What are the best Amazon alternatives to sell on for online retail companies? If you have been asking yourself that question, then you have come to the right place! Hi, my name is Francisco and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a Digital Marketing agency. My company specializes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and eCommerce marketing. Over the years, I have helped successfully launch quite a number of eCommerce businesses. There can be no doubting that Amazon dominates the sector. In this article, I am going to show you the best Amazon alternatives for your business. The post is divided into the following sections;
Why Bother with Amazon Alternatives?
Whether you like it or not, Amazon is the dominant player for those looking to sell their goods online. That's the major reason why everybody that thinks online retail first heads over to Amazon. So, why would you bother looking for alternatives to Amazon? Well, there are several reasons why you may have decided to go down this route. Amazon is not for everyone, for the following reasons;
Amazon can be costly
Cost is probably the first thing that motivates some businesses to start looking for Amazon alternatives. I have previously written an article on featuring the 11 best marketplaces for eCommerce businesses. If you look at that article, you will notice that Amazon is the priciest of the lot.
Amazon has a 2 tier pricing system. Individual sellers are not charged a monthly subscription fee, which would be good, save for the fact that you get charged USD0.99 for each item that you sell. You are also charged a variable closing fee.
Then there are Professional sellers, who are charged a subscription fee of $39.99 per month. On top of that, you get charged a referral fee that varies depending on your product’s category.
As if that is not enough, you are also slapped with a closing fee that differs from one category to another. Below is a table highlighting the differences between Amazon's plans for sellers;
Less than 40 items per month
More than 40 items per month
Sellers can advertise
No selling tools
Selling tools available
Selling on Amazon can be ultra competitive
At the moment, there are over 9.7 million sellers on Amazon. Again, that’s testimony of the platform’s popularity. However, this popularity can translate into stiff competition for your online retail business. Whatever the category you are in, chances are high that you will be competing against hundreds of other sellers across the world.
And many of these will be well established in their categories, making your life rather difficult. Of course, there are things that you can do to optimize your listing for better visibility but hey, everybody else is optimizing in the same way. Competition is one of the reasons why online retail companies end up looking for Amazon alternatives on which to sell their products.
You may be looking to diversify away from Amazon
Some people look for Amazon alternatives to sell on because they wish to diversify to other marketplaces. Perhaps you have been doing reasonably well on Amazon. But now you are looking for other marketplaces on which to expand your business.
In this sense, you are not so much looking for alternatives as you are for diversification. There is really nothing stopping you from selling on Amazon AND on other platforms. In fact, that’s probably what you should do if you wish to have your products reach the maximum amount of people.
Best Amazon Alternatives for Online Sellers
Amazon is great but it has its shortfalls, as we have already seen. You are here because you are looking for viable alternatives. The good thing is that there are plenty of these. Many of them are cheaper than Amazon, and you face less competition. Below are the 7 best Amazon alternatives to sell on for online retail companies;
eBay is probably the best known Amazon alternative that can be found out there. Though it trails behind Amazon in terms of revenue, eBay is essentially a giant in its own right. Where Amazon sells over $280 billion worth of goods each year, eBay’s turnover stands at over $95 billion.
Why is eBay the best Amazon alternative for sellers?
So, what is it that makes eBay one of the best Amazon alternatives to sell on for online retail companies? Well, the following reasons should suffice;
- eBay gets over 182 million buyers every year. So, this is a very viable platform on which you can hope to expand your business.
- eBay is a cheaper platform on which to sell your goods when compared to Amazon. Where Amazon’s monthly fee stands at $39.99, eBay charges sellers $13.50 per month. So, this is the place to be for those looking to cut their costs while still benefiting from big brand recognition.
- Competition is less stiff on eBay than on Amazon. There are fewer sellers, meaning the chances of making a breakthrough in your category are that much higher. Of course, that’s not to say there is no competition. If you don’t take steps to optimize your store for better visibility, you could still fail on eBay.
- One major differences between Amazon and eBay is that the latter gives sellers the option to sell their products via auction. If you go down this router, you can set a Buy it Now price, while also allowing people to bid with each other for the chance to buy you products. This creates something of a hype, which is good for promoting products and getting competitive prices.
2. Google Shopping
Google Shopping has been growing in popularity among sellers over the past few years. That’s not really surprising, considering the kind of reach that Google has. Indeed, I firmly believe Google Shopping is one of the best Amazon alternatives to sell on for online retail companies.
Google Shopping is currently used by over 100 million buyers in the United States on an annual basis. To get your products on Google Shopping, you have 2 options. First, you can add structured data markup to your eCommerce store. Alternatively, you can push a product data feed to Google Merchant Center.
Why is Google Shopping a good Amazon alternative?
What is it that makes Google Shopping a viable Amazon alternative for online retail companies? The following are some of the reasons;
- There are no listing prices. That means Google Shopping is cheaper than Amazon. It doesn’t matter how many products you may be pushing to Google Shopping. You only get charged when someone clicks on your ads in the same way that you get charged for Google Ads.
- You do have to account for the cost of managing your product feed, however. That’s not difficult and you can do it yourself but you may wish to have someone dedicated to the task.
- With Google Shopping, you get the chance to get your products before millions of Google users on a daily basis. In fact, Google is the platform that most people visit first when they wish to buy something. Most people get to Amazon via Google, so why not get your products listed right there at the source of all the traffic that you are likely to get?
Newegg is a great Amazon alternative if your company sells electronic goods. In that regard, this is something of a niche alternative to Amazon. Newegg has been around since 2000. They have since evolved from being a first party platform to being a third party platform. That means you can list your goods on Newegg in the same way that you can list on Amazon.
Why is Newegg a viable alternative to Amazon
There are several things that make Newegg a viable alternative to Amazon for those that sell electronic goods;
- Newegg is popular and growing. It gets over 10 million visitors every months. That’s a pittance when compared to Amazon, but it’s still great considering that Newegg is a niche marketplace. All these people are focused on buying electronic goods, and if you sell these, you have a very good chance of growing your business on the platform.
- In many ways, Newegg is similar to Amazon. As an example, the platform has its own order fulfillment service called Shipped by Newegg. That’s similar to Amazon’s Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). Under this system, you send your goods to Newegg’s warehouses, from where they take care of all the shipping to your customers on your behalf.
- Newegg is way cheaper than Amazon, making it a good alternative for online retail companies. As an example, you get free membership, under which you can list up to 5000 products on the platform. With Newegg, you don’t get charged listing fees. You are only charged commission fees which differ per category. However, these are capped at 15% and can be as low as 8%.
Walmart is another good bet for online retail companies that are on the hunt for viable Amazon Alternatives. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has been a huge success story as far as transforming into a digital marketplace is concerned.
Today, Walmart gets over 100 million unique visitors to its online store per month. By comparison, over 197 million people in the United States visit the Amazon website every month. So, Walmart lags behind, but you do have to consider that not so long ago, it was only a brick-and-mortar concern.
In fact, Walmart has grown to become the third largest online retailer in the United States, after Amazon and eBay. Today, it commands about 5% on all online sales in the country.
Why Walmart is a good Amazon Alternative for sellers
So, what is it that makes Walmart a good Amazon alternative to sell on for online retail companies?
- There are no listing fees with Walmart. That’s great for those that are looking to cut costs. You are only required to pay a referral fee that differs from one category to the other.
- You are also not charged to get a seller account, further adding to your cost savings.
- Walmart has better shipping than Amazon. So, you can be ultra competitive in this regard. With Walmart, you can offer 2 day free shipping to all your customers.
- One major drawback is that it’s a lot more difficult to get accepted into the Walamart program. It can take weeks for your application to be approved.
Bonanza is another name that you will hear mentioned when people talk about the best Amazon alternatives to sell on for online retail companies.
To be fair, Bonanza is not as big as the other companies that we have been talking about here. It only gets about 300 000 monthly visitors. Compare that with Amazon’s millions and you would think Bonanza is not that viable an alternative.
What makes Bonaza a viable Amazon Alternative?
So, what is it that makes Bonanza a viable Amazon alternative?
- With Bonanza, you get the chance to build linkages with your customers. Maintaining relationships with your customer is important for getting repeat business. The same cannot be said of Amazon, where people simply buy from you before going along on their merry way.
- Bonanza goes beyond being a mere online marketplace. They also have a facility under which sellers can build and maintain their own eCommerce websites.
- You don’t get charged transaction fees with Bonanza. That’s great if you are looking to get away from Amazon’s rather costly fees.
- You only get charged when somebody buys your product. Charges are based on the value of your product.
For international sellers, Alibaba is a great Amazon alternative. This option works best for wholesalers operating from China. I do have to mention that Alibaba is ultra competitive. It can be difficult for new players to make a breakthrough.
One of the major advantages of this marketplace is that you have the option to get listed for free. This listing, however, comes with severe limitations, including on the number of products that you can display. Charges vary depending on what you are selling. You are also charged a fee per transaction.
If you are into unique products, then the best Amazon alternative on which to sell your products would be Etsy. The platform is great for artists, collectors, antique shops, vintage shops, crafters and others who are into niche products.
With over 33 million shoppers, this platform is a big contender, as far as alternatives to Amazon are concerned. It’s cheaper to sell on Etsy than on Amazon. However, you do need to be a serious seller to get started. You get charged 20% for each product that you list on the platform. You are charged transaction and processing fees.
Those are some of the best Amazon alternatives to sell on for online retail companies. In this article, we noted that Amazon is the largest online retail outlet that can be found out there. It has millions of sellers and customers.
However, for all its glamour, Amazon has a number of shortfalls. First, it can be rather expensive to sell on Amazon. On top of that, competition on Amazon is stiff, making it difficult for new players to make a breakthrough. Alternatives to Amazon include eBay, Warlmart and, for niche products, Etsy and Newegg.
These platforms can be useful not only as alternatives, but also if you are simply looking to expand your horizons. As an example, there is nothing stopping you from selling both on Amazon and on eBay. That way, you will be able to benefit from the strengths that come with each marketplace.