OnBuy Black Friday record breaking £1m sales day

By Chris Dawson December 2, 2019 - 1:34 pm

If you’re not yet selling on OnBuy, it’s time to start taking the marketplace as a serious proposition and an alternative which should be on your radar. They are celebrating incredible OnBuy Black Friday results after a decision was taken to reduce prices on each of the 17 million products available on the site.

OnBuy, who aim to be the online marketplace sector disruptor and competitor to Amazon, saw huge sales across every department but particularly in tech, landing a transaction every 10 seconds. With over £1M in sales made on Black Friday alone, the trading results for November came in five times stronger than the same period last year.

“Black Friday was a real success for us and our sellers, with unprecedented figures. Last week’s sales were up 900% on the same week last year while November’s sales were up five times overall, and we know it was because of our bold positioning on Black Friday. We took a 5% hit on our sales fees across all products which gave our sellers the financial freedom to add further discounts and offer our buyers the best possible deals. We made a sale every 10 seconds on average in the 24-hour sale period and at peak times it was almost a sale every second!”
– Cas Paton, founder and MD, OnBuy

OnBuy, one of the fastest-growing online marketplaces in the world, offered more than £25M in the OnBuy Black Friday sale. Specialising in market-leading cosmetics, electricals, fashion and furniture, OnBuy stands apart in the competitive ecommerce sector by not owning or selling its own stock, but instead focusing solely on connecting buyers with thousands of professional business sellers.

“We saw more than £1M in sales in a single day, confirming a real growth and increased trust in our company. We pride ourselves in not competing with our sellers like brands such as Amazon do, and our Black Friday positioning really showcased this commitment and certainly paid off for the sellers and the buyers too. The numbers may be smaller than, say, Amazon’s sales figures for that day, but unlike other marketplaces we can proudly say that all these sales are for our sellers – not us.”
– Cas Paton

  • NorthCrystal
    7 months ago

    Serious proposition?!
    We applied to open an account with them late 2018, when this was a required thing – not sure how it’s now. We completed the form and indicated our turnover(it was required field) at that point was 150k p.a. Nobody ever got back to us, neither we had an account opened for us.

    • 7 months ago

      Hi NorthCrystal,

      We’re really sorry to hear that the team never got back to you about opening an account. We respond to all the leads we receive so it’s possible we didn’t get this one. If you’re still interested in selling with OnBuy, we ask that you fill out the form below:

      Our team will review your application and get back to you in one working day. We’re one of the fastest-growing marketplaces in the world and we’d love to be able to welcome you on board as we continue to grow rapidly!

      Best regards,
      The OnBuy Team.

    • NorthCrystal
      7 months ago

      You “did not get this one”?! A what? So maybe you should check the form is actually working on your “platform”. And, no, I’m no longer interested. It’s business here and not sitting and waiting for invitation from a 3rd party.

  • Al
    7 months ago

    Congratulations Onbuy.
    All the listings I have looked at are delivery to “Mainland UK”.
    Do Onbuy not want buyers from Northern Ireland?
    What about Northern Ireland sellers?

    • 7 months ago

      Hi AI

      We are currently making improvements to our delivery and shipping defaults, to better support geo-targets when browsing and changing the default shipping location to improve our user experience for UK customers, including NI.

      At the same time, we will be opening up overseas ordering, to improve the user journey as we realise there’s huge hindrance at the moment, similar to NI, being that OnBuy defaults to mainland UK, to anyone not mainland, including overseas customers – making it even harder to find products suitable for delivery to the target location.

      This is one of many improvements that we are working on right now. We expect this to be fully delivered within the next 60 days!

      Thank you and we will keep improving and growing!

      The OnBuy Team

    • Al
      7 months ago

      Hi OnBuy Team,

      thanks for your reply.
      I live in Northern Ireland, and I will keep an eye on future developments.

  • Toby
    7 months ago

    North Crystal…. cut them some slack… Have you never had a form that didn’t go through or any kind of IT issue? Sometimes this stuff happens to businesses. My best bit of advice is that if you are serious about something and for what ever reason you don’t get a reply… send them a message to ask why? Of course you could just give up at the first jump and deny yourself a chance at a new revenue stream.
    P.S sometimes the first you know a form etc isn’t working correctly is when someone messages you to let you know. If we all just sit back and curse instead then no one knows and nothing happens. Running a business myself i think that people letting you know when something is wrong is just as important as being told when something is right!

    • NorthCrystal
      7 months ago

      Yeah okay – sorry! A bit agitated recently from all those EBay’s “approved” returns…

      I will consider again now if they would offer other, than Paypal, payment method(s). It’s 2019 and one choice isn’t enough. If someone from Onbuy reads this (and they seem to?!) then consider other payment(s) gateways.

      My beef with PP you ask? It’s only one issue – their fees aren’t elected for Vat.

  • 7 months ago

    Congratulations Onbuy.
    your one of the best marketplace in “Mainland UK”.
    Onbuy gives very tough competition to amazon in UK

  • 7 months ago

    @ OnBuy Why do you continue to allow the sellers like Swift Deals to rip off your customers by reselling (arbitrage) products from Amazon @150% plus?

    Of course buyers do get great “Amazon” service!

    How can you be competing against Amazon if all you do is resell products from Amazon sellers? Even eBay started to knock this type of activity on the head as it is not in the best interest of customers. Even the customers start to ask “Why Pay More?” Just go to Amazon direct, rather than be ripped off on OnBuy.

    Why is the “Compare Sellers” so far down the page? It is like you are trying to hide them, is that so everybody joins your partner plan? I guess that is a good reason, what happens when everybody signs up to the partner program, a bit like “Speedy Boarding”?

    I know, you have that covered, welcome to Boost, just pay more….

    What happened to the crowd funding? I got a few emails with all the hype and one stated “We’re opening our Crowdcube page up to you on the 21st of November, so you get exclusive early access ahead of the public launch. We’ll email you with a link to our private page on the day.” It is now the 5th December without a word or explanation of why it never happened.

    Will you be launching a plugin for Woocommerce? to sync stock and import sales?

    • 7 months ago

      If Woocommerce are anything like Zenstores then they will get the same reaction. NOT BIG ENOUGH. Zenstores turned them down because of lack of size and I was told that by OnBuy themselves.

      One Million on Black Friday. That will a few minutes selling on Amazon. They like to sell it to the sellers as that is where the money is for OnBuy but arn’t bothered about getting any buyers. This Christmas I have seen adverts from Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Not On The High Street, Sphook or whatever you call them. When was the last time you saw a advert for OnBuy? Buyers don’t know who they are so are reluctant to buy. We have had 6 sales in 10 months and our stock is cheaper than Ebay, Amazon and our own website and still sales are going backwards.

    • 7 months ago

      @Tony Woocommerce is different to ZenStores.

      OnBuy could create a plugin to link Woocommerce sites with their market place to save people using a company like Zenstores or other Chanel integration companies.

      Once they had tested it all they need do is upload it to the WordPress plugins and they attract new sellers.

    • 7 months ago

      Hi Tyler,

      Thank you for raising these points. As always, we appreciate the feedback as this helps us recognise our strengths and evaluate any areas we could improve on.

      We can compete against the major marketplaces by providing a better, more transparent service to both buyers and sellers. We’re sure you can appreciate that as a start-up marketplace we’re still in our infancy – we’ve been around for 3 years, compared to Amazon’s 25 and eBay’s 24.

      We actively invite sellers to list on products sold by sellers that re-buy products. Sellers that operate in this way do make sales, and we invite sellers to list on these products to get those sales for themselves. We take care not to promote listings that we know to have a noncompetitive price, and we display buying options clearly on the product page – at the top of the page underneath the product title, you’ll see links that jump you down to the Compare Seller table. Rest assured this is not designed to push sellers towards either package – we want sellers to choose the subscription package that’s right for them as both have different benefits. For instance, we offer Standard sellers a Sales Guarantee which is not available to Partner sellers.

      We can’t make all sellers join us (although we’d love to!) so until more sellers do, this will continue. We’re continually taking steps to secure more sellers, and have increased our seller base considerably to over 3000 sellers which is climbing quickly. It’s a big feat to have reached this point, and we’ll continue to invest time, energy and money into our growth. We cannot satisfy everyone; we’re compared to companies that have £billions while we do not, and therefore we have to carefully focus on immediate targets and grow in stages. We’ll continue to do that.

      Please rest assured that Boost is a completely optional service. We wanted to make the option available to all sellers to increase their visibility as this was something we were being asked for frequently. Sellers can set their Boost fee for as little as 0.1% and we put the entire Boost fee towards further product marketing, so this is not an attempt to garner more profit out of our sellers, and sellers who don’t use Boost still have their products marketed.

      We’re not looking to launch a plugin for Woocommerce at this time; we’re focusing our efforts on partnering with more channel systems to assist more sellers in joining OnBuy and further diversifying our product range.

      We realise OnBuy isn’t for everyone at this time as we’re still growing and we’re investing heavily in that growth. We’re seeking sellers to join that can add value to OnBuy customers. If OnBuy isn’t for you, that’s perfectly fine and we invite you to reconsider your view in another year or so. Over the next 3-4 years, OnBuy is investing in 100x growth. Unfortunately, growth cannot happen on that scale overnight – our recent achievements highlight how far we have come, but this is still the start of a big journey towards our huge but achievable targets.

      With regard to crowdfunding, we’ll issue an email update on this shortly!

      Best regards,
      The OnBuy Team

    • 7 months ago

      @OnBuy How transparent is your business model when you have Swift Deals offering 200,000 items for sale that are from Amazon sellers?

      “We actively invite sellers to list on products sold by sellers that re-buy products. Sellers that operate in this way do make sales, and we invite sellers to list on these products to get those sales for themselves”

      What does that actually mean? That you actively encourage sellers to rip your buyers off and help promote the Amazon market place?

      Would it not be better to encourage more sellers that actually sell their own products than resell from sellers on the Amazon market place?

      As a buyer, if I had been stupid enough to be ripped off by Swift Deals through OnBuy I would be very reluctant of buying anything else through OnBuy ever again. A big trust issue, especially if you are saying you actively encourage it.

  • SAM
    7 months ago

    When it comes to OnBUy I hear a lot from them and Tamebay, but what I would like to here from any actual sellers who have had any success on that platform.

    I remember an article been written how well Gameseek marketplace was going and then 2 weeks later it was bust…
    I spent £50 a month with OnBuy for 6 month when they started out and got sweet hew haw in return not one single sale.

  • rob
    7 months ago

    serious for who? a sale every 10 seconds? sorry but that is tiny. even this PR copy paste can’t differentiate them from ebay, which has thousands of times the traffic volume and search presence.

    let alone Amazon. sure, OnBuy don’t sell anything so they’re not in competition with you, but what good is that if the best they can drum up is 1m GMV on the biggest shopping day of the year? if you have 1000 sellers on there that’s £1,000 per seller on average.

    genuinely slightly surprised they thought this was worth bragging about.

    • 7 months ago

      They’re a start up marketplace…. compare to other start up marketplaces traffic and you’ll see they’re miles ahead of similar startups.

      No they’re not an eBay or Amazon, but they’re the most successful new marketplace we’ve seen in years.

    • 7 months ago

      @ Chris Dawson How do you judge how much traffic they have?

      The above comment from Sam does not indicate he saw much of that traffic and as I said before, unless you are paying to be a partner your products are unlikely to be seen, even if they do get traffic.

      They must be very busy as they have not responded to my previous comments, I have mentioned Swift Deals on many of the OnBuy posts but they always ignore the comments.

      If you start a new business venture with dubious morals I really can’t see that improving with growth.

    • 7 months ago

      @ Tyler – traffic judged according to SimilarWeb and Alexa

      We checked a few more marketplaces but they didn’t have enough traffic to register on graphs so didn’t include them here. We’ll be revisiting in February once numbers are available (and every three months for a whole year) so look out for an update then.

  • 7 months ago

    @ Sam

    We’ve been selling on OnBuy for well over a year now.

    As Chris says, they are still a start up platform. They don’t have all the tools Amazon and eBay offer sellers, but on the other hand, the tools they do have actually work (unlike so many things on the “big two” which are either un-intuitive or just don’t work very well), and they regularly add to them.

    Personally, I think they are wise to market in the way they do; they control their marketing spend carefully so they aren’t just blowing through cash and then hitting a wall, and while they aren’t going to be doing the kind of expensive TV advertising eBay and Amazon do any time soon, the marketing they do carry out is well targeted and cost-effective.

    In terms of how we are doing on it, it doesn’t generate the volume of sales we see on the other two channels, but it’s certainly enough to make it worth selling there. It helps that it’s a lot less hassle in terms of both the quality of buyers and not having to worry about pointless policies (or the worry on Amazon of waking up one day to find your account has been suspended for some arcane reason outside your control), and their Support is definitely superior.

    All in all, I see it as a place which is going to be a slow-burn build, but they seem to be really sensible in the way they are doing things, which bodes well for the future.

  • 7 months ago

    I sell in collectables and have been banging on about proper categorisation within Onbuy, but to no avail.

    I can only presume they have no real interest in that area, as the categories are not fit for purpose. Take postcards, for example, there isn’t even a separate category for them, let alone types or countries. Open goal for taking sellers from Ebay who are still the only viable marketplace for collectables.

    Hey Onbuy, congrats on your £1m day, but collectables make up 13% of Ebay’s market. You could be making £1m every minute if you would only see it. Seriously, you Onbuy guys, take five and have a look at how much sells on Ebay in collectables. Sellers there are peeeeeed off with Ebay but have nowhere else to go except independent websites.

    • 7 months ago

      Hi Andy,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Rest assured collectables is an area we’re interested in. It’s not our first priority right now as we have other areas we need to focus on to ensure we continue our rapid growth. However, we endeavour to improve our collectables categories by 2021 and make this a focus area.

      Best regards,
      The OnBuy Team

  • Jonah
    7 months ago

    @Andy-well said!
    Collectibles, antiques and art are ripe for the picking, many eBay sellers completely fed up with no support, high fees and postage gouging, never mind the promoted listings fiasco and a search engine that doesn’t, ,,, well,,,,, search.
    Even given the difficulties there’s still nowhere else viable to sell apart from eBay at present, so they can do as they please and treat sellers like dirt. And they know it.

  • 7 months ago

    @tyler Thank you for your reply.

    We feel that we’ve been very open with you and provided plenty of information.

    We’re a start-up marketplace and we’re not going to remove sellers from the site that are actively expanding our product range. However, we are going to continuously market for more sellers as well as continue to grow. We envisage that, as proven recently, less and less of the lead listings on OnBuy will be from sellers who price non-competitively. Over time, we see these sellers being less of a concern, and the short-term pain is actually resulting in us being able to market to better sellers to beat these prices.

    Luckily, we market OnBuy predominantly on a product level (very granular) which means we’re not aggressive with marketing products of high comparative pricing. This means that high prices don’t produce substantial sales, whereas reasonable and competitive pricing does. Yes, these sellers make sales, but they are disproportionate to sellers that have competitive pricing and we’re able to drive significant volume.

    Once we feel that we have enough products to market at a much broader level, we will invest in marketing again to drive even more customers.

    We hope this has helped clarify the situation. This will be our final comment on this situation as we feel this has been adequately explained. We welcome sellers to join and offer more competitive prices to obtain a much higher level of sales for these items.

    Best regards,
    The OnBuy Team.

    • 7 months ago

      @OnBuy Much like Boris at every chance you get you push out a sales pitch.

      I know you are a start up and have only been going for the last few years and yes I get it, you are so desperate for sellers and stock that you really don’t care about your buyers being ripped off, as long as OnBuy looks “busy”.

      The question is, how many other sellers like Swift Deals do you have ripping off your customers?

      The short term pain, you say you have no concern about, is the buyers being ripped off. How else do you allow sellers to rip off customers? Unhappy customers have long term memories.

      When a start up begins with such an immoral business model, you do wonder how they will be once they grow to be financially sound. If people are complaining about the tyranny of Amazon and the couldn’t care less attitude of eBay, lets hope they are not expecting something better from OnBuy.

      Thank you for the clarification.

  • 7 months ago

    @tyler Thank you for your continued comment, however your conclusions are incorrect.

    We have proven to date that we do care about our buyers – we will continue to welcome sellers to join our rapidly growing marketplace to offer stronger prices for buyers.

    Hopefully in a short period we can offer even better prices and the issues you‘re concerned with will resolve themselves.

    Thank you.

    Best regards,
    The OnBuy Team

    • 7 months ago

      @OnBuy How can that be?

      I have continually questioned, over the last 18 months or more, why you have allowed a rogue seller to rip off your customers, and until now, you have always ignored the comments.

      Arbitrage is not good for buyers (customers), they pay 50-75% more for items they could buy elsewhere. You have said above that you do not care, in the short term if it gets your market place noticed that is what is more important.

      That is not a good place to start in business, allowing customers to be ripped off to further your own position as a marketplace.

      Worse than the above, I also came to the conclusion a long time ago that OnBuy was Swift Deals, it started to make sense and makes even more sense with your above response. You may say that conclusion is wrong but I do not feel that my other conclusions are.

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