Practical Ecommerce

9 Marketplace Alternatives to Amazon and Ebay

While Amazon and Ebay dominate the online marketplace space, alternatives exist, especially in foreign markets where these two players have often struggled to gain traction or offer only a few categories of products. In the U.S., many sellers are disenchanted with the terms and conditions of the two big players.

Furthermore, ecommerce is becoming more international as middle class shoppers in countries such as China, India, and Mexico seeking a greater variety of goods are eagerly flocking to online marketplaces.

Here are a few marketplace options available to U.S. and non-U.S. sellers.

U.S.-based Marketplaces

Newegg. A haven for male tech geeks until it opened up to third-party sellers, Newegg now offers clothing along with automotive, sporting, and industrial products in addition to consumer electronics. It still has a macho vibe, offering a man cave sweepstakes. Commission rates run from 8 to 15 percent (including credit card fees) depending on type of product, and new sellers must go through an approval process. All items must be shipped within 72 hours of order confirmation and the company gives sellers the option of fulfilling orders themselves or letting Newegg do it. Newegg has over 700 sellers on its site.

Newegg charges sellers commission rates run from 8 to 15 percent, depending on type of product.

Newegg charges sellers commission rates run from 8 to 15 percent, depending on type of product.

Rakuten. This company is part of a global network of Japanese-owned marketplaces with sales in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Membership is billed at $99 a quarter and commission ranges from 8-15 percent depending on the product category. The fee per item is 99 cents, charged only when an item actually sells. Sellers can make products available to the Japanese market at no additional charge and can create their own branded storefront.

Sears.com. The website offers three different services to third-party sellers: Advertise on Sears, Sell on Sears, and Fulfilled on Sears. The advertising service is based on cost per click — sellers are only charged a fee when a customer clicks through to the seller’s site. Fees range from 15 to 75 cents. Sell on Sears costs $39.99 a month plus a commission of 7 to 20 percent based on product category. With Fulfilled by Sears, sellers ship the products they want to sell on Sears.com to one of the company’s warehouses. Sears stores it, and fulfills orders via its distribution system. There is a monthly fee of $39.99 and storage fees start at $0.45 per cubic foot.

Sears.com offers three different services to third-party sellers: Advertise on Sears, Sell on Sears, and Fulfilled on Sears.

Sears.com offers three different services to third-party sellers: Advertise on Sears, Sell on Sears, and Fulfilled on Sears.

Etsy. This site is for artistic types, selling unique hand-made creations along with small-batch manufactured goods. Each item listed on Etsy costs sellers 20 cents when the listing is published. A listing lasts for four months or until the item is sold. Once a sale occurs, Etsy collects a 3.5 percent transaction fee on the item’s sales price.

Jet. This new entrant into the online marketplace will open later this year. Started by the founder of Diapers.com, which was sold to Amazon, Jet.com has a commission structure similar to Amazon’s, however it will allow sellers to adjust commissions based on things like a shopper’s shipping distance or order size.

China, Latin America Marketplaces

Most foreign marketplaces require that storefronts be in the native language.

Alibaba. Global revenues dwarf those of Amazon and Ebay. Alibaba-owned sites include Taobao, Tmall, and Tmall Global.

  • Taobao. Like Ebay, this is a consumer-to-consumer platform that allows individual sellers and small businesses to sell their products via auctions or fixed prices. Sellers are not charged listing or commission fees. Taobao earns revenues from advertising and other services.
  • Tmall. This subsidiary operates as a mall, linking small businesses as well as major brands to consumers, much like Amazon Marketplace. Tmall leads the business-to-consumer ecommerce market in China, with over 50 percent market share. Tmall requirements are strict – companies must have a physical presence in China for at least three years and must store inventory there. Tmall is for volume sellers because its fees include a security deposit of $25,000, an annual fee of $5,000 or $10,000 (depending on type of product), and a transaction fee through Alipay of 5 percent or 6 percent.
  • Tmall Global. Established to accommodate sellers outside of China, Tmall Global allows foreign companies to sell directly to Chinese consumers without requiring them to have Chinese business licenses or to store inventory there. To sell on Tmall Global, merchants pay an annual fee of $5,000 to $10,000 along with a $25,000 refundable deposit. Generally, merchants also pay 3 percent to 6 percent commissions on each sale. Tmall Global allows no advertising on the site and is invitation only. Despite a good deal of hype, Tmall Global has apparently not caught on with Chinese online shoppers who seem to prefer to shop on local sites.

Mercado Libre. This site is the most popular ecommerce site in Latin America, with Mexico and Brazil comprising 60 percent of its total merchandise value. The site offers a Cross Border Trade program for foreign sellers that is operational in Brazil and Mexico and will eventually be available in other Latin American countries. Listings should be available in the native language of the countries and Mercado users can choose from a basic, free web store, or pay monthly subscriptions for enhanced functionality and value added services on their stores. Mercado Libre offers assistance with logistics, payments, translation, and localization.

This is not a comprehensive list. No Indian marketplaces were included, for example, because Indian law requires that all goods sold online must be locally manufactured.

Marcia Kaplan

Marcia Kaplan

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Comments ( 31 )

  1. Carlos Rivera June 11, 2015 Reply

    I have had great experience with Amazon and eBay. I would love to expand to these alternative marketplaces. Thank you!

  2. JQ June 11, 2015 Reply

    The largest US e-commerce site outside of the big four (Amazon, Ebay, Etsy and Overstock) was not included in this list, Bonanza.com.

    I have been selling books, magazines and comics on-line for 12 years, almost all my sales have come through Ebay and Amazon. I started selling on Bonanza 11 months ago and have had moderate success. I hoped to build my Bonanza sales up to about 10% of my Ebay sales, and have exceeded that mark each of the last four months. It took a while, but the site does bring in a steady stream of revenue and I have had much more success there than at Etsy or Half.com.

    I do not work at Bonanza, but thought this list was incomplete without a mention of the site.

    • Marcia Kaplan June 15, 2015 Reply

      JQ:
      As I mentioned, the list is not comprehensive. While Bonanza has a substantial number of sellers, many of them believe that Bonanza does not attract enough traffic.

      • David July 27, 2015 Reply

        We tried Bonanza and had only a few sales in about 2 months. In order to draw more traffic, we were recommended to pay for an upgraded subscription. Overall it seemed too different from the norm and paying for a higher subscription seemed to bring the overall fees close to ebay and amazon with no proof the additional money would bring more traffic. We are going to toucandeal.com as an alternative as there are no fees whatsoever unless an item sells, then it’s less than half ebay and amazon fees.

    • Sheila February 27, 2017 Reply

      Thank you. That’s the one I was looking for.

  3. Mindbusy June 12, 2015 Reply

    Amazon and Ebay was started market place some years ago and they are doing great job but now a days we can see plenty of ecommerce companies started this. dont know whats going to happen

    Cheers!!!
    mindbusy.com

  4. David July 27, 2015 Reply

    How about # 8 being toucandeal.com? It is very small right now, but I see it having a lot of potential because of all the seller-friendly features, such as: free to list unlimited items, import from ebay or amazon, only a 5% commission when an item sells, feedback protection, auto feedback after 30 days, and more!

  5. Martin August 20, 2015 Reply

    Hey all, we’ve recently launched a marketplace called “I Am Attitude”, aimed strictly at the alternative fashion scene (think pinup, punk, goth, metal, rock, etc!)—hand-picked, high quality boutiques and designers only, including lots of handmade and currently commission free. Check it out at http://www.iamattitude.com

  6. Julio Otero August 28, 2015 Reply

    There is a new kid on the block Clisko.com this platform is very unique since is the only functional auction website in English and Spanish with the Hispanics collectively having an impressive buying power of $1.2 trillion and 52 million in the U.S. population (http://www.nielsen.com) alone you can see why this platform exist. You will find other bilingual auctions but when you click on Spanish the site uses Google translate. Other features include, you can share your listings with Facebook, it has presence in Google +, Pinterest and twitter with a ton of free functions, Ebay feedback import, 5 types of eShops y Buyer and Seller most be Paypal verified.

    Regards,
    Julio

  7. Rick Harris September 21, 2015 Reply

    Amazon and ebay are both super giants but yes some people may be looking for a way to try something different.
    Maybe an alternative.

    http://www.payolee.com/amazon-payments-nonprofit

  8. ListonJet.com October 9, 2015 Reply

    I noticed that Bonanza was missing from the list. I have worked with a number of sellers who while not seeing even close to the same results there as they do on Amazon or eBay, do see some sales from that channel (much more than Sears or Rakuten)

  9. Corrisa November 18, 2015 Reply

    There are tons of places to sell your products online. Some people still like the online classified sites like Craigslist and Gumtree.

    One site not mentioned is Tripleclicks. They’ve been around quite awhile but isn’t widely known.

    I wrote an article about it here: http://homebusinessideasthatwork.com/ebay-alternatives-sellers/

    Keep writing these great articles Marcia!

  10. Adrianna November 28, 2015 Reply

    Im tired of these big companies huge costs for listings. Try neadri.com

  11. richard December 11, 2015 Reply

    Great list.

    We are currently helping some of these online sites to get better shipping options. We wish all these sites the best!

    For shipping questions contact richardf@crossborder3pl.com

  12. chimaobi December 12, 2015 Reply

    … Have you heard about INFINii.com?
    its an online plat form that helps you get high quality New Branded products at the cheapest prize you can ever imagine…. you don’t have to buy big quantity to get the cheapest prize, no matter the quantity you buy, you still get the cheapest prize keeping you ahead of the competition in the e-commerce business. They also help you list and sell these products in other online stores like ebay, Amazon, google, bonanza, walmart etc. i need you to watch the presentation by following the link… http://infinii.com/presentation/ or http://infinii.com/hangout/rewards/ . Membership is strictly by invitation, i can send you an invite, just indicate by sending me your email address, Name, surname and user name that you would like to use, you can change it at any time. send the information at ( ezubemejike@yahoo.com) or you fill out the form by clicking the link below,so i can send you an invite..
    they have a software that you can install in your phone that enables you list products in just 30seconds.
    They also have a fabulous Affiliate programme that enables you to refer people to the company and make endless commissions on those purchases and sales generated on these e-commerce platforms.
    This is the biggest Revolution in e-commerce Business, and i want you to be a part of it. just watch the presentation…

  13. craig weiss February 8, 2016 Reply

    Hello, I enjoyed reading your article. We are a marketplace that opened up September 2015. We have a similar selling style to etsy as we are offering sellers to sell handmade art, crafts & antiques to be sold on our site. We are similar in one aspect of it as we offer sellers a free store. We differ in a few ways though. We offer auctions, no listing fees, no member costs and low final sales percentages. We are growing slowly and I would really appreciate if you are going to do any other articles or updates to this article to be included in future articles. If you have a chance please take a look at our site. It’s pretty classy.

    Thank you,

    Craig Weiss
    http://www.Artyah.com

  14. Shellie February 19, 2016 Reply

    Great article. Another good website is Gwazoo (http://www.gwazoo.com) It is very much like Amazon but they offer rebates on all of your purchases, it is really cool. You should check it out!

  15. Angela Addison March 15, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for providing an amazing list of alternative websites. Like, all websites you mentioned. There is an e-commerce platform called Yo!Kart (http://www.yo-kart.com/), especially used to build multi-vendor websites like Amazon or Etsy).

  16. Carlos April 12, 2016 Reply

    Why pay when you can sell for free at: mulasa.com

  17. Lyon Leshley April 19, 2016 Reply

    Thought I would mention citify. Citify.ca is an online market place for local shops, wholesalers, suppliers, and home base businesses to sell their products and services to local, across Canada, and international shoppers. It is free to open a shop, collect online payments. Citify only takes a 5% commission after a sale. All transactions are through PayPal secure, encrypted payment system.

  18. Brenda Chokera April 20, 2016 Reply

    Hi Marcia,

    Heard of RebelsMarket http://www.rebelsmarket.com – it’s the largest counterculture marketplace with a great selection of fashion, home decor & artwork.
    It would be a great addition to your list.

  19. Michael Chisholm June 16, 2016 Reply

    Erkley.com The latest online marketplace will open later this year. Erkley is a mix of both Amazon and Ebay offering both auction & retailbased pricing with the lowest fee structure in the online marketplace industry. I feel erkley.com will be a true thorn on the side of the two juggernauts.

  20. Juliet September 11, 2016 Reply

    You won’t find a site out there with the same level of breadth and coverage that Amazon has, but if you narrow your search parameters down to specific types of goods, you’ll find that there are a couple of online retailers that can put up a decent fight.

    But Whether its from Amazon or Ebay or from other USA sources, International shipping also a big matter for Online User. There are plenty of companies you can use for the service but it’s hard to find trustworthy one! I shipped couple of times with Potail.com Shipping to different places in Asia from LA. They have competitive price and service is great, I highly recommend their services.

    • Chris December 18, 2016 Reply

      Hi Juliet,

      My name is Christopher. I just read your post and would like to know more about your experience shipping to Asia. I also live in L.A. and would like to do the same, but don’t know where or how to get started. If you have any tips I would be so grateful.

      Kind regards,

  21. Juliet November 15, 2016 Reply

    You should probably also mention that you have to be a Chinese citizen to list products on Taobao. This is very informative though. Appreciated

  22. oc2o November 20, 2016 Reply

    A new local marketplace website oc2o (online consumers to offline) services for whom want to advertise, trade, buy, sell and offer anything locally without registration. Our service on https://oc2o.com/ is 100% free for all. We are more than a simple marketplace, we are a free oc2o (online classifieds to offline) marketplace for B2C, B2B and C2C that focus solely on matching the right local buyers with the right local sellers, we help people discover local products or services, chat with sellers. Fast and reliable.

  23. Ryan January 16, 2017 Reply

    Hey Marcia,

    Great article! I did a ton of research recently and created an original list of 50 places to sell online – you can find it here: http://www.brisksale.com/blog/50-places-sell-online-2017-e-commerce-marketplaces-platforms/

    Might be helpful for your readers and feel free to use any of my research for free and without reference :)

    Have you heard of BriskSale? It’s a new/free marketplace that’s worth a look

    Let me know your thoughts!!

    • Daniel February 20, 2017 Reply

      Hey Ryan,

      Very informative article. Just visited BriskSale and it looks amazing! Are there really no fees? How do they make money?

  24. Louise Ogboru March 8, 2017 Reply

    I want to create a sales platform like amazon but for clean energy and health & industry, where I have expertise, how do I start?

  25. Anastasia March 9, 2017 Reply

    It’s interesting that both Amazon and eBay have 254 countries, which actively use these online marketplace sites. We made a deep research on the biggest online marketplace sites (you can see it here: https://mobilunity.com/blog/ecommerce-marketplace-structure/), which shows the difference between various types of marketplaces, its nature, the difference between features and conditions they provide to their customers. But we also see that there appear other highly competitive marketplaces, with proper features and professional marketplace development, and they appear as great alternatives, like those, you mentioned here.

  26. John Miller May 16, 2017 Reply

    There is an Artisna Marketplace which is the best alternative of Etsy. You can shop and sell handmade products in more than 100 handmade categories. Visit to know more. Artisna.com