So, you have this passion for handmade and boutique stuff and decide to sell on Jane.com to make some extra profit. I can totally understand your choice because the platform is a popular shopping site so it does seem like an ideal place to get more eyeballs on your products.
But what does this opportunity mean for you as a seller? This is what I found out.
Who Buys on Jane
Jane’s targeted customers are mostly female shoppers who are into women clothing, beauty, home decors, kids and miscellaneous fun items. However, unlike other sites, products are sold at discounted retail prices, which last for 72 hours, before the marketplace listing is refreshed with new deals.
Based on that, it’s likely that people who frequent Jane are bargained shoppers too, and most do this conveniently through their mobile app.
How to Get Started as a Seller
The first step of the process is to send in an application to the team, requesting to be a seller. If you are accepted, you’ll be able to create a seller’s page to list the products that you want to be featured as deals. On this page, customers can also leave reviews of their purchase from you so it would look really good to the public if you have a lot of rating stars.
Jane has a little requirement though. According to them, you need to have an active business website and a proven sales record for at least 3 months. In order to prove that you are a unique vendor, they also want to see samples from your products during the online application. All deals must have at least 100 pieces in stock and if it is handmade, a minimum of 50 pieces.
Sellers are expected to set their own shipping price, pack and deliver within 6 days after an online purchase takes place. Jane will collect payment from customers on your behalf and distribute the funds after deducting their take from the sales.
The Advantages of Marketing on Jane
1) Since Jane offers a surge of online traffic (like every 3 days), it’s a valid reason to use it for moving products out of your inventory – fast. So if you have unique stuff that has been sitting around for a long time and not seeing any buyers, chances are, Jane shoppers will want it. All there is to do is to get them featured on deals and follow through with the shipping process.
2) The other advantage I could think of is that Jane can give some exposure to your pre-existing business. You see, on the seller’s page, you can actually list your business website so whenever customers read your ‘About’ page, they can click through the actual site to learn more about you.
I’ve seen sellers link to their page on the Etsy marketplace (another platform for selling boutique products), their Facebook business page as well as their online stores. So clearly, most people who market on Jane already know a thing or two about eCommerce.
3) The third point that I am going to mention here isn’t so much about the sellers, but rather how it benefits bloggers, especially those who are into the fashion/lifestyle niche. Jane offers an affiliate program that pays 10% commission for every referred sale.
The last I check their stats on ShareASale affiliate network, they are one of the higher-performing merchants with a fairly efficient conversion among mobile shoppers.
The Disadvantages of Marketing on Jane
1) Noticed that I haven’t mentioned the cost of selling here. Well technically, there isn’t, but for every sale you make, 25% (minus shipping) goes to Jane and 30% for any items priced under $4.99. That means if you sell anything for $10, Jane takes $2.5 and if the product is $4.50, their take is $1.35.
Since they are providing free traffic and not charging for product listings, it seems fair to pay them some commissions, but let’s admit it, those are some big profit cuts from your ALREADY discounted price tags.
2) If you are a true artisan or a handmade artist, you may have a certain value perspective for your products and lowering the selling price will not justify the effort that was put into your work. The way I see it, the pricing system seems to work better for wholesalers who can order and sell in bulks. Granted, there must also be good quality products, to begin with.
3) Frankly, the seller’s page has a very limited feature. You can’t blog about your business or share additional information about products that aren’t on deals. One thing for sure, your page will not show up on Google search because it’s not optimized for the search engines in the first place.
4) Product competition is probably one of the biggest challenges that you’ll be facing. At any promotional hour, there are easily 20 to 30 vendors offering somewhat similar items under the same product category. Instead of using brand names, products are featured according to their descriptions and discounted prices as you can see in the examples below.
Given the fact that most shoppers are merely looking for bargains on Jane, it’s pretty obvious that the latter is what attracts people’s attention the most. Hence, building a loyal customer base would be a difficult thing to do on this platform and sellers need to constantly think about how far they would slash down prices while still be able to make profits.
5) While Jane prides themselves as a unique deal site, it still has its own share of negative reviews, especially when certain sellers don’t deliver as promised. Poor quality products, long shipping time and failure of refunds are a few reasons why some people complained about and avoid shopping on the site.
So, if you are a new seller who hasn’t quite build a reputation yet, you need to be very patient while earning trust from the buyers.
Is Jane.com Worth of Your Time
The way I see it, Jane is more of a diversion for small retail businesses to get additional online traffic, especially from mobile users. It’s not a place where you can expect to make a lot of money or even to start an eCommerce business, but there’s definitely no harm in trying and testing your market.
Even so, you shouldn’t ignore establishing a professional business website where you can run promotions whenever you like without having to rely on third-party platforms. What’s more important is that you get to keep most of the profits while building a brand that is trusted by the customers and the search engines.
Well, I hope this marketplace review has been insightful for what you want to pursue as a seller. If you are looking for more help to start or grow your boutique business online, please check out the tools and training that are available at Wealthy Affiliate. I’ll be inside to walk you through the process so let’s hope to hear from you soon.
Question – What are your thoughts or experience about selling products on online marketplaces? Please let us know in the comment section below.