When you want to sell your excess junk online, where do you go? For most people, the one and only answer is eBay. With millions of daily users, it only seems logical to use the number one popular online auction site when you have online selling needs. But what about all of the alternatives that are arguably better?
“Why fix something that isn’t broken, Joel?” you might ask. Or more poignantly, “Why use a different site when eBay suits me just fine?” Well, if you enjoy using eBay, then I suppose there’s no reason to switch. However, over the years, many users have grown fed up with eBay’s services. If you’re one of those users, then have no fear. The eBay alternative are pretty good.
If you have stuff you need to sell and you need it done online, check out the following sites. Some of them may surprise you.
Here’s an alternative that may seem like common sense: Craigslist. Founded in 1995, Craigslist acts as an online community where users can post classified ads. In the last 17 years, Craigslist has become so popular that it now serves over 700 localized versions of its site in over 70 countries. If you need a broad audience, here you go.
Craigslist is completely free. You do not pay any service fees or charges for posting your listings. Payment and transactions are dealt with face-to-face between parties, so there is no mediator escrow-type service; be careful that you aren’t scammed. The interface is somewhat outdated and as far as I know there isn’t a way to judge a user’s trustworthiness (like with eBay’s rating system).
But everything considered, you keep 100% of the revenue when you finalize a transaction using Craigslist and its popularity guarantees that you won’t run out of buyers anytime soon.
Ealtbay [No Longer Available]
Ealtbay. Just take a look at this service’s name and you’ll see that its primary purpose is to be an alternative to eBay. But is it better than eBay? Check out their five reasons for existence and decide for yourself.
- Ealtbay does not place bans on items that are perfectly legal to be sold.
- Ealtbay lets you list items for free. Final fees on sold items are much lower than eBay.
- Ealtbay does not force electronic payment methods (e.g., Paypal) on users. Whatever method the seller is comfortable with can be used.
- Ealtbay allows feedback for both buyers and sellers, not just sellers.
- Ealtbay does not force top-rated sellers to appear at the top of search results, allowing smaller-volume sellers more exposure.
The downside to Ealtbay is that their audience is nowhere near the size of eBay (which is understandable) and they have a primitive-looking interface that isn’t exactly beautiful (which is a definite negative). However, those five features above more than make up for any of Ealtbay’s shortcomings.
eBid is a promising alternative to eBay, boasting over 6 million item listings in nearly 13,000 categories. There are no listing fees here and the final fees are much lower than the fees over at eBay. Payment methods include Paypal, PPPay, Google Checkout, and Skrill. If you’re worried about eBid’s reliability as a service, be placated in knowing that eBid is a Google Shopping Marketplace Partner.
eBid’s selling features are that they provide a number of merchant programs (auctions, fixed-price transactions, and storefronts) as well as the ability to “ninja list” items, where you can bulk upload for low fees.
Unlike eBay and clones of eBay, there are other online marketplaces that cater to a more niche audience. Marketplaces like Etsy, where the focus rests on hand-made or vintage items. It was established in 2005, which means it only had 7 years to become as big as it is now. Impressive, if you ask me.
Etsy boasts over 39 million unique visitors every month who browse the 800,000 available shops. As niche as Etsy might be, the audience size is nothing to sneeze at. In order to list on Etsy, each item will cost you $0.20 per stock and you’ll pay 3.5% of the final selling price in fees. Payment options include Paypal, Etsy’s direct checkout, or cheque.
For one-time junk selling, eBay is still the better option. But if you have hand-made crafts that you’d like to sell for profit, Etsy may be the place for you.
If you have items that you just want to get rid of (i.e., you don’t care about making a profit), you ought to check out Freecycle. It’s a worldwide community that aims to reduce global waste by connecting people who want to throw away goods to people who need those goods. In essence, people with excess give stuff to people in need for free. Free recycling. Get it? (Admittedly, it took me a while.)
Listings are completely free and there are no payment options because everything is free. Though Freecycle is a worldwide site, item exchanges are conducted locally so buyers can come pick up the items from the sellers without postage fees. If you need more room in your attic or garage, Freecycle can help you. If you want to make a profit, look elsewhere.
Ruby Lane is a niche online marketplace where people can buy and sell high-end antiques, art, and vintage collectibles. Here you’ll find thousands of independent shops, each run by individual sellers, from all over the world. Ever since their establishment in 1998, Ruby Lane has guaranteed quality, security, and excellence to their members.
Their shop format only allows selling items either at a certain price point or through the make-and-offer feature; there are no auctions. For sellers, Ruby Lane uses a unique pricing structure that includes a $0.30 listing fee per item, a once-per-month Advertising Fee of $20, and a once-per-month Maintenance Fee that depends on how many items you sell that month. Check out their massive list of reasons why you should sell on Ruby Lane.
So if you’re sick of eBay, then you owe it to yourself to check out one of these eBay alternative. Many are free. Some are great for one-time throwaways while others offer you the chance to build up a lucrative business. If you’ve used any of these services in the past, let us know what you thought of them in the comments!