We researched and compared the top seven online auction sites to find the best. We compared selling and listing fees, payment options, support features and the size of each site’s user base. After our research, we think that eBay is the best online auction site because it has over 160 million registered users. Though this site charges a higher final value fee than other sites we researched, it doesn’t charge for seller verification.
eBay has the largest user base of all the online auction sites. Though it has some steep fees, it also has an easy-to-use interface that makes listing items simple.
This site has one of the lowest final value fees and doesn’t charge you to list your items. If you’re looking for a cheap way to sell, eBid is our top value pick.
Bonanza has easy tools to help you manage inventory across multiple auction sites. It doesn’t have as many registered users as other auction sites, but it’s fees are relatively low compared to eBay.
eBay is one of the oldest and best-known online auction sites and it has the largest body of active shoppers and sellers out of all the sites we researched. With over 160 million registered users, your products are more likely sell.
Unfortunately, this company does charge higher fees than other websites we researched. You don’t have to pay a seller verification fee, but after your first 50 listings, you pay 30 cents to list items. When you sell an item, eBay charges a 10 percent commission on the total sale amount. You also pay extra fees for upgrades such as adding additional photos to your listings.
If you want to host a web store on eBay’s platform, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee depending on which subscription you choose. Store subscriptions remove the need to pay listing fees, but you still pay for upgrades.
eBay lets you list items internationally, share your past transaction history with potential buyers and allows you to block buyers. You can accept payments through PayPal, eBay’s preferred method, or through Skrill, ProPay or credit cards.
If don’t want to deal with extra fees that other sellers tend to charge, eBid is our top value pick. This company never charges you more than three percent in final value fees and there is no cost to verify yourself as a seller. There are two sign up options: as a buyer or as a seller. If you sign up as a buyer for this site you can’t also sell items. As a seller, you pay eBid three percent of the final value of your items, but you can both buy and sell.
You can also sign up for a seller plus account which removes the final value fees, but is a paid account. Seller plus has weekly and monthly subscriptions, or you can pay $99 for lifetime access.
This site has over 2 million registered users, which is significantly less than our top pick eBay. However, eBid is active all over the world. You can view how many people have looked at your listings and show your buyer feedback from past purchases so new customers can know that you are trustworthy.
This auction site doesn’t offer as many payment methods as other sites we researched. You can accept payments through PPPay.com, PayPal or Skrill, and eBid does charge a transaction fee on all purchases.
Best for Sellers on Multiple Sites
Selling items on Bonanza is easy if you’re a seller with multiple product stores across sites Bonanza has a product sync feature that lets you coordinate your inventory with other sites like eBay and Etsy.
This company doesn’t charge seller verification fees, which is a nice bonus. It’s also free to list items on the site and you get one free relisting if an item doesn’t sell the first time. This company charges a 3.5 percent final value fee, which Bonanza deducts from your sale. The minimum fee is 50 cents, no matter how small your sale and the maximum fee is $250.
If you sign up for professional subscriptions you get a seller’s badge, which boosts your credibility. You also can see your traffic and give buyers coupons for your items.
Bonanza’s listing feature comes with a photo editing feature called Background Burner that automatically removes the background from product photos you upload. In our research, we found this feature was slightly glitchy, but a built-in-photo editor can save you time and money as you upload your listings.
Best for Part-Time Sellers
With most online auction sites, consider the various fees the site charges, such as listing fees, final value fee, auction fees, membership fees and more. This is how auction sites make money. However, Webstore has no fees. It is a completely open marketplace. If your old baseball card sells for $100, you get $100 in your bank. It's like selling the card in your driveway to a neighbor. Webstore isdriven by advertisements and donations from members. Of course, this means the site is dominated by ads, and this can turn off potential buyers. Still, with 300,000 registered users, it's the third largest auction site we reviewed.
A significant downside to consider, especially if you plan selling full-time, is the lack of a resolution center. If there is a dispute between buyer and seller, such as a lack of payment or dissatisfied buyer, the resolution is mediated between the two private parties. For part-time sellers, this is not a significant issue, as disputes are not common. But if you're selling a lot of items, a dispute is likely to happen. That said, Webstore has tools to helping buyers and sellers develop confidence in transactions.
Best Seller Verification Policy
eCRATER is one of the smallest online auction sites, but the seller verification policies make it very appealing, especially if you’re just getting started. The site charges no monthly subscription fees or a seller verification fee. In addition, you don't pay a final value fee on items you've sold, unless the item was sold through the main marketplace. Even then, the fee is just 2.9 percent of the sale, a significantly lower percentage than sites like eBay. With fewer upfront fees, it's easy to get started auctioning off items.
However, eCRATER has some significant limitations for full-time sellers. For starters, the site only has about 65,000 users, so the total number of eyeballs you get on items is not going to compete with larger auction sites. Secondly, you can't sell and ship anywhere outside the U.S. And finally, eCRATER doesn't support HTML or other coding, and this limits your ability to customize your store to fit your brand, limiting your growth as a seller.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Selling Fees||Selling Features||Listing Options||Payment Options||Help & Support||Submit Items to Search Engines||Page Views Count||Advertise Internally||Registered Users||Traffic Reports||Search by Seller||Feedback Options||Automatic Bidding||Resolution Center||Buy Now Button||Credit Card||Alternative Payment Options||PayPal||Store Subscription Fees (monthly)||Listing Upgrades||Listing Fee||Relisting Fee||Final Value Fee (per item)||Seller Verification Fee||Block Bidders & Buyers||Early Listing Cancellation||Ease of Use||International Listings||Save Seller Option||Extra Photo Options||Live Chat||Phone||Community Forum|
|eBay||View Deal||4.5/5||6.9||10||10||10||10||✓||✓||✓||162 million||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||$19.95 - $299.95||✓||50 Free||Free||10%||Free||✓||✓||100%||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|eBid||View Deal||4.5/5||8.8||9.4||9.4||8.8||7.5||✓||✓||✓||2 million||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||$1.99||✓||Free||Free||3%||Free||✓||✓||95%||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Bonanza||View Deal||4.5/5||8.1||8.8||9.4||10||7.5||✓||✓||✓||50,000||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Free - $250.00||✓||Free||Free||3.50%||Free||✓||✓||95%||✓||✓||✓||$||✓||✓|
|Atomic Mall||View Deal||4/5||7.5||8.8||8.1||10||7.5||✓||✓||✓||173,000||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Free - $19.00||✓||Free||Free||0.75% - 7%||$10.00 - $29.00||✓||80%||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Why Trust Us?
We picked the top seven online auction sites to research for our comparison. While eBay is the most well-known online auction site, our research uncovered several other alternative sites with almost as many registered users and lower fees. If you’re interested in becoming a seller on online auction sites, it’s important to consider all the fees.
We also compared each site’s payment and support options. If you’re a seller, look for sites that organize your payments in a logical way. Some of the sites we researched only have email addresses for technical support, while the best offer phone support too and even live chat support.
Top Ten Reviews has reviewed tech products and software for over a decade. We’ve published reviews about online auction sites since 2006.
How Much Does It Cost to Be a Seller On An Online Auction Site?
Online auction sites have many ways of eating into the bottom line of your sales. Here are the most common fees you need to consider:
- Subscription fees can range between $2 and $299 per month. The fees depend on how much you sell and what seller tools you want to incorporate in your store.
- Seller verification fees are often free but can sometimes cost between $10 and $29. Some sites require monthly payments to maintain the verification.
- Final value fees are the percentage each auction site takes from every sale you make. These percentages range between 0.75 and 10 percent and vary depending on how much the final bid is. Sites like eBay and eBid have flat rates that stay consistent with each sale.
How We Researched
We researched the top online auction sites and compared them based on selling and listing fees, options for listing products, payment options and each site’s help and support features. We compared the sites' buying and selling processes and to see how simple it was to set up a listing on each site.
We also looked at the cost of each service and whether the fees outweigh the benefits. Fees can take away a large chunk of your selling profits, so make sure you understand what each company charges for listing fees, final value fees, and seller verification fees. We calculated all these fees and found that eBay has the highest final value fees, while companies like eBid doesn’t charge listing fees.
What’s the Difference Between a Listing and a Web Store?
A single item that you list in an auction is a listing. A listing has a description of the product, a suggested selling price and photos. Unfortunately, most sites will only let you list a certain number of items for free before charging you for each listing. If you want to avoid this fee and have many items to sell, look into opening a web store.
A web store lets you pay a monthly subscription for lower listing fees and fewer fees overall. Buyers can browse all your listings in one place, instead of finding you by searching for the individual items.
Are Online Auctions Safe?
Auction fraud usually occurs when a seller doesn’t ship a purchased item. It can also happen when you accidentally purchase black-market goods and are subject to numerous hidden fees. It’s important to research any seller you’re buying from. Be cautious of sellers outside your country or any who ask that you mail payments to a P.O. box.
If you make a purchase on an auction site, be sure to pay with a credit card or another payment option where you can dispute the charges if you don’t receive the items. Don’t mail a check and never send cash.
You can even use some online auction sites on your phone. While longstanding auction sites like eBay have apps you can download and use on the go, there are other options to make monitoring and bidding on the things you want easy and fast. Handbid is a silent auction app you can program to continually bid on an item up to a predetermined amount. Tophatter lets you participate in 90-second auctions for everything from electronics to toys. In short, you don't have to be tethered to your computer to participate in an online auction.
Tips for Buyers
Research: Even though you'll be able to see photos of whatever you're bidding on, check out other websites with something the same or very similar for sale. Comparing an object's makeup and condition makes it less likely you'll overpay for something. If you're bidding on something you know is in your area, try contacting the seller to ask for an in-person inspection or, at the very least, a video of the item from every angle.
Item notifications: Most online auction websites let you create a wishlist or a watch list. This means you can add items you're interested in to a list, and when they become available or the auction is close to ending, you'll get an email notification. You're less likely to miss out on an item you love this way.
Those final minutes: If at all possible, always be watching and ready during the last few minutes of the auction. Make sure you're near a computer and can bid if you need to.
Respect your limits: If you’re interested in bidding on a product, set your financial limit ahead of time and stick to it. No one item is worth going into debt over.
Tips for Sellers
Spread the word: Use social media, snail mail – heck, even water cooler conversation at the office – to spread the word about what you're selling. You never know who might be interested in your antique clocks, and the more people who bid, the more money you're likely to earn.
Make it appealing: They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so make sure the photos of the item for sale are clear and well lit. Use concise, colorful descriptions, and make sure to run them through spell check.