Tesco prepare to take on eBay and Amazon

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News is out that Tesco are the latest to announce the launch of an online marketplace to compete with eBay and Amazon. The marketplace is expected to launch in the summer of 2011, it was hoping to launch the site this year but wants to make sure that the technology behind the site is fully tested and working.

Retail Week who broke the news say that the Tesco Marketplace is likely to include all Tesco non-food categories including toys, games, electricals, furniture and clothing and has already had conversations with other retailers regarding selling on their new site.

The big questions for online merchants is just how to spread their inventory across the plethora of sites which exist already or are due to open. Sellers already list on eBay, Amazon and your own website in the UK and on International sites. Other options inlcude Overstock, Etsy, Play.com, Pixmania, Rakutan, PriceMinsiter and now the new sites due to open which include Asos as well as Tesco in the UK.

The only solution for larger sellers is it use management tools such as ChannelAdvisor or eSellerPro but will these companies add in support for marketplaces like Tesco?. For smaller sellers who can’t justify these solution the dilemma is whether to dilute their inventory by listings on multiple sites or to concentrate on eBay and Amazon and miss out on potential sales.

One interesting quesiton is what payment methods Tesco may opt to accept. Will they embrace PayPal and maybe Google Checkout or will they accept payments through their own website billing and disburse payments to merchants at a later date similar to how Amazon operate?

If Tesco link their marketplace to their existing ecommerce operation then the potential for sale will be huge. Tesco has around a 30% marketshare in the UK and has stores in 14 countries around the world. Tesco do of course already sell their own products on eBay, currently with over 800 listings live on the site.

33 Responses

  1. As Tesco are the biggest retailer in the UK and yet they are still not to big to sell on eBay, I wonder how their marketplace will fair considering they already have their own on-line presence and yet they still use eBays brand to sell their products. I would have thought eBays and Amazons main threat for the future would be from Asia where everything seems to be made. They could made it and sell it directly from an Asian ternative like allibarba.com. If I was eBay I wouldn’t worry about Tesco to much. Even if they let you use your clubcard.

  2. i think this is fantastic news, hopefully they should have auctions too.

    hate em of love em Tesco is still a UK based operation unlike ebay,

    More competition is better for consumers all round. (eBay doesnt class sellers as consumers they class them os operators or users BTW)

    Best news ive heard in ages. I will be signing up right away.

    eBay invited Tesco to sell on its platform they saw it was such a poor platform now they are going to take em on

    ironic isnt it

  3. One area of possible concern might be if it is going to be an Auction Site or just designed around Tesco selling their own brands at fixed prices. After all if you go into your local Tesco the price for each item is clearly marked. There is no facility to haggle. Obviously if there is no Auction Facility it will limit its use for those why mainly sell in this way. However Tersco have a reputation built up over many years of always getting everything right in their new ventures. So until its final form is clearly known then all the other sites should be worried. If it does include the provision for Auctions then as it will be clearly advertised in every Tesco in the land there is likely to be a great deal of interest and obviously if it takes off it will have the effect of kicking the legs out from under all the other sites including ebay and Amazon. Perhaps if traders are only able to cope with one site then it could be that Tesco will be that site.

  4. Anything that will make ebay appreciate and treat their sellers better is allright by me.

    Some serious competition, in the auction sector is way long overdue…

  5. If its a Tesco auction site then it will take off in the UK and be extremely stiff competition for eBay. Over half the UK population visit a Tesco store at least once a month so it will get big promotion.

    If they don’t do auctions then eBay won’t have too much to worry about (IMHO).

  6. Tesco had 98.8% feedback on ebay on 1 day latter they are now on 99.8% again.

    Their feedback is being manipulated i think !

  7. they will use it as a test to find out the best selling products then get rid of 3rd party sellers and sell the items themselves-every little elps

  8. Who says Tesco are going to offer any of their own product through this channel?

    They already have a website.

    All that is rumoured is that they will have non food catagories that match what they already sell.

    Lets all hope they have auctions for used gear and that the fees are 5% or less with no listing fees.

  9. Howdy,

    eBay is trying to be Amazon in many ways after that beat up from Wall Street a few years back (single listing, multiple sellers, single carts again etc…)

    There is a lot of focus in the previous comments regarding competition for ‘eBay’, but I think is not going to be the case, but a direct take on Amazon.

    If it was me, I’d duplicate the Amazon marketplace, its far more lucrative and if you can instill even 50% of the trust that Amazon logo has to the Tesco logo as an online marketplace (which other sellers sell upon), then it’ll be a winner.

    I’ll be exceptionally surprised if its not a bolt on to their Tesco Direct site, https://direct.tesco.com/ but we’ll see soon enough.

    I certainly hope they open up an API and at least have a file loading system that does not lag for hours like Amazon’s can do at times, they’d be insane not to do this. As again I am suspecting it’ll be a barcode based system not to dissimilar to Amazon and very little like eBay.

    Anyone taking bets who software platform has been given access or being consulted on integrations? Its unlikely to have got this far without some planning 😉

    Anyway, we’ll see shortly.

    Matt

  10. Hopefully it will be set prices only and not auction. Stringent vetting of marketplace sellers would also be good, especially for Tesco I would have thought, if they want to keep their current reputation.
    Amazon are already muddying their reputation by allowing too many unprofessional sellers and poor listing tools.

  11. There is one point thast I am surprised that nobody has picked up on and that is the bit about making sure that the software is fully tested and works. From my point of view it would be a pleasant surprise to find this as ebay often gives the impression that its software is held together with chewing gum and string. Also whenever ebay “improves” anything you can almost be certain that it will not work and they have to have several goes at it before they find all the bugs.

  12. Going by what most of you say, you’ve all been selling on eBay for ages and that eBay is not what it used to be. Thats because eBays competition has improved. If Tesco sets up a market place this will add to the competition and dillute everyones sales further. I think its more negative than positive for everyone if Tesco opens up a marketplace, unless your a share holder in Tesco who wants a few more pennies with their dividend.

    eBay are only trying to keep up in a changing world and I don’t think they deserve all the negative comments. If you want to sell successfully on eBay you have to change with the times. Some of your operations may not be compatable with eBay for TRS but thats up to you to address. Tesco are only going to charge you to sell via them so you’ll have to sell more to make a profit selling on Tesco as well as all your other channels. More channels I think means more competition with more sellers dilluting sales. But can Tesco make it work for them?

  13. Managing multiple selling platforms like ebay, amazon and website are easy if you use a program called linnworks.
    It manages your stock across multiple platforms, so adding tesco to it wont be a problem at all.
    It IS only a stock management tool though, so wont produce listings for you !
    Personally I cant wait for someone else to come in, even if it is blooming tesco !
    Ebay needs a good kicking to make it start caring about its SELLERS !.

  14. I was watching an item about Supermarkets. Apparently the average Supermarket has 45,000 differant products on sale. In addition it costs many millions to find a suitable site and get planning permission and eventually build and open the Store. Perhaps Tesco has another thought in mind. It dominates the Conventional Store Market. So many have projected that in a few years that Online will exceed the High Street(including Superstores) perhaps Tesco is thinking 5 or 10 years ahead. If they dominate the online even if it is only in non-food(although how long will it be before food is included as well?) as well(and we know that they are looking at becoming a fully fledged Bank) then the World certainly is their oyster.

  15. I don’t know about Tesco. With Tesco Direct I think the Argos brand is too strong. I don’t see too many e-mail addresses with my sales with a tesco.com in there so maybe Tesco internet is not doing to well. The big brands have the mobile market tied up. The Tesco brand to me seems to speak supermarket and I find it hard to place certain things with Tesco even though I know they do them, I’d still use a brand associated to a certain product.

    Most supermarkets have a banking presences but the banking brands are too strong. Maybe Tesco are putting their fingers in all the pies and hoping for the best, put I think a lot of people are against them as they view them as too big and dominant, calling a place a Tesco Town is after all viewed as negative by people who dislike the brand and blame Tesco for killing the high street. It will be interesting to see if they can make it work but I feel eBays brand is too strong. I wish I had a strong brand.

  16. You have no commitment/leverage trading with a goliath, next fuel strike, power outage, snow on the motorway, Tesco don’t deliver and tough s**t. Use your local traders, yes they still are there, they value your custom, often beat the big stores prices (no fat cat bonuses to pay out of your purchase price) and if there’s a problem there’s a face to face resolution a few yards/miles from your door rather than an obscure customer service (sic) call centre somewhere between West Africa and Malaysia.

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