In 2018, $160 billion in sales, or 58% of Amazon’s revenue, came from third party sellers, compared to only 30% eight years earlier. This is a noticeable and important trend in the evolution of e-commerce. Through determination and resiliency, the brick and mortar mom and pop retailers that lost their stores in the 90’s and 2000’s to billion dollar multinational corporations have found a new place to flourish online.
But the current systems are not perfect: traditional online marketplaces fear small businesses as much as they need them to survive. If small businesses speak directly and autonomously to buyers, then there is no need for the marketplace as the middleman. And when companies like Amazon charge sellers 15-17% fees per item sold on their platform, open communication between buyers and sellers is a huge threat to a traditional marketplace’s bottom line.
So to keep these communications from happening, traditional marketplaces make it against the Terms of Service for sellers to speak with customers outside of their platform and will shut down accounts that violate them. For some online retailers who do the majority of their sales through singular marketplaces, this is a death sentence. Simply put, they can’t risk communicating with customers for fear of breaking these rules.
This lack of communication is a fundamental problem with the way products are bought online.
Consumers, who spend countless hours on hold calls, waiting for email responses, talking to customer service representatives outsourced to countries with limited training and limited experience with the products and services for which they are ostensibly providing support, are frustrated and tired of the terrible customer service available online.
Limerik is a fundamental shift in how an online marketplace works: we are focused on the sellers’ success and do everything in our power to enable them to offer exceptional customer service so the customer has an experience unrivaled anywhere else in the digital world.
Below is a list of the ways Limerik differs from traditional online marketplaces; one for the seller and one for the buyer. If you have any questions, please reach out to us directly through the Employee Badge below. We take pride in being the marketplace that small businesses not only prefer to sell their products on, but recommend to their friends and families to purchase from.
limerick only charges 5% per unit sales and $9.99 a month to join which is only activated after the seller has been on limerick for 3 months. That’s it. Compare this to 15-18% per unit for Amazon (which doesn’t include hidden FBA fees, return fees, inventory removal fees etc) and $39.99 a month for a premium seller account. By keeping fees low, limerick ensures the seller is rewarded for their hard work and can spend their time focused on customer service and innovative their product catalog.
This is the most important difference between limerick and all other traditional marketplaces. As mentioned in the opening paragraph of this page, You, the seller, are a direct threat to the traditional marketplace business model. You are smart and resourceful and have fought tooth and nail to get your business going against tremendous odds. And if you can have access to your customers directly, you have no need for a traditional online marketplace. This single truth is what keeps the executives at Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, etc up at night. Their multi-billion dollar companies cannot exist without you.
From day one, limerick has vowed to stay small and lean. We will never go public and have a salary cap for our executives (these are all written into our By Laws). We have avoided taking money from investors and because of that, our business can run the way we want it to be run: Our team, though small, is dedicated and wants to change how products are purchased online.
We want the seller to want to sell on our platform, not to view it as a necessary evil to get sales. We are in partnership with you and want you to work directly with your customers because you’re doing all the hard work to keep them satisfied.
Do we lose out on revenue because of this? Absolutely. But our profits are not our number one priority. Let me say that again: Our profits are not our number one priority. Our number one priority is your profits.
With that said, we want you to be able to interact directly with your customers. By doing so, you can offer the customer service that online consumers are desperately looking for. That’s why we created the 4 Points of Contact so that prospective and returning customers can reach out to you directly, in the way that best fits your company: email, chat, phone or video. If you haven’t learned about the 4 Points of Contact and how it works, please check it out here.
limerick will NEVER brand and sell products on the marketplace. As hard as it is to believe, there was a time when you could sell batteries or usb cables or dinnerware on Amazon without having to compete with Amazon. Now even 100 year old companies like Duracell and Energizer are having difficulty competing with Amazon branded products. And this isn’t limited to household staples; products like Paper Shredders, Pillow Cases and even a Bat Shelter (yes, the animal) are all Amazon branded products. This manipulation in the search algorithm has led to Amazon being embroiled in more and more antitrust suits.
When you sell on limerick, there is no threat that we’ll sell competing products. Our goal as an organization is reduce competition, not add to it by branding our own products. Furthermore, we want the best products from the best sellers to be available to consumers, regardless of the brand. We’ve even written Into our Terms of Service that limerick will never “brand and sell products on the limerick Marketplace”.
Amazon actively engages Chinese companies to compete with local, in-country sellers. This practice is beneficial for Amazon; it increases the number of listings and volume of available products on their marketplace but for the sellers, this adds unnecessary competition and puts the consumer at greater risk of buying banned, unsafe or illegal products. Because limerick’s focus is on the seller’s success and ability to offer exceptional customer service to consumers, we’ve implemented a stringent seller review process and part of that process to ensure the absolute best and most dedicated sellers join our platform, is to only allow companies to sell on limerick in the country they originated from..
If you search the term “USB Cable” on Amazon, you’ll get over 40,000 search results returned. What value does having 40,000 listings give to the consumer when 90% of all sales are made on the first page search results where only 25-40 products are visible? It gives Amazon 40,000 listings to compete for advertising space, which drives up the cost of selling on their platform for the seller to have any chance of making a sale. Because limerick is focused on the success of the seller, our platform focuses on a diverse array of products from a more limited number of dedicated sellers. By doing this, we reduce competition and with our low fee structure and no advertising policy, sellers can offer the same prices or lower than Amazon while offering exceptionally better customer service to the buyers.
To learn more about how we do this and why categories are so important to protect you from competition, check out the Why categories are so important on limerick page
According to a Washington Post Review,61% of all reviews on Amazon are fake. To keep up with the demand from competitors for reviews, sellers are forced to find alternative routes to get reviews, including review groups on Facebook, Friends and Family, etc. All of this benefits traditional online marketplaces like Amazon because verified reviews must come from purchased products, which means sellers will buy their own products to give them away for free in exchange for reviews while Amazon still takes a minimum of 15-17%. In the end, these reviews don’t meet their intended purpose, which is to help the consumer make an educated decision about a product through peer review.
limerick does not have, nor will it implement, a review system. Instead, 3-6 times a year, one of our team members will buy one of your products and assess the product on 10 key metrics. There is no star rating, which means there is no need for the seller to waste precious time fighting Amazon to remove fake reviews from competitors, or reviews that are obviously not for your product. Our team members are objective and give a full analysis of these metrics and offer a “Buy” or “Don’t Buy” rating. A “Buy” will immediately be posted on the listing while a “Don’t Buy” will notify the seller with a list of resolutions to be made and will wait 48 hours before posting. Don’t worry, the seller will have every opportunity to resolve these issues in a timely manner; the entire point of limerick is to give the seller the opportunity to make their products the best they can be for the consumers.
This might take some time to get use to but sellers receive tips from buyers. They are usually no more than $1 at a time and come in the form of Limbucks which are deposited directly into your account. These tips are a way for buyers to thank the seller for focusing on their happiness and financially rewards sellers for exceptional customer service
Because our team is dedicated to keeping competition low amongst highly dedicated sellers, patent and trademark infringement issues are extremely rare. In the odd case there is a patent or trademark dispute between sellers on limerick, there is 48 hour assessment period where the accused seller is notified. Listings are not taken down until proof is given and there is a fair opportunity for sellers to discuss infringement and determine next steps before legal measures are taken outside of limerick. Unlike traditional marketplaces that will immediately take down your listings even when falsely accused of
Unlike the majority of online marketplaces that protect their search algorithms ferociously as guarded intellectual property, the math behind limerick’s search engine is simple and we want all sellers and buyers to know exactly what we look for.
To increase the visibility of your products, you can:
•add keywords into your product title and the backend of your listing to show for those keywords
•The keywords you add on the back end are the most valuable for visibility and should be exact! For example; if you are selling blue shirts for toddlers, you’ll want to pick the blue, shirt, toddlers, and ,blue shirt for toddlers, as your keywords all between commas. By picking the long tail keyword you’ll get immediate access to searches just like you would if you were using the “Exact” advertising feature on Amazon without having to pay for it!
•make sure you have all 4 Points of Contact activated to show higher in search algorithms (4 Points of Contacts are explained below)
•Your product is more visible to local buyers to help reduce shipping cost and reduce environmental effects of shipping
•add “donates to charities” button for greater visibility
Additionally, because we keep competition low and don’t utilize advertising, your products have access to more keywords across a greater breadth so long tail keywords are important. For example, if you sell blue shirts for toddlers from our example earlier, you can add direct long tail keywords like, long sleeve blue shirts for toddlers and infants or blue shirts for toddlers with happy faces on them. So get creative!
We are always available to help when you’re creating your listings so make sure you go to the contact us page and click on an Employee Badge to speak with someone to walk you through the process.
Amazon’s annual “other” revenue section, of which seller advertising is a part, topped $11 billion in 2018. This number is growing every year and has become an important revenue stream for not only Amazon but all traditional marketplaces.. This is why traditional marketplaces continue to pursue more sellers within its marketplace, reducing the registration requirements, regardless of the country they are located in. It’s simple math; the more listings on their sites, the more competition. The more competition, the more they can charge for advertising.
Because limerick selectively picks specific sellers to join its marketplace in a fair, objective, fast (48 hours) and personalized way, we are able to keep competition low and therefore remove advertising costs that only benefit the marketplace and not the seller.
“Free Shipping” is a huge misconception in e-commerce as it’s never actually “free”, it’s the seller who’s paying for it when the consumer’s not. While our team at limerick encourages seller to offer “free shipping” (our search algorithm gives beneficial treatment to sellers who do), it’s not mandatory. But by offering free shipping, there is an added bonus for sellers and buyers when they sell and purchase locally*. When a buyer is located in the same selling zone as the seller, the price of shipping from USPS, Fedex and UPS, regardless of shipping type, is reduced.
For example, a package weighing 5lbs with dimensions 11x6x8 inches cost approximately ~$7.50 when shipped in the same zone and cost ~$14.50 when shipped from zone 1 to zone 8 (the furthest zones from one another). This means there is a $7 reduction in cost when buyers purchase from sellers locally. For many sellers, the difference in shipping cost is the difference between making a profit and selling at a loss. That’s why most sellers don’t offer free shipping on their websites; out of zone shipping costs can bankrupt an ecommerce company
For as much as our team points out the flaws of Amazon as a marketplace, they are an exceptional and revolutionary logistics and fulfillment company. Through Amazon FBA, they’ve found a way to take advantage of in-zone shipping rates nationwide by distributing your products to a multitude of warehouses across a variety of states. By doing this, Amazon is able to offer a flat FBA “fee” which is often (not always) the cheapest shipping rate available. This allows sellers to build the cost of their products around a flat shipping rate meaning they know exactly how much profit will come with each sale, regardless of where it’s purchased from.
This is all advantageous to the seller...Theoretically. But what happens if your company already has fulfillment centers? What if using Amazon FBA is an added expense because of the size or shape of your box? What if you want to do something really simple like add branded stickers and decals to the box you’re shipping from? What if flexibility to update your products quickly is more important than shipping savings?
Unfortunately, if you don’t use Amazon FBA, you’re going to sacrifice sales. Amazon shows indirect preferential treatment for Prime eligible products and products can only be Prime eligible if they are FBA. Prime products outsell their manufacture fulfilled counterparts by 30-50%.
limerick does not offer preferential treatment to different sellers for profit gains. To emulate the cost savings associated with using FBA, limerick’s search algorithm automatically puts your listings near the top when you’re in the same zone as the buyer. This means more sales at a lower shipping cost without using FBA… and even when you use FBA for limerick.
Confusing? We totally get it. limerick is a whole new way of selling on the internet. Let me explain:
If your products already sell on Amazon and you use FBA, you can use Amazon FBA to fulfill products sold on limerick. If you want to learn how, check out this page that explains How to Use Amazon FBA to Fulfill Products on limerick.
By selling through FBA, you are always taking advantage of in-zone pricing
*Locally is defined as a purchase bought in the same shipping zone as where it’s sold at. To learn more about shipping zones and aligning your fulfillment strategy on limerick to reduce cost as much as possible, Please check out the How does fulfillment work on limerick?
Because our company is privately held, we are not financially beholden to stockholder. Our investors are you, the sellers.
Where competing marketplaces end the year with seller fee increases, we give back to the sellers. Our profits are your profits and share them with you as a Dividend payout.
limerick is a marketplace for the people, built by longtime e-commerce sellers with a single goal in mind: to connect exceptional, customer service focused businesses directly with the consumers who already purchase from their stores on marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Target and others.
At limerick, sellers are rewarded financially for merit and hard work and hard work is defined as exceptional customer service, responsiveness, high quality products and innovation.
The American Dream is alive and well at limerick. This is a place where Wall Street has no say in how our company is run, profits are put back into the pockets of the hardworking businesses that sell on our marketplace, and executives are paid reasonable salaries not 2.6 million times that average employee
Because of the autonomy, support and limerick’s meticulous seller evaluation process, buyers are given an experience that rivals shopping at a local brick and mortar small business, with the variety of products we’ve all come to value in an Amazon or Walmart and the built in trust of what you’re buying from and who you’re buying from because you can have a real relationship with the seller.
Highlighted below, there are quite a few more important differences from traditional marketplaces buyers should be aware of about limerick. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team directly through the Contact Us page. There you can find Employee Badges with the same 4 Points of Contact (email, chat, phone, video) each seller has available on their product listing.
Thank you so much for coming to limerick. We are changing the world and consumer expectations when purchasing products online and YOU are part of the revolution.
Have you ever wanted to buy a shirt but wasn’t sure what the fit would be like? Or needed more information about the air compressor you want to buy for your dad for Christmas? With limerick’s proprietary 4 Points of Contact (email, chat, phone call, voice call), you can ask all these questions and get an immediate response from the seller. More often than not, these sellers are the owner of the company, as limerick embraces in-country small businesses who are solely dedicated to customer success. These are the people who spend hundreds of hours developing the products you’re searching for. There is no one that knows more about these products than the people that developed them.
Want products only made in the USA? Or to buy from a company that donates part of their proceeds to charity? Want to support a local business in your area? Or support a minority-owned, veteran-owned, or woman-owned business? Buyers can add filters to their searches to find products sold by businesses they want to support.
Did you know that Amazon charges sellers 15-17% per unit sold on their platform? These fees along with shipping fees, return fees, storage fees, advertising fees, a $39.99 a month subscription to sell on the platform fee, and a host of other fees add up quickly. And this doesn’t include the cost of Amazon Prime membership. Oh, did we mention that the cost of these fees goes up every year? In fact, Amazon’s costs account for approximately 30% of the cost of all products you purchase from them, costs you are paying for as the consumer.
At limerick, we don’t have storage, shipping, return, advertising or prime fees or any other fees. Sellers pay a flat 5% per product sold and a $10 monthly subscription. That’s it. That means they can pass those savings on to you while making enough profits to reinvest in their businesses. It means better customer service and more innovative products. It means lower costs than other marketplace with better, more trustworthy sellers.
When is the last time you spoke to a customer service representative on the phone for an Ebay order? Don’t remember? How about Amazon? They have service lines but finding them on their website is nearly impossible and they push you through several different pages to find. If you are finally able to get a call through, they’ve outsourced the majority of their customer service to India, the Philippines and Costa Rica, and the teams left in the US are only for escalations, can only be reached with call backs that have no predetermined time for response.
As mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this page, these companies have the best customer service imaginable at their disposal but won’t allow them to interact directly with you, the consumer because connecting you directly with the sellers of the products you’re buying is a tremendous risk to their profits. At limerick, we do everything in our power to ensure the customer can work directly with the seller, before and after purchase.
What’s the point of reviews if they don’t actually help you, the customer, make an educated purchase from the experiences of your peers who already bought the product? According to a 2018 Washington Post Review, 61% of all reviews on Amazon are fake, from a news outlet owned by Jeff Bezos, who also owns Amazon. To keep up with the demand from competitors for reviews, sellers are forced to find alternative routes to get reviews, including review groups on Facebook, Friends and Family, etc. All of this benefits traditional online marketplaces like Amazon because verified reviews must come from purchased products, which means sellers will buy their own products to give them away for free in exchange for reviews while Amazon still takes a minimum of 15-17%. In the end, these reviews don’t meet their intended purpose, which is to help the consumer make an educated decision about a product through peer review.
limerick does not have, nor will it implement, a review system. Instead, 3-6 times a year, one of our team members will buy one of the sellers products and assess the product on 10 key metrics. There is no star rating, only objective analysis from our 3rd party team focused on metrics that will help you decide whether you as the consumer want to purchase the product.
limerick is the only marketplace to offer a tipping system! When the sellers offer you exceptional customer service and you want to show them appreciation, you can send them a Limbuck (which is $1) to let them know you appreciate their hard work. This system of tipping financially rewards sellers for great customer service and ensures the world class group of sellers on the limerick platform focus on keeping limerick the most customer service centric marketplace on the internet.
When you purchase items that are closer to your location, the seller will offer you additional discounts! Buying local saves the seller money on shipping costs which translates to savings for you. Furthermore, less transportation means fewer carbon emissions so it’s a win for the environment as well.