Over the past decade, the world has witnessed the rapid acceleration of digital commerce, transforming the way we sell physical and digital stuff online.
In a recent survey, the global eCommerce industry was valued at $5 trillion annually, and expected to grow 50% in the next 3 years, placing global trade through online selling sites at over $7.5 trillion per year by 2025.
That's a staggering number and demonstrates the huge shift that has occurred in how people use online selling sites to sell products through marketplaces and their own online storefronts.
Gone are the days that people rely on yard sales, selling items for cash to friends and neighbors. Instead, billions of people across the globe now use online selling sites to launch their own stores or to access huge online marketplaces packed full of willing customers.
Smartphones and tablets have also changed the way we do business offline. Portable point of sale systems allow you to collect digital card payments anywhere, allowing you to sell your products online and track sales with or without a website.
So whether you are looking to start your own online store, or sell your stuff, it's never been easier to sell online and generate your own traffic.
Our guide to the best online selling sites will walk you through the best platforms to sell online, taking into account ease of use, size of the audience, and seller fees.
Launch Your Own Online Store
If you're looking for online selling sites that can turn your passion for selling online into a fully-fledged online business, there are some great options out there.
It's never been easier to launch your own online store. There are dozens of online selling platforms like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce that make it easy to get set up.
These eCommerce platforms make it simple to sell your products, manage inventory, and design beautiful storefronts that will attract customers.
What's more, by launching your own website you can bypass online marketplaces, and focus on building an asset and brand that you can leverage for the long term.
While it can seem overwhelming when you're just starting out, once you have selected the online selling platform that you want to build on, a lot of the hard work is taken care of.
That means you can focus on attracting customers to your online selling site, while the eCommerce platform makes it easy to set your selling price per product, control your shipping fees, and design a system to provide great customer service.
We've compiled a short list of the best eCommerce platforms out there. And if you want to get ahead, check out our online courses that will help you build your brand, online social media presence, and fast-track your journey.
One of the best, and easiest to use eCommerce platforms to sell products online is Shopify.
Full disclosure, the Visualize Value online store is built on Shopify, and it has enabled us to scale our business exponentially over the past 2 years.
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that is easy to set up, requires zero coding knowledge, and conveniently packages everything you need to create a professional online selling site.
That includes access to over 4,000 apps via the Shopify app store, built-in SSL certificates, easy-to-optimize SEO features, and plugins, as well as automated email sequences which save shopping baskets and drive repeat customers.
On top of this, Shopify is a cost-efficient option when you're launching your own brand. Firstly, it costs just $29 per month to get set up and allows you to access pre-built themes that make your online store look professional from day one.
And once you start to drive sales, Shopify takes care of the transaction, and shipping fee calculation so that you can focus on providing excellent customer service. In return, you pay selling fees to Shopify which also covers any additional transaction fees.
There is a reason that Shopify powers over 1 million online businesses selling items online. No matter what niche market you are looking to get into, if you are looking to build a brand, and launch your own online selling site, then Shopify is our go-to option.
Best Places To Sell Stuff Online
If you'd rather access online marketplaces to sell your stuff online then these online sites are a better option.
Whether you're looking for a wholesale marketplace to source products, a dedicated online site to sell your own vintage items, or an online marketplace to sell your second-hand stuff, this list has you covered.
If you are looking to start an online business, but the thought of launching your own online store seems daunting, or overwhelming (or just too much effort), then Amazon is another place to sell online.
Thousands of online businesses rely on the Amazon ecosystem, driving millions of dollars of revenue by selling products online solely through the Amazon marketplace - and there's a good reason.
Amazon is the number one shopping destination online and has come a long way since it was founded as an online bookstore in 1994.
In fact, Amazon drove $469 billion in net sales during 2021 and was generating over 400 sales every minute in Q4 2021.
Recent research found that over 50% of US shopping journies now start on Amazon, making Amazon an equally important sales channel for online selling sites, beyond Google, and social media sales channels.
If you're just getting started, you can set up a free Amazon seller account to start selling your products on Amazon. Once you start generating online sales, then you'll pay a percentage of the sale, and a $0.99 transaction fee to Amazon each time you generate revenue.
Once your online business goes to the next level (and you start selling over 40 items per month), Amazon charges $39.99 per month, and this scales as your business grows. Amazon also charges additional selling fees, depending on the category you're selling in.
Despite the fees, there are some major benefits of using Amazon as an online sales channel.
Amazon offers an end-to-end fulfillment service (FBA) which means you can send your inventory to Amazon, which will then fulfill it via their Amazon Prime promise - getting your items to your customers the next day.
And if you want to sell overseas, Amazon offers you the ability to leverage their international shipping network to sell in other international Amazon marketplaces at the click of a button.
While Amazon can be a very attractive environment for online businesses it does take time, energy, and effort to master - and you need to learn which products sell online, and how to source, or develop them in a competitive, and compelling way.
Like Amazon, eBay has been online since the 1990's and is one of the best-known online marketplaces.
Since it was founded in 1995, eBay has allowed millions of people around the world to sell their second-hand items, and build online businesses by connecting wholesale channels with customers to sell products online.
It's possible to sell anything on eBay, including cars, clothing, collectibles, electronics, and toys - and it remains big business. In 2021, eBay drove over $10 billion in annual sales revenue, and the bulk of that revenue still remains eBay's marketplace selling fees.
If you're looking to become an online seller, eBay could be the ideal option for you. Like Amazon, it's easy to start selling online, and it's quick to get set up and easy to use.
eBay makes its money by charging non-refundable listing fees and charges an additional 'Interstion fee' if you opt to list the same item in additional categories (for example, listing items across sporting goods, and fashion counts twice).
What's more, eBay charges between 10-12% of the selling price, and a shipping fee every time you make a sale - though eBay sellers have the option to charge their customers for their own shipping fee.
If you are looking to start selling on eBay, be aware that there are fraudsters operating on the platform, and always make sure that you vet buyers carefully before you sell items, and ship your products.
Bonanza is another online marketplace that offers online sellers the ability to connect to millions of potential customers across pretty much any product category out there.
In fact, Bonanza's ethos is 'anything but the ordinary'.
There is a huge online merchant presence on Bonanza, with over 50,000 sellers currently operating on the platform. The benefit for online merchants is that selling fees are cheap, it's easy to list items, and there is fantastic technical support from the Bonanza team.
Bonanza makes its money by charging final value fees, which means that you pay fees on the combined value of the product (what the buyer paid), and any shipping fees that exceed $10.
For items valued under $500, the final value fee is 2.5%, and this drops to 1.5% when you sell your products for over $500. That means you're paying just $12.50 on a $500 sale.
Another great alternative to selling on your own website is opening an Etsy store.
Etsy is an online selling platform that specializes in vintage items and craft supplies. Niche marketplace sellers can sell anything from home décor, furniture, clothing, bags, craft suppliers, art, books, and tools.
It's this diversity that has propelled Etsy into becoming one of the largest eCommerce brands in the United States.
In fact, Etsy drove over $2.3 billion in revenue during 2021 and has grown its online marketplace over 3x since 2019.
If you're looking to start selling on Etsy, there are a couple of fees to be aware of.
Firstly, there is a $0.20 listing fee per item that you list on your store, and once you make a sale there is a further 6.5% transaction fee applied to the cost of the item sold (including postage and gift wrap).
If you decide to charge a separate shipping fee, then Etsy takes 5% of the incremental shipping cost.
If you're selling vintage items and antiques, and you want to further your reach then Ruby Lane is a great option.
Ruby Lane is one of the best online selling sites for vintage products online. There have been over 2,000 vintage shops launched on the platform, and over 500,000 separate products - including antiques, dolls, collectibles, art, and jewelry.
The Ruby Lane online selling platform was voted best #1 for Customer Service, and the Most Recommended Online Marketplace in the 2018 Seller’s Choice Awards and has continued to thrive since then.
It costs $54 per month to launch a shop on Ruby Lane, and there is a further 6.7% service fee on the listing price (less sales tax).
Handshake is a completely free wholesale marketplace that connects suppliers with retailers.
The business is owned and operated by Shopify, and is designed to help eCommerce brands accelerate their own website by launching new products and driving online sales.
The great thing about Handshake is that it directly integrates into Shopify, which makes adding additional inventory to your Shopify store easy.
There are also no shipping costs on orders over $100, and Handshake caters to small order quantities - making it suitable for start-ups.
If you are looking to launch your own store, and need to diversify your online product inventory, Handshake connects you to beautiful wholesale products in the apparel, home & lifestyle, jewelry, and beauty & wellbeing spaces.
At the time of writing, there are zero listing or membership fees.
If you're looking for an online selling site to sell tech gadgets (like iPhones, Macbooks, and Laptops), then Swappa is one of the best online platforms to sell.
Unlike eBay where fraudsters have traditionally operated, Swappa focuses on creating excellent customer service for online sellers with a couple of trust-building policies.
Firstly, Swappa vets all products on their marketplace to ensure that they are in good working condition, standing up to their ethos - 'no junk, and nothing broken'.
What's more, all listings are verified by Swappa, and they offer 24-7, 365 days per year support for online selling sites on their marketplace.
There are no listing fees on Swappa, but it is possible to promote your listing by paying an additional $5. There is also a 3% transaction fee when you make a sale, but this is competitive and stacks up well against other places to sell online.
Local Online Selling Sites
If you're looking to sell your stuff online in the local community, and you want to shift your items fast, then check out the following online platforms.
Facebook Marketplace was introduced on the Facebook platform back in 2016 and has become one of the best destinations to sell your items in your local community.
There are no listing fees, it's easy to create listings, and negotiate a final sale price using Facebook's app.
If you do want to run your own website, then you can integrate products on Facebook Marketplace directly into your Shopify store. However, most connect with people online shopping via the Facebook app.
Like Facebook, Craigslist is another option for selling your products locally.
Craigslist started back in 1995 as a place to talk about the latest happenings in the San Francisco Bay Area, shortly after, it became the go-to online marketplace for buying and selling products online.
If you're looking to sell locally, and do not want to worry about shipping logistics or a monthly maintenance fee then it's still worth checking out. Just be aware that you're on your own when it comes to dealing with fraud, or disputes.
For those looking for the best platform to spot arbitrage opportunities, Craiglist is packed full of people selling online at a good value - meaning you can create side hustles buying and selling items for profit.
Nextdoor is the next evolution of Craigslist.
The Nextdoor platform is designed to connect communities and ensure that people can share information that benefits their neighbors, and those around them.
Nextdoor has launched a completely free forum for selling your stuff online within the local community. There are zero listing or membership fees, and because you need an account to sign up, there are fewer scams, and the details are kept more private.
The only drawback for online sellers is that all transactions take place offline.
Another completely free option is Varagesale.
Varagesale has been dubbed the original online garage sale. It was thought up by an ex-elementary school teacher who became frustrated with the amount of fraud, and abuse that has historically happened on online selling sites.
In an effort to combat this, Varagesale was born and allows people to sell items for free, collecting payments either online or offline.
It's easy to create listings, and you can upload a photo, headline, and product description in minutes. Every buyer also has to have a verified Facebook profile, including an image, and personal bio in order to complete a transaction - which makes the platform much safer.
Offerup was founded to compete with Craiglist and is a mobile-first online marketplace that focuses on in-person transactions.
Unlike Craiglist (which is intentionally designed like a forum), Offerup has a clean user experience and is easy to use - making it a great place to sell cars, trucks, electronics, furniture, and other items online at affordable prices.
If you're looking to sell to local buyers, then Offerup is a great option. There is a minimum selling fee of either $1.99 per sale, or 12.9% of the sale price, however, there are zero listing fees, making it free for buyers and online sellers to post, and browse.
Online Selling Site FAQ
How Can I Sell Stuff Online?
- Start your own store
- Ruby Lane
How Can I Get Started Selling Online?
- Create your own eCommerce site, develop a brand, and start selling online
- Utilize online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy for your own store
- Sell your products online using local options like Facebook Marketplace
- Use social media platforms to sell like Instagram, and Youtube
What Are The Best Selling Sites For Selling Locally?
- Facebook Marketplace