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Which platform for the Ecommerce Express?

OPTION A: THE MARKETPLACE

During the last few years online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon and Buy have helped tens of thousands of people to start E-Commerce businesses.

PROS

  • The great advantage of marketplaces is that they require no technical knowledge to get selling. Even more importantly, they deliver visitors to your store from day one.
  • Marketplaces use a feedback score, which many consider a blessing as well as a curse. However, positive feedback equates to more sales, so for potential customers the system provides a completely transparent trading history.
  • Most marketplaces use their own payment process - eBay uses PayPal, whereas Amazon requires all merchants to use its standard checkout. The plus is the positive customer perception, ie small merchants' reputations are boosted by this Big Brother approach. Customers also have an easy appeals process if anything goes wrong. For example, PayPal protects its users on all transactions, whatever the amount.
  • Another advantage of marketplaces is that if you have the right product at the right price you get traffic - lots of it.

CONS

  • On the downside, the listing and transaction fees cut into your profit margin. Taking the sportswear category on Amazon, for example, a 15 per cent

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