Many online sellers wonder if would be more convenient to sell on Amazon or eBay. Here’re some points of comparison that may help sellers to make a more informed decision.
The cost of selling is about the same. You have to consider unsold items, time spent relisting items, and time spent dealing with unpaid items on eBay as a cost. Amazon has no upfront fees, but a higher commission.
Format (Auction vs. Fixed-price)
Auctions are the best way to get market value for collectibles. eBay is better if you are selling unique items and want the best prices.
On the other hand, often the market value is easy to determine and buyers prefer and immediate purchase.
While Amazon is the fixed-price king, eBay is moving in that direction by downplaying auctions and encouraging fixed-price listings. The advantage is in the buyers. The Amazon buyer is more affluent and pays a higher average price for products.
eBay sellers are very involved with eBay buyers. The transactions are very interactive. Amazon buyers and sellers rarely interact. The Amazon buyer tends to expect high customer service and they don’t expect to have to ask if an item has shipped. Because of the higher interaction with customers, eBay sellers have to spend more time per transaction. Amazon transactions take less time.
Both eBay and Amazon have a feedback system allowing buyers and sellers to record their impression of a transaction. Both sites allow buyers to leave negative comments for sellers.
The eBay culture has given much more weight to feedback than their Amazon counterpart. Amazon buyers can see the seller’s feedback score, but tend to overlook it more readily than eBay buyers. Amazon does not “‘disadvantage”‘ sellers, as eBay does, by moving them down in the results when shoppers perform a search. eBay does this by considering the seller’s feedback score and making them less visible to shoppers, rather than letting buyers make the choice themselves.
Marketplace sellers are responsible for the sales tax on any items sold on Amazon, and if necessary, they generally add this cost to the price of their items. This is a pain for Amazon sellers who are running a business.
eBay provides a mechanism in the Sell-Your-Item form to collect the taxes in addition to the sale price. This way the taxes don’t eat into the seller’s profits.
It seems Amazon could add a tool like this to their process quite easily for their Marketplace sellers and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the future.
Average Sale Price
Amazon buyers have been shown to be more affluent, and more willing to spend more on similar items. eBay buyers tend to look for bargains and are willing to wait for a seven-day auction to save a buck.
As a seller, I’ll pick the buyer that is willing to spend more. I have actually used eBay to source products at rock-bottom prices, that sold for good profit on Amazon. Amazon buyers often don’t even look on eBay, and they ultimately pay more.
In conclusion, eBay is best for some items while Amazon is best for others. But the overlap is incredibly large. The vast majority of items that sell on Amazon will also sell on eBay.
The important thing to remember is the shoppers are different. While you may shop on several sites, many Amazon shoppers are very loyal to Amazon and won’t even visit eBay. Some eBayers feel it would be a sin to shop on Amazon. By selling on both sites, you are potentially getting millions of additional eyeballs on your products.