Top Free Auction Sites: Your guide to selling online for 5 cents or less

We reveal the up-and-coming sites everyone’s talking about offering free or extremely cheap auction listings!

1.    BonanzleFree to list (teensy-tiny final value fees)

Bonanzle describes itself as “a person-to-person marketplace with the goal to make it easy to buy and sell unique items with the friendliest community around.” Taking its cue from eBay’s miscues, it has kept its fees simple. Posting items for sale will always be free, and they collect a transaction fee based on the Final Offer Value (FOV) of the sale item. Bonanzle has publicly committed to this payment scheme until 2010.

Will you actually get any sales?  Yes! Traffic has increased by 936% in the past 3 months according to Alexa.  Here are some tips from other sellers for succeeding in the Bonanzle marketplace:

•    Uploaded your items to Google Base
•    List your booth on EveryPlaceISell
•    Submit your booth URL to the search engines
•    If you are shifting over from eBay, email all your eBay clients to let them know where you are going.

2.    Atomic MallFree to list (2%-6% final value fees)

Atomic Mall’s story is the stuff of Silicon Valley dreams: the idea was scribbled on a notepad and evolved into one of the most feature-rich e-marketplaces in the industry. Atomic Mall offers many interesting tools, including data feeds, store customization, and direct importing of eBay listings. Listing items is free, even for premium members.

Will you actually get any sales? The word on the street is that Atomic Mall sellers have enjoyed a steady climb in conversions over the past 6 months. The future looks promising!

3.    Gumtree  - Free to list (no final value fee)

Gumtree started as a London classified ads community for people planning to move, or who were new to the city. It now covers 60 cities in 6 countries, and offers much more now than room listings, although it has retained its classified ads feel. The interface is incredibly easy and amazingly attractive. And although the activities aren’t as extensive as in other e-commerce sites, it Gumtree does have a loyal and active user base, and listings are absolutely free. Gumtree is also owned by eBay, which bought the company in 2005, but has allowed it to operate autonomously.

Will you actually get any sales? Absolutely! Gumtree is in the top 1,000 most-visited sites on the internet and it’s generally agreed that you will find a buyer for almost anything on Gumtree, especially if you are located in one of the world’s larger cities.

4.    BidtopiaNo up-front listing fees, but you’ll be charged $0.25 if your item fails to get any bids (2.75% final value fee)

Bidtopia is our least favorite of the new wave of auction sites. It has some finicky policies such as requiring separate buyer and seller accounts, and imposes an approval process for both. The transaction fee on listings without any bids seems a bit rich when the site is still struggling to attract much traffic. Any talk about this site is for all the wrong reasons!

Will you actually get any sales? Possibly, but it could be expensive finding out.

Do you have stories to tell about your experiences on these auction sites? We’d love to hear your tales – the good, the bad and the ugly!


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Comments (23)

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sofyblu2 on 23:08 4 Dec
Bonanzle is as perfect as it gets!
tree411 on 23:14 4 Dec
I am sooo loving Bonanzle. Found it well it was in BETA. Opened up 2 booths. Buying and selling to beat the band...take a
Cindy'sCloset on 23:16 4 Dec
Go Bonanzle..Go Bonanzle...The place to be..The place for me...Can you tell I Love the site?
miss jonie on 23:38 4 Dec
yes the BONANZLE site is growing and growing fast as we approach the 12,000 member mark BUT what this site will never loose is intimacy and family atmosphere the energy and 'mojo' among the users is amazing and never ever ending
Renagade on 3:55 5 Dec
I have tried many "off eBay" sites as well as eBay. I have found that works the best. Easy to list on, a great community of sellers and an owner and team that are working hard to make sure the site is running smooth. That equals SALES! The fees are "dirt cheap" (free to list) and I feel you get a whole lot of Bang for your buck I highly recommend that anyone who is looking for a deal...whether for a place to sell on or a place to buy at the best prices around , to check out Bonanzle. You will find it is truly the place to find "everything but the ordinary"
Mandy on 4:04 5 Dec
I just started with Bonanzle last month. It's absolutely great and the people on there are terrific. Seller or buyer any questions will be answered by the sellers or by the people who run it. There is so many items to choose from at great prices that won't break your piggy bank :)
EvesBooth on 4:45 5 Dec
Bonanzle is a great site. Easy to use, lots of help if you do have questions and a great welcome wagon from members for new users. Very low FVF's and no listing fees. Where else can you set up a whole booth (store), chat inside your booth and answer questions if anyone has any, come running if you're not in your booth but someone asks something....well, that feature is so great since a little box comes up on the top when someone makes a comment inside your chat. So you're always aware if anyone needs you. Of course you can also set up to be IM if anyone enters your booth. Bottom line, Bonanzle is very easy to use and very easy to set up your booth.
Kat Barton on 4:59 5 Dec
Bonanzle is the best website I have ever come across! The people are wonderful, the Boyz as we call them are in direct contact with buyers and sellers, (no canned responses!!!) and the camaraderie is out of this world. It is like having a second family with like minded people. Sign up, no fees for listing, very tiny tiny fvf. You won't regret it. It will be the best move you make! Kat~
pishposh59 on 9:36 5 Dec
Hey, thanks for the heads up for Bonanzle! I love this marketplace! I set up a booth there, posted a few things I don't need anymore, and before I knew it I was a part of a friendly community of buyers and sellers. Everyone I've had interactions with were so helpful, and I hope I've helped others as well. No worries here, no trust issues, no complicated fees. And not only have I had a lot of fun, but Bonanzlers have helped me clean out my closets!
Diana Shaw on 10:06 5 Dec
I recently joined Atomic Mall and have had very good success. Free Store, Free listings with up to four pictures per listing, and a small final value fee when your items sell, for up to 2000 listings. Tons of great features, including a new one just implemented last week: "Make an Offer" option. Shopping, buying, and selling is fun at Atomic Mall. I encourage anyone looking for a new selling venue to check it out.
blarney_stone on 10:51 5 Dec
I have been selling on Bonanzle since September, as I stopped by Bonanzle, I decided I had to try it and figure out what they were about, but as I maneuvered through the site, I found out how great it was, It was just natural for me to move my 900+ item inventory from eBay to Bonanzle, and stay there. I have sold a ton of items, and my fees have been a total of less than $20.00, because there are NO listing fees, and almost no final value fees. There are so many community activated threads in the forums that it is hard to not feel at home. I am one of the Moderators for a weekly meet and greet game called Tickle Me Tuesday, which brings traffic alive on the site, and to date has been the inspiration for the highest sales volume of the week on Bonanzle. I love it there!
Mark Dorsey on 11:27 5 Dec
Thanks SaleHoo for helping to get the word out about Bonanzle. As you mention Bonanzle has grown rapidly since our launch out of beta in September of 2008. What is more exciting is virtually all of our growth is organic and a result of our community getting out there and helping to make Bonanzle a household name. Our community motivates us daily with their enthusiasm for Bonanzle. Currently we are welcoming over 1000 new users every week and an average of 70,000 unique and out of the ordinary items so the growth is quite exciting (watching the sales grow is fun too). We look forward to welcoming your community and their friends too, to help share in the excitement and the success of Bonanzle! Cheers, Mark Dorsey Bonanzle
Sarah Poindexter on 14:15 5 Dec
I think that Atomic Mall is the place to be. For a newer site, this place is the best. No need to submit your site to the major search engines. It is automatically done. I normally find my items at the top of the list when I do a search. It is very easy to navigate and easy to list your items. A simple one page uploader for your listing. Also has a cloner for those who sell like items. You can import your listing from ebay and if you are into spreadsheets, justt a few simple strokes and the atomic uploader will do the rest. Check it out! Sarah
Willie on 19:34 13 Dec
Atomic Mall is the best new site on the web, bar none. This site offers cutting edge technology, automatic feeds so our items are seen, personal technical support from the owner, and a simple listing process. Membership is rapidly climbing, as are listing numbers. Sales are steady for me, and I expect them to only increase as word gets out about this great site. You will not be disappointed at
Ashley on 9:54 27 Dec
Thanks for the info on other sites. After checking them out, I have settled on ATOMICMALL. It appeals to me visually, it's hip, it's so easy! The other sites mentioned may be fine for some, but I don't care for the "Bonanza" feature - strikes me as a bit low class. JMO. So, atomic mall, here comes another seller!
Nikki on 16:38 28 Dec
the only place I sell now is on why go elsewhere when this site has all a seller needs to be successful? my vote for the best new site is
tamancam on 19:09 14 Jan
After trying several "alternative sites" I've found my new home at It is super-easy to list, customer service is a breeze, and the google exposure almost guarantees sales! Definately the best new site from where I sit
Elliptical on 11:40 13 Mar
It is nice to know that, there are so many alternatives to ebay. Especially Bonanzle, with such a low fees. I think it is a boon to ebiz owners to have such a low fees and that too only when the sale is complete.
Shank on 20:32 23 Feb
I think Bonanzle is not all its cracked up to be and i will tell you why. Although the site is nice and the policies and fees are acceptable, about 90% of the members on Bonanzle are sellers and the other 10% are buyers. This is a problem. It seems that it is pretty easy for an online auction site to attract sellers because ebay is pretty terrible, but if these sites do not have major campaigns running to attract buyers then there is no point to listing your stuff there. I have talked to a few members on Bonanzle and they like the site, but most have only sold 4-5 items over the course of a year. I set up a Bonanzle account and an iOffer account on the same day and i spent much more time perfecting my Bonanzle store. Sine then (about 2 weeks ago) i have sold 2 items through iOffer and nothing through Bonanzle. Im considering closing my Bonanzle account altogher if i dont see some activity soon.
madeline kudlata on 16:08 26 Jan
We've ideas thank you for sharing.
artsyhome on 18:47 22 Mar
I have sold as a hobby on eBay for about 8 years. I'm very frustrated with the amount of fees between both eBay and Paypal, because I am trying to get a regular business going now instead of just a hobby income. I will definitely try out some of these other sites. I enjoy getting the info in the blogs too, but much of the info is old and out of date. I wish you guys would update this site and keep it current, so the info is actually relevant. I saw you had overstock listed on one of your stories. Hasn't their auction site been closed for years?
grade on Bonanzle on 22:37 3 May
i have sold on bonanzle,for virgin human hair,big deal,good place to sell
Donna Foerster on 7:37 10 Mar
I have a valuable nice vintage pair of clogs 1977-1978 excellent condition. How do i start a serious collectors auction.
Rhea Bontol on 3:12 18 Mar
Hey, Donna! You can choose to sell your product in either of the sites suggested here.


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