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Why doesn't Subbly have a marketplace?

Jun Hyeok Yang Updated by Jun Hyeok Yang

Since we get this question relatively often from merchants who are checking out different solutions for their subbox businesses, we decided to drop couple of lines just in order to explain our vision and share it with you, while at the same time providing viable answer to this.


As you may already notice, Subbly doesn’t have its own marketplace (like Cratejoy for example).

Featuring your store on a marketplace could prove useful in terms of generating some traffic in the early days of your business. This straightforward marketing tool gives merchants exposure to a relatively large base of customers quickly (for an extra 10-15% transaction fee) and can be really beneficial in terms of growing your business in its initial stages.

So, why did Subbly choose not to go this path?...

When you stop to think about how the marketplace actually works, you can’t help but notice that:

  1. A marketplace itself determines how high your store is rated on it which directly affects your sales and;
  2. they can market your business however they want. Often they will pay to bid on your brand name using ad platforms. Therefore, when it comes to marketing your own business, you can't do much as you're competing with the very marketplace you're relying on in the first place. This doesn't make sense.
  3. They're not your customers and your brand is diluted.
  4. Finally, if a marketplace fails to perform itself or if competitors emerge and cut into market share it could also directly impact you.

Keep reading below to see what you can and should do instead.

What this means to you – Bye-bye control!

In a nutshell, you give up control of your marketing, brand name, and therefore growth, and future company value.

As it is already known - businesses are using platforms like Subbly and Cratejoy mostly during the initial stages of the business and up to the point where it becomes profitable and viable for them to develop their own custom solution for their business model. If you think of all the limitations marketplace as a marketing tool has, you can conclude that using a marketplace as your main marketing option can only get you to certain heights. Simply because marketplaces only let you build your business based on the success of their business.

We think that the marketplace is a good marketing tool and viable choice, initially, but only if you want to sacrifice the sustainability of your business and build future value and a recognizable brand for the sake of a somewhat viable starting option.

Marketplaces are attractive for people who want to try to make money on the side with as little effort as possible. But one more consideration is that you aren't forcing yourself to learn how to market your business to a) compound the growth and b) protect your business from only having one channel of marketing.

What can you do instead?

Well to begin with, it will only take you a few minutes to reach out to directories like HelloSubscription and MySubscriptionAddiction to get your business listed there. This is what a marketplace does anyway. It'll save you money and it's in your hands as well.

Other than that, you can refer to several blog posts in order to learn more about different marketing approaches and ways of building your business from scratch. Please find some useful blog posts below:

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