Online marketplaces have hit the eCommerce industry and hard. There was a time when used goods, no matter how well in appearance and condition had to be abandoned or thrown off. But no more. With the onset of something that we call as a multi-vendor e-commerce platform, buyers and sellers can easily connect with each other, negotiate on selling terms and end up making a purchase.
Yes, such a marketplace exists and not one or two but many. If you aren’t sure as to what do we mean by the term marketplaces, it is in simple words a platform engineered to promote selling and buying of products seamlessly. The portals are easy to use, convenient and enable buyer-seller conversation prior to making a deal.
According to research, 31% of buyers in the US prefer making a purchase from online marketplaces instead of eCommerce sites for the first time whereas 47% of the buyers happily revisit to make purchases repeatedly.
No doubt the trend of buying and selling via online marketplaces has set and it’s time that you too spare time to grab a look at what are the different marketplaces and how can you benefit yourself either by selling or purchasing a product.
Top Five Online Marketplace Apps like Craigslist
Though Craigslist with 55 million active users happens to be the king of buying and selling goods online, it isn’t the only available marketplace in the vendor-driven eCommerce segment. There are many inline and to cut down your search time, we have enlisted five of the best online marketplace apps to buy and sell products, like the Craigslist.
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Launched back in 2013 by the ex co-founder of OfferUp – Alec, eCommerce marketPlace app LetGo is one of the fastest growing online marketplaces worldwide. It has over 20 million active users across 35 different countries and is available free of charge. Neither does the app require you to pay for downloads nor has it integrated the feature of in-app payments.
Unlike Craigslist, the does not mandate paying fees for uploading an advertisement. LetGo is backed up by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Geo Tagging and Image Recognition. This helps improve the time taken to upload a product which as recorded is less than 10 seconds. All that a seller needs to do is take a snap of the product and enter the price. The product details are automatically fetched by the app, thanks to image recognition.
LetGo has an easy to use interface and as soon as users log in as a buyer, products are displayed based on the location (50 miles or less). Users can further modify their feed based on the type of the product, the category, pricing and the date of upload. The purchase page also has a chat icon displayed at the top to start a conversation with the seller.
Though the app doesn’t support any in-app payment, it uses Google Ads and features such as LetGo Pro and Featured Listings to earn money. With it’s every operation summing up to $15 million, LetGo is trustworthy and an excellent choice of vendors today.
Launched as a peer-to-peer eCommerce platform, Etsy is mainly designed for the artists who plan on selling handcrafted products online. The marketplace was launched back in 2005 and its total funding stands at $360 million, today. Though the business model of Etsy is the same as that of eBay or Amazon, the one being discussed here is solely for the art and craft lovers. Whereat one end, artists get to pitch their products on a global level, art lovers can visit the website, scan through the list of available crafts and purchase one that appeals to them the most.
Unlike Amazon, Etsy has a vertical model of business and allows the sale of artistic and vintage products. Sellers can create their own personal shop at the website to display product variants. Further, to have a product listed up on the Etsy site, sellers need to pay a fee as low as $.20 with a four-month validity. Once listed on the site, the products are now visible to all and ready for sale.
Buyers can filter and scan through the list of products based on the seller/type/category. Etsy has the feature of in-app payments but here again, sellers need to pay 3.5% of the overall price as a commission. Additionally, sellers can opt for featured listing by paying for extra benefits.
Even though Etsy has a restricted product base and levies fee on product upload as well as charge a commission, it has emerged to be a winner in its domain.
Selling of your old products often involves a middleman, who of course would charge you huge amounts for initiating a transaction. On the contrary, Swappa is a trustworthy online marketplace designed to help the sellers connect with the buyers. Selling your old stuff on Swappa is as easy as buying it from an offline store. The fact is that Swappa is free. It does not require you to pay upfront cost for uploading products makes it the first choice of gadget users.
The website is mainly for technology-driven products or gadgets. Before you start with Swappa, you need to have an active PayPal account. The gadget you are planning to sell should be fully functional; it must not have any cracks or physical damage. Further, the product should be activated and not a stolen one.
In order to get started with listing a product, it is important that the product exists in the product database of Swappa. You can either browse within the categories or simply search. Once you are done with finding the product, you can then choose the variant, color and set the price of the same.
Users that log in as potential buyers can search for the products from the list of available ones. Featured products are displayed as an orange bar. Users can choose the product and then initiate a purchase. Swappa cuts a commission fee and is paid by the buyer. If not satisfied, buyers can opt for returns and get refunded. Buying and selling on Swappa isn’t just business but fun for all.
Another most popular form of marketplace, OfferUp is also called the hip version of the very much successful online marketplace, Craigslist. The app has reported the total active users to count as 42 million and only in the US. The app is both easy to use and intuitive.
As a fact, the OfferUp marketplace is one of the most reliable places to sell and buy goods online. A user can upload the image of their used products online and then pitch to initiate a sale. The app gives sellers the ease to post up items free of charge. Meaning that the seller is not charged to promote or advertise their products on the OfferUp the app. Every seller has its own customized page where it can list items. Buyers after purchasing products can rate the seller and this enhances the trust buyers have on a particular seller.
Unlike LetGo, the details of the product as uploaded needs to be filled by the seller itself. There exists a chat window on the top right corner of the product page. This can be used by a buyer to enter into direct communication with the seller. The revenue model of the OfferUp is pretty simple. Apart from the subscription-based form of earning money, the app charges the seller, cost of shipping and a service fee. In addition to the above, sellers can promote their products, and here again, they need to pay to opt for the premium plan.
While you may or may not want to adopt the feature, the choice is yours. OfferUp never charges anything extra than the legitimate fee.
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Significantly the oldest in our list, eBay is one of the pioneers in the customer to vendor and customer to customer vending industry. It started off as a platform holding auctions. But later they shifted to be an online marketplace supporting the purchase and sale of goods and even tickets.
Undertaking a customer-oriented approach, eBay has adopted several transitions. Today, eBay stands as a digital platform for the vendors of flea markets and the ones that indulged in garage sales. Customers can either upload a product for sale or make a purchase, via a fixed price method or through an auction. The auction occurs in two ways. One where buyers bid for a product to be purchased. The other being the auction held by the sellers in setting up a price for the product.
In order to ensure seamless vendor buyer communication and embedding trust and safety, eBay has added features such as SafeHarbor Program, Feedback Forum, eBay Top Rated Seller Program, Verified Rights Owner Program and eBay Money Back Guarantee.
For prompt purchases, buyers can opt to buy it know feature. However, the price listed under this category is 30% more than the base price of the auction. You can also switch to buy it know without and pay the price fixed by the vendor.
eBay charges a small amount for every listing after the 50th listing by a particular vendor. Further, it also charges a commission fee to be paid on every purchase. Additional features can be availed by sellers by going pro. No doubt, eBay has a lot to offer.
Which one do you think is best?
This article is written by Vaishali Sonik. Vaishali is a passionate writer and explorer who has an interest in sharing the knowledge she has gathered over the years while working as the content strategist and writer at different companies including the mobile app development company Apptunix. With the vision of bringing the change in the content industry, she jumped her career from M.Tech ECE Engineer to follow her passion. FYI, she portrays herself as a fun person who loves to explore all her hobbies & she has many.