Basics:

Ruby Lane is a sales site specializing in antique and vintage fashion, jewelry, furniture, lighting, dolls and porcelain

Expected pay: You set it

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & fees: $25 monthly, plus 9.9%, capped at $250

Where: Nationwide (remote)

Requirements: PayPal business account; at least 10 qualifying items to sell; other requirements vary based on what you want to sell

What is Ruby Lane?

Ruby Lane, like Etsy, is a place to sell antiques, vintage goods and home made items. It operates a bit differently than Etsy, however, in that sellers need to pay a monthly fee to list on the site. But there are no individual listing charges and even the monthly fee can be rebated if you’re an active seller. You will, however, pay a commission on sales.

How it works

To register as a seller on the site, you need to go through Ruby Lane’s extensive list of terms. These terms spell out what can and can’t be sold on the site. These terms are highly specific, calling out do’s and don’ts in each specific category — collectibles, art, lighting, furniture, jewelry, dolls, glass, porcelain, toys, etc.

They also say that consumer complaints can get you booted from this marketplace. And, so can any violation of the terms that Ruby Lane perceives. There does not appear to be an appeals process.

To have a store here, you’ll need at least 10 items for sale. And you’ll need a PayPal business account.

Commissions and fees

Ruby Lane has altered its commission and structure multiple times in the five years we’ve reviewed the site.

Currently, there’s a $25 monthly fee. However, the $25 monthly is refunded if you add at least 15 products to your store during the month.

Shop owners also pay a 9.9% commission when items sell. However, this commission is capped at $250 per item. What about multiple item sales? That’s a little more complex.

According to the site’s terms: “The Service Fee cap is applicable to each item on a Purchase Order, irrespective of the quantities purchased, provided that relates to a single listing where an item has multiple quantities. For example, if a Purchase Order includes a decorative plate, listed as a single item, with 10 available, and those were all purchased together for a total of $5000, the total Service Fee for those 10 plates collectively would be capped at $250. If the plates had been listed as individual items and purchased together on a single Purchase Order, the total service fee would be $49.50 each, totaling $495 for all the items on the Purchase Order.”

Nonetheless, the fee cap and refundable monthly fee could make this a cheaper place to sell expensive goods than Etsy and eBay.

Demand

On the other hand, Etsy and eBay have millions more buyers than Ruby Lane. According to SimilarWeb, Ruby Lane gets about 1 million site visitors each month. Etsy gets about 500 million site visitors each month.

Shop owner complaints

More importantly, where Etsy has a relative handful of complaints about getting booted from selling there, shop owner complaints appear to be more frequent and serious here. Shop owners say their products are blocked and they get booted without good explanation. And they maintain that Ruby Lane’s oft-maligned customer service may be getting even worse.

Recommendations:

Etsy sells much the same types of merchandise as Ruby Lane and has many times the site traffic. EBay charges higher commissions but may be a good choice for items that don’t fit the Etsy marketplace.

What their users say:

eCommerceBytes does an annual survey of online sales sites and ranks Ruby Lane fourth out of 10. Notably, the comments included in this Ruby Lane review indicate that sellers were better satisfied in previous years, when Ruby Lane appeared to be doing more advertising.

(From SiteJabber):

Don’t buy or sell with this company, their fees are hidden and they are engaging in practices that are possibly illegal including closing down shops but keeping the balances paid. Their Customer Service is a joke and they treat their sellers and employees really badly. Their best shops have left or are leaving, and they will probably be out of business within the next 18 months.

Don’t buy or sell with this company, their fees are hidden and they are engaging in practices that are possibly illegal including closing down shops but keeping the balances paid. Their Customer Service is a joke and they treat their sellers and employees really badly. Their best shops have left or are leaving, and they will probably be out of business within the next 18 months.

Sketchy practices

This company is engaging in really sketchy practices. They’re requiring sellers to collect sales tax, even if the seller is overseas, and so nut subject to sales tax. If an item is returned the seller is forced to refund the sales tax from their own account, but the tax paid to RL goes into their pocket. Huh? And DON’T trust Trust Pilot reviews! Sellers who have left or been kicked off for complaining about illegal practices have their TP reviews deleted.

Their Customer Service is a joke and they treat their sellers and employees really badly.

*Updated 2/8/2023

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