Sunday, February 10, 2008

The top 16 online sales and auction sites - rated

Recently, I decided to look online to see other sales and auction sites to compare them with Ebay. I must say, Ebay is still my site of choice, because it is professionally designed, I am used to it, and it gets mammoth traffic. It is always fun to buy at Ebay.

And who knows what other changes Ebay might make in the future? They may decide that their feedback changes aren’t a good idea, or may think of other ideas to make Ebay better.

I did want to see what was out there, though, just in case. I was already familiar with a few of these sites, but I went to a lot and picked out the best ones I saw so far.

Here is what I have found out so far: (these are in alphabetical order – the 2 to 5-starred ones I found best)...

Auction.com - The first time I went here, the server was down. This was not a good sign. Then I went there a lot later (a week...) and my computer locked up. Another bad sign, although I have to say I was running at max with loads of things open.

Anyway, this site could be so much better. I'll bet they get lots of traffic, but then they clobber the visitor with a bad Google ad placement smack dab in the middle of where there should be stuff about the auctions. It's the one that makes money, but I think people will be clicking out of this one because of it.

I have to be honest, though, I've not tried this one. Maybe it's better once you log in. I probably will be trying others first, though.

**Bidville**– NOW CLOSED as of June, 2008. You can see the day-to-day gradual closing of Bidville at their site.

I am disappointed! Bidville was an Ebay rival since 2004. There was a commission, but no listing fees. The stores were cheaper than Ebay. Bidville’s banner says “More Secure.” 500,000 members and growing”, says the website forum. The main index page is colorful. So... I am SO surprised they are closing. (I wonder if Ebay will buy it now?)

**Bidz.com**
– specializes in jewelry. Also has some fine art auctions on the site. This site is well advertised online and features photos of auctions on the main page.

***BluJay.com*** – free listing, free signup. It has a very nice, low-key design. I have tried this one, and it was easy to list and had a nice store look. I wished I could figure out how to add more pictures, though. You can post your items here free for 180 days at a time.

*****EBAY***** – the first and still most popular. Ebay had 15,000 members as of 2005. I'm sure the total is way higher now.
They have the most users of all the sites that I can see. Ebay has some sellers leaving or researching other venues lately because of their latest fee hikes and seller feedback changes. Still, despite the recent changes, I still think Ebay is the best online Auction site. It has the best design, and is the most fun to use.

**EBid** – be careful when you go here. The web address is NOT ebid.com, which looks like it is a paid links directory. The Ebid site address is: http://us.ebid.net/. (No www.) It is a professional looking site. You can earn buddy points here. It has three pay options, with no fees to list or sell. It has thousands of sellers. It also looks like items get lots of hits. Remember the address: http://us.ebid.net/ This auction venue has sites around the world. It looks like only one photo per item though. I will research this more later.

**ECrater** (“The Moon”) This site offers a free web store builder and a free marketplace. It uses Google checkout, which is less expensive for sellers than Ebay’s Paypal. ECrater has more than a few ex-Ebayers on the site – or were going to, according to Ebay’s message boards about four months ago.

*****Epier.com***** – this is another auction site. It has 204,500 members. This site helps you make your own page. Stores are 19.95 per month or $99.00 per year plus 2.5% of actual sales. Feedback goes both ways. I think this auction site definitely has potential.

*****Etsy.com***** – This site features auctions for artists. It is stylish in design. I have heard good things about the site from other artists. I went to this site and saw some beautiful pieces of art for sale of all kinds. I just had to include this site even though it isn't technically an auction site.

*****IOffer***** – People can buy, sell, or trade here. Can copy items and ratings from Ebay to transfer over. Watch the “Fee Pay Game” link on the home page. This site has a very professional look. Today when I checked it, the main page said 16+ million items, from 165 countries, and Sellers Online 7272 sellers currently logged in. Like Ebay, you can post free want ads.

*****Onlineauction.com (OLA)*****. This site has free unlimited listings. They are offering specials to join including a FREE E-Store. They also are running a contest right now on YouTube. They are a Better Business Bureau member plus they also take Google Checkout. They also feature a Rotary seal on the main page. From their main page:
“Online auction source for online auctions on the Internet with Free Unlimited listings and No Final Value Fees for shopping, bidding, buying, and selling with our Quick true bid feature.” The site had a banner on it that said “11,297,268 Current Items Listed ...”

***Overstock.com*** now has auctions, too, here at: http://auctions.overstock.com/ They have recently put more navigation areas on the main page to get to the auctions area. They also have an Auctions message board. They offer two organizations for sellers, Toasa and Buysafe. I would like to try this site to see how well it works.

*****RubyLane***** – this is an upscale collectible site that has been online since 1998. This is not an auction site, but has many great things for sale here, so I thought I would list it anyway. I have been to this site, and found many beautiful stores. It is fun to look at all the antiques and nice designs and logos of stores. You can find items here you can’t find anywhere else. It’s a feast for the eyes here. The prices are higher, but reflect the quality of the items.

***UBid.com*** – This site is rated highly by Auctionweiser.com, and is celebrating 10 years online. This site also takes Google checkout, and has a BBB logo on the main page. It is Verisign certified, too. They have an easy-to-find customer question area. This makes me think they really value their service and will get right back to you if you have a question.

**Upperbid.com** – this site is for USA sellers only. I see a lot of question marks in-between the words on the site, so it could use a graphics re-do, but otherwise the site looks professional. It looks like the site was started in 2001. The mailing address is in Arizona. They offer a shipping rate calculator, as does Ebay. You can choose your favorites for a favorites page here.

****Webidz**** http://www.webidz.com/ - NO LONGER A TOP SITE as of 4-08. I no longer give this one an "OK" because #1: it looks to be a UK site - which is OK, but more importantly, #2 - all the links don't work.

However, they have a link to some other sites that might be up and coming. These are Plunder Here, Bidders n Sellers, and USIFF.

I plan to keep selling on Ebay, but I might stretch out and explore some of these other sites, in order to have a backup in case the new feedback rules don't work for Ebay. I figure it can’t hurt to have a backup plan no matter what you sell online. PLUS, new sites can have more bargains.

I have found some GREAT bargains on some of these other sites.

For my next blog, I will feature more links – to auction comparison sites, other auction sites, other selling sites, auction directories, and more.

Is your favorite selling or auction site listed here? Add it on with a comment, and I'll check it out.

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