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The 6 best selling sites for private sellers at a glance

9 min read
Franziska Thoms

The importance of online trading for overall sales continues to grow — and private sellers can benefit. Whether with your own e-shop or through third-party providers, the question is:

Do you want to reach as many potential buyers as possible, pay no fees or trade as fairly as possible?

Find out here what a private sale is, what regulations you have to comply with and get to know highly promising selling sites.

What is a private sale?

Legally, it is a private sale when an individual adult sells a thing or object to another individual or a dealer. It doesn't matter whether the buyer is a private individual or a dealer.

For example, if you want to sell your older clothing to a thrift store or another private individual, you are considered a private seller.

Private sales in the UK are subject to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013.

Private sale and right of withdrawal

Under EU/EEA/UK law, consumers have a right to withdraw from contracts — in other words, return the product bought — within 14 days.

Refunds for private sales

You must offer a full refund if an item is faulty, not as described or does not do what it’s supposed to. This holds true whether the item was purchased at regular price or a lower sale price.

You do not have to refund a customer if they:

  • Knew the item was faulty when they bought it
  • Damaged the item by trying to repair it themselves or getting someone else to do it (though they may still have the right to a repair, replacement or partial refund)
  • No longer want an item because it’s the wrong size or colour — unless they bought it without seeing it

You must offer refunds for the following items if they’re faulty:

  • Personalised items and custom-made items (e.g. curtains)
  • Perishable items such as frozen food or flowers
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Unwrapped CDs, DVDs and computer software

The information contained in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult a legal professional for help with your venture.

How do you choose the right selling sites to sell your products?

When it comes to selling sites, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is Amazon. And even though Amazon dominates the online marketplaces, there are others you can consider.

It's worth looking at other online retailers, especially if your products appeal to niche markets.

To make this easier for you, here are the most important selection criteria:

  • Commission : Of course, the online sales platforms want to earn money from your products. As a rule, they receive a certain percentage of commission for each sale. Make sure that this fee is proportional to your profits.
  • Range : It's not necessarily true that the marketplace with the biggest name is the best one for you. Niche platforms may be far more efficient and less wasteful.
  • Sales model : Choose the right sales model for your purpose. In addition to fixed prices, there are also auction platforms where your fee is based on the auction price.
  • Targeting : Some private sellers fail because they choose selling sites that cater the wrong target group.
  • Operation : Especially if you want to sell a lot of products, usability is crucial for you. Your products should be easy, quick and secure to buy and receive.
  • Compatibility : If you already have an online shop, compatibility with the online marketplace is an important criterion.

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6 online sales platforms for private sellers

The selling sites listed here differ in points such as subscription fees, the costs for posting offers, sales commission and fees.

1. Amazon

The Amazon marketplace offers a sales platform for used items

Monthly subscriptionFree trial then £8.99 per month
Reach (Worldwide)416 million visits to per day (2023)
Merchant fees
Processing fee of 2.7% + authorisation fee of £0.30 per item
Sales feesVAT, depending on delivery country

Amazon is one of the world's most successful companies. It allows private sellers to offer their products via the Amazon marketplace, one of the most widely used selling sites. Sellers pay a processing fee of 2.7% plus an authorisation fee of £0.30 per item. The basic account is suitable for selling fewer than 40 items per month.

Great coverageHigh competition; it's hard to stand out
Amazon takes care of the logisticsExpensive fees
The offer can also be advertised for a fee.No room for maneuver in design; shop in Amazon look

2. eBay & eBay Classifieds

The best-known sales portal for private sellers

Monthly subscription £6.26 - £275+
Merchant fees12.8% of the total amount of the sale + 30p per order (free for clothes listings)
Regulatory operating fee0.42% of the total amount of the sale (free for clothes listings)

Almost everyone in the UK knows the eBay classifieds portal, another top selling site. A huge range of new and used products from dealers and private individuals is available here. You offer your items via auction or buy now and have to accept relatively high fees.

If you use the sales portal as a private seller, you can list up to 1,000 products per month free of charge. If the sale is successful, the commission fees are 12.8% + 30p per order.

With eBay Classifieds you can place ads for £9.99 (business, office & industrial), £35 (property) and £15 (holiday & travel).

Long rangeHigh competition
Individual design of your own eBay shop possiblePayPal as a payment method
Options for advertising the articles for a fee

3. Facebook Shop

Monthly subscription0
Merchant fees2.9% card processing fee, 3.49% for PayPal transactions.
Sales fees5% when using  Facebook's Commerce Manager

Meta's Facebook Shop or Instagram Shop is an online storefront where users can browse, discover and then buy items directly from Facebook or Instagram. These selling sites are also popular, given the reach of their platforms.

You have the opportunity to set up your shop individually and design it the way you want according to your wishes and your brand. There are no limits for your creativity.

This option may offer higher conversion rates since users can buy directly on Facebook or Instagram, without leaving the app.

Set up a shop for freeOn average, smaller shopping carts than other marketplaces.
Since users already spend a lot of time on Facebook etc., they also get inspiration thereManually enter the articles. (Difficult with a large assortment)
Facebook covers the entire sales funnelNo direct purchase option. Only three ways to contact the seller.
Articles can be advertised for a fee.
Everything in one place: shop and social media
Easy to handle – adapt products from the catalog and customize your individual design

Related: How to sell on Facebook Marketplace

4. Google Shopping

Google Shopping home page
Monthly subscription0
Sales feesNA
Shopping Ads (needed to get your products seen)Details
Percentage of total UK retail click traffic provided84.6%

On Google Shopping buyers can search for their favorite products directly and compare the prices. This gives them a quick overview of where the product or service they want is cheapest. Buyers can also monitor the prices and then see immediately when they have become even cheaper. The analysis is based on the classic Google search, which searches all online shops that offer the desired product.

Credibility by associationKeyword planning is not possible directly.
High conversion rateNone/hardly any transparency about the quality or authenticity of the products.
Manage large number of itemsDirect comparison with the competition.
Good opportunities for retargeting

5. Rakuten

Monthly subscriptionFree starter pack, £42/mo for Expert plan (excluding VAT)
Sales commission16% for free Starter plan and 10% for Expert plan (both exclude VAT)
Fixed feeDepends on price of product sold Details
Payment processing fee2.5%-3.5%
Shipping feesDuty free when you drop ship orders under £117 from overseas warehouses directly to Japanese customers

Rakuten was founded in 1997 and is the largest e-commerce marketplace in Japan. UK sellers can sell on Rakuten through their selling site, aka the Cross Border e-Commerce program. This gives them access to a new stream of buyers, 87% of whom consider Rakuten the #1 online shopping mall.

Access to 13m repeat buyersShort range
Dealers support each otherHigh fees
Consultants help set you upEasy to get lost in an ocean of products
Articles can be advertised for a fee

6. ASOS Marketplace

UK-based online marketplace for private sellers

Monthly subscription0
Live listingsUnlimited
Listing fee0
Sales commission20% (10% for NUS Extra student cardholders)

If your products appeal to young people (25-34), ASOS Marketplace is worth a serious look. You'll need to have at least 15 items to start on this selling site and your products will need to be either your own designs or a true vintage collection (Y2K or older).

Once you're up and running as a seller you'll be expected to maintain a feedback rating of over 90%.

Global audience of fashion-loving 20-somethingsA small fish among big marketplaces
90% brand awareness among British peopleOnly payment option is PayPal
Generates more retail sales in the UK than in all the European Union (EU)Declining profits (2024)

The sales portals in comparison

 AmazoneBayFacebook ShopsGoogle Shopping
Setup feeNoNoNoNo
Basic charge£8.99£6.26 - £275+FreeFree
Commission fee8–15%4.5–10%No10-15%
Individual designNoNoYesNo
Free - £42/mo0
NoIndie & true vintage

Choose your selling sites wisely

The eBay Classifieds and Amazon sites are the top dogs among sales portals. Through them you can reach the greatest number of potential customers.

The downside of these platforms is that everyone wants to sell on them so it can be easy to get lost in an ocean of products. To save fees or have a better chance of standing out and making sales, you can try out the alternatives.

This article was first published to GoDaddy's German blog on June 18, 2020 and updated for publication to the UK blog on 23 May 2024. Details were accurate as of publication date; refer to marketplace sites for current data.

Products Used