Can’t find it on eBay? Try these online shopping alternatives

Depop is an online auction app that positions itself somewhere between eBay and Instagram. Picture: YouTubeDepop is an online auction app that positions itself somewhere between eBay and Instagram. Picture: YouTube
Depop is an online auction app that positions itself somewhere between eBay and Instagram. Picture: YouTube

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EBAY may be a one-stop shop for most people, but, as Alex Watson discovers, there are lots of other online marketplaces to buy or sell on

Online auction giant eBay - like Google, Facebook and Amazon - is part of our everyday conversations. As well as being a noun, it’s also become a verb (ie. ‘This shirt doesn’t fit, I’ll just eBay it’) – when that happens, you know it’s here to stay.

However, just because eBay, now 20 years old, is the most famous host of online auctions doesn’t necessarily make it the best for everyone. We’ve all heard of Amazon and Gumtree too, but lately both buyers and sellers have been jumping ship to other more specialist websites in order to get the best price for their possessions or purchases, or to find that special something unavailable on these larger marketplaces.

For music: Discogs

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Bookmark-worthy for any music fan’s browser, Discogs is not only a marketplace for buying and selling music, it’s also an online comprehensive music database. By signing up users can keep a record of their existing record collection and create a ‘wantlist’, discover new bands and artists and contribute to the database as well as shopping or flogging.

For arts and crafts: Etsy

Known by most as a goldmine for super cute, handmade jewellery, clothing and other trinkets Etsy is also an excellent resource for good quality vintage items (20 years or older) and craft supplies. Many crafters have taken the step from hobby to career thanks to their success on Etsy and it - whether you love everything vintage or are after a custom piece - it’s the best online selling site for finding something totally unique.

For free second-hand goods: Freecycle

With more than nine million users worldwide currently Freecycle is more of a movement than a website. This non-profit organisation’s main aim is to avoid furniture, clothing and other items becoming landfill waste unnecessarily. Nearly six thousand groups (organised by location) can be found by searching the main Freecycle website’s database and users can list anything they no longer need but deem worthy of re-homing for anyone to claim. It’s recycling at its best and - as the name suggests - entirely free.

For independent shoppers: Storenvy

The Storenvy marketplace only launched in 2012 but it is now one of the most popular websites for buyers and sellers of independent brands. The site features small, online shops selling everything from clothing and accessories to artwork and electronic gadgets, but breaks this overwhelming amount of information down into easy-to-navigate sections. Storenvy is the place to go for the latest trends.

For Instagram-ready fashion: Depop

Similar to eBay in theory but much more user friendly, the Depop app for smartphone and tablets is the future of online auctions. Somewhere between eBay and Instagram - if you decide to sell anything putting it on the Depop marketplace simply involves snapping a photo with your camera phone and uploading. Users can follow their friends and favourite businesses to see what’s for sale and they can easily chat to potential sellers about any of the items that catch their eye while browsing. One downside might be that it’s almost too easy to spend money with this app…