Why should you start your own store from scratch when there are marketplaces out there like Konga, Jumia and SMEMarketHub that can offer you instant sales.
If you choose to sell a popular item/product on Konga for example, chances are that you will be able to generate massive revenue. And it’s also true that you can make pretty decent money on platforms like Jumia, Kaymu, DealDey, SMEMarketHub, Facebook and Nairaland as well.
Why the heck would you ever want to own your online store when you can easily sell your items/products on this platform? Why bother trying to establish your own customer base when you can leverage someone else’s and make a profit with little or no effort?
If you’re a new comer or already selling on these platforms (marketplace), the answer isn’t always obvious and Yes, I have a store on Konga and Jumia. Its very tempting to be comfortable on this platform. It is very easy to go straight for where the money is and make some short term profits.
It was not an easy decision to transition away from this platform. They have created a brand. They have millions of buyer already. But the bitter truth is, when you sell on Konga, Jumia and SMEMarketHub, you don’t own your own store. They reserve the right to manage your shop listings however they want. They can ban you anytime, they can delist your store without notice and they held your sale proceeds (funds) in escrow for days.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t sell on these platforms but in the long run, you should not put all of your eggs in the same basket in someone else’s hand.
Let me highlight my experience selling on different marketplace:
1. Kaymu – This is the first marketplace I ever used in my life. I just bought some products on Aliexpress and was looking for a platform to sell. I register on Kaymu and listed my products. I received my first order after 2 month of listing. The first sale was a wonderful experience. That was the first time I ever earn a passive income and have the believe that this might work. The first sales was from a customer who reside in Ojodu. I called the customer to confirm he actually need the product before I arrange for delivery.
The first sale went well. I deliver the product, collect my money and believe me, I was feeling on top of the world.
I went ahead to make couple of sales on the platform but I was not happy with the turnaround time of each order. I eventually abandoned the platform when I discovered a new jewel and a sale machine.
2. Konga – I was so happy to discover konga.com and quickly sign up as a merchant on the platform. This brought some relief because sales start rolling in the following week after listing my products. It was so unbelievable. I was out of stock within 3 weeks.
Sales was good on konga but I wasn’t getting my funds immediately like Kaymu. Then, Konga only payout twice a month (15 & 30). The payout system was a bad news. As a small scale seller, the konga payment system was not favourable. I have to wait for weeks or months after selling before I get paid. I was out of stock but couldn’t source for new products because my money is held in escrow at Konga.
I love the volume of sales but hate the delay payments. Therefore, I start looking for new solutions. I start looking for a platform that will give me what konga is offering in term of sales and quick pay out system.
I couldn’t find any platform that offers what konga was giving me so I challenged myself to create one instead of looking.
Note – Konga have made several changes on their platform. Now you can self-fulfil. You can now get orders on konga, deliver to customer yourself, pocket your money and later send konga commission for selling.
3. Jumia – I joined Jumia to expand our customer base and increase my store’s sales. Although my experience on Jumia was not very good because every single product I sold on Jumia were returned with no reason. All I get was delivery failed. My account manager was not helping matters too.
Maybe I am a bit unlucky with Jumia or I just don’t understand the platform because I just couldn’t understand why all orders shipped were all returned. Everything I get is “Delivery Failed” on the platform.
Why did the delivery failed? I don’t know. How can I solve the problem? I don’t know.
I try to reach out to my Jumia store manager but no good answer is forthcoming. I will keep working to see how to make the platform work for me like konga but as at this moment, Jumia isn’t working for me.
Jumia is a wonderful platform sha.
It is a good idea to start selling your products using other people’s platform. This give you the opportunity to test the market and build your brand but remember you do not truly own your own business using marketplace. Without notice, you could have your account banned by contravening just a single rule on the platform.
When you own your own business, you can not get banned. When you own your own online store, you don’t have to fight for and beg to have your store reinstated.
When you own your own online store, you get to decide when and how you sell your own goods without paying commission for sales.
Creating your own customer base sounds like the harder path to take and it often is. But it is the best way to ensure the long term viability of your business and online store.
And who says you can’t own your own online store and sell on all these other platform? Because you can…….Konga, Jumia, DealDey, Kaymu and SMEMarketHub are just marketplaces and you should diversify.
The writer of this article, Patrick Akinwale, is an e-Commerce guru