Best Online Auction Websites

eBay is our best overall pick for rare products and good deals

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 Best Online Auction Websites

Lifewire / Design by Amelia Manley

If you're looking for great deals, there's a good chance you'll find them on an online auction website. Whether you're on the hunt for jewelry, clothes, books, cars, a house, or even a piece of land, they're all available at bargain prices on these bidding websites.

While eBay is the most popular and widely known auction website, there are plenty of alternatives that offer niche topics like collectibles, specialty items, or big-ticket purchases like real estate and vehicles. Before choosing the best site for your needs, check for any extra fees that could be applied to your purchase. Some sites even offer memberships for additional benefits.

Here, find the best online auction websites to find your favorite items without breaking the bank.

Specialty Auctions

10 Best Online Auction Websites of 2023

Best Overall: eBay

eBay auction item
  • Fees: Varied percentage of the winning bid amount plus $0.30 per order selling fee
  • Membership: Multiple options for free or reduced selling fees
  • Shipping: Free, calculated at checkout, or local pickup

Why We Chose It

eBay is the most popular and well-established online auction site, which features auctions for just about every type of item and a user-friendly interface.

Pros & Cons

  • Well-established site with reasonable policies and procedures

  • Buyer and seller reputations are a key part of transactions

  • Includes just about every type of item

  • "Professional" buyers often engage in last-minute bidding wars, to the detriment of casual users

  • The feedback system can be confusing and unhelpful


eBay is one of the oldest auction sites online, and it offers a huge array of items from diamonds to used clothes and even real estate. Buyers can bid or buy instantly, and sellers can use eBay to get rid of unwanted items. 

Self-proclaimed to be "where the world goes to shop, sell, and give," this bargain hunter's super auction site seems to have everything you can dream of. Users can place bids via computer or directly through the eBay auction app.

However, too much of a good thing can be tough to navigate. Learn how to search eBay to narrow down the options and find the product you're looking for.

Best Nonprofit: ShopGoodwill

Goodwill auction website listing
  • Fees: None
  • Membership: N/A
  • Shipping: Free, calculated at checkout, or local pickup

Why We Chose It

ShopGoodwill is a nonprofit online auction site that brings popular items from Goodwill stores to its online marketplace. Buyers can have their items shipped or opt for local pickup on many different items.

Pros & Cons

  • Proceeds benefit a good cause

  • Lots of unique finds

  • Easy-to-use platform

  • Lots of chaff to sift to find the wheat

  • Donations can be cherry-picked by Goodwill staff


Goodwill is a nonprofit organization that operates retail stores to raise money for people with disabilities or who otherwise need a helping hand. Its bidding website, ShopGoodwill, is a collaborative effort from Goodwill stores all across the United States and provides an impressive variety of all sorts of products.

Some of the categories of items that go for auction on Goodwill include home, bulk, art, tools, wedding, clothing, musical instruments, pet supplies, computers and electronics, sports, bath and body, toys, and games.

Best for Trading Items: Listia

Listia online auction site listing
  • Fees: 10 percent of fixed price
  • Membership: Multiple options for bonus credits
  • Shipping: Free, flat rate, or exact cost

Why We Chose It

Listia is essentially an online trading system. The site gives users credits for listing their unwanted items, which can be used to "purchase" other items.

Pros & Cons

  • Interesting take on the online auction experience

  • Earn in-app currency through referrals as well as sales

  • Credit system is unnecessarily complex

  • Not many users


Instead of using cash to bid, Listia offers credits to users, so all the items are technically free.

Here's how it works: First, a Listia user lists something they don't want anymore. Then, other users bid on it using credits they earn from referring friends or selling their own merchandise. The user who bids the most credits wins the item.

Another way to look at this auction site is as a trading system, but since not all items are equal in value, you're given credits to use for other trades.

Depending on the item and where it's being sold from, some things can be purchased online as digital orders, shipped to you for free or a fee (which you'll need real money for), or can be picked up locally.

Best for Government Sales: GovDeals

GovDeals auction website
  • Fees: 0 to 7.5 percent seller's fee, 5 to 12.5 percent buyer's fee
  • Membership: N/A
  • Shipping: Local pickup or buyer-arranged shipping

Why We Chose It

GovDeals offers legitimate government sales of surplus or confiscated items, including a wide range of categories from heavy equipment to electronics, automobiles, and more.

Pros & Cons

  • Diversity of items, from office supplies to heavy industrial equipment

  • Very clear terms and conditions for each sale

  • Legitimate government sales

  • Most places don't ship, so you'll need to pick up items yourself or arrange for shipping

  • Online listings aren't always written by experienced salespeople


GovDeals is the official portal for government auctions. There are dozens of categories of products to bid on, such as janitorial equipment, batteries, lumber, gambling machines, trailers, all-terrain vehicles, commercial furnaces, motorcycles, exercise equipment, and real estate.

The rules and regulations vary depending on the participating agency, and you deal directly with the agency after you're awarded a bid.

The deals are great, but be sure to inquire about packaging and shipping of an item before you place your bid because most sellers don't ship, pack, or palletize. You may be responsible for picking it up or paying someone to transport it.

Best Online Police Auction: PropertyRoom

PropertyRoom auction site listing
  • Fees: Varied percentage of the winning bid amount
  • Membership: N/A
  • Shipping: Flat rate, calculated at checkout, or local pickup

Why We Chose It

Property Room is an online resource that lets buyers browse police auctions for seized, found, and unclaimed items at low prices.

Pros & Cons

  • Wide variety of items

  • Many items are listed and sold below value

  • Clean, easy-to-use website

  • Hit-or-miss listings

  • Work directly with the police department, so pick-up arrangements vary

  • Vehicle titles may be complicated because of state-specific forms related to asset seizures


Law enforcement is required by law to auction seized, found, and unclaimed personal property at a public forum. A large number of goods are seized regularly, and the PropertyRoom bidding site aims to make it all available via public police auctions. There are tons of vehicles on the site, but it also features electronics, jewelry, art, coins, watches, and more.

PropertyRoom works with more than 4,100 law enforcement and municipal agencies, so the selection is vast and constantly changing. 

Best Municipal Surplus: Municibid

Municibid auction site listing
  • Fees: Varied percentage of the winning bid amount
  • Membership: N/A
  • Shipping: Local pickup or specified by seller

Why We Chose It

Like other government auction sites, Municibid offers a wide variety of item categories to bid on. Starting prices are often very low, giving users the opportunity to find great discounts on their items.

Pros & Cons

  • Items from city/state-level government agencies up for bid

  • Large range of items

  • Not many participating jurisdictions

  • Harsh charges accrue if you default on a bid

  • There is an automatic 9% fee when you win a bid and is charged to your credit card


Have you ever wondered how you can get your hands on something the government doesn't want anymore? Municibid is your best bet. This is an auction website for government agencies, schools, authorities, and utilities to sell their surplus and forfeitures directly to the public.

Auction items include cars, boats, furniture, computers, kitchen equipment, and much more.

Best for Collectibles: Webstore

Webstore watch at auction
  • Fees: None
  • Membership: N/A
  • Shipping: Free, flat rate, or calculated at checkout

Why We Chose It

While Webstore's site may be outdated, this online auction platform is completely free to use. Unique and collectible items are widely available and often include free shipping.

Pros & Cons

  • Eclectic batches of items

  • Similar to eBay

  • Outdated site design

  • Too many ads


Webstore is an auction site supported by donations and advertisements, so costs are kept low and there are no membership fees.

Although not everything is sold on this site, their online auctions are highly rated for rare and collectible merchandise and state-of-the-art electronics.

Auction categories include cameras, art, music, sports memorabilia, real estate, bullion, books and magazines, clothing, DVDs and movies, jewelry, pottery, travel, tickets, specialty services, and more.

Best Live Auctions: Auction Zip

AuctionZip live auction website
  • Fees: $20 seller's fee per listing
  • Membership: Optional for unlimited listings
  • Shipping: Free, calculated at checkout, or local pickup

Why We Chose It

AuctionZip offers live auctions for users to bid in real time without having to wait days or weeks to know if they won.

Pros & Cons

  • Site design mimics an auction hall

  • Real-time bidding

  • Clean site design

  • Some auction lots are huge

  • Registration barrier precludes random browsing


If you're looking for live auctions, AuctionZip is the place to go. These live auctions are events that you can view right from your web browser to bid for items online at the same time as other bidders on the auction floor.

With live bidding, you can access auctions around the world and get in on all the action without any software to download or special tools to buy. The website lists auctions that are currently live and ones that are upcoming.

After you register to bid, you go straight to an auction to watch what's happening and bid in real time if you see something you like.

Best for Specialty Items: Catawiki

Catawiki auction site listing
  • Fees: 12.5 percent fee for sellers, 9 percent fee for buyers
  • Membership: N/A
  • Shipping: Free, calculated at checkout, or local pickup

Why We Chose It

Catawiki's website is user-friendly, guarantees quick shipping, and makes it easy for buyers to find the items they want with plenty of search filters.

Pros & Cons

  • Specializes in unique items

  • All items are sent within three business days

  • Huge number of filtering options

  • Fees are not included in purchase price

  • Must change the billing currency in your settings if you don't use the Euro


Catawiki is an auction site with inspiring objects to discover every week. There are over 300 auctions on this site each week and lots of unique finds to sift through.

Users can find auctions for everything from modern and contemporary art to stamps, classic cars, and jewelry. All items are handpicked and verified by their staff, which is comprised of about 200 experts.

Catawiki also offers a mobile app to place bids on the go.

Best for Big-Ticket Items: IRS Treasury Auctions

U.S. Department of Treasury auction website
  • Fees: None
  • Membership: N/A
  • Shipping: Local pickup when applicable

Why We Chose It

The IRS Treasury Auction website lets users bid on large items like homes, land, and vehicles.

Pros & Cons

  • A legitimate site operated by the U.S. Department of Treasury, not an intermediate contractor

  • Emphasis on high-value items

  • About 300 auctions per year

  • Complexity of working with federal procedures

  • Limited availability


Don't let the somewhat barebones website fool you; the IRS Treasury Auctions site features a treasure trove of items that you won't find anywhere else.

Every listing on this auction site is under the authority of the Internal Revenue Code, and the properties described were seized or acquired for nonpayment of internal revenue taxes (and therefore, sold at auction).

The auctions are a bit more complicated than you'll find at other auction sites, but the items tend to be higher-ticket such as homes and land. They include great deals on anything from jewelry and art to commercial property and vehicles.

Final Verdict

eBay is our best overall pick for online auction websites thanks to its especially large variety of items, user-friendly website, and detailed filtering options. Because this website is the most popular, it's also very widely used, which increases the amount of available items to bid on. While its auctions can be long, eBay offers a "Buy It Now" option on many items that allow users to purchase without waiting.

Guide to Choosing an Auction Website

Auction websites include different types of items, shipping and pickup options, and various fees. When choosing the best site for your needs, consider these factors:

  • Item categories
  • Fees (flat rate, based on a percentage of your item, or free)
  • Whether shipping is available
  • Local pickup options for large items
  • Title change process for vehicle sales
  • Instant purchase options
  • Length of auctions
  • Clear seller reviews

Compare the Best Online Auction Websites

Website Fees Membership Shipping
eBay  Best Overall Varied percentage of the winning bid amount plus $0.30 per order selling fee Multiple options for free or reduced selling fees Free, calculated at checkout, or local pickup
ShopGoodwill  Best Nonprofit None N/A Free, calculated at checkout, or local pickup
Listia Best for Trading Items 10 percent of fixed price Multiple options for bonus credits Free, flat rate, or exact cost
GovDeals Best for Government Sales 0 to 7.5 percent seller's fee, 5 to 12.5 percent buyer's fee N/A Local pickup or buyer-arranged shipping
PropertyRoom Best Online Police Auction Varied percentage of the winning bid amount N/A Flat rate, calculated at checkout, or local pickup
Municibid Best Municipal Surplus Varied percentage of the winning bid amount N/A Local pickup or specified by seller
Webstore Best for Collectibles None N/A Free, flat rate, or calculated at checkout
Auction Zip Best Live Auctions $20 seller's fee per listing Optional for unlimited listings Free, calculated at checkout, or local pickup
Catawiki Best for Specialty Items 12.5 percent fee for sellers, 9 percent fee for buyers N/A Free, calculated at checkout, or local pickup
IRS Treasury Auctions Best for Big-Ticket Items None N/A Local pickup when applicable
  • What Are the Disadvantages of Online Auctions?

    Not all sellers in online auctions are trustworthy, and some auction sites include non-refundable fees. When bidding on items, always ensure you're up-to-date on the website's return policy, shipping and handling fees, and other hidden costs that may be included.

  • Are Online Auctions Worth It?

    Online auction websites are a great way to purchase desirable items at a low cost. The best online auctions allow users to compare prices on similar items, buy from a trusted seller, and return their items for a refund if the quality is not acceptable.

  • Are Online Auctions Safe?

    Bidding on items in an online auction is generally considered safe, but scams and poor-quality items still exist. To help ensure you're getting what you bid on (and your money's worth), read seller reviews thoroughly and only purchase from top-rated sellers. Additionally, review the website's return policy before completing a purchase.

  • What Percentage Fee Do Online Auctions Take?

    Some online auction websites don't charge any fees at all. Others may charge a flat-rate fee or calculate the fee based on a percentage of the item's final purchase cost. Percentage-based fees typically cost between 2 and 12 percent.


To find the best online auction websites, we researched top options and compared them based on their availability of items, categories, fees, shipping and pickup options, website quality, and the types of bidding offered. All websites included in this list allow users to bid on a variety of items, however, some are more niche than others. Find the right online auction for your needs based on the specific items you're interested in, your desired budget, and auction options.

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