Selling On Amazon vs eBay: Which Is Better For Sellers?

Selling On Amazon vs eBay

Last Updated: June 2024

When it comes to online marketplaces, the debate between selling on Amazon vs eBay is a common one among sellers. Both platforms offer vast opportunities but differ significantly in terms of audience, fees, and seller experience. 

Understanding the nuances of each platform is crucial for sellers aiming to maximize their profits and reach. According to statistics, in 2022, 268 million people made online purchases in the US alone and this number is said to reach 285 million by 2025.

Thus, it is important to determine if it is it better to sell on eBay or Amazon. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Why selling on Amazon is beneficial?

According to statistics, 63% of customers begin their search for a product on Amazon. With its extensive product categories and customer-centric ethos, Amazon offers unparalleled opportunities for sellers to showcase their products to a global audience. 

Selling On Amazon vs eBay

The platform’s sophisticated logistics network, including services like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), streamlines order processing and shipping, enhancing the overall customer experience while easing the burden on sellers.

Furthermore, Amazon’s commitment to innovation is evident in its array of seller tools and resources designed to optimize sales performance and drive growth. From robust analytics and advertising solutions to comprehensive seller support services, Amazon empowers businesses with the tools they need to thrive in the competitive online marketplace.

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Why selling on eBay is beneficial?

eBay, a veteran player in the e-commerce arena, has long been a pioneer of the third-party business model, establishing its presence well before Amazon. 

The platform’s global reach is extensive, hosting fixed-price and live-auction items in over 36 countries. Additionally, in the e-commerce retail market share of the US, eBay holds 3.5% of the entire share. 

While Amazon may seem to overshadow eBay in certain aspects, both platforms have achieved remarkable success in their own right. eBay’s strength lies in its diverse marketplace model, offering a wide array of products and fostering a dynamic environment for buyers and sellers alike. 

Moreover, eBay’s auction format provides a unique shopping experience, allowing users to bid on items and potentially secure deals that may not be available elsewhere.

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Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon 

Pros

Cons

Reach Millions of Potential Customers: Amazon’s vast customer base provides online sellers with access to a large audience, increasing the potential for high traffic and sales.

Limitation on Brand Growth: Sellers have limited opportunities to grow their own brand identity as their products are enveloped within the Amazon ecosystem.

Beloved and Trusted Platform: Amazon is a well-known and trusted online shopping platform, instilling confidence in shoppers and potentially increasing sales conversion rates.

Limited Product Visibility: Amidst the vast array of products on Amazon, sellers may struggle to make their products stand out and gain visibility.

Recommended Product Placement: Tagging products appropriately can result in them being featured in Amazon’s recommended lists, enhancing visibility and increasing the likelihood of sales.

High Fees: Sellers are subject to various fees on Amazon, including referral fees, fulfillment fees, and subscription fees, which can eat into profit margins.

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Pros and Cons of Selling on eBay

Pros

Cons

Global Reach: Access to a vast international customer base from around the world. 

Fees: Sellers are subject to various fees, including listing fees and final value fees, which can impact profit margins.

Straightforward Setup: Set-up is relatively easy, with user-friendly interfaces and step-by-step guidance.

Competition: With millions of sellers on the platform, sellers face stiff competition for buyers’ attention and purchases. 

Side Income Opportunity: Flexible platform for earning extra income by selling unwanted items or handmade products.

Payment Issues: Sellers may encounter non-payment or delayed payment issues from buyers. 

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eBay vs Amazon: Detailed Comparison

1) Selling on eBay vs Amazon: Competition

Amazon

On Amazon, firstly you need to understand and implement the concept of Amazon SEO. Secondly, you need to ensure your products are of the highest quality and are being sold at a competitive rate so you can win the “Buy Box” Additionally, you should provide multiple alternatives for delivery, include a free shipping option, and maintain inventory.

eBay

eBay too has similar SEO rules and sellers who perform well are rewarded with the slogan “Top Rated Plus” with the advantage of appearing higher in search results. For this, eBay considers customer feedback, amount of listings, credibility, and sales rate.

Winner: Both offer good selling opportunities and are equally competitive.

2) eBay vs Amazon: Traffic

Amazon

People spend a lot of time browsing products on the Amazon website which is around 12 to 13 minutes on average. Furthermore, Amazon has a bounce rate of less than 46.63% which means more than 53% of their customers browse through all the pages.

eBay

On the other hand, eBay customers have a shorter time span with the average customers staying on the site for just 11 minutes. 

However, do not let the numbers make you think eBay gets less traffic. Even the most well-known websites in the market cannot match the number of visitors that these two websites attract. In terms of traffic numbers, even well-known websites cannot match the number of visits or customers that these two large players receive each day. 

The most important aspect is that visitors stay on these sites for an average of 11 – 12 minutes.

Winner: Both

Recommended: How to boost your Amazon listing to drive more sales: 11 tactics!

3) Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Buying experience

Amazon

One of Amazon’s standout qualities lies in its exceptional user-friendliness, particularly in the purchasing journey. Offering a streamlined one-click checkout option, Amazon simplifies the buying process significantly for customers. Additionally, handling refunds and returns is a straightforward affair on the platform.

eBay

Regrettably, eBay has garnered a reputation for providing a somewhat convoluted buying experience. Buyers often encounter delays, especially when waiting for auctions to conclude or being redirected to the PayPal website for payment processing. Such complexities can lead to frustration among customers during their purchase journey.

Ensuring a seamless, prompt, and reliable payment process is paramount to satisfying customers. If the process proves time-consuming or unreliable, customers may opt to explore alternative platforms.

Winner: Amazon for its seamless functionality.

4) eBay vs Amazon: Fulfillment Methods

Amazon

With Amazon, you have two different options: either fulfill orders yourself (Fulfillment by Merchant; FBM) or sign up for Fulfillment by Amazon; FBA – a feature that set’s Amazon apart from other websites. 

If you choose the FBA program, you free uo your time to focus on other aspects of growing your business while Amazon stores, packs, and ships products for you. Although you need to pay additional costs, the benefits outweigh them significantly. 

eBay

When it comes to fulfillment on eBay, you have one option: pack and ship orders yourself or hire a third-party fulfillment center. This means, with eBay you will be managing every aspect of your business by yourself.

Winner: Amazon

5) Amazon vs eBay: Customer Support

Amazon

When a seller chooses the Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) option, Amazon assumes full responsibility for managing customer service issues on behalf of the seller. This encompasses handling returns, addressing inquiries, and processing refunds.

Selling On Amazon vs eBay

Additionally, sellers gain access to Amazon’s Customer Metrics feature, which automatically calculates customer satisfaction scores.

eBay

eBay sellers also have access to the Seller Dashboard, allowing them to monitor seller performance and track customer service metrics. Furthermore, eBay diligently ensures that buyers adhere to sellers’ protection policies and maintains fair buying practices to foster a conducive marketplace environment.

Winner: Both

6) Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Promotions

Amazon

Renowned for its “Lightning Deals,” Amazon offers sellers the option to apply discounts to their products for up to six hours, driving sales when timed and priced appropriately. Encouraging repeat purchases, sellers can also attract customers by offering coupon codes or substantial discounts.

eBay

Historically, orchestrating product promotions or sales for basic eBay listings has been challenging, contrasting with Amazon’s streamlined approach. A key factor in retaining customers on an e-commerce platform is the availability of enticing deals, discounts, or remarkable coupon codes.

 Despite eBay introducing in-site advertising, sellers have found Amazon’s in-site promotions more effective.

Winner: Amazon as it provides opportunities for sales generation through promotional initiatives.

7) eBay vs Amazon: Design

Amazon

Amazon’s design and quality are unparalleled, setting a high standard in the industry. Furthermore, Amazon ensures trust-building through its robust seller rating system.

eBay

Unfortunately, eBay’s product listings can give off a garage sale vibe, lacking the attractiveness and appeal of Amazon’s platform.

The design significantly influences the trust established between sellers and customers. While both eBay and Amazon employ trusted rating systems, many users find Amazon’s interface more user-friendly and trustworthy. Undoubtedly, enhanced trust leads to increased sales.

Winner: Amazon

8) Amazon vs eBay: Payment methods

Amazon

Amazon Sellers need to use Amazon Payments to collect payments. Amazon collects payments and transfers them into your bank account twice every month, with no additional expenses. Additionally, the best advantage of using Amazon is that the sellers don’t need to issue payment reminders, or invoices or track overdue items. 

eBay

eBay Sellers can accept payments using PayPal however, credit cards are only accepted when they have a merchant account. Managing payments through eBay’s managed payment system requires extra effort and time. 

Winner: Amazon 

9) Return Policy

Amazon 

Amazon offers an A-Z Guarantee ensuring that customers get a complete refund if they are unhappy about the product. Additionally, their seamless returns process is one of the core reasons why Amazon is popular amongst buyers. 

eBay

On the other hand, eBay’s procedure for returns and reimbursements is far more complicated. Moreover, eBay sellers can also select the ‘No Returns’ option which leaves consumers with no other option if they are not satisfied with the product. 

Now, as a seller, you might think of the ‘No Returns’ option as a beneficial feature for you however, it can negatively impact your business in the long term. By setting your listing to ‘No Return, you are letting your potential customers know that they cannot trust what you’re offering. 

Remember, customers tend to buy more from businesses that offer continued post-purchase support. Not only does it help to improve brand loyalty but also helps to improve repeat sales.

Amazon perfectly leverages this tactic by giving customers the security to take a chance on a product they might not usually purchase. 

Winner: Amazon

10) Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Fees

Amazon

Fees on Amazon vary depending on the products being sold and the fulfillment method chosen. To understand the fees involved, you can use Amazon’s FBA calculator (for the US store) and enter the price in the ‘Item Price’ section. 

Here you can get an estimate of the cost you’d pay if you sold the product through FBA rather than FBM. 

Selling On Amazon vs eBay
FBM Fees

While selling using FBM, the only product-related expense you will bear in the ‘Selling on Amazon’ fee. This includes: 

1) Amazon Referral Fee: Amazon charges a referral fee for each product sold based on the total sales price. Although this amount varies based on the type of goods sold, you can anticipate paying 15% for each transaction.

2) Fixed closing cost: If you choose an individual selling plan over a professional selling plan, you will be paying an additional $0.99 for every item sold. 

FBA Fees

When you choose FBA, you need to pay the following fees in addition to the ‘Selling on Amazon fees’: 

1) FBA fulfillment fees: These are the base charges Amazon takes based on the product’s weight and size. 

Selling On Amazon vs eBay

2) Monthly Storage fees: You need to pay monthly inventory storage fees for the space taken by your inventory in their fulfillment centers. This is calculated based on your daily average volume in cubic feet. 

In addition to these charges, you also need to pay the following fees: 

1) Individual per-item costs or subscription fees: You have the option of either choosing an individual or a professional seller account. For an individual account, you will be charged a $0.99 fee per unit sold, and for a professional account, there is a monthly subscription fee of $39.99.

2) Refund administration fees: These fees only apply when a customer requests a refund. Here, Amazon charges you for processing the reimbursement which is roughly $5 or 20% of the redundant amount. 

However, despite the higher fees, Amazon has one significant advantage: Amazon Prime! The platform boasts 230 million subscribers globally and members pay a monthly fee of $14.99 to access free, swift deliveries, exclusive promotion offers and other benefits. 

Selling On Amazon vs eBay

Why should you worry about this information as a seller? Amazon Prime is the reason why users keep buying from Amazon and are more likely to do all of their major shopping there. This means, Amazon merchants are more likely to earn a consistent revenue year after year which is a minor factor compared to the benefits you reap.

eBay

To sell on eBay, you need to pay the following fees: 

1) Insertion fees: Sellers need to pay this fee when they create a listing on the site. eBay also offers 250 free insertion listings each month and if you already have a store on the web, there is the prospect of more. 

2) Final value fees: Each time your product sells, eBay charges a specific percentage on the final sale price which also includes shipping and handling but excludes sales tax. 

Selling On Amazon vs eBay

3) Payment processing fee: eBay has made it mandatory for sellers to use their managed payments system and this cost is included in the ‘Final Value’ fee. 

4) Listing Upgrade Fee (Optional): This is only applied when you wish to build a unique listing and include optional improvements such as adding bold type, subtitle, or establishing a minimum/reserve price for your product. 

You can use eBay’s fee calculator to get an estimate of how much you need to pay before you begin listing your item.

Winner: Both

Who should be selling on eBay? 

Founded in 1995, eBay is a free marketplace where one can sell almost anything. eBay is ideal for small businesses, collectors, solo entrepreneurs, and artists. Additionally, eBay’s auction system makes it the best platform for selling historical or rare objects.

Selling On Amazon vs eBay

Furthermore, one can also sell used items along with anything that is restricted on Amazon. eBay is advantageous for sellers as it gives complete control over product listings, shipping rates, and return processing.  Through eBay, you can expect a bigger profit margin as it has lower fees as compared to Amazon. 

In summary, if you prefer to have control over how your products are listed and need to define your product restrictions, eBay is an excellent choice.

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Who should be selling on Amazon?

With Amazon’s efficient and strategic platform, sellers can begin their journey quickly. Amazon gives you greater exposure to a larger audience in a short period of time. Additionally, their FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) feature helps sellers manage big inventory while simplifying the logistics process. 

Furthermore, Amazon’s emphasis on customer feedback benefits sellers by helping them establish trust and credibility. The only disadvantage of selling on Amazon is that they own the customers which in turn limits your ability to build and market your brand outside of their platform. 

Now that we’ve explored the aspects of selling on Amazon vs eBay, let’s take a look at how you can provide proactive customer service with the help of Helplama!

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Meet Helplama – Your Partner for Proactive Customer Service!

Helplama provides customized customer support solutions designed specifically for businesses, emphasizing live chat, email, and voice assistance delivered by a network of skilled agents based in the United States.

Key Features

    • Expert US-based Agents: Helplama features a team of proficient agents based in the US who are trained to handle live chat, email, and voice support with precision.
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    • Tailored Assistance: Helplama offers personalized assistance that addresses the unique needs and concerns of your business and customers.
    • 24/7 Availability: With Helplama, round-the-clock support is guaranteed, ensuring prompt assistance whenever your customers need it.
    • State-of-the-Art Technology: By utilizing cutting-edge tools and technologies, Helplama ensures efficient and effective customer interactions.
    • Scalable Solutions: Helplama provides scalable solutions that adapt to your business’s evolving requirements, ensuring consistent quality service.

To Sum It Up!

In the ongoing debate of selling on Amazon vs eBay, it’s evident that each platform presents its own set of advantages and challenges for sellers. 

Amazon boasts high conversion rates, substantial reach, and access to services like Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), offering convenience and trust to sellers. However, it also comes with intense competition and strict performance metrics, potentially limiting profitability for some sellers. 

On the other hand, eBay offers lower fees, trustworthy reviews, and customizable listings, catering to a different set of sellers who prioritize brand exposure and flexibility. Nonetheless, it faces challenges such as a smaller customer base and fundamental messaging systems.

Ultimately, sellers must carefully evaluate their options, considering factors such as fees, customer base, and brand control to determine the platform that aligns best with their objectives. Furthermore, if you’re looking to provide top-notch customer service to your customers, consider Helplama. Click below to get a quote now!