My Favorite Places To Sell online in 2015
These are lots of marketplaces you can sell online, including custom stores like Storenvy.com, Shopify and Big Commerce. As someone who reviews marketplaces on YouTube and having sold online since 2006, I have a few favorites and a few not so favorites.
Ebay has had its ups and downs for we sellers since 2008. Its been mostly downward, both in seller confidence, customer service from a seller perspective, hostile policies and increasingly low sales.
That being said, in 2015 after PayPal broke away from eBay, eBay is now forced to survive on its own again and it's new president has come in with extremely hopeful and positive changes for sellers.
This is a big shift from the direction of the eBay presidents between 2008 to the beginning of 2015. Sales are returning, those who still sell on eBay are feeling more optimistic and hopeful as 2016 arrives and the new president has undone many of the horrible decisions the previous president made in 2014 that created an exodus from eBay. Not as massive as the exodus that occurred in 2008 and helped give birth to the Bonanza.com marketplace, but an exodus none-the-less..
So I am pleasantly surprised and excited to see what happens in 2016 on eBay, assuming the president remains focused on improving the selling environment on eBay.
While talking to an eBay representative in 2014, I was genuinely frustrated and ready to leave eBay as I had in 2008. When discussing the way eBay was being managed, the customer service representative commented "This is eBay, we are not trying to be Amazon", yet everything they were doing was mimicking Amazon, except for the things that people like about selling on Amazon, including a hassle-free selling environment, clear policies, FBA - Fullfilled by Amazon, but especially the ease of listing a product for sale. No need for a zillion photos or even a single photo on Amazon, no need to come up with a creative sales pitch or catchy title, no need to write out a lengthy description, in fact the worse thing about eBay, is that sellers have to input all the details and information about the product, where as on Amazon, its pretty much all present.
But eBay is not Amazon and Amazon is not eBay and that is a good thing. Amazon however is the first place where anyone I have randomly asked, thinks about when they want to buy something - that used to be eBay. The "new" eBay has its work cut out in 2016 and going forward.
2. Bonanza.com(As of 1/1/2016 I am no longer recommending Bonanza as a marketplace to sell on in 2016. However, you may find the information below informative.)
Bonanza.com was created in 2008 during a massive seller revolt against eBay making hostile policies that greatly affected its sellers. Bonanza has struggled to gain significant recognition or make its imprint into the top marketplaces to sell online. Where it excels is in its tools and ease of use for sellers, it also integrates seamlessly with eBay, so it is easy to import what you are selling on eBay into your free Bonanza booth.
Bonanza has the most competitive commission rate currently for online sellers at 3.5% which will also get you the equivalent of a basic eBay store, compared to eBay's 10% commission on both the final sales price and an additional 10% on the shipping price paid by the customer.
(Read about the fourth quarter increase in commission rate fees that Bonanza.com implements several weeks after this initial review)
Advertising on Bonanza is mainly through Google Shopping Cart and Bonanza Affiliate websites. This is where things get really tricky on Bonanza, because sort of like eBay, they throttle their search results. Its a system that I believe keeps Bonanza from being competitive. If you want to get any traffic on Bonanza.com, then the 3.5% commission on the final value will only get you traffic coming
Why throttle search and sales traffic?
On Bonanza, the search and sales traffic are throttled as part of their revenue scheme. They want you to upgrade to a membership, which ends up making Bonanza one of the weirdest marketplaces to sell online, because there are several different layers of selling on Bonanza.
First you have your basic store with a 3.5% commission on the final sales price. To have a basic store, there are no other fees.
Second you have a basic store with advertising. In this case, you still have a basic store (i.e. booth) but you agree to pay a selectable increase in the final sales price commission. This includes Google Shopping Cart and several others. Each level of advertising gives you potential more off-Bonanza placement and of course has a higher commission price when your product sells. Google Shopping Cart is fortunately one of the lower commissions at 6%, still lower than eBay's 10%, and Bonanza does not take a commission on Shipping like eBay.
Next you have yearly memberships that you pay monthly to participate in. There are quite a few different memberships and they provide you with some interesting extra features. They also claim that a membership gives you better search placement and up to a 70% increase in potential sales as a seller. My research did suggest that once upon a time, Bonanza's memberships did dramatically increase sales, but at least since 2014 when I began selling and researching Bonanza, that does not seem to be the case. I have encountered numerous sellers who purchased a membership for a year or more who didn't have any more sales than I have had with my basic booth. Those sellers canceled their membership and stopped selling on Bonanza.
What i personally believe has happened is that Bonanza has seriously messed up its search results in its attempts to manipulate and control the results between non-memberships and membership accounts to the point that it is no longer effective.
More recently, Bonanza has followed in similar steps as Storenvy.com by offering a custom store website that is independant of the marketplace, though still integrated into the marketplace. Bonanza charges $20 a month for this option, where-as Storenvy gives you the custom store front, but takes a 10% commission on any sales in its marketplace or any sales leads that are a result of the marketplace on your custom store.
I personally have had more sales on Bonanza.com at least in 2015, than I have had on Storenvy.com which is why Bonanza is my number #2.
Several things I really like about Bonanza are being able to use PayPal or Amazon Payments, the advertising upgrades (even though I don't think they really work), the ability to easily and seamless list products from my Bonanza booth to ebay for a small 1.5% commission fee - this lets me keep all my eBay expired listing actively up for sale in my Bonanza booth and when eBay offers a high volume of free listings event, i can export them to eBay with no need to modify the listings. I also like Bonanza.com's import features the work with Ebay, Etsy, Amazon and a CVS file.
Bonanza also started this relatively unknown funky rewards feature. While you already receive Bonanza Rewards Credits when you do certain things in your booth like add extra photos or additional information, this new thing lets you claim 10 free credits everyday you log in and click the reward button. Bonanza Reward Credits can be used in various ways, including getting free features for a limited time or even buying discounts from other sellers in exchange for your credits (Essentially trading credits for a stores coupons.) I recently used rewards from the daily button to save up 500 Credits that I exchanged towards paying my Bonanza fees.
Since then, either the exchange rate dropped because I already used it, or they just changed the exchange rate across Bonanza, either way, it was cool to get out of having to pay my commision fees.
The bottom line is, if Bonanza ever figures out a way to bring in more shoppers and establish itself as a competitive marketplace to eBay, Etsy or other marketplaces, it will pose a serious threat. This is because, as a marketplace platform, Bonanza.com is more solid, more stable, more seller friendly, has a more competitive booth (Store) since you get the store as part of your 3.5% commission fee, where as on eBay a store costs a minimum of $16 a month if you buy a year in advance or $20 if you pay monthly. I suppose Bonanza's memberships would be closer to eBay's paid stores, except that on Bonanza.com your listings can be set to never end, or to expire, and there are no listing fees.
UPDATED for 2015 Fourth Quarter
During the 2015 Fourth Quarter in mid-November, Bonanza raised its advertising fees to the shock of many sellers. Read the full details here.
If you already sell on Bonanza.com, here is the link to the Daily Rewards Page.
3. Storenvy.com (Updated 12/28/15)
When it comes to custom store fronts, Storenvy currently still remains one of my favorites for various reasons, and while I closed my stores and marketplace as part of my 2016 selling strategy, I still recommend it.
For a very detailed overview of the Storenvy Marketplace and Custom stores, you can visit my article "Storenvy Custom Stores 2016 (Updated)". I had to create Storenvy its own page because so many changes have been occurring since I originally added it to My Favorite Places to Sell Online, I need a dedicate place to provide updates.
Probably a shock to see Amazon at number 4, considering it is the most known marketplace online in the western world. Yet, Amazon takes as much as 50% in commission fees, requires a paid membership currently at $40 a month to obtain certain privileges. This means, as with any marketplace you have to have enough product, making you enough profit to justify the $480 a year you will be paying for that privilege. If you do not have a membership, you can still sell on Amazon, but again the fees and commissions are really high. You'll have to find a balance between fees to sell on Amazon and the ease of selling on Amazon.
In quantity, you can sell more product on Amazon, quicker than on eBay, because you do not need to take photos, write descriptions, or spend 15 minutes putting in all the little check boxes, pull down menus, etc. that eBay requires.
I really enjoy using Shopseen.com for listing products between Storenvy and eBay primarily, however in 2015, Shopseen.com has come out with its own Instagram store that integrates with the photos posted on Instagram. It also has it's targets as a Twitter platform via the Stripe Payment gateway.
Shopseens ceo Adeel is very forward thinking and isn't limiting his platform, and that gives me high expectations that we will only continue to see great new features and social media implementations that will allow selling beyond the traditional marketplace.
Shopseen.com will be the marketplace to keep your eyes on in 2016 and beyond.
Etsy made a lot of sellers mad in 2014 and 2015 when it opened up its marketplace to Chinese imports under the name of Handmade goods. It's hard to compete with anything from China since our politicians have really messed up the USA economy, even for manufacturing.
I've honestly never managed to obtain any sales with my vintage products on Etsy.com and at 20 cents per listing, despite allowing the listing to remain up for 3 months, do not find this marketplace worth investing in, so that is why Etsy.com is here at the end of my favorites.
I like Etsy's layout and design, ease of setting it up, listing and selling. I am among those who stopped selling on Etsy in 2015 when it changed its policies and began favoring imported goods.
For my specific product line, I was facing direct competition with Chinese goods that could sell below my profit margin, were technically not even eligible to sell on Etsy, and whom Etsy management refused to remove after being reported, since the products didn't fall within any allowable category.
So yah, Etsy. Love it or leave it.
Read the newest 2016 updates about the EBlueJay marketplace and follow me as I updated you about my experiences setting up my new store on this MarketPlace >> HERE <<
Ebluejay used to be Blujay marketplace. At the end of 2015 Ebluejay.com rolled out of beta and as of October 2015 is now open to new sellers.
I used to sell on Blujay in 2013 and 2014, in fact it was the first marketplace outside of eBay I explored. It was also a direct result of my time interacting with the community on the Blujay forums that inspired me to create my very first YouTube videos - a seven part series about how to drive customers to your Blujay store.
Relatively unknown as Blujay, it has a popular following of sellers and their customers, and was an attractive marketplace. In 2015, the new eBluejay.com has been built from the ground up, offers more features, several payment gateways and once you pay a $5 fee to open your store, there are no commissions or listing fees.
I have not had the time to add Ebluejay to my current marketplaces, but it has promise.
Ecrater has made quite a lot of improvements since I first looked into it back in 2012. At the end of 2014 and into 2015, they made a number of changes.
Those who I have met selling on Ecrater.com appearantly have sales, enjoy its limted user interface and will often defend selling on this platform anytime that I critize it.
Selling on Ecrater.com is free. Can't beat that price.
Ioffer.com is a realtively nice selling platform, nice layout and offers Amazon Payments and Paypal as selling venues. It gained a tarnished reputation in 2007 as being a marketplace for scammers and Chinese imports.
I have two IOffer accounts and have been monitoring this marketplace for several years now. It has made a lot of improvements in attempts to move away from its prior history. While I do not currently sell on Ioffer.com despite having a seller account, it is on my list of marketplaces that I intend to experiment selling on in the immediate future, before doing a full review on it.
One improvement I have observed over 2015, is Ioffer e-mailing troubleshooting and resolution announcements. I believe that is a step that most of the other marketplaces could learn from. Nothing is worse as a seller especially, than to go on to eBay for instance, create a listing and then have the listing fail due to previously unknown site issues.
Similar in someways to Bonanza.com, Ioffer has two useful features - importing from Ebay and importing from a CVS file.
From a sellers perspective, I have interacted several times with its customer service. Customer support wise, its technical team and support team conduct everything through e-mail, yet are relatively quick in their responses compared to other online marketplaces like Storenvy.com. Unfortunately, unlike Storenvy.com whose support are attentive once they actually respond in person, I found ioffer.com's support to be unhelpful at times, with short one line answers or suggestions.
When replying back to Ioffer's support, this single line, unhelpful answers would be the responses, almost as though, the theory was, as long as your are getting any kind of response, it would indicate they are assisting you. If has usually taken three or four replies with this short weird responses, before getting a genuine detailed reply back responding to the actual issue at hand.
On other occasions, Ioffer's replies from a few specific members of its teams e-mails came across snooty or maybe even snotty. I found this especially true when trying to get my Amazon connection set-up for the first time. The responses were not very helpful or useful and ultimately I just gave up on trying to make that connection on their platform.
One of the strangest things about Ioffer is its fees for certain brand names when used as a keyword.
"Popular brand names and certain keywords are charged a listing fee of for the first keyword, and for each additional keyword. Please note, extremely popular brand names are charged a listing fee of for the first keyword, and for each additional keyword. Please list items with accurate and descriptive keywords, without using multiple brand names in your titles."
Other things I do not like about this marketplace, is that they take out their commission before the sale in finalized. Their policy states that you have a limited amount of time to contest or request a refund of the commission fees. My experience selling on multiple marketplaces would suggest that this Limited Window of opportunity is not long enough, especially when dealing with customer returns. What is this window of opportunity? You have until you pay your current fees and as of this November 3, 2015 blog post, once your fees are $2 or more, you have only 7 days to pay your fees.
Your fees are billed to your credit card account, and remember, if your credit card is already associated with one account, you'll need another credit card to associate with a second account if you need a second account, or if you did what I did and associated it with the wrong account by accident.
Despite its short comings, Ioffer is one of those marketplaces that has a lot of potential. I say that similar to why I continue to like Storenvy despite its short comings, and that is both continue to work towards improving its market venue.
Price Charting is a marketplace dedicated completely to the sales and shopping of Video Games and Video Game Consoles. There are no listing fees or commissions to sell at this marketplace. You will need a Stripe account to sell here, and this is a relatively new feature that Price Charting has began. You can also find Price Charting mentioned in the How To Sell Online Tools and Resources page for its eBay price Look-up search engine for video games.
Not My Favorites
Mulsa.com gets free publicity as my top marketplaces to avoid. A completely new and unknown marketplace.
I came into contact with Mulasa.com on YouTube, when its owner posted a comment with it's link on one of my YouTube videos, stating that he believed it to be the only free marketplace online. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, he was mistaken. There are other free marketplaces like the well established Ecrater.com also the new EblueJay.com is 100% free after paying a one time seller account set-up fee of $5. There are also apps that do not take a commission or have a listing fee, selling on Facebook Groups, etc.. He made this statement in comparison to Ebay.com
Never having heard of Mulasa.com, I decided to do an initial review. While it is a nice layout and seems to have quick searches, the quickness of the search is because no one is currently selling on Mulasa.com, and there were only three products for sales. A few actual physical products and one service.
Here is my first review on Mulasa.com. There are currently some real safety and security issues I spotted that online sellers who may come across this marketplace should be aware of. Its difficult to know if Mulasa is a fly-by-night marketplace attempt, or a genuine marketplace in it's beginnings. My initial thoughts is its operated by someone who leased a webhost and installed a marketplace script. I got this impression due to its lack of SSL.
Read the full review here on my blog. I'll keep an eye open for it for now and in the future when I revisit Mulasa.com to check up on it, if its still around and if it has made improvements addressing my concerns, then I will write an updated review.
OnlineAuction.com is another relatively unknown marketplace. It gets to be on my Not My Favorites list for several different reasons, one being that its owners and those who seem directly associated with it, are rather snotty when it comes to pushing their opinions about the value of this marketplace.
I also find that those who represent OnlineAuction.com tend to exagerate its value as a marketplace.
In Ecommercebytes.com 2014 Sellers Choice report of the best places to sell online, OnlineAuction appeared in its ratings. It was clearly evident that those connected with OnlineAuction had manipulated the poll results to get placed into the report. Those representing OnlineAuction either officially or unofficially attacked and made insinuations against several of the other marketplaces, suggesting that those marketplaces had manipulated the poll results. So yah, I don't have much confidence or trust in this marketplace.
In this graphic and counter on the OnlineAuction.com website, you will notice that the numbers represented in this screen capture, indicates the amount of products for sale value. It gives the impression if you are not paying attention, that this is the amount of sales generated on this marketplace, what it actually indicates is that all of the combined items being listed for sale on OnlineAuction.com have a total value of $673,363,598.96 USD. This is probably the most pointless piece of information a marketplace could state. I'd be really impressed if that were how many sales it had in 2015, or even in its history as a marketplace. While it does state it is only the value of products listed, it is still a bit deceiving, and even I had to do a double look at it, to make sure I was reading it correctly.
The last time I looked into OnlineAuction.com, it had a single monthly base rate to sell on its marketplace and no listing or final value fee. It has since updated its selling methods to two different options, now offering a lower entry level option of $8.00 per month with the ability to sell up to 800 listings. The second option is the founders account which costs a $100 one-time setup fee and an additional $96.00 a year. This allows up to 8,000 listings, the ability to import from CVS file, "personalize e-store" and some seller listing enhancements.
While $8.00 a month sounds reasonable considering the ability to list up to 800 listings with no other fees, this marketplace has been around since 1986 (as long as eBay) and still hasn't penetrated the online sellers system or gained much in shopper visibility compared to Bonanza.com which began in 2008.
With is relatively low online presence, i've not been willing to pay $8 a month, regardless of there not being any other fees. Had my first introduction to OnlineAuction.com not been being one of those attacked during the Ecommercebytes.com 2014 Seller Choice report, for a post I made in favor of a particular marketplace, I might be a little more inclined to invest in OnlineAuction.com to research and review it as a marketplace. However, I am disinclined to do so for the stated reasons.
Show me the money. That is what I want this marketplace to do. I want to know how much sales revenue was earned in 2015, how many active seller subscriptions it has, what kind of shopper traffic it has, but you can be certain that this marketplace will not provide that information, and since it has a credibility issue, I would be skeptical that the numbers would be massaged and exaggerated.
It would be interesting to have a chance to explore the seller side of this marketplace, see what kinds of features it offers, how its shipping is set up, what kind of payment gateways it uses and test the flow of sales and shopper traffic, but I suppose that will need to be another reviewer who does that.
3. There are plenty of other relatively unknown marketplaces that have made little impact, to many to bother mentioning.