DevelopmentMarketplacePhore Blockchain

How Amazon and eBay are Ripping off Small Retailers by Kingsley Alo

By November 16, 2019 No Comments

Buying and selling has always been an integral part of the human activity, this has been in existence and can be traced as far back as the beginning of civilization with the barter system, over time the world economy began to experience digitisation in every sector and with the advent of e-commerce, a lot of challenges that buyers and sellers have been experiencing in the world of commerce had come to an end. Although, in our fast-paced world today, we see that some other unchecked issues have arisen.

One of these issues include the difficulties in the survival of the lower strata of the e-commerce pyramid (the small retailers), the world of e-commerce has been experiencing a lot of evolution in recent times even as we see tremendous growth rate, this is no surprise because according to a reportwe see that where transaction value is concerned, mobile commerce grew from $50.92 billion in 2014 to $693.35 billion in 2019. And just as the internet has exposed this sector to a whole new world of possibilities, the introduction of blockchain into this sector is already making its mark in this sector like every other.

The problem we see today

Although the contributions of platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and the likes to the world of e-commerce have been tremendous so far, there is still a need to take care of a lot of grey areas. Apart from the fact that these platforms haven’t gained much reach to the second most populous continent in the world, the cost of a very small retailer keeping up with the fees might be a nightmare for some.

The fees charged to use platforms like Amazon and eBay might not have so much effect on the seller with huge profit margin, however, for the smaller retailers at the lower part of the e-commerce chain, this could give a devastating blow to profits made ( if there’s any profit at all). Owning a Shopify store and having to deal with the additional challenge of maintaining your website for a very small retailers might not also be ideal in some cases. Now let’s take a critical look at some of these e-commerce giants we see today.


Well, Amazon has been around for quite some time; there is probably no need for introducing them as they have become a household name over time. For people looking to start an e-commerce business as a small scale retailer, this might not be the best way to go as the competition on platforms like this are not the only issues to be tackled. The struggle to secure the best possible profit margin is something every seller is concerned about, but with fees as high as 15% of any revenue generated from sales, it means that making a profit of 20%-30% already puts the seller at the risk of losing or breaking even at best after the variable closing fee must have been deducted. In cases where the revenue generated is as little as $2, this means the seller runs at a loss. Although this might seem very little, but this might be a lot for someone who intends to start small and given that persons from countries in continents such as Africa intend to come onboard as small retailers, this becomes a mission impossible.


This platform operates quite differently by giving sellers a platform to build their online stores containing listed items available for sale. A monthly fee gives access to an admin panel where sellers can enter stored data, add products, and process orders. Shopify is, however, a non-economical platform for small retailers looking to make a one-time sale of anything less than $100. Going by a report on the Shopify website the poor distribution of the target market for Shopify reflects that inclusion in the impact of this platform is also something that has been lacking, as a small fraction of the total GDP in continents like Africa is being tapped into.


eBay, on the other hand, is also another giant in the e-commerce sector and has been around for a while, on this platform used goods could be sold using a limited number of listing every month, in cases where the listed item doesn’t get sold off another listing fee is required and when this item eventually gets sold a “final value fee” is charged, this is usually a percentage of the item, thus the possibilities of incurring losses is already high for small sellers.

How Phore Blockchain comes to the rescue

The poor distribution of the target market as indicated in the report from Shopify also applies to other e-commerce platforms suffer this same complications with international sale as it would take an entire workforce for these platforms to adequately bridge the gap of cultural diversity, accepting multiple currencies, language barriers, customer support, tax laws, and government regulations across the world. The decentralised market place introduced by Phore can go a long way in tackling the challenges faced in the world of e-commerce today with its blockchain-based solution that aims at reducing the monopoly being enforced on sellers as a result of the centralised structure.

No platform/listing fee: For small and medium scale retailers looking to maximize profits, there is finally a way out as they can use the decentralised market place feature without the fear of having anyone contending with the profits, there are no hidden charges on the platform and after selling off there is no “final value fee” included, therefore, Merchants that intend to sell products for as low as a dollar now have no fear.

Borderless payment system: On the marketplace payments for products are being made in cryptocurrencies, sales made on the Phore marketplace will be settled with the Phore digital currency, $PHR, (and other digital currencies as support is added), a merchant would also keep $PHR as a remittance. This would automatically take care of issues such as the gap of cultural diversity, accepting multiple currencies, language barriers, customer support, tax laws, and government regulations that arise as a result of geographical location. The system would allow peer-to-peer exchange functionality, which will allow both merchants and consumers alike to swap tokens as they please. For added flexibility, peer-to-peer exchange functionality which will allow both merchants and consumers alike to trade tokens as they wish.

Increase in e-commerce inclusion: The introduction of a borderless payment automatically paves the way for underserved communities in more remote parts of the world to be part of the e-commerce train with minimal resources as the marketplace application is accessible by anyone with a computer and an internet connection.

Privacy: The team behind Phore is always concerned about the privacy of its users as emphasis made in this regard on anything that concerns Phore blockchain. Data is not collected, stored, or sold. In the meantime, the team is actively developing the tools necessary to increase these fundamental privacy rights and protections for people around the world.