Alternatives to eBay For Online Sellers

Marketplace Strategies
Alternatives to eBay For Online Sellers

eBay may have paved the way for online buying and selling when it first launched in 1995, but now many different selling platforms are competing for buyers' and sellers' attention. It has become increasingly difficult to ignore the drawbacks of eBay's customer service (for resellers), exorbitant fees, and unfair eBay practices. Many sellers feel that instead of spending their time and effort on eBay, they could easily turn to alternatives that offer better customer service or lower fees.


So if you are looking for an alternative to eBay, here are six online platforms that are worth checking out:


1. eCrater

Pros: low fees, seller control

Cons: very low consumer traffic, no customer service


Setting up an eCrater store is the perfect choice for anyone looking to break into the eCommerce world without paying any fees upfront. Selling on eCRATER is completely free - no monthly charge, no listing costs, and no commission to open your own store and sell your products.


eCrater provides sellers with comprehensive control over their own return, exchange, refund policies and taxes; in addition to specifying accepted payment methods and shipping charges.


ecrater marketplace


eCrater Marketplace Ads

To attract more buyers to the marketplace, eCrater advertises through Google Shopping. Products sold originating from the Google Shopping ads (essentially) may incur a 2.9% cost; however, shipping, tax and fully refunded/reversed, canceled or unpaid orders will not be impacted. 


In my opinion, this is a very low-cost advertising fee compared to any online marketplace. However, the caveat is that eCrater does not offer any seller's report or dashboard to see if the marketing efforts are effective or not.


If you're looking to break into the world of online selling but don't have a high budget or resources, eCrater might be the right choice for you. With no start-up costs or listing fees associated, it's an easily accessible platform to start building your business. Although the market is smaller than what you'd find on eBay, it provides a low-risk opportunity to get familiar with listing and managing sales through an online marketplace. As a seller, you can control how your shop looks and arrange for payment processing, shipping and returns without having to worry about added expenses up front. If you're starting out in the online selling space, eCrater could be a great platform to get your feet wet.


2. Etsy


Pros: seller control, moderate consumer traffic

Cons: niche marketplace


Etsy is an online marketplace that specializes in handmade, vintage, and unique items. It has a large community of creative sellers and buyers and allows sellers to list products in categories such as jewelry, clothing, home decor, and more. 


Etsy offers simple, transparent selling fees, which are:


$0.20 listing fee

6.5% transaction fee, 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee


To make your Etsy experience even more convenient, they offer a monthly subscription package called Etsy Plus with amazing benefits for only $10 per month. With this plan, you get:


Shop Customization

Taking control of your Etsy shop's look is easier than ever with the customizable options available. From new banner templates to extra features for listed products, you have plenty of ways to customize and put together a look that will make customers take a second glance. Plus, to make a professional presence even easier for your shop, you can get discounted and free domain registrations - both .com and .store addresses are available - which will add an elegant touch to business cards and promote the searchability of your shop.


Listing and Ad Credits

Unlock the power of Etsy Ads and get a jump start on promoting your items - 15 free listing credits plus $5 in credit each month!


Back In-Stock Notification

Keep shoppers in the loop with emails when your items are back in stock! Uncover which product ranks most popular so you can plan your inventory better.


Etsy Search


Etsy's unique set of niches can be an asset rather than a hindrance. Many people think of eBay as the go-to option for selling items online; but those creating handmade crafts, jewelry, or vintage items may find better success by selling on Etsy since the audience there tends to be more willing to purchase these types of items.


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3. Bonanza

Pros: low fees, seller control, great customer service

Cons: expensive marketing


eCommerce Bytes is the go-to source for e-commerce news and information insights. Whether you are a first-time online reseller looking to break into the world of e-commerce, or a pro veteran of the industry, eCommerce Bytes has the data and insight to help you make informed decisions. Their annual seller survey has revealed Bonanza is the best eBay Alternative in 2021, earning the highest marks across all metrics, including customer support and communication - aspects that should be carefully weighed by resellers considering an alternative option for their e-commerce business.



If you're considering opening a Bonanza store, there are numerous advantages to consider such as:


Free Listings

When it comes to listing your items, Bonanza has you covered with an unlimited number of free listings - and listings never expire! Unlike eBay's 200-listing cap per month and 30 days listing auto-renewal.


Low, Simple Fees

eBay's final value fees can be confusing and hard to remember. Bonanza, however, has an advantage with its simple set of fee structures:

3.5% + $0.25 payment processing fee


Easy Importing

Having your products listed on several marketplaces can significantly increase your reach and customer base. With Bonanza you can easily import your products that are already on eBay, Amazon or Etsy while keeping them up to date so that you don't have to worry about conflicting product information across different stores.


Bonanza Marketing

Bonanza is setting itself apart from eBay by allowing its Platinum and Titan members to create Facebook ad remarketing campaigns; this means that ads can be targeted at people who have already visited your shop on the platform. In other words, window shoppers now become potential customers!


More Seller Control

Unlike eBay, Bonanza actively encourages sellers to build relationships with their past customers in order to foster brand loyalty and create a lasting rapport. This builds an allegiance directly with the seller rather than just the marketplace itself (i.e., eBay). Bonanza's Customer Marketing Tool allows sellers the opportunity to produce tailored lists of buyers based on various criteria, for example: what they have bought, how much money was spent and even by category.


Unlike Etsy, Bonanza does not impose restrictions on what types of products can be listed for sale on its platform. This allows merchants to display their full inventory, creating a broader market for buyers to choose from. Bonanza also offers powerful marketing tools for sellers unavailable on platforms such as eCrater.




4. Offerup

Pros: moderate consumer traffic

Cons: limited shipping option


Offerup has long been a great way to buy, sell, and discover amazing things in your local area. But what's even better is that Offerup now provides a safe and easy way to do nationwide selling and shipping. What this means is that you can have products shipped within the US without ever having to meet a buyer in person. Offerup operates through USPS so you know your items will get to their destination safely and securely, except in Alaska, Arkansas and Hawaii due to shipping regulations.


Offerup marketplace


Shipping Details

When using Offerup, one of the major drawbacks is that there are shipping limitations you need to adhere to. Unless you want to miss out on getting paid, you'll need to use their own prepaid shipping label. On top of that, Offerup only allows items weighing under 20 pounds and shorter than 18 inches in length. So if you're looking to list something bigger or heavier, it won't fit into the guidelines and can't be sold.


Choosing the shipping option on Offerup can be a convenient and secure way to get your items delivered right to the buyer's door. Unlike some other selling platforms, the cost associated with this feature is easier to understand: a fee of 12.9% of the item's final price (minus the shipping cost) with a minimum fee of $1.99. Plus, you don't have to worry about calculating percentages or keeping track of costs, since any applicable fees are automatically deducted from the sale amount before money is deposited into the seller's account.


5. Amazon

Pros: high consumer traffic, FBA

Cons: expensive seller fees (more than eBay), no seller control


It is incredible to think about how far Amazon has come since its launch back in 1994. It all started with Jeff Bezos, who wanted to bring books to customers from the comfort of their homes and make purchasing them as easy as a few clicks. That small idea quickly ballooned into what Amazon is today - an e-commerce giant that sells nearly any item imaginable and operates in countries far beyond the US. What was originally intended as an online bookstore has now evolved into an online marketplace larger than eBay, bringing together buyers and sellers from around the world.


Amazon marketplace


Amazon offers an incredibly beneficial opportunity for businesses with its massive customer base. Unlike eBay, you won't have to pay any listing fees when using the platform - plus, it enjoys a high rating thanks to its enormous online traffic!


Furthermore, sellers have the opportunity to outsource order completion through Amazon's Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. Businesses send products to Amazon fulfillment centers (Amazon offers a very generous shipping discount for sellers), and when a customer makes a purchase, Amazon picks, packs, and ships the order. They also provide customer service and process returns on the seller's behalf.


Amazon's status as the world leader in online retail speaks for itself - its vast selection, convenience, and lightning-fast shipping attract millions of consumers every day. But it also holds true that Amazon is among the most costly e-commerce marketplaces to sell on. Prices for listings, account fees, and referral fees are just a few examples of costs that merchants must pay to keep their store going.


Additionally, Amazon requires third-party sellers to build up a strong customer service record before they can access higher levels of perks such as sponsored ads or premium fulfillment options.


As a small seller on Amazon, you want to get ahead in the Amazon marketplace and maximize your potential profits. Market research is key when it comes to succeeding in this environment. Before you start selling, please be sure to familiarize yourself with potential competitors and price points, uncover opportunities, and devise an effective marketing strategy.


6. Mercari

Pros: flexible shipping option, local pickup delivery service

Cons: expensive prepaid shipping rates


Personally, Mercari is my go-to choice when it comes to an eBay-like platform. It offers a clean and straightforward fee structure that makes it easy to understand what you’ll pay, whether you’re buying or selling items. Furthermore, the app is exceptionally user-friendly, providing a wide range of features and options with ease. Of course, if you ever need help or run into any issues, their customer service department has proven to be more than willing to help - leaving you feeling supported and assured every step of the way. On top of all this, Mercari also offers a local pickup delivery service that works great for those looking to sell bulky items without meeting the buyer.



While Mercari's platform may be considerably more straightforward than eBay, it cannot guarantee the same consumer traffic. However, it should also be noted that the fees associated with using Mercari are comparable to those of eBay.


Which Marketplace is Right for You?

eBay is still one of the largest and most established online marketplaces, with a vast customer base and a wide range of features for buyers and sellers. eBay offers more significant exposure for your items and may be a better choice if you are selling popular or high-demand items. Additionally, eBay offers a more straightforward way to sell products to international customers compared to Etsy and Amazon.


Ultimately, the best platform for selling items depends on your individual needs and priorities. It's worth considering these alternative marketplaces and evaluating which one offers the best fit for your business.


You might also be interested in 10 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider


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