Without further delay, let’s hop right into the list:
Many people’s first thought when they need something is: I’ll check Amazon. With well over 250 million users, it’s a tough act to follow. Furthermore, Amazon is a platform that many people trust. As most of us know, buying on Amazon is extremely easy and shipping is fast, but those costs have to go somewhere — hello sellers! For businesses, fees start at $39.99/month and go up from there as Amazon takes a percentage of each sale. Individuals can list on Amazon for a flat $1 fee plus a % of their sale price depending upon the item category. This leads to another issue: if you’re not selling an item already listed on Amazon, you have a fair amount of work to do before your item is up.
Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) service lets sellers ship their inventory to Amazon’s warehouse. And for another round of fees, Amazon will handle everything for you. Taking this route, you can expect to pay around (conservatively speaking) 20% for every dollar of revenue you’re bringing in. This is still not a bad route to take if you’re selling 500 units of a specific popular item.
Competition. Being a massive marketplace has its drawbacks. When you sell on Amazon you immediately open the door to a huge pool of buyers, and while that’s great, don’t forget about the massive amount of people selling your exact product. There is only one “buy” button and if you don’t win that piece of real estate — you’re an “other.” In order to win you’ll need to be the best in terms of price, rating, fulfillment, stock, etc. If you dive deep into the topic, you’ll discover a large community of people finding popular items and ordering a massive amount at wholesale prices to re-sell on Amazon.
Despite all of these drawbacks, Amazon is still an excellent marketplace if you have thick margins, a lot of stock, use their FBA service, and you’re selling the right items.
Selling online? Most people think eBay. It’s almost like asking for a Band-Aid when you really mean an adhesive bandage. The point is that eBay is very well established and there are a ton of people browsing it daily. In addition, posting a product is fairly simple and you can essentially sell anything.
Here’s the issue; while there are a ton of people browsing eBay, the significant number of sellers/items makes it very difficult to get discovered. I’ve listed several items on eBay and none of them sold. Of course, I could just suck at selling on eBay — i’m sure there’s an art to it that i’m missing. eBay’s fee structure is somewhat confusing. Better than Amazon’s, but still quite confusing. There’s a “Final Value Fee” which is between 4–10% of your item’s selling price. Furthermore, eBay will likely convince you to purchase services that will increase the fee amount — Advanced listing upgrade fees, Promoted listing fees, and Supplemental service fees.
Auctions are fun though and eBay was pretty much first to the online marketplace party — so that definitely counts for something. Unfortunately, eBay has been continuing to tilt their allegiance to Buyers leaving Sellers feeling quite abandoned.
If you have nothing nice to say, though, don’t say anything at all. eBay is still the Gorilla and they aren’t going anywhere. If you’re selling online, eBay is still a solid option in comparison to the multitude of online marketplace companies not on this list.
You can’t help but feel happy when you’re on Etsy and if you’re planning to sell hand-knit sweaters, it’s a great option. Etsy allows you to quickly set up a shop, brand yourself (a little bit), and start selling. I’ve been in touch with many Etsy sellers and a lot of them are satisfied with the service they receive.
The fees, though, are another story. Etsy is rare in the fact that they actually charge sellers to post an item — $0.20. This may be trivial IF you’re only selling a couple items, but it’s only the beginning of their fee collection. There are listing fees, selling fees, Paypal fees, promotion fees, shipping label fees, multi-quantity order fees, credit card processing fees, etc. Expect to pay, at minimum, $0.20 to post, 3.5% to sell, a variable shipping label rate, and 3% in credit card or Paypal fees.
Etsy is also suffering from the massive marketplace issue. There are simply too many people selling on the site which causes a ton of price competition, duplicate items, and even mirror stores people literally steal your ideas and open a nearly identical store).
If you’re selling a few handmade items, Etsy is significantly better than eBay or Amazon. However, beware of the fees and exposure issues before you post.
Craigslist serves its purpose. There is nothing bad to say about Craigslist because, well, you go there knowing exactly what you’ll be getting — a free classified ad. If you’re selling a car or couch and want someone to come haul it away, Craigslist is a great tool. It’s entirely not Craigslist’s fault, but the whole online classified ad space is somewhat fundamentally flawed for selling your stuff, though.
I recently spoke with a family friend about her experience selling a coffee table on Craigslist. The reason she chose the platform was that she desired local pickup and a free listing. While Craigslist does provide a lot of flexibility, sometimes that flexibility is detrimental. In this case there were two buyers for her table at the same time each hounding her with requests and promises that “they have the cash but want to negotiate when they meet.” Not a very comforting experience. Furthermore, it is common to find ghost listings on Craigslist — items that have already been sold but the seller hasn’t removed it. On the contrary, buyers may say they’re coming to purchase an item, so the seller takes down the listing, and the buyer never shows.
Craigslist is a great tool, just know what you’re getting yourself into.
It’s a plug, sure, but it’s also the truth. BriskSale is a new online marketplace that is, essentially, comprised of the best pieces of every other online marketplace. Getting up and running on the site is quick, listing an item is the fastest I’ve seen, and you can list either Locally or Nationwide by simply checking a box on the posting page. As many of the large and established marketplaces are abandoning their sellers, BriskSale leans all of the benefits towards them. Their goal is simple: be the best way to sell online. There are no listing fees, selling fees, or fees for an extra exposure bump — BriskSale optimizes every listing free of charge. A true zero-fee marketplace.
They do have a paid option, though, and i’ll just take a snippet from their website:
“In addition to the excellent features we offer everyone for free, if you’re looking for EXTRA exposure we’ve also got you covered. Why would you want extra exposure? Let’s say you sell a product that people have never really heard of or simply aren’t actively searching for, or maybe you’re trying to sell products that people don’t know they want yet (like a new revolutionary gadget). There’s a field on the posting page that says ‘Commission.’ By entering a commission greater than $0, you immediately gain access to our network of BriskSellers.
First of all, who is a BriskSeller and what do they do? Anyone with good marketing skills can become a BriskSeller. Many of our BriskSellers are college students trying to make money on the side. BriskSellers surf the site, find products they believe they can sell, and then start marketing (offline, online, etc.). If they successfully find a buyer for your item(s), they will receive the commission you posted. By leveraging their expertise and personal networks, your product(s) not only have a higher chance of selling, but also do so faster.”
Overall, BriskSale allows users flexibility in whether they want an entirely free posting or if they want some extra hands on deck. Furthermore, if you don’t have anything to sell, joining BriskSale’s team as a BriskSeller could be a great part time job. Learn more here: Earn Income BriskSelling
Article key takeaway:
Check out BriskSale, it’s a new zero-fee marketplace that truly puts sellers first.