We spent many weeks poring over key online marketplace metrics to answer the question of the best online marketplaces to sell products. We looked at usage metrics, user satisfaction data, transaction volumes, and monthly active users for the top ecommerce marketplaces.
We also interviewed successful sellers for more personal metrics like fee structures, verification and onboarding requirements, and availability of seller programs. Based on our intensive research, we think Amazon is the best online marketplace for most people.
The ecommerce giant enjoys an unrivaled market share, is a globally trusted brand, and is accessible to people with varying levels of experience selling online.
The Best Online Marketplace for Most
There are many potentially lucrative online marketplaces to sell products. However, Amazon has the best combination of success drivers for most people. Most online shoppers already check Amazon prices before purchasing anywhere, which is a great start.
Amazon ships to more than 100 countries, and brand recognition means you need minimal ad spend to start selling. Plus, the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program means that you don’t even need to have inventory on hand to start selling.
The Best Online Marketplaces to Consider
- Amazon – The Best Online Marketplace for Most
- Newegg – Best Online Marketplace for Technology Products
- eBay – Best Online Marketplace for Selling Used and Refurbished Products
- Etsy – Best Online Marketplace for Selling Handcrafted and Vintage Products
- Walmart Marketplace – Best Online Marketplace for Increasing Brand Exposure
When It Makes Sense to Invest in Selling on Online Marketplaces
If you have a solid offline brand, then you have a good chance of replicating your success online. Businesses that stand out do well in the online marketplace. For example, do you have difficulty satisfying the demand for your branded dog food? Are customers lining up for your specialty ground coffee? Online marketplaces offer the perfect opportunity to expand your customer base.
Secondly, selling on an online marketplace is an excellent idea if your business already has a solid online presence. You already have a loyal online following and a terrific rapport with your customers. Plus, you’ve proved that your customers are online. So it’s only logical that you should leverage your online presence to expand your customer base.
Finally, online marketplaces aren’t just for established brick-and-mortar businesses. You might be a great candidate for selling online if you don’t have the budget for a physical store. There are fewer barriers to entry and millions of potential customers.
You don’t even need to be a tech expert to start an online business. Many marketplaces let you set up your online store with zero coding or web design experience.
#1 – Amazon –The Best Online Marketplace for Most
Amazon, hands down, has the most expansive reach of any online marketplace. So if you’re going to make money selling products online, Amazon is the most likely place to do it. In addition, Amazon has a customer base of more than 310 million users.
Each Amazon Prime member spends at least $1,400 a year on Amazon. There are more than 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers, so it’s easy to see why this marketplace is so attractive.
Amazon also offers its sellers terrific perks. One such perk is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). The service outsources your order fulfillment to Amazon. Simply send your inventory to Amazon, and the service will handle everything, including packing, shipping, customer service, and processing returns.
The marketplace also has relatively low barriers to entry. For example, with the individual plan, you can start selling for as little as $0.99 per unit. Or, you could pay $39.99 per month for the Professional plan. Then you can sell as many products as you wish at the same monthly fee.
Another great perk is the Amazon Brand Registry. The program is perfect for private label owners, manufacturers, and trademarked distributors. It’s a great way of protecting your products from counterfeiting, which is rife on most online marketplaces.
Amazon is accessible to all types of sellers. However, people who sell unique branded products tend to do exceptionally well. Other profitable merchants include hobby and niche product sellers.
#2 – Newegg — Best Marketplace for Technology Products
Newegg hosts all product categories, including tools, homes, and sports. However, this marketplace strongly focuses on technology products and is perfect for tech retailers.
Specifically, Newegg is the ideal marketplace during major holidays and special occasions. Tech products tend to be in high demand during these times. In addition, the marketplace has at least 20 million active buyers, so you have a good chance of running a profitable enterprise.
Newegg also offers multiple programs to help you succeed. For example, the platform electronics deals to feature on its Hot Deals page. Getting featured here puts you in front of millions of eyeballs with minimal marketing effort.
Similarly, Newegg offers banner ads and features in its newsletter to ensure you reach your customers. Additionally, the platform has a Shipped by Newegg (SBN) program if you prefer a hands-off approach. Finally, you only need to send your orders to Newegg’s fulfillment center, and the marketplace will take care of the rest.
There’s also a good market for refurbished electronic products. Newegg takes a commission on all sales, ranging between 8% and 15% of the sale price. The exact commission depends on your product category.
#3 – eBay — Best for Selling Used and Refurbished Products
eBay made its mark as the first online marketplace for selling used items. The marketplace has since ventured into all types of consumer products. However, it remains a great place to sell used goods.
The platform is the perfect place to unload gently-used items such as kids’ toys, collectibles, Christmas decorations, and Halloween costumes. It’s also a viable marketplace for a full-time ecommerce business or earning your primary income. You have access to more than 190 markets around the world. In addition, the eBay Global Shipping Program lets you effortlessly break into the international market.
You don’t have to worry about customs, estimated delivery dates, taxes, international shipping costs, and other international sales considerations. eBay takes care of all this for you under its Global Shipping Program. Additionally, eBay adds all these details to your listing, so your international buyers know exactly what to expect.
eBay’s best-selling products and categories include health and beauty products, video games, mobile phones and accessories, and home and garden.
The marketplace also has an expansive customer base of more than 180 million active buyers globally. One of eBay’s main attractions is its customizable listings. Unlike Amazon’s generic lists, you have full reign to personalize your listings, including adding full-color ads to promote your products.
eBay has transparent and straightforward selling fees. The platform charges a $0.35 listing insertion fee. Depending on the product category, you’ll also pay a 10-15% commission when your items sell. You can set up an eBay Store to get up to waive the insertion fee for up to 250 products per month.
#4 – Etsy — Best for Selling Handcrafted and Vintage Products
Etsy is the number one platform for merchants who create their own handmade and custom products. It’s a fast-growing marketplace with more than 60 million active buyers.
The marketplace also offers terrific perks for first-time ecommerce merchants. For example, you can create a storefront on Etsy, so you don’t have to create an ecommerce website unless you want one. Plus, the platform takes care of the payment processing, and you’ll receive your payments directly in your liked bank accounts.
Etsy pricing is also transparent. It costs $0.20 to list items on Etsy. There’s a 6.5% transaction fee when your items sell. Etsy also promotes your products with offline ads. You’ll pay a small commission when your items sell through the ad.
The marketplace also has a handy mobile app. You can manage the entire store, including responding to customer queries, updating items, and processing orders on the go. You also get a built-in analytics tool to help you understand trends and other essential data.
#5 – Walmart Marketplace — Best for Increasing Brand Exposure
Walmart is another fast-growing marketplace with more than 385 million monthly visits. In addition, the retail giant has replicated its success online, allowing individuals to sell products alongside Walmart’s offerings.
It’s an excellent platform if you sell items that Walmart shoppers already buy.
You only need to pay a referral fee. The range depends on the product category, but it’s between 6% and 15% of the sale price. You also pay the referral fee after making the sale.
Admittedly, the Walmart marketplace is less accessible than most online marketplaces. Walmart has to approve your business before you can sell on its marketplace. However, you have a good chance of success if your business has:
- Prior marketing experience
- Competitive Pricing
- Fast and reliable product fulfillment
- Great customer service
Additional requirements include a W-9 form, a Tax ID number, and a US-based business-to-consumer (B2C) warehouse. However, most established and successful businesses already meet Walmart’s criteria.
It’s a terrific marketplace to grow your customer base. Walmart lists your products as similar to its own products. So you can capitalize on Walmart’s brand recognition and loyal customer base to scale your business.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Online Marketplaces to Sell Products
Plenty of online marketplaces can help you expand your business and reach a broad audience. However, we think our review covers the best ones. Here are the criteria we used to narrow down the option to find the best online marketplaces to sell products.
Marketplace Popularity and Exposure
The main reason to sell online is to reach a wider audience. The right marketplace can put your products in front of millions of potential customers. So, whether you are starting an online business from scratch or expanding your offline store, look for a marketplace that provides maximum exposure.
All the marketplaces on our list have a strong global presence. This situation is ideal for reaching customers far beyond your physical location. However, Amazon has the broadest reach of any marketplace on our top list, with more than 197 million monthly visitors.
Additionally, Amazon is the first stop for price shopping. Recent statistics show that 9 out of 10 consumers admit to checking product prices on Amazon before making a purchase.
The other marketplaces also have wide audiences. For example, eBay has 187 million users worldwide. The marketplace also sold more than $27.5 billion in Q1 of 2021. Regardless, you shouldn’t have to worry about finding customers on any of these platforms.
It’s equally important to choose a trusted marketplace. Consumers need assurances that they’ll receive the exact product they ordered and that it will arrive on time. As a result, all the marketplaces on our top list are highly regarded by consumers.
Quick Verification and Onboarding
Ecommerce is fast-paced, and you should be able to start selling as quickly as possible. The ideal marketplace should let you sign up and list products quickly. Except for the Walmart Marketplace, our top picks allow you to begin selling within hours of signing up.
The Walmart Marketplace has a strict vetting process. Your acceptance means you’re the right fit for the marketplace. It can be challenging to determine on other marketplaces until you start selling.
There’s more to running an ecommerce business than listing products and waiting for orders. You need to market your business, streamline order shipping and fulfillment, and process payments.
The ideal online marketplace should have multiple programs to support your business. Some of the essential seller programs to look out for include:
Fulfillment Services – Most online marketplaces have an order fulfillment service. It’s a convenient option since you don’t have to stock or store your inventory. Instead, you can keep it at your marketplace’s warehouse.
Then, the marketplace will take care of packaging, shipping, returns, and customer service on your behalf. A great example of this type of program is the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service.
Built-In Marketing Features – A good marketplace should let you promote your products from within the platform. For example, Amazon enables you to offer your customers limited-time promotions.
Similarly, Amazon has built-in paid and free marketing features, including Amazon SEO, Amazon Advertising, and PPC ads. Some platforms even market your products for you.
Newegg also promotes sellers’ products on its Hot Deals page, and eBay promotes listings from its top sellers for free.
Online marketplaces also need to make money. So, you can expect to pay some fees for selling on these marketplaces. The main thing to look out for is transparency.
You should know exactly how much you will pay in fees before you sell a single product. Some of the most common online marketplace fees include:
Fee per sale: This is the most common type of fee. You’ll be charged a commission for each sale. The commission amount usually varies depending on the product category.
Fee per listing: Some marketplaces charge a fee for listing your products. This fee is typically applied whether your products sell or not.
Monthly fee: Some marketplaces charge a standard monthly rate. Again, this rate typically applies, regardless of whether your products sell.
Be sure to scrutinize the fees. Ideally, you want to avoid double charges. For example, some marketplaces waive the listing fee for a specific number of products if you sign up for an account with a monthly fee.
Amazon is a great example. Its Individual plan is free but attracts a listing fee of $0.99 per product. However, the Professional plan costs $39.99 per month. But, there’s no listing fee regardless of the number of products you list.
Finally, be sure to look out for extra charges. For example, a fulfillment service may sound appealing, but the additional fees can soon add up and cut into your profits.
The Top Online Marketplaces to Sell Products in Summary
It’s hard to think of a more accessible online marketplace than Amazon. You only need the basics to get started, including government identification, bank account, tax information, phone number, and an Amazon account. Then, you instantly access hundreds of millions of potential customers, which is hard to beat.
Furthermore, Amazon levels the playfield where small businesses and enterprises compete side by side. With Amazon, it is possible to generate high-volume sales at a fraction of the operational and marketing expense of more established brands.