Feature Image of What is a Marketplace Seller

What is a Marketplace Seller: Definition, Types, Journey, and Must-Have Skills

Abdullah Al Nayeem





10 min read

Marketplace sellers are those who sell goods and services in exchange for money on a physical or online platform.

There are many things that are essential to know to have a comprehensive idea about a marketplace seller. Considering your needs, the topics we will cover here are:

  • What is a Marketplace Seller or Vendor (with Types and Examples)
  • Journey of a Marketplace Seller (including how to become a seller and start selling)
  • Must-Have Skills for an Online Marketplace Seller

Before you learn about marketplace sellers, you need to know the marketplace definition and types for better understanding. So, we are going to start with it.

Introducing Online Marketplace- Definition, Types, and More

A marketplace is a location (physical or online) where people sell or exchange goods and services. Since we are currently living in a digital era and online marketplace is the trend, our discussion will mostly revolve around the online marketplace.

An online marketplace is an internet-based platform (website or application), where multiple buyers and sellers trade (buy/sell) or exchange their products and services.

Types of Online Marketplaces

We generally find 3 types of online marketplaces depending on the target audience –

  • Business-to-Business (B2B) Marketplace
  • Business-to-Customer (B2C) Marketplace
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P), or Customer-to-Customer (C2C) Marketplace

Based on what would be sold, there are 3 other kinds of online marketplaces –

  • Online Product Marketplace
  • Online Service Marketplace
  • Online Rental Marketplace

If you are interested to know more about the marketplace types and other aspects of an online marketplace, we will recommend you to read this in-depth article (linked below).

Related Read: What is a Marketplace: History, Types, Features, and More Facts

What is a Marketplace Seller or Vendor

Feature Image of What is a Marketplace Seller

A marketplace seller is an individual or an organization who sells their or someone else’s products or services on a physical or online marketplace platform. Marketplace sellers are also called vendors.

Simply put, sellers are those who sell goods and services. Marketplace sellers are those who sell on a marketplace. In other words, marketplace vendors or sellers are the people or brands from whom you buy your stuff.

Marketplace Seller Examples

Let’s say, you have bought a cup of coffee in the morning. The person who sold it to you is a seller. Then, in the afternoon, you went to a shopping mall and bought a T-shirt from H&M. In this case, H&M is the marketplace seller.

At night, you noticed that your toothpaste ran out. Then, you ordered one from Colgate with your Amazon app. Colgate is the online marketplace seller here. The idea will be clearer if you see the marketplace seller types.

Types of Marketplace Sellers with Examples

Two sellers are selling different types of products on an online marketplace

Marketplace sellers have many types in this current age due to our diversified shopping behavior. In general, we can divide them into 2 groups based on the platform

Offline Marketplace Sellers

The sellers sell products and services in a physical marketplace. Example: a storekeeper or a brand at a shopping mall, like The Galleria.

Online Marketplace Sellers

The sellers who use online marketplace platforms, like Amazon and Etsy, to do the trading. Example: an individual seller or a company on eBay.

Depending on sales strategy and amount, marketplace sellers have 2 other kinds – Retailers and Wholesalers


The sellers (individuals or businesses) who sell small quantities of goods and services at a time are called retailers. Example: the vendors of a grocery market in your locality.


The sellers who sell large quantities of goods and services, mostly to the retailers, are called wholesalers. Example: the sellers on Global Sources or at a local wholesale market.

The Homepage of Global Sources
Homepage of Global Sources

We can divide the marketplace sellers into two other types based on who are they


An individual or a group of people who sells products and services independently. Example: the people who trade on Etsy or at your local shopping mall.


The companies or business entities who sell their or someone else’s products and services. Example: the brand stores at a shopping mall or Amazon.com.

Marketplace sellers can be divided into 2 more types depending on what to be sold

Product Sellers

The sellers (individuals or businesses) who sell tangible products, like clothes and electronics. Example: the brands like H&M and Apple, or the grocery sellers at your local market.

Service Sellers

The individuals or the organizations who provide or sell services in exchange for money are known as service sellers. Example: the riders you hire via Uber or the institutions who sell courses on Coursera.

Journey of an Online Marketplace Seller (Tips and Tricks)

Illustration for the Journey of an Online Marketplace Seller

The journey of an online marketplace seller or vendor starts from enrolling in a marketplace platform. Then, it ends with generating revenue by increasing sales or simply making the business sustainable.

Therefore, we have divided the journey into two basic and simple stages –

  1. How to Become a Marketplace Seller
  2. How to Sell on a Marketplace as a Vendor

Your learning of what is a marketplace seller will remain incomplete if you don’t know how to become a seller and sell on a marketplace. That’s why we will describe the processes in the next part. So, stay with us.

Stage 1: How to Become an Online Marketplace Seller

You need to follow a few steps to enroll in an online marketplace, like Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba. The common steps would be the following:

  1. Choose a suitable, profitable, and future-proof marketplace platform
  2. Sign up to the marketplace and create your profile
  3. Plan for inventory management, packaging and delivery services
  4. Analyze the marketplace’s sales and marketing strategy
  5. Develop your sales strategy aligning with the marketplace’s one

The steps might slightly vary based on the marketplace platforms you choose, but they are more or less the same in the core.

Stage 2: How to Sell on an Online Marketplace as a Vendor

Selling is the most important part of a seller’s journey as it makes sellers a seller. You need to follow the steps below to start your sales and revenue generation process:

  1. Upload the products or services on the marketplace website
  2. Apply eCommerce SEO tactics on the product pages
  3. Track customers’ activities for personalization and improvement
  4. Formulate a strategy to recover abandoned carts
  5. Promote your products and services

After starting to sell on the marketplace, you would need to discover new techniques to boost sales and revenue-making. The following article might help you in this regard:

7 Must-Have Skills for an Online Marketplace Seller

Illustration for Marketplace Growth

It is very easy nowadays to start selling on an online marketplace. But surviving as a seller in the long run, in an industry that is already crowded, is not an easy job. So, you should have a set of skills to win this challenge. They are:

  1. Research and planning
  2. SEO (particularly for eCommerce)
  3. Graphic design and photography
  4. Writing (including blog and copywriting)
  5. Communication and networking
  6. Marketing and promotion
  7. Resilience and adaptability

You might consider having some additional skills, including programming, web design and development, social media management, leadership, and management. These skills will help you stay ahead of the competition.

Let’s Conclude on What is a Marketplace Seller

We tried to cover all the necessary topics you are seeking to learn about what is a marketplace seller within a single article. We believe our efforts will benefit you well.

If you think we need to discuss any of the topics in detail in another article, please feel free to let us know. And don’t hesitate at all to share your queries in the comment section below.

If you are planning to launch an online marketplace on your own, you may consider our all-round solution:

Dokan – The Best Way To Build Your Online Marketplace

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