I’ve mentioned it countless times on this blog for a very good reason; as an online seller, you need to diversify your risk and sell on more than just one platform (eBay).
Yes, eBay is a terrific marketplace where you can reach millions of buyers for practically nothing and yes, I do think it’s the no.1 selling platform online, especially for newbie sellers, BUT that doesn’t mean that you can rely on it alone.
I’m sure you’ve all heard countless horror stories of eBay/PayPal accounts being shut down, permanently, and people literally losing their entire business overnight.
Now most of the time with these bans, the seller has done something wrong, despite what they may claim…
But on occasion you can have your account banned for something completely out of your control and if you only sell on eBay, that means an end to your business.
So don’t just assume that this won’t happen to you as you need to be prepared and have a plan if it does.
And while I still do suggest concentrating on eBay alone when you’re just starting out (eBay, Amazon or an Online Store?), once you are up and running, then it’s time to start to look into some other platforms to also sell your products on.
Of course, as well as diversifying your risk, this also means more sales!
After all, it’s common sense that – selling on more platforms = reaching more customers = more sales!
It really is a win-win situation.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the other options out there:
*Actually, now is probably a good time for me to point out that there are no real eBay replacements… it’s almost impossible to match the volume of buyers on eBay and there’s just no point wasting your time listing products on auction sites with no traffic, as you simply won’t sell anything.
So rather than replacements, these are some alternatives that you can use, depending on what niche you’re in, to supplement your eBay business.
Let’s get to it!
Amazon is really the most logical and obvious platform to expand to after you’re successfully up and running on eBay.
In many ways it’s actually a lot simpler than eBay as there are no templates etc. and less rules that you have to familiarise yourself with and overall – it’s just more of a straightforward and automated process.
But due to Amazon’s system of all sellers for a product being shown together under one individual listing, you really do need to be able to offer the lowest price to achieve real success…
Unless of course you are selling your own brand products, as that’s where the real money lies on Amazon.
This way you’ll have your own listing which you control which means you can reach Amazon’s millions of customers without having to compete with other sellers!
To find out more about this business model and how it works, you can read my previous guides on it here:
Unlike eBay or Amazon, which are open to pretty much any kind of product, Etsy is more of a niche site for handmade and craft items (although they did relax their definition of handmade late last year!).
The fees on Etsy are very small in comparison to eBay, just $0.20 to list an item and then 3.5% is taken from the sale price, so if you do sell any handmade, vintage, or craft items then you should definitely take a look at Etsy.
With its small fees and growing marketplace, it’s a great time to get signed up.
As with Etsy, this won’t be an option for all sellers but Play.com also offer a marketplace for sellers to list items for sale.
Play’s marketplace is more similar to Amazon in its set-up and listing process as all sellers for a product are shown together:
And while the level of traffic isn’t huge (at least compared to eBay or Amazon) it could be an option if you sell in one of the following categories:
- Video Games
- Sports and Outdoors
- Technology and Office (including Electronics)
- Health and Beauty
- Home and Garden (including DIY and Tools)
- Toys and Gadgets
Another retailer who also offers a marketplace for 3rd party sellers to list their products is Pixmania with PIXPlace.
But again you need to sell in one of the following categories:
- Consumer Electronics
- Home Appliances
- Video Games
So although the list of categories seems fairly broad, not all of them will get enough traffic to make it worthwhile, particularly considering they charge a monthly subscription fee, ranging from £35 to £180 per month, depending on how many countries you want to list in.
One thing you do have to bear in mind about Gumtree though is that most buyers will only want to collect items from you in person, rather than paying online for you to post it.
So think of it more like an online classifieds ad, with the purchase taking place offline.
So while it’s not something everyone would want to do, if you can create a system for collecting orders, Gumtree can be a highly effective way of advertising your business and products locally.
Now we’re onto the last alternative selling platform, and I’ve left it last for a reason…
Though it’s not always an option for everyone when just starting out, this is actually the best way to sell your products online. YES, even better than eBay.
What am I talking about?
Your own eCommerce Store
Though you won’t see instant traffic and success like you can do with eBay and Amazon, with your own online store you maintain complete control of your business and can pretty much decide exactly how you want to run it.
Yep, that means no more eBay and Amazon rules!
Having your own eCommerce store really is the safest and most sustainable platform for selling online.
Nobody is going to close your down or ban you – well unless you do something illegal!
Plus with your own eCommerce store you can charge higher prices and have pretty much unlimited potential for growth!
Now I know what you’re thinking – if eCommerce is so amazing and the path to riches, why am I bothering with eBay at all!?
Well, that’s a good question of course and it’s true, there are negatives to creating and running your own eCommerce store and they are:
- Money. There’s simply no way around it – it will cost significantly more to set up your own online store than to just start selling on eBay and Amazon.
- Time. As I briefly mentioned just now, to grown your own online store takes a lot of time and effort before you’ll really start to see results.
And then lastly and probably most importantly:
- Knowledge. If you think eBay or Amazon is complicated, then try creating your own online store! It really does take it to the next level and there are a number of things you need to know to be successful such as design, store set-up, marketing, SEO, tracking and MUCH MORE!
And that’s why I only recommend launching your own store AFTER you’re already doing well on eBay and Amazon.
But of course, you don’t have to learn everything by yourself and if you want a complete, step-by-step guide to creating, running and managing a successful online store, then I suggest you check out Ecommerce Magnates.
In this course I teach you everything you need to know about running a hugely successful online store, including:
- Shopping Carts and Shop Settings
- Products, Orders and Stock Management
- Marketing Strategies
- Paid Advertising
It really is a complete guide and I walk you through it all every step of the way.
And at the current special offer price of £67, it’s an absolute steal and I guarantee you simply won’t find a better value course anywhere online!
So if you’re at the point in your business where you’re ready to expand and grow beyond eBay, then don’t delay and instead get started ASAP!
Otherwise, until next time!
All the best,