How to use online marketplaces to sell products Published: 05/11/2019 | by Star Trader

How to use online marketplaces to sell products

Money makes the world go round, but it doesn’t grow on trees.  Many people seek new, easy ways to make money, so they can buy the newest pair of trainers or fund their daily morning coffee habit. Setting up your own marketplace to sell products online is a great way to add to your bank account and, if you’re a hoarder, an even better way to get rid of some of the clutter from your home. Let’s get you started.

The best online marketplaces to sell

It goes without saying that eBay and Amazon Marketplace are recognised as two of the best online marketplaces. Both provide many benefits, including flexibility to list and advertise your products however you like. These benefits don’t come without a price, though. You’ll need to pay to use these marketplaces to sell products online; eBay keeps things simple by taking a percentage of your final selling price as their cut, while Amazon charges you a monthly fee, which starts from £25.

Don’t worry, though. If you’re looking for Amazon and eBay alternatives, they do exist. Some of them may even be better for you depending on what you’re trying to sell, so it’s definitely worth taking a look.

To help you in your search, we’ve listed some of the best alternatives here:

How to build a successful online marketplace

Pick the right platform

It might seem obvious, but the platform you choose to use plays a big part in creating an online marketplace that’s successful. Different platforms have different audiences; Etsy is great for handmade artsy bits and bobs, while Gumtree is usually the place to find secondhand goods, like furniture.

Customer service is key

Keep your customers happy. Bad news travels fast, so you can bet that, if someone has a disappointing experience with your marketplace, it’ll damage your reputation, even if the majority of your customers have nothing but good things to say. Unfortunately, that’s just how things work in the world of selling. If someone has experienced a problem, do everything you can to make things better, even if it means giving them a discount code or freebie. And always, always respond to messages as quickly as you can – this is key to create an online marketplace. 

Push for customer reviews

Don’t be afraid to ask for them. At the end of the day, good reviews are going to make you stand out against your competition. People are more likely to trust a business with a high star rating. After completed orders, give your customers a nudge with a polite email that asks them to give you a quick review. 

Build a brand, not just a product

Think about your approach. Having a brand presence is key to create a marketplace website. Without it, people won’t see your marketplace as a trustworthy source for products. Think about creating your own logo, set up a business email, complete with a signature, a few social channels, and if appropriate, your own website where people can fill in a contact form to get in touch or find out more information. 

Maintain a professional appearance

Online marketplaces are competitive. Customers are presented with options for virtually any product they're looking for, so it's important to always put your best foot forward. Maintain a professional appearance, which helps to position your store as reputable and trustworthy. Use professional language in all of your communications, avoid spelling errors and make sure your imagery isn't blurry. Here is a collection of high resolution imagery that you can use for your O2 sim product listings.

Promote your marketplace

Don’t just rely on your chosen platform to bring the business. Marketplace marketing is important. Consider online adverts, either through Google or social media channels to reach new people based on their interests and needs. Old school tactics still work, so don’t rule out printed handouts or leaflets to market your products.

Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops is a brand new service that makes it easy for users to set up an online store which customers can access either through Facebook or Instagram. You’re able to customise the look and feel of your shop with ease so that any seller regardless of business size can get online and start selling today. You can learn more about Facebook Shops here

The best products to sell online

Finding products to sell can be a challenge. It’ll all depend on which platform you choose to use, although there are lists to help you find out which products are popular to sell online.

According to Shopify, this is the list of the top 10 trending products to sell in 2019 (some of them are pretty weird):

  • Shapewear
  • Pet grooming
  • Athleisure
  • Bathroom stool
  • Pet bed
  • Smartwatches
  • Minimalist jewellery
  • Dish racks
  • Safety shoes
  • Posture corrector

There’s also a list of the best-selling items on eBay:

Home decor

Home furniture always goes down a treat with online shoppers, especially if it’s in good condition. So, if you have an old lamp or sofa that needs a little tender, love and care that you no longer want, try to sell it online. There’s bound to be someone out there who can take it off your hands.

Home tech

TVs, portable speakers and hoovers are all popular items to sell online. These things are usually pretty pricey in the high-street stores, so people are always on the lookout for a steal.

Garden accessories

Everyone loves to sit back and relax in their gardens when the sun makes an appearance. If you have a bench, barbeque or parasol you don’t want to hang on to, be clever and try to sell them when the right time comes. If good weather is forecasted, it’s time to get those items listed.

Fitness gear

Most people need a bit of motivation when it comes to keeping fit and what could be more motivating than some new(ish) fitness stuff? 


What might be an old, tatty jumper to you might just be someone’s new favourite jumper. Old clothing is one of the easiest things to sell online. Just make sure you use a flattering photo of yourself wearing the item and it’ll be sold in no time. 

Branded tech

People can’t get enough of brands. Apple, Samsung, whatever it is, people will buy it. This can be a great way to get rid of an old mobile phone, if you don’t choose to recycle it. Set yourself apart from other online sellers by offering mobile phones bundled with free sims. As a Star Trader, you can order up to 550 free O2 Pay As You Go sims a month and every time one of those sims are activated, you’ll earn £5 commission. It’s a win-win scenario. Learn more about Star Trader here.


Like clothing, shoes are also amongst the most popular items to sell online. Trainers and boots are the big sellers, but there may be the occasional flip-flop sold every now and then. Remember to be fair in what you charge, though. If your shoes are old and worn, reduce the price tag a little.

Jewellery and watches

Casio, SEIKO and Swatch are top selling brands. Top tip: you’ll get an even better price if you sell the watch in the box it came in, too. 


If you have any best-sellers lying around that you’ve read and definitely won’t be reading again, sell them to someone who hasn’t gotten around to it yet. For a second-hand book, the average price is £12. That’s some serious money if you have a paperback collection!


People will pay a good price for items that complete a collection they’ve worked hard on. So, if you have an item that’s in high demand or notorious for being a collectible item, then use a virtual marketplace to sell it online.

Creating a successful marketplace is easy when you put your mind to it. While it does require some manual work, setting up your own marketplace is a great way to make a bit of extra money. Plus, if you’re a Star Trader, you can use it to sell your sims to people from all over the world to give your activations an added boost. No matter how you find your customers, we’ll always reward you with £5 for every activated sim. 

If you’re thinking about creating your own marketplace, take our tips on board and remember to follow each step of the set up process. That way, you’ll have everything you need to get things off to a great start.


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