5 Cool Auction Websites

No doubt you've made a purchase or sold an item on eBay, the uber-popular auction site that has more than 94 million users around the world. But it's not the only online marketplace for buying and selling goods (or even services). Here, five that have particularly unique concepts:

SHOP FOR CHARITY: ShopGoodwill.com and BiddingForGood.com

ShopGoodwill.com features jewelry, antiques and collectables, clothing, and more - in short, the higher-end items donated to the organization - and the sales benefit its education and job-placement services for the disabled and underprivileged. Since products are sold by Goodwill itself, you can be certain that the listings are accurate and (barring delivery problems) that you'll receive your purchases.

Another benefit-based site, BiddingForGood.com offers products (electronics, designer duds) as well as "experiences": vacation packages, tickets to sporting events and theater, and dinners at fancy restaurants. The auctions raise money for nonprofits and schools, with the beneficiary listed on an item's page. In addition to letting consumers make a feel-good purchase, it give smaller, localized charities or causes much more reach then they otherwise would have.

Related: Bargain Hunting

BUY AND SELL SERVICES: Zaarly.com and Fiverr.com

If you want something done (say, your living room painted, your child's birthday videotaped, or just some errands run), check out Zaarly.com. It connects people who need services with people who can provide them. The buyer fills out a form describing what she is looking for and what she'll pay, and waits for someone to respond - the site puts the two in touch so they can broker the deal.

The quirky Fiverr.com gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to sell services for $5 - from editing a resume to sharing a "secret" family recipe to doing an astrology reading. Just browsing through the offers is a lot of fun ("I will speak your message in the cartoon voice of your choosing for $5"), and if you've got the inclination to put your talents out there, you just might make a few bucks - its most popular seller (who does computer services) has earned $50K since he signed up in November!

Related: Save More at Outlets

GET MAJOR BARGAINS: PropertyRoom.com
Admittedly, this one has a slight discomfort factor, but don't discount it until you've seen the discounts! PropertyRoom.com helps police departments across the country get rid of the items they've seized from crooks and criminals but haven't been able to reunite with their proper owners. It sells basically everything: fine art, jewelry, clothing, bicycles, electronics...even cars! The majority of the proceeds go back to the police stations, which have done local auctions for years; by entrusting the task to this website, these become less work and more profitable - a win-win. Purchases can be picked up in person if you happen to live near one of the five processing centers, or shipped to you directly. And, boy, are things cheap - in most cases, there's no reserve price, so you can get them for a tiny fraction of their worth. Plus, you don't have to worry at all about fraudulent sellers - after all, they're the cops.

Related: Fast-Cash Scams

What's your favorite online auction site? Tell us in the comments.

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