Ebluejay Marketplace Features For Selling Online - Updated

Ebluejay Marketplace Features (Updated 3/4/16)

I officially opened my test and review store on EBlueJay on March 1, 2016, and future updates will be based on first hand interaction with the marketplace, until I conduct a video review on the new marketplace in the future for YouTube,

During Ebluejay.com beta, I often discussed it's anticipated features in the Best Places To Sell Online videos on YouTube.  A few of those features have either not made it into the new online marketplace or may be added later.  Either way, now that Ebluejay is out of beta and anyone can sell on this marketplace, let's take a look at what features are available for sellers!

An important thing to note is there are no fees for selling on the new Ebluejay marketplace, other than an initial one time setup fee, currently $5.00.
Instead, Ebluejay has advertising on its marketplace and it's minimal compared to the advertisements EBay and Amazon have.

Ebluejay was formerly Blujay which had a different marketplace system running on it. Where-as Ebluejay is its predecessor running an entirely new marketplace system designed and built from the ground up. A much more feature robust marketplace than the first generation. 

Though it is still to early for me to conduct a formal review or fully recommend the new Ebluejay for those online sellers who are less inclined to try new marketplaces out, those of you who are a little more ambitious may enjoy exploring Ebluejay.


Ebluejay has some nice features for online selling
Ebluejay Features 

1. You can import products using a CVS file.  Ultimately, this means if you already sell somewhere else that can export a CVS file, with a little tweaking you should be able to easily import your products from other marketplaces, or even create a CVS file for your products offline if you have no other places to import from.  This allows you to bulk load your products in a single import. But make sure you try it out a few times do you know what you are doing before taking your products live, because many fools have failed to read instructions in every marketplace that allow bulk import of products and ended up creating duplicated products that ultimately had to be deleted.

In comparison, Bonanza.com has automated import tools that Synch with ebay, import tools to import product inventory from Etsy and Amazon and a CVS file.  Ebay has it's own bulk listing tool, has a couple of third party listing applications and accepts the CVS files.  Storenvy on the other hand  only allows import of CVS files through a third party integration which will allow you to import up to 5 times from Etsy, BigCartel or a CVS file, after that it costs $20.00 to import up to 500 products.

Other import options on Ebay and Storenvy can be achieved through ShopSeen.com which allows you to import and manage inventory directly on Shopseen, and then submit the same product for sale on Storenvy, WooCommerce, Etsy, Ebay, Shopify, Bigcommerce, Twitter (via Stripe), Instagram and Square, but the Shopseen service does charge for such capabilities.

Hopefully, Ebluejay will consider or already plans to provide additional import features on Ebluejay in addition to CVS files.  Most store owners and marketplace sellers have at least two marketplaces or more they sell online with.  Cross product inventory management, provides an easy way to reduce the amount of work required to prepare a product for sale, especially for those sellers who have one or two of the same products for sale and a continually rotating stock.  Not as big an issue for a retail or wholesale online seller who may have access to an unlimited amount of product stock, and only rotate their product inventory once or twice a year.  

2. Accept PayPal or Stripe.  This is one of the areas mentioned during pre-beta that was supposed to have additional payment gateways available, as suggested above, that did not develop or appear in at least the initial opening of the Ebluejay marketplace. Perhaps they will show up later! PayPal will be the safest from a seller perspective, (see my article on Stripe Fraud for more information about why you may want to avoid Stripe)

Personally, I recommend using a PayPal Business Account assuming you have a seller permit or licensed business name.  A PayPal Business Account will provide more options and PayPal features to make your business life much easier, compared to a standard or premier account.


3. Shipping Calculators for the three top US. Shipping services USPS, UPS, and my favorite, FedEx.

This feature alone puts marketplaces like Storenvy and Ecrater in the dark ages with their Flat Rate only shipping!  But that is not all! Ebluejay puts control into your own hands for where you want to ship to. If you are in the USA and shipping only to the USA, this potentially can significantly cut down on your Stripe Fraud.

As a seller outside of the USA or Europe, you may be limited to using PayPal since PayPal is international, and Stripe is limited to a small selection of European and Western Countries only.
I do not see that as a real problem, since PayPal is a safer way to process your payments and has better credit card detection tools in place compared to Stripe.  I discuss credit card fraud on Stripe in a YouTube video.

Big Kudos to Ebluejay for listening to input from those of us that provided input on its old community forums before the new marketplace was announced.

Calculated shipping and being able to limit the countries in a store, are some of the top requested features sellers on Storenvy are requesting in a 2016 Features Request poll being conducted on their Facebook group.  So Ebluejay scores big in making shipping fair and affordable for its shoppers by integrating calculated shipping.

(Updated 3/4/16)

I decided to test out the shipping cart and shipping calculator, since this is one of the features that potentially sets EBlueJay apart from Storenvy, Ecrater and other marketplaces which still only offer Flat-Rate shipping options.

To my disappointment, the shipping calculator currently does not function.  I contacted EBlueJay support and apparently there are some bugs with the calculator.  Based on my first observations, the shipping calculator is based on US Priority Mail or Media Mail, however, this may simply be an impression based on it not fully being implemented.   What did occur, and I am glad I tested a transaction first, is after setting the test product to use calculated shipping, it instead processed the product as free shipping with no price.   For a new and unsuspecting store owner, that will be a major shock since the feature appears in the list of shipping options, and the typical online seller would simply assume that some kind of calculated shipping event would be handled in the shopping cart, instead of the shopping cart defaulting to, No charge in the shipping price.

Unfortunately, there is no warning that this will occur for store owners using this marketplace.


4. Items are published to Google Shopping! 

Google shopping integration is another great feature that Ebluejay offers, in comparison to other marketplaces that do not offer it.

In 2016, eBay began requiring all products sold to have attributes set-up for it's listed products. Bonanza.com updated its description pages in 2015 with a new Google Attributes section also. Ebluejay provides you with the ability to use Google Attributes also, and if you are trying to actually sell products, rather than just stare at your listings on a website, you should take advantage of including Google Attributes for any product you are selling.
What this feature does is place products into Googles search alongside eBay, Bonanza.com and several other marketplaces,  This helps increase the products selling potential, especially if your products are competitively priced. It is a great way to potentially increase exposure of your store and the Ebluejay marketplace to shoppers, which helps reduce the work you have to invest to obtain and direct new shoppers to your store.

(Updated 3/4/16)

 For the sake of Google Shopping Cart, the available attributes are very limited, yet they are enforced unless you over ride the attribute settings for used products and collectibles.  At this update, I am unable to confirm that products are being exported to Google Shopping Cart, in part because I need to wait a few days before checking Google Shopping Cart for the products I listed on my store.













5. Customizable categories, images, descriptions. (Updated 3/4/16)

Initially, I didn't write anything in this initial article about EBlueJay.com's Custom Categories.  Now that I have had a chance to explore them first hand, I can say that the process of creating custom categories is very similar to that of Storenvy.com.  This feature allows you to create your own category to list products under within your own store, in addition to selecting a mandatory category for your product that corresponds to product listings for the EBlueJay marketplace. This is a nice feature.

6. HTML can be used in your listings.

Nothing ground breaking here, since more marketplaces have the ability to incorporate at least some HTML into a product descriptions.

(Updated 3/4/16)

I tested out the html within the product descriptions, and all of the test html code I added within the description including layout, links to my website and image imports from Flickr all processed correctly.  This is great for reputable online sellers, but could also become a problem for rogue scammers who potentially could exploit this feature.

7. Integrated marketing tools.  (Updated 3/4/16)

I originally didn't detail out what these marketing tools consisted of, mainly because I was listing out the suggested features and hadn't explored within a store.  Now I can tell you that there are currently three aspects of the marketing tools.

One is the ability to copy a premade link that you can paste into e-mails or forums discussions that leads back to your store.

Another is the ability to copy some html code that can be pasted into your blog, website or other places where html code can be inserted, which will create a link with your small store banner.

Third are several social media options, allowing you to enter your Facebook Page name, Pinterest account name or twitter account name and have those social media icons appear at the bottom left hand side of your store page that link to your social media accounts.  I rested out Pinterest and Twitter and only Pinterest icon and link appeared on my store front.

8. Customer management tools  (Updated 3/4/16)

 I am still not entirely clear on what the customer management tools mentioned as a feature are referring to.

9. One time $5 sign up fee.

A one time $5.00 sign-up fee and no other fees, puts Ebluejay near the top as far as best values go for seller costs.  Ebay takes 10% commission on the final value of a sale, and another 10% commission on all shipping costs, in addition to listing fees and upgraded feature fees, monthly store charges if you want to have product available without having to continually relist the product every 30 days, etc.

Bonanza.com in comparison has the most complex and mind boggling fee and commission structure of any marketplace on the planet, with multiple commission fee levels, multiple membership packages, multiple upgrades, etc.   At its lowest commission rate of 3.5% commission on the final value, you won't make many sales, if any. (No commissions on shipping costs)

Etsy charges 20 cents per item listing for up to 4 months and 3.5% commission on the final value. (No commission on shipping costs)

Storenvy charges the same costs as eBay with a 10% commission on the final value of the sale and 10% commission on the shipping costs.  However, the benefit of Storenvy is that you receive a free fully customizable custom store that compares to Shopify and Bigcommerce, so the trade off can be worth it, if your sales are moderately low.  If your store at Storenvy is receiving a lot of sales through your own sales leads, you might eventually find it cheaper to move to the better known custom store fronts of Shopify which charges a flat monthly rate.  Shopify has become the forerunner of the custom marketplaces, similar to how Etsy is the forerunner for vintage and handmade goods.

Amazon of course, has its pros and cons also, with high commission rates - but ultimately the easiest to sell on, with its stock photos, simple listing descriptions and (FBA) Fulfilled by Amazon features where a seller simply bulk ships product at incredibly low shipping costs to Amazon, who handles storage, processing and shipping of the products.

Still, you really can't beat the one-time sign-up fee of Ebluejay and no other associated costs, especially if you have a lot of product that moves real slow.  Use Ebluejay's integrated social media tools and post your slow moving products to Facebook, Twitter, etc at prices below the other marketplaces.  You can do it, because you are not losing that money in seller fees and commissions.

10. No other fees for selling on Ebluejay!

That means no fees to list a product and no fees when your product sells.
This is perfect for online sellers who have an already established customer shopping clients who are willing to buy wherever you sell!

The rest of the features below, are based on what I see inside the Ebluejay seller account I opened tonight.  I had locked in my store name as a registered buyer before Ebluejay was open for accepting new sellers just to make sure I didn't lose my store name.  I suggested others to do the same, and as promised in many YouTube videos, I am finally opening my Ebluejay store for research and review purposes.

11. Up to 24 photos. (Updated 3/4/16)

Uploading photos is very straight forward and surprisingly fast compared to other marketplaces.  The photos are automatically resized to the proper format and size throughout the marketplace, and within your products description page are generously large, and appear in a slide like format.

Ever uploaded your photos to a marketplace only to find you reached the maximum allowed, or on eBay where you can upload 12 photos and then have to pay to upload more?   Fear not, because Ebluejay gives you a generous 24 photos slots.  Probably more that most online sellers will need, but its great to have that many slots anyway.

12. Description Tags

Sell on the Storenvy Marketplace, you will be familiar with Tags for your descriptions.  Tags are basically searchable keywords.  A complaint of many Storenvy store sellers has been the limited amount of characters available to tag a product description (55 Characters).  When a product has an essential brand name that needs tagged, that can significantly take up a lot of tag space.  Ebluejay in contrast gives its stores, double the tag character space with its (100 Characters).

While this is not a Storenvy vs Ebluejay comparison article, or Ebluejay vs Bonanza.com or Ebay, it is improtant to distinguish differences.

(Updated 3/4/16)

While creating products within my store, I found the 100 Characters available for keywords and description tags generous and the perfect balance, allowing me to provide just the right amount of product keywords, while still limiting sellers who do not fully understand the purpose of description tags from going crazy with to many.

13. Vacation Mode

I mention Storenvy a lot in this article, mainly because, unlike eCrater or other similar marketplaces, I see a lot of potential with Ebluejay, just like I had when I first reviewed Storenvy a few years ago.
During the past two years in particular, I have spent a lot of time listening to seller complaints on Storenvy's Facebook group and providing feedback to help Storenvy move towards a more prosperous pathway. So as I write this during my first internal look within my new Ebluejay marketplace account, I see so many things that this reincarnation of Ebluejay is doing right!  The same things I've been advocating on Storenvy for two years, are many of those same things I advocated on BluJay (under my old store name).



The Vacation Mode!  What a perfect and necessary feature.

On Storenvy, you have to close your store and turn off your marketplace connections which place your store into maintenance mode.  Maintenance mode delivers a 404 Error code to Google and other spiders and web crawlers, or in other words, it eventually makes you lose your page ranking in Google and other search engines.  Its is a horrible way to handle a vacation mode.   (The HTTP 404 Not Found Error means that the webpage you were trying to reach could not be found on the server. It is a Client-side Error which means that either the page has been removed or moved and the URL was not changed accordingly, or that you typed in the URL) 

Ebluejay's vacation mode places your product listings into suspension and posts a simple message on your storefront page.  A great method for allowing a store to go on vacation without killing the extremely valuable search engine page ranks.

Ebay, has a vacation mode only for its stores, but you are still charged the monthly store costs while your store is on vacation. If you have a basic ebay store on a month to month agreement, currently at $20 a month, you can simply turn off your store and delist your products to prevent future monthly charges if you are going on an extend vacation, but you also lose your google ranking.  If you are in eBay's year contract at the $17.00 a month cost, you are stuck with paying for your store while it is on vacation since terminating your store early can cost as much as 80% of your yearly store commitment.

14. Product Editing and Deletion (Updated 3/4/16)

 Sellers and stores moving to EBlueJay will appreciate the straight forward inventory management tool and layout, with the ability to see all of your inventory
Need to delete multiple products or edit multiple products at the same time? Not a problem here!  Ebluejay provides you with a simple way to select all of your product or some of your inventory to delete or modify, right on your main page.

ebluejay's inventory manager, makes managing, deleting, editing your products simple

Again, in comparison to Storenvy where each product has to be opened and deleted one at a time, this method on Ebluejay is sure to save a ton of time, energy and effort.

Ebay's method is much more complex and clunky for editing product and deleting product.  While ending product can easily be done in bulk on eBay, it is also to easy to click the wrong link or select the wrong drop down menu item in eBay's implementation and accidently bulk terminate your live product listings.  I've had that headache occur several times on Ebay, creating hours or additional work to get everything relisted.  It is nice to see Ebluejay has taken a simple and straight forward approach.

Something Is Missing!

I do want to point out something I see missing as I look at the internal selling side of Ebluejay for the first time.  Chi-town57 and Gtilapias who are fellow store owners and online sellers brought it to my attention on my YouTube channel.  There are no product variables.

What this means to you as a seller, is that if you have a product with multiple attributes, you will need to create a separate product description for each variable.  For example, you may sell a large quantity of model XYZ 21-speed mountain bike, but have multiple versions of the same bike.  You have red painted bikes, gold colored bikes, blue color bikes and white color bikes.  You also have bikes with traditional standard seat mountain bikes and prostate protective split seat mountain bikes.

Normally, in this example of the XYZ 21-speed mountain bike, you would want the ability to have one XYZ 21-speed mountain bike for sale with the ability to select the color and seat type.  This is called a variable product listing, because you can choose some of the available options.

Another example is for a seller who has multiple colors of a t-shirt with the same logo and style.  You would want to be able to do a variable product listing for this product to, where you have a single product for sale - the shirt with the logo, but the customer can select the color they desire, or even more importantly, you can choose the size - Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, etc.

Currently on Ebluejay's marketplace, you will have to create a separate product listing for each variable,  So in the XYZ 21-speed mountain bike example, you would need to create a separate product for each color of bike and seat. So there would be a total of eight different products created for this example.  A product listing for a red painted bike with a standard seat and also a product listing for a red painted bike with a prostate protective split seat.

If you have a lot of the same brand, style and kind of product that has lots of possible options, the inability to have drop down variables would force your to have to create a whole lot of products listings for the exact same product whose only difference might be size or color.  This creates a great amount of redundancy and would be very frustrating for many stores.


One possible solution until this is a real variable solutions is created is to create a specific category by brand and kind of product, and sub categories by color. Then if needed additional sub category's by less dominate features.  It is an awkward and tedious way to handle variables and make a customers journey a little more frustrating, but it will help reduce a customer having to see twenty five or more of the exact same product that only changes by size or colot.

 On the same note, Clothing Attributes are required for Clothing, Accessories, Jewelry, Watches, but still require each variation of the same brand, upc and product to be individually listed by other variables.



Ideally these variables would be able to apply to a single product listing that would have many options.

Also, variables should be available for other kinds of product in addition to just clothing, accessories, jewelry and watches, such as in the bike example.  These variables would need to be able to be custom variables since sizes, colors and features are not universal among different kinds of products; a shirt does not have a seat, and a the size of a bike is based on inches and not small, medium, large, extra-large.



Even though using categories and sub-categories provide some organization for products with variables: on the main store page the customer will see every variation of the product.  That means, the customer may end up having to scroll and navigate multiple pages of the exact same product that may use the same product photos, have the same color, same brand, same logo, etc, but only have a size difference.  This is disappointing!

Storenvy, scores higher points in this particular marketplace feature, since it has developed a method to address variables for any products, though limited to quantity, sku and a description, multiple variations can be added on the same product.

So currently, for a seller who sells new products in different colors, Ebluejay is less than ideal.

Product Pages (Added 3/4/16)

A properly setup storefront on EBlueJay has great potential for anyone looking for a cost effective semi-customizable store to sell online.  Though it does not provide the customization level that a marketplace like Storenvy provides, nor a custom store front like Shopify or Big Commerce, other than the initial $5 registration fee, there are no monthly fees, listings fees or commission fees.

Additionally, any seller who has the graphic skills, or is wiling to hire someone to create graphics for their store on EBlueJay should be very satisfied with the overall layout and presentation of the main store and product pages.  In my opinion as a marketplace reviewer, the layout is graphically superior to the basic layout being offered at Storenvy, Etsy, Bonanza, Ebay and Ecrater. The degree that your store will be pleasant in appearance to customers will depend on your ability to create appealing graphics for you Store Logo, Mini-Banner and full Banner.  That being said, there is only one default layout which also has the EBlueJay logo at the top, so if you are set on a custom store front, EBlueJay would not meet your needs in that manner.

The product description page is similar in appearance to Storenvy's default layout, compared to Ecrater, EBlueJay wins in this area both for desktop and mobile visibility,  Unlike Storenvy's description page, the layout is smoother in its length, the photos appear larger, in a familiar and easy to navigate slide-like format, and some of your own products appear neat the bottom of the page.

EBlueJay marketplace has a pleasant description page layout

The product description page provides the seller with the option to easily duplicate a product and its details allowing the the easy creation of similar product, to suspend a product by placing it on hold, or delete a product.  

Shoppers are presented with straight forward information, including the type of shipping (in the photo example above, the product is being sold with free shipping since the shipping calculator is still in development. The shopper has this information upfront.  The condition of the product for sale is provided, and there is a link back to your store.

Also on the description page is your product description, which I already mentioned can be formatted with html, images, etc.  Click the tab next to the description tab, and the shopper is presented with the store's payment options (PayPal and/or Stripe), the shipping information and the store policies.

EBlueJay has some great features for online store sellers

Near the bottom of the page, shoppers are presented with three rows of four columns of your stores other products for consideration.

Seller Support (Added 3/4/16)

At the moment, no community support group or forums is available. In some ways, this is a good thing, since the former BluJay marketplace and Storenvy's Facebook Group often seemed a breeding ground for venting frustrations.  At the same time, such groups allow store owners to share in the support of assisting other store owners.

EBlueJay's "Faq" link at the bottom of the page provides very basic support information and mainly for sellers.  A help section or expanded Faq section in the future will be useful for both shoppers and sellers.

Currently all technical support must be conducted via the Contact built-in message form.  I initially tried to obtain assistance via EBlueJay's twitter account several times with no reply.  I later attempted to obtain assistance through the Contact form, and received a relatively quick response.   I sent a follow-up replay message pertaining specifically to questions I have about my store on March 1, 2016 and am still waiting for a response as of March 4, 2016.

If I recall correctly, EBlueJay is being operated and managed by two brothers, which are developing, managing and providing customer support.

Even though EBlueJay is technically out of Beta, there are still some Beta like bugs being worked out.  EBlueJay has only been out of Beta for about 5 months, and following EBlueJay on Twitter, will provide you with notifications as bugs, updates and upgrades are performed on the marketplace.

The MarketPlace  (Added 3/4/16)

One thing I noticed while browsing for products to purchase on the actual EBlueJay marketplace, is that about 90 percent of tall the product I clicked on was either on hold, or generated an error code and a blank page.

I assume that the products on hold are products where the store is either on vacation, or the store owner bulk loaded product via the CVS upload option and is still tweaking the products.  Either way, it was surprising, since almost all the products that appeared in the top search results for several different product category types were on hold several page levels deep.  I eventually located some products that I was not looking for in other category types where the products were not on hold.

That being said, It is still way to early in my research, selling and using EBlueJay to do anything other than report and make updates on my experience.  If you as a seller or store are capable of driving your own traffic to your EBlueJay store, this should not be much of an issue as you establish a reputation for your own store.

However, if you are a seller that is dependant on sales generated only by traffic and shoppers browsing the EBlueJay marketplace where products of all sellers appear, this will at least at the present time be an issue, since there are so many products on hold.   Hopefully, at some point, EBlueJay will develop a search algorithm that will move newly listed active products to the top of the search results or at least move products place on "hold" to the bottom of search results.

What Happens To Sold Products? (Added 3/4/16)

At the time of this update, I am waiting for a reply regarding how sold product is being handled within a store and in the search results.  Mainly I want to know if a product that sells out is automatically removed from the marketplace, if the product that is placed in a shopping cart deducts from the stock quantity, what happens to product that sells out - does it automatically become unavailable in the store, does a notification appear for shoppers that the product is sold out, etc.

Eventually I will have the answers hopefully to these questions, one way or another, however, as a seller and not a reviewer, I am interested in the answer to these particular questions so I do not encounter any surprises, like I did with calculated shipping defaulting into free shipping during a test sale.

EBlueJay SEO (Added 3/4/16)

I was impressed at how quickly, Google Search in particular picked up my new store in it's search results. Around 48 hours after uploading some products to the new store, several of the products were appearing in Google's search result as being associated with my store.

This is not Google Shopping Cart, this is normal Google Search, where I entered Ebluejay and my store name into the search results.

This means that EBlueJay's SEO is well optimized.


Great set of features here overall, but as with any marketplace, there may be other features important to your product or business that may not be available yet.

Make certain to subscribe here and on YouTube for future articles and reviews about Ebluejay.com