Have a lot of stuff? Why not make a profit from it?

With so many options for buying and selling these days, it can be horribly confusing to figure out which platform is right for you. We listed out the pros and cons of 9 buying and selling marketplaces.

Etsy

Etsy was started in 2005 as an online community for crafters and artists. Since then, it has amassed 1.6 million active sellers and 26.1 million active buyers.

The Pros:

  • 2016 Sellers’ Choice for ease of use
  • Top pick for profitability (behind Amazon and eBay)
  • Direct sales platform
  • Great customer support (surpassed eBay in their Sellers Choice communication rating)
  • Great for artists, crafters, and vintage enthusiasts
  • Listings last 4 months before you have to renew them
  • Charges a listing fee of $.20/item, and a fixed 3.5% commission

The Cons: 

  • Etsy has a niche market, and is more geared towards artists, crafters, and vintage enthusiasts. If your product doesn’t fall into these categories, you may be hard-pressed to find buyers
  • Gets less traffic than giants like eBay

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is another online classifieds listing site where users can sell and buy items of all sorts. Like Craigslist, Marketplace is targeted towards buying and selling locally.

The Pros:

  • Extremely mobile-friendly (can create listings directly on phone)
  • Safer than Craigslist (because Facebook Marketplace is tied directly to buyers’ and sellers’ Facebook accounts, it lets you vet a person before going through with a purchase)
  • Higher chance of selling your item (Facebook has 2.2 billion users)
  • Can communicate through Facebook Messenger, thereby not having to give out your personal phone number or email address
  • Doesn’t charge a listing fee or commission

The Cons:

  • You need a Facebook account to be able to use Marketplace
  • As with any online classifieds service, you’ll need to be aware of scams

Amazon

Similar to eBay, Amazon is a huge marketplace that allows you to buy and sell directly.

The Pros:

  • Amazon’s Sellers Choice profitability rating is similar to eBay’s
  • Amazon uses a built-in algorithm that recommends your products to people who might be interested based on search histories
  • Free to list (you’ll pay $0.99 per item sold on top of the commission for the sale if you have a basic, free seller’s account)
  • Perks for Prime members: 2-day shipping on all qualified orders and excellent customer service
  • You can really find or sell anything on Amazon

The Cons:

  • If you’re a seller, you may find that prices are very competitive, since Amazon is a huge marketplace with a ton of sellers all vying to place their products.
  • Amazon has higher fees compared to marketplaces like Etsy, but that tradeoff comes with having more eyeballs on your products

eBay

Launched in 1995, eBay has become one of the top destinations for people looking to sell everything, whether it’s rare items or electronics.

The Pros:

  • Has 171 million active users (reported in the first quarter of 2018)
  • Has built-in community features, like discussion boards and Q&A forums
  • Excellent Buyer and Seller Protection (eBay has buyer protection in place if a seller doesn’t ship a product or participates in fraud. It also protects sellers in case a buyer doesn’t pay or files a Money Back Guarantee fraudulently)

The Cons:

  • Marketplace fees: Although low, eBay’s fees are still plentiful. The site charges insertion fees when you list an item, and total value fees based on the total price of the sale. eBay also has optional fees if you want to make your product easier to find. But your first 50 listings each month are free and the site regularly gives out bonus free listings.
  • Competition: In 2017, eBay’s gross merchandise volume sat at $83.9 billion. That means you have a lot of competition out there, making it a little harder to sell your products
  • eBay rewards sellers who can ship their items quickly (by offering them more exposure). If you’re unable to ship quickly, you may find your store suffering in visibility.

Craigslist

Perhaps the OG, Craigslist is well-known for being a place where you can buy and sell literally anything. The layout is very plain, making it a very straightforward platform for finding, buying and selling.

The Pros:

  • No listing fees (Craigslist only charges for post types like job listings or vehicles)
  • No selling fees
  • You’re in complete control of the listing
  • Manage your transactions personally

The Cons:

  • Craigslist will not get involved if there are disputes between you and the buyer/seller
  • Limited market range: You’re only allowed to sell locally, and have to arrange pick-up or drop-off
  • Higher probability of encountering scammers or skeevy people (you’ll often have to meet people in person)

Poshmark

A favorite amongst the fashionistas, Poshmark has become the place for buying and selling used or unwanted clothes.

The Pros:

  • Easy setup: Take a picture of the item in the app, set a price, and wait
  • Flat-rate charge for shipping
  • Poshmark provides a pre-paid, pre-addressed label. All you have to do is take the item to the post office
  • “Posh Protect” guarantees refunds to buyers if an item has undisclosed damage, isn’t as described, isn’t authentic, or when the item delivered is incorrect or missing from the package
  • “Posh Authenticate” offers free item authentication and shipping on items and purchases of $500 or more

The Cons:

  • Limited to buying and selling in the US
  • Have to engage with the Poshmark community, which may take time and energy

Letgo

Like Craigslist, Letgo is an online classifieds listing. However, unlike Craigslist, it limits its offerings to items.

The Pros:

  • Easy listing: Letgo can identify the type of item you’re selling based on the photograph you upload, and automatically build the listing for you
  • Secure communication: If a buyer is interested in an item, Letgo sets up a chat between the buyer and seller. This lets you communicate without exchanging personal numbers or emails.
  • Peace of mind: Letgo sellers can be rated and reviewed.
  • Account verification: Letgo accounts can be verified by linking profiles to Facebook or email
  • Free, no listing fees

The Cons:

  • Local markets only
  • Still have to meet buyers in person (and pay in person)
  • Still a high chance that scammers and spammers will be present

Bonanza

A haven for people in search of quirky, Bonanza has already amassed more than 40,000 sellers from nearly every country around the world.

The Pros:

  • Bonanza has taken out the top rating for communication in Seller’s Choice awards
  • Recognized in Entrepreneur’s 360 best companies list
  • Free to list items
  • Average fee per sale can be at 3.5%
  • Fixed-price marketplace
  • Bonanza sends every item listing to Google and Bing, which means sellers get even more exposure
  • Less competition between sellers: Bonanza monthly traffic is lower than eBay’s, but the ratio of shoppers to sellers on Bonanza is much higher (1,300 to 1 on Bonanza vs. less than 10 to 1 on eBay)

The Cons: 

  • Bonanza specializes in unique and quirky items, so your run of the mill handbag might not be the best fit here

OfferUp

OfferUp is a free smartphone app that allows you to sell things locally from your home. It’s like Craigslist gone mobile.

The Pros:

  • Anonymous transactions: Because OfferUp has an in-app messenger, you don’t have to publicly disclose your name, email or phone number in your ad
  • User verification: OfferUp can verify profiles through a drivers license and phone number. You also have the option of signing up through Facebook.
  • Easy to post an ad from your phone
  • Free to list
  • Seller can rate buyers. The rating is displayed on buyer profiles, so you can see if it’s a good idea to sell to someone.

The Cons:

  • Local markets only
  • Still have to meet buyers in person (and pay in person)
  • Still a high chance that scammers and spammers will be present
Advertisement