So you're in a funk with eBay, or maybe you're just looking out into the big wide world of platforms to sell online, to see what opportunities lay yonder. Either way, you've ended up here, and you wonder about the top alternatives to eBay and which ones will suit you most.
No one can deny the power of eBay: Since 1995, eBay has held its place as one of the largest marketplaces in the world. It has turned thousands of hobbyists into PowerSellers and allowed thousands more to run profitable, at-home businesses. However, the eBay marketplace has evolved significantly in recent years, and various policy changes have prompted an exodus from eBay, as sellers look for other, more lucrative online marketplaces.
Where there's a will there's a way, and this rise in need for other platforms has produced more options than you can shake the proverbial stick at. So what are these eBay competitors?
Below you'll find a description of each site, some information about who that marketplace is best suited to and a direct comparison to eBay.
It's almost hard to believe that once upon a time Amazon was simply an online bookstore that dropshipped much of its inventory. The world's largest online book store, sure, but it only sold books. It has since exploded into one of the world's most visited websites, which offers millions of products across a range of product categories.
Amazon is similar to eBay in that you're opting into a very large marketplace that a lot of buyers trust, but the massive customer base comes at the price of higher fees and more competition.
In saying that, the large number of people looking to buy is a definite plus. With larger platforms like these, you need to think of it as getting a smaller slice of a larger pie. The slice may be a smaller in proportion to the whole pie, but the size of the pie means that you're still getting a decent amount. This huge traffic volume is probably the main reason that Amazon's Sellers Choice profitability rating was similar to eBay's.
Amazon also uses a built-in algorithm that will recommend your products to people who might be interested in them based on their search histories. The vast majority of purchases are made through the Amazon buy box.
Want to know exactly what you'll get with Amazon that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:
Almost anyone, selling almost anything, will be able to run a business on Amazon. The sheer diversity of prospects is a powerful enticement. You just have to make sure that your prices are competitive enough to be a contender without sacrificing too much of your profit margins. If you're a small seller, this can be a bit more of a challenge, as there will be others selling in large quantities making pricing very competitive. That's where you need to make sure you're selling the right products.
One of the best ways to get ahead in a competitive space like this is to do a little market research into what you want to sell before you commit time, energy, and capital to actually selling it.
You can get an idea of how well a product will perform with the SaleHoo Labs. You can simply select a category (or select "all" categories), filter your products to see the ones with the highest success rate for the lowest competition, and you'll see some top options for you.
This way, you'll be able to sniff out some great product options for you to sell. You'll also get a smattering of additional information, like the average sale price or how many listings there are for that product. It's well worth checking out, especially if you plan to sell on Amazon.
If you'd like to see the most recent market research that we're done for you, you can always see our Market of the Week posts here. Some example ones you could look at are:
These are just a few options that we've already looked into. Whatever you'd like to sell on Amazon, you can research it easily for yourself in the lab.
Etsy is doing very well as an online selling platform. It started in 2005 as an online community for crafters, artists and vintage enthusiasts, based in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Now it has 1.6 million active sellers, and 26.1 million active buyers. Not bad! It came out on top as the Sellers' Choice for ease of use, and it was the top pick for profitability after giants Amazon and eBay.
Etsy specializes in handmade and vintage goods, as well as craft supplies. Yes, this does limit what you can list on the network, and you might find that this rather niche-specific market isn't for you.
If, however, you are looking for the best home decor products to sell, you make geeky things, like costumes, jewelry, fashion accessories, cool gifts, and any number of other crafty items (or you know how to source quality vintage items or wholesale craft supplies), this is definitely the place to sell it all.
Want to know exactly what you'll get with Etsy that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:
Etsy is clearly best suited to any merchants with handmade items, vintage items, or craft-related resources. If you are an online seller who either produces your own unique product, or you source items that suit this market, then this selling platform is exactly what you're looking for.
If you create your own products, then by all means go ahead and list them and see how you go. If you'd rather give Etsy a go with some wholesale products, you have to be careful what you sell. You should read Etsy's Seller Guidelines before selling on this network.
Basically, Etsy is a place for unique goods or the supplies for making them. So if you're not making your own unique goods, stock up on the supplies instead by searching in the SaleHoo directory for "craft supplies," or search for specific types of supplies such as "fabrics" or "beads" or "clasps."
Some examples of items (and links to trusted supplier pages) that could provide what you need are:
There are many others you could look into, the above are just a few of the trusted suppliers available to you in the SaleHoo directory.
I thought it worth mentioning that there are a few other sites like this one now, claiming to have more unique goods than websites like eBay and Amazon. Two in particular are doing very well. If you are interested in tapping into this market, then it could be worth trying your luck with:
Look around these marketplaces to get an idea of the types of products people are selling, and then find suppliers for those types of items to start selling on these networks.
Bonanza is headquartered in Seattle and, though it's relatively new to the e-commerce scene, it's doing incredibly well. The Bonanza marketplace encompasses more than 22 million items ranging from Godzilla garden gnomes to taxidermy alligators.
A lot of sellers are making good money on Bonanza. The site has merchants and shoppers in nearly every country around the world. More than 40,000 sellers have already created businesses here.
Bonanza is one of the easiest selling platforms to use, and its popularity is on the rise amongst sellers. In the Sellers' Choice awards, Bonanza has taken out the top rating for communication again, and were voted the most recommended selling venue. They were also recognised in Entrepreneur's 360 best companies list.
Want to know exactly what you'll get with Bonanza that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:
Bonanza is best suited to any merchants who have something to sell online. Although Bonanza specializes in unique items and one-of-a-kind finds, it is not without its Justin Bieber perfume or Michael Kors handbags.
Bonanza actually provides a really helpful guide for making sales on its platform, so that's definitely worth checking out. You could make a profit in any of its categories, but some of the top-selling ones currently include:
Over the years, Bonanza has put emphasis on building platform-specific tools to make selling online much easier for entrepreneurs. They offer automatic eBay, Amazon, and Shopify importing, multi-item editing, and a marketing tool that allows sellers to provide targeted discounts to their buyers. You can learn more about these tools here, and use them to boost your profits on Bonanza.
Related: Keen to sell perfume? Check out our article on the best perfume dropshipping items to sell today!
You can sell almost anything on Craigslist (including yourself, in the "personals" section). It's very "no-frills" in that there are no listing fees or selling fees, but it's super basic both in design and automation of the selling process.
It is, after all, just a forum. This means that you're pretty much on your own as far as selling and disputes go.
Want to know exactly what you'll get with Craigslist that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:
Craigslist is best suited to sellers who are selling locally, and prefer to manage their transactions personally. It can be a good option for selling items that are perhaps too big or expensive to ship, such as furniture.
Some people like it because they can meet the people they're selling to, so there's a small social element. You can get cash-in-hand and you don't have to pay a network or shipping fees. In saying that, if you're paranoid about getting scammed or don't want to be personally involved with the transaction, then Craigslist might not be for you.
Be careful with how you sell, as online transactions can be a little dodgy here, and if you get handed fake money, then it's basically your loss. Accepting payments in person can be good, but be careful (and safe!) when deciding where and how you meet people.
If you're good at spotting items that are worth a lot more than they're being sold for, or you have the skills to do up items that are a little lacklustre, you could make a neat profit here. For example, you might have an eye for valuable antiques, or you might know how to restore old wooden furniture. Or maybe you know how to sew something back to life. Pick up some workable free items or low cost items from craigslist (or browse local garage sales), work your magic, and sell the items for a higher price on Craigslist or other selling platforms. This can be a hit-and-miss strategy, so be sure to only select items that you're confident you could sell for a profit. And if items need work, make sure you have the time to do it, otherwise you may end up with a garage full of items you can't flip.
The downside of that strategy is it involves time, energy, and often a bit of luck to work. If you're a hobbyist it could be an enjoyable and profitable process, but if that's not your cup of tea, consider buying wholesale goods. List items that will sell well locally, save on listing and shipping fees, and you could make a hefty profit margin without the effort.
Some examples of items you could sell on Craigslist include:
You can find other wholesale suppliers in the SaleHoo directory. Just search for the types of products you'd like to sell and browse the trusted suppliers available to you.
eBid is another marketplace similar to eBay and Amazon in that it is a platform for selling almost anything. Still, it's not as well known, so you'd be selling to a smaller pool of buyers.
It's definitely a lower-cost option than eBay or Amazon, but the profitability rating is also lower. The absence of listing fees and low 3 percent commission charged per sale does make this a low-risk market to test out, so if you're looking for a change, you've got little to nothing to lose here.
If you'd like a thorough run-down of eBid as an alternative to eBay, check out this post: Is eBid a Viable Alternative to eBay?
Want to know exactly what you'll get with eBid that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:
eBid is for you if you don't want to pay to list your items (as you have to on eBay), or if you'd just like to try your luck on an alternative (but similar) network. There's extra potential here if you know a thing or two about generating your own traffic.
Basically, the lower level of traffic circulating on eBid (compared to eBay) is the only major downside. So if you promote your listings effectively elsewhere, such as social media or forums, you can enjoy your traffic as well as lower traffic.
Some examples of items you could sell on eBid are:
There's definitely potential here, but also more work required to get your shop off the ground.
Rakuten (formerly buy.com) is considered the “Amazon of Japan”. Now, Japan’s not the first company that comes to mind when you think of eCommerce, but get this: Japan’s population is more than 126 million and more than 90% of Japan’s internet users are registered on Rakuten. That’s a big market.
One benefit of Rakuten is that you’re not competing with the website itself. Unlike Amazon, which sells dozens of its own brands on its website, Rakuten does not compete with its sellers. You also have more power to customise your store within the platform - something that other major eCommerce websites don’t allow.
There are already some big name brands like Dell, Lenovo, Office Depot, Airweave, and Dyason that use Rakuten.
Rakuten is a popular, highly versatile online marketplace. It’s best suited to people who are sick of the intense competition on eBay and Amazon and are looking for a different entry point to the world of eCommerce. It’s especially good for people with experience doing business in Japan, or anyone who’s wanting to break into the Eastern market. While it is now an international marketplace, it hasn’t quite got the same reach and impact as other major marketplaces just yet.
The same principles that apply to succeeding on other eCommerce platforms also apply to Rakuten. You need to choose a niche product with sufficient demand and not too much competition.
You can utilize 20,000 characters to write high-converting product descriptions, so make the most of the opportunity to be creative with your copy and highlight the unique benefits of your products.
You can add up to 20 shipping options on Rakuten. The more flexible you are with shipping, the more likely you are to make sales. Just make sure you can fulfill those shipping options before ticking all the boxes.
Newegg is an online marketplace that claims to be the “#1 marketplace for everything tech”. That means electronics, computers and parts, entertainment, smart home and gaming products. Sellers can list products on the marketplace, which reaches up to 36 million customers. Newegg is based in California and has distribution facilities across North America and Canada. It has global reach into more than 50 countries.
Newegg is clearly best for anyone who’s selling tech products, particularly those operating mostly in the US and Canada markets. Newegg’s audience is mainly men aged from 18 to 30 and 35, so if that’s your target market, Newegg might be a good option for you.
Simply listing your items and crossing your fingers isn’t going to cut it on Newegg. You need to follow Newegg’s SEO guide to drive more traffic to your listings.
Newegg also recommends taking advantage of its merchandising vehicles, such as a daily deal emails, as well as its various seller programs.
Other than that, just make sure you’re not listing any prohibited items and providing excellent customer service.
The main appeal of eCrater is that it’s free to set up a store and it even has templates you can use to easily create an attractive store. It’s said to be easy to import your listings from eBay, which is good if you’re looking to transition entirely. There’s not a lot of information on eCrater online, but there’s said to be at least 65,000 active stores on the site. The number of customers and the amount of traffic pales in comparison to the larger eCommerce platforms, so it’s probably best used as a complementary marketplace, rather than one that you solely rely on to run your business.
eCrater is a good option for someone who’s totally over eBay, but it looking at using another marketplace, such as Amazon or Etsy, as their main platform. In our opinion, eCrater doesn’t quite have the numbers to be viable as your sole marketplace, but it could make for an excellent, low-risk and low-cost complementary option.
The key to making sales on eCrater is investing heavily in your store’s SEO and marketing. It’s up to you to drive traffic to your store, almost as though it’s your very own site.
Ruby Lane is a legitimate alternative to selling on eBay. It’s been designed to bring buyers and sellers of antiques, art, vintage collectibles and jewelry together - similar to marketplaces like Etsy and Bonanza. Ruby Lane has 1.1 million unique visitors per month, which is impressive for a niche marketplace. A majority of users are located in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and Germany, but it has global reach. 85% of users are women aged over 40 and almost all describe themselves as a “collecting enthusiast”, so if that’s your target market Ruby Lane might be a great option. It seems to attract more purposeful, educated buyers who might be willing to spend more money than those who are scouring eBay for bargains.
Ruby Lane is best for savvy sellers in the antique, collectibles, art and jewelry markets, especially if your target audience is women over 40.
Writing high-converting, accurate descriptions, quality photography, excellent customer service, and strategic marketing all help a lot on Ruby Lane. You need to know your audience is going to be more educated than most, so choose your products carefully and be honest in your product descriptions. Make sure your products meet all of Ruby Lane’s guidelines as they will be vetted. Ruby Lane provides a great guide to selling successfully on its website.
It’s not widely known that Walmart, one of the largest retail corporations on the planet, has entered into the eCommerce marketplace world. Walmart Marketplace is a platform where select sellers can list and sell products. It’s very similar to Amazon in that you could be competing with Walmart itself, but it’s definitely worth considering as an alternative to selling on eBay. You get to take advantage of Walmart’s massive reach and customer base and it’s free and easy to get set up. Walmart seems to be taking the eCommerce space more seriously so it’s likely to be investing heavily in this area over the coming years. Who knows, maybe in five years everyone will be saying they wish they were on Walmart from the start?
Established businesses with solid brands stand to do well on the Walmart Marketplace. If you’ve always dreamed of getting your product in Walmart stores, this might be a good way to make an impression. It could also be a good option for new sellers looking to build brand awareness and credibility from the outset, but you’d want to have a clear strategy for how you’re going to make the most of it.
Be in a position where you can still make good profit margins with competitive pricing. Make sure you provide great customer service and fast shipping, and then chase those customer reviews. They can make a big difference on this platform.
Selling on your very own website really is the ultimate option if you want to increase your profits and build a business that will become a long-term asset. If this appeals to you but you have no idea how to get started, don't worry. There's an easy way, which I'll mention a bit further down.
When selling from your own online store, you have to establish your own traffic, which can make it a little slower to get started than selling in a bigger marketplace. But once you're up and running, you don't have to compete with anyone else and your sales are all your own.
With this option, you can build up your own brand, rather than eBay's or Amazon's. When you sell on those platforms, who's really making the sale? They're spreading their brand, not yours. People say "I got it on eBay," or "I got it on Amazon," with no mention of the seller's name! It's ultimately you contributing to their marketplaces and their sales. Why not put that effort into yourself instead?
Here are the benefits of running your own online store, rather than selling on eBay:
Honestly? Pretty much anyone can get their own website and make a profit. Setting up your own store isn't nearly as hard as it used to be, and with a little time and effort, you can sell exactly what you want to, and how you want to.
You can learn about the pros and cons of owning your own website here, and decide for yourself if it's something you'd like to pursue.
Selling on your own website used to be expensive and complicated, but it doesn't have to be!
You just have to get traffic to your site to encourage sales. There are a couple of great lessons readily available to help you with this, including "Get Buyers to Your Store" and "4 Ways to Advertise Your Store." There's also a community forum where you can ask questions and get advice.
Niche-specific websites are marketplaces where people only sell one type of product. So rather than the larger category-based marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, these sites hone in on one of those options and specialize in only that.
For example, if you were specifically interested in selling clothing, you might consider selling on a site like Poshmark. Or if you wanted to sell gear for the outdoors, you might try selling on GearTrade. Heck, if you were in the car market, why not try Cardaddy?
If you're passionate about a specific niche of products, or you tend to bulk-order a small range of items, then niche-specific websites could be a great platform for you.
This will allow you to really focus on one market, and get to know the selling techniques that work best with that niche's buyer-audience.
If you haven't already, you need to really zero in on the type of product you'd like to sell and determine how much demand there is. A quick way to get a rough comparison of popularity is to do a keyword search. You can use a tool like the Keyword Research Module in AffiloTools.
Simply type in the name of the product or niche that you're interested in selling, and look at the monthly search volumes. This will show you how many people are searching for words or phrases to do with that topic, which is a strong indication of how much interest there is. If you're tossing up a few options, then try each one out to see which ones generally have more searches.
Once you've got a strong idea of what you'd like to sell, try searching in Google for "Places to sell [product type]." Look for marketplaces that cater to selling in your specific niche, like the examples we've already mentioned. Be sure to read about other people's experiences selling on them first. If these sites come across as genuine and promising, give them a go!
Finally, you need to find trusted suppliers with the best products to sell on these networks. For example, if you were looking for clothes to sell, you could try any of these:
These are just some examples of the trusted suppliers you can access in the SaleHoo directory. If you've got a niche that you'd like to sell to, then type it into the search box there and find the best suppliers.
Have we missed a marketplace that you'd like to see here? If so, let us know in the comments below and we'll add it to this list. Stand-outs will be researched and added in our next update.
Current suggestions from the comments on this post include:
As you can see, there are a lot of online selling sites like eBay, but which one is best for you? This comparison table gives you a quick overview of all the best eBay alternatives so you can make an informed decision.
|Marketplace||Operates in||Product categories||Seller fees|
|Amazon||Worldwide||All||From $39.99 a month + referral fees of between 8% and 15% per item|
|Etsy||Worldwide||Arts, crafts, jewelry, collectibles||$0.20 USD listing fee and 3.5% commission|
|Bonanza||Worldwide||All||3.5% Final Offer Value fee|
|eBid||Worldwide||All||3% Final Value Fee, or subscriptions from $1.99 to $99.98|
|Rakuten||Japan-based, worldwide users||All||$33 a month, 8% to 15% category fee, and $0.99 per item sold|
|Newegg||Worldwide (mostly US and Canada)||Tech and electronics||Free up to $99.95 a month and 8% to 15% commission|
|eCrater||Worldwide||All||Mostly free, but they take 2.9% of sales that they bring to you|
|Ruby Lane||Worldwide||Arts, antiques, collectibles, jewelry||$100 set-up cost, plans from $69 a month, $0.19 listing fee|
|Walmart||Worldwide (mostly United States)||All||Free to join, 8% to 20% referral fee|
There are a lot of options for you to choose from, so it depends on which of these following elements appeal to you most...
Amazon is the only other network that's similar to eBay in size, with a giant range of products and massive customer base. So if that's a benefit of eBay you don't want to lose, this is an alternative to try.
Bonanza is similar to eBay in that the range of products you can sell isn't limited like it is on sites like Etsy, and they have a fantastic relationship with sellers, so it's worth trying.
Finally, if the auction-style is what you like about eBay, then eBid is the closest relative, although there's much less traffic circulating there so you'll have to do a lot more promotion to get your store off the ground.
These creative-style networks are really taking off, with Etsy coming in highest after eBay in overall Sellers Choice ratings. These networks might be totally wrong for the type of product that you're looking to sell, but if you're not tied down already, then these networks are worth the time to try out.
This network is certainly on the rise as a strong alternative to eBay. The site has fantastic communication, and your listings will only cost you if they're successful, in which case it'll be a non-issue.
Amazon is also free to list items on, but it charges higher commissions. The high volume of traffic on Amazon may make up for that though, depending on how much competition you're facing and how much demand there is for what you're selling. You can always try listing on both and seeing which gives you the best returns. After all, neither will cost you anything until your items sell so you've got nothing to lose.
If you do decide to give it a go, remember to check out this guide to selling on Bonanza.
This is a sort of cheap-and-nasty option where you're left to your own devices and often end up trading in person, but if you don't mind selling locally and being a little more hands-on in the selling process, then this is an option to consider.
If you like to sell locally consider other outlets such as local markets, especially if you enjoy this social element to selling. These environments are full of buyers and can give you an extra chance to show off your wares and add to your sales.
If you want to avoid competition, listing fees and paying commissions, then consider running your own online store. It's a little more work to get set up and to promote, but in the bigger picture it can be a hugely profitable option.
While at that, if you're looking for more profitable products to sell, you can learn more about Salehoo about how we can help you source profitable products from low cost suppliers. Be sure to also check these Salehoo reviews by our customers before you decide.
Finally, if you're an enthusiast for selling one type of product but you don't want to build your own site, it's worth looking into niche-specific marketplaces. Just do a quick Google search to see if you can find any in your area of interest.
We haven't looked into all of your suggestions yet (unlike like the other options here), but they're suggestions made by other sellers and could be worth looking into.
Have we missed one that you'd like to see here? If so, let us know in the comments below and we'll do the research and add it to the list.