When people are looking to get rid of stuff in their house, or are searching for a hard-to-find product, many go to eBay. It’s the biggest and most popular online auction site out there.
However, eBay isn’t always the best option. Whether you’re unhappy with eBay’s poor customer service or scared of falling for one of the numerous buyer and seller scams, there are plenty of alternatives that you can use. Here are some of the best online auction sites that specialize in different categories of products that you can try.
Etsy is an online auction site that’s basically an eBay for arts and crafts. This includes jewelry, art, house products, and more. You can even find things like artsy Google Docs resume templates on Etsy.
Getting started with Etsy is easy. As a seller, you simply need to create your unique username and select an online shop that you’ll use to sell your products. Every listing on Etsy will cost you $0.20. Aside from that, you can set your own prices for your products. As a buyer, all you need is an email address and a password to create an account on Etsy to start buying.
Etsy has been around for over a decade now, and millions of sellers and buyers know and use the platform. Whether you’re interested in buying crafts or selling your own, Etsy is the perfect platform. Etsy is also a great place to sell your photos online.
Best for: Handcrafted products and all things vintage
If you’re into arts and crafts, don’t forget to check out Sotheby’s. Unlike Etsy, Sotheby’s is targeted more towards those looking to sell or buy antiques, luxury and collectible items. On Sotheby’s, you can buy and sell items in different categories, including antiques, jewelry, all sorts of art objects, and even wine.
Like eBay, Sotheby’s also offers plenty of items sold at a list price. Sotheby’s also offers financing if you need it. To get started on Sotheby’s as a seller or buyer, you need to create an account. As a seller, you’ll also have a detailed description of your item, pictures, exact dimensions, and any documentation you have to show how you came to obtain this item.
Best for: Antiques and collectibles
Copart is an online auto auction site that operates in 11 countries in Europe, Middle East, North and South America. Copart gained its popularity because anyone, including individuals, businesses, and dealers can buy and sell vehicles and car parts using the platform. You can also find used wholesale, salvage cars, trucks, boats, ATVs, and SUVs on Copart.
When browsing through listings, you’ll find detailed descriptions and photos to assess the condition of each vehicle. Once you’ve chosen the title you want, you can start bidding on it even without a dealer’s license and the whole process is complete online. Copart has a calculator that you can use to find out shipping costs.
To get started with Copart, you need to sign up on the site and select one of the membership tiers: Guest, Basic, or Premier. Guest tier is completely free but only allows you to browse the listings and create watchlists. Basic and Premier both give you bidding and buying power and start at $59 per year.
Best for: Cars
Liquidation is an online auction site that offers items from different categories, including clothing, accessories, jewelry, houseware, tools, etc.. It’s different from other auction sites, since it doesn’t offer items from individuals, but rather sells items from overstocked manufacturers. That means you can only register on Liquidation as a buyer, not a seller.
You can find both new and old products on Liquidation, so pay attention to the item’s condition before finalizing your purchase. Liquidation is a great place for anyone looking to buy discounted computers or computer parts, as well as consumer electronics. It’s also one of the few places where you can find items that are no longer available from other sources and manufacturers.
Best for: Consumer electronics
If you’re looking to buy real estate online, Auction.com is the best place for that. The site operates in the U.S. and offers foreclosed, short-sale, and bank-owned properties. You can purchase a property and finalize the deal within 5 weeks – impressive speed for real estate auctions that normally take several months.
The properties on Auction.com have detailed descriptions and pictures of both the outside and the inside (if the place is vacant and not currently occupied). The listings are sold as-is, so you should do your research before placing a bid. If you require financing, you need to take care of it before bidding on the site, since closing can happen very quickly.
Best for: Real estate
If you’re looking for an eBay alternative that’s closest to the original, give Mercari a try. It’s an easy-to-use online auction platform that’s similar to eBay in many ways. Mercari offers approximately the same number of product categories as eBay.
Mercari has a reputation of a beginner-friendly “selling app”. There are hundreds of thousands of new items listed on the site every day, so you can buy and sell almost anything on Mercari. All you need to get started is to create an account on the site or the mobile app.
Best for: Used items & finding the best deals on everything
How to Get the Best Deal at an Online Auction
Shopping at online auction sites can be fun if you know what you’re doing. However, finding the best deal can be very time-consuming and frustrating. This process is made easy with price-comparison websites. You can use them to track product prices online before placing your bids online.
Do you browse online auction sites? What’s your favorite eBay alternative? Share your experience with online shopping in the comments section below.