The popularity of online auctions has grown over the past few years to new height, with hundreds of marketplaces now available, from general wide-open ones to very niche-specific ones.
Early in the game eBay was the leader and today they still dominate the industry, as they generated $10.7 billion in revenue last year. Not too bad, right? They were the first to breakthrough and have built up a loyal following, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for new players to emerge and find success.
I have been an avid eBayer (is that even a word?) since the beginning, so I am always checking out other options. I’ve noticed some trends in the industry, so I decided to put together a blog about what I am seeing in the world of online auction websites.
No Shortage of New Websites (…here is why)
Remember when eBay was the ONLY online auction website? There were no other choices. If you wanted to sell something you listed it there. If you wanted to bid on something you visited eBay. It was that simple.
Now there are hundreds of options and new ones are launching almost daily, but why is that? It’s because anyone can launch a website. There are auction templates and plug-and-play options available that really only require the website owner slap a new logo on it.
Anyone can start one, and while that’s fine, you really need to do your research. For this reason I tend to stick to the OG’s. I just trust them more.
More Niche-Specific Auction Websites
Auction websites like eBay have so many listings. It can get difficult to search if you are looking for something very specific. This is where a niche-specific auction websites comes into play. There are some for every industry imaginable.
Want to see just how niche it can get? Aucto auctions is a website that offers everything related to marine, aviation, heavy equipment and warehousing, to name some. These are items you typically would NOT find on an auction site like eBay.
More Seller Friendly Websites
One thing that has plagued eBay for a long time is how seller’s feel they are not protected. The new kids on the block are really making sure that they stress how seller friendly they are in an attempt to attract listings. They don’t make money unless they have listings, so they need to convince people to give their website a shot.
The biggest pain point that eBay sellers face is when they have a dispute with a buyer. For example, a lot of buyers will claim the item arrived damaged when in fact it didn’t. They are just trying to get it for free and eBay is notorious for siding with the buyer the majority of times. Sellers sick of this are more open to jumping ship to try a new auction website that claims to be seller friendly.
Focus on Convenience
With so many people making a living these days selling on auction websites, the smart ones are making it as simple as possible to upload and manage listings. They can then use these selling points to attract sellers that do high volume.
The more of these sellers they have the more revenue they make. It’s simple economics. Catering to the people that are selling thousands of items rather than the ones that might list one or two items a year is going to generate the company sizable revenue.