We all know that eBay can be great for discovering those bargain vintage garments and cheap gadgets, but if you really want to start saving money, it's always best to shop around. Luckily, there are alternatives, and most of them come without expensive listing fees and hidden costs.
To get you started, we've pulled together a list of the five best online bidding sites, classified ad locations and virtual marketplaces that are giving eBay a run for its money. Have a look and start tracking your savings (and earnings!) with our free money management software.
From humble beginnings, this British classified ad site has taken root, with thousands of ads listed throughout the country. Search for that sought-after product in your local area, and you can easily arrange to collect it at a convenient location for both you and the seller. What's more, having direct contact with the seller means that you can celebrate the true spirit of the marketplace by haggling, and maybe get that price down even lower than it already is. It's free to list items for sale on Gumtree, and there are no hidden costs associated with selling your goods. Don't forget, if what you're looking for isn't there, it's easy to place a "wanted" or a "swap" ad on the site. You never know, that ultimate guitar (or bike... or car...) might just come along.
2. ASOS Marketplace
For those who use eBay primarily to find great deals on high fashion, never fear, there is an alternative. Online fashion boutique ASOS is mainly known for its discount prices on big names labels, but it's worth knowing that you can also find great deals on independent brands, up-and-coming designers and vintage goods in their marketplace. Products come from around the world, but fledgling designers and boutiques from all over the UK are also well represented. Selling is only for those with at least 15 styles in stock though, and to open a boutique in the marketplace users pay a monthly rent on top of the usual sales commission.
Mainly specialising in media and entertainment goods, Play.com is an online marketplace that boasts an unparalleled range of films, music and games. Focussed more on trusted small merchants than one-off second hand sales, a visit to Play.com feels more like shopping on Amazon. The upside is that there are some great deals to be had, as well as their "SuperPoints" loyalty system which gives you points to spend every time you shop.
For its unique and personal touch, the online craft boutique Etsy has now attained cult status among those in the know. Etsy trade exclusively in unique, handmade or vintage items, making it a great antidote to mass-produced products on the high street. If you've got a knack for arts and crafts or a flair for adapting old clothes, it's easy to get started as a seller, too, and start turning your handiwork into cash.
With clear, up-front selling fees and "lifetime" seller packages, eBid make it easy to see what you're spending and work out if it's worth your while. The eBay competitor is growing rapidly, and you can bid on products across an equivalent range of categories in a similar auction format, so you can easily find the same great deals.
Posted by Money Dashboard