If you've been around the selling scene anytime at all, you know there are several online marketplaces you can use to sell your inventory. If you're unsure where to start and which site would work best for you in the long run, you've come to the right place.
I'll give you a basic description of the three main selling websites and what kind of inventory sells best on each, so you can determine which of the sites would work best for you.
If we were to go over every single marketplace, we would be here for days, so I figured it would be best to condense this article and talk about the main three sites, and you can go from there. Sound good?
eBay is still a collector's den
In my years of selling, the items I've had the most luck selling on eBay have been collectibles, antiques and clothing
We will begin with the site that had everyone talking in the beginning and hasn't slowed down since: I'm speaking, of course, of eBay. It has been around for ages, it seems. The site offers every type of inventory, from makeup to cars, baby blankets to motorcycle gear, and everything in between.
Every company has its niche, but in my years of selling, the items I've had the most luck selling on eBay have been collectibles, antiques and clothing. You can sell anything on eBay, but these types of items have always done well for me.
I love eBay because there are relatively few fees, it offers shipping discounts and the customer service folks are helpful. You can begin selling on the marketplace with items you might even have lying around the house.
Almost anything goes on Amazon
Next up is my current favorite, Amazon—specifically, the Fulfillment by Amazon program, or FBA. Amazon FBA works very differently from eBay in that you buy inventory wherever you can find it (preferably at deep discounts), you send it in to fulfillment centers and Amazon staff takes care of the rest.
I love Amazon because it's so easy. You don't have to take any photos or even write descriptions most of the time. You simply search for the item you have via the UPC code and click a button that says "sell yours," then send your products in. The fees, which include payment processing, are about the same as eBay and PayPal fees, combined.
My rule of thumb with Amazon is not to buy an item to resell unless it will sell for three times what I paid
While you can sell used items in several Amazon categories, the majority of the items on that site are new, so you will need to find different sources. Most of the time, I simply keep an eye on the clearance sections at my favorite stores. You can download an app on your phone that scouts the Amazon prices for you when you scan an item's UPC code, and the app will tell you what your payout will be.
My rule of thumb with Amazon is not to buy an item to resell unless it will sell for three times what I paid. You would be smart to stick with that as a general rule until you figure out your own way to buy and sell.
My favorite thing about Amazon is that you can make money by selling anything—literally. Just the other day, I scored a bunch of Depends diapers for cheap, and they sold on Amazon in a couple of days! As long as the item is in good condition and complete, you can sell it via the site and you will get a deposit every two weeks, like clockwork.
Etsy sews up the crafter's market
Last, but certainly not least, is Etsy. Etsy started out being a place for people to sell their homemade crafts and has turned into quite the online selling giant. It's still the go-to site for handmade items, but it also offers an outlet for antiques and collectibles sellers. The type of inventory that sells best on Etsy will always be handmade items, though.
Etsy buyers are looking for handmade, one-of-a-kind products they won't find anywhere else
If you have an eye for design and can whip up beautiful cards, art or anything of the sort, head there, open up a free account, and start selling! I love Etsy because it has the most unique products you will find at any of the sites. There are wood crafts, paper crafts, sewing crafts and a lot more.
If you have a gift for manufacturing beautiful hand-crafted items, I strongly suggest you sell on Etsy, because the buyers there are looking for handmade, one-of-a-kind products they won't find anywhere else. You can also sell craft supplies on Etsy, so if this is a niche you have good sources for, this may be a good place for you.
I hope this has helped you determine which site will work best for you. All of the sites are amazing, and they all offer a different take on the selling experience. If you're a brave soul, you can even open up accounts on all three sites and run a multi-channel selling business!
I would strongly suggest getting your feet wet with the sites one at a time, though. You want to take it one step at a time and figure out the best way to sell your inventory, and that's hard to do when you're overwhelmed. Best of luck to you!
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Respected as a trusted e-commerce speaker, educator and entrepreneur, Kat Simpson has been a successful online merchant for more than 10 years. Simpson is an eBay Education Specialist, with experience selling on Addoway, Bonanza, Buy.com and iOffer. She shares Fulfillment By Amazon selling expertise through her Facebook Group, ThatKat, and is the co-host of the popular weekly e-commerce podcast, That Kat Radio. Connect with Simpson on Twitter and Facebook.
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