Chapter 19. Ten E-Commerce Marketplaces Worth Exploring

  • Options for auctioning your creative work

  • Marketplaces that let you buy and sell affordably

  • Places where you can buy or sell for free

Not so long ago, starting an online business primarily meant creating a Web site or selling on a marketplace such as eBay. The landscape has shifted slightly as I update the sixth edition of this book. Yes, Web sites are still important. But the notion of what constitutes a "Web site" has expanded to include a blog, a storefront on eBay, or a site hosted by any of a number of intriguing niche marketplaces.

A single Web site isn't enough. The newest entrepreneurs are focusing on branding themselves and gaining as much exposure as possible through cost-effective marketing methods. One of those is search engine optimization (SEO), the practice of optimizing a Web presence to improve your placement in search results.

By signing up with a niche marketplace, you can set up a storefront, communicate with customers, accept payments, and socialize with other sellers who deal in the same kinds of merchandise you do. You might have to pay a modest hosting fee — or you might not because many of the sites are totally free to their members. This chapter collects ten small, innovative, full-featured marketplaces that are giving the big e-commerce hosts a run for their money and presenting themselves as attractive alternatives. Consider opening storefronts in one or more venues to increase your visibility and, with ...

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