eBay is a household name in eCommerce – but so is Amazon. Founded just one year after Amazon, the platform has given many the opportunity to sell from a distance. But is it worth it? What is the difference between selling on amazon vs eBay?
Depending on the type of item you’re selling, such as one-off high-priced rare or collectors’ items, you might consider selling on eBay’s platform. eBay offers lower fees to list your products and an option for buyers to bid on products in an auction-style format.
However, Amazon holds 56% of the market share vs. eBay’s 19.7% and receives the most amount of organic traffic and an international presence. Amazon also offers Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) management to their sellers and one of the fastest turn-around shipping methods available.
As a seller, it’s essential to know which platform will be a better choice for your business. To understand the most significant difference between the two eCommerce giants, we’ve put together an unbiased review of both platforms so you can make the best decision for your business.
How To Choose Between Selling On Amazon vs eBay
Some features that eBay offers aren’t available or as widespread on Amazon. eBay is clearly the winner when it comes to auctioning, whereas Amazon is more of a “buy now” marketplace. The most significant difference between the two eCommerce giants is the way that sellers interact with the platform.
Why Should I Sell On Ebay Or Amazon?
eBay offers one choice to fulfill your orders, which is to pack, seal and ship every order yourself. While this might work if you’re a very small business, this can be difficult to maintain as your operation grows larger.
Amazon offers FBA, or Fulfillment by Amazon, which allows Amazon to store, pack, pick, ship your items, and even provide customer support after your products have been ordered.
Amazon takes a huge part of your workload off your hands, allowing you to focus on other essential elements of your business, such as growing your business’s inventory and scalability. eBay focuses more on allowing sellers to run every part of their business, resulting in a significant time loss.
Why eBay Might Be A Good Choice For Some Sellers
If you’re sure about your logistics and can back your listings up with some brand might, eBay might be the right choice for you.
The platform is known for its branding potential, unlike Amazon, where there’s very little. eBay allows sellers to create their own storefronts, which are essentially mini-websites, to separate their brand identify from eBay.
When comparing eBay vs amazon, it’s essential to note that eBay allows sellers to set their own shipping charges, return policies, and shipping policies. There are limits on these policies to be fair to the buyers, but for the most part, they are entirely customizable to the seller’s needs.
Amazon does not offer flexibility or customization in those areas, requiring sellers to abide by their strict policies.
eBay also allows sellers to receive their funds immediately through PayPal, which they can then transfer to their bank account or use to purchase goods anywhere that PayPal is accepted.
Amazon requires sellers to wait at least 14 days to see their funds released to their account and then incur an additional wait time for funds to be transferred to their bank account.
While eBay has some fantastic benefits, they’re not strong compared to Amazon’s powerful seller tools and capabilities. Sellers who have collectible or rare items should consider using eBay’s platform, as sellers can receive more money using their auction option.
If you’re selling items in categories such as real estate or vehicles, eBay is an ideal platform to use as Amazon does not support sales in those categories.
How Amazon Trumps eBay For Large-Scale Selling
Sellers driven by consistent, scalable processes will appreciate the enormous scale that Amazon has achieved with their logistics and the ease with which a seller can get started. Some of the capabilities that Amazon offers over eBay include:
- Larger Marketplace: Amazon saw a 40.1% growth during 2020, while eBay only saw about 21%. Amazon can offer an immense selling potential because of its massive market size and daily visits. Putting your product on eBay will not have the same exposure.
- Amazon’s FBA: Fulfillment by Amazon is a service that allows sellers to ship their products to a local warehouse. Once there, Amazon will store, pack, and ship orders as customers purchase from your store. Amazon also provides its own shipping service, offering some of the most efficient and speedy delivery available by any online marketplace. There is nothing close to this service provided at eBay, which requires you to handle orders on your own orders inventory, packing, and shipping process.
- Advertising Options: Amazon offers paid advertisements for specific keywords, which helps to boost your product’s ranking on a PPC, or pay-per-click basis. That means that you only pay for your advertising when someone clicks on your ad. eBay only offers simple promotional options, with few options available compared to Amazon’s extensive range.
- Brand Analysis: Amazon offers various powerful tools for brands to gain insights into competitors in their industry and product performances. There is a vast amount of data available through the Brand Analytics pages, such as demographics, market basket analysis, search terms, and item comparison.
When comparing eBay vs amazon, it’s clear Amazon has some substantial benefits. With an Amazon seller account, the path to creating a successful business is clear, with many flourishing brands thriving on Amazon. eBay does not offer the same in-depth tools or analysis of your brand to help you consistently grow.
Use eBay For High-Ticket Or Rare Items & Amazon For Everything Else
eBay is great if you have something that isn’t easy to find as you can have people auction for that item, potentially granting much bigger profits than you thought possible. If you’re looking to sell in a category that’s not supported by Amazon, such as real estate or cars, you should consider using eBay.
Amazon, on the other hand, is excellent for all other consumer goods. If you’re looking to sell more volume, it’s better accommodated through Amazon’s platform. You don’t need to create a personal connection with buyers, as you might on eBay, to attract sales. Buyers will use Amazon to find your products and purchase on the spot.
Both platforms can be used simultaneously; you don’t have to choose one or the other. Many sellers choose to list their products on multiple marketplaces. Over 80% of Amazon sellers reported using different platforms to sell their products.
Diversifying can help you find your ideal marketplace if you’re unsure which category your products fit into.
However, it might not be worth your time to invest so much effort into eBay if you don’t have rare or collectible items to sell. Instead, you should invest your time into growing your business by using Amazon’s tools to become more efficient and increase your profit.
Choose Amazon & Start Selling At A Faster Rate
You can’t beat the immediacy of Amazon. Everyone knows how its system works, and most people are so invested in the ecosystem that they just can’t do without it. eBay instead? Not so much.
eBay helps you handle your products’ fulfillment and inventory management and provides the lowest fees possible. It helps if you’re selling collectibles, rare or high-ticket items, but not necessarily high volumes.
Either way, a seller can become successful with high volumes on eBay as well, but you won’t have the support or analytics that Amazon can provide small businesses.
Amazon is the clear winner when it comes to selling on Amazon vs eBay. Your success depends on how you run your Amazon processes. If you haven’t nailed down your brand’s management, it might be time to reach out to the experts.
Chat with a Sunken Stone expert who can help your brand implement a customized marketing & growth strategy tailored to your business.
FAQ Amazon vs eBay
There are plenty of differences between selling on Amazon vs eBay, such as the competitiveness of the two brands, the selling experience, and the seller fees for each.
Competitiveness: Both marketplaces are very competitive. While Amazon does hold the larger market share between the two and offers the most exposure, it’s easier to get recognized on the eBay platform as a seller. It really comes down to the competitiveness in the product category you’re selling. eBay is perfect for rare, high-ticket, or collectible items, while Amazon is great for everything else.
Selling Experience: With Amazon, you’re able to hand over management of storing, packing, and shipping your products with Amazon’s FBA. Not only does it deliver faster than any other company, but it will also take care of customer issues or returns. Plus, Amazon provides tons of metrics to grow your brand. eBay has sellers handle all shipping and inventory management on their own.
Fees: eBay charges a 10% fee in commission, and to take out your money from PayPal, you’ll be subject to an additional 2.9% fee. Amazon will charge a 15% commission, which includes the processing of payment and costs. If you use their FBA program, you’ll be subject to additional fees. While eBay is clearly the less expensive, you’re able to gain more seller benefits through Amazon.
There are specific reasons and benefits to selling on each platform that should be considered before choosing your preferred platform.
You should choose Amazon if:
-Amazons FBA program, which takes care of product storing, shipping, and customer service, sounds appealing
-You’re more concerned about the number of sales you want to make
-You don’t plan on selling from Amazon’s restricted list, and your items are primarily new
-The target market you’re looking for is in the United States.
Consider choosing eBay if:
-You prefer to manage storing and shipping of your products instead of using a company
-You’re looking for the lowest seller fees available
-The international market is your target market
-You sell rare, collectible, high-priced items or items on Amazon’s restricted list.
eBay is an online marketplace where sellers can list a wide range of items from cars to real estate. It offers an auction-style format where users can bid on items, allowing sellers to gain maximum profit. If sellers don’t like the auction-style, they’re welcome to use fixed-pricing. Amazon is excellent for rare or collectible items, not so much for bulk products.
Amazon is the largest online marketplace available, offering the lowest prices on their goods possible. They have consistently improved their processes and services, delivering the fastest delivery speed and product management for sellers. If you sell items in bulk or want to grow your business significantly, this is the perfect platform for your products,
Amazon charges 15% on their orders, and you’re going to incur even more fees if you use their FBA program. eBay charges a 10% commission fee, as well as the 2.9% PayPal fee when transferring funds over.
Both platforms make it simple to sign up for an account and start listing your products. Amazon offers more tools to customers regarding seller data to help them grow their brand and profits, while eBay does not.
In terms of market, Amazon has a significantly larger market, drawing in millions of visitors consistently. This allows your brand and products to have ultimate exposure. However, with the number of brands available on Amazon, you might get lost in the crowd of similar items. eBay is smaller and makes it easier to stand out among the competition. Plus, it allows you to sell more categories of items than Amazon allows.