Online Auction Alternatives to eBay
With the many changes at eBay over the last several years, sellers who were served well by the “old eBay” are finding themselves wondering whether there might be other auction sites on which to sell their wares.
In fact, there are. In addition to eBay’s biggest direct competitor, Amazon.com Marketplace (which doesn’t offer an auction format), a number of alternatives to eBay exist for sellers looking to branch out into other independent online selling platforms. Here are some of the most popular eBay competitors, in alphabetical order.
Popular eBay Alternatives for Independent Auction Sellers
Bonanza.com—One of the best-known eBay alternatives, Bonanza is well on its way to becoming a measurable player in the marketplace. Its number of listings pales in comparison to eBay’s volume, but it offers lower fees and strong growth, and its user interface will be instantly familiar to many eBay veterans.
eBid.net—Another major replacement for many eBay sellers, eBid also boasts over 2 million auction listings across nearly 20 international sites. eBid’s pricing structure is also somewhat simpler and cheaper than eBay’s. It boasts no fees for buyers and no listing fees on items posted by sellers. eBid deals primarily with the European market.
Etsy.com—Ranked highly among eBay competitors, Etsy has now opened its marketplace to sellers of vintage items and crafting supplies, in addition to the handmade goods Etsy's been selling since its inception. Fees are lower, the site has very good traffic, and if it fits your niche, you could do extremely well with the site's targeted base of customers.
iOffer.com—A little less polished than some of its competitors, iOffer boasts one clear advantage over the others: the ability for members to quickly and easily “import” both seller ratings and auction listings from eBay using its online Mr. Grabber feature. With iOffer, there are no up-front fees, just a selection of final value fees.
What to Know Before You Leave eBay for the Competition
This list is by no means exhaustive; however, once you start to look outside eBay, you'll find the marketplace is tremendously fragmented. The sites above probably make sense for those who were once eBay’s bread-and-butter sellers—small and independent sellers who want to list at low to medium volume. These same people have been increasingly put off by eBay’s big seller focus and increasing complexity and fees.
There are, however, literally thousands of upstarts that would like to unseat eBay or to grab a portion of the market, some in specialized fashion. For example, uBid advertises heavily and can drive sales at levels near to those that you’ll see from eBay, but it’s not nearly as open; they cater to liquidation and alternative retail sellers and don’t do one-off listings over which you have total control.
Etsy, on the other hand, is smart, professional, and polished, and boasts an active community, but is limited to buyers and sellers of handmade goods. Google Product Search (also colloquially known as Google Shopping) offers sellers Google’s market dominance and vast ocean of “eyeballs,” but doesn’t offer an auction format and requires that you already have an online eCommerce store (i.e., website) of your own in order to participate.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the biggest obstacle to leaving eBay is eBay’s size and diversity. eBay remains the largest and most diverse single online marketplace for independent sellers, and wherever else you go, it won’t be easy to replace all those eyeballs—even if you don’t find it easy to compete on eBay against all of the other, often larger, and more competitive sellers.