These 13 websites can get you better deals, cheaper shipping, or a more unique variety for your online bidding wars. We’ll explain why each of these sites are better than eBay.
eBay.com was one of the first large e-commerce websites on the Internet, and it’s still going strong in its quest to be a “perfect market.” Its massive popularity means that there’s bound to be a user selling something that you want. You can go for it using eBay’s easy-to-use auto-bidding feature, haggle over the price by submitting a “best offer,” or buy it outright. Plus, you can become a seller as well, and put your own products in front of people who might be willing to take them off your hands.
As much as it tries, though, eBay isn’t perfect, and hasn’t done everything it could have to adapt to the new online shopping market. Its high fees for sellers means that they have to compensate with higher prices, so it may be difficult to find a deal unless you take the time to compete in auctions. For some items, you won’t even get a choice as to how you can purchase them. Items bought through eBay are also difficult to return because of the legal nature of auction bids, and eBay’s notoriously hands-off approach to customer service.
If you’re looking for auction sites like eBay that have lower seller fees (and, thus, possibly lower prices), try Bonanza.com or eBid.net. Or, if more flexible usability and customer service are your priorities when looking for eBay alternatives, check out Overstock.com or eBay’s top rival Amazon.com.
If you’re not sure which site may be best for you, we’ve got the fix. We’ll compare 13 of eBay’s competitors right here, and break down all their best features. In this article we’ll give you all the info you need, including:
- eBay alternatives comparison: best features, shipping, returns, and more
- List of the best 13 eBay alternatives for online discount shopping
- 4 steps to guarantee you get the best price online shopping
- How do I compare ecommerce sites to know which one is best for me?
- Other FAQs and important info
Read on to learn more about getting better prices while online shopping.
eBay alternatives comparison: best features, shipping, and more
|Website||Best Feature||Shipping||Return Policy||Customer Service|
|Free 2-day shipping and benefits of the Prime membership||Free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime||30 days (depends on seller)|
|Sellers offer unique items – not mass-produced, poor quality items||Depends on seller|
|Completely customize your items to make them unique||4-6 days||30 days for defect/damage only|
|Mass-produced items direct from manufacturers means low, low prices||3-26 days depending on chosen method||14 days|
|Flash sales with free shipping and easy returns means low sales prices and little risk||30 days|
|Incredibly low, bargain prices||3-20 days depending on seller/items||Determined on a case-by-case basis|
|Auction-style allows you to bid on items you want||Depends on seller||Depends on seller|
|Bid on items you want to save money/negotiate directly with sellers||Depends on seller||Depends on seller (unlikely)|
|Auctions allow you to save money and pay what you want||Depends on seller||Depends on seller|
|Daily deals and promotions save you money on your terms||2-5 days on orders over $35||30 days (minus savings on items)|
|Allows sellers to advertise their brand within the site||Depends on seller||Depends on seller|
|Sellers give you the personal touch – artisans will do what they can to help you make a purchase with them||Depends on seller||Depends on seller|
|Sellers urgently want to get rid of their items, so prices are lower than almost any other online retailer||Depends on seller||Depends on seller (unlikely)|
If you want more detail on how each eBay competitor works and what they have to offer you, be sure to read our reviews below.
List of the best 13 eBay alternatives for online discount shopping
The website of choice that sells everything
- Free 2-day shipping – get your items in record time without paying extra
- Amazon Prime membership benefits – free shipping, music and video streaming, and more!
- Lenient with returns – 30 day returns on all items and your money back
- Unbeatable variety and number of listings – Amazon offers more than almost any other website
Amazon.com, a former online bookstore, started around the same time as eBay, and is recognized as one of the largest eBay competitors. In addition to allowing people to sell their own merchandise, Amazon stocks and sells its own stuff. This means that, in addition to it being easier to cancel or return orders, you can find things on Amazon such as groceries and even unique electronics developed by Amazon itself. Some items are digital, and can be downloaded right onto your computer. On top of all this, Amazon has a fairly good customer service reputation, too, despite being such a large company.
To learn more about Amazon and how to use it, be sure to check out our TechBoomers course on Amazon here.
Everything but the ordinary when you hate high seller fees
- Flexible shipping – pay for the shipping you need and negotiate with sellers
- Unique items – they only work with sellers who have something unique to offer you
- Voted the best by sellers – Bonanza treats their sellers well, attracting the best talent
Bonanza.com is an online marketplace like eBay that also allows its users to bid on items, and allows nearly anyone to sell on the website. Bonanza aims to fix some of the issues it sees with the big online shopping websites like eBay or Amazon by allowing sellers to list their products for free, and charging lower fees for sales. It also has easy user-to-user instant messaging, and advertises that it’s where you can find “everything but the ordinary,” as its most successful sellers sell unique or hard-to-find things that they won’t list on a website like eBay.
The best source for customized purchases
- Completely customizable – Zazzle lets you monogram and customize any order to make it your own
- Unique items – the possibilities of what you can do with base items are literally infinite
- Gives you a good estimate for shipping – even though Zazzle is customizing your order, they offer great estimates of the time it will take to ship your order
Zazzle.com is another site like eBay where you can list your products online and sell to any registered Zazzle user. The great and unique thing about Zazzle is that you can customize many of the products before you buy them! Imagine finding the perfect funny coffee mug online and being able to add your name to it before it’s shipped to you. Or change the colour of a t-shirt you like. The possibilities are near endless on Zazzle, so even if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can turn it into what you were looking for!
Wholesale shopping means low prices
- Low prices – AliExpress ships directly from manufacturers, cutting out the middle-man and saving everyone some money
- So many listings – the sheer number of items they have available to you is incredible
- Offers items eBay doesn’t have – eBay sellers don’t think the market is big enough to offer items specific to China, so if you’re looking for something specific to China, AliExpress probably has it
AliExpress.com is a shopping portal for people who don’t mind buying wholesale goods straight from Chinese manufacturers. The prices are low, and the buyer protection policies should help you out if an item isn’t right when it arrives (offering full or partial refunds, and flexible options). Still, the shipping costs are potentially high (your stuff’s coming from China, after all) and, unlike other selling websites like eBay, you can’t join as a seller unless you live in mainland China.
Our AliExpress course is a step-by-step guide on how to order from this website.
Free shipping with no-risk returns
- Free shipping – for orders over $45 (and $4.95 standard shipping for orders less than $45)
- Easy returns – within 30 days for a full refund – no issues
- Goes out of their way to offer good customers service – makes contact information easy to find, even in specific regions to help serve you better
Once upon a time, Overstock.com sold leftover items from online marketplaces that didn’t quite make it. Now, it’s a legitimate alternative to eBay and other big e-commerce players. Not only are its prices competitive on both new and surplus items, but it also has a reputation for offering relatively good customer service. For the socially-conscious buyer, Overstock’s “Worldstock” program allows the purchase of handmade goods from artisans worldwide, who receive no less than 60% of the sale price.
Ecommerce that cares about customer service
- Customer service – aims to respond to all issues within 1 business day
- Only offers bargain prices – LightInTheBox only sells items at bargain prices and discounts
- Sales – weekly and daily deals are advertised, and coupons are offered at almost all times
LightInTheBox.com is an online selling site like eBay that offers its users hundreds of thousands of listed products that they can buy at prices that are almost always cheaper than retail. LightInTheBox takes advantage of efficient Chinese manufacturing, cuts out the ‘middle-man,’ and distributes to users globally, saving them countless amounts of money. On LightInTheBox currently, you can buy clothing, electronics, home and garden supplies, wedding apparel, and health and beauty products.
An auction site like eBay
- Bidding system – you can choose how much you are willing to pay
- Good for collectors – OLA offers rarer items like classic antiques rather than typical run-of-the-mill items you can find on any ecommerce website
- Good customer service makes up for difficult-to-use website – their site isn’t the most user-friendly but they will help you in any way they can
Unlike other websites like eBay, OnlineAuction (OLA.com) charges its users a flat monthly (or yearly) subscription fee instead of listing fees. The trade-off for this is that it gives its users greater freedom to not just buy and sell, but to also build relationships with each other and others outside OnlineAuction. This includes contact through an internal email system, talking in chat rooms, reading and posting feedback, and even sending out personalized emails or linking to auctions on a private website — whatever keeps business flowing! It also has plentiful customer service options.
The two main knocks against O.L.A. are that it has a relatively small user base (just over 100,000) and that, as a buyer, your bidding privileges are restricted to a set amount of money per day without a paid subscription.
Classifieds meets open bidding
- Bidding system – you can choose how much you are willing to pay
- Classifieds-style – this is a place to go if you’re looking for a quick deal
- Easy to negotiate with sellers – negotiations are commonplace on this site, so feel free to name your price to see if a seller will accept it
CQout.com (or “Seek You Out”) is an online auction website like eBay with thousands of listings for almost anything you could think of, especially unique items you may not find on eBay. CQout only charges commissions to its sellers, and never charges listing fees – even if the product never sells. Payment of goods is also not released until the buyer receives the goods in perfect condition – so you never have to worry about spending your money and then receiving subpar products.
A bidding alternative to eBay
- Bidding system – you can choose how much you are willing to pay
- Tons of variety – over 3 million listings on their website
- Truly, a worldwide company – they have sellers everywhere, and will ship items all over the world
eBid.net is a British auction website, and is one of the largest sites like eBay with about 2 million users. In addition, it has much lower listing fees (plus subscriptions that sellers can buy to eliminate listing fees completely), so it’s easier for sellers to offer real bargains. Advanced search functions and listing promotion tools make it easy for you to find what you’re looking for, and an on-site resolution system will help you if you run into any problems.
The main criticism of eBid is that some selling options (such as allowing automatic bidding, instant purchases, or premature closing of an auction) are unavailable unless a seller has an upgraded account, so your purchasing options may sometimes be more limited than they are on eBay.
Free shipping on big brand items
- Shipping is great – 2-5 days on all standard orders of $35 or more
- Returns are easy – within 30 days you get your money back (minus savings for sales)
- Daily deals and promotions – Jet runs on perpetual sales and deals on everyday items you use to stock your house
Jet.com is more of an online shopping tool than a marketplace in and of itself, and it connects you with many of the biggest brands and stores that sell goods online. You get fast, free shipping on orders of $35 or more, and you get free return shipping if something is off about one of your purchases. If you like brand-name products and like getting them quickly and conveniently, consider giving Jet a try.
One drawback of Jet is that it only ships to the continental United States, but they are hoping to change that soon!
UPDATE: As of June 4, 2020, Jet.com is no longer operational.
A branded seller’s marketplace
- Sellers are unique here – the structure of the Rakuten site allows sellers to really build up their own brand and make a name for themselves
- Growing fast – Rakuten is acquiring other great ecommerce companies like com to build up what they offer their users
- A worldwide company – Rakuten has holdings in countries all over the world, and has the resources to ship to you – almost anywhere
Rakuten.com, the new name of Buy.com, after it was bought by the Rakuten Group from Japan, this eBay alternative has a few notable features. Certain products have video reviews, so you get a better look at what they are, what they do, what condition they’re in, and other specifications. Rakuten also has a “Super Points” program, which allows you to earn store credit by buying certain items, and then use that credit towards reducing the cost of future purchases! Similar to eBay (and dissimilar to Amazon), Rakuten simply connects buyers and sellers; it does not stock its own products.
Lose mass-produced – get handmade items here
- Unique items – everything sold on Etsy is 100% unique and made by an individual seller
- Hand-crafted, never mass-produced – no chance of getting poor-quality items on this website – the seller hand-makes everything and packs it up for you
- Sellers genuinely care – the seller’s ability to succeed on this site depends entirely on their customer service ratings, so they answer promptly and do anything they can to help you
Etsy.com is an online marketplace like eBay that specializes in crafts, handmade items, and vintage products. In the style of a craft fair, sellers can list all of their products and showcase them on the website, and users can buy them from the independent sellers. Etsy has an extensive review system you can read from, and rates the sellers so you have an idea of who you’re buying from beforehand. If you’re looking for something unique or handmade – Etsy is your website.
To learn more about Etsy and its services, be sure to check out our TechBoomers course on Etsy.
The ultimate local classifieds website
- Classifieds means open negotiation – sellers on this site are looking to unload items so negotiate to your heart’s content and get the price you want
- Low prices – sellers want to get rid of their products as fast as possible so they are motivated to take your offers rather than chance a lack of interest from others
- A regional site – this website exists all over the world, but has unique websites that cater to your city or region, so you can find people in your area, and possibly lose shipping altogether
Craigslist.org is a popular online classified advertisement website where users can list absolutely anything – jobs, personals, room rental or real estate, items for sale (or wanted), resumes, quick gigs, and services are some of the many categories utilized on Craigslist in over 70 countries. Simply go on the website and browse – you don’t even need to sign up. Then contact the poster if you’re interested in what they’re offering. You never know what you’ll find, but despite its previous ‘bad reputation’ due to crimes and fraud, Craigslist can be a great alternative for used (or new items) that users simply want (or need) to get rid of, so you’re almost guaranteed to find a bargain.
4 steps to guarantee you get the best price online shopping
The best way to make sure you’re getting the lowest price is to compare items both within one website, and across multiple sites. The process can be summarized in a few easy steps:
- Find an item you like on one website.
- Scroll down or look in the left/right margins for a “similar items” heading.
- Click on similar item product descriptions to view their price and see if they are close enough to the item you want to save money.
- If not, go to another website and search for the same item (or a similar one).
If you do that, you’re always going to get the lowest prices when shopping online. Often, websites offer sales or deals on items randomly, so it’s always good to check out the competition and see what’s being offered elsewhere.
How do I compare ecommerce sites to know which one is best for me?
We’ve helped you out as best we can with our comparison table above, but it’s important to remember that you’re the one who knows what it is you need in a shopping website. Thinks about the things that are most important to you when it comes to buying items online. Do you want a site that:
- Offers free shipping
- Offers fast shipping
- Has a thorough review process for its third-party sellers
- Has variety and sellers and items to choose from
- Has a lenient return policy
- Offers periodic (daily, weekly, etc.) discounts
It doesn’t matter which features are most important to you – just that you know what those are. Once you have that down, you can choose from websites that offer you the best services and features relating to what you need.
Other FAQs and important info
How to I check return policies?
Often, the best way to see the return policies of a website is to go to Google.com, and search “[name of website] return policy.”
Other places to find it are generally in the footer of a website:
Or by searching for it in the help section:
How can I see shipping prices before I fill my cart?
Like with return policies, you want to search for the shipping practices the website offers – which can sometimes differ depending on the size, quantity, or type of item you’re buying – before you start buying. There’s nothing more frustrating than filling your cart with low-priced items, thinking you’re getting an amazing deal, and then realizing you’re paying $30 for shipping when you checkout.
To find the shipping costs, go to Google.com, and search “[name of website] shipping policy.” From there, you’ll be able to locate an informational article that tells you the costs for shipping depending on the items you want to buy.
If you’ve decided you’re done with eBay, consider reading our step-by-step tutorial on how to delete your eBay account. If you’re having problems, you may just need a bit more information on how to contact eBay’s customer service. If so, check out our article on contacting eBay here.
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