Online marketplaces offer a way to reach online shoppers with or without a website of your own. They also allow you to sell on some of the hottest online shopping sites in the country. You’ll benefit from their marketing/traffic, and often you can avoid the headaches of payments, fulfillment and customer support. Many also offer an easy route to global sales and you could enjoy the benefits of any free shipping offers they have in place.
The income potential can’t be ignored. Seventy-five percent of Canadian online shoppers have purchased through an online marketplace, while forty-two percent of merchants sell on them. Fifty-eight percent of Canadians discover new brands, merchants and products by searching on Amazon or Google.
The structure for each platform varies, but the standard offering is a place to sell your products online where the traffic is high and the marketing is done for you. The larger marketplaces like Amazon.ca have millions of visitors every year, which could seriously increase your sales and build your brand. What a great way to test-drive the online market for your products!
Your sales will be processed through the marketplace. You’ll either have to ship it yourself, or use their in-house fulfillment option (if they offer one). Customer service is usually provided by the marketplace, either fully or in part.
This all comes at a price, of course, but fees vary widely. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures of any marketplace you consider selling in.
Online Marketplaces for Canadian Sellers
Unfortunately, Canadians don’t have as many online marketplace options as other countries, but that is improving as international businesses realize the profit potential here. We’ve compiled a list of Canada-friendly marketplaces to help you get started. We’ll update the list as new marketplaces open to Canadian sellers.
RCL / Market offers an opportunity to connect your product with millions of Canadians through three powerful brands: Reitmans, RW&CO. and Penningtons.
Best Buy Canada marketplace gives you access to over 225 million visitors per year. They say their fees are competitive with other online marketplaces and there is no setup fee. One out of every four orders on BestBuy.ca are fulfilled by marketplace sellers.
The Bay has launched an online marketplace for Canadians. They’ll consider vendors of all sizes in existing or new categories.
eBay has a complicated fee schedule but they do seem to be working on improving that. The fees can add up quickly if you aren’t careful. eBay is downright paranoid about anyone using their marketplace to promote their business directly, so you won’t be able to mention your website or even an email address.
Amazon is the recognized giant in the marketplace category, with well over a hundred million unique visitors every month. This also means the space is more competitive so you should do some research. Additionally, you have to compete for the ‘Buy Box’, where most of the sales are made. They charge a monthly fee for sellers selling more than 20 items per month, plus selling fees. A super-easy option is to go with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
Loblaw companies include Loblaws, The Real Canadian Superstore, Atlantic Superstore and more. Their marketplace promises exposure for third-party sellers on multiple platforms, along with access to their PC Optimum customer loyalty program.
eCrater offers a free store with no fees unless a buyer comes through their marketplace, for which they charge 2.9% of the sale. You must agree to ship to the US to sell on eCrater.
Etsy is an international online marketplace for crafts and craft supplies. Their fees are reasonable and the site is very popular.
iCraft Gifts is based in Canada and accepts only hand-crafted goods from sellers around the world. You must be the designer, creator or producer of your art, craft or fashion (no product resellers are permitted). Set up your account for $25 CAD and then pay listing fees for the items you list for sale. All payments are via PayPal.
Walmart Canada Marketplace recently began accepting third-party sellers. Apps for shopping cart integration are starting to pop up on major eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify.
H&M Rewear is a Canadian recommerce marketplace for buying or selling used clothing. They allow listings from any brand, with additional perks for H&M brand clothing. It’s free to create a listing. The buyer pays a transaction fee of 15% of the product price.
Poshmark Canada is a social marketplace for fashion and accessories.
Vinted Canada is an online marketplace for fashionable secondhand clothing. Canadian members can register for free and easily upload their pre-loved fashion items to Vinted’s user-friendly, C2C platform. Members can keep 100% of their profit with no extra fees.
Faire is an online wholesale marketplace where small business owners and independent makers can buy and sell wholesale online. The platform provides sales, marketing and analytics tools, so sellers can simplify their wholesale business. Users can go straight to a ‘Made in Canada’ page or filter search results to only include companies that ship from Canada.
Most social networks and other online communities have their own marketplace. Check them out to see if they can help you reach your ideal customer and build brand awareness.
Kijiji.ca allows ad’s for individual items by any Canadian seller. You cannot list an item like a store advertisement, but you can include pick-up information. They allow a link that is specifically product-related or as an alternative form of contact.
CraigsList.org is less specific about what type of ad’s they allow. You can go with trial and error based on the same criteria as Kijiji.ca, or send the ad to Craig’s List staff to ask if it is acceptable.
VarageSale is focused on making local buying and selling safer through vetting users and the use of real names and photos. It’s a Canadian company targeting local sales throughout North America.
Drop Shipping and Auction Marketplaces for Canadians
Some marketplaces allow third party integration to facilitate drop-shipping, such as eBay. This is usually done through an eCommerce Platform. If you plan to sell on eBay, you’ll find some drop shipping companies are authorized eBay dealers with integrated features to make auction selling easier. Please see our article, Drop Shipping / Wholesale for Canadian Sellers, for more information.
Auctions and online marketplaces can be more challenging than selling from your own website due to the competitive environment. You can still come out on top with the proper use of data and competitive analysis. Luckily, there are powerful tools to help. You can capture, analyze and refine billions of data points from Amazon with Jungle Scout, for example, plus research competitors and even find suppliers.
Do you sell through online marketplaces in Canada? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below or discuss this and other online business topics in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.
Note: This listing of online marketplaces for Canadian sellers is constantly reviewed & updated. It was first published in 2014.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.
Hi Melody, Great job in putting this list together. CostLittle.ca is a new online marketplace for Canadian Buyers and Sellers
Hello I am so excited to take a look on Canada sites
I think Canada really needs it’s own Canadian marketplace that’s run by Canadians for Canadians. Amazon is getting too hard and pricey.
Have you checked out goshoplocal.com?
how do I proceed to sell an item
Each network has it’s own processes, which will be thoroughly covered on their website. Good luck!
Thanks for the amazing article. Very helpful and very Canadian focused. We need more Canadian business resources and Canadian success stories to inspire us all.
I bet I’m not the only one surprised at how many there are. All you hear about is Amazon & Ebay. They’ll only get bigger if we all hop on and that’s best for us all.
flaire can an one offer good or bad
i’ve had it up to here with amazon. i don’t think they even want 3rd party sellers anymore. i started looking for alternatives and here they are. i hope they get huge.
You do great work here thanks for the marketplaces. All I ever find in Canada is amazon amazon amazon gurus LOL but their monopoly is getting expensive. Has any Canadian sellers tried marketplaces other than amazon & ebay? How did it go?
I think there’s a ton of potential for new marketplaces in Canada! You don’t have to go up against the giants, it’s the niches that work best anyway.
Wow! The number of sites has grown! If everyone posted on other platforms maybe they’d grow enough to compete with the A WORD LOL. I’m going to give it try and if it works I’ll write a guest post for you!
Etsy now requires a banking account number. Something tells me their firewalls are not as robust as those in the banking industry. Not comfortable doing that.
You guys also missed Ebids online market place for Canada. It’s been set up for Canadian business and general sellers only. It has free and subscriptions for vendors!
How come you missed Facebook Marketplace?
isn’t that considered as an ‘online-marketplace’ for Canadian??
I tend to lump that in with ‘social selling’ but you’re right, some have evolved from classifieds into marketplaces. I added a mention of them, thanks!
Great piece of content, online marketplaces offer a great way to reach online shoppers. This blog shows how the e-commerce market is growing around the world. Thanks for the amazing article.
This is a great article and to be honest. Etsy is a great place to build a small business into a potentially large one especially for Canadians. I will say though that the Etsy fees does turn a lot of people away from the service. But the take home message that I give to my clients when I manage their bookkeeping for Etsy is that, if they want to have more control over fees, they should invest in their own website and build a clientelle there. Otherwise enjoy the ton load of traffic that Etsy brings :).
I think this blog can help Canadian sellers as well as other countries sellers too.
Will share this to my eCommerce networks.
Thanks for the post Melody.
Has anyone done well with marketplaces that aren’t Amazon or E-bay? Please let me know which works best for you and what kind of product you sell online. Thanks!
There is a new 100% Canadian marketplace for Artisans (i.e. Etsy) Farm to Table, Livestock/Animals (i.e. Kijiji), Handcrafted, U pick Farms & Wineries. It is the first 100% Canadian Free Marketplace (no fees to list/buy/sell). It’s new but already has listing across the country. Very Canadian! http://www.freemarketplace.ca with Apps coming out in January.
Thank you for these great sources, and to think, this artricle is almost 6 years old! Wow! That is still great information.
Our articles are constantly updated, the original date isn’t the age of the information. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Hello! This is really a informative article for all those who are planning to start. This article is very useful too. All the best and cheers guys.
Most articles I’ve seen have been about opening a shop on eBay or Etsy or Amazon. However, I’m wondering if this site has any articles on creating the actual marketplace platform. In other words, creating a website like Amazon, Etsy, etc. where you can get vendors to sign up and open their shop on your platform. Any links? Thanks in advance!
If it were me, I’d use Shopify & one of their Marketplace apps.
Informative article….thank you….just starting out as my ‘retirement job’. I feel like I have been living in a cave but doing my research. I was mainly wishing to sell in Canada, for simplicity sake, but I suppose opening up to North America would provide a much bigger audience. This article has opened some avenues for me to look into. I will have 2 stores…one for handmade photocards, calendars and prints; one for antique misc. Items. I am very open to your thoughts and suggestions. I would like to keep ‘the cart behind the horse’, as I tend to jump in with both feet!
If you haven’t read it already, our Checklist: How to Start an Online Business in Canada will guide you through the journey. Good luck!
Thank you for this list. Canada is so small compared to US when it comes to online marketplaces.
I’d like to start a specialised canadian marketplace platform; (www.daymarket.ca) with a really big chance to succes and I’m looking for some partners/Investors. If interested; email@example.com
This is very Extra Ordinary Posts and also very innovative website which provides latest and updated information.
I would like to start an online business but am wondering how Canadian sellers handle sales tax when selling to different provinces and states. Does this course address these issues? Any advice?
Many eCommerce platforms have tax functionality built in, like Shopify Canada. You can find out more about the tax requirements of Canadian eCommerce on the Revenue Canada website.
Thanks for your reply Melody. Looks like I have a lot of research to do.
Hello Denise, I have understood your concern. My observation is, If you create a online marketplace or e-commerce website, you can sell your product or service over there. It is very fare policy where tax will be deducted based on the online transaction. I am working a USA registered company, providing online platform to make web based solution to our client. One of our Canadian e-commerce client is http://healthyplanetcanada.com/ . For more information feel free to reach me. I am available skype @ pritam2yk. Thanks and All the best.
Citify.ca is a new online market for local Canadian shop owners, suppliers, wholesalers and home based businesses to sell online to local and and across Canada by city. Free to set up shop 5% commission.
I’m not a big fan of shop.ca but the others have potential. Shop.ca is just too expensive for the average business owner in this country. Canada Post should start their own and INCLUDE free shipping.
Nice to see new opportunities for Canadians.
I must be completely out of touch because I only knew about ebay & thought amazon was only for US sellers!! I’m excited to check them all out now.
Awesome! I’m determined to make more money online and hopefully quit my job by the end of 2014. Thanks for helping me on my journey to being a Canadian millionaire! 😉