If you are looking for an online marketplace in Malaysia where you can sell your products, you have several choices. There are a few large and popular companies that have been operating for some time now. It’s a good idea to compare features and benefits of these websites before making a choice.
In today’s article, we will be looking at a few of the most popular e-commerce websites in Malaysia. Please note that, we will mostly discuss from a seller’s or business’ point of view.
Why use an Online Marketplace?
Before you even look at online marketplaces, it makes sense to figure out if you should use one at all. There is, after all, another option if you want to sell products online – starting your own e-commerce site by using a shopping cart application such as CS-Cart.
There are both pros and cons to either decision, and which direction you take is ultimately up to you. When you know the facts, however, you can make a more informed choice.
Benefits and Drawbacks of an Online Marketplace
There are undoubtedly some benefits to using an online marketplace rather than starting your own e-commerce site. These include:
- Faster and easier to set up and less technical knowledge needed
- Usually cheaper to get started
- You can associate yourself with an established brand
- Leverage on existing traffic coming to the site
The above are the main advantages of using an established online marketplace. What about the drawbacks?
- Cannot fully customize your site
- Usually more expensive to maintain and run the business on a long term
- Features and functions are limited by those offered by the marketplace
- Sharing traffic and competing with other vendors of the site
These are some of the considerations (the pros and cons) of which you should be aware before choosing to start your online business with any online marketplace. If you’re new to e-commerce or not very tech savvy, it can be a simple way to get started.
Now, let’s look at some of the best choices for online marketplaces in Malaysia.
This site is run by a company called Interbase Resources, which has been around since 1998, making them one of the few longest established e-commerce companies in Malaysia. Lelong.com.my was the first auction site in Malaysia and has more members than any of its competitors (including ebay.com.my).
Lelong.com.my has a very recognizable brand name and thus gets a lot of traffic, which makes it very attractive to sellers. If you have a store on this site, you have a good chance of getting lots of potential buyers there. On the other hand, there are also some problems with this site.
Being as large as it is, it can be difficult for buyers to find what they’re looking for. So your item can get hidden from view if people don’t know where to look. There is also a problem with many low quality and imitation products being sold on this site. Even if your product is high quality, such practices reflect poorly on the whole website.
Finally, you have to deal with hefty transaction fees that are charged to sellers. A basic listing is free, but if you want a featured listing you will have to pay an extra fee. Whether sellers’ and featured listing fees are worth it to you depends on how profitable your product is.
Mudah.my is an online marketplace that’s a little different from Lelong.com.my. Although it boasts that it is Malaysia’s largest marketplace, it’s actually more like a Craigslist or other classifieds site than a marketplace. There are, however, lots of different items for sale here and you can sell almost anything.
Like similar classified sites, you can place a free ad here based on your location. One disadvantage with this format is that there are a large number of people selling many things, but no ratings systems or track records posted.
This results in many people getting scammed! It also means you can’t very well build your reputation as a seller as you can on other e-commerce sites. All in all, this site is better for conducting occasional and random transactions (if you are looking to buy or sell a particular item) than for building a long term business.
Easy.my Mall is an online marketplace that allows you to create your own shop and brand yourself in a way similar to eBay or Etsy. This company is owned and run by Exabytes, a leading web hosting company and domain registrar based in Malaysia. You can read more about Exabytes in one of our previous article.
While Easy.my Mall has an appealing interface and seems to have potential as a profitable marketplace, it’s still fairly new and doesn’t yet get a huge amount of traffic. This makes it something of a risk for sellers seeking to create new stores.
With a site that isn’t that large, sellers must attract their own traffic. If you’re doing SEO for your online store, there’s another problem with Easy.my Mall – it uses Flash, which is not SEO friendly! While this might change in the future, for the time being it’s not the ideal e-commerce website to start your online business if you’re looking to rely on SEO traffic!
If you’re interested in using an online marketplace, you may want to look over the sites we’ve discussed here. Overall, the best one for setting up a profitable store is probably Lelong.com.my. Despite having a few flaws, it’s the most established and has the most professional setup for creating a long term business.
Question: Should you use an Online Marketplace?
Good question. You must first decide if you want to use an online marketplace at all. As we’ve seen, there are both pros and cons to this choice. In the long run, you have the most potential with your own e-commerce site. When you have your own domain and website, you are completely in control over every aspect of your online business!
Even if you decide to try one of these online marketplaces (or another one), you should maintain the goal of eventually setting up your own site!