October 15, 2012—An Online Marketplace is an established website that offers potential sellers the opportunity to sell items and products online. These marketplace platforms work almost like a virtual swap-meet as people come to
buy products, while others come to sell their products. They provide a method for listing items, selling them, and collecting payment. The advantage of using marketplaces to sell products is the proven audience arena each one consumes, making it extremely easy to showcase potential products.
Although there are dozens of internet marketplaces for people to sign-up and start selling, very few of them are worth the time, energy, and money. Depending on what you’re selling and to whom, each marketplace has its own niche of customers, prices and products. Typically these platforms charge various fees and/or commissions to sellers for listing and selling items. While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of online marketplaces people can use to list and sell items, here are the Top 5 Marketplaces You Can Start Selling Today!
For decades Sears was associated as the #1 department store around the world. In today’s age of online shopping, Sear’s is staying competitive by creating their own marketplace for consumers to buy and sell from. The Sears marketplace allows users 3 different methods of making money—Advertising on Sears, selling on Sears, and selling through Sears. For $39.99 a month plus commission fees, you can sell a variety of your own products via their highly trafficked website. The second option is selling through Sears which is very similar to Amazon’s FBA. The Sear’s FBS program offers sellers the opportunity to ship their products directly to Sears and when orders are made; Sears will ship the orders out di
rectly to the buyer. Also, if you have your own ecommerce store, Sears.com offers owners the chance to advertise their products on their website for a simple per click fee.
Pros: Fulfillment By Sears program is very innovative and extremely profitable for sellers if used correctly. The only other marketplace that offers a fulfillment program is Amazon.
Cons: Although Sears has been a house-hold name for years, other marketplaces are dominating the game making it increasingly hard for Sears sellers to get a leg up.
In a short amount of time, Etsy.com has grown to become a giant, vibrant marketplace for buyers and sellers. With over 6,800,000 unique visitors a month, Etsy is the #1 marketplace for homemade and vintage products. Although it’s unlike your traditional type of marketplace, you can’t sell just anything; it is a great foundation for crafters and artists to sell their individually made products. Items typically listed and sold include handmade creations, vintage goods (20 years old), and non-handmade crafting supplies. If you’re looking to start your own business selling product you create, Etsy.com is the way to go.
Pros: It’s pretty cheap to sell–Etsy charges sellers $0.20 per listing and then a transaction fee of 3.5% when the item is sold.
Cons: Etsy has strict guidelines on what can and cannot be sold on their marketplace. If it’s not vintage or handmade, you can’t sell it here.
Buy.com has been making waves for years as one of the top online marketplaces for sellers and buyers. Although they do not charge any monthly fees, they do charge a commission fee depending on which type of items you’re trying to sell. Commission rates vary from 8%-15% depending on the category but sellers love the large volume of traffic Buy.com receives on a monthly basis. While Buy.com isn’t necessary the best place for first-time sellers to start, it is a great platform for seasoned sellers and established websites to sell and profit from their goods. Buy.com offers easy to use tools for listing and managing inventory with industry standard tools. Plus, buyers see your brand name through the entire process of buying and checking out, which is great for businesses.
Pros: Established marketplace that offers sellers the opportunity to increase sales with less fees and commission rates.
Cons: To sell on Buy.com you must either have a registered business/ecommerce or be a veteran marketplace seller.
eBay.com is the mother of online marketplaces. It was one of the first original marketplaces to let people list and sell products using their website. Their easy-to-use platform allows users to list products in either auction style format or fixed-pricing, as well as manage all listings with their simple to use dashboard. Although there is no monthly fee to sell on eBay, they do charge a pretty substantial commission fee for any items sold on their marketplace. However, eBay is one of the only few sites that lets users sell old and used items trouble-free. With eBay.com, sellers can choose their own prices, how long it takes to ship, and if they want to accept refunds are not. Plus, eBay offers sellers unique tools to make selling simple. You can easily import your entire collection of inventory with the click of a button as well as entertain offers from potential buyers. If you’re new to selling online, eBay.com is a great place to start.
Pros: Simple to use and eBay attracts one of the largest online marketplace crowds in the world.
Cons: The major drawback of eBay is the constantly changing fees structure.
While everyone has their own opinion on which marketplace is best to start selling, Amazon Services blows the competition out of the water. Not only can you easily list products from their enormous catalog using UPC numbers, but they also offer other services like Amazon WebStores and Fulfillment By Amazon. They offer sellers two basic methods to start selling depending on the amount of your products they’re listing. If you’re selling less than 40 products a month, the fees start at $0.99 per item plus commission. If you’re selling more than 40 items a month, the monthly fee starts at $39.99 plus commission fees. These are great options for online sellers trying to figure out which method is best for them. Sellers who have massive amounts of products to sell and don’t have the time to ship them all, sellers can use Amazon’s Fulfillment program which lets users ship their inventory to Amazon warehouse so be shipped directly to the buying customer. Not only does this eliminate shipping and labeling costs, but your time, energy, and sanity. Whether you’re a pro seller with years of experience or brand new to the game, Amazon makes it incredibly easy to start selling your products today!
Pros: With over 250,000,000 unique visitors a month, Amazon.com is the best way to display and promote your products to a wide array of potential customers.
Cons: The only drawback to selling on Amazon is the strict guidelines for sellers. You must be on top of your game and ship all orders out in a timely fashionable manner.