Online Estate Sales vs. Marketplace Sales

We have gotten a lot of questions about the difference between Online Estate Sales and Marketplace sales. We hope that this article can help you decide which is the best fit for your company.

Managing the sale:

  • Online Estate Sales are 100% self managed. This means that you will have to handle all aspects of the sale from listing the sale, communicating with the buyers, collecting payment and working out shipping/pick up details.
  • Marketplace sales have a lot of built in automation that help with payment and arranging shipping/pick up with the buyer. The customer purchases the item directly from the site. You will receive the funds in your account and email notifications to either set up pickup with the customer or ship the item. On a Marketplace sale you spend less time communicating back and forth with the customer because most of the communication is taking place through automated systems.


  • With an Online Estate Sale you can choose to use any payment method you desire including cash, check, or your own credit card processor because you are handling all aspects of the sale.
  • With a Marketplace sale you are required to use the Stripe or Squarecredit card payment system that is built into the marketplace.


  • Online Estate Sales are extremely easy to get up and running on the site, but they will require more clerical work when you are selling items or fielding buyer inquiries.
  • Marketplace Sales take a little longer to list on the site because you have to sign up for a Stripe payment account or a Square payment account before listing. You will also put in more detail about each item when uploading. Theses sales are more work getting them listed, but require less clerical work when you are selling the items because of the built in payment and shipping automation.

Listing on the site:

  • Online Estate Sales show on the City Sale Page similar to a traditional estate sale.
  • Marketplace Sales show on the City Sale Page if 20 or more items are listed.
  • Items in a Marketplace Sale have their own section on the site for people to browse. This can bring additional exposure for your items outside of the exposure in email notifications and on the City Sale Page.
  • Both Online Estate Sales and Marketplace sale are included in the email notifications that go out to subscribers.

So which one is best for your company? It really depends on your situation. If you are wanting to get a sale up on the site as fast as possible an Online Estate Sale will probably be your best bet, but keep in mind that you will have a lot of clerical work to do during the sale. If you dislike emails back and forth with customers and want a more complete customer experience for yourself and your customers we recommend using the Marketplace.