OnBuy “British” marketplace launches 1st Nov

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OnBuy HomeIs there room for another marketplace in the UK? One that’s decidedly British and yet aims to compete with the likes of eBay, Amazon and Play.com? OnBuy certainly thinks so.

We’ve seen so many new marketplaces come and go, way back in the archives of Tamebay when we first wrote about Tazbar, which although they invested heavily in TV advertising ,only lasted a couple of years. Mostly marketplaces suffer from exactly the same problem as eBid, they have no shortage of sellers fed up with selling on eBay and desperate for an alternative, but the marketplace has an acute shortage of buyers.

Buyers are the one thing that eBay, Amazon, and to a more limited extent Rakuten’s Play.com supply buyers in droves. No new marketplace will thrive without a goodly supply of buyers.

So what do OnBuy have to offer? Well firstly become a Centerprise International Group Company, after the Hampshire based leading IT provider invested a “significant amount”. Centerprise International are established IT providers in the UK who deliver large scale IT projects within the Corporate, Education, Government and Reseller sectors. Money is the first thing a new marketplace needs, bucket loads of it to buy awareness and drive traffic.

The second thing a marketplace needs is sellers and seller’s inventory. OnBuy are open for business, but currently only to sellers, their public launch to buyers will be the 1st of November.

Fees are only charge for successful sales at vary from 7.8% to 14.4% including VAT. There’s also a seller subscription based on a rolling monthly fee of £26.40 once the site goes live. There are also no payment processing fees – payments will be made direct through the OnBuy platform.

For professional sellers OnBuy offer account management and tools such as a bulk product upload system to get started. We’ve not seen the tools so honestly can’t tell you how good they are.

Marketplaces with something unique to offer such as NotOnTheHighStreet.com have carved out a niche for themselves by being different, it’s precisely because they’ve carved out a niche for themselves that they’re succeeding. OnBuy aim to be a general marketplace and cracking the mass market is another matter entirely.

So over to you – what do you think? Can well a well funded marketplace make it in Britain, or is even “well funded” far too little? Is it too late with eBay, Amazon and Play.com too well established to be caught?

If you’re interested in becoming an OnBuy seller you can sign up on their website ready for the launch on the 1st of November.

42 Responses

  1. Had a look at OnBuy and it seems to be little more than an idea. Just about everything is under construction with little showing any signs of being ready. Also when you add it up and take into account the almost negligible sales that it is likely to generate for the first few months I was surprised that there does not seem to be any special offers such as No Monthly Fees for the first 6 months and reduced charges for the first 12 months. Also it appears that the monies from sales will not go to Paypal etc but to OnBuy for them to distribute later. For a New Company on Launch with possible tight financing this must be a risk if it was to go pear shaped.

    Not Impressed.

  2. I had the same discussion when play called me. I said ‘if you are so confident that I will sell loads, why not offer me a 6-12 month period where I do not need to pay the monthly charge?’

    They said they could not do that.

  3. Hi
    If possible can you refrain from mentioning Ebid on a Monday morning,still cant believe I was suckered into paying for a lifetime membership !
    Agree with comments above, this has no chance,if you have any time available invest in your own website

  4. Hello Everyone,

    We wanted to thank you all for the discussion that has sparked here and, on behalf of the OnBuy Team, we would like to answer some of the questions you have. It’s best to start is from the top! –

    Northumbrian, Hi! OnBuy does not wish to imply that we’re excluding anyone from our marketplace, and you certainly have our apologies for not explaining our tagline in more detail – we are very proud to be Brits, and hope to benefit the economy as we grow over the years. The platform will grow across Europe and eventually span the globe. This of course will take several years, but we welcome everyone from everywhere on day one.

    Hi Chris Dawson – Thank you for the feature here, we’re grateful for the interest you have shown, especially so close to the OnBuy launch. Our first aims are to gather sustainable momentum, enough to ensure we collect 5% market share in comparison to Amazons in 5 years. We know that each and every year counts. We will be here for the long haul; making the right decisions for our sellers and helping customers buy from a safe, rewarding and convenient platform.

    Chris T – Hi Chris and thank you for your observations – we do speak to sellers who wonder how long we have been planning the launch – the development of OnBuy started over 5 years ago, and we’re very excited that it has come to a point where it is ready to be introduced to the public. OnBuy.co.uk is currently in a demo state, so our sellers can become familiar with the platform, before we go live in November.

    Hi Cambridge Blue – thanks for the interest you have shown – Our sellers can currently get 6 months free; this gives everyone a good chance to test the water and see how they enjoy OnBuy. Our Account Management Team has been issuing this special offer to those who initially show an interest in the platform, and wish to sign up. Joining before the end of this month will ensure you are included in that offer, and we wish to welcome everyone who wants to take advantage of this. We’re sure to conduct special and promotional offers in the future, so welcome you at these points too, should you decide now is not the best time for you.

    Hello Mike – thank you for signing up, we’re happy to have you on board! As you have said, the free subscription period will get you 6 free months. Our low fees ensure that any sales you make with OnBuy will require less commission than selling with other platforms, so there is nothing to lose – only to gain. We hope you enjoy OnBuy, come November, and welcome your feedback once we get started!

    Just to cover a few other points that have been raised, we would like to explain that unlike other marketplaces, we allow our sellers to upload unlimited product listings at no extra cost, you will have control over your Shop Window (this feature will be unveiled after the Christmas push, and will allow sellers to ‘decorate’ as they wish) at no extra cost, and there are no minimum subscription boundaries set or ‘lifetime’ subscriptions to get tied in to.

    We have a very clear and basic ethos we think most businesses forget: fairness and openness. Our fees are the most transparent and the most competitive on the market today. We (The Team) believe in the plans for OnBuy and are confident that they’ll come to fruition just as abundantly as we have conceptualised. We’re very happy for the support those of you have shown and wish to encourage those who are unsure, to try the OnBuy marketplace and let us know what you think.

    Kind Regards to All!

  5. “The platform will grow across Europe and eventually span the globe. This of course will take several years, ”

    ok thats whenwe sign up? untll then we have bills to pay

  6. good luck to you!

    question: who are your customers going to be? the seller or the buyer?

    question: do you retail yourself?

    Keep Chris @ tamebay updated so it can be relayed back to us all.

  7. I spoke with onbuy today. The big question in my mind was not whether they are a retailer or even what the fees are but if they are catalogue based or as eBay are still predominantly listing based. They will be catalogue based so price focused as opposed to value/service based. Another race to be the cheapest. They may gain buyers looking for lowest cost but these are not the buyers we want. John

  8. Just had a call from OnBuy. This is what they told me:

    1) Up to 10% FVF (most areas at 10%, a few are lower)
    2) 12% fee on shipping charges (actually higher than eBay) – absolute outrage when many sellers currently lose £ on shipping.
    3) After trial £22 p/month membership
    4) Site DOES NOT ACCEPT PayPal – major issue for UK and European sellers.
    6) Full personal and bank details required (even though its a “free Trial”) so they can bill you fees and after trial the £22 p/month.
    5) Only a few hundred companies so far signed up so its looking VERY small.

    They constantly talk about transpanancy. Aside from the free trial NONE OF THE ABOVE POINTS WERE MENTIONED UNTIL I ACTUALLY ASKED. Transparancy???

    PRIDICTION: Will remain a low level eCommerce site. After a few years when its built up a bit and after the economy picks up will they will then sell out to eBay or Amazon and someone will pocket a few million. (Typical business model but its only my opinion and they probably will not confirm if asked)

    Personally I see very little value in their offer.

  9. I have the application form and was about to complete and return but I don’t like credit checks done on my name when I really don’t know if this would be a good selling platform or be successful for me. I am happy to give my Bank details as I have with Ebay and Pay pal but a credit check is for what purpose please? maybe Onbuy can answer this .

  10. Hello Everyone,

    Thank you for adding to this discussion, we’re really grateful for the feedback.

    Hello again Northumbrian, thank you for getting back to us. We understand sellers want buyers but know very much that sellers can become frustrated with the platforms dominating the market, and wanted to focus on getting this right. The buyers will gather where the best prices and good sellers are naturally. That is not to say we have no marketing plans or current activity to attract customers to our sellers, of course.

    Hi Alexander – Our fees are listed here: https://www.onbuy.co.uk/sell-with-onbuy/our-fees.html.

    Everyone can use this link to see our sales fees – including the subscription fee.

    Our shipping percentage is used as a regulator of the product price – this means we can make sure sellers do not put very high prices on shipping goods and a very low fee on the goods themselves.

    We do not force sellers to have shipping fees however, and allow any seller to provide free shipping to customers, should they wish it. This fee is detailed within our terms and conditions.

    We do not accept Paypal – we work with WorldPay. This system allows us to have excellent control over the Order Dispute System we have developed. This would not cause a problem for sellers in Europe or the UK, it is only a different method of transaction – furthermore, sellers don’t have any costs associated with transactions through OnBuy and WorldPay, unlike the Paypal model which charges for each transaction.

    We are delighted to say we have several thousand enquiries to become a seller with OnBuy and are in the processes of setting up some excellent long term business plans with some great sellers.

    Our sellers are of the highest calibre and offer a selection in excess of 2 million products so far – doubling our initial aim – Mr. Collins, an Account Manager will only see the selection of sellers for their category. The Account Manager you spoke to may be referring to the section they work within. Our Account Managers do not see the other categories, so this may be where some misunderstanding has arisen.

    Hi Lynne, thank you for getting in touch. We only ask for company bank details to set up your OnBuy account – similarly OnBuy collect a short reference for your business – this is a standard procedure for all our companies. Just for clarity, you can be sure we will not perform a personal credit check. OnBuy is a sales platform for businesses, not for individuals – this may be what has caused some confusion in this area. We hope this has helped to answer your question for you Lynne.

    Just to reiterate our aims for the future, OnBuy is here to stay. We intend to provide an improved marketplace for traders, who do not compete and provide a high level of customer service to sellers. We want customers to feel they are in a safe, rewarding and convenient place to shop for anything they desire for a competitive price. We will always detail everything we intend to do, and fees we charge to sell, unlike other marketplaces – this honesty and transparency will help to ultimately provide you with a great online marketplace.

    Kind Regards to All!

  11. Dear PayPalUser,

    We would never contact your bank, under any circumstances.

    Please contact us directly with any of your queries.

    Kind Regards,
    The OnBuy Team


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