A New Marketplace
As of April 5th, Flubit has become a fully working marketplace for UK and Irish retailers. This means that it is now up against others like Amazon, ebay, Etsy as a place where retailers can sell their products. Flubit launched the change at IRX: the Internet Retailing EXPO at the Birmingham NEC and was proud to point out that they had a sale with the new system within 25 seconds of the launch. They claim to be the largest UK based marketplace with over 1,500 retailers but does being UK based really bring in sales when you have their main competitor Amazon already deeply embedded into the UK market?
How has Flubit Evolved?
In the past Flubit was a saving and comparing tool for items found on Amazon. You copied a link for the Amazon item you want to check and Flubit listed the same item and the price options it could find. A great way to maybe cut a few pounds off your shopping, but sometimes at a cost. You would lose Amazon’s security and returns policies and usually the delivery would be a few days more, but if you are happy to wait and get the item for cheaper it was a nice alternative to Amazon.
Price Comparison: Flubit vs Amazon
So now Flubit is a full marketplace, what advantages does it have over other established markets? Well, looking at its old model of a potentially cheaper item I thought I would check some prices between Flubit and Amazon to see if they still are able to return a cheaper price and get customers to jump ship.I decided to take the four items on Flubit’s main page listed as “Some of Flubit’s best-sellers” shown in the picture.
Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System (Electronic Games)
Flubit: £206.18 inc. P&P
Amazon: £127.00 + £2.03 P&P (with 8 other retail sellers below Flubit’s price)
Philips HD9220/20 Healthier Oil Free Airfryer – Black
Flubit: £96.29 inc P&P
Amazon: £99.99 free delivery
Amazon Prime: £94.99 free next day delivery
Medela Swing Electric breast pump with Calma
Flubit: £109.99 inc P&P (saving 25%)
Amazon: £89.99 free delivery (saving 33%)
LEGO 70594 Ninjago The Lighthouse Siege Building Set
Flubit: £47.86 inc P&P (saving 20%)
Amazon: £39.99 free delivery (saving 33%)
[Prices are correct as of 18/04/17 13:00]
Listing the products above it showed that only one of Flubit’s best seller items is cheaper than Amazon, not a really good thing if your main search window says insert “Product or Amazon URL” – If you are being actively driven to the Amazon website for a URL to copy and find the item cheaper on the page you visited, who would still buy an item from Flubit that is more expensive? Now we come to the Amazon Prime issue. The Airfryer was cheaper on Flubit by £3.70 but if you are a Prime member on Amazon, it is once again cheaper for you to buy from Amazon and in addition you get free next day delivery. It seems that everything that made Flubit worthwhile to the customer has been removed when they switched to a marketplace. So, is there a way back from this? Possibly.
Repricing systems the answer?
The emergence of electronic repricers for retailers using markets like Amazon, ebay and flubit has meant that retailers can keep their own products competitive no matter what their competition does 24 hours a day. Most repricers span multiple markets which means you can keep prices on Flubit lower than Amazon if the right conditions are met, yet it seems that this is not the case right now. There are repricers like Ereprice (shown above) that are free and deal with both amazon and the SKUCloud the selling system used by retailers on Flubit. Others repricers include SellerDynamics and Selro but these are chargable.
If Flubbit is going to work then they need to keep their prices low to encourage customers to migrate from Amazon and show that a UK based marketplace can be attractive. Another marketplaces to sell products is always a welcome thing, but has Flubit got anything unique to bring in customers? I’m not convinced.