Online Marketplaces – finding the best fit

In an earlier blog I set the scene. I am a novice to online marketplaces, I have never had a website, or a webstore, and I have never blogged until this month. This is my story of becoming an Online Seller (from scratch).

It’s hard to know where to start – I am learning as I go.  To start the ball rolling, I am fairly convinced I need to choose just one of the online marketplaces out there. I can use this marketplace as a ‘seed’ in the hope that I can organically grow my metaphorical mustard tree!

The plentiful world of Online Marketplaces

Outside the commonly known Amazon and Ebay there is a myriad of unknown quantities. Walmart, Alibaba, Easy, Target, Blujay, Bonanza, eCrater, Shoply, Ioffer, Flipkart, Bestbuy, Snapdeal, Junglee, Jabong, and Newegg, to name a few.

A number of marketplaces seem to concentrate on specific product categories, which is good for a buyer honing in on their purchase.  Other online marketplaces appear to be more popular in a specific country or region, which begs the important consideration of shipping costs. High up the list of considerations has to be cost.  Not all online marketplaces have a monthly set fee, however, most seem to charge commission against your sales, varying from around 3.5% up to 18%.  There are also quite a handsome number of extras you can pay for in order to promote your shop and/or product(s) or receive gold class coverage.

Weighing up the marketplace active user base against the cost of selling (commission/monthly fee/shipping) and your products expected profit margin (how much it costs you verses how much you can sell it for) is paramount to making the right choice.

I have put together a brief infographic below for the marketplaces that I found of interest.

I need to find a good fit for my product

Online marketplaces represent ready-made customer bases.  Respectively, you really need to be sure of who your customer is to be sure of finding the right online marketplace.

I handcraft unique pieces of costume jewellery – fairly boho stuff – no two pieces are the same.  I love creating the pieces, some wild and fancy, others sublime and simple. Jewellery is my passion; wherever I am in the world, whatever I’m doing, I am drawn to it, jewellery tells my story.  It’s definitely not about brand, or intrinsic value, its about expression.

But can I sell it online? I truly hope so.

I will settle for a hobby business I think, nonetheless I am secretly hoping for a ‘banger’.

Choosing to sell on Etsy

I know very little about Etsy, but my research online suggests it has all the characteristics for selling handcrafted wares well, and it fits my product neatly – perfectly really.

Etsy has 19 active marketplaces with approximately 29 million active users. Not to mention that at a modest 3.5% commission (transaction fee) it is a much more affordable choice of all the online marketplaces. (There may well be more fees such as listing fees but I will cover that in another blog). To be honest I need not look any further than Etsy, nonetheless, I can’t help feeling that I am being very self-restrictive straight off the bat.  I need to keep my plan to multi-channel and have a web-store in mind.  One step at a time.  Etsy here I come.

Online Marketplaces