The Marketplaces

 

Not all online marketplace are created the same, and they are not all designed for the same audience and purposes. Here is a short glimpse of each marketplace and their pros and cons. 

Let us start with the household names Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy.  

1. Amazon

The behemoth, mega, marketplace with an estimated 244 million active members that sells both big brands and products by individual sellers.

Pros: Massive online traffic, multiple product options which allows you to sell anything.  Affiliate marketing, fulfillment by Amazon, 

Cons: The customer is Amazon's, and not the sellers. Amazon competes with sellers and takes very high commissions from merchants upwards to 25% commission depending on product.

2. eBay

Another mega marketplace with 85 million unique visitors a month. The marketplace allows you to place products either for auction or a "buy it now" price.

Pros: Massive online traffic, wide variety of products, easy to establish seller account wide variety of products, branding opportunity for sellers.

Cons: Fees structures are complex and can and expensive, slow transactions in auction format. 

3. Etsy

Etsy is a popular marketplace for handmade crafts and handcraft supplies. 17 unique visitors a month. 

Pros: User friendly, It's easy to set up, lots of traffic, part of a community 

Cons: fees add up, listing fees, credit card fees, saturated markets, limited customization, no shop customization

Other big marketplaces (lesser known)

 

4. Rakuten

Rakuten is an online marketplace similar to Amazon with 39 million unique visitors a month, the majority from Japan. 

Pros: No customer overlap since most customers may not be using other marketplace. A good place to find loyal customers outside of the United States. Rakuten does not compete with the merchants and encourages merchants to compete among themselves. 

Cons:  High shipping costs to Japanese customers, strong competitors, high costs to join at 33$ a month plus commissions as high as 15% for some categories. 

5. Newegg

Newegg is a marketplace that specializes in electronics with 6.1 million unique visitors a month.

Pros: sophisticated shoppers who are looking for particular products, low commission rates, some of the lowest in the industry.  

Cons: Sellers must pass a screening test, shoppers will only purchase products that they have most likely heard of before. 

6. ioffer

On the ioffer marketplace, shoppers offer a price to the sellers. Instead of bidding against other buyers for an item, potential buyers can make you an offer that you can accept or deny.

Pros: Less expensive fees to sell. They have a final value sale depending the price of the item. 

Con: Difficult to navigate, lacks customer service, no branding opportunity, 

7. Bonanza

Bonanza is an C2C online marketplace where individuals and small businesses can sell their products. It has 2.1 million unique visitors a month.

Pro: simple navigation, upbeat community, easy product upload, viable alternative to eBay and Amazon. 

Cons: Less sales potential than on other marketplaces, can't sale identical items, 

Local marketplaces

 

8. Citify

A new online/app marketplace that invites stores, wholesalers, individuals to sell items locally and globally. Shoppers can find items sold in their city or in any other city available on the marketplace. The marketplace also offers a job market for their local merchants to find workers. 

Pros: Easy navigation, locate products by location, easy to open a store, low flat fees 5% for all items, no listing fee, Easy contact between seller and buyer.

Cons: low traffic, no CSV upload, currently not a lot of items available,  

9. Scott's marketplace

Scott's marketplace has the same idea as Citify. A marketplace that seeks to help small businesses get online and show their wares.

Pros: Easy to navigate, nice site, easy to open a store, upbeat community, low 4.99% fee, no listing fees. 

Cons: low traffic, no product share buttons, small presence on the net, USA only sellers.