Once you have decided to sell your products online, choosing the best site between Amazon and eBay can be quite a challenge because these two are the two best well-known, most successful online market sites across the United States and other parts of the world too. To help make your decision making easier, in this article, we will discuss the differences between selling on Amazon vs eBay. But first, we get to know about each company.
Amazon is a cloud computing and electric commerce American company which was founded in 1994 and is based in Seattle, Washington. Amazon is the world's largest online retailer by market capitalization and total sales. Amazon.com entered the market as an online bookstore but it later diversified to sell Blu-rays, DVDS, video download/streaming, software, furniture, apparel, food, toys, among other products and services. The company offers International shipping of its products to other countries outside the U.S. Amazon is a perfect site for individuals who would like to sell and make money on items they don't need any more.
eBay Inc is an American e-commerce multinational company that provides consumer to consumer as well as business to business sales services online. It was founded a year after Amazon in 1995 and it has its headquarters in San Jose, California. eBay is a multibillion-dollar company with localized operations in over 30 countries. eBay offers auction-style sales services for a wide variety of goods and services.
The truth is, none of these two giant companies can claim superiority over the other at present. But when whether faced with the decision on whether to sell your stuff on the two sites, below are the points of comparisons between Amazon and eBay to make your decision making easier.
For both Amazon and eBay, you have to pay for all your items listing irrespective of whether you make a sale or not. Here's a comparison of the fees by each site on book sales.
Monthly Fee - To sell on these platforms, sellers have to pay a fee each month.
Listing Fee - This is the amount sellers are charged whenever they list an item for sale. A book sale listing fee in Amazon is $0.99 against eBay's $0.30.
Paypal Fee - This fee applies to sellers who will want to receive their payments through PayPal. To use this service at Amazon you will not be charged, unlike in eBay where you will have to pay a fee of $1.17.
Closing Fee - This is the fee you will be charged after the sale of your item. In Amazon, a seller will pay a $1.35 fee, but in eBay, you will not be required to pay any money after your sale is closed.
Final Value Fee - The percentage of commission that each of the market sites will keep from your sale. At Amazon, sellers have to pay an FVF of $ 4.50 for a book sale, while on eBay sellers have to pay $3.40 FVF.
For this particular example of a book sale, the total fees charged by Amazon will be $6.84 against eBays $4.87 for a similar sale. Therefore, a seller at Amazon will make a total profit of $23.16 with a profit margin of 77.20%. Total profit made by a seller at eBay will be $25.13 with a profit margin of 83.77%.
Format (Fixed-price vs. Auction)
eBay is popular with auction-format listings. Amazon offers only fixed-price listings after they failed at auctions. To determine which is best for you will depend on what it is that you intend to sell. Auctions are the best way to go if you're selling collectibles because you will get market value. So for a person running an antique online store and wants to get good prices, eBay will be more suitable. Amazon is popularly referred as the fixed-price king, therefore, Amazon is more suitable for sellers of practical items.
At eBay, transactions are very interactive between eBay buyers and eBay sellers. At Amazon, on the other hand, customers have very high expectations on customer service and rarely see the need to follow-up after making a transaction on matters relating to shipment or quality. For this reason, Amazon transactions take less time while eBay sellers will spend more time on a single transaction.
Stability is a major concern for online traders when choosing the platform to sell on. Changes cost time and eventually money. For the past few years, Amazon has not had many changes. Their restrictions stay the same generally and are consistently enforced. Whenever there have been changes at Amazon, sellers are able to adjust easily.
eBay has made major changes including Feedback, fees, search results, digitally delivered items, among other changes with more still expected. Those changes have affected sellers negatively.
The two platforms have a system that allows buyers and sellers to give feedback on what their impression of a transaction was like. The two sites allow for both negative and positive feedback.
eBay has a culture that ensures that Feedback is received with more weight, unlike Amazon. Although, Amazon's A-z guarantee makes the sellers feel more protected.
Amazon has a policy that restricts sellers from directly reaching out to buyers to market their products. That has been making eBay sellers more advantaged since they were able to link with customers off eBay. Recent changes at eBay, however, have made this branding tool less effective.
At Amazon, sellers are able to get one good photo for each individual product, but at eBay seller have been struggling with photos. At eBay sellers struggle on how to take appealing photos, how to get their photos to show on eBay, and the number of photos. Sellers at eBay have to take a photo for each product, even for identical products.
Online sellers at Amazon are responsible for sale tax whenever they sell at Amazon.com. At times they have to add this cost to their selling price. For Amazon sellers in business, it will be a pain.
A mechanism provided by eBay allows sellers to collect taxes on top of the sale price. This means that tax does not eat into their profits.
Average Sale Price
Amazon market attracts more affluent buyers, unlike eBay's buyers who are mostly bargain hunters. From a seller’s perspective, the buyer who is willing to spend more is more valuable.
It is worth noting that each site has their loyal customers who will not shop elsewhere, although there are many customers that will shop on both sites. So if you're a seller looking to market your products, selling on both sites will give your products a larger platform to sell.
Keep in mind that it can be more complicated to sell brand name products such as designer clothing on Amazon.
While you can simply list a Calvin Klein dress on eBay, provided that you can show an invoice if it's requested, you would first have be approved by Amazon to sell that same Calvin Klein dress.
If you are planning to sell brand name merchandise on Amazon you first have to apply, and ensure that you are buying directly from the brands.
While eBay is okay with you buying designer name fashions from authorized wholesalers and closeout suppliers, Amazon wants to ensure that you are purchasing those fashions from the designers themselves.
There are some brands that you might not be able to sell on either site, even if you are buying the merchandise directly from the brands.
Since the policies of both companies can change, you will always want to contact them directly to see what their latest rules are concerning selling any type of wholesale merchandise.