Sick of eBay? Try these alternative places to sell...

So you're in a funk with eBay, or maybe you're just looking out into the big wide world of selling platforms to see what opportunities lay yonder. Either way, you've ended up here, and you're 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 the largest marketplace 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 alternatives? 

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.
 

1. Amazon

Amazon LogoAmazon: 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. 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. 

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. 

How Amazon Compares directly to eBay

Want to know exactly what you'll get with Amazon that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:

  • They're both large networks with a very large range of product categories. 
  • eBay is essentially an auction house. That means bidding in some cases (there is a Buy It Now option, too), and it might take a week to sell an item. Amazon is a traditional retail setup, and sales are instant with a fixed price. 
  • eBay charges sellers for listing on the site, regardless of success, as well as taking a commission when a sale is made. You can list on Amazon for free, which is safer (you have nothing to lose if a listing is unsuccessful), but you'll pay $0.99 per item sold on top of the commission for the sale if you have a basic, free seller's account.
  • eBay isn't great about providing extra services to buyers, as it doesn't actually sell anything itself. It's up to the sellers to make good on customer service. Amazon, by comparison, offers numerous perks for those who've paid for the Prime membership (including 2-day shipping on all qualified orders), and all around-great customer service, which act as incentives to draw in more repeat buyers. 

Who is Amazon Best Suited To?

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. 

How to Succeed on Amazon

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.

SaleHoo Lab

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.

2. Etsy


 

Etsy LogoEtsy (as well as Ruby Lane): The Artsy-Crafty Platforms

Etsy is doing very well as an online selling platform. It currently has 1.4 million active sellers, and 20.8 million active buyers. Not bad! It also came out on top as the sellers' choice for online marketplaces, dominating almost every category.

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 make geeky things, costumes, jewelry, fashion accessories, home decor, 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. 

How Etsy Compares Directly to eBay

Want to know exactly what you'll get with Etsy that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:

  • You can sell pretty much anything on eBay (and yes, Amazon, too), whereas Etsy caters to the handmade/vintage/boutique niche.
  • eBay has mass-sold items and big brands, while Etsy's buyers enjoy the unique nature of the products they're getting.
  • Etsy is cheaper than eBay. While they both charge a listing fee and a commission, eBay's rates are significantly higher. Etsy charges just 3.5 percent per sale plus a $0.20 listing fee. 
    • You can list something for four times as long on Etsy than you can on eBay for the same price.
    • Amazon will charge anywhere from 8-15 percent depending on the category of product. 
  • eBay is an auction site, whereas Etsy is for direct sales.
  • eBay gets more traffic than Etsy with its larger market and audience. 

Who is Etsy Best Suited To?

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. 

How to Succeed on Etsy

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.

Selling Platforms Similar to Etsy

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:

  • 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 here, 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.

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. 
 

3. Bonanza

 

Bonanza LogoBonanza: A Fast-Growing Online Marketplace

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 15 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 30,000 entrepreneurs have already created businesses here.

Bonanza is one of the easiest selling platforms to use, and its popularity is on the rise amongst sellers. This showed in the site's "ease of use" ranking in the Sellers' Choice awards, and it has consistently come out on top as the best at communicating with sellers. 

How Bonanza Compares Directly to eBay

Want to know exactly what you'll get with Bonanza that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:

  • Like eBay, merchants can sell almost anything on Bonanza, but unlike eBay, the majority of items on Bonanza are quirky and unique items. 
  • Because Bonanza doesn’t make money until its sellers do, you'll see much higher profit margins. It is absolutely free to list an item on Bonanza, and the average fee per sale can be as little as 3.5%, which is considerably less than eBay.
  • Bonanza is a fixed-price marketplace, meaning that buyers pay the listed price, as opposed to bidding against other buyers like in eBay’s auction-style listings.
  • 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.
  • Many online sellers like to list their items on multiple platforms, which is why Bonanza has easy-to-use import features for listings on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon.
  • Although Bonanza's monthly traffic is lower than eBay's, the ratio of shoppers to sellers on Bonanza is much higher: 1,300 to 1 on Bonanza vs. less than 10 to 1 on eBay. That means far less competition between sellers, and far more chances for buyers to see your products.

Who is Bonanza Best Suited To?

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.

How to Succeed With Bonanza

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:

These are all categories in the SaleHoo directory, so you'll find a wide variety of trusted wholesale suppliers there for sourcing these types of products. 

There are a couple of features on Bonanza that can help you to succeed:

  1. Sellers can choose to increase their advertising commissions (the percentage of the sale price the seller pays) to gain exposure for listings on the site. As long as sellers balance their ad commissions with their profit margins, this is a great way to get more visibility and increase sales.
  2. Another feature Bonanza provides for sellers is the option to publish listings on other online shopping engines, like Nextag or Pricegrabber. This option can help you to reach a much larger audience across multiple platforms.

4. Craigslist


 

Craigslist logoCraigslist: 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

Want to know exactly what you'll get with Craigslist that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:

  • eBay charges to list and sell items; Craigslist only charges for a small handful of post types, like job listings. Products are free to list. 
  • eBay will get involved in disputes if necessary, while you're on your own with Craigslist. So there's higher risk there. 
  • Craigslist requires you to sell locally, and often you arrange for pick-up or drop-off of items. This limits your market compared to eBay, which usually involves shipping to a much wider area. 

Who is Craigslist Suited To? 

Craigslist is best suited to sellers who are selling locally, and prefer to manage their transactions personally. It's 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. 

How to Succeed With Craigslist

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.

List items that will sell well locally. If you buy wholesale goods and save on listing and shipping fees, you could make a hefty profit margin. 

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. 
 

5. eBid


 

eBid LogoeBid: 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. 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?

How eBid Directly Compares to eBay

Want to know exactly what you'll get with eBid that you haven't had with eBay? Here's the list:

  • eBay is a larger platform than eBid, and receives more traffic.
  • eBid is much cheaper than eBay, a lower-risk option.
  • They're both large, trusted marketplaces with a wide variety of product categories.
  • Both have an auction-style format for product listings. 

Who is eBid Most Suited To?

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.

How to Succeed With eBid

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. 

6. Your Online Store


 

SaleHoo Stores​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

Here are the benefits of running your own online store, rather than selling on eBay:

  • You're building your own brand.
  • You can choose things like which payment forms to accept or tweak the design of your store to suit your preferences (and your branding).
  • You're not competing with any other sellers on the same platform.
    • This means you don't lose sales to others. It also means you don't have to use such competitive pricing. This 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

​​Selling on your own website used to be expensive and complicated, but it doesn't have to be! If you don't have website-building skills and a heap of time, then store builders such as SaleHoo Stores are a really great option for you.

With SaleHoo Stores, there's no need for technical experience or knowledge; you can have your own store up and running in minutes and with just a few simple clicks of a mouse. You can see a SaleHoo store demo here

Want a shop for yourself? It's super easy. Find out just how easy it is to set up your own online store here

Then, 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. 

7. Niche-Specific Sites 


 

Alternative networks​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 Threadflip. 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?

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. 

How to Succeed with Niche-Specific Sites

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 on Threadflip, 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. 

8. Your Suggestions 

 

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: 

  • The Early Years Boutique: Gifts and products revolving around children and babies.
  • Auction My Stuff:- Art, antiques, and collectibles.
  • Swappa: "Gently used" mobile phones and tablets.
  • Elephant Bid (x2): Many categories, such as electronics, health and beauty, jewelry, clothing, video games, etc.
  • On The Hound: General multi-category marketplace.
  • Neat Stacks: Mostly clothes and shoes, but also toys, electronics, and accessories such as phone cases.
  • Kalamazam: Art and crafts.
  • MikList: Pinterest-style marketplace, strongly visual layout for selling.

 

 

 

So Where Do I Sell?


 

There are a lot of options for you to choose from, so it depends on which of these following elements appeal to you most...

If you want similar to (but cheaper than) eBay, Amazon and eBid are the closest relatives.

If you just want a broad network that's similar to eBay but cheaper, then Amazon is your next port of call, followed by eBid. Both are worth looking into, but Amazon has more traffic. It's a giant — right up there with eBay — only with a much lower cost and direct selling rather than bidding. 

If you have anything crafty or unique, you should definitely try the likes of Etsy.

These creative-style networks are really taking off, with Etsy coming in first as a sellers' choice. 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.

If you don't want to pay to list items until you've actually made a sale, try Bonanza.

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. If you do decide to give it a go, remember to check out this guide to selling on Bonanza.

If you want to sell locally at no cost, try Craigslist (or even local markets).

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 dodge the competition altogether, you should build your own online store.

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 (unless you use a store builder like SaleHoo stores) and to promote, but in the bigger picture it can be a hugely profitable option. 

If you're really focused on one type of product, try niche-specific sites.

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. 

If you're still unsure, you could look into any of the suggestions from the comments.

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. 

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