These days, it’s not just enough to have a website for your business. You also need an easy way to create, promote, and sell your products and services online. Whether you’re an artist, writer, freelancer, or home service provider, the right directory or marketplace can mean the difference between surviving and thriving.
We looked at over 60 marketplaces and directories and chose the best based on reputation, cost, support, quality, and more. Here are our top three picks in six business categories.
The Best Places to Sell Your Business’s Products Online in 2021
- Best for Clothing and Accessories: Redbubble
- Runner Up, Best for Clothing and Accessories: Printful
- Best for Books: Amazon KDP
- Runner-Up, Best for Books: IngramSpark
- Best for Freelancers: Upwork
- Runner-Up, Best for Freelancers: Freelancer
- Best for Coaching or Counseling Services: GoodTherapy
- Runner-Up, Best for Coaching or Counseling Services: TherapyTribe
- Best for Artists: Amazon Handmade
- Runner-Up, Best for Artists: Etsy
- Best for Home Services: Google My Business
- Runner-Up, Best for Home Services: Yelp
Best for Clothing and Accessories : Redbubble
Why We Chose It: Redbubble is an online marketplace and print-on-demand (POD) service that allows designers to sell clothing and accessories online without having their own e-commerce site.
Free and easy to use
Online marketplace for sellers
Fast customer support
No integrations with other platforms
No graphic design services
Redbubble is an online marketplace and POD service that lets artists print, sell, and ship their apparel online. The service is free and easy to use and doesn’t require sellers to have a separate website. Although Redbubble doesn’t integrate with other selling platforms, customers have the option to pay via PayPal, Apple Pay, or credit card.
Redbubble lets you display up to 60 products, though you will need to upload your own designs as the platform doesn’t have an integrated graphic design tool. The base prices of Redbubble’s products fluctuate so sellers need to be mindful of how they calculate their profit percentage.
Runner Up, Best for Clothing and Accessories : Printful
Best for Books : Amazon KDP
Why We Chose It: Amazon KDP makes it easy to publish eBooks and softcover books and sell them on the world’s largest online bookstore for free.
Easy to upload files
Books available within 48 hours
Huge selling network
Only prints softcover books
Need your own ISBN
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) makes it easy for authors to simultaneously create a Kindle version of their book as well as a POD version their customers can buy. You just need to upload your manuscript, fill out some information about your book, and you’re done. It even offers a free tool you can use to create a book cover.
Amazon KDP automatically places your book in Amazon marketplaces in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, and even bookstores. You will also earn 60% of each sale of your paperback books and 70% of your Kindle books.
Runner-Up, Best for Books : IngramSpark
IngramSpark is a POD service for eBooks and soft and hardcover books. The company charges authors $49 to print an eBook and print book or $25 for only an eBook and has an online tool you can use to calculate your profit per book. IngramSpark also lets you sell your books on Amazon and directly to bookstores.
Best for Freelancers : Upwork
Why We Chose It: Upwork allows freelancers to not only sell their services but to also send messages, files, and invoices and get paid.
Project management, invoicing, and payments
Powerful AI matches freelancers to jobs
Ability to review client histories and ratings
Takes a percentage of freelancers’ earnings
Clients tend to have low budgets
Upwork is one of the largest marketplaces for designers, developers, marketers, writers, and other freelancers. The site employs a powerful AI engine to sort through thousands of projects and match them with a freelancer’s skills and preferences.
Upwork also allows you to review a client’s ratings and history before accepting a project. You can use the platform to communicate with your client, track time, send invoices, and get paid. Although it’s free to create an account, Upwork takes a percentage of each freelancer’s earnings based on the amount earned.
Runner-Up, Best for Freelancers : Freelancer
As the world's largest freelancing marketplace, Freelancer has a larger reach than Upwork. And while Upwork has to approve new accounts, anyone can join Freelancer. Freelancer has a less rigorous vetting process than Upwork, making it great for inexperienced freelancers trying to build a portfolio. As a result, the platform also offers lower-paying projects than on Upwork.
Best for Coaching or Counseling Services : GoodTherapy
Why We Chose It: GoodTherapy is one of the largest mental health directories in the world offering members marketing and scheduling tools, access to continuing education (CE) courses, and guaranteed referrals within the first 90 days.
Large international directory
Scheduling software and website builder
Access to CE events
Strict guidelines for membership
Peer-reviewed application process
With over two million therapist searches every month, GoodTherapy connects professionals with patients in more than 20 countries. As a member, you can connect with referrals and get real-time referral metrics, a verified credentials seal, personalized customer support publication opportunities, and more.
Depending on the membership you choose, GoodTherapy also gives you access to more marketing tools and professional services, including access to CE courses, online scheduling software, a website builder, and more.
GoodTherapy offers three levels of membership starting at $29.95 per month or $323 annually.
Runner-Up, Best for Coaching or Counseling Services : TherapyTribe
TherapyTribe is an online therapist directory that organizes its members into separate directories or “tribes” to better match practitioners with patients. Membership costs $29.95 per month or $299 annually and includes a free website and a smart search tool that displays your profile in your local area.
Best for Artists : Amazon Handmade
Why We Chose It: Amazon Homemade allows artists to sell handmade goods and fine art to a global marketplace of millions with free listings and a simple fee structure.
Access to 300 million customers
Fulfillment by Amazon available
Custom URLs for branding
Must be approved to sell
Complicated selling dashboard
Amazon Handmade allows artisans to sell their handcrafted products or fine art directly on Amazon, putting their art in front of 300 million global customers. Amazon requires artists to be approved through an application process and either craft items themselves or employ 20 or fewer employees (or fewer than 100 people for co-ops).
Amazon Handmade charges a 15% commission on each product sold plus a minimum $1 referral fee. You will also need to pay a $39.99 monthly fee if you sell more than 40 non-handmade items in multiple categories.
Runner-Up, Best for Artists : Etsy
Etsy allows artists and crafters to sell in 160 categories compared to Amazon Handmade which only allows 14. Etsy’s reach is far smaller than Amazon’s, however, and is limited only to customers who visit the marketplace. An account is free and Etsy charges just $0.20 to list an item plus a 3.5% commission.
Best for Home Services : Google My Business
Why We Chose It: Google My Business allows you to promote your home services business on Google’s search engine and Google Maps making it easy for local customers to find and contact you.
Optimizes search for local businesses
Most-read business review platform
Not a directory
Must be verified with Google
Google My Business lets you create an updated and optimized business listing on the world’s largest search engine. Setting up an account is free and ensures your business can be found on Google Maps and when local searches. You also get access to valuable metrics that show you how many people are clicking, calling, and booking appointments with you.
Google My Business will also allow customers to leave reviews which can boost your business in search results. Google also requires you to verify your business by phone, text, or mail.
Runner-Up, Best for Home Services : Yelp
Though no longer as popular as Google Reviews, Yelp users posted 224 million cumulative reviews in the fourth quarter of 2020 and still boasts millions of monthly visitors. According to the website, home and local services is one of its biggest categories for reviews (tied with restaurants for #1 in 2020), making it an excellent place for customers to find local service businesses. Google also places a lot of trust in Yelp reviews which can help boost service business listings in local search results.
Selling your services online is a great way to build your business and increase your profits. There are dozens of sites you can choose from, and your pick depends on your budget, services, and sometimes your locale. Make sure you carefully read the terms and conditions of each platform for any fees, restrictions, or other features that can impact your listing or earnings.
Redbubble took the top spot for selling clothing and accessories due to its all-in-one solution that combines an online marketplace with POD and fulfillment services. For a similar reason, Amazon KDP wins for creating and selling books because of its huge marketplace and fast and free publishing.
Upwork came out way ahead as the best site for freelancers since it matches professionals with the right projects and also takes care of project management, billing, and payments. Coaches and counselors can take advantage of similar support with GoodTherapy which offers a large international directory as well as integrated marketing and scheduling tools.
Artists and crafters perhaps have the most choices for selling online. We went with Amazon Handmade due to its enormous customer base and fulfillment services provided by the selling and shipping giant. Industry leader Google took the top place for home services with Google My Business due to its ability to ensure that professionals show up in Google Maps and rank well in Google search results, all without spending a penny.
|Site||Category||Why We Picked It|
|Redbubble||Best for Clothing and Accessories||Integrated marketplace, POD, and fulfillment services|
|Amazon KDP||Best for Books||Fast and free print and ebook publishing on the world’s largest online bookstore|
|Upwork||Best for Freelancers||All-in-one marketplace, project management, and payment platform|
|GoodTherapy||Best for Coaching or Counseling Services||Large international directory with integrated scheduling software and website builder|
|Amazon Handmade||Best for Artists||300 million customers plus fulfillment by Amazon|
|Google My Business||Best for Home Services||Free business listings optimized for local search|
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should Businesses Sell Products Online?
Selling products online can help you reach a much larger audience than just the customers and clients in your local area. These days, the variety of online marketplaces, POD publishers, and directories can help even the smallest competitors compete with the big players for price, quality, and service.
What Does It Cost for Businesses to Sell Products Online?
The cost to sell products online can vary widely. While some POD marketplaces can start at $30 per month and also charge listing fees, others allow you to create your products for free and only charge you when they sell and ship.
Service marketplaces, like those for counselors and freelancers, either charge monthly or take a portion of client fees. In exchange, however, they often offer powerful networking and marketing tools as well as handle invoicing and payments.
What Is the Best Place for My Business to Sell Products Online?
There’s no single website that’s best for all businesses that want to sell online. In the end, your business needs and goals will determine the best choice.
For example, while one business may want lower printing costs, another may need robust shipping and fulfillment. Similarly, some service providers may want to expand their reach nationally or globally while others want to dominate their local marketplace.
Is It Safe for My Business to Sell Products Online?
It is safe to sell your products online as most platforms have strong privacy and security features to protect their customers and employ the most secure payment systems available. In most cases, these sites are far more safe and reliable than most e-commerce platforms you’d install and run yourself.
How We Chose the Best Places for Businesses to Sell Products Online
We looked at over a dozen places to sell products online in each of the six categories we chose. Our primary consideration was reach since the more customers you get your products in front of, the more you’ll sell.
Cost was also an important factor since paying too much to create, promote, and ship a product or service can seriously cut into your profits. Finally, we put a lot of weight on ease of use, reliability, and support since selling online should make your business more manageable as well as profitable instead of giving you another hurdle to jump over.
All of our top choices offer affordable, reputable, user-friendly platforms for selling a variety of services to a wide audience.