The shaky economy and global supply chain issues have changed consumer expenditures. As a result, people are looking for the best deals locally and globally through trustworthy online apps and other digital tools.
Among Android’s best apps, thousands of shopping experiences exist in the App Store and Google Play Store that sells everything from clothing to furniture. However, competition between these digital storefronts has grown so fierce that many brick-and-mortar stores use price-matching and other techniques to keep customers shopping and happy.
Whether you’re looking to buy a pair of the best Bluetooth speakers at a rock-bottom price or want to sell your old tech to the highest bidder, we have curated a roundup of the best marketplace apps to get you started.
Although we used an Android phone and the Google Play Store for this post, all of the apps selected are available on your iPhone or iPad via the App Store.
eBay has been synonymous with online shopping through its simple system for nearly three decades, allowing users to buy items outright or bid against other users. Evolving with the times, the service works similarly in its mobile version. Buying or bidding on items is easy in the palm of your hands rather than utilizing a desktop. There are also Android-specific features like Google Pay and Dark Mode integration.
Even listing and selling goods seems a bit more streamlined on mobile. Users can take a picture of an item they’re looking to sell, post it directly from their phone and monitor the listing.
Since the mid-90s, Craigslist has served as digital classifieds for everything from roommate finding to employment opportunities. However, buying and selling things has always been the service’s bread and butter.
Craigslist on mobile is even more simplified than its browser-based sibling. Using the mobile device’s location, searching for specific goods couldn’t be any easier on the app. Making a listing is also easy, and users can either use their email to make listings or sign in. Users can favorite postings, save searches, and set alerts if the search for goods takes some time.
Swappa is a user-to-user marketplace service that revolves primarily around gadgets like mobile phones and various home electronics. Buyers looking to get something like a used PlayStation 5 or a cheap tablet at a reasonable price should keep this app tucked regularly.
Thanks to Swappa’s “No Junk, No Jerks” policy, buyers can have a sense of security in their purchases. The same simplicity goes toward sellers as well due to free listings, a small fee from Swappa, and transactions that get deposited to PayPal. It’s even tricky for users to buy or sell stolen phones and tablets as Swappa has an IMEI Checker.
Nextdoor was once a community-building app for neighbors to connect and find local happenings. Though it has become a neighborhood gossip app, there’s also a marketplace component, perfect for anyone looking to hold a contactless garage sale. All users have to do is take a picture, make a price, and post. Buying is just as easy. Nextdoor is good for those who don’t want to pay for anything, as users usually give things out for free.
Amazon Shopping is the most versatile marketplace in the digital world. There’s nothing that can’t be bought besides these fourteen things. Depending on where you live, you can get groceries within the hour. If orders come wrong or a buyer changes their mind, making returns through the app is simple. It makes sense why around 176 Americans have an Amazon Prime subscription for faster shipping. Having an Amazon Prime subscription comes with other perks, including the bottom tier of music service Amazon Music and video streaming service Prime Video.
Frugal individuals who aren’t necessarily concerned about consistent quality can hit up Wish. Consider it the Dollar Store of the digital retail market space without groceries. It’s even easy to find old Windows 10 laptops for dirt cheap.
Wish comes with caveats, especially in how American clothing sizes translate to other countries. However, if you’re looking to buy electronic devices, exercising caution is best, as the availability and quality are questionable. Wish is really great for things like cheap screen protectors and phone cases.
7 Facebook Marketplace
More of a cross between Nextdoor and Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace is included with the general Facebook app. Users already simmered in Meta’s ecosystem looking for a cheap vehicle or a used big screen TV can try it as their first option before moving on to something else on this list. Like Nextdoor, users can find free stuff from people to just let some stuff go. Selling is as easy as making a Facebook post, from taking a picture of the item to making a listing.
Though Amazon’s rise was something Walmart didn’t see coming, its digital presence has improved significantly over the years. This app is great for those who frequently shop at Walmart and need to pick up some orders on the go or from home. As a solid alternative to Amazon’s marketplace, some items can be delivered from the store on the same day. There’s also curbside service for those who need to pick up their orders between work and home.
Shopping for trusted store-certified brands may be right up your alley than looking for second-hand deals. This makes apps like Target and Walmart popular when shopping for household products like home decor, apparel for all ages, and electronics. You can pick any of the essentials at a fair price.
Target Circle is the section to visit within the app to find exclusive deals. You can find hundreds of offers, the Weekly Ad, and redeem your birthday gift; it’s a loyalty program for shopping at Target. And if all else, you can use the app to price match products with other online competitors.
Etsy is the first stop for finding authentic goods like hand-crafted clothing, jewelry, and art. It’s a marketplace for people by people so that anyone can set up shop on Etsy: you will find many artists have made their home here.
The downside of Etsy is the low barrier to organizing a shop, so mileage may vary for receiving original and authentic products from new sellers. However, that’s the risk you take for shopping at online third-party marketplaces. But in this case, the pros far outweigh the cons of using Etsy; your payment method is made entirely secure for complete buyer protection, and there’s a review system set in place — eventually filtering out the untrustworthy and less reputable sellers.
The app makes it even easier to buy from Etsy, where you might even hit it lucky by browsing flash sales, so you don’t always have to spend well above your means.
OfferUp was previously competing against LetGo, another popular marketplace, but has absorbed the company and combined to become one giant marketplace since 2020. OfferUp is an app similar to Craigslist, where you can buy and sell local goods from within the comfort of your home.
Buyers and sellers can communicate securely, so arranging pickup times, asking questions, and negotiating prices (or even haggling) can now be done within the app. In addition, now you have the right tools to inform yourself where to make your purchases by browsing a seller’s page, viewing their business history, and checking the gold star rating while shopping through the app.
Consider a marketplace app that promotes online garage sales for used electronics, like Decluttr. Decluttr is an alternative to eBay but emphasizes itself as a buyback service where anyone can buy and sell refurbished phones, game consoles, MacBooks, tablets, CDs, DVDs, and more. Sellers aim to get these old pieces of tech off their hands quickly and efficiently, so finding a good deal is not out of reach. Of course, product quality will vary, but the transactions are all done through Decluttr — so there is no need to worry about dealing with these sellers directly.
The app has a built-in barcode scanner to help get a price quote. In addition, Decluttr will send a shipping label and the money for these products through PayPal or direct deposit. The only major con is the offer price may change from the initial quote. Still, it trades out for the convenience of having Decluttr sell your old electronics (and reducing your carbon footprint) for you. And for buyers, Decluttr is the app to browse when window shopping for old tech and collectibles without worrying about paying a pretty penny elsewhere.
Factors to consider with marketplace apps
The usefulness of these marketplace apps depends on several things, such as evaluating what you’re purchasing for cost, quality, and shipping. Dabbling into third-party-ran marketplace apps always runs the risk of not meeting expectations for the product you’ve bought. But that’s why potential buyers may want to only deal with trusted retailers like Amazon and Walmart with easy-to-navigate apps.
If you’re worried about getting scammed online, check out our guide to safe shopping on Amazon.