There are more places to sell online than ever before. What online marketplace is best for your business? What’s the best place to sell online?
But let’s take a new approach to this question. It starts with what you’re selling. There’s no one perfect marketplace. Different functionalities and audiences work better for different products. What’s the best marketplace to sell used items, or items that are handmade, or electronics, or antiques? We realized those are the questions businesses should be asking.
Creating resources for our customers is our team’s favorite thing to do, and we’re confident this new resource is going to save you time and maximize your profits.
Take Advantage of eBay and Amazon’s Market Share
Amazon and eBay are often considered the best places to sell online. Amazon and eBay combined reach hits over 400 million of shoppers. That’s more users than the current population of the United States. Even considering crossover, you can’t afford to miss out on a whole country’s worth of buyers. That popularity doesn’t come without a few concessions. Amazon doesn’t generally offer a lot of seller freedom. They’re very strict about what you can sell and how you can price. Their audience size means you have to sell there. It’s a bitter pill you’ll have to swallow.
eBay is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. eBay is sometimes perceived as being a dinosaur of the web. However, as Amazon continues to become the big dog in town, making everything else in its path an alternative, eBay’s 100+ million buyers makes it the biggest alternative of them all. Since eBay allows a lot more freedom in pricing and policies than Amazon, operating an eBay store for items that can’t get through Amazon’s red tape is a smart game plan to employ.
Amazon is a marketplace for new (sometimes gently used) manufactured goods. Unlike eBay and Etsy, it is not the place to sell handmade or well-worn vintage items. Buyers come to eBay expecting a variety of new, used, handmade and liquidated or wholesale goods. Although it originated as an auction site, about 70% of eBay transactions today are fixed-price sales.
Expand to Walmart, Bonanza, and Google Shopping Actions
A UPC can be thought of as almost like the driver’s license of ecommerce. They let you go a lot of places you weren’t able to before. Many sellers remain unaware of how many places accept third party sellers. Walmart, Bonanza, and Google Shopping Actions are ripe and ready for your expansion. One of these can be the best place to sell online for you.
Bonanza is a great alternative or added channel to eBay. They even have an easy listing tool that syncs your eBay listings to your Bonanza account. They really push the seller-centric mantra with the ability to create your own branded webstore with no nickel-and-diming. They don’t have any listing fees or monthly store frees. They were also voted the Best Overall Marketplace by over 50,000 sellers.
Walmart isn’t the new kid on the block any longer. They’ve really developed a name for themselves over the last year. They also have invested millions of dollars in their ecommerce programs and are even developing various augmented reality experiences for their customers. Don’t sleep on this giant.
Google has been busy the last two years developing its Google Shopping Actions program. This program lets retailers list their products across multiple Google devices, including Google Search, Google Assistant, and Google Express. Yes, Amazon may be the king of ecommerce for now, but Google is the king of search. They now want a piece of the ecommerce pie, so check out what they have to offer.
Try Niche Marketplaces
Niche marketplaces are the way to go for many online retailers. Selling niche products such as survival gear or Bullet Journals has many benefits, including a better, more targeting marketing strategy. Once you have your target audience defined, you can search for specific marketplaces that cater to those types of shoppers. We’ve listed a few examples of niches below and corresponding marketplaces to get you started:
- Niche Apparel – This is one of the top ecommerce niches of the year. Think vintage clothing and recycled materials. Here are a few great places to sell vintage clothes online.
- Handmade Items – This niche product line could include DIY or already assembled products. Handmade items are continuing to gain popularity, especially in the home decor category. A few great sites to sell handmade items on include Etsy, Handmade at Amazon, and Aftcra.
- Electronics – This is a larger niche with many sub-niches to sell in. A few great electronics marketplaces include Newegg and Swappa.
Go Multichannel to Maximize Sales
Unless you’re selling a firearm, each product fits well in multiple marketplaces. The question of the best place to sell online is not a one-word answer. Maximize your sales by selling your product on every channel appropriate, but without breaking into your profits.
You should also be careful not to bite off more than you can chew. Expanding to and managing multiple channels can be difficult to handle on your own. An inventory solution like ours here at ecomdash can help make the process easier by syncing and transferring data across channels, acting as a hub of operations for your ecommerce business.
Don’t Forget Product Identifiers
As we mentioned above, a UPC can get you into a lot of places online that you might not have had the chance to sell on. We’ve put together a Venn Diagram below that shows where you can sell based on whether you have a unique product identifier (e.g. UPC, GTIN, etc.), sell new products, or used items only.
Maybe Venture Out on Your Own
If you’re ready to build a brand and following, selling your products on your own website might be just the push you need. While we wouldn’t suggest removing your presence from any of the marketplaces listed above, we do think it is worth investigating whether this is what your business needs.
Since you cannot rely on the massive website traffic of a marketplace like Amazon when selling on your own site, you must conduct your own marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts in order to attract shoppers. Some ecommerce website builders, like Shopify or BigCommerce, include marketing and SEO tools within their monthly subscription price. Retailers with their own website should focus on
- Social media marketing.
- Email marketing.
- Good descriptions, search-box keywords, image alt tags and distinct webpage titles within their website pages.
- Descriptive listings with keywords.
- Images with descriptions and keywords (will help your image show up in search results).
If you think this is the route you want to take, check out our comparison charts on the top ecommerce website builders here.