Online marketplaces offer a number of advantages for small retailers, including the ability to reach new and diverse customer bases, but not all online selling sites are created equal. Some have proven invaluable resources for sellers, while others levy numerous fees without delivering a sufficient number of customers. Whether your wares are vintage clothing or handcrafted doghouses, it’s important to put time and effort into selecting the best sites to sell your products online.
Learn more about the 10 most popular online marketplaces listed below and determine which, if any, is ideal for your business’ unique needs.
Amazon is a titan of online retail, and likely one of the first places that comes to mind when you consider selling products online. Along with a wide reach for finding potential buyers, Amazon offers an easy-to-use selling platform for numerous product categories, including beauty, books and home improvement, just to name a few.
Amazon’s marketplace program is split into two tiers.
For individual sellers who plan on selling fewer than 40 items per month, Amazon charges a flat $0.99/item + a referral fee ranging from 6 – 45% (with an average fee of 15%) depending on the product category you’re selling in, and are eligible for the Fulfillment by Amazon service, which lets Amazon store your products, handle customer service, shipping, and fulfillment for all of your online orders through Amazon.com.
For professional sellers who plan on selling over 40 items per month, Amazon charges a monthly subscription fee of $39.99 + the same referral fee mentioned above. In addition to being eligible for the Fulfillment by Amazon service, the professional seller program also allows you to sell in all of North America, use bulk listing and reporting tools, customize shipping rates for your customers, offer gift-wrapping and special promotions to select products, and are eligible for top placement on product detail pages.
Founded in 1995, eBay is one of the most familiar and long-standing ecommerce marketplaces. While almost any item can be listed on eBay, sellers offering rare or branded items—including vintage goods and collectibles—tend to do best with the service.
The fee for selling on eBay is 10% of the total sale value, up to a maximum charge of $750. If you plan to list more than 50 items per month, you should note that insertion fees of $0.30 per item may apply.
Power sellers, however, however should explore the eBay Stores option, where in exchange for different monthly fees, sellers will have an increased number of items that can be listed for free, and lower insertion fees for items that go over the limit.
eBay Stores allow sellers a wide variety of customizations for their eBay storefront, including a banner image, featured products, larger product photos, product categorization, a customer newsletter and more.
Additionally, selling on eBay is ideal for merchants with a large number of international customers. With the Global Shipping Program, sellers can sell their products in 101+ countries by sending their goods to the eBay warehouse in Kentucky.
Upon sale, the company will then fill out the necessary customs forms and send the goods on to their destinations.
Many retailers are surprised to learn Sears has allowed smaller retailers access to their audience of millions through its own popular marketplace program.
For $39.99/month, you can list your products in almost any category that Sears sells, and your products will appear on Sears.com, the Sears Mobile app, and in kiosks found throughout Sears retail locations.
Outside of the monthly fee, Sears only charges on a performance basis, with a standard 2.5% interchange fee, and commissions ranging from 5.50% – 17.50% depending on the category you’re selling in.
Retailers such as Mercent.com have said “As the 3rd largest online marketplace with millions of unique and loyal monthly shoppers, Sears is a key online shopping channel for Mercent and its portfolio…”
In the past few years, Etsy has made a name for itself as the de-facto marketplace for people selling handcrafted items. Etsy’s online marketplace features 12.3 million products and hosts 875,00 merchants at any given time.
One of the benefits of this marketplace is that buyers are searching for items with a “homemade” feel, and the number of active buyers has grown steadily in the past few years.
Etsy charges $0.20 per item listed + a transaction fee of 3.5% of the selling price and any add-ons such as gift-wrapping. This transaction fee does not include shipping or taxes.
Unlike some of the other marketplaces mentioned previously, Etsy does not offer a subscription program for power sellers, instead opting to keep it’s rates uniform across all merchants. If you’re considering selling on Etsy, check out these marketing tips from an Etsy power user on the Quickbooks Resource Center.
With an audience of over 32 million consumers in the US and Europe, Wish has become a popular destination for mobile shoppers to buy electronics, fashion, clothing, accessories and more.
Given the popularity of the mobile app, Wish’s algorithm works to put your products in front of “relevant consumers based on their demographics, purchase behavior, and wishlists.”
According to the company, “Hundreds of thousands of consumers spend thirty minutes browsing products on Wish every day.” meaning you’ll be exposed to users who are primed to shop. Wish is also risk-free in that you are no fees unless you make a sale.
With 25,000 registered businesses, Bonanza is a great choice for retailers who specialize in fashion, home, beauty and art.
With Bonanza’s tagline being “Find everything but the ordinary.” shoppers can expect to find unique, and often offbeat items on this online marketplace.
For sellers, Bonanza charges no listing fees, however, the company does collect a 3.5% closing fee on sales under $500. For higher-value transactions, Bonanza charges a flat fee of $17.50 plus 1.5% of the sale amount over $500.
While it may not boast the name recognition of Amazon or eBay, Bonanza, according to Wheretosellonline.com, does receive roughly 2.2 million visitors per month, and was rated “The Best Place to Sell Online” in a 2016 survey by eCommerceBytes.
One reason may be because Bonanza offers a suite of very seller focused tools, such as a deep integration with Google Shopping, an image background remover, and an automatic product sync with other online marketplace tools.
Bonanza has also been featured on Entrepreneur, CNN, Lifehacker, Mashable, and many other reputable outlets, making it an option worth considering when picking a site to sell your products online.
Known primarily as an online marketplace for computer hardware, electronics, tech gadgets and gear, 17 year old Newegg.com has become the first choice for many technophiles looking for a great deal.
Founded in the year 2000, Newegg boasts having over 32 million customers, and reaches 50+ countries.
Newegg offers a free option for their seller program, along with two paid options.
The free tier allows you to upload up to 5,000 products, and gives you access to their seller portal and data feed, allowing you to bulk upload your items, manage listing creation, process order shipments and returns, and edit your pricing.
Free tier merchants are also allowed to participate in Newegg’s promotions, and can advertise on Newegg’s homepage, through on-site banners, within the featured sellers area, or in their Daily Deals section.
At $29.95/month, merchants can choose the Professional tier and upload up to 25,000 products. In addition to the other benefits of the free tier, Professional provides merchants with a dedicated account manager, a premium seller store, access to Newegg’s premier seller program, and discounts on fulfillment and shipping label services.
What’s more exciting at the Professional tier however, is that merchants also become eligible for participation in NewEgg’s curated marketing programs, meaning your products could be featured in NewEgg’s social media, blog posts, newsletter and other select marketing services.
For high-volume merchants, there is the Enterprise tier which is $99.95/month and offers all the same benefits as the previous tiers, but offers unlimited product uploads and better discounts on NewEgg’s fulfillment and shipping label services.
In addition to NewEgg’s monthly fee, they charge an additional 8-15% on each product sold, depending on the product’s category.
According to the National Retail Foundation, Wayfair was the #32 online retailer in the world in 2017, ranked directly under Sears, making this a great marketplace to consider, especially if you’re in the home goods & furnishing vertical.
Founded in 2002, Wayfair differs slightly from the other programs on this list, in that Wayfair is a dropship seller, meaning you would fulfill the orders on Wayfair’s behalf, and would make a profit on the sale.
Because of this business model, public information about product margins on Wayfair’s products are scarce, however, according to this reddit thread from 2016, the site generates roughly 21 million visitors per month, and according to their own press release, made 4.3 billion in net revenue from September 2016 – September 2017.
If you manufacture your own homeware products, Wayfair is well worth looking into.
If you sell antiques and vintage goods, you may want to consider utilizing the GoAntiques online marketplace.
Promising no commissions or listing fees, GoAntiques instead charges a flat fee with basic membership starting at $24.99/month.
Additionally, GoAntiques seller accounts offer easy-to-use tools allow retailers to edit multiple listings on the marketplace and view stats on their sales. More recently, GoAntiques also unrolled a feature that allows you to upload your Etsy inventory files, making it easy to keep both online marketplaces in sync.
OpenSky is a members only online marketplace that offers a wide range of trendy products at great, discounted rates, and is ideal for sellers looking to target a young adults shopping for apparel, home goods, electronics, beauty products and more.
According to the site, OpenSky reaches 20 million shoppers spending over $1 Billion a month.
Membership to the OpenSky Pro seller program is $31.95/month + a 15% transaction fee and 3% credit card processing fee.
As a Pro member, your products are eligible to be featured on over 200 Ad channels, as well as marketed over Facebook, Pinterest & Google. Pro members are also featured in the company’s emails, retargeting campaigns, have unlimited product listings, along with a host of other features.
Hosting thousands of shoppers on an hourly basis, Zibbet is a well-known source of handmade products and art.
Unlike many online marketplaces, Zibbet offers a free plan, which allows merchants to list and sell up to 10 items a month without paying transaction fees. On the free plan, sellers can include up to one image with each item. If you wish to sell more than 10 items, you will need to choose one of the paid plans, which start at $4 per month.
On Zibbet’s Unlimited plan, sellers can create coupons and discounts, use premium themes, fully customize their store, and have access to advanced analytics.
Final Thoughts on Selling in Online Marketplaces
Thanks to the internet, the lack of a brick-and-mortar location is no longer a barrier to business success. On the contrary, enterprising retailers can take advantage of numerous online marketplaces to sell their wares. By choosing the right site to sell your products, and avoiding those with hefty fees or contracts, you can grow your small business successfully in the coming years.