The majority of respondents to an eBay business study, released today, have said that product suppliers prevent the sale of their products online.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents of the eBay Online Business Index said they had experienced difficulties with manufacturers and suppliers.
Thirty-five percent faced issues with manufacturers and suppliers trying to prevent them from selling their goods online.
Twenty-five percent were required to sell their products at or around a particular recommended retail price.
And 22 percent experienced unexplained issues with manufacturers or suppliers, which the retailers suspected were due to them selling online.
The top three most popular product categories included: home and garden; clothes; shoes; accessories and jewellery; sporting goods and memorabilia.
Elevan percent of respondents sold computer electronics and 8 percent sold computer products but the survey didn't reveal which industries witnessed supplier difficulties.
Kirsty Chapman-Smith, co-owner of the South Australian party supplies company Deals4Kids, said she had faced suppliers who refused to sell to e-tailers.
"Many suppliers I've spoken to don't want to lose the business of long standing retail partners, despite the fact that more and more consumers are moving online to make their purchases," she said.
“Suppliers should be working to promote a healthy and competitive retail environment, which benefits consumers and gives them increased selection at competitive prices."
eBay vice president Deborah Sharkey said restrictive practices by manufacturers and wholesalers meant local businesses were "unable to offer the full range of goods their customers want and that needs to change".
But 69 percent of respondents said they were optimistic about the business outlook for the coming year, compared to 2010.
Further, online businesses expected to increase staff from an average of 4.4 paid employees to an average of 6 over the next 12 months.
Sellers experienced 10 times greater than retail growth in the past year than in 2009, with 13 percent more sellers generating more than $1 million of sales.
Sharkey said: "Turnover for the top 2,000 Australian businesses on eBay.com.au grew by 38 percent in 2010, clearly demonstrating that consumers have a robust appetite for domestic goods and for purchasing online.
“Research demonstrates that one of the main reasons Australians buy online from overseas-based sellers is due to many popular products not being offered online locally," she said.
Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy helped launch the findings and said the National Broadband Network would increase online ecommerce opportunities.
"eCommerce has witnessed significant growth in this country, against the trend of the overall retail market.
"The Government is committed to ensuring all Australians have access to high-speed broadband through the National Broadband Network so that all Australians have the opportunity to participate as both buyers and sellers.
The 2011 report was compiled using survey responses from 357 of eBay's top sellers whose annual turnover ranged from $43,700 to more than $2.8 million.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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