Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Determining Where to Sell Online

From eBay to Craigslist, there is an assortment of e-commerce sites that can help you sell your junk or expand your online retail operations
Onine Shopping
Getty Images

Whether you're unloading collectibles from your attic or taking your thriving brick-and-mortar store online, there's a surfeit of Internet marketplaces where you can set up shop. From giants like eBay (EBAY) to niche sites like Etsy to listing services like Craigslist, the choices can overwhelm a small business owner venturing into e-commerce. How do you decide which marketplaces best fit your business? For small retailers facing what some economists are predicting to be the toughest holiday season since 1991 (, 9/23/08), it's a particularly compelling question.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer, though e-commerce experts tend to agree it's worth listing on multiple sites. The e-commerce market is huge, with $60 billion worth of goods traded on eBay alone in 2007, according to the company. More than 85,000 businesses primarily operated as electronic or mail-order retailers in 2006, according to the latest U.S. Census data, and 77,000 of them had no employees. Finding the best platforms for your company depends on what you sell.