Maybe you’re an individual who likes to buy and resell stuff for a profit on the internet, or maybe you have a small business and you want an online storefront, or maybe you work for a medium or large sized business and want to expand your companys market nationally or internationally through the internet. If any of these ring true for you, then you will probably need some ecommerce services and websites to help you sell your products on the internet.
In this video and article I am going briefly review the best ecommerce websites I’ve been able to find. These are websites that will allow you to either sell your products in a standalone online store or on a global marketplace on the internet.
|#||Name||Type||Payment Options||Sales Fee||Other Fees|
|1||Shopify||Standalone Store||Stripe, Paypal, Coinbase + more||0-2% transaction fee||Store fee starting at $29/mo + payment processing|
|2||eBay||Global Marketplace||Paypal||10% final value fee, less with membership||$0.3 per item listing fee, Paypal transaction fees|
|3||Amazon||Regional Marketplaces||Credit and debit cards||8-15% referral fee||$0-0.99 per item listing fee, payment processing|
|4||Alibaba||Global Marketplace||Credit cards, Alipay, WebMoney, bank transfer||10% per sale fee||Gold supplier membership starting at $5000/mo|
|5||Bonanza||Marketplace + Standalone Store||Paypal, Amazon Checkout||3.5% per sale fee||Payment processing fees|
|6||BigCommerce||Standalone Store||Stripe, Square, Paypal Braintree + more||None||Store fee starting at $29.95/mo, payment processing|
|7||Etsy||Global Marketplace||Paypal, Apple Pay, credit and debit cards + more||3.5% per sale fee||$0.2 listing fee, payment processing|
|8||Rakuten||Global + Regional Marketplaces||Paypal, credit and debit cards, Bitcoin||8-15% commission fees||Seller membership $33/mo, $0.99 per item fee|
|9||Craigslist||Regional Classified Ads||No integrated payment system||None||None|
Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company founded in 2004. On Shopify businesses can open up their own online stores and sell their products. Shopify also has an app store and themes where other developers sell their apps that can be integrated into Shopify storefronts as well as premium themes that can be customized to suit the needs of business owners.
Shopify has several ways in which businesses can sell their products such as through a conventional online store, buy button, Pinterest buyable pin, a Facebook shop, Twitter links and even offline in real life through a point of sale system where the seller can use a smartphone app and a card scanner accessory to accept payments without a merchant account.
One thing Shopify does not have is a global marketplace like Ebay or Amazon, where those services already have millions of people browsing their websites to search for products to buy. However, you can just as well use Google AdWords or Facebook ads to advertise your products and get sales that way. Odds are if you’re using Ebay or some other service you might want to spend something on marketing and advertising anyway.
Shopify payments are powered by Stripe so you don’t need to sign up for merchant accounts on several payment gateways to sell products, although they do also support over 70 third-party payment gateways including Paypal, Skrill, Bitpay, Coinbase, 2Checkout and many more.
Most people who have a computer and an internet connection have probably at least heard of Ebay, which is one of the biggest online auction and e-commerce websites focused mostly on consumer-to-consumer or business-to-consumer sales services. Ebay was one of the biggest successes of the dotcom bubble and it is headquartered in San Jose, California in the United States but it is a multinational corporation with operations in over 30 countries and around 150 million active users.
Ebay is mostly used by Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans and other Western Europeans, although I myself have also bought some products from Korean sellers. Chinese manufacturers also tend to list their products on Ebay as well.
Paypal is the main payment option on Ebay, in some listing categories other payment methods are also possible such as bank-to-bank wire transfers, cheques and money orders.
There are no listing fees for your first 50 products that you list on Ebay, with some exceptions, but after that, it’s around 30 cents per item depending on the category. Final value fee is 10% of the sale value, including shipping and on top of that there’s still Paypal transaction fees. But the final value fee goes down quite a bit if you buy a Ebay basic or premium store subscription.
Amazon.com is another US based e-commerce website and is one of the main competitors to Ebay although it does not have auction services and is focused on business-to-consumer sales.
Amazon was another success of the dotcom bubble era and is now a multinational multi-billion dollar corporation with operations in around 15 countries and has over 240 million active users in 2014 which was almost twice as much as Ebay at the time.
People who use Amazon are mostly from Western countries like the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France and so on, but it has also expanded into the Asian markets by having a presence in China and India as well.
Amazon was once mostly a bookstore but has since evolved into a marketplace where you can buy pretty much any consumer product.
Amazon accepts most credit and debit cards as payment options, but not online payment processors like Paypal.
Alibaba Group is a Chinese e-commerce company that runs e-commerce websites which support consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services.
They basically have two websites, Alibaba.com which is more focused on wholesale business-to-business transactions and bulk orders by consumers. Their second website is AliExpress.com which is more of a consumer targeted retail website.
AliExpress only allows companies from Mainland China to sell on the website, but Alibaba.com is open to companies from other countries. As Alibaba is more focused on wholesale and bulk orders, it may not be the best place for small businesses but if you have a medium sized business that manufactures a product it might be something to consider.
A lot of consumers do buy products from Alibaba, mainly from the US, Europe, Russia and Asian countries, but most buyers are other businesses that buy wholesale or products in bulk and then resell them elsewhere. I’ve seen a lot of products from Alibaba end up on Amazon or Ebay.
Payment methods for Alibaba include credit cards, Alipay, WebMoney which is a Russian payment processor, Western Union and bank transfers.
Bonanza is a US based e-commerce website focused on unique items, their slogan is ”Find everything but the ordinary” although you can indeed find the ordinary on the site as well. Bonanza has been considered an alternative to Ebay.
Bonanza is more focused on individuals as well as small and medium sized businesses who want to sell their products on the website. For example according to Techopedia, ”Sellers on the Bonanza.com website can save up to 50 percent on items they wish to purchase based on their own sales. The site also offers “freebies”, in which sellers agree to give away certain items with purchases over a certain amount.”
Setting up a store is fairly easy and you get a 14-day trial with zero fees for sales during that period. Sellers display items in a booth on the Bonanza marketplace which has 3.5% sales fee but no listing fee, or open up a Bonanza Webstore which has no fees but costs $25 per month to setup.
Sellers on Bonanza can also sync up their Bonanza items with their storefronts on other ecommerce websites like Ebay or Etsy.
Payment options for Bonanza include Paypal, checkout by Amazon and credit cards.
BigCommerce is an e-commerce company based in Austin, Texas in the United States.
BigCommerce allows businesses to setup online stores to sell their products on the internet. They also have an app store and premium customizable themes that store owners can buy and use to improve their storefronts.
Sales channels include branded online stores, point of sale with a smartphone app, Facebook store and Pinterest pins, as well as Google Trusted Stores for Pro and Enterprise clients.
BigCommerce supports several payment gateways including Paypal powered by Braintree, Stripe, Square, 2Checkout and so on. But it seems they don’t support Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency gateways like Bitpay or Coinbase like Shopify does.
Etsy is an American e-commerce website focused on consumer-to-consumer sales services for handmade and vintage products as well as unique factory made items.
It was founded in 2005 and by 2014 Etsy had gained 54 million registered users, 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million customers.
Etsy is most popular in the US, Canada, UK and some European countries.
Etsy has a Direct Checkout service that supports credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Paypal, iDEAL for customers in the Netherlands and Sofort for customers in Germany. There has been some controversy regarding the Direct Checkout service and Paypal. Previously Etsy sellers were able to sell directly through their own Paypal account, but now that the Paypal payment option is integrated with the Direct Checkout service, the payments will go to Etsy’s integrated Paypal account first and then later be transferred to the sellers Paypal. This of course means that the seller does not have immediate access to the funds from a purchase as they would if the buyer made a purchase by transfering the money directly to the sellers Paypal account as it was done previously.
Etsy has a listing fee of 20 pennies or 18 cents if you’re going with euros, 3.5% transaction fee for sales and the payment processing fees can vary depending on your country.
Rakuten is the largest e-commerce company in Japan and also one of the biggest in the world by revenue. In 2012 Rakuten began expanding outside Japan through a number of acquisitions and joint-ventures. They have an e-commerce presence in Japan, Taiwan, United States, Brazil, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Austria and Germany, as well as a global marketplace at global.rakuten.com.
Companies can easily sell their products on Rakuten but they seem more focused on regional sales like Amazon, rather than a global marketplace like Ebay. The Rakuten Global Marketplace website seems to only be for products from Japanese companies.
Rakuten has varying payment options based on their regional websites. For example on the US website they support credit and debit cards, Paypal and even Bitcoin, but on the UK website they support only credit and debit cards and on the global marketplace they support credit cards, Paypal, Alipay and bank transfers.
Rakuten.com, the US website, has a $33 monthly fee for sellers, 8-15% commission fees depending on product category and a 99 cent per item fee. These fees include credit card processing. As for the other websites, the fee structure may be different.
Craig Newmark started a email list featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area, California back in 1995, after which it evolved into a web-based service in 1996 which further expanded into other classified ads. Over time Craigslist grew and expanded into more US cities and eventually internationally, Craigslist now covers 70 countries.
Most of you have probably heard about Craigslist and might not be the best e-commerce solution in general, but if you’re selling the occasional second hand product it might be useful, so it gets an honorary mention in this video.