Alternatives For eBay (2018 Marketplace Update)
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If you’re looking to sell on an ecommerce platform that’s alternative to eBay, this post might give you some online marketplaces you hadn’t thought about.
Even if you’re not here to look for eBay alternatives, you may think twice about putting all of your eggs in one basket.
Ask yourself this…
Would your online store survive if eBay decided to sell up and close? It’s not likely we know- but think about it.
More realistically, what if they decided to change their rules, or sellers fees dramatically?
If you’re a small seller on eBay, (and £2,000,000 a year turnover is small nowadays), you are more likely to be more of an annoyance to eBay than a valued seller!
One of the most common reasons why buyers and sellers fall out is down to the resolution policy that eBay employs.
Why do you think that is?
‘Time and positive feedback’ are the main reasons why resolutions to problems registered with eBay are inclined to favour buyers.
Problems arise from your sales either through your fault, eBay’s or the buyers, and tie up time that eBay is seemingly unwilling or unable to give for mutual resolution.
The result of many complaints to eBay is that the buyer is happy with a resolution in their favour and carry on buying.
Ebay isn’t interested in your issues as a seller; they are content that the problem is resolved.
EBay’s controversial remedy is one that causes them the least time, money, hassle and legal ramifications.
You as a seller, are left frustrated that you’ve done nothing wrong- but you’ve missed the point?
Statistically, you’re highly unlikely to leave no matter how fed up with eBay- and they know it.
Sure, you’ll groan and be disillusioned with the whole process, but unless it’s happened so often that you can’t take it anymore, you’ll put your losses down to bad luck and experience.
You convince yourself it’s something you did wrong, as there seems to be no alternative.
The only person out of pocket is you, and in lots of cases, sellers want to leave as they can’t sustain those losses.
It’s an especially sobering thought when you consider how to stop it happening again because…you can’t!
Alternatives for Sellers
Many online business owners are looking for a viable alternative that is similar to eBay.
They want to do away with selling on eBay altogether- or finally realise eBay is perhaps still their best marketplace!
Anyone who’s ever tried taking that leap of faith in leaving eBay can tell you; it isn’t a thing to consider lightly.
Sometimes you need a push: A reassurance you’ll be okay without them.
We have news for you- it’s possible!
Here are some alternative online marketplaces to simplify your decision on which platform you should sell.
Selling on Amazon
Monthly traffic – more than 2.6 billion
If you are after a site like eBay, Amazon is often compared as an alternative.
Invariably eBay and Amazon are talked of in the same breath.
There are apparent similarities in regards to selling, though there are significant differences too.
If you’re selling used products and want the best price, maybe you ought to stick with eBay out of the two choices.
Unlike eBay, Amazon doesn’t operate the same auction site feature.
Instead, Amazon has a built-in comparison shopping facility which pits you against other sellers in your field.
If you are confident in your product, this could be an excellent selling tool but if comparisons highlight issues with your price, product or delivery, you may find this a problem.
According to ‘Shopify’, “Amazon receives 184 Million active visitors a month, while eBay brings in 164 Million”.
Like eBay, there is a monthly listing fee for products and referrals, and other fees are charged upon making a sale varying with on your product category (15% commission for most categories).
Amazon’s selling fees are generally higher than eBay when considering selling on this marketplace site. According to Wheretosellonline.com, Amazon’s fees are around 5% more overall.
Should fees be a top consideration?
There’s a saying ‘You get what you pay for’ and naturally if there’s a cheaper alternative it’s worth considering.
Lower fees can give you a distorted view when selling your products.
Profit margins matter of course, but the volume of sales is equally a major consideration.
After all, if you sell easier on one platform over another, it makes sense to trade more often.
One area in which Amazon trumps eBay is with their ‘Prime’ method of selling.
Amazon Prime membership offers shoppers free 2-day shipping which is both fast and reliable.
A bonus of being a Prime member is it gives a buyer free delivery, free Amazon tv streaming, free music, and free magazines.
Amazon allows you to send your inventory to them in bulk, so they handle shipping and fulfilment.
This system Amazon calls ‘FBA’ (Fulfillment By Amazon). FBA is a big plus point as shipping fees, and issues or delays in deliveries are dealt with in-house, and not your responsibility.
A bonus is that if a buyer were to leave negative feedback relating to these issues, you are far less likely to have your account frozen or revoked! Amazon’s FBA also reduces your workload.
Our first few reasons to consider Amazon over eBay is based on like for like online retail businesses, both well catered for by the ‘big two’.
Amazon gives a buyer the perception its products are all supplied by Amazon.
Indeed, their business contract agreements don’t allow you to promote an item how you might want to.
Though this helps Amazon as it restricts competitors’ trademarks and promotions, it can also be used to your advantage.
As Amazon is trusted and your business stock is delivered by them, your customers feel more assured of quality and reliability.
In using their fulfilment program, you’ve sold through the Amazon name, so your selling will increase.
Other places to sell
(Realistically, this depends on what type of products you are selling)
If your main product line is handmade goods, you might try;
Monthly traffic – 200 million
https://www.etsy.com/uk/ In the last ten years, Etsy has continued to grow steadily as it showcases niche products sold on the site through sites such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Antique or handmade single items and craft supply goods are available as well as individual newer pieces.
The difficulty in selling through Etsy is the public’s perception that it’s limited to individual sellers.
Etsy.com tends to offer single vintage items or unusual single pieces, one-offs. In June of 2018, Etsy closed their wholesale selling platform stating;
“Unfortunately, running a separate marketplace built around the needs of wholesale sellers requires a big investment of resources. So we’ve made the tough decision to close the Etsy Wholesale platform”.
To be a competitive selling site to eBay, there would have to be a high demand for wholesale sellers.
We don’t see that happening as Amazon and eBay have cornered this market in the western world pretty conclusively.
Etsy has however suggested that there is still provision to sell in bulk within the existing services they provide and offer strategies within the platform.
Monthly traffic – over 66 million
Once, Gumtree looked like it had the potential to become a marketplace like eBay, and a possible competitor.
It seemed eBay felt so too, so in May 2005, they bought it!
A substantial payment for a company ensures it isn’t closed down, so eBay utilises this platform to fill in a few gaps within their own.
Gumtree allows easier enabling of local individual purchases for larger items, local pick up and cash on collection.
Selling online via Gumtree is ‘free’ for certain items, but your advert quickly drops down the rankings.
Unless you pay to enhance your advert, you will need to keep relisting it each day, for each item.
Gumtree pays its way with fees for adverts for things like service providers, car sales, job vacancies and real estate ads.
They also have classified ad fees for businesses to advertise links to their products or services.
Gumtree offers an opportunity to advertise for bulk sales similarly to Etsy.com.
Monthly traffic – around 8 million
If you’re contemplating selling on Ebid, it seems that you’re in good company.
Ebid began in 1998 in Britain, and from recent Trustpilot reviews, almost 70% who wrote a review gave it a top rating of 5 stars, (with the overall score being four stars).
Low fees in comparison to the ‘big two’ make it worth a try.
It’s likely it will never capture masses of an audience but 60,000 a day is not to be sniffed at if you have a good product.
If you compare to eBay, it’s a tiny amount (eBay’s visitors are almost two million daily), but it does seem that Ebid has a well-organised platform.
Throughout September 2018, for £49.99 you could have opened a sellers account and advertise for the rest of the life of Ebid- for free.
We did find the positioning of the selling prices a little unconventional on the top right of the images being sold, but once we saw them we quickly got used to it!
Interestingly, a buyer’s Paypal account is equally at home with Ebid as this is readily accepted, as is a credit card, BACS and money orders (eBay and Paypal were once part of the same company).
One bonus with Ebid is that your products are automatically added to Google shopping, so your viewing figures are increased.
Monthly traffic – Averages around 600,000
Rakuten (meaning ‘optimism’ in Japanese) originated in Japan and is still their largest ecommerce platform with just over 20% of the market share (again second to Amazon with over 22% in Japan).
The site doesn’t sell directly but acts as a portal which allows third-party members to advertise their products. Product categories range from clothing and home & garden to electrical and cheap laptops.
By navigating to a third-party ecommerce platform through Rakuten, a prospective buyer is rewarded with ‘super points’ which allows them to buy movie streams on many devices.
Should you decide to advertise your products through Rakuten.co.uk, you will need your ecommerce website which links to Rakuten.
Rakuten UK has around 900,000 visits a year, and its members include TK Maxx, Currys/PCWorld, and Next.
Monthly traffic – around 420,000
Fruugo sells in 23 countries and their simple enrolment processes (for both sellers and buyers) and comprehensive fees, make them a potential alternative to selling on an eBay store.
Fruugo’s product range is extensive and similar to Rakuten, with ranges such as sports and leisure, right through to electricals and clothing.
15% (plus vat) final value fees and 2.35% funds processing is comparable to their giant alternative.
There are no joining, set-up, monthly, listing, or marketing fees for listing products.
Linking your products to Fruugo is carried out in four different ways;
- Through their CSV and XML feeds,
- By integrating through their ecommerce software market partners.
- Links through ecommerce plugins such as Magento or Shopify.
- Their new datalink with Google’s Shopping Feed.
Monthly traffic – around 120,000
An interesting backwards concept that seems to work for this site is via Flubit.com.
Flubit takes over a million products that merchants would usually promote on Amazon and sells them for less.
Flubit allows integration of merchant products and doesn’t charge the seller any fees. Instead, they set a price above that of the merchant’s price, but lower than Amazon.
Merchants are expected to fulfil their orders.
There are odd occasions when the product’s price is higher.
Flubit issues a disclaimer should this occur (though it’s not made clear what their policy is when this happens).
Flubit carries out marketing campaigns which target specific product categories. These campaigns assist with boosting sales within that category.
Flubit is operated by SKU Cloud, which means additional exposure over SKU Cloud’s five channels.
Monthly traffic – almost 7 million
Another of the top alternatives for those sick of eBay is Bonanza.com.
There are reportedly over 30,000 sellers on Bonanza, selling 15 million products and the business model seems similar to that of eBay, though Bonanza doesn’t operate an online auctions facility.
Where Bonanza wins over a lot of its competitors (so far) is they seem to have a good relationship with their sellers. Surprisingly, two of Bonanza’s monthly rates are similar to eBay. Though a fixed pricing of 3.5% is a low cost compared to the 10% that eBay charges.
Bonanza doesn’t ask for listing fees whereas eBay’s listing fees are many and varied.
Monthly traffic – averaging around 300,000
There’s a bit of a buzz around Onbuy it seems at the moment, with a local BBC TV report summarising Onbuy’s online business.
With Brexit looming and independent UK business at the forefront of people’s minds, Onbuy is in an excellent position to capitalise on British market ideals.
The company promotes itself as a cheaper alternative to Amazon, without the retail competitivety employed by their giant counterpart, as Onbuy offer no products themselves.
Onbuy is actively encouraging merchant partners to join, and their clean and simple website design is pleasant to navigate through. Their monthly fees range from £19 to £39, and a commission is between five and nine per cent.
Not on the high street
Monthly traffic – averaging around 3 Million
Notonthehighstreet’s advertising tag is ‘Extraordinarily unique gift ideas’, and this does sum up their products- for the most part.
Though if a £9,995 woodbot sideboard is a unique gift consideration, the recipient is might be regarded as ‘fortunate’ to say the least!
If you are a merchant and looking to join Notonthehighstreet, you need to apply to participate as at present they are selective.
Unless you have a British or Irish address, currently you will not be accepted.
Notonthehighstreet boasts over 5,000 sellers offering products ranging from jewellery to birthday cards, and wedding gifts to home accessories.
Their TV advertising campaigns have proven successful as three million visitors per month is impressive.
Monthly traffic – averaging around 5.6 Million
Like Notonthehighstreet, Shpock promotes an aggressive advertising campaign on TV which has drawn in an average of 5.6 Million views per month.
The main difference is that Shpock is designed as a mobile phone application.
Shpock calls itself ‘The boot-sale app for beautiful things’, and their item listings appear to endorse that tagline with individual products and offers.
We found wholesalers wares challenging to find on the site, but the car dealer site is clear and easily navigated.
With four monthly selling fees ranging from £19 to £99, most sellers seemed catered for, but with Shpock+ there doesn’t seem to be any wholesalers of note at present,
Monthly traffic – averaging around 6 Million
Preloved sells a range of goods as diverse as home and garden products to cars, motorhomes and even livestock.
Preloved has five different membership categories ranging from free to £45 a month.
For the latter, you get unlimited listings with no selling charges or commission.
You can link to your ecommerce site, upload products automatically, and even create your personal video ad.
If you prefer not to sell on their site but would like to promote your business, Preloved has thought of that too.
You can advertise through their website with videos, banners or text promotions.
Preloved has an agreement with Google adwords; you can quickly reach out to many more prospective clients than on your own.
Monthly traffic – averaging around 80,000
Market.co.uk seems impressive- seems new?
There’s not a lot of information around it.
We searched for how long the site had been up and running and there’s little information.
Their linked partners read like a ‘who’s who?’ with Amazon. Google, eBay, and Warner Brothers among their icons but there is no information as to how they are linked? ‘Market’ offers clothing (some recognised brands), appliances, home and garden, and a category called ‘everything else’.
According to Market’s promotional tags, ‘Our aim is to make shopping online as easy and straightforward as going to a shopping centre’.
The site is actively searching for merchants and the simple, clean style of page layout, does make it look contemporary and easy to navigate.
We’d like to see more effort put into Market’s backstory and clarify which merchants it’s looking for, as it looks like it has huge potential.
No data for viewing figures
Forthelittleguys is a new site seeking support via small businesses wishing to promote their goods in a refreshing way- by becoming a pioneer seller on an ecommerce site with considerable potential.
All the conventional product categories are there, it just lacks a wide enough selection at present.
This ecommerce platform was founded in 2017 by a chartered accountant who wants to ‘challenge the imbalance faced by small businesses in competing with giant international competition’.
We felt Forthelittleguys warranted a special mention as they charge no upfront fees or charges, and their commission is between five and ten per cent.
If you haven’t yet decided who to start selling with (there’s no reason why it can’t be more than one site?) give them a call.
Forthelittleguys usp is that they vow to never move their corporate address to avoid paying UK taxes and we applaud them for this stand.
Monthly traffic – averaging around 260,000
Zibbet has been open since 2007 and its traffic is pretty steady, with over 57,000 individual sellers.
Zibbet promotes itself as ‘…the largest marketplace in the world that stays true to the definition of handmade, where products are in fact hand-made, not mass-produced in some factory’.
For prospective buyers looking for one-off individual items, Zibbet is an ideal marketplace platform.
Due to the nature of the marketplace platform, Zibbet is challenging to navigate and find an item, seemingly relying on the browsing nature of visitors.
When perusing through the woodworking menu, it quickly became evident a lot of the sales items were misplaced with jewellery and wallpaper in this category.
Though Zibbet doesn’t charge fees for transactions or listings, they have three membership options from $4 a month (No UK equivalent though product prices are in GBP) to $16 -extra for each if you choose a rolling contract.
There is a free trial option but unless you begin the enrolling process it’s not clear how long the term is.
Monthly traffic – around 675,000
If you are looking to sell home improvement or garden products, consider a partnership with Manomano.
The UK branch has been up and running since 2014, and is steadily growing in popularity.
Application to sell through their ecommerce platform is via email only (it seems?), and selling fees are around £30 per month plus VAT and you can cancel any time.
There are varying commission fees based on which product category the item is sold from.
With DIY sheds struggling to match online prices, Manomano is in a good position to cast a wide net for prospective sales as their online presence grows.
ManoMano professes to display between five and ten times more choice than a local hardware store.
Merchant selection for their platform is based on the quality of the product and the merchant’s ability to deliver reliably.
To this end, products are only displayed that are available and in stock. Payment is held in an escrow account until the order is completed, and returns are accepted within fourteen days of receipt.
Monthly traffic – around 90,000
If you are in the food provision industry and are looking for a market platform, Yumbles might be the place for you.
Yumbles, founded in 2014, describes itself as the UK’s artisan food market, selling vegan food to healthy hampers.
Their tagline is ‘Buy unique indie food and drink directly from the makers’.
Yumbles operates via a subscription service to be aware of this before agreeing to any membership.
Yumbles accepts the request from the buyer via the website, and the merchant fulfils the order sending the products directly.
Most of the preparations are freshly produced, and feedback on Trustpilot shows the company endeavours to ensure a smooth delivery.
The only issue we see is that the site should make a clearer explanation of the subscription service for the buyer.
Yumbles seller fees are explained via their handbook, “The service fee is 18% + 30p (subject to VAT) per order.
This fee is applied across the gross or total order value (i.e. product charges + shipping charge).
For example, you receive an order for 6 jars of your finest jam. The jams are priced at £3.50 each.
Your shipping charge is £3.20. The total order value is £24.20. Our fee is £4.66 (18%*£24.20 + £0.30) plus VAT”.
Monthly traffic- over 3.7 Million
Founded in 2011, Depop has maintained its mobile phone app status and deserves a mention due to its popularity alone.
The commission fees are simple with a 10% total fee plus 3.4% to Paypal.
The app sells clothing, footwear, personal accessories, phones and many other items directly through the site.
Like eBay and other selling platforms, there are a number of rules relating to what can and can’t be sold.
We advise whether buyer or seller, that the terms and conditions are read thoroughly to avoid confusion as Depop is not averse to terminating an account.
When reading feedback regarding the ecommerce platform, you may find the majority are negative. However, Depop’s replies to disgruntled sellers seem to stem from a contravention of their rules.
Monthly traffic – up to 6 Million ( est 500,000 UK visits)
It’s a common misconception that Newegg only sells electrical products as this post explains.
Search through their product categories and you’ll discover clothing, healthcare, and even fancy dress costumes!
Newegg also operates a fulfilment system, much in the same vein as Amazon’s ‘FBA’.
If you are looking to sell on an electronic specialised e-commerce platform, Newegg.com is a marketplace leader with an estimated five hundred thousand visits on the UK site alone.
Newegg specialises in selling computers and computer parts, laptops and gaming consoles among a host of other electronic gadgetry.
To request vendor membership, simply fill out their online form and they’ll get back to you in a matter of days Newegg’s online selling fees range from eight to fifteen per cent, depending on the product category.
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