There is life beyond eBay, the giant American-owned site with UK listings alone touting more than 11m items. That’s because eBay’s sheer size drives customers who want a specialised service towards niche auction sites where they can be in the company of fellow car enthusiasts, celebrity merchandise fans and holiday-seekers.

1 This is a reverse-auction site, where you post the highest price you’re prepared to pay for a new car and leave it up to the sellers to do the bidding. The site claims that their battle for your business allows you to save up to 24% on official new-car prices.

2 Selling rather than bidding? This large, fast-growing site, with hundreds of thousands of lots, can work out cheaper than eBay because it does not charge for listings — just a final-value fee of 3%.

3 This US site is where President Obama and his colleagues offload their old marine hardware, aviation bits and bobs and army vehicles. Export is possible.

4 Not as awful to pronounce as it seems once you realise you’re supposed to say it as “seek you out”, this site claims to be Britain’s second-biggest online auction house. Listings are free after a £2 registration fee.

5 This US heavyweight sells off “excess inventory from the world’s most trusted brands”. You will need to register your payment details and set up an American mailing address (all done through the site), but after that you can bid away like a local. Keep an eye on shipping rates and taxes.

6 One of a growing number of “auction” sites where you have to purchase the right to bid on an item. The upside is that the final prices of lots are often astoundingly cheap. MadBid may be better known, but at just 50p per bid Swoopo is more than twice as cheap.

7 The home of bling bidding, this US-based site lists thousands of items of jewellery at keen prices, and international postage for items costing less than $300 (£184) is a very reasonable $14.95.

8 This frill-free police site sells off stolen property that can’t be reunited with its owners, with the proceeds going to buy new traffic cones. Or something. It’s sparse but what there is on offer is extremely cheap.

9 Empty seats on aeroplanes and paid-for hotel rooms with no one in them are the bugbears of every travel company, which is why Thomson auctions off its last-minute deals at great prices.

10 The authenticity of signed celebrity merchandise can be hard to check, but on this site every item has been donated by charities — and the proceeds are fed back to them.

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