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1. What is an online marketplace?

11 best online marketplaces for your business in 2024

Updated Jan 15 2024

In the digital age, online marketplaces have revolutionized the way businesses operate. They connect sellers to global consumers and offer a wide range of products, empowering creators and artists to become successful entrepreneurs effortlessly.

In this guide, we'll explore the top 11 online marketplaces for your business in 2024, highlighting their benefits and unique features. We'll also discuss the integration of print-on-demand platforms, like Gelato, with these marketplaces. This integration streamlines listing management, order processing, and deliveries all in one place. Whether you're just starting a POD business or an experienced entrepreneur, this guide will navigate you through the world of online selling.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay provide a vast audience and infrastructure for sellers, simplifying the selling process.

  • The choice of marketplace should consider factors such as fees, support resources, and competition within your product category.

  • Integrating with a global print-on-demand platform like Gelato can streamline operations, eliminate the need for inventory, and allow efficient management of product listings, orders, and deliveries.

  • Trying to enter a new market? One of the options below might be the easiest method.

What is an online marketplace?

02_What is an online marketplace

An online marketplace is a digital platform that facilitates buying and selling transactions between multiple third-party vendors and customers. Like a traditional market, it provides a venue for exchange, but in a virtual space, making products or services accessible to a broader audience globally. These marketplaces offer a wide variety of products, from clothes to electronics, from numerous sellers.

It doesn’t matter if you’re making custom t-shirts or selling printables, you can use online marketplaces to reach a broader customer base compared to traditional brick-and-mortar or a standalone ecommerce business. These platforms offer sellers a ready-to-use infrastructure, taking care of many aspects like payment processing, site security, and sometimes even marketing and customer service.

Notable examples of online marketplaces include Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Besides providing a platform, online marketplaces manage the customer experience end-to-end, from product discovery and payment processing to conflict resolution, creating a simplified, secure shopping experience.

Why sell on an online marketplace?

Selling on an online marketplace offers numerous benefits to both sellers and buyers alike. Below are just a few of the benefits listing your products on a digital marketplace can offer.

  • Access to users - Online marketplaces often have a large, established user base, which means increased visibility and potentially higher sales for your product.

  • User-friendly interfaces - Most marketplaces have a strong set of tools that make it easier for sellers to manage their listings, inventory, and sales.

  • Back-end management - Online marketplaces handle many aspects of the ecommerce process, including payment processing, customer service, and sometimes even shipping. This allows sellers to focus more on their products and less on managing the technical aspects of an online store.

  • Trust - Most online marketplaces are trusted by consumers, providing a level of credibility and security that can be difficult to achieve with a standalone ecommerce website.

11 best online marketplaces for your business

03_11 best online marketplaces for your business

From Amazon to Etsy to eBay, here's a list of the 11 best online marketplaces where you can sell your creations to the world–from posters to wall art and beyond.


Amazon is a worldwide leader in e-commerce, offering a vast selection of products from electronics to groceries. With millions of unique visitors each day, Amazon is an incredibly popular and profitable platform for selling online. While sellers need to pay certain fees, the return on potential sales can make it worthwhile. The pros of Amazon include its global reach and customer base, but the competition is high, and maintaining customer service standards can be challenging.


Etsy is a renowned online marketplace for artists, crafters, and collectors. It's a go-to platform for selling handmade crafts, vintage items, and art supplies. With a large buyer base, Etsy has become popular in the online marketplace. While there are fees for sellers, the benefits include a creative-focused audience and easy storefront setup. However, sellers face competition and the need for self-promotion. Despite challenges, Etsy offers significant opportunities for the right sellers, making it a preferred choice over private platforms like Shopify. Learn more about Etsy vs Shopify.


eBay is a global online marketplace known for auctions and consumer-to-consumer sales. It's a platform where you can sell a vast array of items, from vintage goods to electronics. eBay garners massive traffic, boasting millions of active buyers worldwide. Sellers do encounter fees but benefit from the site's popularity. Pros include an international audience and diverse selling formats; cons include competition and potential payment disputes.


AliExpress, owned by Alibaba, is a global retail marketplace offering an array of products from international sellers. It's gained considerable popularity, especially in emerging markets. Sellers incur fees but gain access to a wide international audience, making it one of the best marketplaces to sell worldwide. The advantages include a large buyer base, but language barriers and shipping logistics can be challenging.


Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce giant, offers diverse product categories. It's popular in Japan and is expanding globally. Sellers face fees but enjoy access to a large and dedicated customer base. Benefits include customer loyalty programs, but international sellers may face language and cultural barriers.


Flipkart is India's leading e-commerce platform, letting users sell a wide range of products  online. With a large customer base, Flipkart offers significant profitability potential. Sellers encounter fees but reach a growing online shopping audience in India. Pros include a vast customer base, but the platform is primarily advantageous for sellers targeting the Indian market. Still, Flipkart is a very popular online marketplace.


Walmart's online marketplace offers a broad range of products. With a robust physical and online presence in the US, it presents a profitable opportunity for sellers who face fees but benefit from the store's established reputation. Pros include a trusted name and a large customer base; cons include high standards for sellers and stiff competition.


Wayfair is a leading 'sell online' marketplace for home goods and furniture. It has a strong customer base and a high average order value. Sellers pay fees but access a dedicated audience of home decor enthusiasts. Pros include a niche market and high customer loyalty, while cons include dealing with large products and potential returns.


Shopee is a fast-growing online marketplace in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It offers a wide array of products and has a rapidly expanding user base. While sellers face fees, they gain access to emerging markets. The pros include a user-friendly interface and strong growth potential, but cross-border logistics can be a challenge.

Mercado Libre

Mercado Libre is the largest online commerce platform in Latin America, offering a vast range of product categories. It presents a substantial opportunity for profitability, with a large and growing customer base. Sellers pay fees but access a significant market. The pros include a large audience and local popularity; cons can be language barriers and local regulatory requirements.


Wish is a global e-commerce platform focusing on affordable goods. It's gained considerable popularity, especially among price-conscious consumers. While sellers incur fees, the volume of potential customers is high. Pros include a large customer base and global reach, but the focus on low-cost items may result in lower profit margins.

How to choose the best online marketplace

04_How to choose the best online marketplace

Choosing the right online marketplace for your business involves careful consideration of several factors. You don't need to choose just one marketplace, especially if you want to target multiple regions or audiences, but the more platforms you work with, the more effort it will take to maintain your business.

  • Understand your target audience: Different marketplaces cater to various audiences. Identifying where your potential customers shop can help you select the most suitable platform for selling online.

  • Evaluate the fees: Some marketplaces charge for listings, transactions, or both. Factor these costs into your pricing strategy and profitability calculations.

  • Assess the support and resources: Review the back-end management, marketing tools, and customer service support provided by the marketplace. These can be deal breakers when you sell online or run your own online store.

  • Consider your competition: Look at the saturation of your product category within each marketplace. A less crowded platform might offer more visibility for your products.

How Gelato integrates with the best online marketplaces

05_How Gelato integrates with the best online marketplaces

Gelato is a global print-on-demand platform that allows businesses to create, print, and ship customized products all over the world. It eliminates the need for maintaining inventory, making it a cost-effective solution for many businesses.

With Gelato, businesses can design and sell a vast range of products, like t-shirts, mugs, canvas prints, and more. After a customer makes a purchase, the order is sent to one of Gelato's 130+ production partners located strategically across the globe. This ensures fast delivery and reduces shipping costs and carbon emissions.

Gelato integrates with a number of popular marketplaces and storefronts that help you sell online, including Etsy and Shopify, meaning you can manage your business with greater ease and efficiency.

Learn more about Gelato's online marketplace integrations, or connect your store and start selling.

Grow your business with online marketplaces and Gelato

Choosing the right online marketplace is crucial for your business. Each marketplace has unique benefits, so understanding your goals, target audience, and resources is essential. Online marketplaces allow creators to reach more customers and simplify the selling process. No matter which you choose, Gelato can help boost your business.

Gelato provides robust software and API solutions for global custom printing. You can connect your store to Gelato directly through the API or easy-to-use ecommerce integrations. It's easy to launch your online print on demand business and sell online with Gelato. Start creating today!

Online marketplace FAQs

What is the most popular marketplace for online business?

The most popular online sales marketplace is Amazon. With billions of visits each month across its global domains, Amazon provides an extensive platform for buying and selling a wide range of products. Its unparalleled reach and customer base make it an attractive place for sellers to list products and for customers to shop for virtually anything they need.

What is the fastest-growing ecommerce marketplace for online shopping?

Shopee is among the fastest-growing and top online marketplaces. Originating in Southeast Asia, it's expanding rapidly across the region and beyond. Its success is due to its user-friendly interface, diverse product range, and strong growth strategies.

What is the difference between an online marketplace and an ecommerce platform?

An online marketplace is a digital platform that hosts multiple third-party sellers offering a variety of products or services. Examples include Amazon and Etsy. An ecommerce platform, on the other hand, is software that allows businesses to launch, host, and manage their own online stores. Examples include Shopify and WooCommerce. While online marketplaces provide a built-in customer base, ecommerce platforms offer greater control over the selling process, customer experience, and branding. Need more info? Check out Ecommerce platforms vs marketplaces for the full scoop.

How do I start selling products online on top online marketplaces?

Starting to sell products online involves several steps. First, you need to select which online marketplace best suits your business needs - this could be Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or other marketplaces. Once you've made your choice, you'll need to set up a seller account on the platform, which usually involves providing some basic business information. After your account is set up, you can start listing your products. Keep in mind that each marketplace may have its own rules and fees associated with listing and selling products.

What is 'gross merchandise value' (GMV), and why is it important for marketplace sellers?

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is a metric that refers to the total value of goods sold through an ecommerce site over a certain period. It's important for marketplace sellers because it provides a measure of the total sales volume they're generating on the platform. This can help sellers gauge their performance and success in selling products online. It's worth noting that GMV doesn't account for returns, cancellations, or discounts - so it doesn't necessarily reflect the net revenue for a seller. Nevertheless, tracking your GMV can provide valuable insight into your business's growth and market performance.


Next steps

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