There was a time when you could only sell your goods in front of your house. This is called a garage or yard sale, and many people do this because they do not have a store. Some would stock their old stuff in a barn, and then just wait for some pickers to ask if they had anything to sell.
Today, you do not have to do this anymore. You can list your products online, and make it available for anyone in the world to see. Once you made a sale, you pay a fee. You can list it in marketplaces, or better yet, create your own store.
But not all marketplaces are created equal, so we will only review the 9 best places to sell your products online.
Sell Anything Category
In this category, we will see the three best websites where you can sell any kind of product.
eBay is one of the oldest online marketplaces. It is an auction site, but many sellers now offer their products with the Buy It Now button, with means people who are interested no longer have to bid to win.
eBay was founded in in 1995, and its first name was AuctionWeb. The first item sold here was a broken laser pointer. It was just a hobby of the founder. Later on, the site grew, and now it is a billion-dollar company that operates in more than 30 countries.
- You can do dropshipping on eBay
- Has 168 million active users
- You can sell anything that is not illegal
- You can create an online store within eBay
- Lots of competition
- Lots of fees like insertion fee, final value fee, and listing upgrades
eBay started out as a place where you could sell second-hand goods. But today, most of the things you can find here are brand new. However, eBay still allows the sale of pre-loved goods.
Amazon started out as an online book store in 1994. The founder, Jeff Bezos, operated it in his garage. The company sold books to over 45 countries. After two months, it was earning $20,000 per week. The books sold back then were not eBooks, but real books.
Fast forward later, Amazon is now one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. Here, you can sell anything that is not illegal. You can sell eBooks, pre-loved items, and even audiobooks.
- It is a trusted brand
- Worldwide reach with 300 million active users
- High competition
- High fees that can reach up to 15% of your sales
Amazon has also created several products like Alexa, a device that you can connect to your appliances with smart applications. You can talk to Alexa and let it search for things on Google, or ask Alexa to turn the television on and off.
Apart from that, Amazon also supports the storage of your products. This program is called Fulfillment by Amazon or Amazon FBA. In this business model, you will ship your items to Amazon, and Amazon will record your product in their inventory.
As the stocks are in the Amazon warehouse, you will pay a warehouse fee. If you sold your item on Amazon, it is Amazon who will take care of the shipping.
Founded in 1995, Craigslist is probably the only website that has not changed how it looks. It is a website that has a simple white background and blue links. It started out as a free classified ads website, and it mainly earned money for a few paid ads.
Today, it has more than 9 billion page views per month. It has over 2 million job listings per month, and you can pretty much sell anything here for free.
- You can sell anything, even services
- No fees to pay unless you want the paid ads version
- Your identity is protected
- Buyers are not reliable
- No payment system in place; you have to contact the buyer and arrange the payment and delivery
- You cannot list a lot of items or you will get blocked
Craigslist is the best place to sell second-hand goods. This is where people look for items that they can buy for a really cheap price. Some sellers here are not even sellers as they only want to dispose of their old stuff. But instead of throwing them away, they just give it for free, and they list that freebie in Craigslist.
Arts and Crafts
Now, we will take a look at the best places online to sell arts and crafts. These websites are dedicated to craftsmanship, so you cannot sell items here that you did not create.
Etsy started out in 2005. It is a place where artists can sell their products like paintings, decors, and others. There are three main categories here, and these are hand-made items, vintage items, and pre-made items like printed clothes and printed coffee mugs.
Today, Etsy has over 800,000 active shops. There are more than 10 million members who can see your items here. In Etsy, the seller would pay a listing fee plus a sales fee if the item was sold.
- Easy to use and post items
- Customers are reliable
- Millions of buyers come here to look for hand-crafted goods
- Has built-in analytics
- Difficult to get your product noticed
- Listing fee can add up, plus you have to pay a payment processing fee
The great thing about Etsy is that buyers do not have to be members. They can purchase your goods by using their Google account. Just keep in mind that Etsy has a lot of stores so you have to work harded to get noticed.
You will be competing against 800,000 other stores so you need to advertise if needed. It will pay off, as there are sellers here who make $70,000 per month selling hand-made socks and headbands.
Like Etsy, Ruby Lane is a website that is dedicated to vintage items and crafts. It has been arounds since 1998, and during that time, it was focused on vintage items. Later on, it allowed sellers to post items for collectibles, jewelry, and fine art.
- Has several categories called Lanes such as antiques, vintage collectibles, glass, jewelry, dolls, and vintage fashion
- Buyers here have lots of money because it is an antique marketplace
- Setting up shop is t0o high; you need to pay $100 to set up your store, plus you have to pay $69 monthly for maintenance
- There is a one-time fee of $0.19 for every listing
The good thing about Ruby Lane is that it does not take a fee from the sales. The company also screens sellers before the products or a seller’s store goes live. The company has an in-house team made of experts in vintage and antiques.
This is one of the best places to buy and sell paintings. The inventory of the art on the site is worth more than $10 million. On this site, you will find paintings and sculpture.
The great thing about ArtPlode is that it does not charge a fee after you have sold a piece of art. Instead, it charges a one-time fee of $60 per listing. This is a small fee because you can sell your art here for as much as $5,000.
- Lots of categories based on location, type of painting, and origin
- Has a featured artist list
- Lots of filters to make it easier to buy like size, price, subject, style, and location of seller
- Direct dealing with seller and buyer; there is no protection or both
ArtPlode is a place to sell expensive art, but not so expensive because paintings here can go as low as $1,000. If you sell on ArtPlode, you just have to register and pay a one-time fee for each piece of work. It is up to you to contact the buyer for shipping instructions, or negotiate a price that a buyer is willing to pay.
Build Your Own Store
Now, if you do not want to sell and compete with others in a marketplace, you have the option to build your own store. Our three recommendations are Shopify, BigCommerce, and WordPress.
Shopify is one of the largest web-builders in the world. For a small monthly fee, you can build a website that has a complete set-up. It is easy to use, and you can create your own store with your own domain name.
- Lots of themes to choose from
- Small monthly fees
- Easy to set-up
- Has thousands of apps that you can use to improve your store
- You have to pay a transaction fee for every sale you made
- The free themes have limitations
- Not all apps are free
Shopify is the place to go if you want to build an online store without any coding knowledge. The themes have a drag-and-drop feature where you just upload your product photos, and then type the description. It is compatible with so many apps, and this makes it easy to make your website look unique.
Shopify offers several types of plans. The most affordable is the Lite version where you just have to pay $9 per month. This, however, does not give you a website. Instead, you can use Shopify to sell via social media channels.
BigCommerce is like Shopify. It makes it easy to build a website, but it is not focused on blogs like WordPress. It has been around since 2009, and the web store you build here includes a way for you to charge your customer’s credit card.
In BigCommerce, there are two types of accounts. The first one is called Essentials. And the second one is called Enterprise. Smaller businesses must use the Essentials program, and large companies that have millions of traffic must use the Enterprise account.
- High-quality tools for high-performing website
- 24/7 customer support
- Has marketing guides to help you boost your sales; it also has marketing guides how to use ads
- Small subscription price of $29.95 per month
- No transaction fees; you only pay the fee of the payment processor your chose for your sales
- Supports multiple currencies and languages
- Unlimited staff accounts
- The themes here are expensive
- You need to upgrade to higher plans if you want more features
BigCommerce also supports hundreds of apps. These are apps that can collect emails for you, or improve your shipping methods. The apps are both free and paid, and you can expect great support from the developers.
WordPress is the largest web builder in the world. It supports 34% of the internet. It specializes in blog sites, but it has long expanded its services into e-commerce.
To be able to build a WordPress store, you need an e-Commerce Plan. This is the most expensive, and the price will depend on which country you are. The e-commerce plan is what allows you to build an online store, upload products, and charge your customers.
Plans lower than the e-commerce plan may allow you to charge money, but they have so many limitations that you cannot build a fully functional web store with them.
- Has lots of free themes
- Has integration with Google Analytics
- Comes with SEO tools to bump up your traffic
- Can accept payments from over 60 countries
- Has integration with shipping carriers
- Expensive; can cost you up to $50 per month in subscription
- Not as user-friendly as Shopify; you need time to learn how to use the system
WordPress is the biggest web developer in the world. If you are managing blogs and other websites, this is the best choice for you because you will be using only one system. In one account, you can create several websites, unlike Shopify where one email address can only support one website.
Selling online has never been easier. Today, you have all the tools you need within reach. Many of these are free, and you only have to pay a certain percentage of the sale price once an item is sold. The listing fees are also acceptable, as most websites charge cents for each listing.
If you are selling excess stuff from your house, the best place to go are marketplaces where you can list your items. But if you are selling branded products, what you have to do is to make your own website. If you build your own website, you have control about how it looks.