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5 Of The Best Marketplace Websites To Kickstart Your Ecommerce Business

Want To Start Selling Online? Well, congratulations, it’s one of the fastest routes to starting your own business and fortunately, there are hundreds of marketplace websites out there where you can host a shop, sell your products and start making money. And with a new celebration or themed day popping up every month, more and more customers are turning to these sites for unique, independently made gifts. 

But which ones are worth it? Where do you start?

We’ve reviewed 5 key marketplace websites to help you kickstart your commerce business, including an estimate of the fees you’ll pay on a £10 product sale.
 

1. eBay

The traditional auction website, Ebay allows anyone to set up an account and sell items to a worldwide audience. If you want to take it to the next stage, you can set up your own eBay store, selling a variety of products which you fulfil yourself.

Pros

  • One of the most recognised marketplaces in the world
  • Links with Paypal for easy payment processing
  • Quick and easy listing set up
  • Helpful community & support

Cons

  • Saturated marketplace
  • Competitive pricing against other sellers
  • Must offer Paypal which adds high fees per sale
  • Customer focused resolution bias (via Paypal)

Fees on a £10 product = £1.44 inc Paypal (+ £17.38 monthly store fee if business seller)

Read our guide on how to start a business on eBay and Amazon.
 

2. Etsy 

If you make your own products, Etsy is the leading marketplace website for creatives to sell their products to consumers around the world. With the option to set up your own shop, add listings and start marketing to millions of buyers very quickly, it’s a great first step for the hobbyist turned entrepreneur.

Pros

  • Exposure to 24 million buyers
  • Great for handmade products
  • Quick set up
  • Takes care of VAT tax
  • Can sell instant digital downloads
  • Helpful community & support

Cons

  • A lot of competition with other sellers
  • You need your own inventory
  • Difficult to get your products seen
  • Customer focused resolution bias
  • Limited branding and shop customisation 
  • Listing system changes frequently

Fees on a £10 product = £1.11

The UK has a population of 64.91 million people, of which, 92% are Internet users, creating huge potential for e-commerce businesses.

We Are Social 2016 Digital Yearbook

3. Society6 

If you create your own artwork, Society6 allows you to sell it as prints and on a wide selection of products from wall tapestries to phone cases. All you need to do is upload a high-res image file of your artwork and choose which products you wish to sell on.

Pros

  • Simple to sell your art on a wide variety of products
  • The site sells on demand, so you don’t need inventory
  • Wide range of products

Cons

  • Limited profit margin
  • High competition from other sellers
  • No control over quality of products

Society6 is a fulfilment marketplace, and so their pricing/fee structure works slightly differently. There’s a late rate price per product type and you decide what % profit you wish to add on top.
 

4. Amazon

Amazon is globally one of the biggest marketplaces online, and selling through their marketplace is simple and easy to set up. They also offer fulfilment, meaning you don’t need to hold stock or fulfil orders yourself.

Pros 

  • Highly trusted brand and go-to for many consumers online
  • High rate of repeat customers
  • Fulfilment can be handled by Amazon
  • Handle tax collection 

Cons

  • Huge competition from other sellers
  • Not ideal for low-value products due to fees and pricing structure
  • Undercutting rife on the platform
  • No branding opportunities

Estimate fees on a £10 product = £2.68 (basic seller account)

Read our guide on how to start a business on eBay and Amazon.
 

5. Not On The High Street

Not On The High Street was set up to support independent creative businesses across the UK, giving them a platform to sell high-quality goods online through their marketplace. Sellers have to apply to become sellers, and not everyone gets accepted. There’s a £199 sign up fee and they take 25% commission + VAT per sale.

Pros

  • Number 1 curated marketplace in the UK
  • 39 million unique visitors a year
  • High-quality products and sellers only
  • Strong marketing – TV & Press

Cons

  • High joining fees and commission fee of 25% per sale
  • They’re strict with cross promoting elsewhere
  • Hard to stand out on the marketplace and rank highly
  • Reports of tracking stock difficult

Estimate fees on a £10 product = £4.50

 

Whilst marketplace websites like those we’ve reviewed above can give you fantastic exposure to customers and are easy and quick to set up, it’s important to factor in the fees to your costings. Plus, there’s high competition to stand out on these websites, so you need to be selling a great product and work hard to stand out with branding, photography, imagery and marketing.

 

For a comprehensive guide to getting your business up and running, download our how to start a business in 20 days eBook.

 

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