Sunday, September 21, 2014

Is trying to sell on OLA a waste of time?

This post is entitled such because it seems so many sellers are coming here and wondering that exact question. I myself debated on whether it was worth my time and energy to start selling here. I'm pretty new to OLA but this is my 2 cents worth...

1. This is not eBay! It will never be eBay! 
If you want high volume traffic with tons of buyers... this isn't it. In fact, there are no other sites that drive in buyer traffic even a fraction of the top 2 competing companies. If there were, we'd all be selling there instead. But why is that? Because those 2 companies are well established in SEO, are paying billions of dollars in paid advertisement and have huge deals with other corporate companies to sell on their sites. If Guess or Target sold on OLA, don't you think there would be a lot more traffic here? But that will never happen. OLA is not a corporate monster. It is a site devoted to small sellers like yourself.

2.You can't expect a small site like this to compete with the top dog when there is little/nothing to offer. Granted, there is a LOT of really cool stuff for sale here (totally not bashing sellers here at all ). But compared to the top online auction site, it's beans. This is where YOU come in. Think of selling on OLA as an investment. The more sellers there are, the more items for sale and the greater variety. More items and more variety equals more buyers!  The potential to grow is huge. But you have to get your feet wet. If no one is willing to try than it just doesn't happen. And only doing a trial run for a month or two is not enough. Read any post on correct SEO and you'll find it takes at least 6 months to start seeing positive results.

I have been setting up and selling here for just over a month. The only con I have found as of yet is buyer traffic. However, as I said before, this will improve as more sellers join and the site grows. In fact, according to Sky's post on the OLA blog dated 8/26/2014 "in the past week our traffic in key segments has doubled (in one week), and signups are rapidly approaching record highs". OLA has grown so much in the past few months that it actually had to get new servers to handle the traffic! That is awesome news!!!

Also, much depends upon you to advertise yourself. Social media and correctly done SEO play a vital part in this. If you're not willing to put forth time and effort into doing that, then you will never succeed in selling here, nor on any other small ecommerce platform, not even on your own website. Only the top dog will do it for you and it comes with a hefty price.

So why not try selling here? Seriously? What do you have to lose? $8 a month. You're likely paying more than that for a single space any day at a flea market, antique booth, craft show, etc. 

Here's why I am here:
  • It's CHEAP! Seriously... $8... do you really have to think about it? 
  • It's super easy to list an item 
  • It's super easy to edit a listing 
  • It's super easy to cancel a listing 
  • No one tells you how to sell or the price you have to sell it for 
  • No seller premium 
  • No buyer premium 
  • No listing fees 
  • No final value fees 
  • No hidden fees 
  • No fees on shipping costs 
  • Doesn't require you to offer "Free" shipping 
  • No "defects", no DSR's, no unrealistic 'seller standards' 
  • Very few limitations on what you are allowed to sell 
  • Encourages buyer and seller communication 
  • OLA does not interfere or intercede in buyer/seller issues 
  • Accept any type of payment you want 
  • You are allowed to advertise off site sales 
  • No one else is advertising on your listing 
  • No corporate competitor ads and sponsored links on your listings 
  • Your return policy- YOUR WAY 
  • Or you don't have to offer a return policy at all 
  • Super friendly and helpful forums 
  • When you call customer service you get a person 
  • That's right... you can actually call customer service 
  • Many different types of listings (classic auction, fixed price, absolute, etc) 
  • Schedule listings at no additional charge 
  • You can leave buyers negative feedback 
  • You can edit your feedback 
  • You can block buyers 
  • You can still sell on your other site(s). Just remove your listing from one site when it sells on the other. 
The list goes on but you're probably tired of reading this excessively long post if you haven't stopped already

Honestly give it at least 6 months to a year before you decide if this investment paid out. At the very least, it's an excellent learning experience.

Thank you for reading my post!  Please leave a comment and be sure to check out my new store here!


kornkountrytreasures said...

Absolutely to the point!! I love it! Thank you for a great post!!

Becky Buchko said...

I do agree. This is a wonderful base. It is all that you wished eBay was ... and nothing that you hate about eBay. BUT to grow this site needs YOU. You the buyer and you the seller. Invite your buyers. List your stuff. Let it sit if you wish. Do the work now and be ready for the holiday selling season. I pay $10 a month because I have a store. I have made two sales so far and I am perfectly content to wait.

REMEMBER ... eBay was once a very tiny site too. The small sellers built eBay. They did it and we can do it even better.

Good luck OLA. I'm here for the long haul.

Jon Rush said...

Great post! I agree... on OLA less than a month, pointed my customer base to my store on OLA and business is starting to take off. Great site with lots of potential!!

catseyes99 said...

It will take time and then, you still might not ever make what you did in ebay, but when you subtract the listing fees, final value fees and paypals fees on the sale of one item and then all the listing fees for the items that didn't sell, see how much you actually made for that 1 sale. For 5 yrs, I've had to take a loss just from my sales at ebay. And think of it, once the buying community realizes how low our prices are because we don't have all these fees, you will see a lot of happy buyers.

CountryNaturals said...

Excellent article. Thank you for taking the time to post it.