Daily Telegraph: ditch eBay for smartphone selling apps

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What do you reckon of this article in the Telegraph on Sunday called: “Avoid eBay pitfalls: sell on smartphone apps.”

As Kate Palmer says: “more and more sellers, whether they are an individual or a business, are shunning online marketplaces altogether – and instead selling their wares directly via people’s phones. They may be less well-known, but apps such as Depop, Foap and Instagram charge similar commission – or none at all.”

The article makes some understandable claims. (Few eBay sellers will argue that when it comes to protection claims that eBay seems to side often unfairly with the buyer, for instance.) But I’m less convinced by some of the comparisons regarding fees and traffic and potential.

And the notion that eBay isn’t an active player in the mobile shopping arena is demonstrably incorrect. One thing that eBay actually does remarkably well is offer items an easy in on smartphone shopping. (Even if the selling side of the app is less good.)

Clearly Etsy has a commanding lead in some particular marketplace niches but it’s limited in its range compared to eBay. The success story cited, Mr Normal, doesn’t seem to have sold on eBay at all but is using Instagram successfully and we must applaud him. But without knowing his margins a £120k annual turnover we can’t say whether that equals a living. The article also notes that Instagram itself doesn’t have an ecommerce function.

There can be no doubt that social shopping is on the up. The ecommerce field is broadening and that’s a good thing but I’m not sure this article is quite on the money.

How about you?

4 Responses

  1. What concerns me is that the article mentions avoiding ebay, but not Amazon – there’s already enough negativity (much of it deserved) to influence buyers against ebay without adding more.
    Some of us smaller sellers depend on ebay, partly due to it’s potential worldwide audience, and are hoping things pick up in one way or another so that we at least get the page views/exposure of two years ago, if not the sales.

  2. typical bollocks
    rubbishing ebay ,
    as sellers we may not like the pain of ebays buyers protection, but it works ,
    these social networks and alternatives may be wonderful for the honest but once the bad lads get wind of this utopia. they too will need to embrace reality

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