If you like eBay, you know that the auction site has seen some troubles over the years. The interface hasn't improved all that much, and it seems like people are looking for a more convenient, affordable way to find products online. Not to mention, eBay has become overrun with larger companies selling items for full price, somewhat diminishing the whole idea behind an auction site.
That's why we're pretty excited about a platform called iBuySell. Not only does it offer wonderful pricing for buyers, but you're bound to boost your ecommerce business by posting products that you would like to get off your shelves.
The iBuySell platform is a new real-time peer-to-peer marketplace where the site updates every moment with new products. If you go to the site you'll notice that some products are highlighted in real-time so that the auction is shown to everyone who's interested. They have product categories brand and designer bags, jewelry, shoes, clothing, home and tech products.
Here's the interesting part: The price drops every second until the one person freezes the price.
The company states that each auction lasts for 90 seconds or less.
The sound of this gives us hope for the auction marketplace, since it will certainly create a sense of urgency and competition like no other place online.
It turns out that iBuySell has a website and a few mobile apps (available to over 150 countries around the world) for you to use on your phones and tablets:
The overall premise of iBuySell is pretty simple, but we want to explore it a little further. For example, how does selling products work for merchants? Is there a fee with each sale you make? Keep reading to learn more about these questions, and others, below.
How it Works For Sellers
The sellers section looks fairly straightforward, and it all starts with creating a store, or closet, for free. In fact, if you decide to upload one product, it automatically generates a store for you without you having to do anything.
Uploading Lots of Products
I would assume that most people looking to sell online have multiple products on their shelves. Therefore, a bulk upload button is provided where volume sellers can upload multiple products. A template is provided so that you don't have to complete any formatting for your store, and the upload is handled through the iBuySell website.
Quick Moving Inventory
It's pretty clear that iBuySell is not for the merchant who wants to develop a hyper-customized, unique storefront. The majority of your sales will come from people who stop by the iBuySell homepage, but that's completely fine. The whole point is to identify the products that might not be selling all that well on your own online store and post them for a discount auction.
In short, you get quick cash for items that might have sat in your inventory for months or years.
The idea of a flash sale is nothing new, but it's the iBuySell format that makes it standout. Sellers get to showcase more of their products in time-bound sales, so the products get snatched up by excited shoppers.
The shoppers can also buy directly from your own iBuySell storefront, but I personally don't see this as being as common.
Sending Folks to Your Ecommerce Store
Although I can't imagine that many people go to your iBuySell storefront (as opposed to the iBuySell homepage,) the system does have the unique ability to shift some of that traffic to your actual ecommerce website. This is a huge bonus, since other auction sites actively try to prevent users going elsewhere.
However, iBuySell actually encourages sellers to include their existing e-commerce catalog store in their profile and get more traffic to their already existing online sales channel. Anyone can sell their products as long as they are authentic and good quality.
Ship Directly to Your Customers
A big question that sellers have is how the products are going to get to the customers. Many ecommerce platforms like Shopify offer shipping labels, so it's nice to see that iBuySell does this as well. When a product is sold, sellers can ship the items directly to the user by printing labels from the iBuySell website. Sellers can also ship on their own or mark their items as free shipping. Items can be shipped internationally as well.
Share Products and Stores on Social Media
If you have an online store, I'm assuming one of the main reasons you work through Facebook and Twitter is to announce big sales. Customers love this, so it's refreshing to see that iBuySell has a social sharing option. Sellers can share their listed items and storefronts to encourage customers to go over to the iBuySell auction site.
You can even throw in your own discount code to prompt people to jump on the sales.
iBuySell states that sellers keep up to 95% of the sales prices. Therefore, you can expect to pay iBuySell a fee of at least 5% for each transaction. Depending on the sale it could go all the way up to 15%. This is far higher than transaction fees through your regular ecommerce website, but the whole point of iBuySell is to get rid of products fast. They give you the infrastructure to do so, and take a larger cut in return.
Other than that, the app is free and you don't have to pay a listing fee.
One interesting part is that you can surpass the transaction fees to pay a flat monthly fee. These start at $29.99 per month, which sounds like a great deal if you're planning on selling a significant number of products per month.
How it Works for Buyers
Since we primarily review platforms for sellers on this site, it may seem strange to cover what the buyers see. However, we believe that merchants should always know exactly how the customers move through the purchase process.
So, it works like this with iBuySell:
Traditional e-commerce is search-based where consumers search for products they want from online catalogs. At iBuySell shoppers also discover new products that get spotlighted under various categories every moment, giving the user a fresh new choice.
What's more is that the items can be tagged for notifications later on. Freezing the price is a rather unique feature as well, because it adds excitement and interactivity to the platform.
Removing the Hassle for the User
All of these big discounts are provided in a short period of time. It's all about competition, where the buyers work to beat out the other customers for the lowest price possible. Basically, the customer waits for a price they are comfortable paying, then they click on the Freeze button before anyone else does. If you're the first person to freeze a product you get to buy it.
Along with that, the users receive social sharing options that earn them points when other people signup. It's also worth mentioning that buyers can message sellers and give feedback. And it's super easy to pay since all major credit cards are support along with PayPal.
Who Should Be Using iBuySell?
It makes sense for just about any online shop to give iBuySell a try. You don't have to pay anything upfront, and the monthly payment plan is desirable if you start getting a decent number of sales per month. Also, the company plans on supporting multiple currencies from around the world in the near future.
I like it best for those companies that are going through their inventory to find products that aren't selling that well. It also has the added bonus of pushing people to your primary ecommerce store for selling full-priced items.
If you have any questions about this iBuySell review, or the iBuySell platform in general, feel free to drop a line in the comments section below.