Why you should sell on Ebluejay Marketplace

eBlueJay Marketplace is great for independent stores and sellers impacted by California's anti-small business policies, laws and practices that began in 2020 under Governor Gavin Newsom, which put 2.1 Million small business owners, out of business.


 
eBlueJay is one of the only independent marketplaces online with a good overall reputation. 

It's been operating successfully online for 14 years at the time of this updated article in 2021.

Like Bonanza.com, sales are lower than on popular marketplaces like ebay and Mercari. But it has advantages at least for sellers, over those other marketplaces, including no listing fees, no sales fees and monthly store fees.

Additionally, unlike the other marketplaces, you as the store and seller, truly are independent. 

On the alternatives Bonanza and Ecrater, your independence is restricted. Bonanza is closer to ebay without providing ebay level sales. 

Bonanza has fees, paid memberships, restrictive policies, poor seller support unless you have a paid membership, fees for access to Google Shopping, limitations on shipping, etc.

Ecrater is less involved than Bonanza, calls itself free but charges if a sale is contributed to their marketplace, restricted policy abilities, etc.

Ebluejay in comparison allows sellers to implement their own store policies, including shipping, and is genuinely free to use after the one time setup fee that anyone should be able to afford. Including Google Shopping attributes integration.

More important for recovering sellers located in California or other anti-competition states, is the actual ability to decide as the seller, which states you want to sell in, via your policies.

None of the other marketplaces are independent in this regards, even on Shopify, Storenvy, etc.
READ THIS 2021 EBLUEJAY ARTICLE: Why I Opened A Store On Ebluejay

Generally, selling within your own state is not only assumed, but required. Yet, all or most marketplaces either allow or block sales to Alaska, Hawaii, US Territories. Some allow blocking PO Boxes and Military Box addresses too. But otherwise,  all of the alternatives force you to accept sakes from the state you reside in.

There are good reasons you might not want to sell in your state. Moral conscience, abusive goverment policies within your state, product restrictions, etc.   If you sell products like a motor scooter that doesn't meet California CARB laws, for example, you can't sell them anywhere in Calif but you can to anyone outside of California.


Maybe you're in one of the 17 states that California has placed a state legislative ban against. It's a real thing. California has a law banning any state related agency or entity from traveling to, or shopping online or purchasing from. That includes purchases by schools, public entities, even universities.

Some of that states banned by California include Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, etc. All of them on the ban list are considered, "Red States", where the majority of stores and sellers are owned and operated by conservatives, people predominantly practicing Christianity, Republican voters, etc.


So if you sell from or have a store in one of those 17 states that California discriminates against, you might feel a "moral obligation to a higher authority", as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Once said, to not sell to California from Texas. You may be in California where these state bans were never voted upon or approved of by voters, and therefore feel a moral obligation to not sell locally or within the state. 


You may feel compelled after being forced out of business for a year, to only sell out of state.

You might be in a state like California that bans other states at the legislative level and you agree with that decision and in kind want to do similar. 

Whatever your reasons might be to not sell to a specific state or states, Ebluejay is the marketplace with enough flexibility to do that, since you as the seller and store make, the policies.

Your ebluejay obligation is to follow their rules set in the terms of service, fulfill you sales obligations, provide and manage your returns, etc. But you otherwise have freedom to sell and ship to where you want, and that is a major advantage over marketplaces that force you to sell everywhere.


So let's discuss the best practices to sell safely on Ebluejay.

1. In 2017 there was a buyer scam happening on Ebluejay. The marketplace has since adjusted its policies to help prevent and limit spam and scam buyers.

Here are the details of what happened in 2017, so you'll know what happened and how to spot it, if anything similar ever happens again.


In the message, the buyer claims to have paid for a transaction on an eBlueJay product, claims to have called "Client Support" and provides a link to an eBlueJay page where they have uploaded a PDF file of their eBlueJay and PayPal transactions.




Almost looks convincing, unless you know what to look for.  

Here are important facts about Ebluejay that will help you as a seller on this marketplace.    

1. eBlueJay does not offer "Client Support by phone", or any other kind of phone support.

2. Every eBlueJay transaction both those that fail and those that succeed, those that are paid for and unpaid for will show up in either your Paid Invoices or UnPaid Invoices tab.

3. Every eBlueJay transaction both completed and incomplete include your products item id number, eBlueJay's internal transaction number, the person's name, address, e-mail, the kind of payment transaction that was attempted and if it succeeded or failed and other information. (Check your own invoices and you'll see all the details mentioned and not mentioned)

4. The clever scammers created a bogus domain name (web address) that looks like it could be a eBlueJay marketplace address, but as someone who has spent 30 years designing websites, only after I took a second look did I spot the clever (dash) in between (ebluejay) and (Support).  This makes it a different domain (i.e. web address.)  eBlueJay's domain name is only https://www.ebluejay.com  The scammer uses (http: // www. ebluejay - support . com) Notice the two important differences here.

Real eBlueJay v.s. Fake eBlueJay


(A) The real eBlueJay website uses HTTPS  which is a secure encryption web address.  The fake address uses HTTP which is the old common Insecure Non-encrypted web address.  

(B) The real eBlueJay website uses EBLUEJAY.COM  The faked address uses EBLUEJAY - SUPPORT

(C) The fake address ends with PHP - PHP is a scripting language used on a website.  Legitimate and secure marketplaces like eBlueJay do not leave their marketplaces coding ending in PHP visible.  What it means when you see PHP at the end of a address is that someone who is not very talented in web design or web security set-up their own script on a web host (The place where we keep websites) and used a free script or wrote a their own script to run on it.  

A PHP script can do all kinds of things behind the scene that you are unaware of, including Phishing Attempts, Implant Ransomware, Redirect you to a real looking fake PayPal Website or fake reproduction of a marketplace.  Don't fall for it.  Pay Attention.

How to avoid a buyer scam on eBlueJay

In my experience, because of the way eBlueJay built their new marketplace, its the easiest marketplace from a seller perspective, for an observant seller to spot a scam, because of the way sellers receive notifications of all attempted transactions, buyer details and contact information. 
But even with all the tools they provide, don't fall into the trap or scam.

1. Always verify every invoice or claimed to have been made invoice in your eBlueJay account to verify the details that a transaction has occurred. 

2. Because sellers only have a one-time set-up fee on eBlueJay and no other fees - there is no reason and no advantage for a seller to conduct any transactions off the website.  So anytime a buyer wants to complete or finish a transaction on eBlueJay in person or directly on PayPal then its probably a scammer.  Also, never send or receive money through Western Union for an online transaction payment.  There is no benefit to a seller to make a special accommodation for an off eBlueJay payment or transaction because sellers on eBlueJay do not pay any commissions fees.   Also, eBlueJay offers both PayPal and Stripe as payment options, so if you have your eBlueJay account enabled to receive both payments kinds, you can also accept ApplePay, Alipay and WeChat payments using Stripe if you turn them on.  That's plenty of payment options for anyone.

3. If you receive message from a buyer and you have any suspicion that it may be a scam, Immediately contact eBlueJay Support from the Contact link at the bottom of the page and let them know.  Also, because you run your own storefront on eBlueJay, similar to on Storenvy or Shopify, you can refuse to accept a payment, refuse to sell of a shopper an cancel any transaction if your gut instincts tell you it might be a scam buyer.

4. You don't want to accidently push away any legitimate customers who may be having an actual technical issue on eBlueJay (I haven't encountered any yet personally) but treat it as a legitimate inquiry in your response by asking them to provide you with details in a message.
 
Here is an example response to questionable buyer messages;

Please provide the time, date of transaction, the item number, the PayPal transaction number (or Stripe), the invoice number, your e-mail address, your phone number and I'll be happy to assist you. All this will show in your eBlueJay account and PayPal Account. Then I can look for the invoice. I'll respond within 48 hours - you will need to confirm your e-mail and phone before I can release any details about the transaction.  Thank your for your assistance and shopping our store on eBlueJay.com

5. Never follow, Never click, Never go to any website, Never open any files messaged or e-mailed to you from an unverified buyer (aka a buyer who has not made a previous purchase from your store.) or buyer whose invoice details like name and address do not match the name and address on the payment details..

6. Use a separate GMAIL or AOL or a similar e-mail account for all of your correspondence with buyers both legitimate or scam. This way, any phishing attempts, scams, etc. will be separate from your personal e-mail account.

7. Never open any attachments received in an e-mail unless you have a virus software installed that can scan the e-mail for virus or phishing.  I prefer BitDefenders free version and MalwareBytes Ransomwear free tools for my windows computers.  However, I personally use a security locked down Macintosh computer that is only online when processing business transactions with redundant backup hard-drives. But I do often use my windows computer when checking e-mail and initially browsing my stores.

8. Until you receive the money, shipped the product, and the transaction is complete, always assume someone may be trying to scam you.

9. Verify all payment transactions in your PayPal or Stripe accounts.  If a buyer (as the one mentioned) indicates a transaction shows in their PayPal (or Stripe) account - then of course it has to also show in your seller payment accounts also.  Never open or view a web address or e-mail attachment claiming to contain transaction details. Instead, check those transactions in your own PayPal or Stripe accounts.

Its just a matter of paying attention, and learning a little about how the marketplace you sell on actually works, the tools it offers and being proactive in questioning all potential sales until that money is in your bank account that keeps you safer as a seller.

READ THIS 2021 EBLUEJAY ARTICLE: Why I Opened A Store On Ebluejay