Guide

Selling through online marketplaces

Introduction

An online marketplace is a website or app where you can sell goods in return for a fee or commission. You are responsible for listing your products and sending them to the buyer following their purchase. The marketplace provider will manage the processing of your transactions. It will also take a percentage of sales on any item sold on its platform.

UK shoppers spent £91 billion online in 2013 with internet retailing market growing by 16 per cent during the course of the year (Interactive Media in Retail Group, 2013). Increased use of mobile devices, such as phones and tablets has contributed significantly to the large number of online sales.

Two of the biggest online marketplaces are Amazon and eBay which offer opportunities for small businesses trading online. There are also a number of growing marketplaces including Etsy and Folksy that can offer opportunities for niche traders.

This guide highlights the main benefits of selling through an online marketplace and explains how to start selling on certain platforms/marketplaces.

Watch the video below of Chris Dawson, TameBay, explaining the challenges and opportunities of selling on eBay and Amazon during an Invest Northern Ireland selling online webinar.