All the best websites to sell stuff online
These days, modern-day businesses have an abundance of channels to sell their wares. Gone are the days where the print copy classifieds were the holy grail to reach customers.
And thanks to improvements in mobile phone technology, investments in website development, and changing customer habits (increasingly on-the-go and online), the trend to online for businesses and shoppers is clear.
There are oodles of places to sell goods depending on what your niche is and who your buyers are. So, it really comes down to what channels suit your business and your customers best.
From around the corner to further afield, here is a round-up of the top online sites available to sell your incredible stuff.
Local online marketplaces
London-born online classifieds site Gumtree was developed to help connect people planning to move between South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
It was originally designed to help people to settle into a new area whether it was for accommodation, jobs, or just meeting new people.
The name ‘gumtree’ was also chosen because it is evocative of the roots and branches in a community—clever.
While Gumtree has grown into a multi-international online marketplace today, it is still known for its ‘buy local’ ethos. In Australia, it attracts over 7 million visitors a month.
Users of the site—affectionately called Gummies—can shop, sell, trade, or give items away—all for free. You can also choose to promote your listings for a fee.
There is a range of categories including cars, home & garden, clothing, collectibles, and electronics.
Most items are listed for local pick-up only, which tends to be the most popular option. However, if you want to cast a wider net, you can offer nationwide shipping.
Image courtesy: Gumtree
‘Craig’s list’, started in the mid-1980s by Craig Newmark, began as an email blast to help connect San Francisco locals on trendy events. With people hungry for tips on upcoming events, the distribution list grew longer.
Today the online juggernaut boasts 60 million+ visitors every month.
Visitors can peruse accommodation, jobs, services, as well as items for sale.
You can post items for free. For job openings, retail, and service listings there’s a fee.
While the site operates in more than 70 countries, most buying and selling occurs locally and in person.
The layout and functionality is not as slick as some other sites, but if you make the right impact, you can stand to benefit from the heavy visitor traffic.
Image courtesy: craigslist
While only five years young, this offspring of the social media behemoth needs no introduction. In fact, we’ve covered it at length here.
Leveraging its social media roots, businesses and shoppers can communicate instantly via Facebook Messenger.
It’s used in around 70 countries and has a more than respectable user base of 800 million people monthly.
Like other online marketplaces, its focus is on local goods, but it has the benefit of linking to the shopper and seller’s Facebook account—adding a layer of protection for everyone involved.
While there aren’t listing fees, there may be associated costs for frequent sellers and small businesses such as setting up inventory feeds.
And there are guidelines you need to follow including items you can’t sell.
Image courtesy: Facebook Marketplace
Part social network and part reselling marketplace, Poshmark has attracted a following of social media influencers and reality tv stars (hello Kardashians).
As the name suggests, it supports high-end or ‘posh’ items.
It is well known for its emphasis on fashion. Visitors are interested in curated looks and styles—not just the clothing items themselves.
Those who gain traction via Poshmark are actively sharing and liking listings, so this isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it online marketplace.
It’s free to list items on Poshmark who also cover shipping labels and the credit card processing fee. But there are costs starting from $2.95 (USD) per sale in the US or $3.95 (AUD) in Australia (just launched!).
Image courtesy: Poshmark
Espousing the ‘joy of decluttering’, Letgo capitalizes on the movement towards a simpler, more minimalist life.
Its view is that letting go of stuff should be as easy as buying it.
Once you upload your item, Letgo uses machine learning to automatically categorize and title your listing. Voila!
Letgo is a locally focused marketplace allowing visitors to buy and sell for free. Like other marketplaces, there is a cost to promote listings.
Not as widely available as some other online marketplaces, and because it’s local-only, you’ll need to check what the interest is like in your city.
Mercari is a US-based reselling marketplace where you can buy and sell anything that can be shipped. We’ve written about it in an earlier post.
It sets itself apart by restricting in-person meetups and requiring sellers to ship goods to the customer. Mercari also processes all payments to help prevent either party from potential scams.
Listing items is free, but there is a 10 percent selling fee.
One of its perks is that the platform uses identification, verification, and reviews to help ensure all parties are fully informed during every transaction.
Image courtesy: Mercari
Shopify positions itself as the online marketplace to support businesses in their effort to start, nurture, and grow their empires.
With Shopify, you can customize your online store from around 70 themes, glean customer insights (including products, sales, and orders) through your own dashboard, as well as access 24/7 support.
However, getting all these out-of-the-box features comes at a price, starting from $29 a month (USD). You can also build out your store to be uniquely yours with tons of great Shopify apps.
It is a hugely popular platform and is the workhorse behind 1 million businesses across 170+ countries.
Image courtesy: Shopify
Similar to Shopify, WooCommerce allows small business owners to create the online store they want—with no restrictions.
Because it’s modeled as open source, small biz owners can sell anything anywhere.
WooCommerce leverages WordPress—both of which are free and open source—so it comes with considerable savings, as well as having complete ownership of your store.
However, there are costs involved, including hosting, registering a domain/site name, website themes, shipping, and payment gateways. Obviously, nothing in life is truly free.
Image courtesy: WooCommerce
Online mecca of handmade goods, crafts, and vintage finds, Etsy is a home for all creative sellers and shoppers.
Etsy attracts a specific visitor who will shun run-of-the-mill finds for something more unique.
Its goods fit into three main categories: handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies. So if you’re the creative type it may just do the trick. You just have to work the Etsy SEO magic to show up at the top of their listings.
Etsy really is like a nostalgic, local craft fair—just grown up, modernized, and online.
You can list your items for just 0.20 (USD) plus the costs for advertising, processing, and payment fees. Learn how to start selling on Etsy, if this sounds like the place for you.
Image courtesy: Etsy (fabriquedebrunswick)
A true pioneer for online shopping where customers could sell directly to other customers, eBay has a global reach with around 185 million buyers and 1.7 billion listings.
Despite its global foothold, its strongest market is the US, where it gets around 75% of its traffic. In Australia, 40,000 businesses are able to connect with 12 million shoppers.
Known for its auction-style bidding, it also has fixed prices so sellers and buyers can agree on a price. We’ve written more about eBay’s listing options in this in-depth post.
It’s free to use for visitors, but there is a cost for sellers.
Image courtesy: eBay
No list would be complete without giving a nod to the biggest eCommerce site around.
From its first, humble book sale in 1995, today small and medium US businesses sell more than 4,000 items a minute. Whoa!
While Amazon has a wide range of categories, electronics are the most highly-ranked category.
Sellers can choose to pay per item sold ($0.99 USD per unit) which is best for people selling under 40 items a month.
Or for more sizeable businesses with higher volumes (for those selling 40+ items a month) the professional plan is ($39.99 USD) in addition to selling fees.
Image courtesy: Amazon
Where to sell?
As you can see, global online shopping marketplaces are among the most frequently visited sites right now.
These marketplaces are the modern-day virtual department stores that allow customers to browse hundreds and thousands of items in one place, with a few clicks.
Whether it’s selling local, through a reselling marketplace, or building your own store—there is a range of options to choose from.
When making your choice, be prepared to weigh up the costs, popularity in your local area (if it’s local), as well as whether it’s the right fit for you and your customers.
Stay smart online
Also, a final tip, our increasing use of online services heightens the need to stay vigilant and safe online.
Sadly, scams can take advantage of small businesses which may be resource-lean and time-poor.
So familiarize yourself with the common scams targeting small businesses and take steps to protect yourself, your business, and your customers.
After all, this way you can focus on what you do best—running your awesome business!