Alternative To EBay: Ruby Lane

Continuing in our series of alternatives to EBay, here’s Ruby Lane, an online marketplace with an emphasis on antiques.

It’s important to note, first of all, that EBay was not named after anyone’s mother. Conversely, Ruby Lane was named after the mom of co-founder Tom Johnson. The other half of the partner, Jim Wilcoxson, didn’t get a chance for a similar honor.

In any case, Ruby Lane is not a run-of-the-mill mishmash of all items under the Sun. Instead, it tightens its focus on vintage and antique items. As of February 2014, the site enjoyed 1.15M unique page visitors per month. 87% of RL’s visitors are female, and their income is centered in the $50-$80 thousand range.

If one wonders why the niche focus on antiques, it comes from the personal interest of the aforementioned founders. Tom Johnson was keenly interested in pottery form 1950’s California. He was able to put together a handsome collection online, and allowing others to do so became the mission of Ruby Lane.

A Rubylane seller sets up, as in some other sites, a shop. There’s a $100 set-up fee, which includes first 10 items. The rest of the fee structure is a bit complicated—best to check out the site’s information pages. Once the shop is set up, the seller lists items with a description, pictures, etc. Advertising and bulk sales are available.

Recently, Ruby Lane has teamed up with Auctionata for a couple of real-time, live auctions broadcast in HD. There’s no doubt that the site is dynamic and on the move.