Online Marketplaces Reviewed for Indian Online Sellers

Note: Post up to date as of April 2015
In the age of eCommerce, it is almost criminal for a business to not sell online. While there is an option to start an independent online store for your business, it is also a good idea to give online marketplaces a try as well. If an online store can be compared to an independent retail store, a marketplace is more like a virtual mall. Marketplaces provide an established platform for sellers to sell their products online, but give lower margins in profit as compared to selling from an independent online store.
But which marketplace is the perfect match for your business? To help you decide, we’ve put together a review of all the major marketplaces in India based on the following parameters: Pricing, Shipping, Packaging, Payout Period and Marketplace Size.
Here is a consolidated list of the comparison of the different online marketplaces, which is followed by the detailed analysis of each of them.

Reviews of Online Marketplace
Marketplace Amazon eBay ShopClues Snapdeal Flipkart
Pricing Subscription Fee INR 499/ Month INR 499/ Month (For Basic Store) Free Free Free
Listing Fee INR 10/ Sale Free for first 100 products Free Free Free
Payment Gateway Fee None 4.5% Paisa Pay Fee + 12.36% ST None None None
Comission (Depends on Product Category) 5%-15% 1%-7% 4%-20% 4%-20% 4%-20%
Shipping Self Shipping
Shipping Provided
Use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Powership Use eKart
Cost of Shipping Rs 40 to Rs 45/ 500 gms + 1% of Item Value Rs. 40 – 49/ 500 gms INR 45/ 500 gms for SCVB INR 40/ 500 gms (approx.) INR 35/ 500 gms (approx.)
Packaging Packaging Provided?
Only for FBA; Handled by Amazon Only for PowerShip customers Provided for SVB
Cost of Packaging NA NA INR 3 – 9/ Order INR 3/ Order NA
Payout Period Shipment Confirmation from customer + 7 Days On Shipment Confirmation from customer Every Wednesday for all orders Completed before Monday Dispatch Date + 3 Weeks Tier-1 Seller: Dispatch Date + 7 business days
Size of the Marketplace 10,000 Sellers
10 Million Unique Visitors / Month
2 Crore Products Listed
40,000 Sellers
2.5 Million Active Users
1.1 Million Product Listings
100,000 Sellers
50 Million Visitors / Year
1.6 Crore Products Listed
60,000 Sellers
4 Crore Registered Users
10 Million+ Products Listed
3,000 Sellers
$1 Billion Sales 2012-13

You can read a complete review of the major marketplaces here.

1) Amazon

Whenever one thinks of an online marketplace to sell on, one of the first names that pop up is Amazon. The world’s largest online retailer has become a hot favourite with sellers since entering the Indian market in June 2013.
Here’s a breakdown of the services Amazon provides.
a) Pricing: The following is a summary of the pricing charged by Amazon for listing and selling products.

  • Monthly Subscription Fee: Rs 499.
  • Closing Fee: Rs 10 charged on every sale that you make through them.
  • Referral Fee/Commission: Ranges between 5% and 15% per sale, depending on the product category.

You can check out the detailed pricing for Amazon here.
b) Shipping: A seller has the option of either shipping the product to customers himself, or using the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to ship products.
In case the sellers signs up for FBA, he is required to stock the products at the various Amazon Fulfillment Centers. Whenever an order is placed by the customer, Amazon packages and ships the product to the customer. The seller is charged extra for the following:

  • Storage Space: Rs 14.2 per cubic feet per month
  • Shipping: Rs 40 to Rs 45 per 500 grams
  • Packaging: Rs 10 to Rs 25 per unit
  • Delivery Service Fee: 1% of item value

You can read the detailed pricing card for the Fulfillment by Amazon program here.
c) Packaging: Packaging material is not provided by Amazon for sellers, unless they sign up for FBA. In that case, packaging is undertaken by Amazon themselves.
d) Payout Period: Amazon disburses payments to sellers’ bank accounts once every week. A seller is eligible to get paid for an order 7 days after it is confirmed as shipped.
e) Marketplace Size: Amazon has close to 10,000 sellers on its marketplace in close to 10 months of operation in India. The website receives almost 10 million unique visitors every month. It offers more than 2 Crore products, in addition to 12 million books and 2 million e-books.

Start Selling on Amazon within 21 days!

2) eBay

Another name synonymous with selling online is eBay. The online retail giants were founded in 1995 and took just 10 years to enter the Indian market, in 2005. One major difference between eBay and other marketplaces is that you have two options while pricing your products.
You can either list a fixed price for a product or choose an auction type price. You can select a minimum bid amount and also an end date for the auction. The highest bidder at the end of the auction gets to purchase the product.
a) Pricing: The pricing structure on eBay is a little more complicated and varies depending on a lot of factors. Here is a brief of the different charges that a seller incurs on eBay.

  • Subscription Fee: On eBay, you can choose to be a Non Shop Subscriber or a Subscriber (3 different plans). You avail benefits depending upon which plan you are subscribed to. Here are the rates for the different plans available on eBay.
    • Basic Store: Rs 499 per month
    • Featured Store: Rs 1999 per month
    • Premium Store: Rs 3999 per month
  • Insertion Fee: To list a product on your store, you are charged a listing fee. The first 100 products are free of the listing fees for every seller. After that, the rates charged are as follows.

eBay Pricing
The rates are shown for the different listing types. The first category is for the 1, 3, 5 or 7 days of listing. The second is for the 10 or 30 day listing option.

  • PaisaPay Fee: For every sale made through eBay, you will be charged 4.5% as the PaisaPay fees. In addition, on this PaisaPay fee (only interest amount, not the total sale value), 12.36% Service Tax is also applicable.
  • Final Value Fee:  For every product that you sell, you will also be charged the Final Value Fees. It is a percentage of the total sale value. This varies between 1% and 7%, depending on the type of product you are selling.

You can check out the detailed pricing structure for selling on eBay here.
b) Shipping: eBay sellers too have the option to either ship the products themselves, or use eBay’s shipping solution ‘PowerShip’.
Unlike Amazon, eBay does not have any physical fulfillment center where a seller can stock the products. Once the seller packs the products himself, representatives from eBay’s logistics partners pick up the order from the seller. The package is then delivered to the customer.
Here are the shipping charges for eBay’s PowerShip.
eBay Pricing
You can check read more about PowerShip here.
c) Packaging: Just like Amazon, packaging material is not provided to the seller by eBay unless you sign up for PowerShip. Once you sign up for it, you are provided eBay branded packaging material to pack your orders.
d) Payout Period: Once the customer pays for the product, eBay holds the payment till the buyer confirms receipt of the order in good condition. Once the confirmation is done, eBay transfers the amount to the seller’s account.  So, there is no definite payout period, but instead depends on the shipping time and customer confirmation. The entire process usually takes 7-10 days from the date of order.
e) Marketplace Size: There are more than 40,000 sellers active on the marketplace in India and has over 1.1 million live listings on its website at any given point of time. There are more than 2 million active users on eBay in India from more than 4,000 cities across the country.

Start Selling on eBay within 21 days!

 3) Shopclues

A comparatively newer entry into the Indian eCommerce scenario, ShopClues has seen immense growth since its launch in 2012. The marketplace offers great deals for buyers and is popular among young shoppers online. The growth curve has risen steeply over the last 12 months and the company has also raised more than $15 million in funding till date.
a) Pricing: The pricing for ShopClues is very less complicated and is designed to attract merchants to sell on the marketplace. The pricing structure is performance based, which means that a seller only pays for a successful sale on ShopClues. Here is a breakdown of the charges a seller has to incur.

  • Subscription Fee: Nil. There is no subscription or listing fee charged by ShopClues.
  • Listing Fee: Nil. There is no fee for listing your products on ShopClues.
  • Selling Service Fee: For every successful sale, a commission is charged by ShopClues. The charges vary between 4% and 20%, depending on the type of product that you sell.

You can check out the detailed pricing structure for ShopClues here.
b) Shipping: For shipping orders that you receive on ShopClues, a merchant has to use Fulfillment by ShopClues, unless rare conditions are met by the sellers (like being out of operational area of all Shopclues logistics partners). A merchant is not allowed to use his own logistics arrangement to ship products through ShopClues.
A merchant starts off as a ShopClues Velocity Basic (SCVB) member. Once he starts selling on ShopClues and meets the required eligibility criteria, he is given the option to upgrade to the ShopClues Velocity Premium (SCVP) plan. The shipping charges are as follows. Shipping charges for every 500 grams is Rs 45.
c) Packaging: ShopClues provides packaging material to sellers to pack their products. In the SCVB plan, a seller has to pack the product and the courier representative picks the packed product. In case of SCVP, the seller just has to hand over the loose product and the entire packaging and shipping procedure is taken care of by ShopClues.

  • Packaging charges: For every item packed by ShopClues, a charge of Rs 3 to Rs 9 is levied on the seller. For most items, this charge is Rs 9.

d) Payout Period: The merchants are paid out every week on Wednesday. The payouts are made for all products sold prior to that Monday, which have achieved the ‘Complete’ status.
e) Marketplace Size: Over 100,000 registered merchants are registered on the marketplace. More than 1.6 Crore products are listed for sale on ShopClues to over 50 million visitors every year.

Start Selling on ShopClues within 21 days!

 4) Snapdeal

Snapdeal is a daily deals site turned online marketplace that started 4 years ago. Its huge rise in the last few years has seen it raise a tremendous amount of investment to fund its growth further. Here is a review of the services it provides to sellers for selling their products on their platform.
a) Pricing: Snapdeal is another marketplace that believes in a performance based pricing structure for its sellers. Here is what all you are charged for when selling at Snapdeal.

  • Subscription Fee: Nil. There is no subscription or listing fee charged by Snapdeal.
  • Listing Fee: Nil. There is no fee for listing your products on Snapdeal.
  • Successful Sale Commission: Though Snapdeal does not allow anyone to share the exact commission rates, they usually charge between 4% and 20% for every successful sale through them. The rates are similar to those offered by ShopClues.

b) Shipping: For a Snapdeal seller, it is mandatory to use the services of their logistics partners. The seller has to keep the order packed and the courier partners pick them up from the seller and deliver it to the customer.

  • Shipping Charges: The exact rates aren’t disclosed publicly, but they are approximately Rs 40 for every 0.5 Kg shipment. This cost is inclusive of all shipment charges.

Snapdeal also provides its sellers an innovative order fulfillment tool named SafeShip, which they can use to track and manage their orders with ease. Recently, they opened the SafeShip service for rival eCommerce companies to use as well. You can read more about SafeShip here.
c) Packaging: Packaging material is provided to the sellers by Snapdeal for an extra charge. The packaging material is charged at Rs 3 per order.
d) Payout Period: The seller is paid out for a successful order within 3 weeks of the dispatch date.
e) Marketplace Size: Snapdeal is one of the largest eCommerce players in India, with more than 4 Crore+ registered users. There are upwards of 10 million products up for sale from more than 60,000 sellers.

Start Selling on Snapdeal within 21 days!

 5) Flipkart

Flipkart is the success story of the Indian eCommerce industry. The 7 year old company is the largest eCommerce startup in India and has become a household name in the country.
It caters to a large number of sellers and buyers and offers wonderful services, which has seen its reputation skyrocket in the last few years. Here is how the marketplace ranks up in the different parameters.
a) Pricing: Flipkart is another marketplace that follows the performance based pricing structure. Here is a breakdown of the charges that you have to bear on Flipkart as a seller.

  • Subscription Fee: Nil. There is no subscription fee involved in selling your products on Flipkart.
  • Listing Fee: Nil. There is no fee required to list your products on Flipkart.
  • Commission: Flipkart also maintains confidentiality with regards to the exact commission rates that they charge on every product. The charges vary between 4% and 20% for every successful sale through them and many sellers get personalized rates depending on the quantity of sales they guarantee.

b) Shipping: For shipping, Flipkart uses its own logistics service eKart. It is mandatory for the sellers to use their services when shipping orders to customers. It is the seller’s responsibility to pack the order and keep it ready for the courier representatives, who collect it from the seller.

  • Shipping Charges: Once again, the exact rates aren’t disclosed by Flipkart, but the shipping rates are around Rs 35 per 0.5 Kg delivered through eKart.

c) Packaging: Flipkart usually does not provide packaging material to its sellers. But in certain rare cases, if a large quantity of orders is guaranteed by a seller, Flipkart does provide the material.
d) Payout Period: The payment cycle on Flipkart for sellers is different for the two different tiers of sellers. All new sellers start off as Tier-2 sellers. Once the seller completes one month on Flipkart with minimum 30 transactions, he is considered a Tier-1 seller. However, for this to happen, a settlement defect rate of less than 5% has to be maintained. If it shoots higher than 5%, the Tier-1 seller status is downgraded again to Tier-2.
The payout times for the different tiers are:

  • Tier-1 Seller: The payment cycle for all tier-1 sellers is Dispatch Date + 5 business days.
  • Tier-2 Seller: The payment cycle for all tier-2 sellers is Dispatch Date + 10 business days.

e) Marketplace Size: Flipkart has a relatively low number of sellers when compared to its competitors, with around 3,000 sellers active on the marketplace. This is due to the company’s policy of onboarding sellers after a stringent quality check.
Still, it was the first Indian eCommerce company to touch $1 billion in sales, earlier this year.

Start Selling on Flipkart within 21 days!

So that is what every major marketplace has to offer sellers in India. Do you also sell on any marketplace? Or do you plan to start selling there soon? Do leave us your experiences, queries and reviews in the comments below!

About the author


  1. can you compare fashion sites like – myntra, jabong, yebhi, etc. in reference to only clothing? because as far as I know the comission rates are quite high on clothes. Need confirmation!

  2. Hi Keyur,
    We dont have complete information on this one. But our best answer is that SnapDeal will always guide you once you register with them. Minimum requirements is you need to be registered business.
    As for ShopClues, we don’t have any idea. We guess you’ll have to talk to their support for the same.

  3. Hi Zepo Team,
    I am planning to start a online e-commerce
    marketplace completely for handicrafts products. My marketplace is a B2B
    marketplace where the legal ownership changes from the seller to my
    marketplace then to customer. In this scenario, can I buy handicrafts
    products from sellers who does not have a VAT / registered business?
    because these sellers would be housewives or unemployed women. Please
    clarify my concerns.
    Your response is much appreciated.

  4. Hi Keyur, It was nice to hear that you wanted to list your products on marketplaces (Shopclues and Snapdeal). May we know what kind of products you sell because even we are starting a brand new marketplace. Please reach out to me for more detail on (0)8095778797 and

  5. I have retail business computer,laptop and other accessories situated in jamnagar(Gujarat).Now i would like to know can i sell my product on snapdeal or flipkart as well as legal documents required to start.

  6. Hi . Here my bitter experience as an online entrepreneur.
    In the beginning of April I was decided to start an e-commerce business, and was collecting information from different parts. On April 9th I received an email from a Gujarat based online firm (owner name Ravi Somani), like below:
    We Developed an only one stop solutions in e-Commerce technologies, we launched an introductory offer that allows retailers, Whole sellers and New Business Aspirants to buy a ready-to-use enterprise level e-Commerce solution backed by robust technology platform.
    An Instant e-Commerce Portal for your e-Commerce Business is ready for sale of Just Rs. 15,500/-, With below mentioned features.
    We offer two way support for products feed.
    Product Feed on your Email.
    Direct upload on E-commerce website.
    Product Database: Showcase our 20,00,000+ Products to your Website visitors categorized under more than 15 Main Categories and 500+ Subcategories
    Drop Shipment Reach: Reach out to your customers across 4000+ Locations all over India at the best prices.
    Sell Better: Utilize your Marketing & Customer Engagement sale 25,000+ units a day are being sold from the website. Use mailers,
    Earn More: Minimum Commission Mentioned for Product Category with 0 listing Fees
    Quick Setup: Setup Website in no time with products Active on your Domain
    Support & Advice: Our Support would assist you In every step to help you sell better every time.
    After a long discussion in phone and email, I decided to join them, and had send them Rs.15500/- to their bank a/c.
    They had offered me to activate the website within 24 hours. But even after two months they did not do anything.
    After my continuing phone calls, they had given me a demo magneto website, with nearly 150 product. As a checking, my friend had ordered a product from the site, by advance payment. But till today they have not send the product or return his money.
    Now the website is not working.
    From their discussions I came to know that they had cheated more than 200 people from different part of India. He is only 23 years old and I was sending money to his father’s bank a/c.
    I ask them to return my money after deducting their charges, as they decide. But they refused to return even a single rupee.
    Now they do not attend my phone calls and continuing their fraudulent activities.
    I think this type of online cheating will kill the trust of online industry.
    The result is I lost my money, trust and confidence to do an online business.
    What legal actions that I can taken against them ?
    Can you help me?
    My ph: 09843343423

    1. Hi Rajan,
      Sad to know that you went through so much of a hassle with web developers. If there is anything we can do to help you take your business online, again, we’d be glad to help you along.
      Also, we are opening your comment in the discussion here. If there are any lawyers around, please do get in touch with Rajan.

  7. We are starting a internet marketing (E-commerce Marketplace) only for books and stationary store in India , origin from Kolkata, jharkhand
    We require seller to sell products for reaching in the hand
    of our
    Precious customers. If any body want to become our seller,
    They mail us at :

  8. Hi Sumanth,
    The percentages vary through all product categories coz the margins on the products differ too. For example, electronics and clothing are high margin products hence the commissions are also higher.
    Hope this helps with your concern.

  9. I am a mobile phone distributor looking to sell phones on Flipkart, Snapdeal and other websites. Can any one let me know if there is anything in particular that i need to keep in mind before i register.

  10. Hi Rax,
    The requirement for a registered business varies from marketplace to marketplace. We suggest you get in touch with each of them personally to learn more about their onboarding.

  11. Hi Sonali,
    Thanks for writing in to us. Answering your questions below one by one:
    1. Yes, anyone can sell on marketplaces but every marketplace has their own set of pre-requisites. That you can find in our blog post,
    or you can even write in to the respective marketplace for more details on how to send with them.
    2. The minimum requirements again change from marketplace to marketplace.
    3. All you need to start selling online is have your own website and if you’d like to accept payments online, you need to register for a payment gateway. But let this not frighten you. You can log onto, and start your 14 day free trial in 5 minutes.
    4.1. For starting any business , you need a valid license like License under Shop and Establishment Act (Basic) or Incorporation Certificate for Companies, etc
    4.2. TAN no. is not mandatory for Sole Proprietors unless your turnover in the previous financial year exceeded 1 crore.
    4.3. Service Tax Registration is applicable only for Service Providers only. If during a financial year your company crossed 9 lakhs in turnover for service provided, then registration is mandatory within 30 days.
    And Service Tax is to be paid on the amount exceeding 10 lakhs. This exemption limit of Rs 10 Lakhs applies only for the first year and from second year onwards service tax has to be paid on all amount received towards taxable services
    4.4. VAT is mandatory when the gross turnover exceeds 5 lakhs. However for imports registration is mandatory when it exceeds 1 lakhs. VAT has to be charges on the imported products as well as per the VAT schedule.
    Hope this helps.

  12. Hey Neil,
    The marketplaces will be the best people to answer this query. However, as per our best knowledge, the shipping rates are different for different zones. Though we still suggest you talk to the marketplace directly to find out more.

  13. Varun,
    Thanks so much for the information. It will be really useful for beginners who would like to start selling thro online. Great Job!!

  14. Great article !
    You already have covered all major players from online marketplace. Apart from flipkart and shopclues, I am also using new marketplace for selling my books. They are small team but great in service. Just sharing there URL in comment if I can help them to get more sellers in return of there great service.
    Cheers 🙂

  15. Hi Sudhir,
    This article was added last year. The rates have not changed much since then, but as the new fiscal year just started, we will be updating this article very soon.

  16. Jeremiah,
    Thank you for the suggestion. When we update this list, we can surely rate the marketplaces on these criteria.

  17. Dear Praveen
    Think twice before being a partner with Snapdeal. I have had a very bad experience with Snapdeal.Quite true, as mentioned earlier in the article, they do not release payments in time. The team is not professional and does not promptly reply to your mails and everyone keeps on passing the buck. I started selling in the Healthcare Category and since mid April this category has been disabled and I have not received my pending payments. Nobody has an answer to the queries. In the beginning they’ll help you like anything but once you have a complaint or a query, they will keep on misguiding you .

  18. Hey Pankaj,
    Thanks for the alert. But could you tell us what marketplaces were you dealing with and what were the problems you faced? We can try and help you out. And it may help our other readers too.

  19. Hi Bhavesh,
    All online marketplaces are a good deal for any entrepreneur starting out. However, every marketplace will have it’s plus and negative side. We’d suggest you get in touch with each of the marketplaces and do a repo of them yourself to better understand what you might be getting into.
    We’d say go ahead with Amazon and Flipkart for now.

  20. Hi Kavita
    Sorry to inform you but there is no sellers list as of now. We hope you have an incredible start. Good luck.
    Team Zepo

    1. Hi Vimalanthan,
      We do not keep any seller’s list with us. You can try posting on facebook groups or start up forums to find interested sellers.


  22. Hello Customers,
    Hope you need to know this-
    Flipkart says Manufacturers to Customers Direct. So you Get Cheap.
    Let me tell you if a Seller is selling A Backpack.
    Flipkart- Charges-
    19% commission of the amount the sellers selling price.
    14% Tax
    10 Rs. Fixed Fee
    2.5% of Total Sale Value
    Then – the Shipping Charge.
    So think again what Flipkart says lol
    Let me demonstrate in simple way
    Backpack Sellers Price- ₹499
    Flipkart- 19% Commission- ₹99
    Flipkart- ₹10 fixed charges
    Flipkart- ₹15 collection fee
    Flipkart- ₹17 tax
    Then for zonal they will charge- ₹70
    Interstate- ₹40
    Rest India- ₹100
    As you saw from the demonstration they will earn directly ₹141 for that bag lol and shipping extra as Per your location from the seller.
    Now telling you the truth they charge heavy than what you get in a shop near you!
    If you check the seller’s background you will know what he is selling as you maybe buying a American Tourister backpack but its duplicate if the same kinda rate is not on the mall near you!
    As if the seller in Flipkart selling it he will definable keep a margin and rest pay Flipkart too so how can you get a product price so less.
    Coming on some companies they say that some sellers are selling duplicate stuff!
    Yes its correct.
    Rest if you really want to buy something like bags never buy blindly from Flipkart go to the nearest mall and verify the margin and things so u will get an answer.
    Apart from that Flipkart tries to be smart here but only targets the rural people as they can be the best victims as they don’t have such places to see those products physicaly and compare.
    You can check this too just change your pincode restart the app and they you will see things changed like products coming to your app will be different as per a city pincode.
    All these are very well done by both the IT professional who started this and knew Indians love Discounts.
    Never fall for this go check and buy is the best way.
    Yes this may lead to expenses like going and wasting time.
    But you will be satisfied when you check and buy rather a week later when it arrives and you find a used or damaged product.
    A Seller who sells is just trying to empty the inventory. But Flipkart just kills small sellers.
    There are many reasons where Flipkart is eating seller.
    And they even don’t show their products on the site/app sometime.
    Its hard to get money after selling.
    And its hard to work.
    So now Dear customers think again before you buy.
    But its best app to check what features it has and how it looks rest you know you maybe buying cheap but its the seller who tries to become in good list and sells it without profit as his profit is just stolen by this e-commerce Wolf Flipkart.
    Never blame a seller if you buy and get a damaged product its Flipkart’s logistics EKart with all illiterate dogs who thows the product before it reaches your house.
    Think once when you get a COD if you get a stone in your mobile box its never the seller who will do that its EKart people who steal this and enjoys.
    When you receive this just file a Police Report against Flipkart and you will know what happened.
    As that phone into Police Cyber surveillance they will catch only a Ekart worker.
    This is the small story which maybe someone says wrong. But you will see this picture soon when Flipkart will be only used by people who are just dumbs.
    Thank You
    Wish You All A Super Life Shopping
    The next time you go to a Mall just ask for the latest arrivals not the discounted ones you will feel the respect you may never felt before.
    Buy original Be Intelligent.


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