We’ve updated our review of Webstore for 2020, assessing the functionality, cost, and design of the website to find out whether or not we think online buyers and sellers should use the platform. It makes our list of the best places to sell online: it is a free online auction marketplace offering local, national, and international trade with no fees for bidding, buying, or selling. You can turn your unwanted stuff into cash, and get the best possible deals for new or used things on Webstore with no selling fees or bidding fees.
Webstore review: Website design
- Too many ads
- Outdated and confusing look
When you first open it, the site gives off some early 2000’s vibes: it’s a busy page with few colors, odd dimensions, and outdated fonts and graphics. While the site itself seems simple to navigate at first glance, it actually has a more complex map. Although it took some time to locate them, there are other informational pages hidden behind the links.
You can’t miss the search bar, which is right in the middle of the home page. While this has the obvious advantage of enticing you to search for anything, it both disrupts the home page and blends into the hectic design of the page.
The site appears to rely in large part on donations and ad revenue - we found that the many ads made the page a lot more hectic than we were comfortable with, and generally make the site look poorly designed.
Overall, the fluidity of an otherwise well-built site is missing. The site lacks the easy navigation that many users are looking for - we find the eBay site easier on the eyes, but generally, nearly all of the best places to sell online have somewhat busy homepages.
Webstore review: Selection of products
- Wide selection of wares, including collectibles
- Classifieds section
Whether you are on the hunt for sneakers, kitchenware, vintage action figures or car parts, Webstore has it for you. The number of listings you’ll find per search varies: we searched for sneakers and only found 35 results. But when searching for “lamps”, there were over 1,900 results to choose from. It seems the variety is dependent on the product itself. We can’t promise that you will find what you are looking for, but it doesn’t hurt to try searching for an item to see what’s out there. Try it - you don’t need a profile to search the site.
On the site, you can find online auctions for items that haven't been sold in decades, like rare and collectible merchandise - but you’ll also find newer items like state-of-the-art electronics. In addition to auctions, there are a variety of items available for immediate purchase.
Webstore also offers a local classifieds section, a section similar to the Craigslist site or Facebook marketplace. Users have the ability to search by city and state or zip code to find items available in their area. The classifieds section has an auction capability as well as a ‘buy it now’ option for certain items. The local classifieds section has a variety of options as well, but on a more limited scope.
Webstore review: Fees
- No fees
The great news about this website is that there are no fees. Similarly to other free websites, Webstore is funded through donations and ad revenue. There is a very obvious box on the homepage requesting donations as soon as you open the site. “Always free to list. No sale fees” is written In red bolded font under the search bar, so if you feel slightly put off by the busy home page, perhaps the idea of not paying a sale fee can persuade you to list with Webstore. There will be a reminder throughout the site to donate to Webstore in order to continue your experience with the site in the future. There is also a large ad box on the side of the user search page, which can be quite distracting while scrolling on the site. While this is a huge con to using Webstore, users are reminded that for no-fee sales still come at price.
Webstore review: Buying and selling
- Must register to buy and sell on Webstore
- Better suited for the casual buyer or seller
Whether you’re buying or selling, the first step to take if you are planning to use Webstore to complete a transaction, is to register.
Registering is fairly simple. All you need to do is to input some key information about yourself, such as your name, and your address. Then, you create a username and password combination before finally confirming your details.
After confirming your account creation, you’re brought to your account page where you’ll be able to see messages you’ve received, selling and buying notices, transaction ratings, and more. There are also tabs to toggle between, which will allow you to manage your account. Here, you can add your bank account information, contact information, tax information, and mail preferences. You’re also encouraged to donate to Webstore on this page.
Once registered, you can buy and sell at your leisure. Search for an item, and you will be prompted to select a way to interact with the listing by placing a bid, buying immediately, or making an offer. On the same page, you get the shipping details, such as the location it will be shipped from and who will pay for it.
Similar to other auction sites, Webstore has advanced search options that allow its buyers to search for items by seller. It also lets users follow you as a seller and become notified when you list new items. This improves the experience for both the seller and buyer and improves transaction ratings as well. If you are looking to buy or sell an item, Webstore makes it simple and easy.
That being said, we were slightly dismayed by the need to register in order to make a purchase. Other sellers like eBay don’t require this extra step, and many customers will perceive this as a hassle.
From the sellers side, the website offers two ways to make a sale. The first option is called ‘Easy Post’ and allows for a one-step listing process to list your item in auction style or fixed price. It includes adding basic details such as pictures, ‘reserve’ button, ‘buy now’ button, and a way to accept offers. The second option is a standard selling form with the option to add more details and listing features.They include everything from ‘Easy Post’ with scheduled start time, custom end time, private auction, and accept swap offers.
Webstore doesn’t seem to offer more sophisticated tools to help sellers optimize their listings like eBay does, like marketing analytics. Of course, those who are looking to make some serious cash want to opt for a wider-reaching site like eBay. But the casual seller will find that Webstore’s site will suffice.
Should you use Webstore?
Webstore is a decent option, but only recommended for the casual buyer and seller. The Webstore site is reminiscent of the early days of the internet, filled with busy ads and blurry logos and clunky fonts. Though the design is frustrating to see at best, users can search easily to see if the site has what they are looking for, and sellers will generally have no issue creating listings. While it’s definitely not as wide-reaching as others on the list of the best online auction sites, it’s worth looking into. After all, listings are not the same across these sites, and you may be missing out on bidding on a great find if you overlook Webstore.