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Choosing the right marketplace to sell your products online is critical to success as an ecommerce seller. The choice can be quite complex, as you’ll have to consider factors like the platform’s unique features, its target clientele, and its selling terms of service, to name a few.
This article will give you a bird’s eye view of the best marketplace to sell your products online so you can find the one best suited to your ecommerce business.
The Big Four
With over 2 billion US visitors every month, Amazon is by far the best marketplace to sell products online for both new ecommerce sellers and seasoned entrepreneurs looking to expand digitally. But it wasn’t always that way—check out the article below to learn how Amazon went from a modest online bookstore to the biggest ecommerce marketplace in the world.
Amazon’s biggest selling point is its massive customer base—it is the fourth most visited website in the US (Google, YouTube, and Facebook, if you're curious). This means that even the most novice online seller can start out small and engage a lot of buyers on the marketplace.
A couple more things that makes Amazon an ideal online marketplace are the wide range of products that it currently supports (you can quite literally sell anything that is not prohibited by law) and robust seller ecosystem, particularly its FBA service.
If you already have a rockstar product and are ready to start building your brand on Amazon, here’s the perfect read for you:
Haven’t decided on a product yet? Finding a product to sell on Amazon is not rocket science, and there are also business models other than private labeling that make it easier for you to get the ball rolling as an Amazon seller.
- How to Find the Perfect Product to Sell on Amazon
- How to Dropship on Amazon
- Amazon Arbitrage: How to Make Big Bucks Online
2. Walmart Marketplace
Walmart is more recognized for being the king of brick-and-mortar in the US, but it has stepped up its ecommerce game significantly over the past several years, capitalizing on its massive physical store footprint and over 500 million monthly website visitors.
Throughout the pandemic years in particular, Walmart revamped the Walmart Marketplace to serve as a strong competitor to Amazon’s more saturated ecosystem. It even launched its own fulfillment services for third-party sellers recently and has started global expansion.
Boasting over 720 million visitors per month, eBay is a beneficiary of the dot-com bubble that lets you sell used products online (although there are also tons of “brand new” listings here). Just like Amazon, it’s a great choice because of its wide range of product categories. However, unlike its much-larger competitor, eBay features an auction format where products are more correctly valued based on their current demand—ideal if you’re selling sought-after used goods and collectibles.
Much like all other big marketplaces, eBay’s biggest con is the cutthroat competition, which makes it much harder for new sellers to stand out.
Technically, Shopify should not be on this list.
Shopify is not an ecommerce marketplace, seeing that it does not process orders and take customer payments. Rather, it is a platform that allows you to create your own branded space and set up an online store to cater exclusively to your customers.
That said, Shopify remains to be a comprehensive platform for online sellers, especially those who want to build sustainable ecommerce business, and it has taken strides to compete with Amazon directly over the years.
- How to Start a Shopify Store in Less Than 10 minutes
- Shopify vs. Amazon: An In-Depth Comparison
- Top 6 Shopify Alternatives
Some Niche Picks
With 550 million average monthly visitors, Etsy is right up there with Walmart Marketplace and eBay in constantly attempting to give Amazon a run for its money. What makes Etsy a great marketplace to sell products online is also its biggest disadvantage for some sellers: it’s a niche market focusing on handicrafts and vintage goods.
If you’re an artist or a small business looking to target a specific customer segment with your handmade items, or are looking to connect with other creative sellers, Etsy is a solid choice for you.
- Selling on Etsy in 2023: Is It Worth It?
- Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy
- 50 Product Ideas You Can Make At Home and Sell Online
Another great niche online marketplace is Ruby Lane. It caters to sellers who sell antiques, collectibles, vintage fashion products, and of course, as its name suggests, jewelry. If you want to sell on Ruby Lane, your brand must go through a pre-screening by an inhouse team of professionals who make sure your products are up to specific standards.
Houzz is a marketplace for home improvement and renovation products that also doubles as a directory of professionals in the home improvement sector. It is currently one of the biggest third-party online marketplaces in the US, hosting over 20,000 active sellers.
Although not really known for its ecommerce capabilities, Facebook is a quick and easy way to sell your products online.
Facebook Marketplace functions in the same way as Craigslist and Kijiji, except that its local classified and auction ecosystem is integrated into the Facebook social network, making it a lot easier to find and engage potential buyers. On the other hand, Facebook Shop basically lets you open your own storefront right on Facebook.
Other Amazon Marketplaces (Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, etc.)
Selling products abroad is also a great way to scale your online business. Amazon marketplaces other than Amazon.com are great for sellers who are already selling on the main site and want to extend their reach internationally.
If you’re reading this from Canada or Mexico, here’s a couple of articles to help you get setup on those respective marketplaces:
- How to Sell on Amazon FBA Canada (Amazon.ca)
- What is NARF (North America Remote Fulfillment Program)?
Mercado Libre is a prime gateway for North American sellers to reach online shoppers in Latin America. It has over 24 million monthly visitors and it is the number one ecommerce platform in Argentina and other Lat-Am states.
The big catch is that Mercado Libre’s Global Selling Program that enables US-based sellers to participate on the marketplace is on an invite-only basis as of writing, which means you have to go through an application process in order to join.
Alibaba, Taobao, Tmall
Traditionally, US sellers use Alibaba and other Chinese websites to find suppliers for products that they want to sell within the US. But now, Alibaba is open to US sellers eager to expand internationally and sell in countries that it currently serves, including India, Canada, and some parts of South America. This also means that US sellers can now sell to other US-based sellers through Alibaba. Ultimately, this makes Alibaba an ideal marketplace if you’re selling wholesale goods.
On the other hand, sites like Taobao and Tmall are great C2C platforms where individuals and small businesses can sell their products to mainly Chinese shoppers. This is worth looking into if you’re a US-based seller who already has a strong relationship with your Chinese supplier or factory.