Despite being one of the oldest players in the Indian ecommerce scene, problems associated with eBay today are many. In a recent IOS article, we talked about how sellers have to wait for more than 60 minutes to get through to the seller support team. While this is just one of the many problems that gets on a seller’s nerve which made us actually think, ‘Has eBay lost its charm?’ apparently there are some out there who feel eBay hasn’t lost its charm.
Gujarat-based Mit Kotak sells gadget accessories (for mobiles, tablets, laptops), apparel, gift articles and, real diamond and gold jewellery. He is selling on all the major online marketplaces including eBay and feels confident about the ecommerce platform even today.
In an IOS exclusive, he explains his opinion that eBay hasn’t lost its charm.
Online selling, online marketplaces
We started selling on eBay in August 2012. We sold a used 3G Dongle then for a try and it sold within a day. We then started with similar products via local sourcing and later on started getting associated with quality brands for selling brand new products.
Eventually we started selling on other platforms too and we are currently full-fledged on eBay as well as Amazon and Flipkart. PayTM is in the pipeline, but our next focus is going to be a Facebook store.
Also, we are planning to open a handle on Instagram. We want to decrease our dependence on marketplaces as their commission structures are eating into our profits.
Problems faced on marketplaces (apart from eBay)
Amazon imposes a lot of restrictions on uploading products. EAN/UPC is mandatory unless you go for UPC exemption, which creates hurdles while listing products. Sometimes sellers of branded products don’t bother to give proper descriptions, which hamper our listings too, as we are then forced to list in the same way with incomplete details. If we want to provide additional listing or make any changes in the listing then Amazon asks for manufacturer proof for each and every product. That’s not practical as well deal with multiple brands and have a catalogue of more than 5000 products. It is impossible for us to mail details of each product to Amazon.
Flipkart follows a very rigid policy for pictures, wherein they want all pictures with white background. Since we deal with branded products, respective manufacturers send images to us; so editing each image before upload becomes tedious.
But eBay gives us the freedom to list products with images of our wish and full descriptions. There are suggestions from Account managers, but we are never forced to implement them. So final decision about listings rests with seller.
eBay has its share of problems too
- Last Diwali many of our shipments were not connected or RTO, but till date we have not received remittances for the same.
- Power Ship has helped us a lot in gaining good ratings at eBay, but additionally it has also given us the burden of problems in connections, COD rejections, logistic partners not calling the buyers and straight away marking orders as RTO.
- Recently we have started facing problems wherein buyer claims have started being processed and refunded without keeping us in the loop. But Account managers have been really supportive and in most of the cases these charges have been reversed to us.
Yet, eBay has not lost its charm!
eBay gives us maximum revenue, obviously that’s the strongest reason to say it has not lost its charm.
If I compare same brands and same products sold at the same price on eBay and other platforms, revenue from eBay is higher.
People are still attracted to eBay thanks to niche products, eBay coupons, special offers etc.
Commission rates on eBay are half that of Flipkart and Snapdeal, which matters a lot to us. Sharing 25% of total product value is almost impossible for us; whereas in the case of eBay, we have to give only 12%, which earns us an additional 12% in our pockets.
Remittances are twice a week and most of the time, credit is done on the very next day, which helps in maintaining a steady flow of working capital. But Amazon passes remittance once a week and credit is after 3 days of confirmed remittances.
We deal in mobile accessories, which become obsolete in a couple of months and sometimes orders are more than the expected numbers. To deal with it, eBay allows pickup facilities from manufacturer’s warehouse too, something that others do not facilitate.
Resolving issues on eBay
The customer care team of eBay hardly ever comes to our help.
But fortunately for us, we have a good account manager who solves our problems for sales, marketing, promotions and claims, while the Power Ship team too is quite supportive and promptly takes actions on our logistic issues in most of the cases.
Comparing it to seller support of other marketplaces, I would say eBay’s support team is still at the bottom. For example, according to their policy, if a customer care executive is not able to solve the problem of seller, he is supposed to transfer the call to supervisor if seller requests for it. I have asked so many times, but till date this has not been done. Sometimes it is said that the supervisor will get in touch, but even that has never happened.
Flipkart’s is better, but Amazon is the best one. The system is such that the case logs are not closed until all our questions are answered and we are not satisfied. Generally, the team replies within 6-12 hours and we are always kept in the loop about the progress of our queries. And if they need more time, we are kept posted on that as well.
I would like to use this IOS platform to request Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal to allow us to do pickups from multiple locations. It can help to bring huge revenue and niche products. The absence of this facility has actually stopped us from expanding aggressively into these platforms. Currently we do not use Easy Ship on Amazon so we can ship from other locations too in case of Emergencies.
Calling out to marketplaces, anyone listening?
Disclaimer: Views/opinions expressed in this article are solely of the seller.