Want to build an online business, but don’t want Amazon and eBay eating all your profits? Here are the top 10 places where you can sell your stuff online for free (or without paying an arm and a leg). Scroll down if you want to get more information on each platform.
|Swappa||3% commission per item sold|
|Chairish||20% commission per item sold|
|Fruugo||15% commission per item sold + 2.35% processing fee|
|Ruby Lane||One-time setup fee of $100|
|Depop||10% commission per item sold|
|eBlueJay||Free ($10 verification fee)|
|AliExpress||5-10% commission per item sold|
|Taobao||5% commission per item sold|
|Carousell||4% commission per item sold|
|Shopee||1.5-3% commission per item sold|
|Lazada||2-5% commission per item sold|
|Rakuten||$0.99 USD listing fee + 8-20% commission per item sold|
|Flipkart||Up to 27% commission per item sold|
|MyDeal||8-20% commission per item sold|
|Mercado Libre||15% commission per item sold|
|OTTO||15-50% commission per item sold|
|OnBuy.com||5-9% commission + 1.9-2.9% + 30p per item sold|
|Jumia||2.5-20% commission per item sold|
One of the best places to sell online for free is Facebook Marketplace. And that’s for an obvious reason - the traffic. It started as a local buy-and-sell forum like Craigslist and has created many new features like Facebook Pay, Facebook Checkout, and other order management tools. While it’s free to sell on Facebook Marketplace, if you want to get more eyeballs, you can look to place Facebook ads, which can reach to all parts of the platform.
🎓Learn More: Step by Step Guide to Facebook Dropshipping
If you want to buy and sell gently used electronics such as laptops and smartphones, you can take a look at Swappa. Buyers and sellers connect directly but there’s an in-house customer service team that reviews the listed devices to make sure they aren’t shoddy and meet a certain requirement. There is a tiny fee associated with selling on Swappa and that’s 3% for the seller and 3% for the buyer. The fees are still less than eBay, however.
Another website to sell electronics is Gazelle. Having been around since 2007, this reCommerce platform allows buyers and sellers to buy and sell their gadgets for free. They’ll even take care of the shipping label. You’ll be able to sell the item to them and they’ll take care of the reselling. If you want to buy electronics in bulk, Gazelle can help you out with that too.
If you’re in the furniture or home decor space, you’ll want to check out Chairish. They specialize in high-end vintage home furnishings and have quite the curated collection on their side. To list a piece on Chairish, it has to have a minimum listing price of $25 US Dollars, and while listing items are free, the site takes 20% of the final sale.
If you want to sell things for free locally, Nextdoor may be perfect for you. It’s completely free to sell on Nextdoor and they don’t charge any transaction fees. However you can choose to support a local nonprofit by donating a part of your proceeds. Around 1 in 3 households in the US use Nextdoor and it’s available in more than 290,000 neighborhoods worldwide so traffic won’t be a problem for you. You might be wondering how Nextdoor makes money and sustains itself. Well, they do sponsored posts, neighborhood sponsorships, and local deals which you can also choose to participate in.
Think ‘virtual garage sale’ as that’s exactly what VarageSale is. Another local marketplace, VarageSale allows you to buy and sell things for free locally. According to SimilarWeb, it has 1.2 million monthly visitors so you’ll be able to access a big audience when you sell on the platform. The best thing about it is that there are zero fees to buy or sell on VarageSale.
Based mainly in Europe, Fruugo is another one of the platforms that you don’t want to miss out on. You can sell anything and everything on Fruugo - but there is a transaction fee of 15% all products, not including VAT, and a 2.35% processing fee of the transaction value. However, you can access a wider market with Fruugo as they can translate your product into 28 languages and allow you to sell in 31 major currencies without any risk. Talk about global domination!
Craigslist is one of the best places to start as an online seller. It’s a no-fuss site that lets you sell your items through classified ads for free. No need to pay for listing fees, final value fees or commissions. Everything is free, and although Craigslist may not have the same sophisticated interface and support as some online selling platforms, it still dominates with regards to helping new sellers maintain healthy profit margins.
If you’re selling art, collectibles and artisan jewelry, Ruby Lane is the place to go. It’s profitable to sell here, as the site receives over 1.1 million unique visitors per month—and many already know what they’re looking for.
To start selling, you need to pay a one-time setup fee of $100. This fee also covers the listing fees for the first 10 items in your store. After that, each item has a listing fee of 19 cents.
Although Ruby Lane does not charge commissions, you will need to pay a minimum monthly fee of $69 for maintaining a shop. If you list more than 80 items, each additional item has a small maintenance fee that gets even smaller the more items you list.
eBid positions itself as a top eBay competitor for many good reasons. They have lower fees, high traffic and an easy-to-use interface. If you sell products from different niches, you can easily maintain up to 5 stores, allowing you to target different demographics all at once.
eBid’s friendly fee structure is the main draw for new and old sellers. There is no fee for putting up product listings, which makes a world of difference to your profit margins. Pay a small fee as low as $1.99 and you can enjoy premium features like cross promotions, a customer invoicing system and options to create discounts and import listings and feedback from other marketplaces.
Depop is a UK-based online marketplace that makes mobile selling easier—think eBay but with Instagram’s aesthetics.
When you go to the site or the app, you’ll be presented with products arranged Instagram-style. To sell, simply take a picture of your product or choose an existing photo from your library. You can then use Depop’s Instagram-style filters to enhance your image.
Don’t forget to add a description and a hashtag. More hashtags means more chances of getting found by buyers.
It’s free to set up shop and list items on Depop. You only need to pay a 10% commission for every item you sell.
For sellers who don’t want to pay to sell online, eBluejay is the perfect choice. It’s the second-generation marketplace to Blujay, so if you had a shop there, you can have it migrated to the new site by sending a request to eBluejay.
What makes eBluejay attractive to sellers is its 100% free service (well, other than the $10 verification fee). The rest of the services on the site are free—no listing, maintenance or final value fees.
eBluejay is new compared to other marketplaces, but its cost-friendliness makes it attractive to new online sellers.
Preloved is a UK-only selling platform where you can put up ads for used items. They let you sell all kinds of things, including furniture, clothing, jewelry, electronics, books and even property and automobiles.
There is no fee for listing items on the site. You only need to pay £20 to put up 40 ads for your items. Preloved also offers a free one-month trial for those who want to give it a try.
Oodle is an online classified ads marketplace where you can sell electronics, appliances, furniture, office supplies, sports equipment, pets, vehicles and more. Items for sale can also be posted directly on Facebook Marketplace, which means there’s a higher chance of your products getting discovered by more people.
Listing your products on Oodle is free, but if you’d like them to appear on Facebook Marketplace, you need to contact Oodle’s sales team for more information on how to become a paying customer.
When you think of AliExpress, you think of a place where you can find items to dropship - not sell items on. Well, believe it or not, people do sell things on AliExpress, and even dropship on the platform. If you have a unique item that you are manufacturing, perhaps it’d be worth it to sell on AliExpress but other than that, if you want to sell on AliExpress, be prepared to sell it at a super cheap price. Also, there will be a commission of 5-10% depending on the product category so be prepared for that.
If you’re a Chinese speaker, then Taobao can be an interesting platform for you. The traffic is insane (think the population of China plus Chinese people around the world). However, the platform is fully in Simplified Chinese and all the suppliers only speak Chinese, so if you can’t speak Chinese, this platform might be hard for you to navigate on. As for commission, to sell on Taobao, they take around a 5% fee for every sale.
Around Southeast Asia, there’s a very popular platform called Carousell which is kind of like Craigslit in the US. They allow you to sell anything and everything on the platform with most products being second hand goods. They charge 4% commission on the total transaction amount but buyers and sellers can also meet up to make the exchange.
Shopee is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in Southeast Asia. It’s very similar to Taobao (even the interface is almost the same) so people who buy from both platforms can easily navigate it. Like Taobao, they sell anything and everything you can think of. Recently, branded stores like footwear company, Havianas have also opened a flagship store on Shopee. Each transaction fee is around 1.5-3% depending on the product and location.
Lazada is a strong competitor of Shopee as the two are very similar and dominate the same market. Like Shopee, it’s another popular marketplace in Southeast Asia. Interestingly, Alibaba Group, which operates AliExpress, Alibaba, and Taobao, has invested tons of money in the platform so you can expect it looking quite similar. Lazada charges 2-5% commission depending on the item category and also sells everything and anything you can think of.
If you want to sell to Japan, you’ll want to get on Rakuten. Anyone can sell on Rakuten but huge brands such as Dyson and Adidas also have a flagship store on the Japanese platform. Rakuten transaction feed can be pretty large compared to the others. They charge a $0.99 listing fee and a 8-20% commission per sale depending on the item category.
Flipkart is another one of those ‘massive traffic’ marketplaces. Why? Because it targets India. You can make a lot of money selling on Flipkart if your product is right and well priced for the Indian market. While listing products is free on Flipkart, you’ll get charged the following deductions: Commission fee, shipping fee collection fee, fixed fee, and GST - which has been said to total 27% in total.
MyDeal is a very popular website in Australia that specializes in furniture, home, and garden products. To sell on MyDeal, you have to make sure that your products are in compliance with Australian product and consumer safety regulations. This site is very targeted at Australia so you’ll be selling in AUD. If you make a sale on MyDeal, expect to pay 8-20% in commission depending on the order.
Want to enter Latin America? Then you’ll want to sell on Mercado Libre which targets almost every country in the region so you’ll be working with a huge audience. Often dubbed ‘the Amazon of Latin America,’ Mercado Libre sellers can sell anything and everything you think of. It’s free to list items on Mercado Libre but sellers will be charged a commission of around 15% for every transaction.
If you want to target Germany, you’ll want to check out OTTO, which is a huge marketplace that operates in the region. To be a seller on Otto, you actually have to apply and a category manager will be assigned to look at your product assortment. Opportunities on OTTO are very big as the marketplace boasts 7.5 million active customers and up to 10 orders per second. However, they will charge 15-50% commission on sales so you better make sure your margins are healthy.
Based in the UK, OnBuy seems to also target the rest of Europe as well. You can sell in tops of categories from Home and Garden to Toys and Games, to Electronics and Cars. To sell on OnBuy, be prepared to sell 5% for consumer electronics and 9% on everything else. You’ll also need to pay 1.9% to 2.9% + 30p per transaction for payment fees.
Want to get into Africa? Take a look at Jumia. Founded in Nigeria, Jumia is a pan-African marketplace that sells everything from electronics to baby products to cars to groceries. Opening a store on Jumia is free but you’ll need to be prepared to pay a 2.5-20% transaction fee depending on the item.
Niche sites are perfect for sellers who only have items from a specific category. If you have clothes, books, jewelry or DVDs, consider selling them on these sites to make a profit.
Bonanza is one of the best marketplaces for fashion retailers. It’s easy to use and offers plenty of features that really benefit the seller.
One great feature is the ability to import your inventory list and feedback scores from sites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy. If you have an inventory file of your own, you can import that too!
If a buyer has questions about your items, you can talk to them via Bonanza’s internal system even if they’re using a supported external system (Gmail, Yahoo Messenger or MSN). This is perfect for sellers who want to engage with their customers directly and communicate terms and prices.
Bonanza only charges a 3.5% closing fee for sales below $500. Transactions above $500 are charged a flat fee of $17.50 plus 1.5%. The fees are low and reasonable considering that Bonanza has a number of features that make online selling a seamless process.
If you’ve got branded items in your closet that you don’t use anymore, consider selling them on The RealReal. On the site, they provide a clear list of things they are looking for so you have a good idea of what items are worth pulling out of your closet to sell.
As a seller, you need to make sure the items you send to The RealReal are still in good condition. Otherwise, they will get rejected.
When an item sells, The RealReal takes a commission based on the list price. For all items below $120, The RealReal gives you 55% of the sale price. For items above $120, the percentage you get depends on your current commission tier and net selling price.
If you have books you don’t read anymore, consider selling them on AbeBooks. It’s the largest online site for selling old and used books that are still in good condition. It boasts a substantial customer base and allows the most direct contact with buyers compared to other major selling platforms.
To become a seller on the site, you need to have at least $15 worth of books to sell. AbeBooks charges an 8% commission fee on all sales, including shipping and other extra charges.
You will also need to pay a monthly subscription fee, which starts at $25 for 500 books or less. This allows your books to be listed worldwide on AbeBooks.com, AbeBooks.co.uk, AbeBooks.it, AbeBooks.fr, AbeBooks.de and IberLibro.com. Shops that sell more than 500 books get a discount on monthly subscription rates.
ValoreBooks is a place where you can sell your old textbooks, novels, biographies and nonfiction books for good prices. Simply enter your book’s ISBN and you’ll be given an instant quote. ValoreBooks guarantees the best price possible and if you find a better price somewhere else, just let the company know and they’ll match it.
ValoreBooks will cover the cost of shipping your item, and if it sells on their marketplace, they only charge you a 15% commission. The rest goes to your earnings, which will be paid via check or PayPal.
Etsy is a great place for selling unique items like handmade jewelry, craft supplies and vintage pieces. The site is very popular and receives a lot of traffic every month (32 million unique visitors).
Unlike other marketplaces, Etsy’s customer base is more targeted. Their customers are specifically looking for unique, handcrafted items instead of standardized consumer goods.
The site also gives you the ability to continue selling your items even as you’re taking days off. This is possible through collective stores, where a few sellers combine their products to make a bigger store. The assigned shopkeeper is then responsible for processing orders on your behalf.
Selling on Etsy is fairly straightforward. Once you set up shop (free), you can begin listing your items for $0.20 each (lasts for four months). For every item you sell, Etsy takes 3.5% of the selling price, excluding shipping and taxes.
Decluttr helps you to rid your home of clutter by buying unused media and electronics directly from you. Instead of managing listings, answering customer queries and handling payments, you only need to deal with Decluttr directly to sell old but usable media items like CDs, DVDs, video games, mobile gadgets and game consoles.
To start selling on Decluttr, download the app first. You need this to take a photo of your item’s barcode, after which the app will evaluate it and provide you an instant offer. For tech items, just search for your device and the app will provide you an instant price.
You must reach a $5 minimum before you can complete a sale. Once done, just send your items to Decluttr free of charge. They cover the cost by sending you a shipping label to stick to your box. Once the items get to Decluttr, they’ll pay you via direct deposit.
This list contains the top five low-hanging fruits that you can sell online. Make sure these items are still in good condition. You wouldn’t want to pay for something that’s broken, would you? Neither would buyers. So before selling an item online, check for damage or defects (also called salvage). This helps to ensure that you get the best resale value for your item.
Go ahead and scour your closet for clothes you don’t use anymore and put them up for sale. If they are still in good condition and they are branded, you are likely to make a bigger profit.
If you have old phones, computers, digital cameras, video game consoles, printers or cables in your home, you can sell them for a quick buck online. These items sell fast, since most people are always on the lookout for good deals on electronics.
Sports equipment is another category that’s super easy to sell. Old golf clubs, hockey skates, swimming goggles and other sports paraphernalia are some items that sell quickly.
Got furniture you don’t like that’s taking up space in your home? Sell it. Look for a local buyer so you don’t have to go through the hassle of shipping it.
You can sell old toys that your kids have outgrown and make some quick cash off them. You may be surprised to learn that these items sell for good prices. Just make sure the toys are clean and in good condition.
You don’t need Amazon, eBay or a brick-and-mortar store to make a living as a seller. Just pick the online marketplace that best fits your business and you’ll be on your way to profits.
If you run out of things to sell at home, then congratulations! Next step: find suppliers of brand-new products in the SaleHoo Directory and start building a real business!
Have a favorite online marketplace we didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments!
Now that you know where to find places to sell online, let’s talk about exactly how you should do this. This section will be useful especially for those who have never sold anything online and want to learn all the details from start to finish on how to do it profitably.
Before you start looking through products, actually think about what niche you want to sell in first. While it’s great that you sell in a niche that you have a lot of passion or knowledge for, it’s actually preferred that you sell in a niche that can bring in a lot of profit and has products with a higher perceived value so that you can mark up your products to a higher price.
🎓Learn More: How to Choose a Profitable Dropshipping Niche
Once you know which niche you want to sell in, you can start looking at what products to sell. If you’re thinking about dropshipping first, you can test a whole range of products in your niche to see which one sells best. Then, you can purchase those products in wholesale or white-label the product so you can get higher profits.
There’s pros and cons to each method of selling, whether you choose to dropship the product from another supplier, wholesale it and buy in bulk from a manufacturer, or white-label the product and put your branding on an existing product from a supplier and selling it at a premium. With dropshipping, you don’t have to buy in bulk or have a high upfront investment like wholesaling. But with wholesaling, you can buy the prices at a way cheaper price than if you dropship the product, which means higher margins but also higher risk as you’ll need to store a bunch of those products and organize your inventory. As for white-labeling, you’ll need to find a suitable product and supplier to actually do this.
After you decide which method of selling you want to pursue, you’ll need to find a supplier that can provide the product for you. There are suppliers who dropship, wholesale, white-label, or can provide all of these services. You’ll need to look for a supplier that fits your needs. Most people think of AliExpress when looking for a dropship supplier but there are lots of AliExpress alternatives that you can also look into. And if you want to look for suppliers that dropship, wholesale, and/or does white-labeling in your intended market (remember, fast shipping is also key), you can look through the SaleHoo Directory.
Once you get the product and you confirm that the quality is good and something you want to sell, try to negotiate the price with the supplier whether you’re dropshipping or wholesaling. Try to let them know how you’ll be marketing the product and through what channels you’ll be able to cultivate a product-hungry audience. Negotiating might not work all the time but for healthier margins, it’s worth a try!
Once you know your cost price, it’s time to decide what price you will sell your product at. It’s not as easy as just deciding how much money you want to make per product though. You’ll want to see what competitors are charging for similar products and figure out how you can charge a premium. Would you have a unique selling point? Would you do more on the branding side? All in all, you’ll want to figure out how you can increase your perceived value to maximize the profits you bring in per sale.
Now that you know your cost price and selling price, you’ll need to figure out your profit margin per product in the beginning. Then, you’ll want to see how the price evolves as you sell the product since you’ll need to factor in things such as acquisition costs, marketing, branding, etc. It all eats into your margin so as you go along your selling journey, you’ll need to see how that affects your margin and your profits.
By now, you should have a good idea of where you want to sell your product as you go through our comprehensive list above. As you can see, where you sell will depend on what your product is and where your target market is. We’ve listed out all the fees (if any) for the sites, so you’ll need to keep that in mind as you think about where you want to sell your product.
Now is the fun part! Once you’ve decided where to sell your product, you can start listing your products. Be sure to include attention grabbing product titles and descriptions that really make the customer want to purchase the item. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit more time on copywriting and tweaking the wording so that it really convinces your customer to purchase.
After you’ve sorted all your product listings, don’t think the journey just ends there. This is actually one of the most important parts: Marketing. You’ll want to get the word out there and really market your product’s unique selling points and what problem(s) it solves. There are tons of marketing tactics to try and they might not all work but once you’ve found one that snowballs in the sales, you’ll be golden.