MarketLink Collectors Network
While all sites offer some sort of fixed price listing format, not everyone offers the auction style format. TopTenReviews.com posted this Online Auction Sites Review for the Top 15 Auction Sites for 2011. Click on the logos below for reviews of those sites that we think are the best for the casual seller.
These selling venues allow the vendor to set up a booth or studio without the cost and hassle of hosting their own independent store. The basic store usually is free, with subscription upgrades available that add more advanced features. This page on 100AuctionSites briefly reviews twenty of these online sites with links to their respective home pages. Click on the logos below for reviews of those sites that we think are the best for casual sellers.
Sites that charge a monthly fee like Ruby Lane are excellent sites for a part-time business, but we do not recommend this type of marketplace for someone who only wants to sell a few items at a time.
At 101AuctionSites you will find sites that cater to specific categories of items from electronics to antiques. While there is less general traffic on these venues, they do attract buyers with a high degree of interest in their respective categories.
Almost everyone has heard of Craig's List, but here is a list Popular Classified Websites from 101AuctionSites with reviews and links to 6 other Classified Ad Websites.
Auction Listings are handled different ways on different sites. In general, they are of a short duration - 1 to 10 days, the seller sets the beginning asking price and the bidders determine the final sale price. You can set a reserve - a minimum amount you will accept and a Buy It Now Price for a quicker sale that ends the auction. The search engines do not show auction listings in their search results. That really limits the amount of exposure for your listing to number of visitors to that marketplace.
Fixed Price Listings usually last for at least 30 days and are shown in the search engine results - both the general search and the product or shopping pages. You set the price for you item. Some sites will allow for a "Best Offer" scenario where the buyer and seller negotiate for the sale. Classified Ads are included in this category.
A Listing Fee is charged to your account when you list an item for sale. They may increase with the asking price of the item or if you add a reserve price or a buy it now option.
Final Value Fees are assessed when the sale is made. They are a percentage of the sale price of the item and vary from site to site.
Some sites charge extra for adding a Gallery Picture, using bold print in your titles, using templates or adding extra pictures. Check with your site to determine these charges.
Monthly subscriptions vary on different sites. eBay charges a monthly fee to open a store front while sites like Bonanza offer the store front for free, but add higher site search visibility and other benefits with a subscription. Again, check with your site to see if the advantages are worth the price.
Where you listing ranks among other listings on your marketplace depends on a lot of factors. The total number of similar listings is the big one. So the more unique your item the less competition for the first page of search results. The one that is under your control is your title. Choose your words carefully through searching the site with different titles. Some sites offer increased visibility with their monthly subscription programs. (see Step 1: Search - Site Search Optimization for more information.)
The sites that actively promote their marketplace in social media like Facebook are increasing their viability as a marketplace with prospective buyers and so can increase traffic to your items. Some sites make it easier than others to prepare your listings for the search engine. Most sites offer to automatically send your listings to Google Products. In addition, they can offer tools that you can use to promote your own listings on your Facebook Page, Twitter Account or other social media. Find out which of your choices do the most in these areas to assist their sellers.
A primary concern for every buyer is security for their personal and credit card information. Be sure that your site's shopping cart and check out procedures are designed to protect your buyer.
The way that their site search is set up and its ease of use for the buyer are also important points to consider when selecting your venue. Be sure to try out each site in this way with "buyer's eyes."
Check out your site's email system to be sure that an easy line of communication can be established between you and the buyer. Follow up emails are an essential part of the sale process. Also make sure that there is some system for non paying buyers and an avenue for the buyer in case a seller does not perform. You can be sure the buyer will want these protections in place.