16 Best Places to Sell Your Products Online in 2021-2022
Here, we present the 16 best websites to sell your products. Although most of those sites might seem familiar to you, there’s still a possibility to discover a few gems amongst the well-knowns. Selling platforms have significantly evolved over the recent years, with many new strong and interesting players entering the market. In saying that, it’s worth noting that as of 2021, two well-known websites, Amazon and eBay, are still holding their stronghold positions as the most visited online marketplaces in the world. But are those marketplaces worth your business? Or are there any more lucrative opportunities hiding elsewhere? We hope this article will shed light on those questions.
NB: All presented statistics here are recent, from 2020 to 2021, and are based on Statista reports or open data featured on a company’s website.
Marketplaces & Platforms: What’s the Difference?
An online marketplace is an ecommerce website that facilitates the sale and purchase of products and services from many different sources. There are typically three parties involved in marketplace operations, such as a marketplace owner or operator, merchants, and customers.
What is an online selling platform?
An online selling site is an ecommerce platform that lets online store owners create product pages, publish and sell their products, as well as interact with customers.
The Best Online Marketplaces
Amazon is, perhaps, the best ecommerce platform for B2B to sell online (although disputably) and certainly, one of those few online marketplaces that hardly needs an introduction. With Amazon, you’re opting into a large global marketplace that has lots of buyers and sellers. Such advantageous placement, however, comes at a cost of higher fees and intense competition. The cost to sell on Amazon depends on several variables, such as a selling plan, product category, and fulfillment strategy, among other factors.
For example, if you’re on the individual plan, you’ll be charged $0.99 per unit sold, while on the professional plan, you will be charged a monthly fee of $39.99 regardless of the number of items you sell. On top of selling commissions, Amazon also charges referral fees which range from 8% to 15% depending on the product category. If you choose to use Amazon fulfillment services, then you end up paying for that too. Moreover, some third party sellers incur other fees which might include storage expenses or digital marketing services. As you can see, you end up paying Amazon a tidy sum for trading on their platform.
With that said, the likelihood of success on Amazon is very high: 85% of Amazon's third-party sellers are profitable, although 47% of sellers said it took them six months to two years to turn a profit.
eBay is the best platform to sell online if you’re looking for an auction platform. eBay is a global ecommerce leader that has been connecting millions of buyers and sellers worldwide since 1995. Although the marketplace B2B is global, the country that generates the most revenue on eBay is the United States.
As of 2021, there are more than 150 million active buyers and 19 million sellers globally.
To start selling on eBay is easy: it’s free to list, and you’ll only pay a fee if your item sells. However, if you list more than 250 items in a month, you’ll incur a $0.35 insertion fee per listing. You can choose to subscribe for a Store subscription and unlock more free monthly listings, as well as get other benefits, such as access to advanced selling tools. If you sell an item, eBay keeps a portion of the sale, which is around 12.55% of the sale price plus $0.30 per order. Basic Store subscription costs $21.95 per month (billed annually). Whether eBay lives up to its hype is up to you to discover, but according to rough estimates, the top earners on eBay make almost $900 dollars a week and $40,000 annually.
Etsy is the best platform to sell online if you’re an artist, a creative, or deal in handmade products. Etsy is a global online creative marketplace that connects buyers and sellers that trade in custom-tailored, personalized, and unique products. Most of the Etsy sellers are enthusiasts and independent creators who sell handcrafted items. To join the creative marketplace is easy, and if anywhere in the process you get stuck, there’s a selling handbook, support, and education portal available. Listing on Etsy is not free, it costs $0.20 per item. When you make a sale, you pay an additional 5% transaction, 3% + $0.25 payment processing, and 15% offsite advertising fee. Although offsite advertising is optional, it might be required depending on how much you make off Etsy in a 12-month period. According to shore owners, they typically price their products at a 68% markup to cost. With that said, making business on Etsy hardly qualifies as a get-rich-quick scheme. An average Etsy store makes no more than $300 in profits a month.
Rakuten is a multinational ecommerce marketplace that operates out of its headquarters in Tokyo. Founded in 1997 as a B2B2C marketplace Rakuten Ichiba, the company has grown on an impressive scale globally while securing its position as a leading retailer in Japan. If you intend to sell in Japan, then there could be no better place than Rakuten. However, you can also use Rakuten to sell to US customers, as well as customers from the other 29 available countries.
To sell on the US market, you’ll need to provide your company details, an ID, telephone number, card details, W9/W8 form, and then wait for Rakuten’s approval. You can choose to sell on the platform through any accredited service provider who can manage your setups, administrations, and organization of your online stores on your behalf.
While it might sound complicated, there are some advantages to selling on Rakuten, primarily connected to the highly sophisticated and developed ecosystem of involved ecommerce companies, loyalty bonus programs, logistics, marketing agencies, and more.
Aliexpress is an export cross-border ecommerce platform from Alibaba group. Founded in 2010, Aliexpress has become an ecommerce powerhouse in the Asia-Pacific region. The company doesn’t sell any products directly but rather acts as a facilitator between merchants and buyers globally.
Unlike Amazon, most sellers on Aliexpress are operating out of China, which explains the platform’s significantly cheaper prices. However, because customers often buy out of factories or merchants that have direct access to Chinese manufacturers, there’s close to zero quality control, depending on the supplier, which can result in suboptimal products and as a result, returns.
If you’re confident that you’d like to try selling on Aliexpress, then you’d be interested in learning a few details. Firstly, it’s free to set up an online store, however, you’ll need to provide your company’s VAT number, an operating license, and an ID of your company’s legal representative. After your company’s profile has been approved, which takes about 2 business days on average, you can start selling. Aliexpress charges from 5 to 8% commission on actual sales, depending on the product category. Even if you decide that selling on Aliexpress directly is not something you want to do, you can still take advantage of Aliexpress dropshipping.
Walmart is the largest retail corporation of discount and warehouse stores in the world. In 2020, Walmart’s online sales amounted to more than $27 billion. According to forecasts, Walmart’s ecommerce sales will reach $45 billion by 2023.
To start selling on Walmart, you’ll need to pass the verification and approval process first. Upon approval, you’ll need to sign the retail agreement, complete your seller profile, connect your payment account, and choose an integration method to add your items to your online store. When ready, you’ll need to request the launch and start selling.
Walmart charges referral fees that amount to 6 to 20% of the selling price. In terms of seller fees, Walmart has definitely wedged out Amazon that charges significantly more.
Bonanza is an online marketplace that has been operating since 2008. Although less popular than the well-established marketplaces discussed earlier, Bonanza is still a good alternative that works very well for some sellers.
One of Bonanza’s advantages is that it can sync with other websites, including its competitive marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay.
On the downside, Bonanza doesn’t pull as much traffic as other marketplaces, which means that sales from Bonanza might not be as impressive.
With that said, Bonanza’s selling fees are significantly lower: there are no listing fees, and final value fees start at only 3.5%.
Mercari is a Japanese online community marketplace that has offices in Japan and the US. Mercari’s flagship product was first launched in 2013 and has since grown into the largest community-driven marketplace in Japan. Mercari expanded to the US in 2014 and the UK in 2016. As of 2020, Mercari boasted 15 million users and 350,000 items listed on average daily.
Mercari is perhaps best suited for those looking to get rid of some of the used stuff at home or those searching for another eBay alternative. However, unlike eBay, Mercari is not an auction — you set up your prices and go from there. There’s a chatbox on the site in case you still feel like haggling around before the sale.
Poshmark is a social commerce online boutique marketplace where users from the USA, Canada, and Australia buy and sell new and used clothing, shoes, and accessories. In January 2021, the company went public at a valuation of over $3 billion. Although from January 14 to June 15, 2021, Poshmark’s stock price had lost 57% of its market value, many consider it a Buy anyway.
If you are not yet familiar with Poshmark, then consider it as a ‘Pinterest/Instagram meets eBay’ sort of marketplace.
Setting up an account with Poshmark is easy and free. For all sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95, for sales above $15, Poshmark's commission is 20%. Poshmark, on its end, pays for all the credit card fees, while providing you with a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label and customer service for your sale.
There’s an opportunity for negotiations between sellers and buyers if this is something that you might be into.
Online Marketplaces for Local Sales
If you’re looking for selling locally and flopping used stuff in your community, then Facebook Marketplace is the place. The best part — there are no selling fees, so you take all the profits.
When you sell something on Facebook Marketplace, you create a public listing that’s visible by anyone on the Marketplace, in the News Feed, search, and other places on/off Facebook.
Facebook Marketplace is a good bet for popular goods such as spare TVs, Nintendo Switches, DVDs, paperbacks, baby grows, bulky items such as sofas or wardrobes. If you’re looking to sell rarer items or higher-end vintage collectibles, then eBay is a better place to trade.
Compared to Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace has certain advantages, such as a more user-friendly interface and nationwide shipping for products in certain categories for eligible sellers.
However, in regards to security, Facebook Marketplace is a poorly implemented system as users report a lot of problems with unpaid deliveries and unreliable buyers, while others emphasize unreliability and lack of concern from the Facebook support team.
OfferUp is an online mobile-first C2C marketplace that was launched in April 2011 as a competitor and mobile-friendly alternative to Craiglist. In March 2020, OfferUp acquired the company’s rival Letgo and raised an additional $120 million in funding.
As mentioned, OfferUp has been specifically optimized for smartphones with products featured based on the geo-location closest to the buyer. The platform makes it easy for sellers to sort through incoming bids by arranging them from the highest to the lowest bid. Transactions are completed using cash or through OfferUp's in-app payment platform. Sellers can promote their listings for a fee by using the ‘bump’ feature.
What also differentiates OfferUp from Craiglist is verification badges and review attributes that Craiglist obviously lacks. Moreover, OfferUp has ongoing partnerships with local police stations and California Ralph's locations to establish well-monitored Community MeetUp Spots for transactions, which makes OfferUp a much more secure place to shop and sell.
When it comes to commissions, then posting, browsing, and paying in cash on OfferUp is free. Certain transactions might include service fees or shipping costs upon the sale; the fee is either a minimum of $1.99 or 12.9% of the sale price.
Craiglist, perhaps the oldest marketplace on the Internet, has been around since 1995. Craiglist quickly grew out of a simple email distribution list to friends for local events in San Fransisco to become the largest classified-ads website in the US and Canada. Now, Craiglist covers 2000 cities and 70 countries. In December 2019, Craiglist introduced apps for iOS and Android.
There has been a lot of controversy around Craiglist, primarily associated with lack of security for shoppers, sales of prohibited items, irresponsible selling of animals, and so on.
While most things are free to list on Craiglist, you’ll need to pay fees for adding a listing in certain categories like job postings, rentals, car sales, and so on.
The Best Platforms To Sell Online
If you’re looking to build your own online shop, a single-vendor or multiple-vendor marketplace, then you can do so by employing an ecommerce platform.
Shopify Online Selling Platform
Shopify is a Canadian ecommerce company and the name of a proprietary ecommerce platform for online stores and POS. With Shopify, you can set up a website and use Shopify’s powerful features to start selling online.
You can try Shopify for 14 days free of charge, then subscribe to any of the three available plans, such as Basic for $29/m, Shopify for $79/m, and Advanced for $299/m.
With Basic Shopify, you’ll get an ecommerce website with an SSL certificate and an unlimited number of products, a blog, staff accounts with access to Shopify admin and POS, integration with social media and up to 4 inventory locations. Shopify charges various selling fees, such as for processing or transaction fees: 2.9% + 30¢ USD and 2.0% if not using Shopify Payments.
BigCommerce Online Selling Platform
BigCommerce is an ecommerce platform that provides SaaS to retailers. With BigCommerce, you can create an SEO-optimized online store with hosting, marketing, and security features in the bundle.
You can try BigCommerce for 15 days free of charge, then subscribe to any of the four available plans: Standard for $29.95/m, Plus $79.95/m, Pro $299.95/m, Enterprise with rates discussed upon request. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t charge any additional transaction fees.
Both BigCommerce Standard and Shopify Basic give you roughly the same set of features with the only difference in the number of staff accounts: you can create an unlimited number with BigCommerce, whereas with Shopify, you can only set up two.
Create Your Own Online Store
If you want to have complete control over your online business, then we recommend choosing one of the powerful open source ecommerce platforms like Virto Commerce or Magento Community Edtion, which we cover in more detail below.
Virto Commerce is an open source asp eCommerce platform, that’s also headless, cloud-based, and API-driven. Virto Commerce is a modular, fully composable, scalable, and extensible solution that can solve complex business scenarios. So if you’re operating a medium-size business with specific business logic and requirements, then Virto Commerce might be a very good option to consider. Virto Commerce has several available pricing plans that start from $795/month; however, for a better pricing estimate, it’s worth contacting the Virto Commerce sales team directly and arranging a demo presentation where you can also ask any other questions.
Magento Open Source Community Edition
Magento Open Source delivers basic ecommerce capabilities that allow you to build a unique online business. There’s also a Commerce solution that includes optimized cloud architecture, hosting, AI-powered merchandising and analytics. The Magento Commerce pricing varies, depending on the average gross sales revenue, and starts from approximately $22,000/year. Given the complexity of its features, Magento might be a little too complex to implement and maintain without having good developer resources.
Tips to successfully selling your products online
If you’re looking for ‘selling online’ strategies, then the first thing you need to do is to look for places to sell. You might need to look through a handful of online selling sites or talk to other online sellers before choosing a few ecommerce platforms that might be worthy of more detailed consideration. Needless to say that if you’re operating business to business in a niche market, then you might want to consider niche marketplaces instead of horizontal one-stop shops. If you sell locally, then look for ecommerce sites that are specifically tailored for community shopping.
After choosing a few online selling platforms, you’ll want to narrow your choice even further by looking at the marketplace commissions. Some platforms might charge listing or membership fees, shipping fees, transaction and advertising commissions. Look for any other services that the marketplace offers: many online marketplaces offer digital marketing programs that promote online merchant presence across social media sales channels, other online marketplaces offer fulfillment and warehouse services for a fee or more competitive carrier pricing. Pin down a few most important things in a marketplace that are non-negotiable. Is it excellent customer service? Free product listings? Abandoned shopping cart recovery feature? Integration with third party services and your internal systems? Customizations? Online payments?
After choosing what you think might be the best platform to sell products online, you need to set up your own store or connect your profile to an existing business. When uploading items to product categories, you need to minimize customer friction for a convenient online shopping experience by providing extensive and comprehensive information about products you sell. Ensure you have high-quality pictures, robust product descriptions, details on taxes and shipping, customer testimonials, and reviews if applicable. If you’re responsible for your own traffic, think of ways to attract it. Otherwise, see if you can get digital marketing services for your own brand for a fee from a marketplace operator.
When you start selling, it’s also very important to keep in touch with your customer, get feedback, and provide great customer service if questions or concerns arise.
Doing business online is not easy, but it’s certainly a manageable endeavor. By finding your unique selling point and providing excellent customer service, you can reserve your online store a place under the sun.