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Battle of the marketplaces

Matthew Jarvis
Battle of the marketplaces

A new wave of online marketplace providers aims to offer tech retailers and resellers better value web stores than giants Amazon and eBay. Matthew Jarvis rounds up the offerings from newcomers OnBuy and Synaxon.

ONBUY
www.OnBuy.co.uk
OnBuy has big aspirations to live up to, having laid out its plans to take five per cent of Amazon’s marketshare over the next three years, backed by what it hopes will be a database of one million products. The British-based company is  set to launch on November 1st, and aims to have 1,000 partners, who it says it won’t compete with.

OnBuy also hopes to attract users and partners by avoiding the tax issues and detachment from UK vendors that some bigger retail sites have been criticised for in the past.

MD Cas Paton tells PCR: “Major retailers and brands come on board because they’ll be working with a British marketplace. We’re here for the UK economy. Let’s bring it back to Britain.”

OnBuy plans to charge electronics sellers a seven per cent flat rate, which gets taken upon completion of a sale, plus unlimited product listings for £22 a month.
The newcomer also aims to take the hassle out of selling for members by uploading and managing users’ inventories for them as part of an account management service.

“We take the risk out of selling and buying,” Paton explains. “We don’t hide any fees. We want clarity and open relationships with retailers and consumers”.
The firm has already secured investment from IT provider Centerprise International.

SYNMARKET
www.Synaxon.co.uk
Already successful in Germany, SynMarket from channel service group Synaxon is aimed at resellers who want to get rid of leftover PC/tech stock.

The service is expected to launch exclusively for Synaxon members in the UK in Q4 2013.

Products can be uploaded using CSV files, and SynMarket works with EGIS, Synaxon’s e-procurement platform for IT stock.

While only members of Synaxon can sell stock, anybody can purchase items from the site. 600 dealers are expected to sign up.

Synaxon UK MD Derek Jones says: “You get the best of both worlds – a professional member buys your products or a B2B customer does.

“Either way, you shift the old stock. It’s a real cash generator.”

Sellers are charged 2.5 per cent, plus a monthly membership fee. Like Amazon, products and sellers can be given star ratings.

WHAT THEY’RE UP AGAINST

AMAZON
Amazon UK currently charges pro-merchant subscribers a monthly fee of £28.75.

The pro subscription provides 25 product categories to sell in, the ability to load and track inventory in bulk and displays users as an Amazon Featured Seller. The ‘Jumpstart’ service can also be used, which provides pre-prepared product listings for items which are already on Amazon’s database.

For smaller independents, Amazon offers a free ‘basic’ seller option, which limits the number of product categories to 20. They are eligible for the same ‘Fulfilment by Amazon’ postage service as pro users, and are charged 75p plus per-item fees for each product sold.

A closing fee for each item is also taken. For consumer electronics, sellers can expect to pay an additional 8.05 per cent. For electronics accessories, this cost rises by 13.8 per cent.

Amazon also provides its ‘Fulfilment by Amazon’ delivery service to pro merchants, which has its own set of variable closing fees.

EBAY
As with its general users, eBay also charges sellers with web stores a fee to list items for sale.

Sellers can choose to pay a subscription fee which grants them a number of inclusive fixed-price listings. This ranges from £19.99 for basic membership and 200 free monthly listings to the £249.99 ‘Anchor’ membership, which provides unlimited fixed price listings on both the UK and international eBay sites.

eBay advises online sellers with over 5,000 monthly listings to become Anchor members.

As with Amazon, on both auction-style and fixed-price listings, each item is also subject to a final value closing fee.

Consumer electronics are charged at five per cent of the final value, to a maximum of £10, while media such as software incurs a nine per cent fee.

Additional selling utilities including reserve prices, scheduled listings and premium photo galleries also incur extra charges.

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Tags: Amazon, ebay, synaxon, OnBuy, SynMarket

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