Firefly Sales Consulting

How to Make Money Using Online Marketplaces

A man setting up his own online marketplace

Many People wonder, but how do you make money using online marketplaces? Is it really as easy as it seems?

When you run an online marketplace, you act as the connection between the buyer and the seller. Effectively, you offer them a platform to sell their products – a platform that you can monetize. There are several ways you can charge for the services that you provide and earn from your online marketplace. Below are some of them.


Commission is probably the most widely used type of monetization for market places. It works in a fairly simple way – a percentage of the total price or a decided fee is paid on account of the sales on the marketplace platform, and that’s how a lot of websites such as or Airbnb also work.  

Membership Fee

You could work with a membership fee if you don’t want to depend on each individual sale that takes place and so cannot work on a commission basis. With a membership fee, you can get a monthly or yearly fee, depending on your agreement, which you can expect from the buyers, sellers, or maybe both.

Listing Fee

If you have a platform, you can charge listing fees, also known as insertion fees, from businesses, when they pay you for putting up their items for sale on your platform. You must have seen how Etsy’s website works, and this is how they use their platform to create money from their online marketplace.


Freemium comes from the words ‘free’ and ‘premium,’ as this model uses both factors to devise a pricing strategy. Found a business that wants to use your service but doesn’t want to pay for it at first? Then this option is for you! If, for example, it’s a small business with not enough capital to pay for a membership fee, or they don’t want the full package you’re offering in your charge, then offer some very basic options for free on your site for them to get started.

Then, you need to wait and see till they opt for more premium services, and then you charge and earn when they grow and realize the need for the premium services.

Ads and featured listings

Paid ads on your platform – this one has been a staple of online marketplaces for a long time now, but it still works and pays! They could include but are not limited to paid listings. Etsy uses nonintrusive advertising that doesn’t disturb the customer or force them to block or hide ads. You decide the amount you charge for running an ad on your platform, so before deciding an amount, keep in mind that it not only directly affects your profit, but it also becomes your marketplace business liquidity.

With so many ways of profiting off your own online marketplace, you could turn this online platform into a lucrative business idea! If you want help setting it up, Cloudcafe Technologies can do the work for you. You can sit back and earn in peace through any of the above ways.

Firefly Solutions where Sales and Technology meet..

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