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9 marketplaces to sell your things online
Popular online platforms to help you reach customers worldwide.
Whether you’re a sole trader or a big business, online marketplaces can connect with customers around the globe. But with so many different platforms available, how do you decide which marketplace is best to help you sell your stuff?
Let’s take a look at 9 popular online marketplaces for US sellers.
This global giant lets you access a potential customer base in the hundreds of millions, with separate retail websites in countries around the world including the US. Products on Amazon are sold in more than 30 categories, and the company also offers its Fulfillment by Amazon service which takes care of customer service and shipping for you.
What’s the downside? The competition on Amazon is brutal, so you’ll need to find a way to make your products stand out from the crowd. Fees also apply, so factor these into your calculations when working out your price points. For more information on how to manage international payments as an Amazon Seller, check out our handy guide.
With 170 million active buyers around the globe, eBay is one of the largest and most diverse marketplaces in the world. Founded in 1995, this online marketplace is perhaps best known as an auction site, but its “Buy It Now” option allows you to sell items straight away at fixed prices. eBay boasts international sites that let you sell globally and allows you to sell everything from books and electronics to furniture, jewelry and essential oils.
Just like Amazon, eBay’s massive size means there’s always a risk of getting lost in the crowd. And while you get 50 free listings per month, additional listings attract an insertion fee and you’ll also need to pay a percentage fee on the value of each sale.
With Square, you can launch an online marketplace on your own — no technical skills required. Its free design templates and SEO tools can help you compete with other small businesses in the digital space. Building your own website can be good way to strengthen your brand because you have more control over the shopping experience than when selling through a third party.
However, to use Square as an online storefront you’ll need to sign up for its payment processing services. It charges 2.9% +$0.30 for all online transactions. There’s no monthly fee, and you can cancel at any time.
Unlike the broad appeal of Amazon and eBay, Etsy is a unique site is for creative sellers who want to list handmade, vintage and craft items. If you sell one-of-a-kind products that buyers won’t find anywhere else, Etsy could be for you. The platform is accessed by 33 million shoppers globally and allows individual sellers to compete against one another rather than battling it out with the big brands.
However, a $0.20 fee applies to each listing regardless of whether the product sells, while a fee of 8% of the item total + 25¢ (excluding shipping and taxes) applies to sales. If you’re unsure if this marketplace-like platform is a fit for you, see how Etsy and Shopify stack up.
Zazzle is an online marketplace that allows designers and artists to create or customize a huge range of ready-made products and then sell them. Products can be sold across a wide range of categories — including Weddings, Cards and Invitations, Clothing and Accessories, Home and Pets, Art and Baby and Kids — and you have the freedom to set your own margins and determine what you will earn from each sale.
However, you’ll need to wrap your head around Zazzle’s design tools to create the products you want, and the amount of product options available can sometimes be overwhelming for buyers.
Bonanza regularly attracts comparisons to eBay and Amazon, and while it can’t match the huge numbers of those two sites, it still has an impressive following. This fast-growing marketplace allows more than 50,000 sellers to target buyers in countries around the world. Bonanza has sites in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico and Spain, and it doesn’t charge any listing fees or monthly store fees.
A 3.5% base fee applies to sales, and opting into Bonanza’s Advertising Program means an additional commission, but fees are quite reasonable when compared to the competition. And the site’s built-in importer allows you to automatically import your listings from Shopify, Amazon, Etsy or eBay.
Asia’s leading online marketplace lets you sell across more than 40 different categories and access customers in a massive 190 countries. It’s quick and easy to set up an account and start reaching out to a global audience. There’s also an online learning center as well as training events to help you get more out of your account.
While there’s a free account option to help you trial the features on offer, you’ll need to pay an annual membership fee to make the most of what Alibaba has to offer.
Founded in 1998, online auction website eBid allows you to access buyers in more than 100 countries. Products are listed in more than 30 categories and there are no listing fees, while the fees charged per sale are also relatively low. With seller sites in 23 countries around the world, eBid offers its own payment service (PPPay) for payments in euros and pounds sterling, but PayPal and Skrill are also available.
On the downside, eBid simply doesn’t attract the same volume of traffic as some other online marketplaces.
This tech-centric online marketplace boasts more than 30 million customers and the option to sell your products in over 50 countries. Products are sold in 12 categories and Newegg is renowned as an excellent option for anyone looking to buy computer components. It’s also easy for sellers to create detailed and informative product pages to attract more buyers.
However, the strong focus on computers and electronics means Newegg won’t be the best choice for many sellers.
How to choose a marketplace
While the huge reach and broad appeal of sites like Amazon and eBay make them the obvious choice simple because of massive monthly traffic, the nature of your business and the customers you want to access may direct you elsewhere.
Wherever you choose to sell your stuff online, make sure you’re fully aware of the fees that apply before signing up. Joining fees, ongoing fees, listing fees and per-item sales fees can all have a significant impact on your bottom line, so make sure you calculate their impact before you start selling online.
Selling on multiple sites
If you’re looking to move your business online and sell as much as possible, you’ll want to sell through multiple channels. One of the best ways to do that is to choose an e-commerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce that lets you sell through multiple channels at once. Built-in integrations let you sell on your own storefront as well as Amazon, Instagram, eBay and other channels at the same time.
You can also use apps and tools to sell on sites that aren’t directly integrated. For example, there’s an app on the Shopify App Store that lets you integrate your Shopify store with Rakuten, Fruugo, Newegg and others. But some of those apps have monthly fees, so you’ll need to decide which platforms are worth the cost.
Compare e-commerce platforms
If you want to establish an online presence and sell as much inventory as possible, you’ll need to sell on multiple sites. You can either sign up for multiple seller accounts and sell through each site directly, or you can use an e-commerce platform that allows you to sell through multiple channels. If you’re considering using a platform and don’t know how to choose, compare e-commerce platforms to get started.
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