch! Now is certainly the best time to do it, while we’re small enough to work with you directly and build a personal relationship with your firm.

    • Harveynutrition
      2 years ago

      Hi signed up on Monday but could not complete set up as Stripe payment would not let us complete as we dont have a web page ,sent e mail to customer service and still waiting for someone to get back to us ,paid the £19.00 would have been in touch but a bit busy just now with E Bay and Amazon,will wait to later this week to get in touch,have to up your customer service me thinks.

  • Kevin
    2 years ago

    Maybe if they hasn’t used a bait and switch approach to the free subscription model they would have more listings. I spent a week getting 8,000 products into their file format in a category where they had very little products. What a waste of my time, I will never waste my time on them again.

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Kevin. Sorry to hear of your frustration, please reach out to our seller team to see how we can help. We are absolutely sure that we can offer you a workable and positive solution. We are very keen to work with you and would love to get you selling on OnBuy quickly, please do consider giving us a real shot.

  • Mark
    2 years ago

    The site is good but the categories are very difficult for buyers to find their way around. The main categories we sell in are split in very strange and pointless ways. You have no facility to list products without barcodes so bespoke items are not possible.
    The subscription changes seem to be acceptable but the recommendation to boost products for exposure was fine under the free subscription still allowing you to be cheaper than your other platforms as final fees were just 6% but now the 3% boost fee and the subscription make it impossible to offer cheaper which is what OnBuy requested. So we are having to look at unboosting items or repricing already.
    But we have started to see sales, so prepared to stick with it and see if they really can offer a UK alternative to eBay and Amazon while paying UK tax. Small things need changing like the ability to put tracking on etc.

    • 2 years ago

      HI Mark. Thank you for your comments.

      Our product team are very happy to work with sellers to ensure that categories are perfect for you. We are working through departments making major improvements each day that passes – if you reach out to our seller team, you will see things will start happening very quickly on the category front.

      With regards to barcodes, bespoke items are indeed possible – but we have to setup specific categories for sellers that need this functionality. We have already done this for sellers requiring custom made / one off items. Again, reach out to our seller team and we can make this happen (in most cases).

      As for tracking, this is possible and if you visit your shipping settings, you can enable tracking codes – and these will email to the customer at the point of dispatch. We’ve now requested that this get added to the support section documentation, to ensure that this feature is clearly explained.

      Thank you for working with OnBuy and we’re glad that you’re starting to see sales, we are absolutely sure that this will increase in the coming days, weeks and months, as we further invest in outreach.

  • Mike
    2 years ago

    If you want to see the year out ditch the subscription model.

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your comments, please reach out to our seller team to discuss options that might be available to you.

  • Andy R
    2 years ago

    Collectables is our business and Onbuy initially had a few items selling similar to ours.

    However, having checked today, the whole antiques section is empty again and now awaiting launch.

    It would take a great deal of hassle to put thousands of collectable items on Onbuy and I’m doubting their commitment to this area of selling.

    Is Onbuy fully committed to sellers in collectables on their site, or is just a case of stringing us along in the hope it takes off?

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Andy

      We are indeed, and we are building more traffic each week that passes. We are in talks with several companies and have product going live to these categories very soon.

      OnBuy currently only has live 300,000 products, but we now have close to 3m products in our phasing system ready to go live. We’re working with several sellers with large inventories to help populate the site, but we had to wait until our sever migration was complete. Now we are delivering these products, and OnBuy will slowly become more populated and give customers more choice.

      General collectibles, sports and movie memorabilia are all key areas that we plan to include in our marketing. It would be great to have your inventory listed and work with you to improve our categories and market your range.

      Feel free to reach out to our seller team and hopefully we can help to get you live quickly, and start marketing your range!

  • Mark
    2 years ago

    Hi OnBuy

    Outside of the paid placements, I would be interested to hear how OnBuy ranks products within search. Is it tied to sales history?

    As we sell our own brands, its essential that we have that kind of information available so that we can have our products ranked consistently for broad search terms.

    If this information isn’t available, experience tells us there is little point listing products if the strategy is to just upload products and then do nothing 🙂

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Mark

      Thank you for getting in touch with us. As a bit of background, OnBuy is currently working with some major UK and international household brands, who are coming online shortly (alongside our channel system integrations). Not only are we delivering a brilliant new brand solution (that will indeed tap into search) but also brand stores, and we’re going to give brand-owners a way to control access to certain brands.

      I’m sure that we can work with you to help market and protect your brand on OnBuy. It’s well worth contacting our seller team to get on-board as a brand. We will ensure that you get what you need to sell efficiently, and ensure that your brand is visible, on OnBuy.

    • Mark
      2 years ago

      Thanks. I wasn’t so much referring to brand promotions. What I need to know is the underlying search ranking structure. If I don’t know how you rank items and what is important, then I can’t take action to make sure we provide what is required to come high up in searches.

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Mark

      We can certainly help with that, and our product team will gladly share how we ‘weigh’ search results, and what you can do to position better on OnBuy.

      Contact us and we will be happy to support you.

  • Tom
    2 years ago

    OnBuy – I submitted you our product CSV feed on the 18th May but they’ve still not been listed, what’s going on?

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Tom

      Thank you for the email. There are a few feeds stacked up from our server migration, all being sorted this week/as we speak. Can you please email the seller team, we will credit your account one month subscription and update you properly once we know your exact account. Sorry for any delay, this was essential to our growth and means we can deliver and maintain significant traffic. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • Peter Parr
    2 years ago

    Spent time adding products, asked if they would change the subscription , told no, then removed the free listing option, so wasnt impressed, emailed contact and no reply

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Peter

      We’ve asked the seller team to reach out to you about this. Let’s see if we can work something out.

  • TotalMe
    2 years ago

    You would need to drop your subscription or fees to attract more sellers and competition. The majority of the products I have looked at on OnBuy are available much cheaper on Amazon.

    Munchkin Fold’n Go Travel Bassinet – Onbuy £34.99 / Amazon £28.97 (both being sold by the same company).

    It seems sellers are charging more on OnBuy due to the lack of competition and this in turn will drive away buyers.

    • 2 years ago

      Hi TotalMe

      We understand your logic but we’ve decided to keep our subscriptions, but there are offers for sellers who can promise to undercut Amazon on main lines. All sellers need to do is reach out to our seller team.

      However, we are not going to waive subscriptions as standard, because this previously led of thousands of sellers signing up with very little action, and lots of time wasted by our team stopping things from being uploaded that should not be online. We’d rather work with individual sellers and populate in a controlled fashion, and ensure that all sellers have the best chance of selling.

      We keep asking sellers to reach out to us, so that we can work closely. The sellers taking advantage of this are selling, many of them very well. While still small, we are getting £thousands per day in orders for sellers, and it’s growing weekly.

      We’d love to work with you and other sellers that are willing to work closely with OnBuy to list keen-priced products.

  • Danny
    2 years ago

    Signed up when they 1st posted on tamebay and paid the money per month, told no subscription, etc huge adds on ITV which would start in Feb 2017. Integration with 3party systems.


    Tamebay have gone way down in my estimations allowing this company space back on here to plug false promise.

    A month ago I foulnd myself reading an email saying I needed to switch to a subscription based model, something they said they would never do….

    No integration with stock management systems.

    When they 1st started out someone at OnBuy sent out a group email, but didn’t bcc and just sent it out to a few 100 sellers.

    These sellers have been speaking with each other since, in mass emails and it looks like it’s most of this email group that thinks OnBuy are a joke with how they have treated sellers, and with the U turns on subscriptions.

    • TotalMe
      2 years ago

      I agree. I signed up for the commission only account and less than 4 months later I received an email telling me my account had expired and that I needed to upgrade my account or my listings would be removed. I received another email immediately after this saying as I hadn’t upgraded my account my listings had now been removed.

      I never received any warning prior to this. They don’t appear to be any better than Ebay in the way they treat sellers.

      I believe this is the third attempt to launch OnBuy I expect it will fail again.

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Danny, TotalMe

      Sorry to hear that you are disappointed by this change. This change was essential to ensure that OnBuy could focus on sellers that were committed to listing keen-priced quality products on the site. We are always open to discussion when it comes to initial incentives, especially for desirable keen-priced products. We’d love to work with you and would invite you to reach out to our seller team.

      We have Linnworks, StoreFeeder and ChannelAdvisor integrations underway, which are our #1 priority.

      The platforms traffic has increased over 10x since 2nd June and, although TV was late for various reasons, we have been updating sellers monthly to let them know of the progress. Please do get back in-touch with out seller team: – we can help.

  • northumbrian
    2 years ago

    we feel building a seller base on the disgruntled or those unable to succeed in other markets wont work
    quality sellers with quality products will attract buyers

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Northumbrian

      To be fair, it’s quite unfortunate that your impression of OnBuy is based on those that vocalise their disappointment on Tamebay, when in-fact we have a very large number of sellers who are live and happy with OnBuy. OnBuy sales are definitely improving, and we’re keen to work with sellers that are keen to work closely with us. We’d love to welcome your business onto OnBuy.

  • SAM
    2 years ago

    Well we signed an account way back at the beginning. We have set up on 3 other markets since then and up and running. We paid the £49plus VAT fee and did not generate any sales. We then changed to the free listing offer as we were just throwing away hard cash. When a sub model with fees came along we dropped it.
    However they did phone us and tell us they were not dealing with channel island companies avoiding VAT and offer us a “bit of a deal” to relist some products. Thing is we got those other markets now. They did have issues with advertising with ITV etc, however for the cost their could have been a much better social campaign run in the time. We are in June now.
    Actually I liked the £49 model but if they were not doing anything but just taking a DD every month. Issue Not enough got on board with it. I would rather pay that out every month than what Amazon and eBay charge which are to high. Anyway we started to get a few bits back on we will see how it goes.

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Sam

      Thank you for coming back onto OnBuy and we hope that you will see your sales grow over time. We are very much committed to increasing sales and traffic to OnBuy.

      We too wanted the £49 model to work, but there was far too much resistance to it.

      Anyhow, I have no idea which trading name you are so cannot look at your account, but hope that it goes well and please don’t hesitate to reach out to our seller team if you need anything.

  • Elvis
    2 years ago

    Hi Onbuy, will Onbuy be integrated with Volo anytime soon? As I’ll sign up if it is.

  • Toy Wonder
    2 years ago

    I signed up when they previously offered a non subscription option and did fairly well to start with. Things started to quieten down and I was then told I would need to pay a subscription so gave it up.

    2 big problems I had with the site were:

    1) Each listing needs a unique barcode number but as I sell primarily action figures this meant I couldn’t list most of my products as a lot of action figures will have different characters within a range that share the same barcode. The only option I would have had was to offer a listing as an assortment and buyers would have to take pot luck on which character they received which often leads to increased returns or negative feedback if they don’t get the character they hoped for.

    2) There doesn’t seem to be an option for a store front or even a “view sellers other items” link which is standard on most marketplaces.

Tamebay Guide

Welcome to our Tamebay Guide. Companies listed in the directory represent the leading suppliers in the UK and Europe.
With over 8 million products listed and phenomenal growth
ChannelAdvisor is a leading provider of cloud-based e-commerce
Linnworks’ multi-channel eCommerce platform connects and automates
Royal Mail is the UK's most trusted letters and parcels delivery
StoreFeeder provides a feature rich, hosted, multi-channel ecommerce