Saturday, January 17, 2009

GoDaddy launches rival marketplace to eBay and Amazon

It's official. An internet giant with global name power and a marketing super-engine that would embarrass eBay, Amazon, and probably Microsoft, is setting the stage to stick it to the two largest independent seller marketplaces online... and launching it right before the biggest ad date of the year: Super Bowl Sunday.

GoDaddy has launched their marketplace this week, and let me just say... wow. The design is fantastic, the features for a seller could put any selling platform in the industry to shame, and the shopping experience will leave eBay addicts in limbo.

How many have tried and failed to take on eBay and Amazon?
There is of course, Yahoo!, which seems to fail at everything these days, Last years multi-million dollar startup Wigix that hasn't attracted more than 2,000 daily visitors in a year, and of course, the eBay flooded Google Base which has turned into nothing more than a product search engine, with eBay as it's core advertiser and product submitter. Fairly certain that Microsoft will not launch a marketplace, forcing eBay to stop paying for desktop links on Vista computers, All hope has been lost for sellers who may use, but don't really like Amazon, but hate eBay with a passion.

The time has come. GoDaddy shops are launched. $4.99/month, 10% commission, compared to an eBay Stores commission of 12% with a minimum $16/monthly, and Amazon with 15% and $40/monthly and all sorts of hidden charges. The launch timing is perfect, right before their big annual Super Bowl ad which doubled site traffic for nearly a month.

Not that the 3 million monthly visitors hurt, but GoDaddy plans to also scatter links to products in the marketplace on not only the main site, but on their parked pages and free hosted sites where they place ads.

Features for shoppers:
It's well designed. Easy to navigate and search, of course there are few products so that may change. GoDaddy likely has the second best web infrastructure in the world, right behind Google, so there isn't much reason to worry about future issues with sloiw connection and browsing. Pay online with any major credit card, products shipped within 2 days, and rate the seller through GoDaddy Connections.

Features for sellers:

Listing aspects:
Quick one page lister. 2-Tier basic category structure, allows 3000 characters for the description, plus a 300 character short description. Up to 5 pictures, U.S. shipping only with AK/HI shipping separately charged at a different rate if you wish, keyword/tag list, and last, optional product values and attributes.

Account setup:
Payments are made by check or direct deposit. They are apparently held for 30 days until you reach a point where each sale is less than 10% of your total monthly sales, which is similar to Amazon's initial hold for new accounts. After that point has been reached, you can receive weekly payouts by direct deposit.

Security and Buyer Trust:
GoDaddy charges a $25 fee for a chargeback, plus the amount of the transaction. Buyers also give sellers a 5 star rating system in GoDaddy Connections to help you build trust in the marketplace.

The last words of warning for eBay: Watch your back. The most unlikely internet powerhouse is out to take you down. Bury the hatchet with sellers now, or become another dot-com bust.

While you are still here, give it a try: