As the world continues to move towards digitalization, online marketplaces are becoming increasingly popular and profitable.
By 2025, global online retail sales are predicted to surpass $7 trillion, making up over 24.6% of all consumer spending worldwide.
With their convenience and flexibility in terms of both buyers and sellers, these platforms offer unique opportunities for entrepreneurs to make money.
In this article, we will explore the top online marketplaces in 2023 that have the potential to make the most profit. We will discuss how each platform works, what makes them successful, and how to use them to maximize your earning potential. We’ll take a look at some of the features that set them apart from other marketplaces on the web today.
By taking advantage of these platforms now, you could be well-positioned for success in 2023 and beyond.
What is an Online Marketplace?
An online marketplace is an e-commerce website or mobile application that allows buyers and sellers to exchange goods and services. It serves as the middleman between buyers and sellers, offering a platform for both parties to conduct business without the need for a physical storefront.
The most popular online marketplaces include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, and Alibaba. Each of these platforms has their own set of features that make it appealing to both buyers and sellers.
The Benefits of Selling on Online Marketplaces
Online marketplaces have a wealth of advantages for sellers. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
- Increased Visibility – By listing your products on an online marketplace, you’ll get access to millions of potential customers that wouldn’t otherwise be able to find your business. This makes selling online even more effective.
- Low Cost – Unlike renting or buying physical space for a retail location, selling on online marketplaces is incredibly cost-effective and comes with virtually no overhead costs.
- Convenience – Online selling sites make it easy for buyers and sellers alike to conduct transactions quickly and efficiently from anywhere in the world.
- Comprehensive Services – Most online selling sites offer various services, including order fulfillment, payment processing, and customer service.
- Fast to Launch – The best online selling sites can be launched quickly, reducing the time and cost between when you decide to sell your product and when customers start buying.
The Top Online Marketplaces to Sell in 2023
Amazon is one of the largest and most successful online marketplaces to sell goods on. It has a wide variety of products, from clothing to electronics and beyond.
According to Amazon’s financial data, it generated $127.1 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2022, a 15% rise over the same period the previous year.
The platform also offers shoppers many features, such as Prime benefits, customer reviews, and fast delivery options.
With its global reach and established brand recognition, Amazon is well-positioned to remain at the top of the online marketplace industry in 2023.
Depending on your plan, product category, fulfillment method, and other factors, the cost to sell on Amazon will vary. A Professional seller plan will cost you a minimum of $39.99 monthly (plus the additional selling fees mentioned above).
If you wish to sell more than 40 units per month, promote your items, be eligible for top placement on product detail pages, and require sophisticated selling tools like APIs and reporting, this plan is smart.
It’s ideal for marketplace sellers looking to offload used or vintage items quickly. eBay also allows buyers to find unique goods that they may not be able to get anywhere else. The platform is known for its broad selection and relatively low fees.
The selling fees on eBay should be considered if you intend to sell on the platform.
Each product has a non-refundable listing fee and an additional fee for inserting the same products into two distinct categories. It also levies a final value fee, computed as a percentage of the whole transaction price, including shipping and handling costs (often between 10% and 12%).
Etsy has 7.5 million active sellers and 96 million active shoppers. It is an online marketplace for handmade, vintage and craft supplies.
The platform has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its focus on providing a unique shopping experience. It’s ideal for marketplace sellers who want to showcase their creative goods or items that have been upcycled or repurposed.
For each item you sell on Esty, a $0.20 listing fee will be applied, and the listing expires every four months. You will be charged an extra $0.20 if you renew your listing after your item doesn’t sell.
A transaction fee of 5% of the display price, plus the cost of shipping and gift wrapping, will be applied to each sale you make.
The Chinese online marketplace has millions of users and offers almost any product imaginable, from clothing to electronics. The competitive pricing makes it particularly attractive to bargain hunters looking for good deals on products they need or want.
Depending on your product category, AliExpress retains between 5% and 8% of the commission fees for each sale. Also, selling on the platform is free of overhead or arrangement costs.
The ecommerce platform is known for its wide range of products and competitive prices. It also has a variety of features that make shopping on the platform convenient, such as customer reviews, product recommendations, and payment safety services.
The catch is that while setting up an online store on Taobao is simple, in order to conduct business there, you must have a registered corporation once you’ve created a seller account.
Taobao is a marketplace you should definitely take into consideration if you believe the paperwork will be worthwhile and your online store will experience large eCommerce sales.
Craigslist is a popular classifieds website that allows sellers to post products, services, job offers, and more. It’s highly localized and can be used to reach buyers in specific cities or regions.
The platform is free of charge for most posts, but it does have fees for certain categories (jobs, real estate, etc.) Craigslist also has strict rules about what types of items are allowed on the site.
A riskier online marketplace is Craigslist. Scams can occur easily on the platform because of its “hands-off” approach to buying and selling, and if they do, you won’t receive any assistance from the business.
Still, local buyers and sellers who prefer to finalize deals in person turn to Craigslist as their preferred online marketplace.
Individual users can find, purchase, and sell products on Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace offers considerable potential for vendors to connect with a responsive audience because more than one in three individuals utilize it monthly.
Facebook doesn’t charge any fees to use its marketplace; you only need an active Facebook account. The platform also offers tools such as ratings and reviews to help buyers make more informed decisions about what they buy.
To enable retailers to display their inventory, advertise products, and attract new clients for their business, Facebook Marketplace has also partnered with websites like Shopify.
Walmart is one of the most popular eCommerce websites in the world. It has over 200 million monthly active customers and offers a wide variety of products, from groceries to electronics.
You may sign up if your company is headquartered in the US or Canada by simply entering your company details on their application form, and you can expect to sell within two weeks.
If you currently operate a Shopify-based online business, you can handle all of your Walmart transactions from a single location on your Shopify eCommerce website. You can also use this information to optimize your online sales channels and increase traffic to your store.
There are no startup, ongoing, or additional costs to start selling online. You pay for what you sell instead.
Walmart deducts a fair referral fee from each successful sale. Their commission rates range from 6% to 15% and depend on the category and total sales price.
Shopee is a leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, with operations in Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. It’s a popular destination for shoppers looking for affordable items like electronics, clothes and accessories.
The platform currently has over 100 million registered users and 7 million daily active users. Shopee also offers various promotions that incentivize buyers and sellers to use their site.
There are no upfront costs when selling on Shopee, but they do charge a commission fee. Compared to the 2 to 8 percent commission charged on Lazada, the transaction cost for selling online on Shopee is only 1.5%.
For online stores aiming to grow in Southeast Asia, Shopee is a good choice. Shopee is a top eCommerce site that can help your company expand thanks to its user-friendly platform and significant global exposure.
Target is a major US retailer with an established presence in many markets. Its intuitive and comprehensive e-commerce website allows customers to shop from the comfort of their homes.
The platform offers a variety of features, such as same-day delivery, pick-up in-store options, product reviews, and a rewards program for loyal customers.
Target has more stringent requirements for potential suppliers than other sales channels. The retailer also has strict policies regarding children’s merchandise.
To sell on Target Marketplace as a Target partner, online vendors must pay a commission or referral fee of between 5 and 15 percent. This commission rate is, in certain situations, lower than those of other online marketplace platforms and is roughly identical to the percentages for Amazon Vendor Central.
A thrifter’s paradise, Mercari is an online marketplace. Rare, limited-edition or used goods are frequently available for a small fraction of what they would cost in stores.
Mercari, which operates something like eBay without the bidding, is unquestionably one of Japan’s most well-liked online retail sites.
Mercari charges sellers $.30 for each sale in addition to 12.9% of the transaction price (10% seller’s fee plus 2.9% payment processing fee). No listing fees or fees are associated with money transfers unless you decide to pay $2 for a quick transfer.
Allegro is one of the largest eCommerce platforms in Poland and one of the top European marketplaces today. With more than 20 million customers, it accounts for almost 80% of Polish e-commerce sales. This means that if you sell products in Poland or plan to do so soon, Allegro should be considered.
Allegro has no setup or ongoing monthly fees. However, it does charge a commission that changes depending on the product type.
Keep in mind that listing fees also apply to specific categories, such as vehicle advertisements, live animals, antiques and arts, and tickets. You are additionally paid for each unique product offer if you sell goods in those categories.
Unsurprisingly, this ecommerce marketplace is one of the best international marketplaces today that cater to retailers worldwide.
Rakuten is one of Japan’s largest e-commerce platforms and one of the best selling sites today. The ecommerce marketplace has over 100 million customers worldwide and offers apparel and home decor items. It was formed on the premise that online shopping should be both exciting and highly individualized. It is a pure third-party marketplace.
Rakuten Ichiba, a pure third-party marketplace, puts merchants at the center of its open platform and offers an exceptional and highly individualized online buying experience. Manufacturers, brands, retailers, and resellers are the different kinds of sellers on Rakuten.
Each seller on Rakuten has a landing page that directs users to their individual shop on the marketplace. Compared to a product-focused website like Amazon, they have more flexibility in creating their page layout, creating a more diversified shopping experience.
There are four distinct pricing options for domestic Japanese traders, while the ones for foreign merchants have been consolidated into one plan called Ichiba Basic.
Lazada is a leading ecommerce marketplace in Southeast Asia, with operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The incredibly popular marketplace provides customers with an online shopping experience that is both convenient and secure.
With Lazada’s vast catalog of products, from laptops to fashion items to groceries, it has quickly become one of the region’s most popular eCommerce websites.
The cost to sell on this fast growing online marketplace varies by product category; commission fees range from 2% to 8%. The amount depends primarily on the product type (i.e., consumer electronics are more expensive than apparel). Depending on your chosen carrier or shipping method, delivery services also come at an additional cost. There are no listing fees and a limited number of startup costs.
For sellers looking to expand their reach into the Southeast Asian market, Lazada is an ideal eCommerce platform. Its intuitive design and secure environment make it easy for buyers and sellers to benefit from its services. It also has a variety of features like customer reviews and product recommendations that help shoppers find items they want quickly.
Mercado Libre is a leading Latin American ecommerce marketplace with operations in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. At Mercado Libre, customers can find items ranging from electronics to clothing.
Mercado Libre introduced their Global Selling Program, which enables U.S. vendors to promote their items throughout Latin America, to streamline the procedure for international sellers. International retailers can sell goods in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile from a single account.
One of the main advantages of this service is that merchants can post and receive orders in USD without worrying about changes in local currencies.
There are no listing costs and merely a percentage commission on each sale at this ecommerce marketplace. The amount of commission you will pay as a seller on Mercado Libre will vary depending on where you are. A 17% commission will be assessed to Mexican sellers. Sellers in all other locations will be charged a 16% commission.
Nextdoor is a private social media platform designed to help local communities stay connected and informed. Its primary purpose is to help members of the community communicate with each other.
Buying or selling products isn’t the main focus, but it does serve as an added benefit for members. It’s free to use and doesn’t charge any commission fees whatsoever. This makes Nextdoor ideal for those looking for a low-cost way to advertise their goods locally.
If your item hasn’t sold by the end of the 30-day period, you’ll need to renew the listing. To increase the visibility of your unsold item in your neighbors’ newsfeeds, you may also offer discounts. Although you can sell many things on Nextdoor, some things are not allowed, so read the selling criteria to find out what you can and cannot list.
It’s important to note that buyers and sellers on Nextdoor must conduct transactions in-person to avoid potential scammers. Nevertheless, Nextdoor is a great way of reaching out to your local community if you want to sell second-hand items or offer services. It can also be especially useful in rural areas with fewer online marketplaces.
Poshmark is a popular online marketplace where people can buy and sell pre-owned fashion items and accessories. It offers a secure environment for both buyers and sellers, with simple payment processing enabled by PayPal.
Unlike other eCommerce marketplaces, Poshmark’s pricing model is unique — you must pay $2.95 when you list an item, but the platform only takes a 20% commission from your sale price (including shipping costs). This makes it attractive to those who want extra cash by selling clothes and accessories they no longer wear.
Additionally, Poshmark provides features like customer reviews and product recommendations that help shoppers quickly find what they’re looking for. And unlike eBay or Craigslist, buyers and online sellers can communicate directly with each other on the app.
Chairish is an online marketplace for vintage, pre-owned and antique furniture and decor. It is a great platform for buyers and sellers looking for unique items you can’t find anywhere else. Chairish allows customers to buy from trusted sources without leaving the comfort of their homes.
When you first open your account, your seller plan is automatically allocated to the “Consignor” plan. You’ll instantly be promoted to “Professional” once you have 10 active listings.
Rates for Chairish commissions are determined by your seller plan.
Wish is a mobile shopping platform that connects shoppers and sellers worldwide. It has 90.1 million visits per month and allows retailers to reach millions of customers without costly investments in online marketing.
Similar to other ecommerce marketplaces, Wish offers online stores the ability to list their products without any listing fees or registration costs. The platform charges a commission fee (between 8-15%) which is taken from each sale when the customer pays.
For buyers, Wish has an intuitive app and website with an easy search function and recommendations based on your interests and wishlist items, making it simpler than ever to find what you’re looking for.
Wish allowed merchants who wished to sell on their site before January 2022. The platform is redesigning its platform and has made it invite-only in order to increase user trust and boost its reputation.
Meanwhile, Wish has launched a brand-new initiative called Wish Standards that rewards businesses for offering satisfying customer experiences.
Overall, Wish is an excellent option for both buyers and sellers alike. It offers a low-cost solution for sellers to reach millions of customers and a convenient way for buyers to find the products they’re looking for.
How to Leverage Success on Online Marketplaces
In order to succeed in online marketplaces for your online business, here are a few tips:
Optimize Your Product Listings
Make sure your product listings are accurate, and comprehensive and include high-quality images. If customers can’t find the information they need to make an informed decision, they will likely move on to another vendor who will provide that information.
Product titles, descriptions, and categories usually persuade customers to buy. The chances of seeing your listings move to the top of the marketplace search results increase as you put more work into them.
Invest in Advertisements
Advertising is essential for global marketplaces. Ads will help push your products to the top of search results, making them more visible to potential customers. Many of the platforms featured here offer advertising options, so look into them for increased visibility and sales.
Keep Your Prices Competitive
Ensure that your price points are competitive with other sellers to capture the attention of shoppers looking for bargains. If a customer has two items that they’re considering purchasing, and one is significantly cheaper than the other, their decision will be obvious – so make sure yours isn’t the more expensive item!
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Online marketplaces have millions of customers looking for the best possible deals. Great customer service is one way to stand out from the competition and ensure you provide a positive experience for your customers.
Respond quickly to inquiries, guarantee satisfaction with returns/refunds, and offer discounts or coupons as needed to incentivize shoppers to come back.
Monitor Your Performance Regularly
It’s important to keep track of how well you’re performing on each of the platforms. Monitor your sales, analyze which products are selling best, and track how customers respond to different marketing tactics. This will give you insight into what works and where improvements can be made.
Diversify Your Shipping Strategy
One of the key components to success in online marketplaces is shipping. Different marketplace platforms come with different delivery expectations, so make sure you’re familiar with each platform’s policy and how those policies align with yours.
Offering multiple shipping options, such as same-day or two-day delivery, will be attractive to customers who want their products delivered quickly. Additionally, consider partnering with a third-party logistics provider to streamline your shipment process and ensure that orders are fulfilled on time.
Be Ready to Expand
Online marketplaces have made it easier for vendors to expand their reach, but new challenges come with this increased visibility. As you grow your presence on multiple platforms, be prepared to handle the influx of orders and manage customer inquiries efficiently.
Final Thoughts on Top Online Marketplaces 2023 That Will Make the Most Profit
Online marketplaces are a great way to increase your customer base and revenue. With the right strategy, you can leverage these platforms to boost your brand’s visibility and grow your business. Analyze different marketplace features and pricing models to determine which one is the best fit for you. Additionally, keep in mind that it takes hard work, dedication, and commitment — but the rewards of success on online marketplaces will be worth it!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best online marketplace?
The best online marketplace will depend on the needs of the seller. Different platforms cater to different product categories, so shop around and compare features before making a decision. Some of the most popular eCommerce sites are Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, Lazada, Mercado Libre, Nextdoor, Poshmark, Chairish, Wish and more.
Are there any hidden costs when selling on online marketplaces?
Most online marketplaces do not have any upfront listing fees or registration costs but some may charge commission fees. The percentage you pay depends on which platform you’re using and what product you sell. Additionally, delivery services come at an additional cost depending on your chosen carrier or shipping method.
How can I make sure my product listings stand out?
The key to success in online marketplaces is optimizing your product listings. Make sure that your product titles, descriptions and images are accurate, comprehensive and of high-quality. Invest in advertisements for increased visibility and keep your prices competitive. Additionally, provide excellent customer service and monitor your performance regularly to ensure you stay ahead of the competition.
How do I protect myself from scammers on online marketplaces?
Always conduct transactions in-person when buying or selling products on any platform. You should also research potential buyers/sellers before entering a transaction to make sure they’re legitimate. It’s also important to read up on the refund and return policies of the platform before purchasing to make sure you’re covered in case of any issues. Finally, if something seems fishy or too good to be true, trust your gut instinct and don’t proceed with the transaction.
What are the main 3 types of online marketplaces?
The three main types of online marketplaces are B2B (business-to-business), C2C (consumer-to-consumer) and B2C (business-to-consumer). B2B marketplaces connect buyers and sellers in business relationships, while C2C platforms allow consumers to buy and sell goods directly with each other. Finally, B2C marketplaces link businesses to customers who want to purchase products or services.
What is the best way to increase sales on an online marketplace?
To increase sales on an online marketplace, optimize your product listings by including accurate descriptions, high-quality images and relevant keywords. Additionally, invest in advertising for increased visibility and make sure that you have competitive pricing. Provide excellent customer service and monitor your performance regularly to ensure you stay ahead of the competition. Finally, consider diversifying your shipping strategy to offer multiple options and partner with a third-party logistics provider to streamline delivery times.
What is the difference between online marketplaces and ecommerce websites?
The main difference between online marketplaces and ecommerce websites is that online marketplaces are platforms that connect buyers and sellers, while ecommerce sites usually represent only one company or business selling products directly to consumers.
Ecommerce sites generally provide more control over product listings, pricing and customization options than online marketplaces. They typically have fewer transaction fees than marketplace platforms. However, marketplace sites are often easier for customers to access since they are more widely used, and can have a larger reach than ecommerce websites. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of both platforms when deciding which is the best option for you.
Do I need an ecommerce website if I sell on online marketplaces?
It’s not necessary to have an ecommerce website if you sell on online marketplaces, but it can be beneficial in some cases. An ecommerce site gives you more control over your product listings, pricing and customization options, and having fewer transaction fees compared to marketplace sites. Additionally, having an independent website also helps with brand recognition and visibility. Ultimately, it depends on what works best for your business. Analyze your business goals and the different features of both marketplace and ecommerce sites before making a decision.
What are key performance indicators I should look for when using online marketplaces?
When using online marketplaces, it’s important to keep track of your sales, analyze which products are selling best, and monitor how customers respond to different marketing tactics. Keep an eye on customer satisfaction metrics such as return rates, response times for inquiries and reviews/ratings. Additionally, pay attention to delivery times — make sure orders are being fulfilled quickly in order to maintain customer loyalty. Finally, compare the cost-benefit ratio between each platform to determine which ones are most profitable for your business.