One thing to take notice of when assessing each marketplace, is to consider their demographics. Each of these sites has a specific customer base that in many ways is unique to them. The only way to get access to those customers is by selling on their marketplace. One very good tool for determining each marketplace demographic is www.quantcast.com. SO check it out when you are considering a new marketplace channel for your business.
- Amazon.com - Not much needs to be said about this marketplace, except they seem to be firing on all cylinders. If you are not selling on Amazon.com currently you should consider it. Not ideal for vintage or collectible product and some categories are closed or invitation only (Jewelry, Apparel, Cell Phones)
- eBay.com - eBay used to be the only marketplace in town and has gone through a number of changes since 2006, but they still get a ton of traffic and are the best place to sell collectibles and vintage product. Sellers of New In-Season and Secondary market product may see them as an incremental sales channel. eBay is still a "high maintenance" marketplace so go in with your eyes wide open.
Note: Buy.com sells on Amazon as well as eBay because we get access to a customer that doesn't generally shop on Buy.com and they are great incremental sales channels.
- Etsy.com is a great site for Handmade, Vintage and Crafting Supplies but they are not open to any other categories, so if you sell vintage items or product you make by hand make sure to check out Etsy.com
- Buy.com - (Full Disclosure, I work for Buy.com) The Buy.com marketplace had a tremendous year in 2009 with 150% year over year growth and we are looking to keep the momentum going. We are expanding categories in 2010 to add Pet Supplies, Musical Instruments and Personal Care. We do have several gated categories (Jewelry, Sports, Cell Phones) and we require a verifiable online sales history. We hope to add more categories as the year progresses.
- Overstock.com While I don't consider Overstock a marketplace, it is a sales option for 3P merchants. Merchants actually serve as drop shippers and are not the merchant of record on Overstock so there isn't an opportunity to display your brand like at eBay, Amazon, Buy.coma and Etsy.
- Alibris.com is a great marketplace for online media sellers and they get expanded reach for your product by selling on eBay, Amazon, Half.com and now Buy.com among other sites.
- Half.com - the "red-haired step child" of the eBay corporation for sellers of Books, Textbooks, CDs, DVD and Video Games.
- StubHub.com is another eBay marketplace specifically for Ticket sales. If you have tickets to sell, StubHub is the online leader.
- WalMart.com launched a new marketplace in 2010 and wants to be one of those 800 lb. gorillas in the first section. In its current form I don't consider it a marketplace because they are not bringing on competing offerings, but it would not be wise to under-estimate the online arm of the #1 retailer in the world.
- Sears.com - another new addition to the marketplace field. The Sears.com marketplace is still in it's infancy, so time will tell how viable it is as a marketplace.
- NewEggMall.com the marketplace of Newegg.com
- Bonanzle.com - They are positioning themselves as a marketplace for "find everything buy the ordinary" So if that is the type of product you sell, you should consider Bonanzle.com. Don't wait for eBay to spin-off the old eBay as eBay Classic. Bonanzle.com hopes to fill that void.
- eCrater.com is really what eBay stores should have been (sorry for all the eBay references). If you are looking for your own online presence without creating a website on your own then eCrater.com should be considered.
eBay isn't the only auction site on the web, though they are still the leader. Here are two options to consider.