We reveal the up-and-coming sites everyone’s talking about offering free or extremely cheap auction listings!
1. Bonanzle – Free 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 Mall – Free 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. Bidtopia – No 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!