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Sellers Choice Awards 2021: Merchants Rate Top Online Marketplaces

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Welcome to the 12th annual EcommerceBytes Sellers Choice Awards. Each year, we invite sellers to rate and review the marketplaces on which they sell, and they use the opportunity to tell companies (and each other) what’s working and what isn’t.

As in past years, we let readers nominate their top choices and then opened up the voting to the top 10 nominated venues.

Readers rated the finalists in four key areas – profitability, customer service, communication and ease of use. Respondents were also asked how likely they were to recommend each marketplace as a selling venue to a friend or colleague.

As they do every year, sellers pointed to specific policies and practices that affected them.

There was great diversity of sellers responding. Some were newbies or low-volume; others noted they were longtime pros. Some were artisans, and some used fulfillment services.

The Results

eBay again topped the list this year overall followed by Bonanza and Ruby Lane. The rankings take into account four key criteria – profitability, customer service, communication and ease of use.

Coming in fourth place was Etsy, followed by Mercari and Poshmark. Amazon narrowly squeaked ahead of eCrater, with Craigslist and Facebook coming in ninth and tenth place, respectively.

eBay took the top spot for Profitability again this year, and it also placed first in Ease of use. Bonanza took top spots for Customer Service and Communication, and it also was the top most recommended marketplace.

With more people shopping online due to the coronavirus, ecommerce should have been the rising tide that lifted all boats in 2020. But there were fewer outright mentions of the effects of COVID-19 than we had expected.

Some sellers noted that they had benefitted from extra traffic to marketplaces, but it also left them vulnerable to claims of late delivery, especially during the holiday shopping period when some marketplaces decided the fate of Item Not Received claims. Despite getting packages into the mail on time, it was the seller, not the carrier, that ended up taking losses when items weren’t delivered on time, some sellers said.

The top nominated venues were diverse, from traditional marketplaces like eBay and Amazon; to niche sites; to classifieds site Craigslist; to social platforms like Facebook. Some of the finalists were large publicly traded companies; others were tiny versions.

In reading through sellers reviews, we picked up on three attitudes towards marketplaces. First, there were the venues where sellers could list with little investment in time or money, and what sales they got were quite satisfactory. Those were the “it is what it is” venues.

Then there were the “mega platforms” where some sellers were quite satisfied due to the volume of sales, but others bristled due to a feeling that the companies had stacked the deck against the sellers. It went beyond the typical complaints of “nickle-and-diming” fees to practices such as charging a commission fee on shipping and sales tax, which sellers felt were wrong.

And then there were marketplaces where sellers felt at home and enjoyed selling but yearned for more traffic and sales. Those venues offered autonomy or an attractive fee structure, and sellers urged those venues to advertise more to fulfill their potential.

You can read more about these issues in the individual findings for each marketplace. Next up – rankings and how they break down.

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How It Breaks Down – Profitability
We asked sellers, “How would you rate your profitability as a seller on (marketplace name)?” eBay topped the list for Profitability, followed by Etsy, Mercari, Craigslist and Facebook.

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How It Breaks Down – Customer Service
We asked sellers, “How would you rate the customer service (marketplace name) provides to sellers?” Bonanza topped the list for Customer Service, followed by Ruby Lane, eBay, Etsy, and Poshmark.

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How It Breaks Down – Communication
We asked sellers, “How would you rate (marketplace name)’s communication with you as a seller?” Bonanza topped the list for Communication, followed by Ruby Lane, eBay, Poshmark, and Etsy.

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How It Breaks Down – Ease of Use
We asked sellers, “How would you rate (marketplace name)’s ease of use as a seller?” eBay topped the list for Ease of Use, followed by Bonanza, Etsy, Mercari and Craigslist.

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How It Breaks Down – Recommended Selling Venue
We asked sellers, “How likely are you to recommend (marketplace name) as a Selling venue to a friend or colleague? Bonanza scored highest on Recommended Selling Venue, followed by Mercari, Etsy, eBay, and Ruby Lane.

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Comments: Insider Information
With thousands of responses, it’s impossible to include every comment each marketplace received, but we include the most representative comments and the ones most interesting or useful to readers. Note that the number of comments left for a marketplace doesn’t necessarily indicate its placement in the rankings

Comments are included on the individual marketplace rating pages.

Individual Online Marketplace Ratings
You can find each marketplace with the results of the Sellers Choice survey on the following pages.

Page 1 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: eBay

Page 2 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Bonanza

Page 3 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Ruby Lane

Page 4 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Etsy

Page 5 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Mercari

Page 6 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Poshmark

Page 7 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Amazon

Page 8 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: eCrater

Page 9 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Craigslist

Page 10 Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Facebook

Leave Your Comments about the Sellers Choice Results
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the Sellers Choice Awards, please feel free to post them below.

Update 2/14/2021: Check out the EcommerceBytes Blog for more commentary.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

3 thoughts on “Sellers Choice Awards 2021: Merchants Rate Top Online Marketplaces”

  1. I really can’t believe eCrater made it on the list.
    I left for the second time and this time closed my account.
    I was hoping that during those last 3 years that there would be more updating, and some of the updating wasn’t a whole lot. I hoped they would update for I could see that eBay was getting worse and sellers were looking at other places.

    Moved to eBid and now I am putting my energies on that site.
    Easy to work with and to list, plus with my membership I can have 5 shops and get my items separated.
    I know the US side seems to be spoiled because of the traffic that the big guys bring, but if you do social media work and bring in customers, you will do fine.
    Watching the forums, I am seeing others seeing new buyers coming to this site.

    I do miss having the higher volume of sales on eBay, but I can determine if I want the returns and what they get for refund. BUT, mangled payments made my decision on not selling on eBay.

    I rather see a site that “handshakes” with Paypal or Stripe payments.
    Trying to find a selling site that I can understand and feel good about, I also prefer not leaving a trail of my SS# for their in-house payment. I prefer the “handshake” approach.

  2. I can count on one hand how much I sold on Ecrater over the years, and I too closed my account. I will have to look at Ebid again, but I never see Ebid show up in Google search, and neither does Ecrater show up. How do buyers find them?
    I notice that Merc and Posh are advertising on TV that tells me they are profitable and ready to go against the big boys. I love both sites, I esp. love their returns/refund policy. I’ve never had ANY buyer return or ask for a refund. Their Customer service is slow and needs improvement, but basically you can be your own seller.

  3. Bonanza?????? Seriously? We have 20,000 products listed on Bonanza and sold 15 in 1 1/2 years.
    This must either be a joke or someone got paid for this recommendation.

Comments are closed.