One of the main reasons I shop online is probably same reason you shop online too – convenience.
I’m not just talking about the convenience of not having to leave my house or my office either. This isn’t about laziness (for the most part). When I’m shopping online, I want to be able to browse around and click through pages quickly and easily. I want to be able to click on the items that interest me, zoom in on them, and even see them from different angles. I want to be able to compare several items side-by-side without having to hit the back button, or reload a dozen times, and I want to know that the price listed on the website, is the same price I’m going see in the shopping cart- including any sales, discounts or promotions.
What SHOULD be a huge convenience when shopping online, ehem, the WORLD WIDE WEB, is the ability to find new and unique places or spaces, merchants or customers, design or inspiration, or products and services.
I don’t know about you, but saving time is also a big convenience for me, especially if I’m looking for something new and unique. I don’t want to spend hours on a search engine before I even find a Website that might sell what I’m looking for (even if I don’t know what that is yet). That being said— I also don’t want to spend hours figuring out how to communicate with a seller, or how to check out. And, I want the convenience of feeling like my purchase is safe and simple, quick and secure. Otherwise, it’s more convenient to simply abandon the shopping cart, even if I still want the product.
For anyone looking for alternatives to dominating, e-commerce marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Buy.com, Yahoo Shopping, etc., below is short, yet rather meager roundup of some of the latest creative ventures popping up in cyberspace, for your convenience.
Free classifieds for goods, services, housing, jobs, or gigs. Unless you’re posting a job, in which case there’s a fee, depending on what location you’re posting in. Craigslist also has a discussions section where you can, well, discuss, with other users.
(Ok, so this one isn’t quite new, but you can’t help but appreciate the simplicity, intimacy or variety—usually available in close proximity (whatever you’re looking for).
What kind of design do you want on your product? Customize it at CaféPress and then have it made, or sell your design, so somebody can buy it to customize their own product.
Here you find T-shirts for every mood, occasion and personality.
If it’s homemade or handmade, it can be bought and sold at Etsy.
Buy and sell tasks for $5 – from odd jobs, to errands- whether you need a job done or are willing to do the job- either way, it’s worth a fiverr.
Cars, jobs, apartments, real estate, pets, tickets, etc.- whatever it is, post a free ad for it on Oodle.
If you have products to sell, this site allows you to build your own Web store . If you want to browse products, you can still build your own Web store, or you can just go ahead and peruse.
Buy and sell pretty much anything out of the ordinary at Bonanza (previously Bonanzle).
Glyde has a very simple interface- intended to be easy enough for even the most web-challenged e-shoppers to buy and sell games, dvds, cds and books.
Purchase stock photos, or sell your own here. They have a wide variety of quality images, available in all different sizes, whatever your project might be.
Share your favorite online marketplace in the comments below.