Many years ago the entrepreneur in me woke up and I gave it a good go of creating a successful online selling small business through eBay.I purchased books and read a lot of guides on how to become a successful online seller. Each guide, book and article indicated that having an online business was not only profitable, but easy to achieve your own little online store front. Reality spelled something different for me and three months into my journey I gave up, and totally back away from the idea of selling on eBay. Unfortunately it’s wasn’t as easy as any of these books and guides made it out to be. What eBay used to be once – the king of all online market places, is anything but that today. This is partially due to stronger competition from other alternative online marketplaces and partially due to frustrated online sellers who feel that eBay limits their ability to maximize their earning.
Even though eBay has become synonymous with the online marketplace, hundreds of millions of registered users, and over $9 billion in revenue annually – many buyers and sellers are still not happy with the site. This is why I wanted to put together a different list, an alternative to eBay to sell your vintage stuff, old and unused stuff and for the creative artsy ones a way to sell your hand crafted items.
Here are some of the biggest reasons for such large unhappiness, and why eBay may not be the right selling platform for you.
Payment Policy – Sellers can no longer accept checks/money orders, and all transactions have to be done via PayPal. Therefore creating greater revenue for eBay, and in return it bites into the profit of the seller due to PayPal per transaction fee.
Lack of Profitability – Fees cut into profits and many sellers are having a hard time justifying paying the fees to use eBay as their selling platform.
Feedback Policy – Since eBay’s inception, buyers have always been able to leave comments, while the sellers don’t have the same right. This creates an unfair situation, where sellers can leave negative comments at will, which eventually hamper the reputation of the seller over time.
Lack of Support – eBay has a tough time communicating with their sellers, and takes a long time to respond to issues or does not respond at all.
If the above three reasons were not enough to deter you from eBay, hopefully one of the ten alternatives below will be inviting enough for you to give them a fair shot, and more importantly get rid of your stuff and earn a few bucks.
It’s an alternative to eBay as indicated by it’s name. Ealtbay is an online auction website that has free listings, very low final value fees, lets you sell anything that is legal, and you can take payment in any form, including PayPal.
2. Ruby Lane
Ruby Lane mostly caters to buyers and sellers of high-end antiques, collectibles, and vintage items. Though many of the site’s users consider it to be a worthwhile and profitable venue, some users, however, may find their fee structure to be a bit expensive (and even prohibitive in some cases). It really depends on what is being sold and how much the sellers build up their storefronts.
CNN has called Bonanza “a very shopper friendly place.” It mainly caters towards fashion and accessories for the buyers. Sellers love Bonanza due to it’s very low fee structure, resulting in higher profits for them.
4. eBid Online Auctions
Ebid offers several merchant programs including, auctions, fixed price transactions, and storefronts. EBid is also notably a Google Shopping Marketplace Partner, and offers payments via PayPal and PPPay.com. One key feature to the site is the “Ninja listing tool” that allows for bulk uploading, and the fees are noticeably cheaper versus eBay.
ArtFire mostly focuses on arts and crafts. You can also find a very good collection of collectibles, vintage goods and art supplies. Unlike eBay, sellers pay no fees unless they choose to open a Pro account. And even then the sellers only pay a monthly subscription fee. There are several helpful features to the site including: SEO tools, a coupon feature, and Google Analytics integration. Artfire also receives high marks for customer service and the overall administration of the site.
Amazon happens to be the second biggest merchant behind eBay in terms of online sales. Amazon has a successful non-auction merchant program and, the seller fees are surprisingly much lower than those of eBay. Sellers can create either an individual or business account, each with different features. Both accounts have the option to use the “Fulfillment by Amazon” program, allowing sellers to store and ship their products from Amazon fulfillment centers. Sellers who create a professional account can add their own products to Amazon.com, but individual accounts are ONLY limited to existing products.
For us Canadians, be sure to compare prices between Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Sometimes .com offers better deals or the other way around.
For those who are creative and can put together handmade items or crafts, Etsy.com is a compelling alternative to eBay. Etsy has a unique culture and an exceptionally loyal following of buyers. The site does have some restrictions, however: items must either be hand-made by the seller, over 20 years old, or be commercial or handmade crafting supplies. Though setting up a storefront is free, fees are charged for listing items with an initial listing period of four months.
8. Kijiji / Craigslist
Kijiji is a centralized network of online urban communities for posting local online ads. I’m not sure if you knew or not, but Kijiji is a subsidiary of eBay who launched Kijiji in March 2005. Craigslist is very much similar to eBay, and is seen as a competitor to Kijiji. Oddly enough eBay is also a small shareholder in Craigslist. Either way, both sites are awesome to find whatever you may be looking for and for those looking to sell, the best part about both Kijiji and Craigslist is that they’re both FREE. So…get cracking!
TIAS is one of the first online marketplaces to offer fixed price transactions in antiques, collectibles, arts and crafts, and jewelry. The site also provides sellers with various store formats to choose from as well as several levels of customer support. TIAS does have a minimum fee requirement, but if a seller’s TIAS commissions are higher than the minimum fee, then only the commission is paid. TIAS also works with to over 2000 classified ad networks by sending different listings to them.
Much like eBay, iOffer supports an auction format, and sellers can also sell items at a fixed price. What makes iOffer unique is its swaps and trades platform. Sellers can automatically receive a storefront when they upgrade to a seller account. The store and all listings are free, and they will only pay a fee when items are sold.
Have you ever sold any of your stuff online? How’s your experience been?