AMAZON

Amazon is the largest online retailer in the US and has been so for some time.  With  nearly 20 years of experience, they are experts in ecommerce on a mission to sell anything and everything. 128 million average Unique Monthly Visitors in the US. 

Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished, and used items. Categories include: books, movies, music & games, digital downloads, electronics & computers, home & garden, toys, kids & baby, grocery; apparel, shoes & jewelry, health & beauty, sports & outdoor, and tools, auto & industrial.

PROS:

Fast Transactions. Amazon gives retailers the ability to add search terms to their item listing. By improving Amazon’s search bar, buyers can more easily find the items they’re looking for.  Amazon’s reputation for offering some of the lowest prices on the web, also speeds up sales. Since the buyer knows they’re unlikely to find the item cheaper elsewhere, they are more likely to pull the trigger.

Greater credibility. For small business owners, listing on Amazon can be a great way to reassure wary buyers about credibility. People tend to shop on well-known marketplaces because it’s considered “safer” than smaller competitors or private online stores. On Amazon, buyers trust that they will receive what they pay for – and this trust extends to you!

CONS:

Major competition. Amazon has a lot of sellers you’ll have to compete with, on top of competing with the marketplace itself. Even if you can outsmart your competition, there’s nothing stopping Amazon from selling your products at a better price and better condition.

Withholding pay. After a sale, it can take anywhere from 14 to 90 days to receive your payment. For small sellers, this might pose a serious challenge to running their business.

EBAY

The largest C2C (consumer to consumer) marketplace on the internet, eBay provides a possibility to sell nearly anything you want by setting up an auction as well as by a fixed price. You can sell electronics, cars, fashion apparel, collectibles, sporting goods, digital cameras, baby items, coupons and more.73 million average Unique Monthly Visitors in the US. 

PROS:

Branding Opportunity. Only eBay provides sellers with the ability to brand themselves and own the customer relationship once the transaction has closed. This level of personalization is unique to eBay.

Highly customizable product conditions. eBay offers retailers a number of different ways to provide product information to customers. These range from very general descriptors, such as brand name, color, type, material, size and style, but also include more specific indicators such as UPC codes and ISBN number.

CONS:

Slow transcations. Online auctions, which eBay pioneered in the 1990s, may be a good choice for selling unique or hard-to-find items. But with shoppers looking for faster transactions, the auction format doesn’t quite work for commodity-priced items.

Paypal. eBay requires that all transactions be made through paypal. While this increases security, it has been known to cause some unexpected problems ranging from withholding earnings to an overall closure of your account.

ETSY

Etsy is the online marketplace where people from around the world connect to buy and sell handmade, vintage, craft goods. If you’re an artsy craftsman with a penchant for ecommerce, then look no further.17million average Unique Monthly Visitors in the US. 

PROS

User Friendly. Not only is Etsy uncommonly painless to sell on, it’s downright enjoyable to shop on. By using a grid-like layout that showcases the products beautifully, Etsy offers customers a delightful browsing experience. People get sucked in and end up browsing for a significant period of time compared to other marketplaces, which leads to higher conversion rates.

Surprisingly Interactive. Etsy has forums and groups that create a sense of community amongst sellers. Plus the built-in social buttons and favorites option allow sellers to get feedback on items, even when no one buys.

CONS

Saturated Market. With great opportunity, comes great competition. Since Etsy has very specific categories, there is a lot of focused competition within them. Add an international presence and whatdo you get: more sellers than buyers.

No store customization. Etsy doesn’t allow sellers to customize their shop or listings, other than the shop banner. All seller pages look the same, making it more difficult to distinguish yourself.

RAKUTEN

The Japanese retail giant Rakuten purchased the U.S. ecommerce site Buy.com, and then rebranded it as the online marketplace Rakuten.com Shopping. Rakuten is similar to Amazon in that it has one product catalog, and retailers compete against other sellers by selling their own SKUs. Most of the customers are still from Japan (37.65 million monthly unique visitors in Japan).2.8 million average Unique Monthly Visitors in the US. 

PROS:

New customers. Because most of Rakuten’s customers are still from Japan, there is little consumer overlap. In other words, people who buy on Rakuten are usually not the same ones who use other marketplaces. This is an opportunity to build a loyal customer base outside the US.

The Marketplace is not a competitor. On Rakuten, you will only compete with other sellers. Rakuten does not sell anything by itself and encourages it’s users to compete on price and customer service.

CONS:

High Shipping costs. Selling to Japanese customers means shipping to Japanese customers.  And it doesn’t matter who pays for shipping, the final price of the item still goes up.

Strong Competitors. As Japanese customers and sellers value long-term relationships, it’s not easy for new sellers to carve their way into this market unless you sell something that is either rare or unique.

BEST BUY

Best Buy launched a third-party marketplace in 2011 as a way to augment their existing product catalog. While it’s more difficult to become a seller on the Best Buy Marketplace, the benefits are well worth the effort.20.5 million average Unique Monthly Visitors in the US. 

PROS

Listed on Bestbuy.  Sellers on the Best Buy Marketplace take advantage of the benefit of having their own products listed alongside those on the main Best Buy website, thus granting access to a loyal and active customer base.

CONS:

Must be accepted. While it’s more difficult to become a seller on the Best Buy Marketplace, the benefits are well worth the effort. Best Buy takes submissions from third-party sellers and grants access based on the seller’s product catalog and whether or not it complements the existing Best Buy catalog of mostly consumer electronics products.

NEWEGG

The king of online electronics.  While the other marketplaces support a wide variety of categories, Newegg is here for technology and so are their customers.6.1 million average Unique Monthly Visitors in the US. 

PROS:

An educated audience. Newegg customers know exactly what they want. Unfazed by marketing gimmicks, the price and customer service(including warranties) are the main factors that drive sales.

Low commission rates. Newegg offers to sell your products for some of the lowest commission rates in the industry.

CONS:

Must pass the test. With Newegg, sellers have the benefit of selling to niche markets, but with that comes certain responsibilities. Sellers must pass a screening test and commit to providing excellent customer service.

Go branded or go home. While Newegg’s customers are rather educated about their desired product, they’ll hardly purchase something that they haven’t heard of before. If you selling no-name products, you might have a rough go of it.