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RiverValleyTrading

Site being overrun by importers

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RiverValleyTrading

Hi,

 

We have nothing against importers on BoB, but I think there is a danger of the site being overrun by 'on-demand importers'.

 

There should be a section on the site for sellers who can DELIVER product within 5-7 Working days.

 

We think this would be a big help for customers and local people who are actually carrying stock supplies.

 

Your thoughts?

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Reynet Trading

Luvit :rolleyes:

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mrmouse
Hi,

 

We have nothing against importers on BoB, but I think there is a danger of the site being overrun by 'on-demand importers'.

 

There should be a section on the site for sellers who can DELIVER product within 5-7 Working days.

 

We think this would be a big help for customers and local people who are actually carrying stock supplies.

 

Your thoughts?

YIP dropshipping and people that order your things only once you have paid for it , I feel if you dont have it in youre hand you cant sell it.If they can order it so can I or walk down the road and buy it myself .

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RiverValleyTrading

Can't see how that can ever be a sustainable business model anyway. So many variables: Exchange rates, delivery costs, overseas stock availability, delivery times, customs delays.

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SADiamondsrus
Can't see how that can ever be a sustainable business model anyway. So many variables: Exchange rates, delivery costs, overseas stock availability, delivery times, customs delays.

 

Agree, can never really work and will burn, + how is profit really made, customs is high

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XTRADE

I agree. It took me 3 years to build up my stock from having almost no items to sell on BOB to having a big variety items that I sell that I have in stock ready to go. But then I see others selling the same items as myself gets lots of negative and neutral rating for not having stock of the items they sell. the problem with this is that 5 or 6 advertise the same item just at different prices. So then they buy from the competition that does not have it in stock. So my chances of selling that item was compromised by someone that does not have stock.

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RISadler
But then I see others selling the same items as myself gets lots of negative and neutral rating for not having stock of the items they sell.

 

Add to this the overall negative to BoB as a marketplace for the rest of us ... the perception of those buyers is that they got burned on BoB, not by individual seller X or Y.

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mrmouse
Add to this the overall negative to BoB as a marketplace for the rest of us ... the perception of those buyers is that they got burned on BoB, not by individual seller X or Y.

Very true , me been burnt many times allready

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RISadler

Oh, and those "trade-feed partners" ...

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mrmouse
Oh, and those "trade-feed partners" ...

There should be a Bid Or Buy , Trade Feed Only site seperate to the normal .

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RISadler

Geez, I must be sooooo absolutely bored ... anyway, got this from the BoB Wikipedia page: "There is a purposeful endeavour on the part of the company to distance itself from a site that only offers second-hand bric-a-brac and instead to grow the trade in brand-new items of mass consumption."

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qball

You guys seem to forget you also operate in a free market society, driven by capitalism, competition and diversity. We can't satisfy everyone unfortunately and cannot turn away sellers just because they may or may not hold stock. And for your information, most of those trade feed partners oeprate much higher levels of customer service and accountability than some smaller sellers... but I won't get into that...... trade feeds are generally established ecommerce business that do add huge value in terms of content, items that cannot be found locally, choice, price and variety. I will give you an example, Kalahari started as a drop shipper and continues to drop ship to this day, they do not and cannot hold every item in stock, so have arrangements with suppliers and distributors to source stock when it is ordered, but then again what the hell do I know.... :awesome:

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RISadler
You guys seem to forget you also operate in a free market society, driven by capitalism, competition and diversity.

 

True. However, when the small gets pushed out of the market by the big, the small usually then shifts to a new market(place). With this, the free-spending and comfortably well-off buyers follow the small, because the big does not usually offer (a) diversity, (b) uniqueness and/or © just that right product. It's like a nature reserve ... it can support sacks-full fieldmice, but only a few elephants.

 

... trade feeds are generally established ecommerce business that do add huge value in terms of content, items that cannot be found locally, choice, price and variety.

 

That's circular logic. The "trade-feed partner" (TFP) already has an e-commerce website to where anyone (in SA) can point their browser and purchase the products of the TFP, hence the products offered by the TFP is also already available "locally" (via the PO or couriers).

 

The value of BoB lay in that it offered the small companies (and individuals) who had not yet reached the stage of full e-commerce ability, a trusted website through which to sell their/our products to the general public.

 

I will give you an example, Kalahari started as a drop shipper and continues to drop ship to this day, they do not and cannot hold every item in stock, so have arrangements with suppliers and distributors to source stock when it is ordered ...

 

Yes, kalahari.com ... I have tried to have my (new) books listed on said website, as I am a bona fide publisher. Without naming names, but kalahari requires one to have the books warehoused with a certain (subsidiary) company ... at a fee, of course. Then there is the distribution company and the ... well, let's just say the Competition Commission would have a blast, because to make the same amount of profit (as I would on BoB) per book, I would need to sell them for roughly thrice the price on kalahari.com ... :wtf:

 

... but then again what the hell do I know.... :awesome:

 

Possibly a tad more than us yokels, but you might also ponder the possibility that some of our petty gripes are founded and some of our ludicrous suggestions can possibly enhance "your" business. But then again, since we're small-fry we have no huge financial investment in selling on BoB and hence we can just pack up and go sell our secondhand bric-a-brac some other place. :suspicious:

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qball
True. However, when the small gets pushed out of the market by the big, the small usually then shifts to a new market(place). With this, the free-spending and comfortably well-off buyers follow the small, because the big does not usually offer (a) diversity, (b) uniqueness and/or © just that right product. It's like a nature reserve ... it can support sacks-full fieldmice, but only a few elephants.

 

 

 

That's circular logic. The "trade-feed partner" (TFP) already has an e-commerce website to where anyone (in SA) can point their browser and purchase the products of the TFP, hence the products offered by the TFP is also already available "locally" (via the PO or couriers).

 

The value of BoB lay in that it offered the small companies (and individuals) who had not yet reached the stage of full e-commerce ability, a trusted website through which to sell their/our products to the general public.

 

 

 

Yes, kalahari.com ... I have tried to have my (new) books listed on said website, as I am a bona fide publisher. Without naming names, but kalahari requires one to have the books warehoused with a certain (subsidiary) company ... at a fee, of course. Then there is the distribution company and the ... well, let's just say the Competition Commission would have a blast, because to make the same amount of profit (as I would on BoB) per book, I would need to sell them for roughly thrice the price on kalahari.com ... :wtf:

 

 

 

Possibly a tad more than us yokels, but you might also ponder the possibility that some of our petty gripes are founded and some of our ludicrous suggestions can possibly enhance "your" business. But then again, since we're small-fry we have no huge financial investment in selling on BoB and hence we can just pack up and go sell our secondhand bric-a-brac some other place. :suspicious:

 

Once again, you seem to miss the whole point. The issue is about growth, accessability and sustainability. We as a business cannot afford to remain stagnant nor just cater for small businesses. The value still remains there - small businesses can compete, especially on service, delivery, niche products etc. Tradefeeds are ranked lower than small sellers on the listings and generally do not use enhancements, so smaller sellers can quite easily compete on quality, service and exposure with smaller number of products. Your view is rather simplistic and does not actually support the current status quo. There is place for all types of sellers. We have seen small sellers turn their businesses into bigger businesses, the value proposition is still there - we still get the traffic, we do the marketing for you, it costs you next to nothing to set up on bidorbuy, we have numerous selling tools at your disposal.

 

I am not discounting what smaller sellers are going through, however, one has to be realistic and not have an idealised view of what the market offers. Many trade feeds do not get the traffic online, by selling on bob, they are basically selling through another channel, just with higher volumes and traffic, so it makes business sense for them to do so, to support their traditional retail outlet or online presence. This can be seen by simply looking at most retailers online today. There will always be a place for small sellers, for second hand goods, collectables, new products etc. The difference is how you compete, as I alluded to above, a small seller can compete quite easily. But whether it's a trade feed, or 100 small sellers all listing 1000 products each, the situation will be the same, it is a matter of survival of the fittest - that is what makes a marketplace essentially is. There will always be competition from all quarters and all businesses.

 

We also cannot and will not employ "protectionist" strategies. This will kill the site. As with any business, one of the goals is growth, and this means finding new content and sellers. We cannot survive forever with only small sellers and a limited number of buyers and sellers. That is the goal of any business - to grow, to be profitable, to strive for greater market share and exposure.

 

But remember one thing, sarcasm will only get you soo far in life... myself included.

 

That is the point of the internet - it's fluid, you can chop and change when you like, you are not tied into contracts or have to stay with any one service provider. As a business you must do what you have to do in order to survive, if that means moving to another site, so be it... however, I can guarantee the same will happen on those sites.

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RISadler
Once again, you seem to miss the whole point.

 

And you as well, IMHO.

 

I agree with the whole growth thing. However, I (and others) have made suggestions that would give us small-fry an edge on the TFP's and drop-shippers, simply by way of enabling us to put a little extra effort into our listings. This would make BoB (still) a very viable option in competing with big businesses.

 

ASIDE: I would just like to point out something here: my experience is that those on the inside do not always understand the situation on the outside. You (and the rest of the staff at BoB) are mostly not competing with TFP's, drop-shippers and big businesses for sales. We are ... well, certainly I am.

 

BACK TO POST: I can understand the resources that went into enabling the TFP system and that it was a necessary expense on the part of BoB. But how much effort would it really be to listen, evaluate, comment and possibly implement the suggestions from the BoB community of small-fry sellers? I mean, are we not the backbone of BoB's financial success? For example: A while back I bought an item from a TFP ... small'ish item of inconsequential value and BoB made a few rands commission. I now buy directly from this company using their B2B website ... from which BoB gets zip commission.

 

On the other end, I have found that generally people (especially South Africans) are wary of online shopping ... except from established and trusted websites, like kalahari.com and a few others. Now, for a small company therein lies the value of BoB, provided BoB can upkeep the reputation of trust and provide us with a way to have a decided edge over TFP's and drop-shippers. This does not amount to "protectionism", as the TFP's would also be able to do the same with some extra effort on the part of an employee. It is simply a matter of providing a good RoI for the self-unemployed small-fry seller, that possibly isn't there for a company that must pay someone to sit all day long and fiddle with their listings.

 

We are just trying to help BoB grow, because thus we ourselves grow.

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qball

I believe we have a very long and recognised track record for listening to our users and implementing suggestions, however, we cannot and will not always implement every suggestion made - due to various reasons - business, financial, logistical etc. Small sellers can still compete with bigger sellers, there does not have to be technical implementations or changes made to do this. We do understand as bob was at one stage a very small business operating in a very competitive space, and by many standards is still a small business.

 

It is also important to note that not all trade feeds are big companies, most are SME type businesses that face the same issues as individual and small sellers do. That is why they come to bob.

 

We are competing everyday, on a much bigger scale than sellers. We have tons of retailers opening online stores, other platforms like Gumtree, OLX, affecting market share, so we too are under pressure, but we cannot stay small, we have to compete. Then there are the overseas sites, that are massive compared to us. So we know this situation very well.

 

The issue here is not whether the small guys contribute to the the site, they do, some in major ways. We have always listened to suggestions and improvements but with the site as big as it is now, we cannot always implement or approve these suggestions, primarily because we already have a very long list of business critical, planned projects, roll outs and other enhancements that take priority over some of the suggestions made, many are just not financially nor logistically possible, and many are often not based on any form of business logic or rationale, but rather emotive issues. We cannot grow a business just on emotions. The issue of reputation and trust is always going to be a factor, as we rely on sellers to uphold their end and many do not. However, things like our Buyer Protection Programme goes a long way in securing that trust, as well as the rating and feedback system, which most other sites do not have. This is a different issue than that of stock. This can eb seen on most large online retailers now, they have to expand inventory and stock lines to maintain and grow their businesses, have a look at Takealot - their stock is always going to be an issue, as they "stock" millions of line items but cannot hold every one physically in stock. Drop shippers make up a very small number of sellers and listings, but we won't treat them differently to a normal seller, why should we? There are many that offer fantastic service, quick delivery even from an overseas supplier and often at a price better than what you can buy an item retail locally, why should we "penalise" or move them elsewhere on the site. It shouldn't really matter where the stock comes from, as long as you get good service and get the item you paid for. Unfortunately some drop shippers have damaged things for everyone else and that is why we have stopped or declined drop shipping approval due to the issues of delivery, non delivery, customs issues and delays etc. At the end of the day, the site is accessible to all and sundry online, we cannot and will not stop sellers from joining the site just because they may be a larger company or have more products or listings or based overseas etc.

 

However, continue to watch this space as we have some exciting developments happening aimed at small businesses and delivery...

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qball

Oh and to add to this, yes, you buy an item from a big seller and thereafter deal directly with them without going through bob, the small sellers do exactly the same, in fact, they are worse. We cannot really stop it, however, I do know of small sellers that will only sell through bidorbuy, because we offer all sorts of tools, their clients feel comfortable dealing on bob, they get to build their reputations and they feel part of a community. This does not happen on bigger sites or retailers. Generally bidorbuy also protects these sellers from all sorts of other issues they would face if they had their own websites etc. We manage a lot of the risk for them. We also remove the barriers to entry for them, this will not change. It's how you compete that will determine whether you survive. Sellers all selling MP4 players week in and week out, will notice their auctions getting lower prices, this is due to market forces and supply and demand. These sellers generally don't survive long, it's small sellers and individuals that offer good quality, great prices, and good service that endure. This can be seen by simply looking at some of the small sellers on the site, their ratings and feedback from buyers.

 

I for one, still believe you can compete head to head with a larger seller, no matter the size of your business and without fancy technical things being implemented to remain competitive. All of which are based on sound economic business principles. The only real issue is the business acumen of smaller sellers or lack of business background which ultimately contributes to their failure.

Edited by qball

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Colin_P
Drop shippers make up a very small number of sellers and listings, but we won't treat them differently to a normal seller, why should we?

 

But you do treat drop shippers differently - they're royal game. No one is allowed to register as a drop shipper anymore, but those that were lucky enough to get in in time are protected by BoB.

 

For some reason you allow them to continue while steadfastly refusing to allow anyone new to compete with them.

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qball
But you do treat drop shippers differently - they're royal game. No one is allowed to register as a drop shipper anymore, but those that were lucky enough to get in in time are protected by BoB.

 

For some reason you allow them to continue while steadfastly refusing to allow anyone new to compete with them.

 

I disagree Colin... The current approved dropshippers are generally sellers who have been on the site for years, have established track records, offer good service and product range. We do not approve new drop shipping accounts due to the issues we have had with drop shippers with little or no ratings who have not been able to deliver and as such we took a decision to decline new applications.

 

The reason we allow them to "continue" is abundantly clear, they are good sellers, not like most sellers who want to start drop shipping with no track record, no ratings, possible supply problems and unknown suppliers. You can agree that that poses more of a risk than an established and reputable drop shipper.

 

Thank you for your opinion.

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qball

BTW - "new" equals risk....... there is a much lower risk associated with current approved drop shippers. That's called protecting consumers... :bigsmile:

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Colin_P

Whatever your reasons, the fact of the matter is that you do treat them differently.

 

The fact that those who are approved have good track records and offer good service is no reason not to allow newer sellers to compete fairly against them. Yes, new = risk. And if we never accepted that risk, we'd still be living in caves. Refusing to manage the risk around permitting those outside the chosen few from drop shipping is not protecting customers, it's laziness. You could easily put measures in place to mitigate the risk, should you choose to, but it's easier to just place a blanket ban on new applications.

 

And for the record, I do not like drop shippers, I do not plan to buy from them, and I would be quite happy if all of them vanished from BoB tomorrow - I don't like the way that their automatically generated listings flood search results and hide the genuine sellers who carry stock. But having said that, if you're going to allow some, then you are being inconsistent by refusing to allow others.

 

You might as well ban new buyers, because the sellers are exposed to risk from selling to them.

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qball
Whatever your reasons, the fact of the matter is that you do treat them differently.

 

The fact that those who are approved have good track records and offer good service is no reason not to allow newer sellers to compete fairly against them. Yes, new = risk. And if we never accepted that risk, we'd still be living in caves. Refusing to manage the risk around permitting those outside the chosen few from drop shipping is not protecting customers, it's laziness. You could easily put measures in place to mitigate the risk, should you choose to, but it's easier to just place a blanket ban on new applications.

 

And for the record, I do not like drop shippers, I do not plan to buy from them, and I would be quite happy if all of them vanished from BoB tomorrow - I don't like the way that their automatically generated listings flood search results and hide the genuine sellers who carry stock. But having said that, if you're going to allow some, then you are being inconsistent by refusing to allow others.

 

You might as well ban new buyers, because the sellers are exposed to risk from selling to them.

 

Sure, would you like to assume that risk on our behalf? Assuming risk is not just about money, it hurts consumer confidence, our reputation, the reputations of sellers on the site etc. We are being consistent - no new drop shipping applications are being accepted, due to the risk these sellers pose - it's certainly not about protecting existing drop shippers who already have proven track records, it's about removing the risk of new drop shippers who do not have trusted suppliers, proper supply chain procedures in place, lack of track record etc.and keeping consumers safe, that is our priority, nothing else. You are welcome to come to the offices to see how lazy we are... you will be very surprised at what we do on a daily basis... but then again, you are right, it's easier to ban it than try manage the risk, the risk is not financially or logistically viable and incredibly time consuming. How would you like us to control or manage this process? We are not the seller, we do not have dealings with the suppliers, we do not have access to the stock nor see the product, if it's so easy please feel free to make suggestions, but wait, I'm confused, you hate drop shippers? So why are you fighting so hard for new drop shippers? Makes no sense?

 

Many of the current approved drop shippers add just as much value to the site as sellers who have stock, but that is a debate for another time. So if I am understanding you correctly you want us to basically ban any drop shipper ( including existing reputable and reliable sellers), along with banning new buyers, there is no logic in that argument?

 

There is a ton of tools to help filter, sort and exclude listings, using the filters on the left or the product attributes being introduced into all categories making it easier to find items. We are constantly striving to improve the browsing experience, as stated with the product attributes for example.

 

BTW long time reputable drop shippers are also genuine sellers.

 

It shouldn't matter where the stock is located. Some drop shippers can supply items quicker than local sellers who use the postal services by using couriers and companies to clear the parels as they arrive.

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RISadler

I think the issue that Colin has - and myself - is that BoB has thrown a blanket ban on all new drop-shippers (this I assume, from the previous posts), irrespective of whether they are fly-by-night chancers or honest individuals with established cont®acts to source the items they wish to sell on BoB; whilst at the same time allowing those already "approved" to continue selling on BoB. This results in BoB being an exclusive outlet for those drop-shippers already approved, because BoB is effectively protecting their (the approved drop-shippers') market from intrusion by others. This is then not a free-market, but in truth protectionism. ("He who fights monsters should beware of becoming one himself.")

 

Yes, I also loath drop-shippers. I - and I suspect Colin as well - am not arguing for new drop-shippers, but rather that if BoB bans new drop-shippers, then it must also ban the existing drop-shippers ... what is good for the goose is good for the gander; equal rights, or lack thereof, for all; and such rot.

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qball

A very flawed and illogical argument RISadler. Anyone with any common sense can see the reasons for doing it... but again, you seem to miss everything that is written in response to you or other users...

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RISadler

OK, qball, the question would then be if BoB would even consider a new application as a drop-shipper from someone who can show that (a) she gets the stuff from the same companies as those already allowed to drop-ship, (b) can provide (certified) contracts with the manufacturers of said goods and © already runs her own successful e-commerce website for same said goods? Yes or no?

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