Eating your own dog food on marketplaces

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Eating your own dog food is a phrase that became widespread after a Microsoft manager challenged a colleague to increase internal usage of the company’s own products. Referring to feeding your animals quality food that you would eat yourself, it is used to describe the practice of using your own products and services.

Now Huawei, best known as the number two smartphone manufacturer in the world, has demoted two staff for using an iPhone to send a Happy New Year greeting to twitter. Unfortunately the tweet was marked via twitter for iPhone and although quickly deleted the irony of using a competitors products was spotted. So serious are Huawei taking this incident that they’re disciplining the staff even through it was an emergency when a computer stopped working.

Eating your own dog food makes a lot of sense so this year Tamebay has a challenge to throw out to our readers. You all sell on marketplaces but how many purchases do you make on the marketplaces that you sell on? Over the course of the next few months try to split your online purchases in roughly the same proportion of your sales on the marketplaces that you trade on.

Naturally you probably sell most on eBay and Amazon, but do you buy on both of these two marketplaces? If you sell on Etsy, Flubit, Onbuy, Notonthehighstreet and other UK marketplaces are you also a customer of these sites? If you sell on overseas marketplaces have you ever made a purchase as a consumer on those platforms?

Whilst you might have a preference for one particular marketplace, it’s only by shopping on others that you’ll realise what consumers like and dislike. You’ll also get first hand experience of how you competitors are winning in search. For instance, if you have Amazon Prime you might be tempted to make many of your purchases on Amazon to take advantage of free postage, but many eBay listings also have free carriage and eBay routinely puts them towards the top of best match. If you spot products you want to buy that are using Amazon Sponsored Products or eBay Promoted Listings to gain visibility then this should suggest it may be worth you trialling them.

You may also find annoyances, one of my pet hates are sellers who ship fast on eBay but artificially expand their despatch times to under promise and over deliver – I understand why they do to protect their feedback but it makes it hard to buy when I’m in a hurry to receive a product.

Let us know which marketplaces you love buying from and why… and which marketplaces you find it a pain in the neck to purchase on and what they could do to win more of your business.

2 Responses

  1. I only sell on eBay. I used to buy 90% eBay, 10% Amazon.
    BUT, several of my recent purchases on eBay have been disappointing – it says they are located in the UK, Manchester, Walsall, Portsmouth, Birmingham etc., but they turn up after 2 or 3 weeks direct from China with RM24 or 48 stickers on them.
    One item was faulty, one was darn right dangerous and an obvious fake.
    So, unfortunately, because of this fraudulent activity, I do not buy from eBay anymore – it is simply not safe.
    A real shame, but eBay is unable (or not willing) to stop this fraud – I’m sure they make a tidy profit from aiding and abetting this criminal activity.
    However, they are still more than ready to kick my butt if I ship a day late.

  2. I’m not sure it’s as straightforward as all that with selling/buying.

    I’m 100% for tech firms using their own tech, if your phone isn’t good enough for you to use when it’s given to you free, why am i going to pay good money for it?
    same for cars, clothes, etc etc. if you’re a BMW CEO you should be driving a BMW and shouting about how great it is constantly, not driving a mercedes to work
    (though i completely accept them wanting to throw a ferrari round the track at weekends, apples and oranges).

    when it comes to buying i tailor the site i use to the product i want, for example, if i need a good memory card i certainly won’t be purchasing it on ebay.
    if i want a free crappy memory card i’ll buy on ebay, test it, request a return because it’s blatantly fake, receive a refund, and fix the fake memory at half its advertised size.

    if i want cheap chinesey tat that takes a month to arrive, i’ll shop on alibaba.
    if i want the same chinesey tat at a higher price with promises of faster delivery, i’ll shop on ebay, and it’ll still take a month to arrive.
    if i want to pay even more for said chinesey tat that actually arrives this century, i’ll buy it on amazon.

    if i want used pc parts i’ll check facebook local, gumtree, and probably ebay.
    if i want new pc parts i’ll check google and amazon, and some specialist sites.

    when non-techy relatives ask where to shop, i tell them amazon, click away like a lunatic and it’ll probably be alright.
    when smart & savvy relatives ask where to get a bargain, i tell them ebay, but make sure to pay attention and check things first to know what you’re buying.

    we sell furniture on ebay, i don’t buy much furniture on ebay, for the most part i prefer a physical store when it comes to furniture shopping, though at the same time i realise the physical store charges twice what we do (just as well i work for a place that sells furniture i can see physically and buy at digital cost price, so don’t need to resolve that particular dilemma right now).
    – even if i felt ebay was THE place to sell furniture, well i don’t buy furniture as much as i sell it, the vast majority of my purchasing is non-furniture, and for the things i do purchase often i might feel ebay isn’t the place to buy that kind of item.


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