What's the best alternative to eBay?
💡 Quick Answer: The best alternative to eBay is Facebook Marketplace. Although there are tons of other online selling sites that are very similar to eBay such as Walmart, Wish, Bonanza, and more, many of them specialize in particular niches or locations. Read the list below to find out which eBay alternative is best for your business.
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.
Online Selling Sites like eBay: Try the Best Alternative Places to Sell in 2023
Amazon: A Major Marketplace like eBay, but Cheaper
It's almost hard to believe that once upon a time Amazon was simply an online bookstore that dropshipped much of its inventory. 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 large marketplace that a lot of buyers trust, but the massive customer base comes at the price of higher fees and more competition. On Amazon, this means sellers with the same products are competing to win the Buy Box.
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. Its huge traffic volume is probably the main reason that Amazon's Sellers Choice profitability rating generally isn’t far off eBay’s.
Another advantage to Amazon is its built-in algorithm that will recommend your products to people who might be interested in them based on their search histories.
How Amazon Compares Directly with eBay
- Amazon sales are instant with a fixed price, whereas eBay’s auction house setup means it might take a week to sell an item
- Both eBay and Amazon offer free listings, but charge fees for successful sales
- Amazon charges $0.99 per item sold plus 8%-15% commission of the sale price
- eBay charges $0.30 per item sold plus 12.9% commission
- Amazon offers various perks to customers, like 2-day shipping for Prime members and an all-around great customer service – both of which draw in more customers. eBay doesn’t provide any extra services to customers and leaves it up to each seller to handle customer service.
- Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) lets smaller sellers hand over order fulfillment to the commerce giant, taking advantage of their huge number of warehouses around the world and generally making the process smooth and fast for customers. eBay has no comparable service.
Who is Amazon Best Suited To?
- Almost anyone, selling almost anything can run a business on Amazon
- Can be challenging for smaller sellers due to competitive pressure that lower prices
- Prices need to be competitive enough to be a contender without sacrificing too much of your profit margins
How to Succeed on Amazon
- Do your market research before you commit time, energy and capital to a product
- For example, you can get an idea of how well a product will perform with SaleHoo Labs. Here you can filter products to see the ones with the highest success rate for the lowest competition
- Labs also has a constantly updating ‘Product Trends’ section you can use to stay ahead of your competition
- Check out our regular product trend recommendations, curated by seasoned eCommerce experts
- Some recent examples:
- Gaming Headsets
- Bluetooth Speakers
- Teeth Whitening Kits
- Muslim Blankets
2. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace: Selling with High Exposure to Target Audiences
With billions of people using Facebook, it’s a no brainer for the platform to get into eCommerce and online marketplaces. Listing your product on Facebook could get you seen by tons of people in your target market.
Facebook Marketplace is similar to eBay in that most people sell used or second hand items. It’s a convenient place for people to list items that they want to get rid of on the platform and target their local market. In the US, FB Marketplace offers additional features more suited to professional sellers such as Facebook Checkout, making it more like a traditional eCommerce store that mostly runs itself.
Whether in the US or beyond, there are people everywhere who use FB Marketplace to list brand new items, and even those who dropship on there. While it’s not quite like eBay or Amazon, Facebook Marketplace is definitely growing in the eCommerce and marketplace space. Therefore, if you want to take advantage of Facebook’s high traffic, you should consider listing your items there and selling on Marketplace.
How Facebook Marketplace Compares Directly with eBay
- Selling on Facebook Marketplace is free, whereas eBay charges listing and success fees
- Facebook Marketplace works mainly for localized selling, where eBay has a huge global customer base
- Some customer bases, such as those for antiques are more likely to hang out on eBay than on Facebook Marketplace
- It can be harder to build a brand on Facebook Marketplace, unless you’re in the US where you can sell as a Facebook Shop
- Outside the US, payment negotiations happen through messenger, which can be time-consuming if you’re looking to sell large volumes. eBay has a more automated process and payment system
Who is Facebook Marketplace Best Suited to?
- People selling secondhand items to a localized market will be right at home on Facebook Marketplace. Just be ready to stand your ground when customers try to negotiate with you – because they will!
- If you’re in the US, you can run listings through a branded Facebook Shop which can complement your home store and increase reach
How to Succeed with Facebook Marketplace
- If you have lots of secondhand items you want to profit from, you can really succeed here!
- Prices shouldn’t be too high and leave room for negotiation
- The quality of photos on people’s listings are often less than average, so putting a little elbow grease into making your photography shine can really set you apart here!
- Add as many details as you can to listing descriptions, as this will reduce the number of follow-up question you’ll have to answer before people decide to buy
Walmart: The Cut-Throat Underdog
By now people may have cottoned on that Walmart, one of the largest retail corporations on the planet, has entered 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 set up. Walmart seems to be taking the eCommerce space quite 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?
How Walmart Marketplace Compares Directly with eBay
- There are no set-up or maintenance fees, but merchants pay a referral fee of between 8% and 20% for successful sales.
- There’s no auction option, it’s just fixed-price listings.
- Depending on your product and niche, you could be be competing against Walmart-owned brands, which may get priority on the platform
- Walmart’s online sales are lagging behind eBay (and Amazon), but it’s still early days
- Expect lower margins – Walmart prioritizes competitively-priced products, which means you might get caught in a race to the bottom
Who is Walmart Best Suited to?
- Established businesses with solid brands
- If you’ve always dreamed of getting your product in Walmart stores, this might be a good way to make an impression
- Could also be a good option for new sellers looking to build brand awareness and credibility
How to Succeed on Walmart
- Be in a position where you can make good profit margins with competitive pricing
- Make sure you provide great customer service and fast shipping
- Chase those customer reviews – They can make a big difference on this platform.
Etsy: The Artsy-Craftsy Platform
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 7.5 million active sellers, and 96 million active buyers. Not bad! It always rates highly in the Sellers' Choice Awards for ease of use, and it was No.2 for profitability after eBay.
Etsy specializes in handmade and vintage goods, as well as craft supplies, but it’s actually branched ou into all sorts of categories in recent years. Yes, it’s limited as to what you can list on the network, but it’s always worth checking if your particular niche fits in – you might be surprised!
How Etsy Compares Directly with eBay
- You can sell pretty much anything on eBay, whereas Etsy caters in particular to the handmade/ vintage/ boutique niche.
- Buyers come to Etsy for the unique nature of the products they're getting, eBay has mass-sold items and big brands
- Etsy and eBay both charge fees, however:
- You can list up to 350 items for free on eBay; etsy charges $0.20 per listing
- eBay listings are up to 30 days, while Etsy's listings last 4 months. This means your listings will last 4 times as long on Etsy before you'll have to renew them.
- Etsy charges 6.5% commission on sales, eBay charges 12.9% (or less, depending on the category) + $0.30
- eBay gets more traffic (723.2M) than Etsy (457.6M/ month), but Etsy has caught up A LOT in the last 5 years!
Who is Etsy Best Suited To?
- Etsy is best suited to merchants with handmade items, vintage items, or craft-related resources
- Online sellers who either produce their own unique productsare uniquely suited to this marketplace
- Etsy is opening up! Check the categories and you may find you can take advantage of Etsy’s success story too
How to Succeed on Etsy
- If you create your own products, go ahead and list them to see how you go
- If want to sell wholesale products, you should read Etsy's Seller Guidelines to make sure you’re within the regulations
- Stock up on wholesale supplies by searching the SaleHoo Directory for "craft supplies," or search for specific types of supplies such as "fabrics" or "beads" or "clasps."
Selling Platforms Similar to Etsy
We thought it worth mentioning that there are a few other sites like Etsy now, claiming to have more unique goods than marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Two in particular are doing very well. If you are interested in tapping into this market, it could be worth trying your luck with:
- Bonanza: This platform's slogan is "Find everything but the ordinary": Any quirky or unique-style items are great here. You're allowed to sell a wider variety of wholesale goods, and it's becoming a very popular network. We'll talk more about Bonanza in the next section.
- Ruby Lane: With a claim like "The world's largest curated marketplace for vintage & antiques," you're better off selling vintage-style goods and actual antiques here. Ruby Lane's strength is customer service, as reflected in their Sellers Choice customer service rating.
Look around these marketplaces to get an idea of the types of products people are selling, and then find suppliers for them to start selling on these networks.
Wish: Target Millenials and Gen Z with Great Deals
If you’ve ever browsed Wish, you’ll know how astoundingly low some of their prices are. With the majority of prices below $10, selling just about everything under the sun (from smartwatches to sneakers), it’s hard to imagine how some of these sellers even make any money.
In the past, Wish has made itself a bit of a (bad?) name with tons of counterfeit products, leading to a trend of ridiculous Wish unboxing videos flooding social media.
Many of the products sold on Wish are produced in China, which partly explains the low prices, and also means that orders take a long time to arrive, some customers waiting for months. But when you’ve only paid $2, lots of people probably just shrug and go ‘oh well’.
In recent years, Wish has gone through a bit of a rebrand and removed a huge number of sellers from their platform in an effort to purge the site of counterfeits. Unfortunately, the platform has also seen a significant dip in active users and revenue, going from 107 to 25 million, and 794 to 125 million respectively.
With their new seller strategy in place, it’s no longer possible to sign up to Wish of your own accord, but you can ask to be invited. Once you receive an invitation, listings on the platform are free.
How Wish Directly Compares with eBay
- Anyone can sign up for an eBay seller’s account, at Wish you need to be selected
- Wish charges 15% ‘revenue share’, eBay’s success fees are <12.9% + $0.30
- eBay is an auction site, Wish charges fixed prices that are famously low
- While you can sell anything on Wish, you wouldn’t have much luck selling higher-ticket items, as that’s just not the platform’s vibe. eBay is more open than that.
- Wish appeals to younger generations in that it serves a personalized feed to its users based on their browsing and purchasing data
Who is Wish Best Suited For
- If you’re looking to dropship products, Wish is the perfect platform to do this, as users are well-used to and expect longer shipping times already
- Use Wish if you’re expecting to sell a high volume of low-ticket items
- If you want to sell products made closer to home (in typically importing countries), Wish may not be the place for you
How to Succeed on Wish
- Wish is made for mobile use with 90% of purchases are made on mobile. So it’s vital you optimize your product photos for mobile
- Use niche products and product tags to stand out from the crowd
- With a a higher than average numer of dodgy sellers, users are on the alert for scams. Good reviews serve as a trusting mechanism, so focus on the customer experience to rack up a good score
Bonanza: A Fast-Growing Online Marketplace
Bonanza is headquartered in Seattle and, though it's relatively new to the eCommerce scene (since 2007), 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 customer service and communication again, and were voted the most recommended selling venue.
How Bonanza Compares Directly to eBay
- Bonanza is similar to eBay in that a huge range of different products are sold
- Unlike eBay, many items on Bonanza are quirky and unique - ‘extraordinary products’ do well here
- Because Bonanza doesn’t make money until its sellers do, profit margins are higher
- It is absolutely free to list an item on Bonanza
- Success fees are $0.25 + 3.5% commission (eBay’s are $0.30 +13.5%)
- Bonanza is a fixed-price marketplace
- Advertising options: Bonanza sends every item listing to Google and Bing, and sellers have the option to get more exposure by advertising their listings in other channels such as Pricegrabber, Nextag, and Bonanza's affiliate advertising program
- Easy-to-use import features for listings on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon for those listing on multiple platforms
- 1,300:1 shoppers-to-sellers-ratio on Bonanza vs. <10:1 on eBay. That means far less competition between sellers, and more chances for buyers to see your products.
Who is Bonanza Best Suited To?
- Any merchant selling online
- Those with unique items will do well, but a broad range of products is represented, even your Justin Bieber perfumes and Michael Kors handbags
How to Succeed with Bonanza
- Bonanza provides a helpful guide for making sales on its platform, so that's definitely worth checking out
- Top-selling categories:
- Home & Garden
- Women's Fashion
- Health & Beauty
- These are all categories in the SaleHoo Directory, where you'll find a wide variety of trusted wholesale suppliers for sourcing products.
- Use Bonanza’s dedicated seller tools to boost your profits:
- Automatic eBay, Amazon, and Shopify importing
- Multi-item editing
- Offer targeted discounts to buyers
Related: Keen to sell perfume? Check out our article on the best perfume dropshipping items to sell today!
Craigslist: The World's Largest Online Classified Website
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.
How Craigslist Directly Compares to eBay
- eBay charges to list and sell items; Craigslist only charges for a small handful of post types, like job listings or vehicles. Products are free to list.
- eBay will get involved in disputes if necessary, while you're on your own with Craigslist.
- Craigslist requires you to sell locally, and often items will be picked up or dropped off. This limits your market compared to eBay.
- Craigslist has a "free" section where people aren't looking to make money, they're just trying to get rid of unwanted items, which could be a business opportunity for you if you’re good at fixing things.
Who is Craigslist Suited To?
- Sellers who are selling locally
- Sellers who prefer to manage their transactions personally
- Can be a good option for selling items that are too big or expensive to ship, such as furniture.
- There's a small social element as you get to meet the people you’re selling to
- You can get cash-in-hand and you don't have to pay a network or shipping fees
- If you're paranoid about getting scammed or don't want to be personally involved with your buyers, then Craigslist isn’t for you.
How to Succeed with Craigslist
- Transactions can be dodgy here, and if you (e.g.) get handed fake money, then it's basically your loss, so handle sales with care
- Be careful (and safe!) when deciding where and how you meet people
- If you're good at spotting items that are worth more than their sale price, or you have the skills to freshen up older up items, you could make a neat profit here (e.g. restoring old furniture or spotting antiques)
- Pick up some workable free or low-cost items from craigslist (or local garage sales), work your magic, and sell the items for a higher price
- Consider buying wholesale goods that will sell well locally, and save on listing and shipping fees
- You can find a huge number of wholesale suppliers in the SaleHoo directory. Just search for the types of products you'd like to sell and browse the trusted suppliers available
Nextdoor: The Social Neighborhood Network
Nextdoor is a social networking platform connecting neighborhoods. To join, you have to enter your address and confirm a phone number for that country. You will then have access to your specific neighborhood and all features of its forum-style discussion platform.
This includes local updates and alerts, pet register and missing pet notices, recommendation requests, giveaways, items and services for sale, and more.
The platform is garnering popularity across the globe, with more than 69 million users in 2021. It’s an invaluable resource for solving all of life’s little problems on a local scale.
How Nextdoor Directly Compares with eBay
- Joining and posting on Nextdoor is completely free, whereas eBay charges listing and success fees
- Nextdoor only allows you to sell within your direct neighborhood, limiting your audience significantly. eBay is much more flexible than that
- Nextdoor listings last 30 days and can be renewed after that
- Being a community platform, there’s a lot of trust between users that you wouldn’t get on eBay
- Nexdoor isn’t really set up as a money-making platform, so has its limits for commercial purposes
Who is Nextdoor Best Suited For
- Sellers with second-hand or unwanted items from their personal stash
- Those looking to forge local connections with their neighborhood
- Less suited to commercial online retailers looking to make a big profit
How to Succeed on Nextdoor
- For item listings, provide clear title of what the item is, a concise description and at least one photo
- Marketing jargon or sales talk is less suited to this platform, so keep it conversational and simple
- Garner positive ‘recommendations’ through easy and helpful transactions
- The more you get involved in your community, the more you will benefit from this platform
Varagesale: Virtual Garage Sales Made Secure
Varagesale is relatively new to the eCommerce market. Founded in 2012, the website and app does what it says on the label: virtual garage sales, which places it firmly in the Classified Ads category of marketplaces.
Mostly used in Canada and the US, the platform is doing well, with 35,000+ monthly app downloads and around 1.2 million monthly visitors. So no eBay by any means, but it’s steadily growing and garnering interest from users.
The advantage over other platforms like Craigslist is that it offers online payments for transactions. So while you still have to negotiate prices via the in-built messenger, you can easily receive payments without ever leaving the platform, which is a definite bonus over other classified ads platforms.
Users are also verified and protected through various security mechanisms, which adds a layer of security that other free platforms like this don’t offer.
How Varagesale Directly Compares with eBay
- Varagesale has 1.2M monthly visitors, eBay has 109M
- Varagesale is completely free of listing or success fees at this stage
- Selling on Varagesale is to local communities only, which significantly restricts reach
- You can ‘bump’ your listings for free several times an hour
- Profiles on Varagesale are connected to Facebook profiles, which means you have a better idea of who you’re selling to
Who is Varagesale Best Suited For
- Best suited to people looking to sell second-hand unwanted items to a local audience
- Sellers worried about the security concerns of other classified platforms like Craigslits
- Could potentially work for selling wholesale items to a local audience too
How to Succeed on Varagesale
- As with other classified platforms, it pays to have clear titles, detailed listing descriptions and good photos
- Mentioning the condition of items is especially important for second-hand sales
- Make use of the free ‘bumping’ feature to get your listing in front of the maximum number of people
Mercari: The Only Marketplace with Instant Seller Payout
Introducing Mercari, Japan’s largest community-powered marketplace that has been taking big strides to compete globally since its inception in 2013.
This marketplace offers a streamlined and protected commerce experience for both buyers and sellers. You can buy or sell pretty much anything, as long as you can ship it. That’s because the platform is completely contactless, so doesn’t let buyers and sellers meet up to exchange items. Instead, Mercari is partnered with USPS, FedEx, and UPS for easy shipping options.
Once an item is sold, Mercari automatically sends the seller a shipping label to print off, making this process extremely efficient. As a bonus, the company also offers protection for any items shipped this way up to a value of $200. Not bad!
Over 45 million people have downloaded the Mercari app and with 100, 000 new items added each day, this is definitely shaping up to be a big player on the marketplace scene.
How Mercari Directly Compares with eBay
- Listings on Mercari are free, but there is a flat 10% commission on sold items, which is less than eBay’s 12.9% + $0.30
- Mercari protects shipments up to $200, eBay has no comparable service
- The average seller on Mercari makes $114 per month, on eBay it’s $673
- Mercari is the only marketplace where sellers are paid within minutes. Money is added to your Mercari account, which you can then transfer to your bank account ($2 fee if amount is under $10) or use to purchase items on Mercari
- It takes on average 3 minutes to create a listing on Mercari
Who is Mercari Best Suited For
- Currently only available to sellers in Japan and the USA
- Most suitable for sellers looking for a cheaper alternative to eBay that offers better support and protection
- Works for both new and used products, so lots of flexibility
How to Succeed on Mercari
- In-season merchandise always does best, e.g. take advantage of shopping surges around Black Friday or back-to-school are
- For sellers of second-hand items, the periods immediately after those big peaks can be lucrative too – almost like retail binge hangovers
- On Mercari, items in fair or poor condition often sell faster than new items!
- Prioritize clear, well-lit photos from all angles for your listings (no flash, this often does makes things worse)
- Share any interesting stories connected to your item, this will make it stand out!
- For pricing, search Mercari for similar items and use those as a guide. Many sellers price too high and lose customers that way
- Brand names really matter in Mercari search, so make sure to mention those
- Offer free shipping, as this will make your item sell faster
Poshmark: Posh Second-Hand Apparel with an Eco Twist
Poshmark is a social marketplace that was founded in 2011 in Redwood City, California, and has since risen to fame with millions of users and available listings. The premise was initially to create a place where people could sell their second-hand designer and branded fashion items, but the platform now allows listings in various other categories, such as Pets and Electronics.
With more then 80 million registered users across Canada, Australia, India and the US, and and average of 59.5M monthly visits, Poshmark isn’t far off joining the line-up of online commerce giants a la eBay, Amazon and Etsy. In 2019 alone, it doubled the revenue paid out to its sellers from $1 to $2 billion!
According to Poshmark, the company is writing eco-consciousness on its banner, putting circularity and sustainability at the forefront at everything they do – even designing tools such as Reposh to keep the lifecycle of a garment or product going past the initial sale.
How Poshmark Directly Compares with eBay
- Listings are free, just like eBay
- Success fees are a flat $2.95 for all sales under $15 (which equates to 20%+), and 20% commission for any sales above $15; eBay charges slightly less: $0.30 + 12.9% (or lower)
- Unlike eBay, Poshmark offers social features such as following, liking, sharing, and commenting on listings
- Poshmark sends sellers a shipping label after a successful sale
- Sellers receive the sale amount in their Poshmark account only after the buyer has marked the item as delivered
- Poshmark’s Reposh tool lets you relist an item using imagery and listing details from the previous seller
Who is Poshmark Best Suited For
- Poshmark is the perfect side hustle for fashion lovers
- If you have the time and enthusiasm to provide great customer service and nerd out over fashion with your customers, this is the place for you
- Also suitable for those wanting to clear out their wardrobe – provided you have some branded and quality items in there
- Those looking to make between $300 and $1000 per month
How to Succeed on Poshmark
- Use keywords in the title
- Be specific with brand names and any design features such as patterns etc
- NWT: New with tags
- NWOT: New without tags
- Research similar products so you can set realistic pricing
- Package and ship as soon as you receive the shipping label: fast shipping will get you positive reviews
- Make use of Posh Parties: real-time shopping events that let you get in front of a large group of potential customers
Lightinthebox: The Chinese General Store Gone Global
Lightinthebox is a Chinese marketplace that sells everything from clothing to gardening tools – but it does have a focus on lifestyle products such as those in fashion and beauty. Westerners may find the site a little easier to navigate than some of the country’s flashier counterparts.
They started out catering mainly to the Chinese market, but have since expanded globally, catering for shoppers in 26 different languages, using 48 currencies.
Traffic to Lightinthebox is solid, with 37.78 million monthly users, racking up a total of $270.7M in sales in 2021.
If you’re an international seller looking to join Lightinthebox, you need to set up a Merchant Account and arrange shipping to their warehouse per order placed on the platform. Lightinthebox will the handle shipping to the customer from thereon out.
How LightInTheBox Directly Compares with eBay
- Lightinthebox charges 15% commission on the prices set on each product by the merchant. eBay’s fees are 12.9% plus $0.30
- Each merchant will also have to cover shipping costs to the nearest Lightinthebox warehouse (at least one available in the US)
- Depending on timings, you may have to pay a warehousing fee at Lightinthebox, but the company does try to minimize that through smooth logistics
- Selling on Lightinthebox means you get to take advantage of their customer service and returns processes, where on eBay that’s each seller’s responsibility
Who is LightInTheBox Best Suited For
- Lightinthebox is not for your average side hustle
- Only dedicated commerce professionals should consider selling here, due to the slightly more complex logistics
- LITB requires registered merchants to provide various paperwork, including a company business licence and a tax registration certificate
- Merchants wanting to expand into the Chinese and Asian markets will find LITB a valuable opportunity
How to Succeed on LightInTheBox
- Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before applying to register as a merchant (paperwork in place etc)
- Product pics should be square (500x500px), must have a watermark, and no infringement patterns
- Products pictures also need to have a white background, unless in the apparels category
eWorldTrade: B2B portal Connecting Suppliers and Buyers
eWorldTrade is a business to business platform and database where commerce professionals can find wholesale suppliers for their shops. The site has mixed reviews, with some users reporting incredibly bad customer service with inconsistent messaging, while others praise it for ease of use and being able to find great suppliers.
This marketplace currently reports about 500,000 registered users and a constantly expanding database of manufacturers and suppliers.
The pricing structure for buyers is unclear, but suppliers have to pay a hefty yearly fee of $1499 and $7999 to be part of the database.
How eWorldTrade Directly Compares with eBay
- eWorld Trade is B2B where eBay is mostly B2C
- eWorld Trade lets merchants finds suppliers for the products they want to sell, eBay is a selling platform for merchants
- As a supplier wanting to sell on eWorld Trade, you have to cough up a hefty fee of minimum $1499 without any guaranteed sales; on eBay you only pay per item sold
Who is eWorldTrade Best Suited For
- Shop owners looking to find wholesale suppliers for their business
- Suppliers or manufacturers looking for new buyers
How to Succeed on eWorldTrade
- Make sure the terms of your membership with eWorld Trade is clearly defined on paper, as lots of users report communication problems with the reps around pricing and conditions
- As a supplier, showcase your best products. On the cheapest plan (= $1499 / year) you only get to display 10 products, so you want to make sure they shine
- As a buyer, be wary of shady suppliers and make sure you do your due diligence with all agreements signed and on paper
OpenSky: Small Marketplace, Small Prices
OpenSky is a marketplace connecting 1M+ shoppers and over 70,000 vendors, which is now owned by the Aibaba network.
It offers a large range of products, promising discounts up to 80%, and adds items to its clearance section daily.
Customer reviews of the site are mixed, with an average rating of 3.0 (1035 reviews) on Trustpilot, and a rating of 2.63 (2,296 reviews) on sitejabber. Some praise the quality of products, value for money, and fast shipping, While others complain about poor quality products, slow shipping, difficult returns and terrible customer service.
The truth is that products and fulfillment are wholly in the hands of the individual merchants here, with OpenSky taking a very hands-off approach in this area. Even customer service is supposed to be mainly handled by the merchants, so it’s unsurprising that you get a real mix of customer experiences with so many different vendors selling on the platform.
How OpenSky Directly Compares with eBay
- Becoming a merchant is easy on OpenSky, with no setup fee and no listing fees, similar to eBay
- OpenSky charges 20% commission on successful sales, and 30% on sales resulting from OpenSky promotional marketing. This is high compared to eBay’s 12.9% + $0.30
- OpenSky has about 20 million shoppers worldwide, eBay has 147 million
Who is OpenSky Best Suited For
- Best suited for vendors wanting to diversify their audience and profit from a smaller marketplace with less competition
- Vendors wanting to stay ahead of the curve and be part of one of the fastest-growing eCommerce marketplaces out there
- Smaller sellers may struggle to keep up with the low price point and high commission on this platform
How to Succeed on OpenSky
- Keep prices low to be able to compete
- Professional, varied product photography to stand out
- Define a clear shipping and returns policy on each product in order to comply with OpenSky’s merchant agreement
- Be aware that OpenSky reserves to right to reshuffle and tweak product content to opimize sales
15. Sears Marketplace
Sears Marketplace: Piggyback off an Established US Institution
Sears Marketplace is an offshoot of the US department store chain Sears. The marketplace was formally launched in 2009 to improve the company’s online presence and keep up with the growing eCommerce sector. It has been running, more or less successfully, ever since.
To become a seller on Sears Marketplace, you have to fill out an application and verify your address and business details (including tax and insurance details). The platform isn’t always accepting new sellers and it’s not entirely clear how to find out if they are – so it’s a matter of submitting an application and hoping for the best.
With 20 major merchandise categories and more than 15 million monthly unique shoppers, it doesn’t look like a bad deal for sellers at all, however, there are mixed reviews from vendors as to how many sales you can actually make from the site.
On the plus side, you get to capitalize on Sears’ established brand and the associated trust from customers, and the platform has easy integration for existing eBay sellers.
How Sears Marketplace Directly Compares with eBay
- 15M monthly unique visitors on Sears, as opposed to 109M on eBay
- Items on Sears marketplace will be shoppable on Sears.com, Kmart.com, Sears & Kmart mobile and in store kiosks
- Fees: $39.99 / month to be a part of Sears Marketplace, plus 8%-20% commission on sales. Depending on your products and sales volume, eBay’s 12.9% + $0.30 may be cheaper
- Fulfillment by Sears caters to merchants with warehousing concerns. Same price as being a Seller (includes selling account) plus $0.45-$0.60/ cubic foot storage fees per month
Who is Sears Marketplace Best Suited For
- Most suited for established sellers with a stable business looking for more sales
- Insurance and other business requirements set by Sears for becoming a merchant would make it harder for smaller / new sellers to join
- Small sellers may also struggle to make a profit with the fee structure
How to Succeed on Sears Marketplace
- Make sure you comply with Sears’ merchant requirements
- Offer free shipping
- Make sure you’re maintaining Cancellation Rates below 2.5% and Return Rates below 4% – Sears regularly review the performance of all sellers
- Participate in Sears’ promotions and deal campaigns: the platforms search algorithm will favor sellers who do
- Check out Sears’ own tips for success on their marketplace
Vestiaire: Sell Preloved Items to 23 Million Global Fashion Lovers
The Parisian Vestiaire Collective started in 2009 with a small team of six and has since grown to a global platform for reselling pre-loved luxury fashion. Dedicated to creating a more sustainable future through the promotion of the circular fashion movement, the platform is streamlined to make transactions easy and transparent for buyers and sellers alike.
They operate in 80+ countries, offering a catalog of over more than 5 million desirable fashion items from 6000 brands. According to Vestiaire, around 25,000 new products are added daily – to join the catalog of uniquely displayed and expertly curated items. The way the company provides such a unique look to their product listings is through clever use of tech that removes the background from all product photos uploaded by sellers.
All buyers have the option of having their items examined by professional authenticators in one of the global Vestiaire warehouses before the final order is shipped – creating trust and accountability between buyers and sellers. An important component when you’re specialising in a niche that lives on brands and authentic labels.
How Vestiaire Directly Compares with eBay
- Listings are free, with a success fee of 12% plus a 3% processing fee. So slightly more than eBay’s 12.9% + $0.30
- Vestiaire covers all shipping costs! This includes initial shipping to the authenticating warehouse. Buyers also have the option of having items directly shipped from trusted sellers.
- Buyers are served relevant products they’re most likely to buy, which is basically free advertising for your products
- Sales are final, with no returns
- Items over 1000 Euros are authenticated by default, but buyers have the option to do so for any item
- A Buyer Seller chat tool encourages communication on Vestiaire – eBay only offers this through Q+A
Who is Vestiaire Best Suited For
- Best suited to those with a genuine passion for high-end fashion
- Can be a side hustle, selling unwanted personal items
- Businesses need to register for a Professional Seller account with more control over listings and various other perks
How to Succeed on Vestiaire
- Vestiaire is strict about their community following the rules and encourages members to report sellers breaking them. If you’re found to be guilty of any breaches, Vestiaire may penalize you by revoking account privileges.
- Sell according to the seasons and plan ahead with your products
- Classic items or trendsetting styles perform best on Vestiaire
- Be detailed in your description, especially when it comes to distinguishing brand and design features
- Work to earn positive reviews and badges, and become a ‘trusted seller’. Swift shipping and good communication will go a long way for this.
Storenvy: The Store and Marketplace Combo Solution
San Francisco-based company Storenvy is a unique combination of marketplace shopping platform (like Etsy) and individual store creator (a la Spopify).
People wanting to set up their own customized online store, can do so for free (up to 20 products), and also opt-in to be part of its marketplace, which collates all of the stores created on Storenvy in one place.
The company also dubs itself as a ‘social shopping’ platform which means that shoppers have the ability to ‘follow’ each other, ‘watch’ stores, ‘envy’ products, and ‘collect’ lists of want-to-have items.
Storenvy is a self-proclaimed supporter of ‘indie’ emerging brands and ‘one-of-a-kind’ products, although in theory anyone could open a shop through the platform. Its store creator is easy-to-use and doesn’t require any coding knowledge, but has been criticized for its lack of customization options and integrations with other apps and services.
How Storenvy Directly Compares with eBay
- Storenvy is a store builder + marketplace, whereas eBay is a marketplace only
- There are various pricing options available for store setup, depending on the number of products you want to sell. The cheapest option that includes a custom domain is $9.99/ month
- Sales made through Storenvy marketplace are subject to a 15% commission of total sales price; eBay’s fees are 12.9% of sales price + $0.30
- Storenvy garners around 4M monthly visits, for eBay it’s 109M, so significantly more!
Who is Storenvy Best Suited For
- Those just starting out who want to create a custom store on a budget
- Sellers in indie niches that will benefit from the close community of the Storenvy marketplace
- Sellers not too worried about ltos of customization features and app integrations: they just want to get off the ground
- Sellers not too worried about their unique store’s SEO: your Storenvy profile is likely to be higher in search results than your actual store, due to the platforms more powerful SEO.
How to Succeed on Storenvy
- Keep an active and well-performing store (traffic, watchers, sales, ‘envies’) to be included in Editor’s pick, bumped in search results and features on Storenvy social accounts
- Tag your posts: When promoting products on socials, be sure to #storenvy and mention @storenvy to link to the official Storency account
- Optimize social media captions, products titlese and descriptions: include keywords, special features and eye-catching words to excite potential customers
OfferUp: A Mobile Peer-to-Peer Selling Network
Like Craigslist, OfferUp is a peer-to-peer selling network for advertising any second-hand, preloved, or unwanted items to other personal users. A wide range of categories leaves what you can sell wide open
Unlike Craigslist, the service runs mainly on an app (which is more modern-looking than Craigslist) where you can connect with and rate other users. These ratings will help future buyers figure out whether you’re a trustworthy seller.
There are also options to promote listings and pay for a Premium account with additional features. Sellers have 3 days to ship items after the completion of a sale, using a shipping label provided by OfferUp.
How OfferUp Directly Compares with eBay
- Listings on OfferUp are free, success fees are 12.9% of the sales price (or $1.99), which is very similar to eBay’s 12.9% + $0.30
- You can promote listings from $1.99, eBay offers custom promotional amounts from 2-100% of the sale price of an item
- Seller payouts on OfferUp can take a long time: between 10-14 days; on eBay it’s 1-3 business days
- A premium plan on OfferUp costs $19.99 / month, eBay offers store options from $21.99 / month
- OfferUp is for selling locally, eBay works globally
Who is OfferUp Best Suited For
- Perfect for those wanting to turn their clutter into cash
- For those wanting to capitalize on local audiences: e.g. local businesses
- Sellers looking for more of a community feel than you get with eBay
- Those who want a less ‘dodgy’ platform than Craigslist
How to Succeed on OfferUp
- Communication is key! Use the in-app messaging feature to respond to buyer queries and offers
- Clean up your items and present them nicely in quality photographs: just because it’s preloved doesn’t mean it needs to look like it!
- Stick to: First Come First Served. This is a tacit agreement on peer-to-peer platforms and keeps things fair.
- Confirm before you go: If you’re meeting someone for an exchange, be sure to communicate when you’re leaving the house to make things smooth and efficient
- Use all of the above to garner positive reviews and gain trust from the buyer-base
Bookoo: The Craigslist Alternative
Bookoo is very similar to Craigslist, in that it’s a classified ads selling platform that is relatively low-fi and it doesn’t charge any fees.
The platform offers a place for people to list items they want to sell in their local community in a variety of categories.
Sellers and buyers are responsible for organising exchanges and handling payments. This means the platform also doesn’t take any responsibility for exchanges, returns or disputes.
How Bookoo Directly Compares with eBay
- Listings are free on Bookoo, as well as eBay. But eBay does charge a success fee, which Bookoo doesn’t
- eBay has A LOT more functionality than Bookoo, which is a very basic localised listing tool
- eBay offers online payments, which Bookoo doesn’t
- eBay has huge traffic, Bookoo is a small player with about 700k monthly visits
Who is Bookoo Best Suited For
- Amongst the peer-to-peer platforms, Bookoo doesn’t really stand out aside from the fact that it’s free
- Sellers who want to cover all their bases in listing on various platforms, may want to include Bookoo in their line-up too
- Those who enjoy a very localised selling experience
How to Succeed on Bookoo
- General best practice for product listings apply here too:
- Catchy title including key words
- Conclusive, but snappy description
- A variety of clear photos
- People tend to search by category, so make sure you list your items in the right ones
eBid: Another "Sell Anything" Marketplace
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, and it didn’t even rank the Top 10 in the latest Seller’s Choice Awards. The absence of listing fees and a low 5% commission charged per sale (on the lowest seller tier) 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?
How eBid Directly Compares to eBay
- eBid is similar to eBay in that they both have an auction-style format for product listings
- eBay is a larger platform than eBid, and receives more traffic
- eBid is much cheaper than eBay, a lower-risk option
- They're both trusted marketplaces with a wide variety of product categories
Who is eBid Most Suited To?
- eBid is for you if you don't want to pay a high commission on your sales (as you have to on eBay),
- For those wanting to try their luck on an alternative (but similar) network
- There's extra potential here if you know a thing or two about generating your own traffic
How to Succeed with eBid
- If you promote your listings effectively through social media or forums, this is a great alternative to eBay
- Some more work may be required to get your store off the ground, due to the overall lower traffic volume compared to eBay
- Some top selling categories are:
- Craft supplies
Rakuten: The “Amazon of Japan”
Rakuten (formerly buy.com) is considered the “Amazon of Japan”. Now, Japan’s may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of eCommerce, but get this: Japan’s population is more than 125 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 customize 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.
How Rakuten compares directly to eBay
- Rakuten is more like Amazon than eBay – it’s a more traditional online retail website, not an auction platform.
- Rakuten gives merchants more flexibility to build their brand within the platform
- You can design your store
- Customize products
- Publish blog content
- Rakuten allows more flexibility for interacting with customers, including pricing, marketing, and promotions. It encourages tailor-made experiences.
- Rakuten has expanded to at least 29 countries, including the US, and is planning to serve more countries in the coming years.
- Fees are a bit higher than eBay’s: $39 / month seller fee, a $0.99 listing fee per item, plus 8%-20% commission on sales
- It has excellent seller tools and support.
Who is Rakuten best suited to?
- Best suited to people sick of the intense competition on eBay and Amazon, looking for a different entry point to the world of eCommerce
- Especially good for people with experience doing business in Japan, or anyone wanting to break into the Eastern market
- While it is now an international marketplace, Rakuten hasn’t quite got the same reach outside Japan as other marketplaces
How to succeed on Rakuten
- Choose a niche product with sufficient demand and not too much competition
- Utilize the 20,000 characters available to write high-converting product descriptions,
- 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 can be with shipping, the more likely you are to make sales.
Newegg: A Leading Tech e-Retailer
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 42M customers. Newegg is based in California and has distribution facilities across North America and Canada. It has a global reach into more than 50 countries.
How Newegg compares directly to eBay
- More restricted in terms of what products you can sell – Newegg is solely for tech products.
- HOWEVER, this means a more clearly defined audience and potential customer-base.
- Newegg offers a fulfillment service - Shipped By Newegg (SBN) - similar to Amazon’s FBA. eBay doesn’t do fulfillment.
- Newegg provides account managers who can help you set up your business and guide you along the journey.
- Newegg offers tiered membership options: Free, $29.95 / month, and $99.95 / month. The more you pay, the more support, tools, flexibility and listings you get.
- They take a commission of between 8% and 15%
Who is Newegg best suited to?
- Best for anyone selling tech products, particularly those operating in the US and Canada markets
- Newegg’s audience is mainly men aged from 18 to 35, so if that’s your target market, Newegg could be a good option for you.
How to succeed on Newegg
- 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 recommends taking advantage of its promotional tools, such as a daily deal emails and various seller programs.
- Make sure you’re not listing any prohibited items
- Provide excellent customer service
eCrater: The “100% free” online marketplace
The main appeal of eCrater is that it’s free to set up a store – it even has templates you can use to easily create an attractive store. It’s also 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 supposedly there are 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.
How eCrater compares directly to eBay
- It’s 100% free to open and run a store on eCrater. However, if eCrater brings you a sale, it takes between 2.9% and 12.9% of the total. You keep 100% of the sales that you bring to your store through your own SEO and marketing efforts.
- Around 1.4M monthly visitors, as opposed to eBay’s 109M
- eCrater provides online store templates that help you to get set up quickly.
- You can customize your store to include your branding.
Who is eCrater best suited to?
- 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.
How to succeed on eCrater
- Invest 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.
24. Ruby Lane
Ruby Lane: The Marketplace for “Collecting Enthusiasts”
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.
How Ruby Lane compares directly with eBay
- Ruby Lane is a fixed-price marketplace and does not provide for auctions.
- It’s much more niche than eBay, focussing only on antiques, art, collectibles and jewelry. That means visitors to your store are more highly targeted.
- $25 monthly fee which is refunded if you list 15 products that month
- Commission of 9.9% on sales, capped at $250
- There’s greater quality control on Ruby Lane and sellers are vetted.
Who is Ruby Lane best suited to?
- Ruby Lane is best for savvy sellers in the antique, collectibles, art and jewelry markets
- Sellers with target audience of women over 40
How to succeed on Ruby Lane
- Writing high-converting, accurate descriptions, quality photography, excellent customer service, strategic marketing
- Be aware 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.
25. Your Online Store
Your Online Store: The No-Competition Option
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?
How Selling on Your Own Site Directly Compares to eBay
- You're building your own brand.
- You have full control over payment options, your brand, and store design
- You're not competing with any other sellers on the same platform, which means you don't lose sales to others
- Your prices aren’t driven down by competition, which makes way for larger profit margins.
Who is Best Suited to Owning Their Own Store?
- 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.
How to Succeed with Your Online Store
- Your main goal when starting out is to get traffic to your site to encourage sales
- There are a couple of great lessons readily available to help you with this:
26. Niche-Specific Sites
Niche-Specific Sites: Smaller Markets but Highly Targeted
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?
How Niche-Specific Sites Directly Compare to eBay
- Much smaller networks with less traffic than eBay.
- Highly targeted to buyers of that niche.
- You don't have to compete with other categories for attention.
- These sites are less obvious options, so some of your competition won't be here.
Who is Best Suited to Selling on Niche-Specific Sites?
- Suitable for sellers passionate about a specific niche
- Sellers who bulk-order a small range of items will also do well here
- 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.
How to Succeed with Niche-Specific Sites
- Zero in on the type of product you'd like to sell and determine how much demand there is, e.g. do a keyword search with tools 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 have a strong idea of what you'd like to sell, search Google for "Places to sell [product type]."
- Look for marketplaces that cater to your specific niche
- Be sure to read about other sellers’ reviews 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.
- Some niches you could try:
- Fashionable and affordable everyday wear (dresses, tops, pants/jeans, skirts, accessories, etc.)
- Women's clothing and apparel (dresses, tops, bottoms, active wear, etc.)
- Stylish/sophisticated women's wear (Contemporary and casual dresses, suits, and evening wear, etc.)
- A huge supply of liquidated or surplus clothing stock (Women's apparel, dresses, accessories, etc.)
- Swimwear (Bikinis, swimsuits, hats, cover-up dresses)
- Plus-sized clothing
- Or get something extra with styles from…
These are just some examples of the trusted suppliers you can access in the SaleHoo Directory.