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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

Amazon vs eBay for Sellers: Which Platform Reigns Supreme?

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

If you're an online seller, you're probably wondering whether to sell your products on Amazon or eBay. Both of these e-commerce giants have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one can be a difficult decision.


In this article, we'll take a closer look at the differences between Amazon and eBay, including their seller fees, customer base, and seller tools. We'll also discuss the pros and cons of each platform, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your business. Whether you're a seasoned online seller or just starting out, this article will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of Amazon and eBay, so you can choose the platform that best fits your needs.


Did you know we've also got guides on Selling on Amazon vs. Shopify and Selling on Amazon vs. Walmart?


Discover the value we offer - check out our services and pricing details.


Comparing Amazon vs eBay


Both Amazon and eBay have their unique features and advantages, as well as some drawbacks. Let’s discuss:


Amazon

Amazon is the world's largest online retailer offering a wide range of products, from books and electronics to clothing and household items. Amazon has a reputation for being a reliable platform with fast shipping and excellent customer service.


One of the biggest advantages of selling on Amazon is its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. With FBA, Amazon stores, picks, packs, and ships your products for you, taking care of the entire fulfillment process. This can save you a lot of time and effort, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.


Amazon also offers various advertising options to help you promote your products and increase sales. You can use Amazon's sponsored products or sponsored brands to target specific keywords and reach your target audience.


eBay

eBay is a popular online marketplace that allows individuals and businesses to buy and sell products. Unlike Amazon, eBay allows sellers to set their prices or list their items for auction, where buyers can bid for them. eBay is known for its vast selection of unique and hard-to-find items, making it a popular destination for collectors and enthusiasts.


One of the advantages of selling on eBay is its lower fees compared to Amazon. eBay's standard fees are often less than 9.15%, while Amazon's fees are 15% with a $0.99 fee per item. eBay also has fewer restrictions on product categories, giving sellers more flexibility in what they can sell.

eBay also offers various advertising options, including promoted listings and eBay's own advertising platform, eBay Ads. These options can help you increase your visibility on the platform and reach more potential buyers.


Selling on Amazon: Pros and Cons

Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world, with over 300 million active users. Here are some of the pros and cons of selling on Amazon:

Pros

Cons

  • Large Customer Base: With over 300 million active users, Amazon provides sellers with access to a massive customer base.

  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): FBA allows sellers to store their inventory in Amazon's warehouses and have Amazon handle the shipping and customer service. This can save sellers time and money.

  • Easy to Use: Amazon's platform is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it easy for sellers to list and manage their products.

  • Prime Eligibility: By using FBA, sellers can make their products eligible for Amazon Prime, which can lead to increased sales.

  • High Fees: Amazon charges a variety of fees, including referral fees, fulfillment fees, and storage fees. These fees can add up quickly and eat into a seller's profits.

  • Competition: With so many sellers on Amazon, competition can be fierce, making it difficult for new sellers to gain traction.

  • Strict Policies: Amazon has strict policies regarding product listings, customer service, and shipping. Sellers who violate these policies can face account suspension or termination.


Selling on eBay: Pros and Cons

eBay is one of the oldest and most well-known online marketplaces, with over 180 million active buyers. Here are some of the pros and cons of selling on eBay:

Pros

Cons

  • Large Customer Base: With over 180 million active buyers, eBay provides sellers with access to a large customer base.

  • Low Fees: eBay's fees are generally lower than Amazon's, making it an attractive option for sellers looking to maximize their profits.

  • Flexibility: eBay allows sellers to set their own prices and shipping policies, giving them more control over their business.

  • Established Reputation: eBay has been around for over 25 years, giving it an established reputation and a loyal customer base.


  • Limited Product Categories: eBay is primarily known for selling used or unique items, and some product categories, such as grocery and beauty, are not allowed.

  • Payment Processing: eBay requires sellers to use PayPal or another approved payment processor, which can be inconvenient for some sellers.

  • Buyer Protection: eBay's buyer protection policies can sometimes be abused by dishonest buyers, leaving sellers vulnerable to scams and chargebacks.


Fee Structures

As a seller, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing between Amazon and eBay is the fee structure. In this section, we'll break down the fee structures for Amazon and eBay to help you make an informed decision.


Amazon Fees

Amazon's fees are simple. There are two types: referral fees and fulfillment fees.

1. Referral Fees: These are a percentage of your item's sale price, typically 6% to 45% based on the category. For example, if you sell a $10 book with a 15% referral fee, you pay $1.50.

2. Fulfillment Fees: Apply if you use Amazon's Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service. They depend on product size, weight, and shipping location.


Professional sellers can also choose to pay a $39.99 monthly subscription for extra tools.


Ebay Fees

eBay's fees are more complex than Amazon's and involve three main types: insertion fees, final value fees, and optional upgrades.

1. Insertion Fees: Charged when you list an item, varying based on the starting price and category. Some categories have lower fees.

2. Final Value Fees: Applied when your item sells, a percentage of the total sale price, including shipping, usually 2.35% to 12%, depending on the category.

3. Optional Upgrade Fees: These are extra costs for features like multiple categories, subtitles, or reserve prices. They're optional but can add up.


eBay also offers fee discounts for eligible sellers with high sales volumes or free shipping.


Product Listing and Pricing

When it comes to selling on Amazon and eBay, product listing and pricing are two of the most important aspects to consider. Both platforms allow you to list your products, but there are some key differences to keep in mind.


Product Listings

Amazon's platform for listing products is called Amazon Seller Central, and it has strict rules for creating listings. eBay, on the other hand, uses eBay Seller Hub, which is more flexible when it comes to listing products, allowing sellers greater freedom in how they create their listings.


Pricing

When selling on Amazon and eBay, pricing is crucial. Both platforms let you determine your prices, but there are differences to note. On Amazon, you can choose fixed prices or dynamic ones that change based on market factors. On eBay, there's the "Buy Box" feature, a box on product listings that helps customers add items to their cart quickly. If multiple sellers offer the same product, the one with the best price, service, and shipping often gets the Buy Box, impacting your pricing strategy.


Market Reach and Customer Base

Amazon and eBay are eCommerce giants with vast market reach. Amazon has 150 million active US users, while eBay boasts 185 million global active users. eBay attracts shoppers seeking unique items, while Amazon's customer base is more diverse.


In terms of sales, Amazon leads with $386 billion in global net sales in 2022, compared to eBay's $11.6 billion. eBay is still lucrative for niche and rare items.


Both platforms draw millions of monthly visitors, with Amazon at 2.7 billion and eBay at 1.5 billion. This offers exposure but also high competition.


Trust and Brand Loyalty

When selling on Amazon or eBay, trust and brand loyalty are vital. Both platforms have measures in place for this:


Amazon: They have the A-to-Z Guarantee, ensuring refunds if items aren't received or as described, boosting buyer confidence. Amazon Prime, with fast shipping, attracts customers and builds loyalty.


eBay: eBay Money Back Guarantee protects buyers from issues. eBay Top Rated Seller recognizes excellent customer service, enhancing seller reputation and loyalty.


Seller Support and Tools

Amazon and eBay provide unique seller support and tools:


Amazon: Offers dedicated customer support and a variety of seller tools, including Amazon Seller Central for managing accounts, Amazon FBA for warehousing and shipping, and Amazon Advertising for promotions.


eBay: Also provides seller support and tools, such as eBay Seller Hub for account management, eBay Promote Your Listings for advertising, and eBay Managed Payments for payment processing.

Both platforms are valuable, but the tools you access depend on your seller type and plan.


Helping Sellers Choose: Amazon or eBay?

In the end, deciding whether to sell on Amazon or eBay comes down to your individual needs as a seller. Here are some key takeaways to help you make your decision:

  • Amazon is the more popular platform, with higher traffic and more customers. If you're looking for a larger audience, Amazon may be the better choice for you.

  • eBay is more seller-friendly, with lower fees and more control over your listings. If you want more autonomy over your business, eBay may be the better choice for you.

  • Both platforms offer a range of tools and resources to help you succeed, from fulfillment options to customer support. Make sure to take advantage of these resources as you build your business.

Ultimately, the best way to determine which platform is right for you is to try them both out. Set up accounts on both Amazon and eBay, list some products, and see which platform feels like a better fit for your needs. With a little experimentation and some careful consideration, you'll be able to make an informed decision about which platform to use for your business.


Incidentally, if you're curious about selling on Walmart marketplace, we've got the guide and everything you need to know.


Don't miss out on the opportunity to improve your ecommerce prep services – contact us today.


Frequently Asked Questions


1 - Can you sell the same products on both Amazon and eBay?

Yes, you can sell the same products on both Amazon and eBay. However, it is important to note that there may be differences in fees, policies, and requirements between the two platforms. It is also important to ensure that you have enough inventory to fulfill orders on both platforms.


2 - Is it easier to get started as a seller on eBay or Amazon?

It is generally easier to get started as a seller on eBay compared to Amazon. eBay has fewer requirements for sellers, and you can start selling immediately after creating an account. On the other hand, Amazon has more strict requirements for sellers, such as having a professional seller account and meeting certain performance metrics.


3 - What are the risks of selling on eBay compared to Amazon?

One risk of selling on eBay is that there may be more competition and price fluctuations, which can make it harder to stand out and maintain profit margins. Additionally, eBay has a reputation for being more prone to fraud and scams, which can result in chargebacks and lost revenue for sellers.


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