With the inception of communication technology, many firms seek to utilize online facilities to sell their products to their customers. Generally, there are many selling techniques used on online selling; E-bay is one of the world largest online stores, selling it products through auction techniques (Lynn & Davis, p.7). Another online selling option is Amazon, which is an online bookselling store, though in the recent years it has introduced a market place where sellers can sell their products 'Amazon marketplace'.
Businesses and sellers that choose to sell their products online have the benefit of attracting a wide and global market. Moreover, customer behavior is changing, with large number of people choosing to shop online. Moreover, a seller can compare his price with that of his competitors and adjust it accordingly. Selling online also reduces the setup and operational costs are much less than selling from a physical store, directly improving your bottom line (Judson & Kelly). Further, by automation, the selling process can be simplified for both the customers and the sellers. Unlike physical stores, which have working hours, online selling stores are open throughout for customers to make purchases. Lastly, through online selling, the seller can benefit from faster processing of payment of goods sold.
This paper will explore other selling techniques that can be used on online selling i.e. direct selling and auction. Additionally it will compare and contrast the techniques used in other online selling options with the selling techniques used by e-bay.
Advantages of selling at e-Bay
Since e-Bay is a large online shop, sellers are able to get a wide range of customers for their products. Additionally, the online shop sells by auction; hence, the seller is bound to get great value for his/her products. Moreover, the sellers can choose the length of auction, for example, up to 10 days, then watch the bids come in with their easy to follow system (Schneider, p.280). Importantly, e-bay gives sellers opportunity of creating brand presence through HTML listings and e-bay shops. Therefore, sellers can develop their strong brand on the online store hence increase their sales. In addition, e-bay has a good feedback system where sellers can obtain reports from their customers. Further, the system offers trading history of the participants in order to establish credibility (Schneider, p.280). Moreover, some payment system such as Paypal offers payment protection for transactions that are likely to go bad. Finally, e-bay provides the best selling avenue for disposing of distressed stock where the seller gets better amount compared to other traditional channels of liquidations.
The greatest disadvantage of selling on e-Bay is that most customers are looking for bargains on the products on sale, hence good price may not be offered to the seller. The disadvantage of sellers using e-Bay is that there is a large number of sellers on the site offering similar products, thus there is high competition. Because of this competition, sellers are forced to lower their prices in order to make their products competitive and sellable in the market. Moreover, there are firms that feel their products should not be sold on e-bay as they determine the values and brand worth of its products. Further, fraud is prevalent on E-bay due to the openness, while the cost on the seller for using the online store is levied on the cost of the item sold, making it more expensive compared to other online stores.
Through Amazon marketplace, the company only allows individual sellers to sell products that exist on the catalogue of the company. This online selling site is a non-auction where sellers quote fixed prices for their products (Lynn & Davis, p.6). It is fairly easy to list products on Amazon provided that the product exist on Amazon catalogue. To improve credibility, Amazon provides pictures of the products on sale and charges on the sellers. The company pays all the sellers after a fortnight and the payment is managed by Amazon payment, hence preventing credit cards frauds. In addition, Amazon collects shipping cost from the seller.
Amazon and E-bay contrast
In e-bay sellers have the option of selling any product their wish, while in Amazon marketplace, the sellers are restricted to selling products that Amazon have in their catalogue. In order for a seller to sell a product that is not in Amazon catalogue, he is required to pay an upgraded fee. Generally, the payment from e-bay is faster than from Amazon. However on Amazon, the seller can view the pricing of other sellers, hence decide on what price to quote for his product while on e-bay, the pricing is determined through public bidding where the best price gets to buy the product. Moreover, Amazon gives better opportunity for the buyers to establish the condition of products on sale compared to e-bay listings. E-bay charges fixed cost to sellers regardless of whether their products sell or not, while Amazon charges sellers whose products are sold. Unlike eBay, there are very limited branding opportunities available on Amazon for standard sellers. The buyers at e-bay are mostly looking for good deals rather than quality while Amazon buyers seek quality. Therefore, most goods listed on Amazon are of superior quality and brand compared to those placed on e-bay.
Amazon and E-bay similarity
Both stores charge a commission on the value of goods sold through their store. Both Amazon and e-bay have strict service levels which the sellers must adhere to, failure to which can result to account suspension (Schepp, Debra & Schepp, Brad, p.374). Additionally, Amazon and e-bay stores have the option of providing online shops i.e. for zShops in Amazon and e-bay shops (Lynn & Davis, p.6). Amazon and e-bay offer auction guarantees for products bought from their site but never delivered or did not meet the standards of their description (Schneider, p.283). Moreover, Amazon allows buyers of expensive goods to insure their purchase through a third party policy package. However, the listing procedures are generally similar though it has been observed that Amazon listing has more ease.
Craigslist is an online site that gives ad posts for various goods and services and job opportunities. Through Craigslist, sellers are able to provide information of all the estates they are selling. The site facilitates easier search for goods, services, and jobs in a certain metropolitan area.
Craigslist and E-bay similarity
Craigslist, like e-bay, provides a platform for both sellers and buyers to interact and make transactions. Primarily, the sellers have to give description of the product they are offering to the buyers.
Craigslist and E-bay contrast
Craigslist has a local focus while e-Bay provides a global market since it lists products from various parts of the world (Landalh, p.8). Therefore, it is relatively easier to locate items in a particular area, since listings are grouped by cities. E-bay has substantially reduced the risks of online shopping through public feedback system compared to Craigslist. The core difference between e-Bay and Craigslist is that Craigslist does not sell products as eBay does, but it acts as an advertisement tool for goods available for sale (Pogue & Biersdorfer, p.141). Moreover, sales are done straight up with direct contact with the seller in Craigslist, while in e-bay, there is no contact between seller and buyer. E-bay charges costs for listing on their website while Craigslist does not charge listing cost. Besides, e-bay does not sell services while Craigslist offers both goods and services, and job advertisement. Moreover, selling on e-bay is mostly based on open bidding while Craigslist auctions are secret, or sealed bids.
The internet has become the ultimate marketplace for buyers and sellers to do business in multiple marketplaces. Selling through multiple marketplaces allows businesses to reach different customer bases and increase sales. The common limitation of online shopping is lack of credibility that is manifested by various techniques of fraud. Nevertheless, online selling has great advantages i.e. lowering operation costs, ability to reach a wider and global market and improving the speed of purchase process. Additionally, sellers are able to compete with other higher sellers.
There are other options of online selling including non-auction selling i.e. Amazon marketplace, Amazon auction, and Craigslist. The core differences between e-bay and other online selling are in the setting, levies charged, the type of goods that can be listed and ability to setup branded shops. The commonality between all the available options is that they all involve sellers, giving buyers opportunity to search and purchase their goods.